August 23, 2011

◊ Help Develop The Alzheimer State Plan By Taking This Survey

Filed under: Special Events & Projects — Mark @ 5:29 pm

Do you have thoughts on how to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their caregivers? Do you have an insight into the needs of people impacted by Alzheimer’s? We need your help.

We want your input and advice on how the state of Oregon and the federal government can address the growing crisis of Alzheimer’s.  You can help by completing a brief survey to let us know what’s needed in Oregon.  All responses are anonymous and will provide us with key information to shape state and federal development of policies and plans to address the impact of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in Oregon.

Choose the survey option that best fits you, and provide your input by September 15th, 2011.

Please pass this information and links to these surveys on to others who may want to contribute their input.

These surveys are being conducted by the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease in Oregon (SPADO) Task Force which unites knowledgeable people in Oregon to study and write a plan to improve Oregon’s readiness to serve people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and their families. Task force members include physicians, scientists, non-profit organizations dedicated to serving those with dementia, private sector senior care providers, police agencies, family caregivers, state government representatives who serve seniors and their families and state legislators. The Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter provides staff assistance to SPADO.

For more information on the state or federal planning efforts, contact Jon Bartholomew, Public Policy Director at the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter at 503-416-0202 or

Jon Bartholomew

Policy Director | Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter | 1650 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 190 | Portland, OR 97209 | | 503.416.0202 office | 503.358.3833 cell | | twitter – @alzoregon | Like us on Facebook | 24/7 Information Helpline 800.272.3900


August 19, 2011

◊ Willamette Express Talks About What It Means To Be Elder Friendly®

Filed under: Elder Friendly Business — Mark @ 4:28 pm

The senior community is a most important part of the customer base of Willamette Express Moving and Storage.  For 8 years now, our partnership with Elders in Action, as an Elder Friendly Certified® Business, has helped us build ever-stronger relationships with seniors and those who serve them.   With the help of Elders in Action we have educated our team about how to work for and interact with individual clients at Retirement Centers, Lifestyle Communities, and Assisted Living Centers.

For a decade, Willamette Express has seen increasing reliance on a range of senior-focused residential centers as the ‘baby boom’ population wave ages into needing and wanting the care and community of these centers.  With Elder Friendly® Certification we give clients peace of mind and confidence when they move, instead of the stress they expect.  We emphasize anticipating seniors’ needs, listening closely and presenting understandable information.

This makes the experience of serving seniors very rewarding for our team and enriches our lives in ways we don’t always think of.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with a lady enduring significant hearing loss.  She wanted to relocate to a Lifestyle Center that gave her more activity and greater chances for friendships.  Throughout the move she was worried about the uncertainty of the transition, e.g.: ‘Will my car make it on time?   What will I sleep on if I arrive before my possessions?   How will I find anything at the new place?   How will I get my pictures up on the wall?’ All of these are very common concerns.   She took great comfort in being able to contact me anytime to get frequent updates about the status of her move.  Questions were answered.  Worries were resolved.  Needs were fulfilled.  In the end I received a very jovial phone call about how happy she is at her new home and how appreciative she was with all of our help and service.

Partnering with Elders in Action, Willamette Express Moving and Storage has positively impacted many seniors throughout the Portland – Vancouver area, leaving behind a reputation of excellent service and genuine concern.

Find Willamette Express’s website here

Find Willamette Express on Face Book here.


Spencer Scott

Regional and National Account Sales

Willamette Express Moving and Storage


August 9, 2011

◊ Senior Hunger In America: Shocking Facts Vs. Popular Myths

Filed under: The Commission — Mark @ 9:10 pm


Enid Borden

President and CEO of the

Meals On Wheels Association of America



My passion is to bring an end to Senior Hunger in the U.S. by 2020. My conviction is that we can make this happen, and that’s why I work for Meals on Wheels Association of America.

Yet it is a daunting challenge. How do we make this happen when the seriousness of the issue is not as well understood as it should be? Why does it matter that seniors are going hungry?

Of course, there are some obvious reasons for why this should matter. But assuming that not everyone shares my passion (yet), let’s start by dispelling some troubling myths about senior hunger.

Myth – Seniors are not going hungry in the U.S.
FACT – As of 2009, there were almost 1 million seniors in the U.S. who go hungry because they cannot afford to buy food. Another 5 million seniors in the U.S. faced the threat of hunger. In one of the world’s richest nations, no older American should be going hungry. However instead, in recent years, hunger rates have more than doubled for poor seniors in the country, and it is likely to get worse as the older population is the fastest growing cohort of the U.S. population. You can get more statistics on Senior Hunger from a pioneering study on the topic that we helped support.

Myth – Senior hunger is only a problem for poor people.
FACT – While low-income seniors suffer more, and often have to make disquieting choices between purchasing medication or food, senior hunger is not just an income issue. It is also a problem of access and care. Many seniors who can afford it, lack the mobility to get and prepare their own meals and don’t have other support systems to help them. Those same seniors and others live in areas that are more difficult to access.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Meals On Wheels programs and volunteers on the ground, that we represent, some of these seniors will get a home-delivered meal and a caring visit. But not everyone who needs help. Right now and especially in this tough economic climate, our members lack the resources they need to make that happen.

Myth – The government will take care of it.
FACT – They haven’t so far and they could do a lot more. Unfortunately, the reality is that the federal share of funding that goes towards addressing Senior Hunger is so small relative to the impact and savings that would result with more funding. How’s that? Approximately 50 percent of all health concerns affecting older Americans are directly connected to a lack of nutrients. The cost of a year’s worth of nutritious home-delivered meals that could sustain the health and nutrition of our seniors is roughly equal to the cost of just one day in the hospital. That’s a serious savings! But ironically enough, in the name of saving federal dollars, as the Older Americans Act is up for reauthorization, there is a serious risk of policy makers cutting funding on a program that could save us much more in the short and long term.

Myth – This issue doesn’t affect you.
FACTThis issue DOES affect you in one way or another. You could care because as an American, it is appalling that another American is suffering when they don’t have to be. If not, whether it is your grandparent, mother, father, brother, sister, or friend, chances are someone you care about is over the age of 60. What if your loved ones lacked access to regular meals and you couldn’t help them? And sorry to burst your bubble my friend, but everyone gets old, including you and I. Are you sure you will get the care and nutrition YOU need in your later years? You are not as removed from the problem of senior hunger as you think.
Just as I get a little bit older each day, my passion to see a world without hunger grows stronger. I know I won’t persuade everyone and some say my goal is too ambitious. But I hope my passion has moved some of you to help us make this vision a reality by donating your time, voice, money, skills or by just learning more about senior hunger on our website. If you care a little bit more about this than you did yesterday, we are a step closer to ending senior hunger.

Enid Borden is the President & CEO of Meals on Wheels Association of America.



August 4, 2011

◊ 2011 Oregon Legislative Wrap-Up

Filed under: The Commission — Mark @ 4:14 am
Elders in Action Commission

2011 Oregon Legislative Wrap-Up

The 2011 Oregon Legislature adjourned on Thursday, June 30th after 153 days making it the shortest session since 1971. This Legislature was charged with passing a balanced budget for Oregon while facing a $3.5 billion deficit, and interestingly passed the fewest number of bills in over a decade at 807, or a 27% approval rating for the 3,021 bills introduced.

Elders in Action Commission volunteers worked to ensure that services for seniors and people with disabilities were funded. Members met with legislators to inform them of the special needs of the growing elder population and to advocate for services that allow for independence, dignity, and choice.

Good News:

  • EiA Commission priority bill, HB 3037, specifying that services provided to seniors through Oregon Project Independence include support for community caregivers, health promotion services, options counseling, and transportation services passed and was signed into law by the Governor.
  • WIC and Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Programs funding of $264,099 was restored to maintain service levels. The Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Program was allocated an additional $5,000 from the General Fund, making them eligible to access $60,000 in one-time federal dollars, serving an additional 1,900 seniors with vouchers for fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and farm stands.
  • Homecare workers, community-based care providers, and nursing facilities were all spared significant cuts in the first year of the new biennium in hopes that revenues will increase to avoid 14-19% reductions in the second year.
  • Oregon Project Independence was spared from elimination, and will be funded at $9.5 million- a reduction of just over $3.3 million in funding from the last biennium.

Bad News:

  • Adult Protective Services will be staffed at 62% of their projected workload, and the Seniors and People with Disabilities eligibility offices will be staffed at 71% of current caseloads.
  • Authorized hours for in-home care clients will be reduced by 5% effective January 1st, 2012.
  • HB 2543, which revised the Senior Property Tax Deferral program to make the program more solvent has created a lot of confusion for current enrollees and is requiring a hasty re-certification that has many seniors worried about losing their homes. Seniors with reverse mortgages have been made ineligible for the program in the new revisions. The Elders in Action Commission is urging Governor Kitzhaber to veto the bill.
  • No significant movement on ending the kicker, or revising the Senior Medical Expense Deduction- two issues the Commission has been following for many sessions.

Oregon now has annual Legislative sessions, thanks to a 68% affirmative vote by Oregonians last November. Which means we only have to wait until early February 2012 to do this all over again. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for some good news on the economic forecasts so that many of the harsh cuts we feared don’t take effect in the second half of the biennium.

Tara Krugel                      Civic Involvement Coordinator
(503) 595-7530             tara @ eldersinaction . org


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