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Senior Family Forum – Health Matters

Growing older can come with many perks: retirement, grandchildren and time to enjoy hobbies and travel. But it also can bring changes that aren’t so welcome: new or worsening health concerns, the confusion of Medicare enrollment and the need for help with daily activities.

The 2016 Tuolumne County Health Needs Assessment reports that our county is ranked fourth highest in California for “age-adjusted cancer incidence rate,” and that it ranks higher than the state average for rates of arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, depression and diabetes. The report also notes that 22 percent of residents are age 65 or older, compared with 12 percent in California as a whole.

We all hope for the best as we age, but we would do well to prepare for anything that might dull the gleam of our golden years. In other words, forewarned is forearmed.

The Sonora Area Foundation’s upcoming Senior Family Forum – Health Matters is an opportunity to arm yourself and your family with essential health-related information. The forum will gather local experts to speak on health-related topics of interest to seniors and their families.

This free event, to be held Wednesday, May 15 from 8:45 a.m. to noon at Sierra Bible Church, is the fifth forum presented by Sonora Area Foundation and the first to focus on health; previous forums were centered on legal and financial matters. No products or services will be sold at the event. The forum is presented as a community service.

The lineup includes the following:

Gina Fox, Area 12 Agency on Aging: Fox will offer information on the agency’s many senior services, which include: assistance with home, yard and personal care; caregiver support; exercise classes; resource information; and Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), which helps seniors make sense of Medicare’s confusing options.

Cheryl Schrock, Alzheimer’s Association: Schrock will speak on Alzheimer’s, a disease which afflicts about 10 percent of Americans older than 65.

Nancy Corsi and Cathy Ruiz, Adventist Health Hospice: Corsi and Ruiz will discuss hospice care, which provides services and support for the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are in the end stages of a terminal illness.

Jodie Rodriquez, Adventist Health Sonora: Rodriquez will speak on nutrition and diabetes, a chronic disease that affects about 25 percent of Americans age 65 or older.

Darrell Slocum and Sonora Area Foundation health-focused funds representatives: Community groups and individuals with a passion for local health-care needs have established charitable funds with SAF to address those needs. The following speakers will share snapshots of their funds’ missions:

Erika Dossi: Smile Keepers Fund

Dave Urquhart: WINGS Funds Ron Hamilton: Peaceful Journey Fund/Parkinson’s Patient Support

Dr. James Mosson: Dr. Mosson will address healthcare in Tuolumne County.

Feedback such as the following confirms that the Senior Family Forums meet an important community need:

I was totally impressed with the speakers and the topics! There was significant information that we can use both in our daily lives and to prepare for the future as we get older. The forum is truly a valuable gift to our community. I’ve told friends that they missed a special time to learn.

No one knows what the future holds. Learn from local health, wellness and resource experts at the Senior Family Forum – Health Matters and be prepared for what may lay ahead.

Senior Family Forum – Health Matters takes place on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. to noon at Sierra Bible Church, 15171 Tuolumne Road, Sonora. Refreshments will be served. No reservation required. For more information, call Sonora Area Foundation at (209) 533-2596 or email Darrell Slocum at