Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuolumne County Commission on Aging: Protecting Your Social Security Number!; Better Living Notes; Centenarian 2011 Report; Calendar 2011

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.

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck." ~ The Dalai Lama
 Jots & Thoughts
By Roberta R Goodwin ...

Your Social Security Number is Sacred, Guard it Wisely
What IS your Social Security number?  Well, it’s a lot.  It’s your identity: Your NAME, your address, everything anyone else needs to know about you wrapped up in one series of nine numbers.  When someone asks you for it (vendors, store clerks, whomever), take a moment and do this for me: ask yourself why?  Do they really need it?  They will almost always say yes, but do they REALLY?  I've pretty much always complied in my lifetime.  But it’s a different world out there today. When I changed my TV provider the other day, I was asked for it in order that they might run a credit check.  When I refused, the young customer service rep sounded flummoxed and rambled on about how “secure” it was for me to give it to him and by extension, his company.  I still said no.  I offered the “last 4” of my number.  He said that wouldn’t do, and rambled on some more, defending his request.  I thought: let’s find out just how urgent this is.  I asked for a Supervisor.  I explained to “Mike” who said, indeed, the last four numbers would do.  (As I said, I figured that.) He went off the line and came back to tell me - and the rep - that all was approved.  And as a result, I felt better protected and maybe the customer service rep learned something.  So I'm saying to you, don’t be intimidated, go ahead and stretch the limits of what you've “always” done.  You might be surprised.  And you'll DEFINITELY have taken a step to better protect your identity.

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

News Flash! For your better living

1. 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.
2. 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"
3. 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:
4. 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."
5. 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.
6. 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.
Centenarian Society Event October 26, 2011

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!” 

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 March100
Virginia Bowers
Katie Holm
Ellie Koch
Camille “Mickey” Nichols
Clara Plooster
Eva Savateer (posthumous)

Congrats to them all! And to Cathie Peacock and Joann Rascon (the Centenarian Committee) for a FINE Job

REMINDER - 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!
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 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
*** 2011 Speaker Schedule ***
 ·November – no speaker, elections
·December – no speaker, 2011 year-end wrap
2012 – all speakers pending for the year, please check back for updates

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

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