President’s Message … Margaret Schieck

Here we are six months into 2021 with maybe some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.

It looks as though we will be meeting on ZOOM for at least another four to five months as the Campbell Community Center does not expect to open for large groups before October.

In the meantime, Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers and grandfathers and all who are fulfilling a “father figure” role.  This is your month.

For those of you who are uncomfortable using Social Media, the Office of Volunteer Engagement has affiliated with Senior Planet for free technology sessions called Older Adults Technology Services (OATS).  You are invited to join Facebook Fridays for training.  Tech Tuesdays are also available for novice users and for training on hosting meetings.  Have fun!  For more information, contact Sharon Stewart at  sbinns@aarp.org.

AARP June Meeting … Paul Levine

For our June 15, 2021, Zoom meeting, the program will be a choral music concert consisting of songs performed by 7 local choirs:  Rainbow Women’s Chorus, Mission College Chorus, Orchard City Community Chorus (OCCC), Threshold Choir, Resounding Achord, Crystal Children’s Chorus, and Serendipity Choir. 

This concert was produced by Diane James (director of OCCC) as a benefit concert for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence and was originally performed over Zoom on March 20, 2021.  Musical selections will include “We’ll Meet Again,” “Georgy Girl,” “Imagine,” “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” and “We Rise Again.”

In exchange for the concert video, our chapter will make a $100 contribution to Next Door Solutions.  If individual members want to contribute, their website is nextdoorsolutions.org/give/.

Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

State Budget

The State Budget must be approved by the legislature by June 15.  By June 10, we need to contact our legislators and ask them to vote for the following AARP budget concerns:

Master Plan for Aging
·  Establish the position of Senior Advisor on Aging, Disability, and Alzheimer’s to advance cross-Cabinet initiatives and partnerships.
·  Allocate $5 million for Master Plan for Aging implementation.

Long-Term Services and Supports
·  Allocate $12.5 million for both 21/22 and the first half of 2022/23 to expand Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs).
·  Allocate $250 million in one-time funds to purchase and rehabilitate Adult Residential Facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly to increase housing options for older adults and persons with disabilities.
·  Allocate $26 million over three years to fund Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC).
·  Permanently reverse the 7% hours cut in In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

Supporting Family Caregivers at Work and at Home
·  Enact an emergency-paid-sick-leave benefit for California workers for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Security
·  Allocate $15.6 from the general fund to finance the extension of Medi-Cal benefits, including audiology and speech therapy services, incontinence creams and washes, optician/optical lab services, and podiatric services.
·  Allocate $25 million from the general fund in the current year and $100 million per year on an ongoing basis for both long-term case management and lowering the age of adults served to 60, as well as expanding Home Safe and making it a permanent program.

Food Security for low-income older adults
·  Allocate $5.4 million to expand the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and $5 million to launch new Farm Fresh to Seniors Program.
·  Fund a one-time, $1 million investment for California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to design and integrate a user-centered, simplified CalFresh application for older adults and people with disabilities, in order to increase CalFresh enrollment.

Housing Stability and Equity
·  Allocate $1 billion of this year’s $26 billion budget windfall to respond to the housing crisis, including one-time funds to purchase permanent housing for the growing number of unhoused Californians.

State Legislators

Nursing Homes – Prioritize, Responsible, Oversight, Treatment, Equity and Corporate Transparency (PROTECT) Plan – This is several bills that seek to protect our vulnerable seniors in nursing homes.

AARP is fighting to protect nursing home residents from sickness, isolation, and neglect.  When California nursing homes received over $657 million from the federal government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic; why did so many of these facilities have inadequate PPE, staffing, and controls to protect residents and staff?

That’s why AARP is urging our state lawmakers to pass reforms that will protect nursing home residents by holding staff accountable for providing safe environments and high-quality care.  State lawmakers must pass laws that will prioritize responsible oversight, treatment, equity and corporate transparency – to protect nursing home residents from isolation, neglect and sickness.

PROTECT Plan State Bills Include

·  SB 650 (STERN) – the majority of taxpayer funding must go to the care and protection of residents, not to fill the pockets of corporate nursing home management and ownership companies.

·  AB 323 (KALRA) – Nursing homes must face stiff penalties for not providing high-quality care to residents.

·  AB 1042 (JONES-SAWYER) – We need to close the loopholes that have allowed nursing homeowners to escape true accountability for poor care; this bill requires all related parties to be held accountable for substandard care.

·  AB 849 (REYES) – Increases penalties for violations that result in the death of a resident.

·  AB749 (NAZARIAN) – Requires medical directors of these facilities to be trained and certified for elderly care.

·  AB 279 (MURASUTCHI) – Prevents patient dumping, making it unlawful to evict a nursing home resident during a public health emergency.

Seniors Deserve Better:  we MUST increase accountability, transparency and quality of care in California’s 1,227 nursing homes.  Please call your legislator and ask him or her to vote AYE on these nursing home bills.

State Assembly

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced her Assembly Bill 995 dealing with the accrual and use of paid sick days.  This bill would amend Section 246 of the Labor Code. Existing law provides three days of paid sick leave for employees who meet specified conditions.  Please urge your Assembly Member to support AB 995 (Gonzalez) which expands Paid Sick Leave from 3 to 5 days.

Membership … Shelly Schwartz

I am trying to locate one of our members, Marian Freuderblum, as it seems that her phone has been disconnected.  If anyone has any information about Marian, please call or e-mail me.

Thank you for your help.

Corrections and Addendums

The Department of Aging and Adult Services telephone number is (408) 755-7600.

The SourceWise phone number is: (408) 350-3200; their web address is:  mysourcewise.com

AARP’s National Fraud Watch Line: (877) 908-3360; their web address is:  www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/about-fraud-watch-network

Some Funnies

Shelly Schwartz

They say you can’t fix stupid; turns out you can’t quarantine it either.

I just got pulled over by a cop.  He said, “I can smell alcohol.”  I told him that’s because he’s not respecting social distancing.

Remember when we had to smack the TV because the channel wasn’t coming in clearly?  I feel that way about far too many people.

Veronika Phillips

We should train all Amazon delivery drivers to give the vaccines.  The whole population would be immunized by Saturday; Thursday if you’ve got Prime.

So … you’ve been eating hotdogs and McChickens all your life, but don’t want the vaccine because “you don’t know what’s in it?”

President’s Message … Margaret Schieck

This will be a short message this month, as there is a lot to cover in legislative news.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, godmothers, and anyone else filling that role.

Also, let us not forget Memorial Day at the end of the month.  It’s not just an excuse for a long weekend.  Remember those “who gave all.”