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2018 Senior Resource Guide of San Juan County

Supplement to the Journal, Sounder & Weekly publications

Senior Resource Guide


Medicaid: serving seniors

Submitted by San Juan County Services

San Juan Island’s Favorite Corner — Since 1920 —

Senior Services of San Juan County is part of a new statewide program called The Medicaid Transformation Demonstration Project. This program adds new abilities for staff to serve more senior clients through Medicaid who have not qualified before, or who have not been able to access the unique services they need. The focus of the program is on helping keep seniors in their homes as they age by supporting caregivers and care receivers. The kinds of services available to help seniors in San Juan County are: paying costs for Personal Emergency Response Systems (Lifeline and Safety Line for example), counseling and training for caregivers, incontinence supplies, medical equipment and small home modifications and repairs. We hope to add some home help services to the list in the future (like housecleaning, errand-running or paid home health care), but right now we don’t have contracts with those providers. One important requirement for the program is that care receivers must be 55 years of age or older and have physical needs that they cannot complete without assistance. The areas of assistance that are a requirement for the program are at least one of the following: help bathing; turning/getting out of bed; traveling across the room; eating; self-managing medications; and toileting or transferring from bed, chair, wheelchair or to a standing position. They also qualify if they have dementia that significantly impairs their functioning or if they need assistance daily that requires the oversight of a nurse (for example: wound care, catheter, injections or application of dressing). There are two separate programs within the project: The Medicaid Alternative Care Program and Tailored Supports for Older Adults. The first is only for care receivers that have an unpaid caregiver; the second, for either those with a caregiver or an individual living alone. The programs have separate financial eligibility but the wonderful thing about these new programs is that they have raised the amount of income clients can have to qualify for services and there is no estate recovery. Only the care receiver’s income will be considered for eligibility in the program (instead of the total couple), and clients can still receive services even with savings or investment resources. Please contact the Senior Services office for more information. For San Juan Island, call 360-378-2677, Orcas 360-376-2677 or Lopez 360-468-2421.

Mullis Center News Painted by Lanny Little, the front of the store features the interior of the original pharmacy based on photos from Al Nash Jr. Art donated by A&H Stores, owners.

Prescriptions • Souvenirs T Shirts & Sweatshirts • Cosmetics Hallmark Cards & Gifts, Gift Wrap Candy • Party Ware Art, Office & School Supplies

210 Spring Street, Friday Harbor •


Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Submitted by the Mullis Center

As the senior population on San Juan Island increases, the Mullis Center in Friday Harbor continues to expand programs, activities, classes and special events to meet the needs of its growing membership. In order to stay on top of Mullis Center happenings and benefits, visit our revamped website in early 2019. In the meantime, you can stay informed on what’s happening at the center by checking out our Facebook page as well as the monthly Senior Signal newsletter. You’re welcome to stop by the center Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to pick-up a hard-copy of the newsletter or download an online version at The Mullis Center proudly hosts the senior nutrition meal program, which is a collaboration between the Mullis Community Senior Cen-

ter, San Juan County Health and Community Services, and Meals on Wheels and More which is operated by the non-profit Whatcom Council On Aging. Together these organizations offer meals at the center as well as to home-bound seniors. Funding for this program comes from federal grants, participant donations, local and regional grants, private contributions, and fundraising. Watch for the Mullis Center’s annual meal program fundraising event in March. In early 2019 the Mullis Center hopes to increase its meal program from two days to three days per week. Currently, lunch is offered on Mondays and Thursdays beginning with a fresh salad bar at 11:45 a.m. and followed by a full meal at noon. People 60 years and older can enjoy a made-from-scratch meal in a comMullis Center continues on Page 7

Senior Resource Guide

To your good health

simple things help make healthy aging possible Have you noticed that the numbers in the phone book seem to be getting smaller? Do you find it harder to get down on your knees to look under the bed—and to get up again? There’s no question that age brings changes to our lives. And yes, some of them we’d prefer to avoid. Physically, for example, stiffening joints can make it harder to get around. And many people find that their short-term memory just isn’t what it used to be. Often, difficult personal situations, such as the death of a spouse, can add to the negative changes. But age can bring positive changes too. One survey found that many older people say they have less stress and more time for family, interests and hobbies than they used to. In fact, the vast majority of older people report they are satisfied with their lives. To a great extent, what older age will be like for you depends on how you live now and how you cope with the changes that come your way.You may not be able to turn back time, but you can move in a direction that may make getting older easier and more pleasant. Here are a few pointers: Decide to have an active mind and body. Remember the adage “Use it or lose it.” Opt to be involved. Isolation can contribute to depression and other health problems. So keep connected to family and friends. Social connections can help ensure that you have physical and emotional support for what comes your way. Choose a healthy lifestyle. The advice you heard when you were younger still applies: Eat well, maintain a healthy weight, get enough rest, don’t smoke, do what you can to stay safe and see your doctor regularly. Relish your leisure time. Do things you enjoy, and allow yourself some downtime. Too much stress can contribute to a host of health problems. Practice healthy ways to cope. Believe in yourself, and remember:You can handle whatever comes your way.


SOAR could be working for you Submitted by Orcas Community Resource

Imagine you homesteaded on Orcas as a young person. It was easy to find a cabin to rent. You had a big garden and a freezer full of fish you caught yourself. You shared this bounty with others and raised a family here. Seasonal work was plentiful and you sometimes worked three jobs. You contributed to the community through volunteer work and participated in its cultural life. Now in your 50s or 60s, you unexpectedly have serious health problems and can no longer do the work you once did. Affordable rentals are nearly non-existent. You have always worked hard and taken care of yourself, but now you need help. Where do you turn? The Orcas Community Resource Center assists those who find themselves needing help after a lifetime of working hard. We help islanders access local, state and federal programs for housing, healthcare, counseling, veteran’s benefits and much more. Federal programs –Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income – exist to help fill the gap between what people can do on their own and what they need to have in order to live lives of dignity and safety and continue to contribute to the community. The resource center has seen many islanders stabilize after receiving SSI or SSDI. Receiving modest monthly assistance can

help vulnerable islanders thrive again. ut accessing SSI or SSDI benefits takes a lot of time and – most importantly – a determined and knowledgeable advocate who can help people sort through the daunting information gathering and application process. SOAR Across Washington is part of a nationwide effort to help adults access SSI and SSDI. states/washington SOAR stands for SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery with an emphasis on adults experiencing homelessness who have a mental illness or substance use disorder. SOAR programs are found in every region of Washington except ours. However, both the Bellingham-based Opportunity Council and the three island resource centers are well aware of the need to bring SOAR to our region. Why do we need SOAR? Imagine you are that homesteader from the 70s. You have had to move several times in the last five years. Your income records are lost. You haven’t always had health insurance and have seen several providers over the years. You could use the computer in the library to fill out an application, but you’ve always worked with your hands and aren’t computer savvy. If you or someone you know needs help accessing benefits, call us at 360-376-3184.

Senior Resource Guide


LAHARI Questions About Caregiving on Orcas? · What are the organizations that provide support and resources for family caregivers? · Is there a list of professional caregivers on the island? · How to bring additional help into the home? · What are the best caregiver interview questions? · How to do a caregiver background check? · What are the financial and legal considerations of hiring a caregiver? For answers to these questions and more, visit: A Lahari Aging on Orcas Resource

Mullis Senior Center Age well on San Juan Island

Join today and take advantage of all we have to offer

Exercise Your Mind, Body, and Soul: • Fitness & Mobility Classes • Arts & Crafts • Book Club • Games • Travel Relax & Enjoy: • Home-style lunches • Bingo • Movies, Social Gatherings • Pancake Breakfasts Member Discounts: • Mullis Center sponsored classes & events • Off-island travel for appointments & shopping • Foot Care • Venue Rentals

Orcas Community Resource Center Referrals and resources to improve quality of life with the help of local, county, and state agencies. • Veterans Assistance • Energy Assistance • DSHS Applications • Transportation Voucher Program • Medicaid Transportation

Please call 360.376.3184 for an appointment at our new office located at 374A North Beach Road next to Wildlife Cycles!

sland earing Healthcare We are thrilled to be celebrating our

12th anniversary! • Diagnostic hearing testing • Customized hearing aid acclimatization program

Our trained volunteers focus

• Free trial period

on the needs of people trying

• Highly competitive pricing on all major hearing aid brands Contracted with: • Most major insurers, including Medicare •L&I • VA Choice Provider San Juan - Orcas - Lopez

Dr. Stacie Baisch


589 Nash Street, Friday Harbor Mon. - Fri. 9 am - 4 pm 360-378-2677

• Apple Health • Social Services & Advocacy • Community Wellness Program • Weatherization And so much more!

Friday Harbor 545 Spring St.



33 Urner St., Ste. 5

to cope with the reality of death as an approaching part of life’s journey. Your tax deductible donations are greatly appreciated! Hospice of San Juan PO Box 1434 Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Call us at: 360–472-0322

Senior Resource Guide

Friendships with a shelf life by Diane Craig A member of the baby boomer generation

Well into in his 90s, comedian George Burns said, “At my age, I don’t buy green bananas.” The inference may have been that as we age, death ­– and an unripe banana – becomes more of daily reality, an impending event. As a generation of baby boomers begins to reach 65 and move into retirement communities, the generation in front of them are living well into their 80s, 90s and even 100s, often with the same independence that marked their 60s. A few years ago, a good friend passed away. “Ethel,” let’s call her, was a good-looking, well-dressed woman of 90 who lived alone, was fiercely independent and the kind of person you could have a cocktail with at the end of the day and talk about anything. As a young woman, she’d been a public health nurse, and her trusted medical books were never far away. She managed everything about her life, an inspiration for an aging babyboomer, but I made it clear: if she ever needed anything, I was a phone call away. Sometimes she would call with TV problems, or because she

needed something from the store, having hung up her keys a few years back when she felt she shouldn’t be driving anymore. Then, the midnight call: “I’ve fallen out of bed. Can you come help me?” Ethel fell a few more times and started feeling increasingly anxious about being alone. Her son hired companions to stay during the night. Then, a morning nurse five days a week. She suffered from poor circulation in her legs and walking became increasingly difficult, and when I’d put her morning paper between the doors, I’d peek in to make sure she was up and around. She became part of my daily routine. Sometimes, when she hadn’t picked up her morning paper and the coffee wasn’t on, I would let myself in to make sure she was still alive. The reality of an aging generation is that more of us will befriend people with only a few years left. The bonds formed may not be as deep as family, or as old as decadeslong friendships, but they are real, and the loss of a 96-year-old friend known only a few years, is no less painful. Americans over 85 represent the

fastest-growing population in America and, with 7,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the likelihood of friendships forming between the aging and the aged will only increase. How, then, does one handle the special kind of grief that comes with losing a friend who hasn’t bought green bananas in a long time. To get answers, I went to Caroline Scott, who has been a caregiver on Orcas Island since 1997. She has cared for the sick and for the dying, but caring for her mother was a pivotal experience. “She taught me how to handle death, that there was nothing scary about it. Without that experience, dealing with the passing of friends might have been more difficult,” said Scott. Scott recounts the death of a good friend seriously injured in an automobile accident on the island. While much was made of how long her friend might have left, Scott chose instead to focus on the present. “I was consistently ‘awake’ to the situation and never obsessed about the length of time she might have left,” she said. “That unknown turned into three years. We brought her home; I was with her for the full three years, and helped her through the final transition. I would not have been able to be there for my friend like that if I hadn’t had the experience of caring for my mother.” Scott gets a bit philosophical about caring for the aged and the dying. “The entire experience is a mys-

5 tery. Each person is new to the process,” she explains. “No one knows exactly when it’s going to happen, or what happens afterward. It’s the same mystery for everyone.” Since 2005, Scott has cared for 13 islanders, five of whom have passed. Managing that grief can take a lot out of a person. Scott has found that spending time at home, alone, helps a lot. “That, and naps when I need them.” As the country’s elderly population increases more rapidly than ever before, increasing numbers of older adults will become caregivers to the dying and may experience anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is normal mourning that occurs when death is expected, and includes many of the same symptoms as those experienced following a death. According to the National Cancer Institute’s website,, and its section on Grief, Bereavement and Coping with Loss, anticipatory grief does not mean one feels the same kind of grief as following a death. Nor does it mean the amount of grief one feels after a death is less. Grief is not a measurable emotion. Americans facing the realities of aging and the deaths of aged friends and family are recognizing and understanding that levels of grief offer the best path toward healing. Area hospices have support systems for and information on dealing with grief. However, they don’t have any suggestions about the green bananas.

SJ Resource services

Most services provided through the San Juan Island Family Resource Center have income qualifications. Contact the office to find out about eligibility requirements of the following: transportation assistance (ferry tickets, taxi service); household essentials (cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies); private practice counseling; emergency rental assistance; Island Neighbors Program. The center is located at 476 Market Street, Friday Harbor; 360-378-5246; hours of operation: Mon-Fri, 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.



NOW OPEN ON LOPEZ & ORCAS ISLANDS We’re delighted to announce new primary care choices for Lopez and Orcas Islands. Right now we’re accepting appointments, including same-day availability– or you can choose to receive care from our Virtual Clinic. Whichever choice you make, you’ll receive comprehensive primary care, right here at home.

UW Medicine Lopez Island

UW Medicine Orcas Island 360-468-2245 360-376-2561

Island Eye Physicians & Surgeons ophthalmologists are dedicated to providing the highest quality of eye care to our community.

Kenneth R Ellis MD, Linda R Brown MD and Cory D Bergman, MD Island Eye Physicians & Surgeons ophthalmologists are dedicated to providing the highest quality of eye care to our community. 

Roune exams

Comprehensive eye care

Specialized treatments for cataract, glaucoma, diabetes and macular degeneraon

Advanced diagnosc equipment Cataract surgery, laser surgery and eyelid surgery Full service opcal shop offering the highest quality of eyewear

Linda R Brown MD, Cory D Bergman MD and Kenneth R Ellis MD


• Routine exams • Comprehensive eye care • Specialized treatments for cataract, glaucoma, diabetes and macular degeneration • Advanced diagnostic equipment • Cataract surgery, laser surgery and eyelid surgery • Full service optical shop offering the highest quality of eyewear

1213 24th St Suite 300

Anacortes WA 98221

360-293-2020 • 1213 24th St Suite 300 • Anacortes WA 98221

Senior Resource Guide Mullis Center continued from page 3 fortable and welcoming social setting with a suggested donation of $5 per meal. However, $5 is simply a suggested donation; this is a pay-whatyou-can program and all seniors are encouraged to attend regardless of their financial circumstances and ability to donate. People under 60 are quite welcome to purchase a meal for $7. The senior nutrition program is always on the look-out for volunteers; call 360-378-2677. Another way to support the Mullis Center is by becoming a member. Please visit the Mullis Center office for more information or to pick-up an application. he annual membership fee is minimal but the benefits are many. Active members receive a monthly newsletter, vote for the Operations Committee members, and are eligible for discounts on the following: bi-monthly off-island bus trips for appointments and shopping, foot care sessions, Mullis Center sponsored classes and activities, venue rentals, and more. For those seniors not in a financial position to afford the annual fee, we plan on offering sponsored (free of

charge) memberships starting January of 2019. In order to keep the Mullis Center operational, the staff, volunteers, and Operations Committee coordinate and organize several fundraising projects and activities throughout the year including pancake breakfasts, monthly bingo, an artisan craft fair, and a coupon book. The Island a la Carte Coupon Book, produced by the Mullis Center, is filled with coupons for discounts at over 100 local business and is available for $30 at the Mullis Center office and the Chamber of Commerce. The center hosts a Community Pancake Breakfast the first Sunday of each month. Fun Friday Lunch and Bingo also happens monthly – the second Friday of each month. In November the center hosts a holiday artisan craft fair open to the public and co-hosts quarterly local author book signing events also open to the public. Additionally, the center’s various large and small rooms as well as the kitchen are available to the public as a rental venues. Contact us at mulliscenter@ or 360-378-9102 (message phone).


SJC cares for its seniors Submitted by San Juan County Services

Do you wonder how old you have to be to be considered a “Senior”? It is a question we often get at the senior centers throughout the island. Sixty years old is the age that qualifies people for most of our programs at the centers, but, if you’re just looking for a discount at a buffet, it’s usually 65, whereas receiving full Medicare doesn’t happen until you’re 66 and a half or older. We at senior services, a division of health and community services, are here to help people understand more about this stage of life, both the benefits and challenges. We offer a wide array of services and enrichments: affordable rides off island to medical appointments and shopping; senior lunches, talks and workshops that address health and legal issues; support groups; wheelchair and walker loans; foot care services; dance classes and more. San Juan, Orcas and Lopez each have their own senior center. The centers serve as resource and information centers for all programs affecting those over age 60, and those adults with disabilities. The senior centers on all three islands serve congregate hot lunches. The lunches are served twice weekly on San Juan and Lopez, and three times weekly on Orcas. Meals are also delivered to homebound seniors through the program commonly known as “Meals on Wheels.” Our job at senior services of San Juan County is to assist seniors in remaining independent and in their homes for as long as possible, attempting to postpone or eliminate the need for residential or institutional care. All our services are geared towards this focus, including Respite Care for Caregivers, Caregiver support group and classes, case coordination and information, food and transportation assistance and social events. Community-based care is what we are all about and is crucial for those in need and caregivers of all ages, especially in our small island community. Volunteers are a huge part of keeping programs at the centers going.Each center has volunteer opportunities available year-round. For further information, contact any of the three senior centers: Lopez at 468-2421; Orcas at 376-2677; Mullis Senior Center at 378-2677. Excellent care for your loved one offers you great peace of mind.


Active Independent Senior Community

• Updated Apartments • All Inclusive • Utilities plus 100 channel cable & Wifi • Fresh, Home-made meals • Light Housekeeping • Complimentary On-site Laundry Facility • Pet Friendly 1111 32nd Street Anacortes, WA Come in for a Tour Today! 360-293-8088

Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Senior Care.

State Licensed


WELCOME TO HEARTHSTONE ADULT FAMILY HOME You are welcome to visit us anytime. 360-378-2705 or 360-378-7848

80 Wildflower Lane, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Services for Seniors

Over 500 Large Print titles Audio books on CD Downloadable ebooks and audio books, Friendly assistance with your mobile devices, Deposit collections at Orcas Senior Services and Orcas Longhouse, Home delivery service available, and more! Call us 376-4985 Call us at at (360) (360) 376-4985

Senior Resource Guide


Sleep Wellness for Seniors By Robert Reyna, MD Medical Director Island Hospital Sleep Wellness Center The lack of quality sleep on a regular basis can have serious health and quality-oflife implications. In fact, chronic sleep loss is now being linked as a risk factor to a growing number of disorders including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, stroke and more. Research shows that 75% of people report a lack of sleep but only 10% tell their physicians. IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP FOR SENIORS Seniors tend to fall asleep more slowly and awaken more often during the night. An increase in night awakenings can lead to other problems such as falls and injuries among seniors. This concern increases when the person is on sedating medications. Healthy seniors should have no or very few problems sleeping as they age. TYPES OF SLEEP PROBLEMS The more common sleep disorders include sleep apnea, insomnia and restless-legs syndrome. Symptoms for sleep apnea include snoring or gasping for air during sleep, morning headaches, memory problems and others. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common sleep-related breathing disorder which has serious quality-of-life and work-performance implications, also can cause acute cardiovascular problems. It is estimated that only 10% of patients with OSA are being treated, and while the remaining 90% may know they have a problem, they choose not to pursue treatment. Poor quality sleep or insomnia is the sleep problem most frequently reported to physicians. Causes of insomnia are many: excess drinking of caffeine or alcohol, overactive bladder, jet lag and certain medications to name a few. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be a more effective therapy than any of the currently available sleep medications. A disorder of the part of the nervous system that causes an irresistible urge to move the legs, restless-legs syndrome (RLS) usually interferes with sleep onset. Those with this condition have an uncomfortable feeling in their legs which worsens when at rest. HAVE YOU TALKED TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR SLEEP? If you feel you may have sleeping problems, let your healthcare provider know. Few can offer the state-of-the-art technology, the staff experience and expertise patients find at the Island Hospital Sleep Wellness Center, located at 1110 22nd Street in Anacortes. For appointment or information, call (360) 299-8676.

Supporting Lopez seniors sist senior clients by helping them complete and submit applications for The Lopez Island Family Re- rental, utility and transportation assource Center builds trusting rela- sistance. Once approved by transportionships with seniors to help them tation programs, staff provide seniors meet their needs. with ferry tickets typically for medical LIFRC provides four primary ac- appointments off island. tivities that support seniors: houseCase management: Staff help sehold supports; case management; niors connect with medical care and food programs; and mental health other important support services they supports. need. This includes developing goal Household supports: Staff as- plans to help them achieve what is important to them. Food programs: Staff help seniors apply for and receive basic food benefits. They also coordinate a fresh food bank which is open 24/7. Additionally, a Thanksgiving program provides seniors with a turkey, vegetables and pie. Mental health supports: Staff coordinate the Community Wellness Program which is funded by San Juan County and provides crisis mental health visits. This includes enrollment paperwork, connecting seniors with a therapist and ongoing follow-up and referrals. Additionally, LIFRC has many volunteer opportunities for seniors such as being a mentor to youth, helping with fundraising activities,and many other programs. LIFRC offers a wide range of classes for learning enrichment in which seniors can participate in. A computer lab in the LIFRC office is available for seniors to use and access the internet. Please stop by the LIFRC offices at 160 Village Road, on the second floor of the Children’s Center building, or call us at 360-468-4117 to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you! Submitted by the Lopez Island Family Resource Center

Do Your Loved Ones a Favor! Make your cremation or funeral plans ahead of time.

Our Family Helping Yours Evans Funeral Chapel & On Site Crematory.

Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory

360.378.4567 Anacortes, WA

“Serving the San Juan Islands for over 50 years.”

Senior Resource Guide - 2018 Senior Resource Guide  


Senior Resource Guide - 2018 Senior Resource Guide