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					                                                                                          December 2010/January 2011

              Reinventing Ourselves at Any Age
                                    BY PAMELA B. SMITH

A      husband whose life has been all
       strict routine, suddenly loses his
wife and ends up flying to Japan to
                                                                                   self. There are many unexpected
                                                                                   things in the movie, as in life itself,”
                                                                                   she says. “As you age, the future gets
visit places she had longed to see. His                                            shorter so there’s not as much to look
world changes. This is a brief descrip-                                            forward to as when you were young,
tion of “Cherry Blossoms,” the third                                               but if you allow yourself to live in the
of six films featured next year as part                                            moment and be open to new possi-
of Coming of Age: San Diego’s First                                                bilities, there’s always room for joy.”
International Film Festival.                                                           Lonnie, 68, doesn’t believe in be-
   On the second Thursday of each                                                  ing “over the hill.” When she turned
month (January through June) one fes-                                              60, she started to feel “invisible” and
tival film will be shown free at 6 p.m.                                            decided she wanted to write about
at the Museum of Photographic Arts                                                 it. She has been reinventing herself at
in Balboa Park. Each of the six films                                              various points throughout her life; no
will explore issues of special impor-                                              reason to act differently now. She has
tance to older adults, but would be                                                an excellent role model in her 92-
valuable for all ages to see. The festi-                                           year-old mother, Mickey Burstein,
val will present a positive image of the                                           who she says is “still a pistol,” and
diverse lives of older adults.                                                     was one of the writers/performers in
   “Everyone’s experience is a little      LONNIE HEWITT ON HER 65TH BIRTHDAY. “Tales from the Far Side of Fifty.”
different,” says Lonnie Hewitt, a lo- (PHOTO TAKEN BY HER HUSBAND, MAURICE.)           Born in Brooklyn, Lonnie worked
cal writer who from 2005 to 2009                                                   in New York as a lyricist/playwright,
produced “Tales from the Far Side of Fifty,” a popular tour- collaborating with Jerry Blatt, musical director for Bette
ing show that spotlighted some of the unique experiences Midler, on Sesame Street songs and musicals. She moved
of local woman between the ages of 55 and 90. She was to San Diego in 1978 nearer to her mother who was living
invited to be on the committee developing the festival and in La Jolla, and she met her husband, Maurice. Lonnie
to select a film that resonated with her; she picked “Cherry adapted her writing skills to magazine articles and books,
Blossoms,” a 2008 film by German director Doris Dorrie. including “Walking San Diego” and “The Little Red Writing
   “You must be able to adapt as you get older. Things        Book: A Practical Guide to Writing Your Own Life Story.”
change. That is what the ‘Cherry Blossoms’ is about, un-
expected changes and the possibility of reinventing your-                                      (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)
(CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE)                                               March 10 -- “Cherry Blossoms” (2008): German di-
   The second book came from her experiences teaching a              rector Doris Dorrie’s film is a story of aging and rebirth.
life-story writing class for the San Diego Community Col-               April 14 -- “Innocence” (2001): Re-ignited love be-
lege District. She had written her mother’s life story to share      tween a couple who were lovers in Belgium as teenagers
with their family. “I did this not as a writer, but as a daughter.   and who discover each other in their late 60’s in Australia.
I sat and listened to her for hours. When I was finished, I             May 12 -- “Harry and Tonto” (1973): An elderly man
said everyone should be doing this, sharing their stories. It        (Art Carney), evicted from his apartment in New York City,
prevents you from leaving the planet without anyone ever             moves in with his son and family on Long Island, and then
knowing who you really were.”                                        escapes to the road with his orange cat, Tonto.
   Teaching life-story classes helped Lonnie confront her own           June 9 -- “UP” (2010): Animated. By tying thousands of
prejudices about older adults, she says. “A small white-haired       balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out
woman gets up and you think you know who she is, but then            to fulfill his dream to see the wilds of South America.
she reads her story and it’s pretty wild!”                              To reserve a free ticket, visit sdcomingofage.com.
   While doing the classes, she envisioned a stage perfor-
mance using the voices of older adults, but it wasn’t until she      AGING SUMMIT VIDEO ON WEB SITE
ran into a former student who revealed she had been home-
less, that Lonnie pushed ahead with this project. She invited
a number of women she knew, including several former writ-
ing students, to her home for a special workshop. Together
                                                                     T   he video from this year’s Aging Summit on Technology
                                                                         is available on the Network of Care Web site. The video
                                                                     from the June event includes Dr. Gary Small, UCLA Center
they wrote about and shared important elements of their lives,       on Aging, talking about the effects of technology on our
out of which Lonnie created “Tales from the Far Side of              brains. Visit www.sandiego.networkofcare.org/aging, click
Fifty,” a blend of stories and songs.                                on “Announcements & Special Reports” to find the link.
   “There were different pieces, some very funny and some
not funny at all,” she says. “The women revealed some things
that even their friends didn’t know about, things that had
                                                                     NATIONAL CALL CENTER UPDATED
been completely suppressed. And what the show expressed
was that no matter what happens in your life, you can change
and can adapt and survive.”                                          T    he Eldercare Locator, a free nationwide call center for
                                                                          older adults and caregivers seeking access to resources
                                                                     in their community, has geared up for the boom of aging
   The show ran at different sold-out venues around the
county. “It was an amazing experience for the women in it            Americans. This service from the federal Administration on
and the audiences,” she says. “And maybe we’ll do another            Aging is a toll-free number where you can find the local Area
version some day.”                                                   Agency on Aging (such as AIS) and other resources in each
   Lonnie continues with new writing projects and is always          ZIP code. The Eldercare Locator is particularly useful for
on the lookout for adventures. Above the desk in her office          family members who live away from their relatives. An infor-
is a sign that reads: “Some things get better with age.”             mation specialist can connect them to a local agency in their
   Coming of Age: San Diego’s First International Film               selected area. These specialists also answer a variety of re-
Festival will be held free at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday          source questions. Information is available in different lan-
of each month from January through June at the Museum of             guages. There’s also a newly designed Web site,
Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. The festival is being spon-        www.eldercare.gov. To access the Eldercare Locator, call
sored by the SDSU Gerontology Student Association and                (800) 677-1116 (from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Mon-Fri).
Alvarado Hospital. Here are the films:
   Jan. 13 -- “The World’s Fastest Indian” (2005): A                  FUNDRAISER FOR EDGEMOOR ARTS
New Zealand man dreams of taking his 1920 Indian motor-
cycle to the Bonneville Salt Flats to see how fast it will go.
When heart disease threatens his life, he mortgages his house,
takes a ship to Los Angeles and heads for Utah. He goes on
                                                                      A     special art therapy program -- Healing Hearts at
                                                                             Edgemoor -- will benefit from a fun-for-all
                                                                      fundraiser, called “Arts and Hearts,” set for for 11 a.m.
to break six world speed records. True story.                         to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at Edgemoor, 655 Park
   Feb. 10 -- “A Song For Martin” (2001): Martin, a con-              Center Dr., Santee 92071. Please join us for food, en-
ductor, and Barbara, a violinist, meet and marry in middle-           tertainment and more! Create your own art. Grab a brush.
age, but soon after, they find out that Martin has Alzheimer’s        Get inspired. For additional information, visit:
disease. This moving story is considered one of the most              www.edgemoorevents.moonfruit.com.
realistic depictions of caregiving on film.
                 H ONORING
                                      RSVP: LEAD WITH EXPERIENCE

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH                                             to remain active and fit throughout the year. Older adults
                                                                   also have the opportunity to compete in multiple Olympic
   Trudi Lang, nominated                                           style sporting events.
by Laurie Switzer from                                                The primary event for SDSGA is the San Diego Senior
the volunteer office at the                                        Olympic Games, held annually in September. At the 2010
USS Midway Museum, is                                              games, more than 1,400 athletes took part in 26 different
our RSVP Volunteer of the                                          events. Since 1995, competitors in the San Diego Senior
Month. Trudi is a valuable                                         Olympic Games have gone on to compete in the National
member of the museum’s                                             Senior Games Championships. Track and field competitors
Safety Department. Her                                             over the age of 70 set two world records at the 2010 San
demeanor and experience                                            Diego Senior Olympic Games.
in safety training make a                                             SDSGA is branching out to host the North County Senior
perfect fit for her role as                                        Games. This event is co-sponsored by the City of Oceanside
Safety Training Officer and                                        and will take place next May. The regular Senior Olympics
Safety Lead. She has been                                          will continue in September in San Diego.
certified as a CPR/First                                              To continue providing these great opportunities for se-
Aid instructor for Midway              TRUDI LANG                  niors, SDSGA needs volunteers to help with grant writing,
staff and volunteers. Her                                          letter writing, multimedia press releases, making calls, serv-
flight attendant background, with training in emergencies and      ing on a committee or being on the board of directors.
crowd control, was excellent preparation for her current as-          To learn more about San Diego Senior Games
signment. “Since her first day on the Midway, Trudi has es-        Association’s volunteer opportunities, contact RSVP at (858)
tablished a reputation for professionalism with personality,       505-6399.
which is echoed by her peers, her manager and her students,”
says Switzer. Trudi also devotes time to Special Olympics          VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
and Jane Lane’s Kids, plus a retired United Airlines flight
attendant’s charity, providing free temporary housing to fami-
                                                                      Public, nonprofit and health agencies seek volunteers in
lies of children who come to San Diego for special medical
                                                                   their communities. Potential volunteers can call RSVP at (858)
procedures. Congratulations, Trudi. Your dedication to vol-
                                                                   505-6399 for information on the following opportunities:
unteering is making a difference in San Diego County.
                                                                      Oceanside Police Department needs senior volunteer
                                                                   patrol participants.
SPOTLIGHT: SENIOR OLYMPICS                                            Veterans Museum & Memorial Center needs docents
                                                                   and receptionists.
   San Diego Senior Games Association (SDSGA) was                     Habitat for Humanity seeks administrative assistants,
founded in 1988 and helped organize the California State           construction volunteers, cashiers, greeters, donation pick-
Senior Games Association in 1991. SDSGA is a nonprofit,            up drivers, and at-home phone workers.
community based organization whose mission is to encour-              County of San Diego Department of Parks and Rec-
age older adults to carry on vigorous lives by developing          reation needs community center volunteers, park docent/
and maintaining high levels of physical and mental fitness         naturalists, park patrol volunteers, and recreational services
through regular participation in sports, fitness and health edu-   volunteers.
cation activities. SDSGA offers monthly healthy lifestyle lun-        American Cancer Society needs drivers and cancer in-
cheons to educate and motivate Senior Olympic participants         formation volunteers.
                                                                 attend a four-day training Jan. 20, 21, 27 and 28. Once
                                                                 trained and approved, peer educators will be assigned to
                                                                 lead Healthier Living workshops at community sites around
                                                                 the county. This is a great opportunity for adults age 50+ to
                                                                 be involved with a state-of-the-art wellness program. Peer
                                                                 educators will receive modest financial compensation.
                                                                    If you are interested in applying to be a peer educator,
                                                                 contact Charlotte Tenney at (858) 495-5230 or

                                                                 BALANCE CLASS AT CHALLENGE CENTER

                                                                 T   he Challenge Center is now offering balance and condi-
                                                                      tioning classes every Thursday with the help of physical
                                                                 therapist Tiffany Piquilloud. Cost is $5 each week. There
                                                                 will be a supervised routine including stretching, aerobic and
                                                                 circuit exercises on the center’s universally accessible equip-
                                                                 ment. An evaluation may be needed for those who have never
                                                                 been to the Challenge Center, 5540 Lake Park Way, La
 THE IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES (IHSS) PUBLIC                   Mesa 91942. To register or for more information, call (619)
 AUTHORITY RECENTLY HOSTED ITS ANNUAL INDIVIDUAL                 667-8644 and ask for Rebecca or Karen.

                                                                 T   he 2011 San Diego Eldercare Directory has been pub-
                                                                     lished and is available in local libraries, senior centers
                                                                 and other locations. This directory has tips for caregivers, as
                                                                 well as a listing of resources. The publication is produced

T    he Senior Companion program, coordinated by Lutheran
     Social Services, is seeking participants particularly in
the communities of Chula Vista, Encinitas, Escondido, Mira
                                                                 by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s SignOnSanDiego.
                                                                   For more information about getting a copy of the direc-
                                                                 tory, call Robert Kitson at (619) 293-1554. Expect a $10
Mesa, Oceanside, Poway, Santee and Vista. Senior Com-            charge for those who are not San Diego Union-Tribune
panions are older adults (55+) who receive a small stipend       subscribers.
($2.65/hour) to visit with less mobile or homebound seniors
for at least 15 hours per week. Monthly training is provided     LOW-COST AUTO INSURANCE PROGRAM
and required. For more information, contact Rock Roades
at jroades@lsssc.org or call (858) 483-4007.

                                                                 C    alifornia law requires that all vehicle drivers be insured.
                                                                       The State Department of Insurance offers a low-cost
                                                                 automobile insurance program for income-eligible adults who
                                                                 also meet the following criteria: have a good driving record,

J  oin with AIS and be part of a national effort to offer the
    “Healthier Living” program, an award-winning project
(also called the “Chronic Disease Self-Management Pro-
                                                                 are 19 or older, have been continuously licensed to drive for
                                                                 at least three years, own a vehicle valued at $20,000 or less
                                                                 and meet the income eligibility requirements.
gram”) that has been scientifically shown to improve                The income requirements are a total household income of
wellness. Designed by Stanford University and taught by          $27,075 or less for one person; $36,425 for two people;
older adults, the program is for people with diabetes, arthri-   $45,775 for three people; or $55,125 for four people. The
tis, depression, heart disease, or any other ongoing health      annual premium per car in San Diego County with this policy
condition. Classes meet once a week for six weeks, and           is $264.
have two peer educators teaching 15 to 20 participants.             For additional information about the California Low Cost
   We are recruiting older adults who have chronic health        Auto Insurance policy and to see if you qualify, visit
conditions to lead the workshops. Accepted applicants will       insurance.ca.gov/lowcost or call (866) 602-8861.
                                          JAN. 5, WEDNESDAY                          with the “Senior Expo: Protect Your-
 DEC./JAN. ISSUE                                                                     self & Your Wallet” event at the Serra
 This issue of Aging & Indepen-           10 A.M.                                    Mesa/Kearny Mesa Branch Library,
 dence is for December and January.       A free four-week computer class for        9005 Aero Dr., San Diego 92123.
 The next bulletin will be published in   beginners will be offered at Bayside       Registration required; call (800) 510-
 February. The calendar welcomes          Community Center, 2202 Comstock            2020 and press “4” twice. Leave your
 your contributions. Just send items      St., San Diego 92111. To register, con-    name, phone number and say you want
 by the10th of each month preced-         tact Connie Curran at (858) 278-0771.      to attend “Jan. 21.”
 ing the issue date to: Denise G.
 Nelesen, editor, Aging & Indepen-        JAN. 5, WEDNESDAY
 dence Services, 9335 Hazard Way,
                                                                                     JAN. 25, TUESDAY
 San Diego, CA 92123-1222. Or fax         2 TO 5 P.M.                                1 TO 2:30 P.M.
 to: (858) 495-5080. Or email to       “Taking Care of Business: Money and           HICAP, the Health Insurance Counsel-
 denise.nelesen@sdcounty.ca.gov.       Legal Matters” will be presented at the       ing and Advocacy Program, will be
                                       Lawrence Family Jewish Community              offering a presentation on Medicare and
                                       Center, 4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla          various health plans, including Part D
                                       92037. Learn what documents to have           prescription drug plans, at Belden Vil-
DEC. 8, WEDNESDAY                      in place and what happens when your           lage, 7777 Belden St., San Diego
10 A.M. TO NOON                        papers are not in order. Reservations         92117. For more information, call
An orientation for care partners and required. Call (858) 637-3223 or reg-           HICAP at (800) 434-0222.
family members of persons newly di- ister online at www.jfssd.org/aging.
agnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will
be held at the Carlsbad Senior Center, JAN. 13, THURSDAY
                                                                                     FEB. 5, SATURDAY
799 Pine Ave., Carlsbad 92008. To                                                    11 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
register, call (858) 492-4400.         6 P.M.                                        “Arts and Hearts,” a day of art, enter-
                                       The movie, “The World’s Fastest In-           tainment and food for the whole family,
                                       dian,” will be the first in a series of       will be held in front of Edgemoor, 655
DEC. 14, TUESDAY                       international films on aging to be pre-       Park Center Dr., Santee 92071. There
10 TO 11 A.M.                          sented on the second Thursday of each         will be several Valentine’s Day gifts for
“Healing through the Holidays” will be month at the Museum of Photographic           sale. This event is a fundraiser for
presented at the Sharp memorial Out- Arts in Balboa Park. To reserve a seat,         Edgemoor’s “Healing Hearts” art
patient Pavilion, Classroom B, 3075 visit www.sdcomingofage.com.                     therapy program. For information, visit
Health Center Dr., San Diego 92123.                                                  www.edgemoorevents.moonfruit.org.
Learn how to cope with the loss of a JAN. 21, FRIDAY
loved one during the holiday season.
Registration required; call (800) 827- 11 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M.
4277 or visit www.sharp.com.           Learn physical and financial self-defense      ADVISORY COUNCIL
                                                                                      The AIS Advisory Council will meet
                                                                                      at noon Monday, Dec. 13 and
THANKS FOR MAKING MOM MEAL DELIVERY SPECIAL                                           Jan.10, at the new AIS office, 5560
                                                                                      Overland Ave., Suite 310, San Di-
                                                                                      ego 92123.
W     e want to thank the following nutrition sites for making this year’s Thanks-
       giving MOM event so successful, serving to more than 1,000 homebound
seniors: Senior Community Centers, Carlsbad Senior Center, Peninsula Shep-            CA SENIOR LEGISLATURE
herd Center, Borrego Springs Senior Center, Fallbrook Senior Center, George           The San Diego CSL meets at 10
Waters Nutrition Center and the Alpine Community Center. We also applaud the          a.m. on the second Monday of the
many elementary school students who created placemats! And thanks to the              month at AIS.
Sheriff’s Department, East Mesa Division, for help with the food.

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