Friday, August 26, 2011

A Difficult Decision

 Dallas Area Agency on Aging presents                    

Capacity:  A Difficult Decision

Tools for Professionals and Caregivers

Making Difficult Decisions for Those without Capacity

 Friday, October 7, 2011

1349 Empire Central, Suite 150

Registration:  11:30 a.m.

Presentation: 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.

Presentation by Viki Kind, MA

"Winner of the 2011 Caregiver Friendly Award" from

Today's Caregiver Magazine

Honored Speaker at National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Annual Conference

Clinical Bioethicist, Medical Educator Consultant for hospitals in Los Angeles Area and Other Area Agencies on Aging

 Please RSVP, as space is limited, to Corina Castro at

(214) 954-4220 or 

Light Lunch will be provided.

CEU's Available

It's not about sandwiches! It's about my life!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Employment seminar for older workers in the Dallas area

Employment Seminar for Older Workers


 "What Do I Need to Know about Today's Job Search?"


Hosted by the American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss


Date:  Friday, September 9, 2011

Time:  9:30 a.m.  to 2:30 p.m. Lunch is included

Address: 11030 Ables Lane, Dallas TX 75229


Are you over age 55? Do you still want or need to work? The job scene has changed dramatically in the past few years. Retirement at age 65 isn't always possible or preferable. There are more people looking for jobs than positions available. Using a computer has become the norm. Social networking has arrived on the scene. Plus, you are dealing with vision loss and you may even think that you are unemployable.


Attend this free seminar for job seekers over 55 and learn what you can do to be successful in both preparing to work in today's world with vision loss and what's new in looking for a job!  Discover technologies that are available to help you on the job and how you can use the skills, experience, work ethic and contacts you have to secure employment.


Seating is limited.

Please RSVP to Pris Rogers at 214-438-5314 or e-mail:

It's not about sandwiches! It's about my life!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Monday humor!

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch.
After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn't miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her,

While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card.

Demo Memo: Are Older Americans Willing to Spend?

Are Older Americans Willing to Spend?

Most businesses assume that older Americans are not big spenders, directing their marketing efforts at younger adults.

Since the 65+ age group is now the fastest growing segment of the population, this suggests that businesses must look elsewhere to find eager customers.

But do older Americans deserve their penny-pincher reputation?At the household level, the spending differences are stark. The average household spent $49,067 in 2009 compared with the $37,562 spent by householders aged 65 or older, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

But this is an apples to oranges comparison because the average household is larger than those headed by people aged 65 or older (2.5 versus 1.7 people).

On a per capita basis, the differences disappear. In fact, on a per capita basis, householders aged 65 or older spend more than average--$22,095 versus $19,627. Older Americans do not devote all their dollars to health care either.

On a per capita basis, householders aged 65 or older spend more than average or close to the average on most categories of goods and services--including items often associated with youth such as entertainment and women's clothes. Not only are they willing to spend, but the 65+ age group is economically more stable than younger adults, many with guaranteed incomes pegged to inflation. So the fact that the 65+ age group is now the fastest growing segment of the population may be good news for business.

Toyota Venza's anti-hipster commercials

Have you seen these ads? They are GREAT! Makes you look forward to getting older!

Toyota Venza's anti-hipster commercials

Car commercials typically come in two types: those marketed to "family adults" and those marketed to "mid-life crisis adults." The first type of commercial will usually show a mother and father smoothly careening down a country road in their SUV, their 2.5 kids placid and safe in the backseat. Maybe they end up on a beach and take out their surfboards? Or at home, climbing out of their four-door Sedan. And the tagline will be something along the lines of "Life is full of surprises. Your car shouldn't be one of them."

The second type of commercial will be full of hip, attractive people extoling the sleek virtues of the fast, sexy automobile. Since young people aren't really the demographic for purchasing automobiles, these ads market to those suffering from too much money and Peter Pan syndrome.

The fact that these narratives are the two standards for car marketing is what makes the new Toyota Venza ads so appealing. Conceived by creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA, the spots feature aimless twenty-somethings snarking on their parents' lame, boring lives. These monologues are juxtoposed with shots of older people (presumably the parents) driving around, mountain-biking, and generally partying it up while their progeny stay inside, checking their Facebook stats and rolling their eyes.

The message is shockingly subversive: young is no longer cool. Cool is no longer cool. "You know what's cool?" says these ads, "Being a grownup." "The Venza campaign goes directly against how marketers usually talk to boomers," said Margaret Keene, Executive Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi LA." We wanted to talk to them in a way that was relevant and honest."

Considering the average age of a new car buyer is 43, the most interesting fact about this "revolutionary" campaign is how long it came for someone to come up with that concept.

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew. More: Drew Grant

Housing Bust Derails Some Seniors' Assisted-Living Care - Kaiser Health News

Housing Bust Derails Some Seniors' Assisted-Living Care - Kaiser Health News

Housing Bust Derails Some Seniors' Assisted-Living Care
Topics: Aging, Medicare, Medicaid, Health Costs, States
By Harris Meyer
Aug 21, 2011

When her 86-year-old mother, a retired nurse with Alzheimer’s disease, started wandering away from her Tallahassee, Fla., home in 2007, LuMarie Polivka-West knew it was time to move her and her 94-year-old father into an assisted-living facility.

But because of the collapse in the real estate market, she couldn’t quickly sell her parents’ house to pay for a $3,200-per-month assisted-living apartment. So, for another year, while waiting for the house to sell, Polivka-West and her two brothers each contributed $600 a month to help their parents afford the assisted-living unit.

"It was a significant cost to me and my brothers," says Polivka-West, the senior director of policy at the Florida Health Care Association, a nursing home trade group. As for her parents, "It didn’t cause them anxiety, just us," she says. "We didn’t let them know."

In the fourth year of a depressed real estate market, experts say thousands of seniors remain unable to move into senior housing because they can’t sell their homes quickly enough or for the price they need. The upshot: Greater pressure on families to pay for parents’ and grandparents’ placements, or to care for them themselves.

"We see people coming in much older and frailer because they’re taking a longer time to make the decision," says Donna Taylor, executive vice president for the nonprofit Arizona Baptist Retirement Centers in Phoenix. "They don’t know how long it will take to sell their house, and in some cases they’re reluctant to sell because of the lower price." Arizona Baptist, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), offers a spectrum of housing arrangements for seniors as they age, from independent-living and assisted-living apartments to nursing home care.

The squeeze on families is hurting occupancy rates at many senior housing communities. Nationally, the occupancy rate for CCRCs fell from 94.4 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 89.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC), a senior housing trade group. Meanwhile, occupancy rates for assisted-living facilities fell from 90.6 percent to 88.4 percent, and for independent-living facilities from 92.7 percent to 87.7 percent. The decreases tracked the decline in home prices.

Offering Incentives
Senior housing complexes have responded by trying to entice seniors to go ahead with their moves. Some facilities are buying people’s houses, freezing prices and offering move-in discounts. Others are encouraging some seniors to share their living units.

Senior housing comes in various sizes and shapes. CCRCs typically charge entrance fees averaging $253,000 plus average monthly fees of $2,600. (Sometimes, part of the entrance fee is refundable). Other kinds of facilities charge rent, but not entrance fees. Standalone assisted living facilities for example, cost $3,000 to $8,000 a month in rent, depending on how many services are provided. Independent-living units with housekeeping, meals and other services average about $2,500 a month.

"Often, people’s largest asset is their house, and to the extent the house isn’t selling or it’s selling for less, that naturally puts pressure on the ability of seniors to move into retirement communities," says Michael Hargrave, a vice president at NIC. "When it takes a year to 18 months to sell a house, that’s a deterrent."
The housing bust hasn’t hit assisted-living facilities as hard as other types of housing because people considering that option typically have to move in quickly due to disability or dementia – and therefore have less choice in living arrangements.

Taylor recalls a woman who was on the verge of moving her elderly father, who had Parkinson’s disease, into an independent-living apartment. The Arizona Baptist facility in Phoenix had services to help him with mobility and daily activities. But then her parents decided they would both move into a regular apartment with no services, which cost 40 percent less, because they had sold their home for significantly less than they had anticipated. The daughter told Taylor she was sick with worry about her parents living on their own in that apartment.

In Florida alone, Polivka-West estimates there are 400,000 seniors with dementia living on their own at home, with few or no services. "The U.S. has a large aging population and we do not have a long-term care plan for this country," she frets.

'I've Never Seen People Wait This Long'

Taylor’s group has held sessions for seniors with real estate experts on how to pay for living arrangements with needed services. One alternative is defaulting on the mortgage and walking away from the home to get out from under monthly note. But persuading seniors to consider that has been an uphill battle. "For my mom’s generation, a contract is a contract," Taylor says. "It’s very difficult for them."
Since 2008, Brookdale Senior Living, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn., and operates 13 CCRCs around the country, has signed contracts with seniors promising to buy their houses at a pre-determined price, based on an independent appraisal, within eight months, if they can’t sell them. Brookdale has entered into about 400 of these deals, but has had to buy fewer than 100 homes, most of which have been resold, says Chris Bird, a Brookdale vice president.

"The biggest sticking point is getting people to understand that their home isn’t valued at what it was when the market was at its peak in 2007," Bird says. "I’ve been in this business for over 15 years and I’ve never seen people wait this long to make a decision to move in." Over the last few years, Brookdale’s overall occupancy rate in its CCRCs has dropped from about 95 percent to 85 percent.
Other CCRCs are letting people move if they promise that they’ll pay the entrance fees once their houses sell, says Larry Minnix, president of LeadingAge, a senior services trade group.

Nursing Home Impact

The housing slump also is affecting seniors who own a home and need to move into a nursing home. That’s because states require single seniors to exhaust nearly all their assets, including their home equity, to qualify for Medicaid. That federal-state program for the poor and disabled pays for many people's long-term nursing home care. Federal Medicaid rules allow states to exempt the home from consideration in the financial eligibility test if the family is making a good-faith effort to sell, but not all states do. Depending on which state they live in, these seniors may not qualify for Medicaid if they can’t sell the home.
Rosemarie Eck, a Chicago nurse, wanted to place her 89-year-old mother in an assisted living facility, but got caught between Medicaid rules, a tough real estate market and the high price of senior housing. Her mother, Theresa Eck, an 89-year-old retired factory worker, suffered a severe stroke that impaired her ability to speak and walk. Rosemarie is trying to sell her mother’s modest cooperative apartment, her only asset, for $115,000. She has also applied for Medicaid coverage, which could take several months. Meanwhile, she searched for a decent facility for her mother but couldn’t afford the $3,000 to $5,000 a month most of them charge.

Fortunately, the Bishop Conway Supportive Living Residence, which is run by Catholic Charities in Chicago, is providing Theresa with a small room for free -- until Rosemarie sells the apartment or her mother is accepted by Medicaid. A Catholic Charities spokeswoman says her organization makes every effort to assist seniors in need of care even if their home is not yet sold.
"This has all been quite an education," Rosemarie Eck says. "Bishop Conway is our only assisted living possibility. The other places all insisted on my paying, and I’m barely making it myself. I hope and pray my mother will open her mind and heart to this."

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Access Board Meeting in Dallas


Below is information for a meeting on guidelines for "public rights of way."  If you need further details or information please contact Neva Fairchild at American Foundation for the Blind at 214 438-5316.  Thanks.




The U.S. Access Board proudly invites you to

an all-day meeting being held on


September 12, 2011


at the


Sheraton Dallas

400 North Olive Street

Dallas, TX   75201




·         In the Morning… From 9:30 to 11:30 am, we will hold a public hearing on proposed guidelines for public rights-of-way which were published on July 26, 2011. These guidelines will address access to sidewalks, street crossings, and other components of pedestrian networks for people with disabilities.


·         Lunch—on your own


·         In the Afternoon… the Access Board will host two panel presentations from experts in the fields of: (1) state certified code implementation and (2) self-service transaction machines. After our invited speakers make their presentations, the Board will have an "open microphone session" for public comment.


We welcome your attendance and participation at these events.  If you are interested in providing testimony during the morning hearing, you are encouraged to contact Kathy Roy Johnson at or (202) 272-0041 (voice); (800) 993-2822 (TTY). 

Senior Safety Summit at Communities Foundation of Texas

Please Join Us

for the 

Project S.E.C.U.R.E.

Senior Safety Summit

Communities Foundation of Texas
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, Texas 75225

August 17, 2011
2:00PM – 5:00PM

Presented by The Senior Source