Are you Considering to Retire in San Diego?

March 27, 2013 - Paul Downey

Endless beaches, year-round wonderful weather, close proximity to the desert and mountains, a rich and diverse culture – San Diego has plenty of exciting activities to offer for an engaging lifestyle during retirement.

San Diego residents benefit from excellent health care and medical research facilities. UC San Diego Medical Center is ranked 37th in the nation for geriatric care.  (The full US News List for Geriatric Care has over 1,500 hospitals listed.)

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But amazing weather, casual beach living and excellent medical care are not enough to make San Diego a top destination for retirement. In fact, San Diego is one of the top 10 worst cities to retire.

“What makes it difficult to retire in the San Diego metro area are the high housing costs. People age 60 and older spend a median of over $1,000 per month on rent and $1,971 monthly on their mortgages, although costs drop to $436 monthly for seniors who have paid off their houses.”

While some retirees have the luxury to choose where to spend their non-working years, Baby Boomers that already live in San Diego may not have that choice and are bound to struggle with the high cost of living. Deep family roots and local investments may make it hard to pack up and settle elsewhere.

The 60+ population in San Diego is projected to increase from 531,980 today to 929,766 in 2030. This 75% increase compared to a 62% increase nationally (from 57 million to 92 million) will impact life in San Diego and the work of Senior Community Centers on many levels.  By 2030, 25% of the population will be over 60 years of age with an average life expectancy of 83 years.

Wherever you choose to spend your retirement, are you prepared for 20+ years without a set salary?  While Congress is still taking too much time to handle our aging population, it’s never too early for you to start planning. (Here is a good retirement planning guide from the US Department of Labor.)

Seniors and Sex: Older, Wiser, Safer

March 20, 2013 - Paul Downey

When the spring flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and the bees are buzzing, spring romance is just around the corner. Love is in the air and everyone is catching spring fever, including the seniors at Senior Community Centers, who are still dating, being social and being active.

Dating Seniors

Christine Holcomb, RN, Senior Community Centers lead nurse, she says “Just because you’re 60 or 80 doesn’t mean you don’t date anymore; it just changes the dynamics.” That’s why it’s important for seniors to have “the talk” with a trusted health care professional or family member to understand the issues surrounding safer sex.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2006 to 2010 reported cases of STDs in people ages 55 and up increased dramatically.

It is important to remember that safe sex should be practiced at all ages. Here are four tips to help seniors protect themselves in the bedroom:

  • Know Your Partner. Before engaging in any sexual relationship, you should know your partner’s sexual history and let each other know if you have ever been tested for STDs, what the test results were, and if either of you have participated in illegal drug use. HIV/AIDS can be transmitted via hypodermic needle.
  • Get Tested Together. The best way to protect yourself and your partner is for the two of you to get tested for HIV and other STDs before you start having sex.
  • Use a Condom. Until you are in a committed relationship and know each other’s status and history, make certain to use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Talk to Your Doctor. If you have additional questions regarding sex and how to protect yourself, consult with your health care provider.

Sex is a healthy part of aging. When seniors protect themselves from STDs, they can continue living a long, active life and they can enjoy their Spring romance in their future.

The full article was first posted on February 12, 2013 by Patch.com.

Meet A Senior Who Benefits from Senior Nutrition Programs

March 15, 2013 - Paul Downey

Last week, Carol celebrated her 70th birthday. Carol is one of our home-delivered meals clients and told me more than once that our senior nutrition program made a huge impact on her life.

“I don’t know how I would have survived without you because I was stuck and could not get out and go anywhere. Your food saved my life.”

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Last summer, Carol fell and broke both of her shoulders. After being released from a nursing home, she was in no shape to get dressed, shower or let alone go grocery shopping or cook. The light at the end of the tunnel was a phone call to our Home-Delivered Meals Coordinator Ronda which resulted in a warm meal to be delivered to Carol the very next day.

The continuous visits of our delivery drivers caused a chain reaction on Carol’s floor: other residents came by to ask how they can help and new friendships were formed.

“When you’re shut in like me, the home delivery drivers are the only people who knock at my door.”

Carol lost 45 pounds with our balanced meals and never felt more energized. Today, Carol’s shoulders are healing nicely, her new friends are helping with grocery shopping and she feels more confident.

At Senior Community Centers, we serve over 400 home-bound clients like Carol who’s lives depend on our meal deliveries. In addition, our ten congregate dining sites are filled every single day with seniors who would otherwise not eat. We expect to serve 525,000 meals a year that are partly funded through senior nutrition programs.

If you know are in need of meals or know someone who is, please visit Senior Community Centers’ Website for more information. We are here to help.

Long-term Impact of Cutting Senior Nutrition Program Funding

March 14, 2013 - Paul Downey

The Administration estimates that as many as 4 million meals to older adults could be eliminated as a result of the sequester.  In San Diego County, over 100,000 meals will be cut and Senior Community Centers will loose funding for 32,000 meals.

These cuts are particularly devastating at a time when the need and demand for senior nutrition programs is growing at an unprecedented pace.  Local organizations who provide nutrition for seniors will soon be forced to take one or more of the following actions:

  • Eliminate or reduce meals;
  • Eliminate or reduce staff who serve older adults;
  • Reduce the quality of the meal; and/or
  • Reduce the number of delivery days.

These actions will cause enormous hardship to many older adults who need good nutrition to remain healthier, more independent and out of long-term care facilities.

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 A Senior Community Centers home-delivered meals driver is bringing lunch to one of our clients. With sequestration going forward, services like these may be drastically reduced nationwide.

Senior nutrition programs serve a distinct group of older adults who are often more isolated and in the greatest economic or social need.  Frequently, the meal that is provided is their only guaranteed source of nutrition each day.The long-term impact of cutting senior nutrition programs could be:

  • Older adults will end up in hospitals and or nursing homes due to health issues related to the failure to maintain a proper diet.
  • Hospital stays will add significant costs to Medicare and Medicaid at a time when efforts are being made to reduce these costs.

Join me in urging Congress to exempt senior nutrition programs from sequestration! We should be investing in these valuable nutrition programs as a means to avoid increasing federal expenditures, not cutting back on them when they are needed most.

Find all the tools you need for contacting your representatives here!

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