Media Archive

Stay safe during Excessive Heat Advisory and Evacuation orders

Santa Clara, CA, August 21, 2020: The recent wildfires, heatwaves, power outages, and evacuations in parts of the County, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, has everyone on alert.

The air quality in parts of Santa Clara County is compromised which may impact adults who are sensitive to unclean air. The Airnow quality index which measures pollution states that any reading over 100 is unhealthy for sensitive groups. When this reading surpasses 150 the air is unhealthy for people even if they have no health risks. Therefore, it’s important that you are ready in an event of an emergency or evacuation.

Our team has pulled together some quick links with important information and resources to help you and your family stay alert, prepared and safe.

 

Important Emergency and Safety Preparedness Resources

Sign Up for AlertSCC

  • AlertSCC is a free and easy way to get emergency alerts sent directly to your cell phone or mobile device, landline, or email.

WILDFIRES

In Santa Clara County, the SCU Lightning Complex fires are burning in the eastern part of the county, please stay alert and follow orders from CalFire.

The Red Cross has opened Evacuation Resources Centers to assess needs and determine resources needed at the following locations:

  • Milpitas Library, 160 N. Main Street, Milpitas CA 95035​
  • Ann Sobrato High School, 401 Burnett Ave., Morgan Hill CA 95037​

HOT WEATHER SAFETY

POWER SHUTOFFS

With the increased wildfire threat our state faces, PG&E is enhancing and expanding our efforts to reduce wildfire risks and keep our customers and communities safe and prepared. This includes Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

A PSPS could mean that you might be without power for several days, even if you do not live in a high fire-threat area. Losing power will undoubtedly bring challenges, but by preparing in advance you can reduce the stress and anxiety of a PSPS.

Rotating outages are due to strain on California's grid. The need for outages is determined by the statewide grid operator CAISO and not PG&E. Rotating outages are not related to any issues with PG&E's equipment or its ability to deliver energy locally. PG&E has included a power outage lookup tool to help residents check to see if you will be impacted.

If rotating outages are needed, PG&E will post information at this page to show the order in which PG&E will likely proceed, if ordered by CAISO to turn off power. Estimated restoration times are 2-3 hours after the outage actually starts. The situation remains dynamic and shutoff times may change. Check back at this page frequently for updates.

Sourcewise is the designated Area Agency on Aging of Santa Clara County and is one of thirty-three Area Agencies on Aging in California. As an independent non-profit organization, Sourcewise educates, prepares, and provides direct support services and resources to older adults, caregivers and individuals with disabilities in Santa Clara County.

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Contact info: Information & Awareness
(408) 350-3200, option 1
community@mysourcewise.com

We welcome the re-use, republication, and distribution of Sourcewise content. Please credit us with the following information: Used with the permission of mysourcewise.com.

Sourcewise Welcomes Chief Operating Officer

Mary Tinker has dedicated most of her career to serving older adults and persons with disabilities in a multitude of programs in the community for 38 years. Before relocating to the Bay Area in 1995, Mary was a Director for the Area Agency on Aging in Central Oregon. As a Director, covering three widespread counties, she managed staff and volunteers at six senior centers that provided an array of services including congregate meal programs, home delivered meal programs, and transportation services.

For 25 years, Mary has been an integral part of the Sourcewise family. Mary’s meticulous drive and commitment to endorse the Sourcewise mission and values through her leadership and teams led her to establish Public Authority Services in Santa Clara County.

“Ms. Tinker has been in a leadership role of our Public Authority Services program for over a decade. Her commitment to service and Sourcewise is an invaluable asset to the community and the future development of Sourcewise in Santa Clara County,”

stated Manuel Altamirano, former Chief Operating Officer of Sourcewise.

As the Legislative Committee Chair and President for the California Association of Public Authorities (CAPA), Mary spearheaded advocacy for consumer-directed care and the rights of in-home care service users to maintain self-determination and independence.

Mary builds strong, diverse, and talented teams who serve the community with care and dedication. She encourages innovation and out-of-the-box strategizing to meet the evolving needs and challenges some of our community’s most vulnerable populations face. Mary works in partnership within the community and strives to build relationships at local, state, and national levels. Mary is welcomed by Sourcewise as the new Chief Operating Officer for Sourcewise.

Become an Independent Care Provider Today

The In-Home Supportive Services Program helps pay for services provided to individuals to remain safely in their own home. More than 26,000 In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) care recipients live in Santa Clara County, where many of them are looking to hire caregivers to provide authorized care services for them.

Anyone who has caregiving experience can enroll to become an IHSS Independent Care Provider (IP) with Public Authority Services by Sourcewise. Public Authority Registry is always looking for new IPs to add to the Registry of available IPs for IHSS care recipients. Members of the Registry must complete an enrollment process, which includes a Department of Justice background check.

The Registry is a referral service that provides an individualized list of pre-screened and vetted IPs to IHSS care recipients who need to hire an authorized IP.

Dorothy, an IHSS IP, enjoys being a part of the Registry and stated,

"Being a provider has been a wonderful experience…my goal is to help and be of assistance to others and this program allows me to feel whole."

IHSS IPs may work for one or more care recipients, depending on their availability. For those who work more than 35 hours on a monthly basis, IHSS IPs can receive medical, dental, and vision benefits – all for only $25 per month. All IHSS IPs are eligible for a free VTA SmartPass to access bus and light rail systems throughout Santa Clara County. All IHSS IPs can sign up for free training classes and learning opportunities to improve their caregiving skills and get paid $14.62 per hour, plus the possibility of overtime.

To learn more about the process in becoming an IP, visit the Public Authority Services by Sourcewise Registry’s webpage at pascc.org.

Access Local Emergency Food Programs and Support Services

Individuals who continue to limit travel and stay home are pivoting to navigate how they access resources in new ways through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While the shelter in place restrictions are beginning to ease, individuals should continue to only leave their home for essential activities.

The State of California COVID-19 website at covid19.ca.gov shares a variety of different resources available for individuals who are looking for assistance to locate and obtain groceries and meal services. A few food resources are:

  • CalFresh food benefits help people purchase foods at most grocery stores (online or in-person) and farmers markets. Families with children and older adults 65 and older may be eligible for the social services program.
  • Food banks and food pantries provide grocery products and prepared meals to community members in need.
  • Home-delivered meals provide nutritious meals to homebound older adults who are unable to prepare or cook for themselves on a consistent basis.

Local agencies are available to provide information about services and resources for older adults, such as:

  • An Area Agency on Aging (AAA) that coordinates a wide array of services for seniors and adults with disabilities at the community level and serve as the focal point for local aging concerns. Dial 1(800) 510-2020 to find your local AAA.
  • Connect2Affect helps seniors find support services in their area, such as food and medical care.
  • 211 is a free and confidential information and referral service that connects people to local resources.
  • Eldercare Locator connects older adults and their families to services and resources in their local community.

To learn more about local services and support near you, speak with a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Disease

Seasons are everchanging, beginning with winter, spring, summer and then fall. As the seasons change, it brings a variety of blooming flowers, fruits, and growth of nature’s marvels.

As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting some of us at higher risk for certain diseases. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual observance to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Immunizations are not just for children. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

“Every year thousands of adults in the U.S. become seriously ill and are hospitalized because of diseases that vaccines can help prevent.”

In addition to getting the influenza flu vaccine every year, the CDC suggests adults 50 years or older get:

  • Td or Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), which protects against whooping cough
  • Shingles vaccine, which protects against shingles and the complications from the disease
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), which protects against serious pneumococcal disease like meningitis and bloodstream infections

There may be the need for additional vaccination based on your age, health conditions, career, lifestyle, and travel plans. Individuals may not realize that they need vaccines at different stages of life. Talk with your doctor or healthcare professional to make sure you are up to date with your vaccines. You can find out more about which vaccines may be recommended for you by the CDC at your next medical appointment.

To learn more about where to get vaccines, contact a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1 or email community@mysourcewise.com.

Maintaining Relationships While Social Distancing

Relationships and socialization play a key role in maintaining a healthy qualify of life. From having coffee with a neighbor or taking an art class at a community center, the options are limitless when it comes to socialization.

Public Health officials of Santa Clara County continue to reinforce adults aged 65 and older to limit unnecessary travel and face to face social interaction with individuals outside of their household during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During the shelter in place orders, only essential businesses and services are operating, leaving social activities at senior and community centers cancelled or transitioning in-person programs to online platforms, like Zoom. As a result of these changes, some older adults have experienced an increase of social isolation. According to a study conducted by SocialPro in April 2020,

“Seventy-two percent of adults aged 55 and older felt lonely because of the pandemic, while twenty-eight percent did not feel lonely.”

Ananya Karthik, Stanford University student whom launched Santa Clara County Helping Hands, described the affects of the pandemic on older adults raging from increased difficulty obtaining essential items to struggling with isolation and loneliness. Santa Clara County Helping Hands matches individuals at higher risk for COVID-19 with volunteers who can help deliver necessities like groceries and prescriptions.

To help older adults maintain social interaction in the face of the pandemic, the Sourcewise Ambassador Program connects volunteers with homebound older adults by phone to provide emotional and social support. If you are interested in volunteering as a Sourcewise Ambassador, send an email to community@mysourcewise.com. Additionally, the Institute on Aging provides a 24-hour Friendship Line that offers non-emergency emotional support calls aimed to reduce loneliness and crisis intervention.

Learn more about socialization opportunities and virtual recreational classes near you. Contact a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Income Tax Filing Due Date Extended

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has extended the federal income tax filing due date from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

This announcement comes following the President’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act. The Stafford Act is a federal law designed to bring an orderly and systematic means of federal natural disaster and emergency assistance to state and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to aid citizens.

Sourcewise is Dedicated to Serving Santa Clara County

As the designated Area Agency on Aging for Santa Clara County, for the past 47 years, Sourcewise continues to take a leadership role in addressing issues important to seniors in Santa Clara County. As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Sourcewise is not a county-based agency, which allows Sourcewise greater flexibility in responding to individuals and the needs of their loved ones. Located in Santa Clara, our main office is the central access point to seven direct support programs including: Information & Awareness, Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program, Meals on Wheels, Senior Community Services Employment Program, Multipurpose Senior Services Program, Family Caregiver Support Program, and Public Authority Services by Sourcewise.

Our South County office, located in Morgan Hill, provides two additional unique services that support the residents of Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and San Martin including: Sourcewise Transit Service for South County residents and Case Management, through a unique partnership at the Gilroy Senior Center.

As of July 2019, Sourcewise provides one-on-one CalFresh Pre-Screening and Application Assistance to older adults (60 years and older) and individuals with disabilities by phone. CalFresh Application Assistance may be completed by phone or by scheduling an in-person appointment at the South County office.

Sourcewise continues to build a stronger, easy-to-navigate network of resources for all adults in Santa Clara County. Sourcewise can only achieve the goals of helping many adults, families, and their caregivers in the community with the assistance of Santa Clara County’s community members. To make a donation of any kind, including volunteer opportunities visit: mysourcewise.com/commitment.

If you are interested in learning more about available programs and resources in Santa Clara County, contact a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

United States Census 2020: Shape Your Future

The United States Census Bureau is a federally appointed agency responsible for collecting information about Americans. The Bureau uses surveys, commonly known as the United States Census, to collect demographic information at different intervals of time to collect key information and ensure when it’s published, it is as current as possible.

This year, the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting the Decennial Census of population and housing, which is only conducted every 10 years. Each household is required by law to respond and provide the requested information either online, by phone or by mail as indicated within the notices sent. Once complete, the results will be disseminated to the President, the States, and the American People in order to:

  • Direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Serves to help the community prepare to meet transportation and emergency or disaster preparation.
  • Determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and Americans’ political representation at all levels of government.
  • Provide to the states to use for redistricting, as communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs.

In March, American households should have received two letters inviting them to participate in the 2020 Census by responding to the survey online. Americans who did not respond were mailed a reminder postcard and a third letter that included a paper survey. Americans who did not respond after receiving a paper survey, were sent a final reminder during the week of April 20.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, households who have not responded after the final reminder, will be visited by a Census Bureau interviewer to collect answers in person between May 27 and August 14.

The 2020 Census is available online, by phone or by mail in English and 12 additional languages covering 99% of American households.

If you are interested in learning more about the 2020 Census, speak with a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Become an AgeLab Volunteer Today

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab is a multidisciplinary research program that works with business, government, and non-governmental organizations to improve the quality of life of older people and those who care for them. The MIT AgeLab is involved in many different types of research on a variety of different topics such as transportation, livable communities, retirement and longevity planning, caregiving and well-being.

The MIT AgeLab stated, “In 1900, life expectancy for much of the industrialized world was under 50. Today, living well into one's 70s, 80s and beyond can be expected. Longevity requires new thinking.” Their research on caregivers and their well-being has made numerous discoveries that will continue to aid all the different services and tasks caregivers are faced with each day.

The MIT AgeLab is building an online caregiver panel to learn more about caregiver’s thoughts and experiences , and they are asking caregivers to take part in their Caregiver Study Panel Survey which can be accessed by scanning the QR code or by visiting agelab.mit.edu/agelab-caregiver-panel.

For those who are currently providing care to an adult family member, they may qualify to be a member of the panel to join their research study. The MIT AgeLab will reach out to caregivers approximately every other month and share some brief online surveys focusing on the various aspects of. With caregivers’ help, the information received from the online surveys can help improve MIT AgeLab’s understanding of their experiences, thoughts, and help the quality of life for caregivers.

To learn more about the MIT AgeLab, visit: agelab.mit.edu.

For more information about caregiver resources, contact a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

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