The Advisory Newsletter

November/December 2020

Please Give the Holidays Careful Thought This Year
The pandemic is worsening in Washington County and across the country. Holiday celebrations need to look different this year to slow the spread of COVID-19. Avoid activities that are higher risk for spread. Consider alternative activities that pose a lower risk, such as: 
 
  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household. 
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others. 
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family. 
  • Shopping online for gifts rather than in person. Avoid crowded malls. Support local businesses if possible. 
 
Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Public Health recommends staying home if possible. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved. Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. 

Veteran's Day 2020
Washington County to Honor Veterans
via Livestream Program This Year

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Washington County is unable to hold its annual Veterans Day ceremony this year. Instead, TVCTV will televise and livestream a tribute on Wednesday, November 11, starting at 11:11 a.m. The program will last about an hour. 

“When we realized an in-person ceremony wasn’t going to be possible this year, we quickly got to work on an alternative,” said Veteran Service Officer Jason Muehe with Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services. “Our county is home to 35,000 veterans. Each one of them deserves to feel honored and recognized on Veterans Day.” 

Muehe is teaming up with Andy Cartmill of Washington County Health and Human Services to co-host a virtual program that will feature interviews with several veterans in the community. The show will be interspersed with information about vital services available to Washington County veterans. Those who view the livestream on YouTube and Facebook should be able to comment and ask questions of the hosts.

The program begins at 11:11 a.m., but most of the channels will be available starting around 11 a.m. There are many ways to watch: 

 
For more information, call Vicki Horn at 503-846-3051
Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 through December 7
Medicare Open Enrollment is your time to make any changes to your Medicare enrollments with any changes starting January 1, 2021. We have certified SHIBA volunteer counselors available to help you review and compare your current plan with other available plans to see what will work best for you in 2021. All Medicare counseling appointments are virtual this year due to COVID-19, but please contact us at 503-846-3094 to connect with our team of certified volunteers. You will need to leave a voice mail and then one of our volunteers will reach out to you. If you just want to request a new 2021 Oregon SHIBA guide and/or MAPD spreadsheet be mailed to you, please leave this information on the voice mail and they will be mailed out as soon as they are available. The 2021 SHIBA guide will probably be available around mid-November.
 
Veterans Benefits
Did you know that one of the most common disability claims veterans file with the VA is for hearing loss? Hearing loss can affect veterans in all different eras of service. While hearing loss is most often thought of as being associated with combat, it can also be due to other causes. For example, if a veteran’s military occupational specialty involved working around aircraft all day, they would likely be exposed to loud engine noises. As a result, they might be at a heightened risk of experiencing hearing loss later in life. 
 
If you are a veteran experiencing hearing loss and you believe that it is related to your service, one of our Veteran Service Officers (VSO) can help you file a claim with the VA. Please call our office at 503-846-3060 to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our VSOs to learn what benefits are available to you.
Area Plan Update
Disability, Aging and Veteran Services (DAVS) completed a needs assessment survey in August 2020. Over 700 responses were received. The survey provided insight on the needs of older adults from their personal perspective. Survey participants consisted of those receiving or needing support services, to those providing them including family caregivers and community organizations. Survey results will be posted on the DAVS Area Plan web page by the end of November 2020. This survey collects community input on service priorities and how they are delivered.
 
The Aging and Veteran Services Advisory Council (AVSAC) will be holding a virtual community meeting November 19 from 9-11 a.m., discussing the assessment and inviting the public to comment on the Area Plan. Click here for the link to join the meeting.
 
For more information contact Julie Galstad at 503-846-3060 or HHSDAVSinfo@co.washington.or.us. To learn more about the Area Plan go to the DAVS Area Plan webpage.
SNAP Benefits a Snap!
In response to the COVID-19 impacts in the community, Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) has suspended on a month-to-month basis the requirement for clients to complete an interview before starting benefits. Community members interested in applying for Food and Nutrition Services now can get access to SNAP benefits by simply completing an application. Please contact your local APD office or the Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC) program if you wish to be screened and apply for SNAP.
 
Follow the link below to find your local APD office: https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/Offices/Pages/APD-AAA-Offices-Partners.aspx 
   
Call the local Area Agency on Aging to talk through many other options that may be available in the area to support your loved one in their home or discuss other options for their long-term care needs. To connect to services such as home-delivered meals, in-home care, options counseling, family caregiver support, and much more, call DAVS at
503-846-3060.
Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative
Project Visibility: Cultural Competency for LGBTQ+ Aging

It is estimated that over 4,000 LGBTQ+ older adults (over the age of 65) are currently living in Washington County, a number that is expected to double by 2030. LGBTQ+ seniors are less likely to have children and more likely to need aging services like long term care. Yet, only 20% of LGBTQ+ seniors in long-term care facilities say they feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation.  

Washington County aims to change that! Adapted from the nationally recognized Project Visibility Program, we are excited to offer an interactive training that teaches common terms and definitions including the difference between sexual orientation, gender identity, biological sex and everything in between. Learn the "hidden" history of LGBTQ+ older adults and other issues that shape how they access care and support today. Get simple tools and best practices for aging service providers that help create an inclusive and welcoming environment for this often-invisible population. 

This training is now available QUARTERLY through DAVS. Click the link below to learn more: 

Oregon Senior Peer Outreach

It can be hard to look forward to the holiday season, especially when the cold and darkness of winter can be so isolating for many of us. The pandemic will make this year especially difficult. Sometimes staying connected is just a phone call away. Oregon Senior Peer Outreach provides intentional peer support by phone to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation for adults 55+ in Washington County. Get matched with a friendly peer specialist and receive regular phone calls that offer compassionate support and connection.
Call 1-833-736-4676 to learn more.

DAVS Can Help Isolated Older Adults Stay Connected During the Pandemic

If you’re over the age of 60 and need a computer, tablet, phone or internet services to stay in touch with family and friends, or need that connectivity for virtual medical appointments or community center programming, DAVS can help. Call the ADRC in Washington County at 503-846-3060 for more information and stay connected! 
Aging and Veteran Services Advisory Council (AVSAC)
The November AVSAC meeting will focus on the results of the community needs assessment and will include breakout sessions to discuss DAVS strategic plan to address these needs.

Meeting ID: 867 5819 4922
Password: 028650

Visit the DAVS calendar for updated event information.