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What does a crisis look like?

We often think of a crisis as a sudden unexpected disaster that dramatically and noticeably effects a person’s life. However, for our most vulnerable citizens, a crisis is often much less apparent but can still lead to dramatic and negative changes to a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Fortunately, these crisis moments can often be prevented or at least quickly addresses and resolved with the right resources and attention. Unfortunately, the opposite usually happens, and a small crisis will have a domino effect that causes many other types of crises with increasing severity.

Skipping doctors appointments, trips to the grocery store and ceasing to visit family and friends because of lack of transportation or there is not a safe way to get out of the home. (no ramp/rails and/or unsafe steps)

Hoarding (whether because they believe things to be valuable/important, or because they simply cannot clean things up).

Out of medications because of the price or inability to pick up medication. This can cause chronic conditions that were previously controlled to become out of control and cause additional complications.

Being distracted and taking the wrong medicine or taking too much medicine.

Increased risk of falling or exacerbation of medical issues due to environmental hazards in the home. (Heating and cooling issues, holes in walls/floors, unstable foundation, lack of access to safe water.)

Health Insurance that does not properly cover medications and physicians.

Being taken advantage of by people. (Family members, scammers or neighbors stealing income and medications. People promising home repairs and not doing them.)

Lack of a local support network and becoming increasingly isolated and undernourished.


Preventing the Crisis

The Importance of Community

In America, we still acknowledge that “it takes a village to raise a child,” but the village is also supposed to be there as we age. Unfortunately, the village that cares for our older neighbors has almost completely vanished… until now! Bringing Back the Village aims to support the medical, functional, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of older adults by coordinating and delivering educational services and supports within their communities. We all have a role to play and this seminar will explain the village concept, mission, and purpose. You’ll learn how the village impacts the whole community and how communities can become part of the village to positively improve the lives of our communities, older adult neighbors, and our loved ones.

Taking the Madness out of Medicare

Medicare plays a critical role in the health and financial security to 60 million older people and younger people with disabilities. Yet, 1 out of 4 beneficiaries say they don’t understand their benefits. This can leave beneficiaries stuck with huge bills and medical practitioners unable to understand why their patients aren’t properly following medical advice. Medicare specialist Tabitha Justice breaks down all the confusion by going over the history of Medicare, the difference between A, B, C, and D, and the state and federal assistance programs. |

Savvy Social Security Strategies

One of the most important components in retirement planning is understanding your Social Security benefits. Yet 90% of beneficiaries say they don’t understand how it works. National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) certificate holder, Tabitha Justice, will explain when to apply for benefits, how it is calculated, tips on increasing benefits, and much more. |

How to Stop Unsolicited Medicare Calls

Is your phone ringing off the hook with unsolicited Medicare calls? Are you receiving calls prior to 8am or after 9pm? Are you on the do not call list but still getting calls? In this workshop we will learn the steps you can take to stop them. |

Safe & Healthy Aging-In-Place

Many older adults envision spending the later years of their lives aging in the comfort of a home filled with years of memories of special moments. But the decision to age in place should be made with careful thought and planning to ensue safety, accessibility, and sustainable independence. Join us as we discuss important considerations that must be made in order to protect the safety and security of you or your loved one, ease the burden of aging in place, and extend quality of life now and in the future.

Basic Estate Planning

This course will cover the most basic estate planning documents including wills and powers or attorneys. We will also discuss how easily these documents can be customized to meet your unique individual and family needs, how critical it is to start early, when you need to update your documents and how to get the most out of your estate for the highest quality of life in your senior years. |

Medication and Poison Safety for Seniors

Many individuals, especially seniors, are on medications. If medications are not used correctly, they can lead to poisonings. Yes, poisonings. Not all poisonings involve children and household products. A poisoning can happen to anyone at any time by a variety of items. The West Virginia Poison Center’s Community Outreach Coordinator will discuss medication safety, general poison safety, and information about how the West Virginia Poison Center can help you if a poisoning or medication error occurs. |

Serving Seniors, Neighbor to Neighbor

Jennifer Waggener is the founder and Executive Director of Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley, a local nonprofit organization providing free services to older adults ages 60 and over in Kanawha and Putnam counties. Faith in Action volunteers offer one-on-one assistance to seniors with things like transportation to medical appointments, access to groceries and supplies, friendly check-in phone calls, and minor home repairs and maintenance projects. With a vibrant force of more than 200 trained and vetted volunteers, the program has served more than 500 of our community’s older neighbors. This workshop provides an overview of the organization’s work for both those looking for ways to serve and those who want to know more about accessing the services offered. |

WV 211: Get Connected, Get Help

WV 211 maintains a database of health and human services, and knows just where to turn to meet your needs, even if you’re not sure what your needs are! Join Margaret O’Neal, president at United Way of Central WV, as she discusses this friendly and non-judgmental program. |

Rebuilding Together – Charleston

Rebuilding Together Charleston is a nonprofit dedicated to repairing homes, revitalizing communities, and rebuilding lives with a vision for safe homes and communities for everyone. Allison Brill, the program’s Executive Director, will talk about providing essential home repairs for residents of Kanawha and Putnam counties, at no cost to the homeowner. Rebuilding Together – Charleston’s work is completed through a volunteer-based delivery system, augmented with locally trusted contractors when needed.

Navigating the complicated system of social security disability

Navigating the Social Security Disability System is no easy task. Between the complicated rules of eligibility, confusing forms, and often quick denials; eligible beneficiaries often give up before they have a chance of winning their case. These leaves tens of thousands of potential beneficiaries in poverty and in unhealthy situations. Attorney David Pence breaks down in plain English how to understand who qualifies, how to start a claim and what is needed to win a claim. |

Community Health Coach

Moving beyond merely being safe and living longer, a vital part of any community is the health and wellness of its citizens. Dolores Brown explains the importance of reaching older adults who may be facing loneliness, pain and distress, while also implementing nutritional, social, intellectual, and spiritual goals. For local communities passionate about improving successful aging, this course teaches how to engage, challenge, and inspire older adults to implement habits and foundational practices that bolster health and wellness.

Preparing for the Crisis

Regardless of how much we try to prevent Crises, there are certain situations that come with age, and we cannot always prevent crisis moments. This set of seminars is about how to prepare for many common scenarios we face as we age.

Advanced Estate Planning for Nursing Home

Brent L. Van Deysen is the managing partner of Van Deysen Law Office, PLLC, an Elder Law and Estate Planning Practice. Mr. Van Deysen will discuss how to protect your assets from the high cost of nursing home care. He will also discuss the basic estate planning documents that everyone should have, including Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney. |

The Softer side of Estate planning

Traditional estate planning typically focuses on titled property like land, houses, and vehicles, but often overlooks the question of what happens to an individual’s personal items. As the owner of Caring Transitions of Kanawha Valley, Melody Bailey helps families who are dealing with the emotional burden of loss and with the physical burden of “stuff” after a loved one’s passing or health decline. Join us as we work through this program based on the Extension Services program from the University of Minnesota, and hear real-world strategies for reducing conflict and misunderstandings, and work to identify the real value of personal belongings that are left behind. (Hint: it’s not just monetary!) |

5 Wishes

Advance care planning is essential in case of a medical crisis that could leave you too ill to make your own health care decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you would want, if you are unable to speak for yourself and doctors and family members are making the decisions for you. Do your loved ones know YOUR wishes? Your decision is the right one but your family must know your wishes. During this workshop, you will receive a valuable resource that is “Five Wishes.” Having conversations with family members regarding end of life decisions is difficult. The hallmark of the Five Wishes program is simplicity and clarity. In this workshop, you will be able to give yourself peace of mind and give your family the gift of knowing in uncertain times. |

Identifying and Acquiring Funding Resources for Seniors

Lisa Pauley of Brookdale Charleston Gardens and Kari Peyatte of Amada Senior Care have teamed up to answer one of the most frequently asked questions. How do I afford senior care? In this presentation we will cover multiple funding options and share resources available to seniors and their families to help ease the financial burden of paying for care. We will also discuss the transition from inpatient care to in home care or community living and how that process affects your decision making and timeline. You will discover that you may have more options than you think! | Brookdale Charleston Gardens | Amada Senior Care

In the midst of Crisis

When a crisis hits, often the hardest part is staying calm and be prepared with an action plan and a list of available resources. These workshops focus on how to gather resources amid a crisis.

Thrown into the lake of caregiving, let’s swim not sink

Rarely does someone plan to become a family caregiver.  You don’ t often receive a warning message. Most of the time it occurs in an instant, with an illness, a diagnosis, or an accident.   You may feel as though you’ve been thrown in the lake with no plan, no training, and no life preserver. You are trying hard not to sink.  JT Hunter, CDP, and Care Partner Coach will provide guidance to help you feel more empowered, less alone, and more confident as you swim the journey of caregiving. |

What the heck is this thing called dementia? Let me explain.

  JT Hunter, Certified Dementia Practitioner and Care Partner Coach will explain the difference between Alzheimer’s and the many different types of dementia, how each affects the brain, and it may manifest in the person with dementia.  He will also briefly provide insight into how we as neighbors, family members,  and friends can help support the person living with dementia and their caregivers. |

The Different Levels of Care

As we age, there’s a 74% chance that we will need some sort of assisted medical care. However, there is an extreme lack of awareness about what types of care are available, how to get a referral, and who pays for that care. This course is a recorded panel discussion with many of our experts on how to be prepared and how to be a good advocate when the time comes for you or a loved one.

Hospital Discharge: What You Need to Know

When leaving a hospital after a medical stay, there’s a process meant to ensure the patient receives proper medical treatment as he returns home. However, patients and their caregivers are often not fully prepared for this transition. Jessica Litton, director of network development and relations at Stonerise Healthcare, explains how to be proactive in these situations. She covers safety in the home, durable medical equipment, discharge medication, notifying your Primary Care Provider, homecare services, and telemedicine.

Community Bridge: Connecting helpers, Resources and People in need.

One of the biggest obstacles in our community is simply knowing what programs are available and how we help when we notice a need. Community Bridge is working to bridge that gap. Community Bridge is a faith-based nonprofit in the Kanawha Valley that exists to provide resources to help people in need. Our heart is to be part of the solution, not just talk about the need for one. We are building a bridge to connect resources, agencies, churches, and businesses to help aid families and individuals to succeed. This workshop will explain how the bridge is being built, how it works, and how you can be part of it.