It's officially spring and we're excited to "spring" into the season with some special events and presentations.
We kick off the month of April with "Medicare Basics: Understanding Parts and Paths of Medicare." The presentation will be held 1-2 p.m. Friday, April 7, on our campus, 3639 E. Las Posas Road, in Camarillo. A counselor with the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), part of the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, will lead the discussion. HICAP regularly offers presentations on all things Medicare. These informal presentations are designed specifically for people 60 and older, caregivers, and people living with a disability.
Registration is not required for this event. For more information, call VCAAA at 805-477-7300 or email HICAP@ventura.org.
On April 20, we are hosting two events -- one on our campus and another at Camarillo Public Library.
Please join us from noon to 1 p.m. in our Sequoia Rooms on our campus for a presentation by Dr. Ryan Quinn, an orthopedic surgeon who practices at Ventura Orthopedics in Camarillo and Oxnard. He will share the causes and diagnosis of hip and knee arthritis, including the latest advancements in technology and treatment. Advanced registration is required by calling 805-388-1952, ext. 100.
In the evening on April 20, we have a very special event planned. Please join us from 6-7 p.m. at Camarillo Public Library's Community Room for an evening of storytelling as Dr. Ruby Simpkins, Susan Seats, Joanna Wullschleger and Michelle Rogers share their personal stories based on caregiver and health journeys.
They have shared these stories on our podcast, "Stories from the Heart: Inspiring Tales of Life, Love and Learning" featured on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and our website.
Susan Seats was a caregiver for her father for six years. While at times challenging, it was fulfilling to be there for him in his time of need and bring him joy when she could. Holding a living memorial, honoring her father while he was alive and could hear everything people wanted to say, and recording his life story are among those moments she holds close to her heart.
“There are always ways to incorporate some meaning into life no matter the circumstances,” she says.
Seats says she hopes to convey through her story that one should never live with regrets.
“I learned the importance of responding to take care of someone you love. It’s not easy – it’s exhausting and difficult to watch someone suffer … yet at the same time there are so many cherished moments of laughter and sharing memories.”
Ruby served as an internal medicine physician in Agoura Hills for 33 years. She is also a “storyhealer,” which she describes as someone who weaves tales primarily to heal the soul, spirit and body. She made her debut as a storyteller at By The Sea Theater in Malibu and has been featured at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica, as well as other venues across California.
Her story is about family love and support. It stresses the importance of community in nurturing, protecting and encouraging its young, especially in poor and disadvantaged communities. “My story shows that we have different motivations to achieve our goals,” Simpkins says. “If we are strong enough and persistent, we can reach our goals.”
Ruby's story recounts her great-aunt’s stroke and how the events that unfolded propelled her to become a doctor. “Greatest lesson learned on my journey is that we are all one,” she says. “We must help and support each other. We must share, connect and empathize with each other. Compassion and love are the answers.”
Michelle's story is about her decision to give the gift of life. She calls her story the “unwitting kidney donor” because she never thought she would be donating her kidney. But when she was the only match for her boyfriend’s sister, she had to think long and hard.
“I thought about losing my dad to a heart attack, sister to suicide and husband to cancer, and I felt like I had no control in those situations. I was powerless. Just a bystander. But donating one of my kidneys gave me an opportunity to intervene and safe someone’s life,” she says.
Joanna’s story is about grief – grief as a mother, wife and caregiver – and how she has persevered throughout her journey.
“I believe that when your loved ones have serious illnesses, it makes you stronger to accept all that life has to offer – both good and bad,” she says.
Register to attend the event on our website or by calling 805-388-1952, ext. 100. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required.
On April 26, our community outreach team will present on the District's Caregivers Center at the Camarillo Council on Aging's health workshop. The Caregiver Center offers high-quality education, skills training, programs and resources to help caregivers be the best they can be, while also taking care of themselves.
The event will take place 2-3 p.m. in the library's Community Room.
We also have a number of classes scheduled this spring, including many on digital literacy: Social Media Basics, Digital Scrapbooking, Facebook and Instagram Stories and Adventures in Virtual Reality. Other classes focus on dementia, caregiving, health and wellness, advocacy, moving and strengthening and more! For more information on our spring classes, check out the latest edition of Healthy Attitudes magazine or visit our website.