Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tuolumne County Commission on Aging: Jots & Thoughts; Items for Better Living; Calendar 2012

Welcome to the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging blog: it’s our ongoing effort that we hope will bring information to help and inform seniors in our county. The commissioners, with their extensive and varied experience and expertise, are all volunteers and without exception are primarily concerned with doing whatever they can to improve the lives of our county’s seniors in and around the Motherlode.
“We do not remember days; we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” ~ Cesare Pavese 1908-1950, Italian poet
Jots & Thoughts
By Roberta R Goodwin ...

 2011 Centenarians honored at senior luncheon

Committee Chair Cathie Peacock’s comment sums it up nicely: “To have as many Centenarians as we have in Tuolumne County, is an honor! Imagine some have gone to school in horse and buggy, and now they have seen a man on the moon, and change of century ...and everything in between!
Congrats to you all!
Below are excerpts from Lenore Rutherford’s article which appeared in the UD Nov. 3, 2011. “Centenarians honored at senior luncheon” By Lenore Rutherford, The Union Democrat  November 3, 2011

“Sonora Area resident Frances Bartels credits her long life to working hard, staying active and never giving up.  At age 105 and a half, she was the eldest member of the Tuolumne County Centenarian Society to be honored at the Tuolumne County Senior Center on Oct. 26.” 
The new centenarians’ names were added to a plaque that hangs at the Tuolumne County Senior Center.  Centenarian Alumni and University of Life members were also honored.  See Rutherford’s article for more names and info. Names of those people 100 and up are given below.  
Clara Holloway
Lurline Bird
Erma Guissi
Holly Rice (posthumous)
Marian McMullen
Esther Butler

Odeta Lewis
Sue March
Virginia Bowers
Katie Holm
Ellie Koch
Camille “Mickey” Nichols
Clara PloosterEva Savateer (posthumous)

Tuolumne County Commission on Aging... encourages and welcomes not only visitors to our meetings but we have vacancies at the moment, and so we always welcome any interested parties to apply.  Attendance at our meetings is a prerequisite. Please come to our meetings and see what we’re about!

Did YOU Know?
by editor Roberta Goodwin (comments? email me at:

News Flash! For your better living

1.“First Alert” or Cell Phone?
Do you use one of the “First Alert” kinds of services for the 30+ some odd dollars it costs a month? Do you have a Cell Phone? To save the monthly cost, you might want to consider a cell phone instead (I did myself), because that’s a savings of $360 or so a year.  Of course, you need to consider reception, as in do you have a signal everywhere you want to go? In this county that can be dicey.  But if you do have reception around the house at least, you might consider switching.  And of course you have to clip the phone to yourself.  Just a thought: it's something to think about, especially if money is an issue.

2. There was an interesting article the other day in the Union Democrat.  It was an Associated Press piece entitled “The oldest old: Reaching 90 more likely than ever” by Hope Yen said that “the rolls of America's oldest old are surging.”  Read more here:

3. Our recent event (September 29) Aging for Dummies conference will be shown on Cable 8 through January.  The schedule – too long to be reproduced here, sorry – was published in the UD recently.  Call Carleton Penwell at 5312-8583 for more info, or email him at:
Please note, Tuolumne County Behavioral Health, Area 12 Agency on Aging, Tuolumne County Senior Center, Catholic Charities, and the Tuolumne county Library will also have DVDs of the session available to be checked out if you wish.

4. You readers might have wondered at some point how much Commission on Aging members have to comply with government ethics standards, as a matter of fact they must undergo coverage and certification every two years like all government employees.  We can attend refresher training sessions or do our training online for certification.




5. PG&E’s low-income program: PG&E has a low-income program called “The Energy Savings Assistance Program” and they partner with Sears locally to bring new refrigerators to folks. According to an installer I talked to the other day named “Mike” he said that he and his crew make about 10 stops a day in the county to bring free brand-new refrigerators. His clients run to – he estimates – about 70% seniors. As part of the program, the crew even picks up their old refrigerators (and refurbishes/recycles them). The service area extends from Mi-Wuk to Riverbank, more or less, as he explained. Other features of the program include what they term Improvements to your house, apartment or mobile home including compact fluorescent lights, caulking, showerheads, minor home repair and more. To find out more about the program and whether you're eligible, or if someone you KNOW is eligible, go to: call or call 800-989-9744.

6. And this from Catherine Driver (via Suzy Hopkins of FAN Magazine): "REACH Plus is a program provided by PG&E and Salvation Army to help folks with delinquent electricity bills. We are working with our local Salvation Army to provide help to elders in need of assistance with their PG&E bills. We will be helping those 62 and over while Salvation Army will work with those under 62. (We will help in the case of a participant in the OE program, regardless of age.) Our part, like the Salvation Army's, is to assist in filling out the needed paperwork and making sure all appropriate paperwork is included (i.e. PG&E bills, proof of age, etc.). We then call PG&E to make the "pledge" and then fax the paperwork to Salvation Army in San Francisco. We can be reached at 532-7632 and Salvation Army can be reached at 588-1986. Catherine Driver, Engagement Coordinator, Older Adult Outreach & Engagement Program"

7. Minor
Home Repair:
Area 12 Agency on Aging offers a program for eligible county seniors “designed to assist seniors over 60 who have home repair problems they cannot resolve which threaten health & safety.” To be eligible, you must: be 60 years of age or older; reside in Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa Counties; live in your own home. Typical repairs include... (among others) hard to turn faucets; leaky toilets; door knob repair; install grab bars; repair doors and windows; ramp repair
Call Area 12 Today for more information on how you can arrange for needed home repairs 209-532-6272...
or go to: Also, you can view their website at:

8. From Ira Uslander: “I was just talking with Tom Teach at WM (Cal Sierra Waste Management) and he told me they have a disposal kiosk in front of their office on Camage for needles and other sharps. This is sometimes an issue for people with diabetes and other situations where they self medicate."

9. From Roberta Goodwin: I'm not a Comcast subscriber, but in my recent internet wanderings, I ran across this item from Comcast. It’s a program intended to help low-income families with low cost laptops, discounted internet access and free internet training. I see that it’s “aimed” at families with kids, educators and civic leaders. But it seems to me we have quite a few senior grandparents in this county raising their grandchildren. Enough to justify making a big deal of this? Maybe not. But in any case, is it good information? I think yes. So if you want more information, whether for yourself or someone else, go to this link for details: and then for more, click on the “how it works” button.

10. Waste Management "yard service" - The Waste Management "yard service" option means Cal Sierra handlers retrieve and return the garbage carts so the resident doesn't have to. The fee is currently in the neighborhood of $11.00 and will be waived upon the resident’s submission of a doctor's note stating a disability rendering the resident unable to move the new garbage carts to and from the curb. The Commission is gratified to learn that their lobbying effort in this regard has been fruitful.

Commission on Aging Events Calendar 2012
In future, we will be blogging with even more information on matters of interest to county seniors so stay tuned! And please feel free to let us know YOUR ideas for events or forums that you want to see! We actively solicit your comments. As always, you may contact the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging by email:

NEW: The Commission on Aging appears on a regular basis before the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors in order to update them on Commission activities.
*Commission on Aging general meetings 1:30PM, 2nd Monday each month, at Area 12 Agency on Aging, Standard Rd., Conf. Room C
*Commission on Aging Executive Board meetings 1:00PM, 1st Monday each month, at the Senior Center
*Commission on Aging Public Relations committee meetings, 12:00PM, 1st Wednesday each month, at Interfaith
* Commission on Aging Education Committee meetings, 9:00AM, 3rd Tuesday each month, Starbucks, Sonora Crossroads Shopping Center, in the Prudential 2nd Floor Conference Room

***2012 Activity & Speakers’ schedule***
(Speakers inform the commissioners on senior related issues.)
December - none, Board Elections
>January - none, Goal Settings Session
Rest of the year TBA
All COA meetings are open to the public. Please come and give us your ideas, concerns, and information regarding senior issues!

In future, we will be blogging with more information on matters of interest to county seniors so stay tuned! And please feel free to let us know YOUR ideas for events or forums that you want to see! We actively solicit your comments. You may contact the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging by email

To go to the Area 12 Agency on Aging’s website, go here:
To go to the Little House website, go here:
To go to Friends and Neighbors website go here:
To go to the San Francisco Institute on Aging website, go here:

Blog Editor: Roberta Goodwin

What thoughts have YOU?  Email them to me at:

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