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June 22, 2010 > Seniors: Age Strong, Live Long!

Seniors: Age Strong, Live Long!

Free Seminar Explores Senior-Focused Programs in the Community

Are you aware of services, programs and opportunities that support seniors in our communities of Fremont, Newark and Union City? The City of Fremont's Human Services Department and LIFE ElderCare, a partnering non-profit agency, want you to be aware, understand and have access to services that enable you to live independently, age strong, and live long!

On Wednesday, June 30, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Washington Senior Care will host a free Health & Wellness seminar covering a variety of community-based services-from door-to-door transportation services to a multi-lingual senior helpline-that are coordinated by the City of Fremont's Aging and Family Services Division and LIFE ElderCare.

Sharing their knowledge and expertise related to aging services will be: Karen Grimsich, M.P.H., administrator of the Aging and Family Services Division; Raymond Grimm, Ph.D., coordinator Pathways to Positive Aging; Shawn Fong, M.S.W., of the Fremont Paratransit Program; and Mary Anderson, executive director for LIFE ElderCare, Inc.

"Our Tri-City area has more to offer older adults than most other communities our size," Grimm explains. "In collaboration with the Tri-City Elder Coalition (TCEC) and with a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation we are implementing a strategic plan, Pathways to Positive Aging, for older adults. The plan includes innovative solutions where seniors are able to understand, choose and access culturally enriched and affordable services and opportunities that impact their quality of life."

The initiative's goals for serving seniors community include:
* Increasing access to services
* Increasing mobility through targeted transportation services and fitness programs
* Increasing participation of intercultural communities
* Promoting intergenerational and cultural exchanges in the community
* Engaging baby boomers and seniors as community partners, enabling them to remain vital and active within the community

"The demographics in this area are now one of the most diverse areas in the United States " Grimm points out. "One of the challenges in our community, which is now more than 50 percent Asian, is how to get the information out to the various communities."

One of the first projects developed as a result of the outreach was a Senior Helpline (510-574-2041) answered in four different languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin and Farsi, which operates five days a week during regular business hours and answers questions and refers callers to an array of services.

Other programs aimed at supporting seniors in the Tri-City area community include:
* Mobile Mental Health Program staffed by social workers, psychiatrist and physician's assistant to provide in-home counseling and medication support.
* Community Ambassador Program for Seniors (CAPS) which utilizes volunteer bilingual and bi-cultural community ambassadors to engage seniors in their own communities, provide essential information and referral services and act as a bridge between the formal social services network and faith-based and/or cultural communities.
* LIFE ElderCare's Falls Prevention program includes in-home exercise, home safety evaluation, minor home modifications and medication management.
* Senior Peer Counselor Program to work with people going through life adjustment issues related to aging
* Afghan Health Promoter Program staffed by a public health nurse who provides training to people in Afghan community to work with their own community members to improve health issues such as medication compliance and diabetes management
* Travel Training Workshops that teach older adults how to use local buses and BART trains
* "Walk This Way", an innovative fitness and education program for older adults.
* Caregiver support coordinated by a marriage family therapist who works one-on-one with family members and groups
* VIP Rides Program staffed by volunteers who provide door-through-door assisted transportation services for frail seniors who need help when they travel to medical appointments, grocery shopping and errands

"Washington Hospital has been a major partner for us on behalf of Pathways to Positive Aging," he says. "This seminar at the hospital exemplifies our common goal of getting the word out about senior services to a broader community."

Grimm adds that one of the reasons the Human Services Department chose to partner with Washington Hospital for its upcoming seminar was the hospital's outstanding InHealth cable television channel, Comcast Channel 78, which broadcasts health-related content to the Tri-City area 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Get the most out of your community programs and learn how you can become involved.

Join Dr. Grimm and other local senior services advocates on Wednesday, June 30, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, Rooms A, B & C at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont.

Call Washington Hospital's Health Connection line at (800) 963-7070 or visit
www.whhs.com to register.

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