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Gray Matters Prevent Fraud 3 Extra $$ Help 4 Legislative Watch 4 Volunteer Opportunities 6 A quarterly publication of Area 1 Agency on Aging Cal Endowment Report to Give Hard look at Senior Needs in Humboldt, Del Norte T he first multi-pronged approach to determining the needs of rural seniors is nearing completion in Humboldt County. Funded by the California Endowment, Area I Agency on Aging hopes to release its twoyear study next month. “Good information makes good policy, which makes for good programs and good services,” said AIAA Executive Director Cindy Denbo. “This report provides that information.” The California Endowment wants a template to collect information about seniors to be available to all other rural counties, she said. “Rural counties traditionally have trouble raising revenues to collect and analyze this kind of hugely relevant information.” Denbo said the report is essential with state budgets shrinking and competition for alternate revenues sources becoming more intense. “We’ve got to make the best use of the resources we have and position those resources to meet the needs of different communities,” she said. Now in its final editing stages, the report includes a survey of public officials, the results of an online research tool completed by Humboldt County boomers and seniors, information from a senior and caregiver needs survey done by AIAA, and a review of past surveys and reports detailing senior needs in the categories of money, loneliness/isolation, household chores, health care, accidents in the home, and access to information. Those six needs categories were identified by Humboldt Summer 2011 the 1989 survey. and Del Norte County seniors “The change in how seniors and disabled adults as the top feel about their safety gives us problem areas they face. confidence that things can get For Humboldt County, acbetter; that information can cidents in the home were the top concern, identified by 62.8  continued on next page percent of caregivers and 51.8 percent of its seniors and disabled. The category Major Components was fourth among Del of Health Care Costs Norte County residents and didn’t make the top 5 Among Medicare among Del Norte caregivEnrollees in 2006 ers. In Del Norte County, Other health care was the top 9% concern mentioned by 53 Inpatient percent of residents and Hospital disabled adults and 77.8 25% percent of its caregivers. Health care was third among Humboldt County Physician/ seniors and disabled adults Outpatient (45.3 percent) and second among caregivers (61.1 Hospital percent). 35% Five of the top 10 needs in 2009 were also the top Long Term Care Facility � 13% needs in five previous surHome Health Care � 3% veys dating back to 1989. Prescription Drugs � 16% But concerns about crime and safety took up the 12th Source: Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being spot in 2009 after topping SPECIAL INSERT TO THE NORTH COAST JOURNAL • THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011 1

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