INFORM & CONNECT: ADVANCED RESOURCES

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Wednesday November 1, 2017 | 9 am – 4 pm | FREE Workshop |

A free, daylong interactive training about information and resources specific to older adults 85+ and those who need more resources.

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This training is designed for help-desk, information hotline, and other front-line volunteers or staff who provide clients with information about programs and services available throughout the county for people who are 85 and older or need more advanced resources. Specialists on the following topics will share their knowledge, expertise and resources through short panel presentations and audience Q&A:

  • Vision
  • Senior Peer Counseling
  • Home Maintenance
  • Pets
  • Meals
  • Telephone Reassurance
  • Care-Giving
  • Dementia
  • Aging-in-Place
  • Residential Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care

Attendees will make connections with professional colleagues, build professional expertise, and enhance their service to the community. CEUs available.

Who Should Attend

Front line volunteers and others who support the resource referral needs of people 85 and older and those that need more advanced resources.

REGISTER HERE

Registration problems? Call 415-492-9444

To view/download the flier, click here.


About Aging Action Initiative

The purpose of the Aging Action Initiative is to promote a county-wide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of aging service providers through education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The initiative is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commissions and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, and coordinated by MARINSPACE.

AAI SPOTLIGHT: Advanced Resources

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AAI Inform & Connect work group member Fred Silverman shares about the work of Aging Action Initiative, the benefits of collaboration, and the importance of accessing the resources to deal with advanced stages of aging.

What kind of work do you do?

fred-silvermanWell, at the Inform & Connect Workshop a few weeks ago, I described myself as “unaffiliated”, which got a laugh, but it’s not really true.  I’m a new member of the Marin County Commission on Aging.  I serve on the Health and Nutrition Committee.  We’re planning a series of presentations in a few months.  I’m also on the Aging Action Initiative’s Inform & Connect work group putting on wonderful workshops for front line and help desk workers.  We’ve done four of those so far, and I helped facilitate.

My passion right now is working with school volunteers through 10,000 Degrees (formerly Marin County School Volunteers). My work is in two schools in Marin City and Mill Valley.  Almost all the volunteers are seniors. In these schools, we have 45 volunteers. I believe that more than 40 of them are over 60. It’s a way to connect the young and the old, something we all need.

How did you get into this kind of work?

I worked for the U.S. government for 15 years in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. My wife and I started doing volunteer work with the Marin AIDs Project in the 1980’s, and then I decided to go back to school and studied Social Work. After I graduated, I worked at Hospice by the Bay, Kaiser and other hospice agencies. When I started working fewer hours, I joined the Marin County Civil Grand Jury. We released Aging in Marin: What’s the Plan? (2014). One of our recommendations was to ‘improve information and referral phone lines to make them more user-specific, friendly and immediate.’ The report turned out to be influential as now we have 415-457-INFO (4636) which improved things considerably.

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How does the Inform & Connect WorkGroup work?

We’re a group of volunteers who meet monthly to put together the programs for the AAI training workshops. My interests and work experience exposed me to a lot of issues that people 85 and older, like my father, encounter. The two issues that keep coming up for me are changes in health status, and the end of life.

The change of status is a huge unacknowledged problem. One day, being 85 is fine, and then with a fall or a mgy-photo-03-alz-caredoctor’s appointment and a new diagnosis, in one moment, everything changes, and people flounder. No matter how much you know, there’s still that moment when you don’t know what to do.

With the issues regarding end of life – we need to do better in talking about this. The Inform & Connect group decided we’re going to address this with our training workshop on November 1. To learn more, click here.

What are the benefits of the AAI Inform & Connect Workshops?

In the trainings, people increase their knowledge about available resources. They have a better understanding of the needs of older adults. And, they have the chance to network face to face. Hopefully, participants will leave the training better able to provide useful information for their clients.

inform-and-connect-2How does the Aging Action Initiative help you in the work you do?

Well, AAI has helped me professionally and personally. The AAI Convenings showed me that there are over 100 groups working on issues of older Marin residents. I learned more about them, and understood better how they could and should work together. It can be challenging with so many options for people to get the care they need, when they need it, without any coordination or collaboration. This is one way AAI helps – by making us aware of what other groups are doing when working with older adults.

Personally, AAI has helped me as I navigate the care needed for my father, who is 95. Even with my years of experience, it was a shock when, several weeks ago, I had to immediately find care for him when he had a fall. My hope is that with AAI, we’ll help smooth those times when people suddenly need help to get information, care and assistance.

senior-bike-rider-bwPlease share one of your favorite stories:

Well, this isn’t a pleasant story, but it is timely. This last weekend, my wife and I were in the gym, and we got a phone call about my dad falling – this was followed by five hours in the emergency room, and us working through the uncertainty of finding him 24-hour care and making all the arrangements. I know all about this because of my previous work, but I still had to figure out how to do this, and we worried about him on so many levels. We were lucky to have an agency available that could respond to his needs and then to have a bed available in the heath care unit where he lives.

He’s safe now, thankfully, but it was an insight into what people go through: the uncertainty, the stress, the guilt. It’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing.

How has collaboration helped you do your work? Specifically your relationships/partnerships in the AAI network:

I’ve gotten to know people in the AAI workshops, and make connections between people. Since I volunteer with mainly older adults, I’ve been able to point a few people towards the services that they need.  And, I’ve learned that in spite of all the uncertainty and stress of our work, people step up and help when they know what to do.

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What innovations do you see coming in your field?

I think that we should see more and more older adults using technology to find services and hopefully, the information will be more and more easily accessed.

What is your vision of an age-friendly Marin?

One that takes really good care of older residents… one where the young and the old are connected. That’s done through volunteering, the collaboration of the multitude of non-profits and interventions by the County to provide seamless access to services for older adults and younger people in Marin. If a pathway is safe for a wheelchair, it will be safe for a stroller. I’d like to see caregiving navigators to help people move through the phases of their lives as they get older. That would be a benefit for all of us.

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Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is a collective effort of more than 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commission and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin and coordinated by MARINSPACE, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit agingactioninitiative.org or connect with us on Facebook.

AAI SPOTLIGHT: Information and Access

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AAI interviewed Cathy Bleecker, Nutrition Program Manager, and Terri Sylvain, Care Manager, both with West Marin Senior Services. West Marin Senior Services is a non-profit agency that has been providing services for over forty years to older adults in all of the 15 unincorporated villages and ranches that make up the 325 square miles of West Marin. Cathy and Terri talk about the many resources, services and partnerships needed to help seniors live safely with dignity and respect in their community.

What do you do for West Marin Senior Services?

staff-sylvainTERRI: I am one of four case managers at WMSS; my territory is the northern section of West Marin, including Marshall, Tomales and Dillon Beach. I meet with seniors in their homes to assess their living situation, advocate on their behalf and determine what assistance they might need, and provide options and solutions for successful aging.

CathyCATHY:  I run the Home Delivered Meals and the Senior Lunch programs. The Home Delivered Meals serves 3 times a week in San Geronimo Valley, Point Reyes Station, Inverness, Dillon Beach, Tomales and places in between. The Senior Lunch serves about 40 seniors every week at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes. It’s my responsibility to find, train and schedule volunteers for both these programs.

How did you get into this kind of work?

TERRI: I worked for 25 years in the long-term care insurance industry. After I left the corporate world, I attended Dominican University of California and received my B.A. in Psychology. Working with seniors was and is important to me, so my undergraduate internship was at West Marin Senior Services. Upon graduation I was offered a position at WMSS. I signed on for one year and I am now entering my ninth year. I still love what I do!

CATHY: I worked in the hospitality business for many years, in customer service, at hotels and rented apartments. I also volunteered at my church for different events such as funerals and fundraisers.

Point Reyes Congregate Lunch

In what ways does your organization help our older adults?

TERRI: We connect seniors to services. We offer case management and home care referrals, and provide respite grants to family caregivers, friendly visiting, transportation assistance, home delivered meals, a senior lunch program and home care equipment loans. We also offer community education and wellness by sponsoring workshops, support groups and senior activities to promote healthy lifestyles. When living at home is no longer the best option, we offer assisted living at Stockstill House.

CATHY: The Home Delivered Meals program is the only service of its kind in West Marin. We provide heart smart, nutritious and tasty fresh meals to homebound seniors. Sometimes, people just getting out of the hospital also use our program until they are on their feet again. We provide a lunch or evening meal with fruit and milk. When volunteers deliver meals, they also check-in and visit with people. They are often the only person a senior will see that day, so it’s essential socialization.

The weekly Senior Lunch is a fun and happy event that combines good food with a wonderful venue at the Dance Palace. The seniors we serve there are friends or soon-to-be-friends who share conversation and good food. We have music on the first Thursday of the month. Bread & Roses sends top performers every other month. On alternating months, Tina Carella and her pianist Jack Dawson perform from American Songbook.

Tea & Music at Stockstill House

Please share one of your favorite work stories:

TERRI: There was a lovely couple in their 90s who lived in Dillon Beach. They no longer drove and had no in-home care providers or help. They also had chronic medical conditions; among them, the wife had Alzheimer’s which was progressing. They were very frail. I helped them get their wish, which was to remain in their home and to not be institutionalized. In order to achieve that goal I worked with them to develop a plan that included our home-delivered meals, transportation assistance, and eventually in-home care, and when the time came, hospice. Their hospital beds were set up next to each other in their living room so they could hold hands and look at the beautiful ocean view that they loved so much. We arranged for friendly visitors and worked with their daughter who lived far away to ensure that they enjoyed their final days in safety and comfort in the home that they loved. Mission accomplished!

CATHY: I remember a gentleman from Bolinas who was a well-known newspaper man. He came by the Senior Lunch regularly with two of his friends. He was a colorful poet and a happy dancer when there was music. He was so much fun. He regularly attended the lunch into his 90’s!

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How has collaboration help you do your work? Specifically, your relationships with other organizations?

TERRI: At WMSS we work with many agencies, most of whom are in the AAI network such as the county’s Aging and Adult Services, Marin Transit, Whistlestop, the Alzheimer’s Association and the SF-Marin Food Bank to coordinate and provide services and support to seniors in West Marin. AAI provides an opportunity for all of these agencies to come together to share information and opportunities for networking which is extremely important.

CATHY: Collaboration is key to our work. We work with Good Earth to get organic meals and Bread & Roses for musical performers. And all our volunteers provide vital support for our programs and services.

WMSS Volunteer Appreciation Event

Tell us about your involvement with Aging Action Initiative (AAI):

TERRI: I’ve been to some AAI Convenings and participated in the first Inform & Connect workshop. I stay connected by reading the AAI newsletter. I am also a member of the Paratransit Consortium, and attend the Marin Mobility Consortium and CASS meetings so the biggest benefit to me of AAI is the Inform & Connect workshops. It’s a great opportunity to be in the room with others who provide services to seniors in Marin. The networking opportunities it affords are extremely useful.

CATHY: I attended an Inform & Connect workshop last year. I liked meeting with other professionals and interacting in an informed environment. I learned about an array of programs that people in Marin County could access. Unfortunately, many of these programs are not available in West Marin and are out of reach for our seniors. It was reassuring to hear about the exciting things that are happening in East Marin. It was very helpful to have a larger perspective of what other organizations are doing to help the community.

Friendly Visiting

What is your vision of an Age-Friendly Marin?

TERRI:  That all areas of Marin are age-friendly and that access to vital services such as social programs, transportation, affordable housing, and internet connectivity are available for residents of West Marin.

CATHY: That the seniors of West Marin would be included in the array of helpful programs and not be left behind.


Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commission and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin and coordinated by MARINSPACE, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit agingactioninitiative.org or connect with us on Facebook.

INFORM & CONNECT: A Workshop for Front Line Information Assistance and Resource Referral Staff

Woman on phone

Thursday September 21, 2017 | 9 am – 4 pm | FREE Workshop |

A free, daylong interactive training designed to support those who help older adults access resource referral information.

This training is designed for help-desk, information hotline, and other front-line volunteers or staff specifically tasked to provide clients with information about programs and services available throughout the county. Specialists on the following topics will share their knowledge, expertise and resources through short panel presentations and audience Q&A.

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Financial Abuse
  • Attendant Care
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Staying Connected

Attendees will make connections with professional colleagues, build professional expertise, and enhance their service to the community.

Who Should Attend

Front line volunteers and staff who support the resource referral needs of older adults. Up to three people may register per agency or organization for the workshop.

7 Free CEUs provided courtesy of NASW-CA are offered for this workshop.

To register, click here or call 415-492-9444.

For a copy of the event flyer, click here.

About Aging Action Initiative

The purpose of the Aging Action Initiative is to promote a county-wide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of aging service providers through education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The initiative is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commissions and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, and coordinated by MARINSPACE.

AAI SPOTLIGHT: Food Insecurity

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AAI interviewed member Marv Zauderer, Founder and Executive Director of ExtraFood, an organization “helping to end hunger in Marin.”

How did you get into this kind of work?

For as long as I can remember, hunger has been the problem that has broken my heart. I think this comes from my Jewish upbringing – where food and a meal around the table were central to connecting everyone in the family.

extra-food-logo-w-tag-CMYKMy first career was in high tech and then I switched careers to psychotherapy. It was first as a psychotherapist working with vulnerable children and families in Marin that I began to see with my own eyes people who were struggling in my own community.

I started to hear the call to work on the problem of hunger. As it became louder, I had to figure out the best way to help. I started meeting with people in the community who were working on hunger, reading, watching documentaries, and learning about what people were doing about food and hunger.

I learned that 40% of edible food is wasted in the U.S. And, food waste in our landfills creates an enormous environmental problem. If global food waste were a country, it would rank 3rd in greenhouse gas production after the U.S. and China. In Marin, right here in our own community, there are thousands of people worrying about where their next meal will come from, while some of the best food in the world is wasted.  And, so many of the hungry are hidden to so many of us, like homebound seniors and people working more than one job to try to make ends meet.

At one point I met with Paul Ash, head of SF-Marin Food Bank to discuss what I could join or start, to help work on hunger in Marin. I had already been volunteering for Food Runners in San Francisco http://www.foodrunners.org/.  Paul gets the credit for sifting through my ideas and encouraging me to create an organization like FoodRunners here in Marin.

extra-food-4th-july-novatoNot long ago, I brought a TV news crew along on one of our deliveries to a senior housing facility. Sarah, a resident who volunteers to distribute the food we deliver there, walked up to the reporter and said, “I moved into this facility in 2009 when I lost my house in the mortgage crisis. At that moment, I lost my faith in my community. Being part of this food program has restored my faith in my community.” These are the moments I live for.

 

How does ExtraFood work?

We fill a gap in Marin’s food system, sharing the abundance of our county with those in need. We work with non-profit food programs across the county to find out who is hungry, what kind of food Is needed, how much food is needed, and when the food is needed.

ExtraFood looks for excess food from grocery stores, restaurants, schools, businesses and other places that match our partners’ needs.

We dispatch our volunteers online and by text to pick up the food and immediately deliver it to our partners.

extra-food-donation-03We started ExtraFood more than three years ago. The first week we delivered 100 pounds of food to our partners. Last week we delivered 15,000 pounds! In 3.5 years we’ve organized, recovered, and delivered 1,250,000 pounds of food.

Thanks to the outpouring of generosity across Marin, we reach more than 5,000 vulnerable people every month with healthy, fresh food.

 

What are the benefits of ExtraFood?

Through our work together, we and our partners are serving more people with more robust and healthy meals. In many cases, we are able to reduce the food program costs of our partner organizations, which then put that money towards expanded services.

ExtraFood donors save money on disposal fees, save money through tax donations, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by food waste.

extra-food-volunteers-west-marinVolunteers feel a lot of love and gratitude from the food donors and the recipients they work with. They have a flexible volunteer opportunity that fits with their schedules.  Hugs are a big part of this work.

 

Tell us about your involvement with Aging Action Initiative (AAI):

I was there from the beginning, at the first meeting of the Food and Nutrition WorkGroup. It’s been inspiring to work with other non-profit leaders across the county on a purposeful collaborative approach to making change.

 

How has collaboration helped you do your work? Specifically your relationships/partnerships in the AAI network:

Everything we do is in partnership.

For example, we take our strategic direction from research by the Civic Grand Jury 2014 report Aging in Marin: What’s the Plan? and Live Long/Live Well by the County’s Aging & Adult Services.

Systemic problems require systemic solutions

We partner with 175 businesses and organizations, such as Whole Foods, Target, Marin General Hospital, the Novato Unified School District, Cheesecake Factory, and the Marin Farmers’ Markets who have donated food to ExtraFood. We have delivered food to 92 sites across the county, such as Whistlestop, Marin City Community Services District, Warner Creek Senior Housing, Marin Community Clinics, Boys and Girls Clubs, Catholic Charities Canal Family Support, St. Vincent de Paul, and Homeward Bound. These sites include 21 new food programs we have started with our partners — expanding the safety net in Marin.

Systemic problems require systemic solutions, and the connections we’re creating among ExtraFood staff, 250+ volunteers, food donors, recipient partners, funders, and community advocates are building a living ecosystem, a renewable resource for our community that operates 365 days a year and will, we trust, outlive all of us.

 

What is an innovation in this area of food and hunger?

I’ll tell another story. Whistlestop called us to let us know funding was running out for one of their home-delivered meals programs. At the time, ExtraFood had a wonderful donation of healthy, sealed, microwaveable meals from Kaiser Permanente available. This turned into a fabulous partnership between Kaiser, Whistlestop, the County, ExtraFood, Byte Foods, and other ExtraFood donors which has tripled the number of people served by the program in the past 18 months.

extra-food-whistlestop

What is your vision of aging in Marin?

My vision is from the age-friendly movement and from my many mentors in senior-serving organizations throughout Marin: “Where everyone can age in place with dignity.”


Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commission and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin and coordinated by MARINSPACE, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit agingactioninitiative.org or connect with us on Facebook.