ANNOUNCEMENTS. Great to see everybody on Monday after our 2-month holiday break.
After welcoming everybody back, Elva Roy mentioned upcoming scheduled speakers including Dr. John Roland, M.D., who will speak about stem cell therapy as requested by some AFAW members; Debra Kerber, owner of Easy Access Travel," Aimee Carpenter from the City of Arlington vector control; Charlotte Canion, author, who will speak on "Re-inventing Yourself After Retirement; and Mayor Jeff Williams, to name a few.
Thanks to Overture Highlands Senior Living Community and Stacy Schooler for providing refreshments for our meeting. The photo below, left to right, Stacy Schooler, Darla Peznell, Elva Roy.
Buddy Pool Update. Further announcements included an update on the Buddy Pool which is a transportation pool of patients and drivers who volunteer to drive each other to medical appointments which involve anesthesia which prevents a patient from driving themselves home after an outpatient or dental procedure). Anyone who would like to be included in the Buddy Pool (even if you just want to volunteer to be a driver) should drop an email note to Elva at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Senior Housing Update. Last year, some AFAW members appeared before the City's Planning & Zoning Commission and then before the City Council in support of two developers who plan to build "affordable" senior apartments in Arlington. Here is what Elva knows about these two new age-restricted, independent living apartment complexes which were built with tax credits from the State and, therefore, some of the apartments will be leased at substantially less than "market rates." No wait list is available yet.
The Residences at Arbor Grove, 1118 Gibbins Rd., Arlington 76011, (126 units) are scheduled to open in late summer or autumn of 2019. Elva took the photo below last week. She spoke with the developer yesterday and they are not taking applications or wait list yet (probably not until late summer). The developer has a Facebook page with more photos available at this link www.facebook.com/residencesatarborgrove/
Secretariat Apartments, 1121 Debbie Ln., Arlington 76002. Mindy Cochran, Exec. Dir. of Arlington Housing Authority provided a recent photo which is pasted below.
Scams Against Older People in Tarrant County. Elva talked about two scams.
Not discussed at Monday's meeting due to time constraint but which you should know:
Letters of Support
We were requested and were happy to provide a letter of support to:
1. Boomer Carrington, Real Estate Developers, who plan to build "affordable" independent living senior apartments near South Cooper @ Harris (in far south Arlington).
2. Professor Ishfaq Ahmad, PhD, from UTA's Computer Science and Engineering Department, requested a Letter of Support to accompany his grant application to the National Science Foundation.
AFAW Leaders Meeting
On the AFAW Leadership team are these wonderful women, so I hope you'll be sure that you get to meet them if you haven't already: Ann Williams, Darla Peznell, Kay Reynolds, Peggy Masters, Sandee Reutebuch, Sharron Merrill.
At a recent Leaders meeting, we talked about two projects which are in the early planning stages which we can talk about at a future meeting:
1. AFAW to sponsor (and will get co-sponsors) a "Patient Safety Week" with a focus on reducing unnecessary medications and educating folks that "Some Meds Don't Get Along." AFAW Leader Darla Peznell, R.N., has personally observed local cases where harm has been done and it is reported by Texas AARP and other organizations that this is a huge problem.
2. "Connection Tables" to be placed around Arlington which would be painted a bright identifiable color (perhaps bright yellow) and anybody who passes by such a table is automatically invited to sit down and share whatever is going on at that table (conversation or whatever). Everyone would know that (s)he is welcome to sit and join in. This is a great opportunity for discussion among multicultural, multiage, multigeography, multiancestry people to promote understanding and to learn from each other or just share a casual laugh together. We're hoping to persuade some local restaurants to also have a "Connection Table" inside the restaurant (also painted yellow or whatever) which is an open invitation to sit there even if someone else is already sitting there. Details to be worked out. Early planning stage.
If you have comments or suggestions about either of the above projects, we would welcome your input. We'll also be discussing this at future meetings and ask for your comments there.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Valentines for Child(ren)/Grandchildren. Elva said she had seen a good idea on Facebook for a way to celebrate Valentine's/Love Day with her 7 y.o. granddaughter. The idea is cut hearts out of colored construction paper and write something positive about the child on 14 different hearts. Using removable double stick tape, stick one heart each day on the child's bedroom door between February 1 and February 14.
eOncor Automatic Status Updates if you want to be texted in case of a power outage and estimated time for restoration. Sign up by texting "REG" to 66267 or go to "My Oncor Alerts" at their website www.oncor.com .
TSA Pre-check to speed through airport Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checks without waiting in line, taking off shoes, etc. Usually the fee is $85 (5 year term) but some credit cards offer this as a free benefit so ask your credit card company whether they do. You can check at www.tsa.gov/precheck/credit-cards-offer but even if you don't see your credit card listed, it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway.
"Shop" your property and health insurance coverage at least every couple of years. Elva said she had not shopped her homeowners/car insurance for five years or so, even though her carrier kept going up on rates (this year saw a 21% increase in Elva's homeowners invoice due February 18, 2019). By "shopping" it herself, she saved $746 for this year (and she didn't do an extensive search...she called one nationally-known insurer and the difference was $746). So it pays to "bother."
We had two interesting speakers this month.
Amanda Robbins, R.N., Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Chair of Safe Cities of Fort Worth, and Chair of the Community Board of Tarrant County Adult Protective Services, demonstrated and taught "compression-only" CPR and demonstrated the correct use of an AED device (automated external defibrillator) to use in the event that you are around when someone's heart stops. Lives can be saved. AEDs are in many public places. Elva asked whether someone living with a person known to have heart trouble should buy an AED to keep at home. Amanda said they are expensive (starting at around $1,500), and need to be maintenance checked from time to time so she doesn't know of anyone who keeps one at home (schools, other public buildings, senior living facilities, usually have them available).
Lisa Scruggs, Community Engagement Specialist, Tarrant County Adult Protective Services, shown in the front row above (already trained in CPR) was our second speaker. Lisa explained some of the policies that her agency must abide by when they get reports for elder exploitation, neglect, or abuse. She explained that they don't handle criminal complaints...those go straight to law enforcement. Her agency works closely with the District Attorney's office. She explained the difference between Priority 1, 2, 3, and 4 calls and time to respond to each. Priority 1 calls (serious harm) must get a 24-hour response. Priority 4 (up to 14 days to respond). She said to report a concern the number to call is (800) 252-5400.
Elva Roy is the Founder & Lead Ambassador of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.