Media Archive

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.

Robert Gesinske’s Commitment to Seniors

Robert “Bob” Gesinske dedicated his time as a Sourcewise Advisory Council member for nearly five years. In July 2015, Bob joined the Advisory Council eager to share his passion and devotion to support seniors in Santa Clara County. Bob was born on May 16, 1945 and he passed away on February 15, 2020. Bob’s friendly demeanor was infectious, and he strongly believed that seniors were entitled to have access to resources and an equitable quality of life.

Bob was appointed by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, representing District 2 on the Sourcewise Advisory Council. During his term, Bob was Health Committee Chair for four years and a member of the Transportation committee for almost six years.

Bob’s involvement and relationship with the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department played a big role in bringing resources to the Advisory Council. Bob was active member on the Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PAFAC). PAFAC is a group that provides recommendations regarding practices that affect patient- and family-centered care provided by Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. “Bob’s passion for service was only surpassed by his generous smile and energy. His advocacy for the health care needs of older adults was instrumental to the Sourcewise Advisory Council,” stated Aneliza Del Pinal, Sourcewise Chief Executive Officer.

In his free time, Bob volunteered at a church helping seniors apply for low-income housing, in-home services, assisted living, and filing paperwork for legal matters.

The Sourcewise Advisory Council is an independent, non-partisan group of advocates for seniors residing throughout Santa Clara County. The Advisory Council has 41 volunteer seats available and is currently comprised of 34 volunteers and has five committees including: Health, Legislative Advocacy, Planning, Transportation, and the membership committee. The members of the Advisory Council are actively engaged in the senior service network at the local level and support key legislation specific to senior service at the state and national level.

To learn more about the Sourcewise Advisory Council, visit mysourcewise.com/advisory or email us at community@mysourcewise.com.

San Jose Junior League Volunteer Recognition Luncheon

The Junior League of San Jose’s mission states, “It is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”

This year’s Junior League Volunteer Recognition Luncheon (VRL) recognized over 100 volunteers with Certificates of Appreciation for their time, impact, initiative, creativity, leadership, effectiveness, and overall activities in volunteering. Ten of these volunteers were further distinguished and presented with Tiffany & Co. Crystal Bowls and stipends of $500 each for their nominating agency. Of these, top honor of “Voluntarism at its Best” was bestowed upon Michele Huntzinger, for her organization “Stand Up for Kids,” who was endowed with an additional $1,000 for her group.

Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) was honored to be a part of the 51st Annual VRL hosted by the Junior League of San Jose. This year’s VRL was themed “Voluntarism with Love” and was held on February 12, 2020 at Villa Ragusa in Downtown Campbell.

Sourcewise HICAP Certified Counselor volunteers honored at the luncheon were Frank Chen, Eva Wong, and Maria Yu, for ongoing years of dedication and service. Frank Chen has been a HICAP counselor since 2008, Eva Wong has been a certified HICAP counselor since 2009, and Maria Yu has served as a HICAP counselor since 2003. Sourcewise currently has a total of 43 certified HICAP counselors located throughout Santa Clara County, and we’re always interested in training more.

If you are interested in becoming a certified HICAP Counselor, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Angelina Vallejos, at avallejos@mysourcewise.com or (408) 350-3245.

Keep Our Community Safe: Follow the Precautionary Measures Implemented at the Local and State Levels

There has been a lot of information in the media recently regarding the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 and as such, there lies fear and uncertainty about what to do. The situation in the U.S. and more importantly in Santa Clara County is and will continue to evolve as new information is learned. Your best source for up-to-date information about the virus itself and the precautionary measures being implemented is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Santa Clara County Public Health (SCCPH). The CDC provides an overall picture nationwide, while the SCCPH provides local information. The CDC updates their website each day at noon, Monday through Friday, and SCCPH updates the site when warranted.

Those who are identified as in the higher risk category should take extra precautions. Individuals with a higher risk include those over 50, and regardless of age, individuals with underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Universal precautions should be followed to prevent further spreading of the virus.

You and your loved ones should:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid non-essential travel, especially on planes and cruises.
  • Avoid crowds or large gatherings, especially in poorly ventilated areas.

If you become ill, contact your doctor first before going in and let them know your symptoms; they will let you know how to proceed.

To learn more about how you can help prevent the spread of the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Santa Clara County Public Health websites.

Community Volunteer Opportunities at Sourcewise

Finding time to volunteer, at any age creates a great sense of community and provides a sense of purpose and worth. Sourcewise recognizes our success would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of the network of volunteers who serve Santa Clara County’s older adults, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities.

To become a Sourcewise volunteer, interested individuals must complete a general application, background and criminal records check, and an interview session.

Want to be a Volunteer Health Insurance Counselor?

Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) volunteer counselors have an ethical calling to provide unbiased and objective health insurance information to Medicare eligible clients, their family, or caregivers. Medicare beneficiaries often need help understanding the myriad of options available to them, which is often confusing and overwhelming.

To become a registered HICAP volunteer counselor, the California Department of Aging requires: over 25 hours of Medicare training, a final certification exam, and 10 hours of internship and observation. HICAP counselors commit to 40 counseling hours each year to remain registered as a HICAP counselor with the state.

In an effort to assist larger numbers of Medicare-eligible seniors, HICAP is currently seeking interested volunteers, especially those who speak Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, or Russian fluently.

If you are interested in a rewarding volunteer service position, visit: mysourcewise.com/medicare-volunteer or contact Angelina Vallejos: (408) 350-3245.

Want to become a Sourcewise Volunteer?

A few hours of your time can make a huge difference in the lives of the largest growing segment of the population – seniors. Whether you are making a wellness call or helping to link a family member to an organization for low-income housing, you can be a vital lifeline and make a positive impact for an elder in need.

We welcome volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, including high school or college students looking to complete community service hours.

If you are interested in volunteering at Sourcewise, contact a Community Resource Specialist to receive an application: (408) 350-3200, option 1 or email community@mysourcewise.com.

1040-SR Form Created Just for You

This tax season, American taxpayers age 65 and older may benefit from using a new form created specifically to assist the senior population with filing and paying their taxes. The newly designed form 1040-SR U.S Tax Return for Seniors is available for use by seniors filing their 2019 taxes.

The creation and publication of the 1040-SR form is a result of a Congressional mandate to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The mandate from Congress was enacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which stated the IRS must allow seniors the ability to easily file their taxes without the benefit from an accountant.

During the 2020 tax season, the 1040-SR is estimated to prove beneficial to at least 10% of 150 million American taxpayers. To be eligible to use this form, seniors must be age 65 or above prior to January 2, 2020 and those who do not plan on itemizing taxes due to state and local taxes or charitable donations.

This form was specifically designed with older American taxpayers in mind as it incorporates updates based on the feedback shared by senior taxpayers, and it features the following improvements:

  • Seniors may receive much of their annual income from capital gains
  • Seniors file taxes by themselves without benefit from an accountant
  • A simpler way to configure and pay taxes, including the option to file by paper rather than electronically
  • Fillable lines for specific retirement income streams, such as Social Security benefits, Individual Retirement Account (IRA) distributions, pensions, and annuities
  • Large print for reading and comprehension
  • A cleaner space around text boxes that brightens the form, as the shading in the previous form made it difficult to use
  • Inclusion of the Standard Deductions Chart for easy reference
  • Seniors can claim a child tax credit if they care for a dependent child or grandchild

Learn more about taxpayer resources. Contact a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Staying Warm this Winter Season

The winter season is here, and the change of weather is clear. During the winter months in Santa Clara County (SCC), temperatures can range from 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures drop, it’s vital for older adults to keep warm both indoors and outdoors.

According to SCC’s Office of Emergency Management,

“Older adults often make less body heat because of slower metabolism and less physical activity”.

Hypothermia happens when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, and the symptoms can range from feeling sleepy, confused, and clumsy.

SCC’s Office of Emergency Management advises people 65 years of age or older to check the temperature in their home to ensure it’s not below 40 degrees. If it’s difficult to keep your home warm, if possible, make arrangements to stay someplace warm like a family or friend’s home. Other alternative options to keeping warm in your home is to use a sleeping bag, drink warm beverages, or wear a hat and scarf.

Stay warm and safe this winter:

  • When leaving your home, dress in layered clothing like thermal shirts, mittens, and jackets.
  • When conditions are wet, wear waterproof or insulated boots to avoid hypothermia or frostbite when walking outside.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid consuming alcohol if you will be staying outside.
  • If you cannot keep your home warm or cannot stay with a relative or friend, find a local warming center.
  • Find a partner who can check in with you regularly when temperatures are low.
  • When heating up the home, make sure to carefully follow the manufactures’ instructions for using a space heater, kitchen stove, or fireplace.

Learn more about local warming centers and winter safety tips. Contact a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

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