In a recent Sacramento Bee article, seniors were identified as the fastest growing demographic group dealing with food insecurity issues. In the past year, senior use of food closets increased by 30 percent. Non-seniors increased by 24 percent.
A new campaign recently launched by the CHP is encouraging elderly drivers to gain skills that will make them smarter and more skilled behind the wheel.
But are senior drivers really that much worse than drivers in the general population?
An article in the Crestline Courier News suggests that statistics actually show seniors to be among the safest age group when it comes to driving in California.
The new CHP program, however, is also concerned that the senior population overall will be increasing with baby-boomers now reaching retirement age, and the goal is to ensure safe driving as the California demographic shifts tilt toward more and more senior citizens.
A recent article in the Desert Sun describes an ever-growing criminal epidemic in California: in-home care elder abuse.
The article details financial elder abuse, in particular, of a Sun City couple that had more than $87,000 stolen from them by a caregiver that had done the same to other elderly people in the past.
In fact, the perpetrator had already been out on probation for a similar crime, and the fact that she only received three years’ probation and not serious prison time comes to the shock and disbelief of many who are involved with protecting seniors in our state.
Such “slaps on the wrist” are indicative of California lagging behind in efforts to protect the seniors of the Golden State.
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may be at risk from someone who has a key to their home. The California legislature has recognized this risk and has passed a law that will enhance the safety of such victims. California Civil Code Sections 1941.5 and 1941.6, require landlords to change the locks of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking victims within 24 hours of receiving a written request and a copy of a restraining order or a police report that is no more than 180 days old. If the landlord does not change the locks within 24 hours, the victim can change the locks herself. She must give the landlord a copy of the new key within 24 hours. The new locks must be the same or better quality as the old locks. If the victim lives with the abuser, she can have the locks changed if the restraining order states that the abuser must move out of the home. The abuser is still jointly responsible for the rent. If the lease has a provision prohibiting the change of locks, the victim can change the locks anyway if the lease was signed after January 1, 2011. The law is silent as to who should pay for the costs of changing the locks.
An online retirement calculator that underestimated the pension benefits due some employees working for a large food processing company will be fixed thanks to the Western States Pension Assistance Project, a program of Senior Legal Hotline and Legal Services of Northern California. A former Campbell employee contacted WSPAP for help after the online calculator suddenly produced a lower estimate than he had previously received. Advocates spent several frustrating months trying to obtain the pension plan documents necessary to verify the client’s pension estimate, and finally enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. After several months of back and forth with the food processing company, the company recently sent WSPAP a letter saying the client is entitled to about $80 a month more than the estimate showed, and the company is reprogramming its calculation system to correct the problem for all other employees.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161.3, landlords may no longer evict tenants because they are victims of domestic violence, violent threats, sexual assault or stalking. The law applies to tenants who have a police report or a restraining order that is 180 days old or less and who don’t live with the abuser. However, the landlord can still evict a victim because of the abuse for two reasons: 1) the victim allows the abuser to visit the property; or 2) the abuser is a threat to the other tenants or their use of the property. If the landlord wants to evict a victim for one of these reasons he must first give the victim a three day notice to correct the problem.
A Los Angeles Times editorial discusses the growing concern over long-term healthcare coverage as the Baby Boomer generation. As the boomer generation starts to retire, many Americans will require some sort of long-term care through nursing homes and in-home supportive care. Yet, a new survey from the SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds that Californians will not be able to afford such services. Regardless of political affiliation or income level, two thirds of those Californians surveyed were worried about the costs of long-term care. To help Americans prepare for the costs of such care, Congress created, through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, a national, voluntary insurance program to cover community living assistance services and supports (known as CLASS). Although CLASS has yet to be implemented, some policy makers have targeted the program, along with Medicaid, for cuts.
Domestic violence survivors are often forced to leave their homes so they can be safe. California law allows survivors of domestic violence to end a lease if they have a police report or a restraining order. A new law (AB 588) was recently passed making it even easier for survivors to end their lease. Under the old law, survivors could end their lease by showing a restraining order or a police report issued within the past 60 days. Under the new law, the police report or the restraining order can be up to 180 days old. So now survivors have nearly 6 months to leave an unsafe situation.
Last week Governor Brown signed a bill to reduce SSI/SSP from $845 to $830 per month for individuals. Effective this month, this latest blow comes after the 2009 reduction that cut $62 a month from California seniors and people with disabilities. These cuts have reduced SSI/SSP payments to the federal minimum.
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