Palliative Care

What does one do when given challenging news regarding their health?  In cases of terminal illness, Palliative care may be one important answer.  The World Health Organization offers this information regarding Palliative care:

Senior Moments Palliative Care

Improving the quality of life of patients and families

Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and families who face life-threatening illness, by providing pain and symptom relief, spiritual and psychosocial support to from diagnosis to the end of life and bereavement. Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

Effective approaches to palliative care

In most of the world, the majority of cancer patients are in advanced stages of cancer when first seen by a medical professional. For them, the only realistic treatment option is pain relief and palliative care. Effective approaches to palliative care are available to improve the quality of life for cancer patients. The WHO ladder for cancer pain is a relatively inexpensive yet effective method for relieving cancer pain in about 90% of patients.

Related links

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Transportation Cost for Seniors

Senior Transportation 




Written by Ronnie Friedland, editor   |

Finding transportation options is a major issue for seniors who have had to give up driving. Having alternative means of transportation, whether through a town’s senior services or through family and friends, can be tremendously important to a senior’s sense of independence.

But, as one senior said to Candace Gould, a licensed mental health counselor for Jewish Family & Children’s Services in the Boston area, “I have difficulty getting rides since giving up my car. Friends and relatives are forgetful.” Some seniors find that although they are lucky to have friends and family to provide transportation assistance, conflicting schedules mean it’s often difficult to make arrangements that work for all involved.  Senior Transportation 2

Despite the importance of town-operated transportation services to elders, their availability and cost vary greatly from town to town.

  • Many communities try to meet senior transportation needs in some way — either through offering vouchers to defray the cost, basing costs on a sliding scale, or by providing some sort of free or minimally priced transportation — usually a van that will pick up seniors at their home and bring them to a grocery store or senior center. In addition, they offer reduced fares for seniors on regular public transportation.

For seniors who do not have any transportation services in the town where they live, the cost of transportation will depend on their location and the type and frequency of transportation services they require.

  • If the senior needs to hire a home care aide to provide transportation, MetLife in 2007 estimated that the average hourly cost of a home care aide worker was $19 per hour. However, in some states the surveyed rate was as high as $30 per hour and as low as $9 per hour.
  • The costs of taxis and car services also depend on location, with urban areas generally more expensive than rural areas, and with competition among providers in a particular area usually leading to lower prices.

Prior to a move or in anticipation of the need for alternative means of transportation, it may be helpful to assess the availability and cost of town-owned senior transportation services. Seniors should know what to expect in terms of how they will be able to get around town independently, especially if their needs or health suddenly change

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment


Senior Moments Oldest Senior

Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, born in northeast Mexico, claims to have been born on Aug. 31, 1887 – meaning she turned 127 on Sunday and that would make her the oldest human being ever on the face of the earth. She is still able to chat and has some mobility despite her deafness and severe cataracts, EFE reports.

She celebrated her birthday over the weekend in the company of some of her 153 descendants. They made sure she got enough rest and was awake for the event: these days this witness to three centuries usually sleeps in 72-hour periods, relatives say.

My dad, Andrew Frank Hatch, will be 116 next month, so living a long life is something I know a little something about.  People often ask the much repeated question, “How does he do it?” My father always says his longevity is due to the man upstairs and I will add that having loving family is the next important ingredient.  I hope you enjoy this article endorsed by the National Institute of Aging that can perhaps shed light on the aging process.

Just like millions of Americans, the National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) celebrates its 50th birthday in 2008. The study was the first to ask a most basic question: What is normal aging?

There is still much to learn, but so far two major conclusions can be drawn from BLSA data. First, “normal” aging can be distinguished from disease. Although people’s bodies change and can in some ways decline over time, these changes do not inevitably lead to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, or dementia. A number of disorders that typically occur in old age are a result of disease processes, not normal aging.

Second, no single, chronological timetable of human aging exists. We all age differently. In fact, in terms of change and development, there are more differences among older people than among younger people. Genetics, lifestyle, and disease processes affect the rate of aging between and within all individuals.

These fundamental changes in our thinking about age and disease have led the BLSA and the field of aging research in important new directions. As we further pinpoint the influences on how we age, we can also think about new and more effective interventions that may prevent disease and promote healthy aging.

You can find the complete BLSA booklet at this website

Healthy Aging: Lessons from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging



Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Mill Valley Attracts Seniors

Senior Moments Mill Valley

Mill Valley, a small, charming town, located a few miles north of San Francisco, is perfect for senior visitors who enjoy history, museums and the arts. 

Fodor’s calls the town “chic and woodsy.” Two financial magazines, MONEY and CNN/Money, named Mill Valley “One of the 10 top cities in America in which to live.”

For the more active senior citizen, Mill Valley has 8 beautifully designed hiking paths. There areattractions going on every month of the year. The Fall Arts Festival is one of the major cultural events each September. It is the longest running festival in Marin County having celebrated its 57th year in 2013.

When John Muir learned that William and Elizabeth Kent were naming a redwood forest near San Francisco in his honor, he declared… “This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.”  

Senior Moment image of park




Mount Tamalpais State Park,  just off Panoramic Highway, comes in a close second for senior visitors.

Towering Redwoods, Scenic Railroad Lure Senior Travelers

Historically, Mill Valley started out as a large lumber mill founded by John Reed. He built his sawmill in 1836 on Cascade Creek to provide wood for the construction of his house. The mill, which gave Mill Valley its name, is now restored and stands among the towering redwoods in Old Mill Park, a few blocks from downtown.

The mill became very important when it was used to cut wood to build the Presidio in San Francisco. Reed also raised cattle and horses, had a brickyard and stone quarry. The town grew rather fast as word spread of the beautiful Mt. Tamalpais and a great ocean view on the other side.

In 1896 Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railroad, called “the crookedest railroad in the world” because of its curvy tracks, began transporting visitors from Mill Valley to the top of Mt. Tam and down to Muir Woods. The town soon became a vacation retreat for city slickers.

Popular Artwalks

Today Mill Valley is no lumber camp. Smart restaurants and chichi boutiques line the streets, and more rock stars than one might suspect live there.

Millionaires and well-known names in the film and music industries, like Bonnie Raitt, Bob Weir and Sammy Hagar, make their homes in this quaint community.

 Enjoy the classic “Mill Valley” song by Rita Abrams, who put Mill Valley on the map. First Tuesday Artwalk is highly popular and held between 6-8 p.m. in venues throughout Mill Valley, including City Hall, the Library, the Community Center.

So whip the old Ford north across the Golden Gate Bridge on Hwy 101 and you will find Mill Valley. Have fun and plan to spend a day or two visiting.  jeb


Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Medicare to Help Seniors Choose Health Care Providers with Five-Star Ratings

Senior Moments Five-Star

By Dr. Patrick Conway,

CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality,  Chief Medical Officer

June 27, 2014 – When buying a product or service, looking at ratings can often help narrow down the choices. Some websites offer “star” ratings that give information about the quality of the products and services they offer. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have the same kind of ratings when choosing a health care provider?

It can be overwhelming when consumers are faced with having to choose a health care provider, such as a hospital, nursing home, or physician. Providers differ in the safety and quality of care they give, and having quality ratings available to compare providers can help consumers make more informed health care decisions. That’s why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to making it easier to use the information on our Compare sites.

Later this year and early in 2015, CMS is adding a Five-star rating system to the Hospital CompareDialysis Facility Compare, and Home Health Compare websites on The Compare sites are the official CMS source for information about the quality of health care providers, and the Five-star rating system is just one of many ways CMS is working to make quality information easier to understand and compare.

These ratings are based on established scientific standards of rigor and accuracy. CMS Nursing Home Compare site already uses star ratings to help consumers compare nursing homes and choose one based on quality. Physician Compare has just started to include star ratings in certain situations for physician group practices.

While consumers are the main audience for theCompare sites, stakeholders and partners can visit and use the same data that power the Compare websites in easy-to-use formats. We’re excited to make this available so that you can use the same set of authoritative data in your work. CMS is committed to providing useful and current quality performance data.

The star ratings empower consumers with information to make more informed health care decisions, encourage providers to strive for higher levels of quality, and drive overall health system improvement.

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

The Working Caregiver: Issues Faced With Working & Caregiving

Senior Moments Caregiving





Many adult children find it financially impossible to leave their current employer and give up a much needed salary to take care of an aging adult.  Caregivers are the most effective and efficient when they arm themselves with as much information as possible about their aging loved one’s current situation- both financial and medical.

Once armed with the right information, most caregivers who work find themselves in a position where they may have to occasionally take off from work to assist their aging loved one. Some caregivers will have to leave the workplace completely in order to help a senior through a crisis.

Employers are aware that caring for an aging parent is overwhelming both emotionally and physically. Today, about one-quarter of U.S. companies offer basic elder care benefits — mainly referrals to help find caregivers and legal services.

Workers who care for elderly relatives cost U.S. businesses about $34 billion annually in absenteeism, replacement costs and lost productivity, according to a survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the MetLife Foundation. The loss amounts to $2,110 for each of the estimated 15.9 million caregivers working full time, according to the survey. The survey estimates that by 2020, one in three U.S. households will be responsible for taking care of an elderly relative, compared with one in four today.

According The Family Medical Leave Act,  covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee
  2. For placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care
  3. To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
  4. To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Many larger companies have an Employee Assistance Program that helps find resources to care for an aging parent. Smaller employers may also offer some form of information including pamphlets and lists of local organizations that may be useful.

written by Valerie VanBooven RN, BSN, PGCM

Other options include:

  • Contacting Eldercare Locator, a service of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging at 800-677-1116.
  • A state by state listing of paid leave programs for caregivers can be found on the web.
  • Senior Moments can provide referrals to caregivers to local agencies that assist both the caregiver and the elders they support.

Join us on June 11 for an informative discussion about caregiving.


Heart and Soul,  2245 Sol Street, San Leandro, CA 94578


9:00 – 10:30 AM

Breakfast served and admission is free.



Posted in Elder Care, Mind and Body, Support, Wellness | Leave a comment

Fall Prevention

SM Elder Falling


Annually, one in every three adults ages 65 or older will falls and 2 million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. And the risk of falling increases with each decade of life. The long-term consequences of fall injuries, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can impact the health and independence of older adults. Thankfully, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented. Everyone can take actions to protect the older adults they care about.

Prevention Tips

You can play a role in preventing falls. Encourage the older adults in your life to:

  • Get some exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to weak legs and this increases the chances of falling. Exercise programs such as Tai Chi can increase strength and improve balance, making falls much less likely.
  • Be mindful of medications. Some medicines—or combinations of medicines—can have side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness. This can make falling more likely. Having a doctor or pharmacist review all medications can help reduce the chance of risky side effects and drug interactions.

Illustration: A man taking an eye exam.Keep their vision sharp. Poor vision can make it harder to get around safely. Older adults should have their eyes checked every year and wear glasses or contact lenses with the right prescription strength to ensure they are seeing clearly.

  • Eliminate hazards at home. About half of all falls happen at home. A home safety check can help identify potential fall hazards that need to be removed or changed, such as tripping hazards, clutter, and poor lighting.

Steps for Home Safety

The following checklist can help older adults reduce their risk of falling at home:

  • Remove things you can trip over (such as papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Install handrails and lights on all staircases.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
  • Put grab bars inside and next to the tub or shower and next to your toilet.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
  • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
Posted in African American, Elder Care, Wellness | Leave a comment

Emergency Preparedness Presented by Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster.

On Monday, March 10th a 6.9 earthquake struck offshore in Northern California near Eureka. While no one was injured this event conjures up thoughts about “the Big One” or some other disasters we should prepare for. Our next guest speaker will help us explore these and other questions regarding emergency preparedness.
Senior Moments image elder emergency
Lars-Eric Holms, our guest speaker for March, is a manager with Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster (CARD) which provides emergency preparedness and disaster response resources for nonprofits, faith organizations and community agencies serving our most vulnerable residents. If you’re looking to make preparedness fast, fun, fear-free and easy, come to our meeting this month.

I encourage you to invite individuals in your group or organization to hear this very valuable information while enjoying breakfast with us at our next Senior Moments meeting.

We hope to see you there!

Date: March 12, 2014

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Location: 120 Estudillo Ave, San Leandro CA 94577
(Wells Fargo Building)

Speaker: Lars-Eric Holmes – Emergency Preparedness

Breakfast Served

Free Admission

RSVP’s are appreciated.:)

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Senior Moments Salutes Black History Month








Our February Senior Moments meeting will include African American’s sharing  personal stories.  We will also hear presentations about those who contributed to the fabric of this nation.

We encourage all attendees to bring cards since we often have elders who attend our meetings who are in need of products and services.
Meeting details:
Location: Revelation Christian Fellowship
Date: February 12, 2014
Address: 1670 Orchard Avenue San Leandro, CA  94577
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Admission: Free

Complimentary Breakfast

Please support businesses that support our mission!

Posted in African American, Elder Care, Home Health Care, Wellness | Leave a comment

Senior Moments Holiday Mixer & Potluck Lunch

December’s Meeting Agenda:

While we will network, eat and enjoy our time together, we will also finalize our toy drive and hear words of encouragement from Chaplin Betty Clark about chasing away the holiday blues. For many, this time of the year is difficult to deal with, especially those who grieve the loss of a loved one. Chaplin Betty Clark provides a upbeat and insightful way for those with the blues to find ways to cope with their grief. Clark’s remarkable and optimistic approach provides practical tips that can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. After hearing Clark speak, many have enjoyed the holidays more than they thought they would.

Last year, Senior Moments was thrilled to provide toys to needy grandparents so they could experience the joy of giving gifts to their grandchildren. It is amazing how a simple act, such as a grandparent giving a gift to their grandchild, can have such a positive impact on elders. Many of our elders are not able to afford to give a gift and/or mobility restrictions will not allow for shopping for Christmas. However, last year, the looks on the faces of our elders who received gifts for their grands – was priceless.

We are asking for your kind donations again this year. We would love for you to provide us with a WRAPPED toy labeled with the age and sex of the child. Bring your donations to our holiday mixer. Your partnership with Senior Moments will make the season bright again for our dear elders.

Senior Moments will also support Ms. Ethel, an elder in her 80’s, by featuring her beautiful and inexpensive jewelry and handbags. Be prepared to purchase her items to complete your holiday shopping.

Monday, December 16, 2013
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

San Leandro Senior Community Center
13909 E. 14th Street
San Leandro, CA 94578

Complimentary Breakfast.

RSVP: Email

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment