Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, September 27, 2020
As we age, our needs in life change. As a result so do the resources we may need. But how do you locate the resources you need to remain healthy and happy?
We are very fortunate to have many amazing resources within our northern Nevada community; however, many are not widely known.
That’s why the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series is hosting a seminar to address these questions, using panelists and audience participation to identify lesser known resources in the community.
“You won’t want to miss this month’s seminar as experts share the resources you probably don’t know about and should,” said seminar co-host Annette Junell. “And, in the true sense of community and sharing, we are going to ask the audience to share resources others may not know about.”
Junell said the idea for a seminar on finding untapped resources for senior adults came about in part from feedback from past attendees.
“I can’t tell you how many times attendees have come up to me and said, ‘I wish I had known about that resource in the community. It would have been so much help to me and my family,’” she said.
Junell related the story of Joan B, a past seminar attendee to illustrate her point.
Joan started coming to the seminars four years ago after a friend recommended she attend. Apprehensive at first, Joan was curious when her friend told her about how many others attend and how much she was learning in areas she hadn’t even thought about.
“Joan shared with us a little about her journey over the past four years,” Junell said. “We didn’t fully appreciate the impact the resources being discovered and shared at seminars was having on others.”
Joan spoke of the loss of her husband and learning where to get grief counseling and emotional support as a result of attending a seminar. She learned about educational and social activities to become re-engaged in life and a new hobby she found as a result. She found volunteer opportunities and met some wonderful new friends. She discovered financial and legal help that she could understand.
“Joan also talked about the sponsors at the seminars and what a huge help they have been connecting her with resources,” Junell said.
Joan recently sold her large home with a lifetime of belongings and moved into a senior living community with confidence.
“She told us that she never planned to move,” Junell said. “But, she learned about the many living options available by speaking to representatives at the seminars from the various communities, including people living in the communities. That gave her confidence to make the move.”
To prepare for the upcoming seminar, the hosts sent a survey to more than 500 recent attendees to learn what areas of interest people had concerning untapped resources for older adults.
Some topics for discussion identified in the survey were expected. Others surprised even the organizers.
Some of the repeat topics included transportation, meals, dealing with depression, general care, financial assistance and in-home care.
Socialization – where to meet people – and “keeping the brain active” also ranked high with survey respondents.
Several mentioned the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Nevada, Reno, as a valuable resource for senior adults.
“I think the folks that come to the Retired Living Truth Seminars would be same folks interested in OLLI” one respondent wrote. “I joined OLLI a year ago. They are a community of seniors here in northern Nevada interested in lifelong learning. Classes are different from the Truth Series. I don’t see overlap in content.”
While many of the issues seniors face can be daunting, there is help if you know where to look and who to ask.
Asking is the first step, according to Brianna Morrow, one of the panelists who will provide insight into available resources. Morrow, a lifelong resident of the Reno area, is a care coordinator with Prominence Health Plan.
“I’m local so I’m working with local people and local resources,” Morrow said. “I handle our Medicare population, connecting that population with local resources. I handle all social aspects for individuals that may have needs.
“We are constantly finding resources when people ask for help. People just don’t think to ask. I might not have the answer right off the top of my head, but I can find resources.”
Working with seniors, she knows that people push back sometimes because of concern that others may not have their best interests at heart. She acknowledged that knowing who to trust is important and not to offer too many personal details until you’re sure of the source.
“Knowing who to trust is a big deal,” Morrow said. “Try not to share too much information.”
Morrow listed transportation as a huge hurdle for many seniors. They can’t get to their appointments because they don’t have transportation.
She said there are several volunteer organizations which provide transportation to seniors for medical appointments, shopping, banking, and other similar activities.
What many don’t know is that some Medicare Advantage plans include transportation benefits. With annual enrollment coming shortly, she recommended checking out the options.
“At the end of the day, we’re just all looking to help our community” Morrow said. “We just want people to ask questions. There are people available to help.”
For those interested in learning more, the seminar titled The Truth about Finding Untapped Resources, will be held October 8 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. via Zoom or call in. The webinar is free to seniors and their guests.
Registration can be made online at www.RetiredLivingTruthSeries.com or by calling (775) 432-6398 to receive Zoom Webinar access & instructions.
The seminar is part of the ongoing Retired Living Truth Seminar Series organized by Annette & Brett Junell. These free 90-minute educational seminars are held monthly and designed to help people make informed decisions.
Next seminar in the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series:
– November 17: The Truth about Who Should be on Your Team
This month’s webinar is sponsored by:
– Kindred Hospice (775) 825-5008
Maintaining independence while taking control of illness or disease
– Prominence Health Plan (800) 880-7457
Healthcare the way it should be – personal, innovative and responsive.