HBCOA 714.374.1524 • SENIOR CENTER IN CENTRAL PARK 714.536.5600 • HOAG HEALTH & WELLNESS PAVILION 714.374.1578 • TRANSPORTATION 714.374.1742
Donations for HB Seniors During Coronavirus Outbreak
We are a Non-Profit Organization
Please join the Huntington Beach Council on Aging, a wonderful group representing seniors in Huntington Beach. Your donation to Huntington Beach Seniors during the Coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak.
Please Help by Donating!
The HBCOA is a Non-profit 501(c) 3 Corporation, exists solely to provide programs and services that are of public benefit (Tax ID#51-0179431). Often these programs and services are not otherwise provided by local, state, or federal entities. While we are able to earn a profit, our earnings must be retained by the organization for its future provision of programs and services.
Simply click on the button follow the simple instructions on the proceeding page. Please donate a cash amount that you feel you can afford. If you are applying for membership, please go to our membership page by clicking here.
As you can imagine, COVID-19 has severely impacted many seniors from all walks of life, and the demand for assistance is rising. Although the doors of the Senior Center in Central Park are closed to the public, there’s considerable activity behind them as the staff handle the urgent needs of the growing number of vulnerable seniors. Care Managers are very busy handling concerns associated with nutrition, necessary supplies, or transportation. This is an extraordinary feat, since most of the centers volunteers are unable to participate due to state mandated safer at home orders. In addition, Meals on Wheels OC (formerly SeniorServ) continues to provide nutrition for hundreds of seniors weekly in a speedy and safe drive-by process in the Center’s parking lot. In April, MOWOC provided approximately 50,000 frozen meals throughout their sites. The work done at the Center is with the dedication of the City’s Community Services Department.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Huntington Beach Council On Aging has created a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Donations to this fund will be used specifically to help local seniors with what they need right NOW: meals, groceries, paper and cleaning supplies, incontinence products, transportation to doctors, etc. The most recent donation to the fund was from the Center’s Handycrafters! $6,000 was raised through their sales, and they wanted the donation to assist in the response to the epidemic.
For the past few weeks, the City has been working to form OneHB Connects – a partnership between the City of Huntington Beach and a collaborative group consisting of the Lutheran Disaster Response, Care Connections Network, Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, and Waste Not OC – created to identify and meet the needs of seniors facing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its formation, OneHB Connects has provided over 3,000 meals per week to homebound seniors; developed a senior pen-pal program; and provided referrals to critical senior care services. Working with the HBCOA, donations from the COVID-19 Relief Fund were recently used to purchase meals for over 715 seniors, which were distributed through OneHB Connects.
We continue with a special edition of the Outlook on Active Aging. Inside these pages are valuable resources and other information regarding COVID-19. A new date for the golf tournament, volunteer updates, and ways that you can help contribute to the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Community Engagement Program
As we all know, the current quarantine situation has had a tremendous impact on our most vulnerable populations- our senior citizens and those who must isolate at home for health reasons. On the reverse of that there are lots of school–aged children at home doing on-line learning as well as adults who have been furloughed at home and are looking for activities to pass the time. The Huntington Beach Fire Department Outreach team has created a program that touches both of these populations. Research shows that taking the time to handwrite anything – from letters to thank you cards – can provide physical and mental benefits such as improved memory and lower levels of anxiety.
What better time than now to unite local seniors citizens with their community to brighten each other’s day in a new program called Senior Pen Pal Connection. The goal is to provide much needed touch points with our seniors and give the children (or adults) in the community an opportunity to help someone who is isolated at home. Not to mention who does not love receiving a letter in the mail.
If you or any member of your family is interested in volunteering to be matched with a pen pal, please send an email to Lorene Ernst at
Awareness of Coronavirus Scams
Research reports that with age comes a higher risk of being victimized by a scam. Individual, contextual, and social factors such as being more trusting, a decline in cognition, social isolation, and lack of info contribute to a unique set of vulnerabilities. Sadly, scammers have hit a new low by taking advantage of fear surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Phishing emails, compromised websites, unlawful telephone calls or text messages, and not genuine social media posts are adding to worries. With scam reports surging, take a moment to review these reminders.
- Do not “accept” (answer) unknown calls on your phone. If it is important, the caller will leave a message and after review, you may elect to return their call.
- Hang up on ALL robocalls. Do NOT enter numbers using your keypad.
- Don’t respond to texts or emails about free money or cures for Covid-19 or work from home schemes.
- Seller and buyer scams BEWARE! Avoid third party sellers, as they may market unsafe products or process payment and not ship the product.
- Remember, currently there are no known vaccines or cures for this virus. Be diligent and discuss any potential treatment option with your physician before consuming.
- Don’t click on links from unknown sources. Note: sources that at first glance appear legitimate should not be trusted either.
- Be wary of emails originating from US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). They are working to resolve a global pandemic, not emailing the public.
- Fraudster emails may offer investment and trading advice or tax relief, directing victims to a fake website to harvest their financial details.
- Helping others is commendable, but research before donating dollars. Fake fundraising can be convincing with stories and images that project dire circumstances, but know that scammers do use legitimate platforms like GoFundMe. Again, be safe and help those organizations you know personally.
Report scams and check for updates at ftc.gov/coronavirus.
You can report scams to the OC District Attorneys office hotline at (714) 834-3482.
Coronavirus misinformation tracking is available at newsguardtech.com.
Staying Active During COVID
These are stressful times, I’m sure we can all agree on that. Normally when we are stressed, a good way to alleviate that tension is to go for a run, go on a hike, or do a hard workout. There’s a myriad of research linking physical activity and lower levels of stress. It’s important for us to distance ourselves for the time being, but this leaves fitness enthusiasts in quite a predicament.
Alas, there is hope! There are still steps we can take (no pun intended) to help maintain our health during this stressful time. This month I wanted to give you some exercises to help you stay active during this time that the Wellness Pavilion and outdoor parks are closed.
A 30 - 45 Minute Home Workout
- A 20 to 30 minute walk outside around your neighborhood
- Push-ups - three options...
- modified with hands on a bench or elevated
- modified with hands on the wall
Chair Squats - with or without a load...
- Go from seated in a chair to standing, using only your bodyweight or holding a 5-10 lbs. load. You can use a heavy book or gallon of water.
- For added difficulty try going from seated to standing using only one leg!
Planks - 20 to 45 seconds...
- These can be done in a push-up position or on your forearms.
- For added difficulty try side-planks, which work the side muscles, or “obliques”
- A 5 to 10 minute walk outside around your neighborhood again.
- Neck stretch - depress your shoulder and bring your ear down to the shoulder.
- Oblique stretch - standing with one arm pointed straight up, bend to the opposite side.
- Calf stretch - hands against the wall and one foot forward with the other back.
- Shoulder/Back stretch - While either standing or seated, bring your arm across your chest while keeping it parallel to the ground.
- Hold these stretches for 10-20 seconds and repeat
- 2-3 times!
Coping with the Uncertainties While Physically Distancing
Many of us can’t fill our days the way we did two months ago. While physical distancing has replaced social engagement, don’t let yourself experience social isolation. Keeping busy entails exercising some level of control, and making choices each day will lessen anxiety. Below are some activities that may spark your interest. While technology can be helpful, there are some low-tech ideas too.
HOBBIES: Like reading, puzzles and games, baking or cooking, music, art, knitting, carpentry, gardening, and so on, all help pass the time. Virtual art classes offer fun, socialization, and a creative outlet.
WRITE AND LISTEN: Write a journal, blog, article or a book by sharing the interesting and connected thoughts holed up in your head. Listen to fascinating podcasts or audio books.
WATCH: Documentaries, movies or TV ser ies, returning or not yet seen (Oscar nominated movies, past blockbusters, classics, popular Netflix or Amazon series). Keep up with current news events daily, but not all day, by way of the programming you trust most.
VIRTUAL LEARNING AND FIELD TRIPS: Take free classes from leading universities and companies. Reacquaint yourself to a foreign language learned while in school but have seldom spoken since. Visit tourist attractions like museums and state parks virtually.
SELF CARE: Pamper your self with at-home beauty treatments and relaxation through meditation or other peaceful activities.
CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS: By sending letter s and cards, emailing, texting, and calling, voice only or video and voice. There are all sorts of online options available to talk with family and friends.
REMAIN OR BECOME ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY: By reaching out to organizations, such as political parties, faith-based groups, and nonprofits. Many rely on volunteers to make phone calls.
ORGANIZE: Closets and junk drawers, setting aside items to donate. While many have more than they need, others are in great need. Many non-profits facilitate the passage of gently used items to families in need.
REMAIN PHYSICALLY ACTIVE: Walk, chair exercises, yoga, meditation. For those who belong to a gym or studio, many are offering live or recorded workout options. Consult their website for more information or search YouTube for exercise videos.
Tips for Staying Physically & Mentally Healthy
1. NUTRITION - The most important lifestyle habit that we can control during these times is maintaining a healthy diet. See below for diet tips during COVID19.
2. FITNESS - You may not be able to come to the gym, but you should walk, run, or bike outside while keeping a safe distance from others. Other activities like stretching and yoga are great as well. Additional-ly, there are many online workouts available to follow along with. We are sharing workouts on our Facebook page @SeniorCenterinCentralPark.
3. STRESS - Yoga and meditation are great tools for managing stress, and they can be done in a small space. You can use apps like Headspace and Talkspace for virtual mindfulness training and therapy. There are also thousands of guided meditation videos on YouTube.com.
4. SLEEP - People who get less sleep are more likely to develop obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It’s no secret that sleep is essential for a healthy life, low levels of stress, and staving off disease. Aim for 8 hours or more per day of sleep! Some helpful tips include (1) being consistent with when you wake up and go to sleep, (2) turning off artificial light 1-2 hours prior to when you want to fall asleep, (3) make the room slightly cooler, yes, a colder room helps with sleep, (4) avoid eating 2-3 hours prior to falling asleep; it is better to fall asleep with a mostly empty stomach.
Reduce Anxiety and Boost Your Immunity
- Citrus fruit and red bell peppers are rich in vita-min C, which has been shown to help your immune system.
- Spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and capsaicin are great additions to soups, stews, stir-frys, or salads.
- Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, clams, quinoa, chickpeas, cashews, and egg yolks contain the mineral. You may recognize zinc as an ingredient in the cold remedy Zicam, as zinc has some virus-fighting effects.
- Magnesium-rich foods may help you to feel calmer, and help support immunity. Stress can deplete your magnesium levels too. Great sources of magnesium includes legumes (beans & lentils), nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains like quinoa & oats.
- Fatty fish like wild salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s may help reduce anxiety and certainly lower inflammation.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods and drinks such as pickles, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha.
- Add some antioxidants to your anti-anxiety diet, which can support your immune system.
Community Social Support Options
During this unique time, connecting with people and finding a place in this brave new world of post COVID19 outbreak has been a challenge to say the least. If you are looking for a place to be able to chat with somebody and reach out for a friendly conversation there are multiple avenues to help. Orange County currently offers the “OC Warm Line” at 714-991-6412 that offers confidential phone service providing emotional support and local resources for seniors. The line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm. There is also a “Friendship Line” offered by the Institute On Aging at 800-971-0016. This line is operated 24hrs a day for those who are 60+ and is both a crisis intervention line as well as a warm line that can provide resources, help, or just be a person to chat with if you are feeling isolated or lonely while staying safer at home. The volunteers have a caring ear and are ready to chat or provide resource support and information.
CA Great Plates Delivered Program
This crisis program is designed to support older adults in staying home while providing economic stimulus to local businesses and workers struggling to stay afloat during the COVID19 crisis.
How does the Program work?
Local administrators partner with multiple local restaurants and food service providers to deliver (3) nutritious daily meals to qualified individuals in need. The program is locally managed.
Who Qualifies for enrollment into the program
- Individuals who are 65 or older or 60-64 and at high risk as defined by the CDC.
- Individuals must live alone or with one other program eligible adult.
- Participants must not be currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs.
- Participants must earn no more that 600% of the federal poverty limit.
- Individuals must affirm an inability to prepare or obtain meals.
How long will the program run
The program runs until June 10, 2020 which is the timeframe currently approved by FEMA. The state intends on requesting an extension for the Great Plates Delivered program.
Each local administrator will establish a streamlined process to enter into the program and will conduct a screening process to ensure individuals meet
program criteria. Eligibility verification can be completed over the phone. Receiving other types of public assistance such as IHSS, health care coverage through medical, just not state or federal nutrition assistance programs. Call 714-480-6450 for info.
- Will I be charged for meals? No meals are
- delivered free of charge through the program.
- How many meals may be delivered per day? Each individual is allowed a maximum of three nutritious meals per day.
- How are meals selected and delivered? Each local administrator determines how meals are selected and delivered. Meals meet specific nutritional requirements. Individuals delivering meals are subject to background checks.
A New Era of Being Together Alone
Social Connections come in all different shapes and forms. Some families have large networks of layers of family young and old who are in constant communication. Others choose to create their own social support networks through the community they live in, be it their local community center, their neighborhoods or even activity gathering points like golf course, gyms or local eateries and coffee shops that they frequent routinely. No matter where you chose to interact, there were plenty of touch points available to you to connect with people and enjoy each other’s company. With the current mandate of self-isolation, social distancing, and stay at home orders in place for COVID-19 this became extremely challenging for many people, especially for seniors, many of whom battle with the struggles of isolation and loneliness on a daily basis. Some seniors are severely limited due to mobility issues, a change in housing, or just plain distance from their family as they have grown and moved away for any number of reasons. We are very aware that some seniors may go all day without even speaking to another individual let alone seeing or interacting with them. The world simply moved on around them, leaving them to fend for themselves living an analogue life in a digital world per-se.
Social connection and community are a crucial aspect of a healthy and happy life and a big part of being human. Never in current times have our humanity and social resilience been tested. Isolation is currently a tremendous concern for all age ranges, many experiencing their first true bout of isolation and loneliness during the stay at home order. Coincidentally, this global pandemic has brought this concern to the forefront, something seniors have been dealing with for years. It has now been made clear to the world that this is a social issue that must be addressed and corrected.
Luckily in this modern era that you live in there are technological work-arounds galore to help stay “together while alone”. Get ready for a crash course in connectedness in a digital era, this is part of the new normal.
- When many think of connections the traditional process of writing a letter to a friend or loved one, or calling them on the telephone is what comes to mind. However there are now more ways to stay connected than ever; with just a little practice and patience you can feel like you are connected once again and fill up a social calendar of activities while staying safer at home .The most simple option in the digital age to connect is through email. All the fun of a letter but you eliminate the wait and it is instantly delivered, you can even attach a notice to it so you will know when it was opened.
- If you wish to get a little more technical and have a more fluid ongoing conversation, done in real time, there is the option of instant messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger. This allows you to have an ongoing conversation chat with somebody, even for long periods of time, and all you need to have is an account on Facebook. This also has the benefit that it is a typed message so you can read the response if hearing a phone call is difficult, in which case this might be a good option. You also can keep the messages going all day long without the burden of being on the phone and tying up the line for hours at a time.
- If you want to be more interactive with your connections, Facetime is a great option. You just need any Apple product and the Facetime feature comes pre-programmed into the device. You can initiate a Facetime call or when family or friends call you on Facetime you just accept the video chat request, easy-peezy! These allow for not only a voice conversation but also visual interaction where you can share a more lifelike interaction and enjoy real time video with each other of what you are doing.
- If you want to take it one step farther with technology there is the option of ZOOM or Skype which are two forms of video conference technology that can be used from any computer, laptop, phone, tablet or digital device that has both audio and video capability. Most newer laptops or desktops come equipped with cameras and mics already built in. Both of these programs offer a free version. Skype is similar to Facetime in that it allows you to interact with one other person at a time for a video conference call. It has the added bonus of being a digital platform so all you need is the proper connections and you can talk to family or friends all over the world without the need for a phone line connection. This eliminates any concern for long distance calling costs and you can chat for as long as you like. For the ZOOM platform, you can utilize a call in option where all you do is call the number provided in an email invite and follow the prompts to join the audio conversation. You may have seen this being recommended by many lectures, classes, and social meet-ups during the quarantine. There is also the option to use a computer, tablet, phone or any device with a camera and screen to share in on the visual meeting as well. For this version you would receive an email invite with a link that you click on to follow and then select the auto prompt to enable your devices camera to see you, kind of like a video selfie. This platform allows for multiple people to all chat together in the same conversation, listen to the same conversation or presentation at the same time and all see the same screen presentation at the same time.
- If you want to get even more modern there are new tech products on the market that you can purchase and integrate into your home such as the Facebook Portal or the Google nest cams. These devices link to your home via WiFi connection and allow you to “drop into” the recipients house via a video screen to enjoy a visit. The portal camera device will even follow and track your voice around the room so that you can move about your home and visit, just as you would if the person were there with you.
There are so many different ways to stay connected and engaged in your world while still staying physically apart. It may take a little time, and possibly a little frustration to learn them and get comfortable using them, but they can provide so much enrichment and interaction for you. Take a few moments and reach out with any of these options to your family, friends, recreation centers, gyms, activity groups and social groups and encourage them to use these options to connect with you. These technologies will be very useful as the global pandemic continues. Who knows, you may just find out that you like the freedom and ease of connecting digitally and you might be surprised at how far and wide you find friends to connect and re-connect with.
A Crash Course in ZOOM:
Outside of those in the business world, you most likely had never even heard about ZOOM before COVID19. Thanks to the current global pandemic, you are now likely to have heard this word thrown about quite frequently, seen stories about it on the news, and may have even experienced a few ZOOM calls yourself. As the global crisis continues to evolve and looks to be sticking around, through the next few months at least, we hope you can benefit from a quick crash Course explanation about ZOOM, so you too can become comfortable and proficient with its use. Below are the basics to understand what ZOOM is, how to use it, and how to be prepared, so you too can engage back in your community via video conferencing:
- ZOOM is a computer software program that allows people to connect, even up to hundreds of people, all at the same time.
- The basic version is free to use and meet-ups can last up to 40 minutes at a time in this version.
- You can use any computer, tablet, phone or laptop to connect. You can also choose to dial in and listen with just a telephone or cell phone.
- To join a meeting you will receive an email from the host with a link. You click the link and follow the prompts. If you have downloaded the software it will automatically join or you can select to join from your browser.
- A screen will appear with the meeting host. Anybody who chooses to use their devices camera will also appear on screen in a small box.
- There is a chat box on the bottom that allows you to type comments or questions and the whole group is able to see the question and answer back.
- If you join the audio, when you speak everybody on the call will be able to hear you.
- If there is a presentation or video of the host you will be able to see it on your devices screen.
Many service models have begun to adopt the use of ZOOM or video conferencing to help keep life moving
forward. This type of technology will continue to be heavily used to help provide physical distancing to keep the pandemic under control. Keep an eye out on the newsletter for updates on programs that may utilize ZOOM or related services for programming.