Featured News

Sourcewise Volunteers Continue to Support Vulnerable Seniors

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Dec
24
2020

*This is a special feature from the City of San Jose, Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services 

“The holidays can be a difficult time if you’re alone. We know that there's a lot of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation that comes with social isolation from social distancing,” said Linda Phillips, Director of Community Development at Sourcewise. “We’re hoping that these conversations with volunteers help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation for seniors.”

Sourcewise Community Resource Solutions and participating volunteers are on a mission to ensure that Santa Clara County’s senior community is being supported during this challenging holiday season.

Due to county guidelines to protect residents from the pandemic, there has been adverse effects. Many members of the vulnerable senior population are homebound, losing access to food resources and being disconnected from friends and family.

Through their Meals on Wheels (MOW) and new Ambassador program, Sourcewise is committed to not only providing homebound seniors with essential meals, but necessary companionship.

The Ambassador program connects volunteers to registered seniors for phone call conversations, helping participants feel connected during a time of isolation.

After completing online training, volunteers are asked to commit to at least one hour of phone calls a week for two months or more. Phone calls are typically 10-15 minute friendly conversations, providing participating seniors with crucial person-to-person connection.

“We know that social isolation is detrimental to our seniors,” Phillips added. “We want to make sure our volunteers are providing them with emotional support.”

Ambassador calls can be as brief as 10 minutes, but ultimately provide seniors with essential daily social interaction. Photo courtesy of Bahaa Chmait, a local eBay employee volunteer and Sourcewise Ambassador

Currently, Sourcewise provides 14 meals a week to seniors registered in their MOW program who do not have access to food.

Through these efforts, Sourcewise volunteers are supporting some of the most at-risk members of our community by providing them with the tools and support they need for their physical and mental health, while keeping safety a top priority.

Sourcewise recognizes the growing need for aid and plans to extend their volunteer programs beyond the holiday season and into 2021.

“We are going to continue as long as there’s a need to continue recruiting our ESSENTIAL volunteers for these homebound seniors,” said Phillips.

Your help is needed now. For more information on becoming a Sourcewise volunteer, go to mysourcewise.com/commitment.

It's also not too late to volunteer for the holidays! Volunteers helping nonprofits distribute food necessities are allowed under the current stay-at-home order.

Each nonprofit organization will be able to provide information about their COVID-19 compliance policies and procedures. #SiliconValleyStrong

Sign up for a volunteer opportunity (below) or submit an application to volunteer at SV Strong: siliconvalleystrong.org/volunteer/

View the City of San José article here.

#SiliconValleyStrongHeroes - Meals on Wheels Program Rolls Ahead and Expands with New San Jose Together Meals on Wheels Program

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Nov
30
2020

Published by City of San José on November 20, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.

"We value the opportunity to provide access to nutrition programs for those negatively impacted by COVID-19 through the San José Together Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs available at Sourcewise," says Vienna Lai, Emergency Nutrition Program Supervisor for Sourcewise.

Since 1973, Sourcewise has coordinated services through a network of state and local organizations to provide community resources, county services, and access to information— all under one roof.

Our #SiliconVallleyStrongHeroes are reaching vulnerable populations by connecting impacted residents with meal delivery programs like Meals on Wheels.

In partnership with the City of San José through the Collective Impact Grant (CIG) Sourcewise has expanded their Meals on Wheels offering in the Silicon Valley capital with a new program - San José Together Meals on Wheels (SJTMoW).

The expanded program focuses on increasing access to home-delivered meals for San José adults, 18-years and older, who have been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19 and older adults 60 and older who meet the eligibility criteria.

The program projects increasing access to meals in the city’s areas experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 cases while targeting the diverse communities raising awareness and providing nutritious food safely through meal delivery.

Our #SiliconValleyStrongHeroes are collaborating with local partners throughout San José to promote the newly created San José Together Meals on Wheels program through outreach efforts and informational materials developed in four languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.

During the holiday periods in November and December, SJTMoW will deliver meals to program participants ensuring a level of food securities for these at-risk communities.

"We look forward to providing meals to our community during these trying times" continues Lai.

If you would like to participate in San José Together Meals on Wheels, please visit www.mysourcewise.com, where you can find an online intake form on their website or connecting with their services by calling (408) 350-3200.

View the original City of San José article here.

Service Provides Quality of Life Line

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Dec
10
2017

Sourcewise has been a blessing for South County seniors in Morgan Hill and Gilroy

Published in The Mercury News Sunday, December 10, 2017

By Elliott Almond

Autumn’s slanting light bathes the South County hillsides in a golden glow to create a sense of tranquility at arm’s length from the bustle of Silicon Valley.

The pastoral image has drawn folks to Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy as the Bay Area’s population exploded over the past two decades. But the open spaces also can be isolating for the elderly as they begrudgingly hand over their car keys and the California tradition of independence.

“When they’re in a rural area, they become more vulnerable,” said Aneliza Del Pinal, a planner for Sourcewise, a Santa Clara County organization dedicated to improving seniors’ lives.

Driver Emily Escalante, helps Mavis Roe, 85, out of the Sourcewise van as she and Tom Bambino, 93, make their way to the Morgan Hill Senior Center.

In the past year, Sourcewise has become a lifeline for almost 50 seniors by providing free transportation Monday through Friday to Morgan Hill and Gilroy senior centers. With 11,500 area residents at least 65 years old, the San Jose-based group is trying to address a growing need that could easily be overlooked in the less populated basement of the county.

“They saved my life, really,” client Tom Bambino said of giving him mobility.

Bambino, 93, was one of four senior passengers during a recent morning ride-along in a lime green van called “Speedy Shuttle.” Good-natured driver Emily Escalante collected each commuter at their home to take them to the Morgan Hill Senior Center.

The shuttle has become part of the daily routine for the men and women who enjoy getting out of the house to spend part of the day mingling with others.

Mavis Roe, 85, left, and Larry Garner, 62, right, chat while being driven to the Morgan Hill Senior Center

“I’m going to eat, to gossip, to play games and do puzzles,” said Larry Garner, Escalante’s first pick up on this day.

Sourcewise currently has a van and a seven-seat passenger bus to ferry the elderly to the two senior centers in the morning and home in the afternoon.

The service launched in April has a waiting list of 18 seniors who want to take the shuttles. Ten more candidates are being evaluated to see if they qualify.

The need is amplified in sprawling communities lacking in city-like public transportation networks. Caltrain, for example, services South County only in the morning and evening. The Valley Transportation Authority’s light rail doesn’t extend that far south. Sourcewise executives found some people relied on taxis or long bus trips to get to the senior centers.

Wish Book readers can support the program with donations that help to pay for vehicle maintenance, drivers’ salaries and increasing the service with additional vehicles.

Transportation Specialist Emily Escalante heads out to pick-up a client in a Sourcewise van.

In a disposable society where the aging often find themselves disconnected, the seemingly simple task of transportation has potential long-term benefits.  A correlation between health and loneliness gained attention this year after Brigham Young University researchers found that social isolation increased the risk of premature death by about 30 percent. In another study, scientists reported that feeling lonely is as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The shuttle service offsets the sense of desolation in a community where bedroom housing tracts butt against farmland.

The socializing begins in the van for the four seniors who are Escalante’s regulars. The driver crisscrosses the southern edge of Coyote Valley from a mobile home park to a housing tract to Bambino’s ranch-style home along Morgan Hill’s Wine Trail.

Using a cane, Bambino ambles to the van with hearty hellos for everyone. He wears a U.S. Army veterans cap and carts along his acerbic New York humor.

Bambino owns a 2007 Cadillac but keeps his trips to the pharmacy and grocery store to a minimum.

“I try to steer clear of going out at night, in the rain and heavy traffic,” he said. “I’m not all there anymore.”

Bambino, who lives with his brother and sister-in-law, used to attend Elks Club events when he was more mobile.  The van service allows him to remain socially engaged at the seniors center, which offers a variety of activities at Centennial Recreation Center across from the city’s skate park.

Carmine Bambino appreciates the transport service because he is a full-time caregiver to his ailing wife and doesn’t have time to take his younger brother across town.

Sourcewise officials hope they can expand the program to help relieve overstressed caregivers even more. They’d like to offer transportation to medical appointments and shopping, said Rosie Jimenez, Sourcewise’s director of South County services.

Tom Bambino, 92, has his seatbelt fastened before heading to the Morgan Hill Senior Center.

The group also is investigating the possibility of a route extension to Santa Teresa light rail for seniors who use services located in the north county.

But for now, the main draw is the connectivity to the world outside of the home for Mary El Masry, 86, who never drove. Her husband, who died two years ago, did all the chauffeuring.

Living alone in Morgan Hill, El Masry was “feeling sorry for myself,” while stranded at her house.

Then she found Sourcewise.

“I’m so thrilled this service is offered because it really is a lifeline for her,” El Masry’s daughter Lorna said.

During the first visit to the senior center, El Masry breathed in the landscape and thought,  “Oh, no, I’m old but I don’t feel that old.”

Then she met other patrons and regained her sense of vibrancy. The Englishwoman stays in contact with friends and family in the United Kingdom by Skype. But too often their tales of woe bring her down.

Then she boards “Speedy Shuttle” with its neon colors and catches up with fellow passengers who enjoy the outings.

“I come here and it’s so bright,” El Marsy said of the center.

Escalante, the driver, often hears such spirited comments when making her rounds.

It never fails to bring a smile to her face.

Sourcewise's colorful van seats seven. The organization hopes to add vehicles and drivers to expand the popular service.

View The Mercury news article here.

Press Releases

Sourcewise 2020-2021 Grantees Adapt to Provide Services During the Pandemic

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Nov
25
2020

Santa Clara, November 25: Sourcewise aims to serve the community through funding services that are essential to the lives of seniors and caregivers throughout Santa Clara County. Sourcewise awarded $2,951,939 in Older American Act funding to organizations to provide critical services. According to Santa Clara County, Public Health, 84.9% of COVID-19 deaths are adults over the age of 60, even though only 14.9% of the same age group have tested positive. As your risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 increases with age, our grantees have adapted to adhere to the COVID-19 social distancing protocol and developed remote service delivery models aimed to ensure the safety of older adults and caregivers.

Alzheimer's Association supports people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, their caregivers, and community members by providing support services virtually by video and phone-based to suit the pandemic, including their 24/7 Helpline 1-800-272-3900, which serves as a great place for information. Visit alz.org/norcal or email info@alz.org.

Avenidas helps older adults age in place and supports family caregivers. Although in-person services are closed, Avenidas continues to deliver services through their Enrichment Centers providing Zoom classes, and their Health Center providing services via phone and Zoom. Find information on their Enrichment Programs, Village, Care Partners, or to volunteer by visiting avenidas.org/programs, emailing info@avenidas.org, or calling (650) 289-5400 or (650) 248-6839.

Silicon Valley Healthy Aging Partnership (SVHAP) works with local partners to promote health and wellness to the aging population and offers free classes that range from fitness to health education. SVHAP is converting remote classes to video and now offer loaned tablets for older adults to participate. For more information on SVHAP and the available classes, visit svhap.org or contact Christine Pham at CPham@sunnyvale.ca.gov.

Community Services Agency provides critical support services for residents of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills. Case management services are being conducted primarily by phone; in-person contact is limited. Find additional information at csacares.org or call (650) 968-0837; for rental assistance, email renthelp@csacares.org.

Live Oak Adult Day Services provides a specialized program for frail elderly dependent adults. The program includes socialization and stimulating activities, like bi-weekly check-in phone calls to each family in their program, a remote version of their day program via Zoom, and mailing out art supplies and art projects. For more information, visit liveoakadultdaycare.org, call (408) 971-8963, or email liveoak1147minnesota@gmail.com.

San Jose State University, Timpany Center provides aquatic and land-based activities that target the promotion of physical health and wellness in individuals with disabilities, obesity, and/or advanced age through multi-agency involvement. The Timpany Center provides online classes to serve participants that may need more specialized classes via Zoom. For more information, visit sjsu.edu/timpany/programs/land-fitness.php or email jennifer.schachner@sjsu.edu.

The Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) of Santa Clara County has transformed indoor dining to curbside pickup and home-delivered meals. For more information, visit sccgov.org/sites/ssa/foodassistance/snp/Pages/senior_nutrition.aspx or call (408) 975-4860.

Despite service delivery being different during the pandemic, these organizations continue to provide critical services in a safe manner. Our grantees allow us to better serve our community by funding services that provide support to protect and improve the quality of life of seniors, caregivers, and persons with functional impairments. View the 2020-2021 grantees on the Sourcewise website by visiting: mysourcewise.com/grantees.

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Contact info: Elizabeth Brown

Director, Information & Awareness

(408) 557-4701

ebrown@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 www.mysourcewise.com.

Attend Sourcewise Virtual Community Education Presentations to Learn More About 2021 Medicare Updates

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Oct
09
2020

Santa Clara, October 8, 2020: Beginning October 15, 2020, the Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) launches its 2020 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Educational series. HICAP provides one-on-one confidential, free, and unbiased counseling for the open enrollment period for individuals to change or modify Medicare insurance plans.

Each year, there could be new changes to copayments, allowable medications, physician networks, and more. HICAP counselors will be available to help individuals make informed decisions about their health benefits.

“Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 through December 7 for people who already have Medicare. It’s a good time to see if your drug plan or Medicare Advantage HMO is still right for you. You can then make changes for the upcoming year. HICAP can help you evaluate your options, like finding a cost-effective Medicare drug plan,” explains Marcelo Espiritu, Director of Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program.

During AEP, Medicare beneficiaries should be aware of:

  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs and formulary changes for 2021
  • Medicare Advantage Plan costs and benefits for 2021
  • Enrollment timing and rights to change plans, including the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment from January through March each year

This year, HICAP is exploring new ways to provide important AEP updates to the community.

“We [HICAP] continue to offer counseling sessions over the phone and in some cases by video conference if you download the Microsoft Teams Application. Webinars during the AEP will be offered and hosted by Sourcewise and in partnership with various Santa Clara County community groups. Visit the Sourcewise Online Event Calendar for a list of AEP webinars” Marcelo continues to share.

Register today to attend one of the webinars.

All year-round, you can receive personalized Medicare counseling and community education services. HICAP counselors help individuals, their families, and caregivers transition into Medicare and solve other health insurance issues that may occur throughout the year.

Contact info: Information & Awareness

(408) 350-3200, option 1

community@mysourcewise.com

Stay safe during Excessive Heat Advisory and Evacuation orders

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Aug
21
2020

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.