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Area Agency on Aging Serving Buncombe, Henderson, Madison & Transylvania Counties

Volume IV, Issue 4

Advocacy, Assistance, Answers on Aging

November 2009 - January 2010

Efforts save Project CARE Dickens, who led seniors’ push, retires As printed in the Asheville Citizen-Times on October 7, 2009, Jordan Schrader


awmakers, lobbyists and advocates trying to get funding for their favorite program into the state budget this year had a minefield to walk through. But a program called Project CARE emerged unscathed. Legislators decided to preserve the program, which helps caregivers take breaks from otherwise constant attention to their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Those who convinced legislators of the program’s worthiness include the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature and its leader, Speaker Charles Dickens, who lives in the Riceville community near Asheville. Dickens steps down today from his term at the helm of the Senior Tar Heel Legislature, which lobbies on behalf of seniors and informs them about goingson at the General Assembly. He says the group had some successes despite an economy that left legislators scrambling to cut and tax their way out of a multibillion-dollar budget gap. “Considering the pressure that the members of the General Assembly were under, I think senior programs fared reasonably well,” Dickens said. He cautions, though, that simply holding funding steady won’t be good enough in future years, as baby boomers retire and North Carolina contends with an elderly population that, according to a study by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, is set to double by 2030. Buncombe County is expected to add more than 28,000 seniors by then. Dickens and other members of the senior group will keep pushing legislators to aid elders. Among their goals this year that failed to win support: more money for senior centers — which faced a cut instead — and exempting poor seniors from more of their property taxes.

Dennis Streets, Director of the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, presented a certificate from Governor Bev Perdue to Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens spoke to seniors outside the NC Legislature about the Extra Help and Medicare Savings Program after the October STHL meeting in Raleigh. For more info about Extra Help, contact Barbara Hinshaw at 251-6622.

Dickens, 74, retired to Asheville after a career at the National Science Foundation and a stint in the White House science office. He joined the Senior Tar Heel Legislature in 2005 and became speaker in 2007. Jack Roberts, a delegate to the group from Mars Hill, said Dickens “took a kind of lackluster organization” and turned it into an influential force in Raleigh. “If not for groups like this, then who would be speaking up for these people?” Roberts said. Dickens arrived to find Project CARE — Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty, which had started in Western North Carolina and expanded to Charlotte and elsewhere — about to run out of federal funding. He attended meetings around the state and lobbied the legislature. Now in 21 counties, the program’s stand-in caregivers offer respite to people like Delores Stroup’s mother, who otherwise was taking care of her husband nearly all the time. “It could be to go to the beauty shop. It could be to go to the grocery store,” said Stroup, a delegate from Brevard. “She could just go out in her yard to work on her flowers.” A caregiver in Swain County uses her respite time for trips to a fitness center where she keeps her muscles strong enough to pick up her husband when he falls, Dickens said. Lawmakers decided last year to start funding the program. This year, they shuffled funding sources but matched the amount from 2008, $500,000 for each of the next two years. “We were able to make a great contribution, I think, at the time when it mattered,” Dickens said.


Phone: 828-251-6622

Family Caregiver Support Program November is National Family Caregiver Month


bout 44 million Americans provide 37 billion hours of unpaid, “informal” care each year for adult family members and friends with chronic illnesses or conditions that prevent them from handling daily activities such as bathing, managing medications or preparing meals on their own. Family caregivers, particularly women, provide over 75% of caregiving support in the United States. In 2007, the estimated economic value of family caregivers’ unpaid contributions was at least $375 billion, which is how much it would cost to replace that care with paid services. Who are Caregivers? Caregivers are sons, daughters, wives, husbands, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, partners and friends. While some people receive care from paid caregivers, most rely on unpaid assistance from families, friends and neighbors. Caregivers manage a wide range of responsibilities. In small doses, these jobs are manageable. However, caregivers who must juggle caregiving demands competing with the demands of other family members and their own lives, face considerable challenges which can lead to caregiver burnout. Considerable research has documented the fact that caregiving puts individuals at increased risk of premature death. With the 65+ age group expected to double to 70 million people by 2030, family caregivers increasingly provide care for aging parents, siblings, and friends, most of whom have one or more chronic conditions and who wish to remain in their own homes and communities as they age. Others belong to the “sandwich generation,” caring for children and parents at the same time.

Caregivers Don’t have to be Alone: Support Groups Can Help


ccording to Webster’s dictionary, the word “support” means to give courage or faith to; help, comfort; to carry the weight of; to give approval to, be in favor of or uphold. All of these words describe the framework around which support groups are built. They offer a place for caregivers and families to learn together, deal with feelings of frustration, sadness or isolation, and “link arms” with others that have a mutual understanding. Support groups can also validate a caregiver’s identity and give them permission to care for themselves throughout the caregiving journey. A caregiver support group provides information about helpful resources as well as generates camaraderie. Seasoned caregivers can share their collective wisdom and help those who are less experienced to contend with the difficult aspects of caregiving. Finding home care services, preplanning legal affairs, applying for financial help, or preparing to move a loved one into a care facility can all be daunting events, yet group members can help each other to take these steps. There’s another important benefit that a support group can provide. People facing a similar experience need to find hope for the future, laugh about the “humorous” aspects of their lives, enjoy social activities and have fun together! What better group of people to connect with than those who walk in the same shoes?

For some people, caregiving occurs gradually over time. For others, it can happen overnight. Caregivers may be full- or part-time; live Caregiving is like a kaleidoscope that continually with their loved one or provide care from a distance. Caregivers changes dimensions with each turn. Throughout provide a wide range of services, from simple help such as grocery this uncertain journey, receiving shopping, to complex support from others may be the one medical procedures. For Things you can do for Caregivers constant factor that keeps you on the most part, friends, track. neighbors, and most of all, • Shop for groceries. families, provide–without • Clean the house. There are several Alzheimer’s Support pay–the vast majority of • Mow the lawn or shovel the snow. Groups in our region. Contact the healthcare in this country. • Be a “handyperson” for a day. Alzheimer’s Association 254-7363 • Take the care recipient to the doctor. for meeting locations and times. Call Please say “thank you” to • Sit with the care recipient for a few hours so the the Council on Aging of Buncombe any caregivers that you caregiver can have some relief. County 277-8288 for information know and offer to help them • Take the care recipient out. about the Children of Aging Parents in November. Caregivers • Take the caregiver to lunch or to a movie. Support Group (CAPES). Call Ruth rarely ask for the help • Tell them to call the Family Caregiver Support Price 777-0132 for information about they need, but they will Program at 251-6622 to learn about available the Caregiver Wellness Group. These appreciate any help you services. groups meet monthly. provide.

November 2009 - January 2010

Area Agency on Aging

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Calendar of Events November 5 Candlelight Reflections, see pag 3 10 Family Caregiver Support Program Advisory Committee Meeting, Land-of-Sky Regional Council 11

Veteran’s Day, Land-of-Sky Offices Closed


Area Agency on Aging Advisory Counil Meeting, Land-of-Sky Regional Council


Land-of-Sky Regional Council’s Staff Development Day, Land-of-Sky Offices Closed

26-27 Thanksgiving Holiday, Land-of-Sky Offices Closed

December 24-25 Christmas Holiday, Land-of-Sky Offices Closed

January 2010 1

New Year’s Day, Land-of-Sky Offices Closed


Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day, Land-of-Sky Offices Closed

** For additional information on upcoming events, visit and click on Calendar and upcoming events for older adults.

Stimulus Funding Comes to Nutrition Providers to Increase Services & Save Jobs


ontracts from local nutrition providers and their food service vendors indicate that meals that may have been withheld will now be available and positions that may have been lost or restricted will be created or saved. North Carolina has received over $2.7 million dollars in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to be used in the nutrition services provided to older adults. ARRA funds were spread between existing providers of Home and Community Care Block Grant funded nutrition programs for congregate (67%) and home delivered (33%) meals. The use of the funding is for meals for older adult and for creating/saving jobs either with the provider or at the food vendor under contract with the provider. The government funding provided for nutrition to our region is as follows: Buncombe Co. Henderson Co. Madison Co. Transylvania Co.

$78,326 $42,326 $10,143 $14,308

In addition to quarterly reports, the providers were required to make a 10% match on funds received.

We invite all caregivers to attend

Thursday, November 5, 2009 Mission Hospital, St. Joseph’s Chapel Biltmore Avenue, Asheville 6:00 pm


Senior Opportunity Center Grove Street, Asheville 2:30 pm

the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and chronic illness Caregivers will light candles throughout the state on November 5th to highlight the growing number of those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and chronic illness and the critical need to support their caregivers. A short program including music and sharing will follow. For more information: Land-of-Sky Regional Council, 251-6622 or Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter, 254-7363

November 2009 - January 2010

Area Agency on Aging

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Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)


s we get into the autumn season, the Senior Community Service Employment Program looks forward to increasing the number of our Participants. We presently have 22 regulars for our 26 slots, and we have 4 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Participants for our 6 slots. We hope to boost those numbers to 26 regulars and 6 ARRAs during these months into January.

Spotlight on SCSEP Participant

Hire an Older Worker Today! Rebecca-Grace Amen


We have been particularly pleased this fall to add 3 new Host Agencies. We signed up the Jewish Community Center of Asheville, Silvermont Senior Center in Brevard, and the U.S. Probation & Pretrial, Western Division NC office in Asheville. These hosts offer very new options and skills for our Participants. Adding Participants is always a pleasure, and we placed five new people in community service positions this fall. Jeanette Lunn began at Opportunity House in Hendersonville; Georgjean Rosenthal began at Buncombe County Council on Aging; Dale Reed began at Silvermont in Brevard; Peggy Fowler began at the Hot Springs Nutrition Site; and Jamie Mulvey began at U.S. Probation and Pretrial office in Asheville. Welcome our new Participants in your county. The best news is the placement of three Participants in unsubsidized employment. Eileen Davidson got a position at CitiMart in Asheville, and she has already gone from part-time to full-time work there. Samantha Fisher, who had done community service at Caring for Children in Asheville, was hired to work part-time by Caring for Children. Geneva Massey began work in November at the Marshall Senior Center, where she has been serving in community service for over a year. We are so proud of our newly hired Participants! Remember also that the SCSEP has an On-the-Job Experience Program that enables us to pay for the first month of our Participant’s wages when they come to work for you. This gives you a month to train them at your business at our expense. If your business or non-profit agency can see a place for one of our Participants in your office, please contact Jennifer or Brenda at (828) 251-6622. Older workers make stable, experienced, hardworking, reliable workers.

Going Green!


he Area Agency on Aging would like to also offer this newsletter as an online publication. You will be able to view the newsletter as if you are flipping the pages of a magazine and also print it from the site. We will email you a quarterly newsletter update. Let us know if you are interested in only receiving this online version of the newsletter. Contact Christina at

November 2009 - January 2010

SCSEP Participant Rebecca-Grace Amen

ebecca-Grace Amen joined our SCSEP Title V program in March 2009. During her time with the program, she has served at Battery Park Apartments in the position of Receptionist.

Ms. Amen is a conscientious, loyal, compassionate worker, with a sense of humor. She knows Word, email, faxing, filing, and copying, and wants to learn more programs. She’s experienced in data entry, researching information, resolving problems and she has transcribed speeches, depositions, screen plays, etc. Her typing speed is 60 wpm. Trained by a major company for customer service, she very much enjoys telephone work. She is a colorful and interesting lady, and a people-person with a positive outlook on life. Rebecca-Grace has an eye for detail and a warm smile. Rebecca-Grace desires full-time (or part-time) employment in the Asheville city limits on the bus line. Her goal is to sustain herself in these challenging times, learn and give back to the company, and to purchase a vehicle in the near future. If your organization has an opening for Rebecca-Grace and her desire to learn, please call Jennifer Atkinson or Brenda DelaCruz at 251-6622. The Bonus: We offer one month’s salary to benefit your company in assisting us with the transitioning of Ms. Amen from Title V to YOUR organization. This is a wonderful opportunity to use government funds for the worthy cause of creating employment.

Area Agency on Aging

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Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Stand Your Ground for Maximum Independence


he purpose of this article is to raise awareness about what you can do to help prevent falls. Falls affect all of us, regardless of age. Falling can cause physical, emotional and financial strains on individuals and families. The good news is maintaining good health, modifying environments and being more mindful can prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Heads Up! Feet Down….

Good health maintenance is good fall prevention. Stay confident and grounded A guide to fall prevention by  Regular exercise is a fun way to improve strength, balance and coordination. For an Rebecca Chaplin, Health Promotion exercise program near you, call Rebecca Chaplin at 251-7438 or visit www.activeoptions.orgSpecialist, Area Agency on Aging  Poor vision and medications that cause drowsiness or dizziness can increase your risk of falling so regular vision checks and pharmacy reviews are effective strategies to state upright and coordinated. The environment can also influence our risk of falling. Your CAN make your home a safer place through a few simple modifications. 1. Assess your Home  Walkabout your home and assess the placement of furniture, clutter on floors and lighting. 2. Modify your Environment  Invite someone over to help you move furniture so that your path is clear.  Keep floors clean and clear of clutter.  Remove throw rugs or secure them.  Put a non-stick rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.  Have a carpenter install grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet.  Replace burnt our light bulbs; place a lamp close to your bed where it’s easy to reach.  Use nightlights. Mindful living and movement have many benefits, including fall prevention! Spend a few moments now to save time, pain and money later.  Wear proper shoes, even around the house. Avoid going out barefoot or in slippers.  Hem pants and skirts that are too long.  Watch where you place your feet, slow down and notice your environment.  If you are out of breath or feeling fatigued, sit down and take a break. We all have a role to play in preventing falls for our selves, families, clients and neighbors. If you fall, it is important to address the underlying issue(s). Talk to your health care provider, service provider or call Rebecca at 251-7438 if you have had a fall or are concerned about falling. Resources are available to help you stay grounded! A fall prevention task force comprised of health care providers, health educators and geriatric specialists are working in our region to address this very issue. It takes a community to prevent falls and fall related injuries, and there are people and programs that can help.

Victims Assistance Program VAP


n 1999 an AARP survey found that older consumers are disproportionately vulnerable to telemarketing fraud. 56% of those identified by the survey as targets of telemarketing fraud were age 50 and older. Unable to replace assets lost to these fraud artists, the financial and psychological impact of telemarketing fraud on senior victims can be devastating.

Land-of-Sky Regional Council’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Area Agency on Aging (AAA), are working together with the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) and the NC Attorney General’s Office (AG) to create a Victims Assistance Program (VAP). VAP utilizes the skills and availability of trained senior volunteers to assist the special detectives in the State Attorney General’s Office to provide follow-up with community seniors who have been victims of crime.

November 2009 - January 2010

Victims Assistance Program volunteer training Date: Time: Location: Cost:


March 31, 2010 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Land-of-Sky Regional Council FREE, Lunch will be provided

Due to limited space, registration is required. To register call Christina at 2516622 or email For more information about the training contact Patti Cameron or Barbara Hinshaw at 251-6622.

Area Agency on Aging

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Ombudsman Overview

An Ombudsman is an advocate for residents’ rights and is responsible for investigating complaints made by, or on behalf of, nursing and adult care home residents. They work with residents, family members, concerned citizens, facilities, as well as public and private agencies to enhance the quality of care and life for residents in long-term care.


f you have any reason to believe a disabled adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited then you are required by NC law to make a report to DSS. It’s easy to make a report to DSS. You do not need to have proof and you do not have to reveal your name. All reporter information is kept confidential. Abuse is when a disabled adult’s caretaker causes physical or mental pain, unreasonable confinement, or willful deprivation. Signs of Abuse: • Unusual and unexplained bruises, welts, fractures, or burns • Bed sores, weight loss, or dry skins and lips • Clothing inappropriate for temperature and conditions • Inadequate shelter or medical care • Any willful confinement of the adult in a dangerous environment Exploitation is when someone illegally or improperly uses a disabled adult’s resources. Signs of Exploitation: • Unexplained withdrawal of money from bank accounts • Use of deceit, treachery, or coercion to obtain money or assets • Difference between assets and lifestyle • Unusually large payment for services • Mismanagement of person’s funds • Failure to pay for essential services • Inappropriate sexual activity Self Neglect is when a disabled adult, who lives alone or has no caretaker, is not able to care for one’s self. Signs of Self Neglect: • Forgetfulness, such as forgetting to turn the stove on or off • Aimless wandering at night • Inability to cook, eat, bathe, toilet, dress, or care for one’s self • Unusual thinness or dehydration • Causing small fires • Living in an unsafe dwelling or environment • Inappropriate use of medications Caretaker Neglect is when a disabled adult’s caretaker fails to provide necessary services to avoid harm and maintain health. Signs of Caretaker Neglect: • Failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, and attention to personal and incidental needs • Failure to manage resources to meet needs • Failure to provide a safe living situation that is not hazardous to health and safety • Failure to provide appropriate supervision In our next issue, we will focus on additional Adult Protective Services terminology. When in Doubt – ALWAYS make a report. If you believe a disabled adult needs help, call your local Department of Social Services. November

2009 - January 2010

Area Agency on Aging

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Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

A Helping Hand

Welcome New CAC Members

We try to give them confidence Even when they’re not so strong And try to fix their broken hearts When sometimes things go wrong

Welcome: Lorraine Poe and Marsha Safian to the Buncombe County Adult Care Home CAC Adam Banner and Patricia James to the Buncombe County Nursing Home CAC Martha Mohidin to the Henderson County ACH/NH CAC Thanks and Farwell to: Vicky Wynn from the Buncombe County Adult Care Home CAC Lisa Reeves Wells from the Buncombe County Nursing Home CAC Donalee Wermeister from the Henderson County ACH/NH CAC You will be missed! Thank you for your services!

CAC Meeting Calendar Buncombe County ACH: Nov 20, Dec 18, and Jan 15 Buncombe County NH: Dec 10, Jan 14

We give them reassurance And guide them along the way In hope to give them reason To embrace another day We try to be their confidante On whom they can depend There are times we are the peacemakers Kind words will make amend So when they need a friend around To comfort or help them stand We lend our Hearts and strength to them And give a helping hand.

Henderson County ACH/NH: Nov 12, Dec 9, Jan Madison County ACH/NH: Dec 10 Transylvania County ACH/NH: Jan 19

Written by Rhonda Hawkins A nursing home CNA

Thanks to all the CNA’s who care with such depth!

CAC Retreat 2009


he 2009 annual retreat honoring Adult Care Home and Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee volunteers of our region was a great success! On October 20th, 39 volunteers converged on the NC Governor’s Western Residence to celebrate a warm dedication to service for individuals living in local long term care homes. Sharon Wilder, our NC State Ombudsman, presented the annual report and reviewed interesting statistics unique to our region. Carla Hyde, a Behavioral Health Educator and Music Therapist from Park Ridge Hospital spoke about techniques and strategies for success when communicating with older adults with disabilities. Under gorgeous autumn foliage, members and staff discussed long term care issues, enjoyed a fabulous catered lunch from Nona Mia Italian Kitchen, and took home personalized gifts and door prizes. Nuala Fay of the Henderson County CAC was awarded special recognition for remarkable dedication and service to her county. Nuala has been a member on the committee for 11 years and will soon complete her tenure as committee chairwoman. We would like to sincerely thank all our volunteers for their generosity of time and service to the elderly residents of our region. The retreat was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and enjoy fellowship with other volunteers. Thank you all so very much for attending, and we hope to see even more of you next year!

Pictures of the Retreat

The view from the Governor’s Western Residence early Tuesday morning.

Community Advisory Committee members from Buncombe County ACH, Buncombe County NH, Henderson County ACH/NH and Madison County ACH/NH enjoy the Retreat at the Governor’s Western Residence.

November 2009 - January 2010

Area Agency on Aging

L-R: Ombudsman Lee Ann Smith, Ombudsman Terry Collins, NC State Ombudsman Sharon Wilder, and Lead Ombudsman Barbara Hinshaw.

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339 New Leicester Hwy., Suite 140 Asheville, NC 28806 Phone: 828.251.6622 Fax: 828.251.6353 Website:


to honor, hope and remember...

We would like to hear what you think about the Area Agency on Aging Newsletter. Also, if you do not wish to receive this newsletter, please notify Christina at 828.251.6622. Please recycle this newsletter.

Area Agency on Aging Advocacy, Assistance, Answers on Aging

November 2009 Volume IV / Issue 4

Aging Program Staff


Barbara Hinshaw - Lead Regional Ombudsman Brenda DelaCruz - Assistant Job Developer, SCSEP Carol McLimans - Family Caregiver Resource Specialist Christina Giles - Area Agency on Aging Project Assistant,

Newsletter Layout & Design

Jennifer Atkinson - Senior Community Service

Employment Program Coordinator (SCSEP)

Joe Connolly - Director, Area Agency on Aging Lee Ann Smith - Regional Ombudsman Margaret Stanley - Aging Specialist - Contracts Rebecca Chaplin - Aging Specialist - Programs Terry Collins - Regional Ombudsman

The Area Agency on Aging is a leader and catalyst in helping our four-county Region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania) develop a comprehensive system of programs and opportunities that provide older adults the information and support needed to age optimally in the setting of their choice. Please share this newsletter with residents, staff, family members, volunteers and others interested in our community.

November 09 AAA Newsletter  
November 09 AAA Newsletter  

The Area Agency on Aging (AAA helps to determine the needs of older adults and works with counties to plan services to meet those needs. The...