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Elder Care Symposium


Community Responses to Elder Care Symposium:

Engagement, Education, Empowerment of

Citizen Problem-Solvers

Held September 15, 2018 at Monterey Peninsula College

Summary, Notes, and Next Steps

Welcome and Plenary

The morning began with welcome remarks by Vice Mayor Timothy Barrett and planning committee co-chair, Allison Yant, as well as Margaret Huffman, Monterey County Area Agency on Aging Director. MPC President Dr. Walt Tribley welcomed everyone to MPC.  The plenary address was by John O’Brien, CEO of Central Coast Senior Services.  Mr. O’Brien’s plenary, “Aging is Not A Place” provided attendees with an overview of our aging population, as well as identified aging myths and examples of ageism in our community.  Mr. O’Brien offered suggestions around planning for aging and, even though aging may not be considered “sexy”, everyone is doing it and there is much work to be done to raise awareness around aging issues.


Breakout Sessions (Summarized by a panel discussion at the end of the event facilitated by Dr. Tribley)

Session on Policy and Advocacy (Facilitator: Ron Lee)


Summary on key points:

  • Communication within family systems w/ caregivers/create decisions
  • Oversight and accountability
  • Increase advocacy
  • Become involved in policy issues
  • Caregivers have increased needs
    • Age Friendly Communities initiative
    • Local Advocacy – AAA Advisory Council

Session on Transportation Options (Facilitator: Theresa Wright)


Summary on key points:

  • Transportation keeps elderly connected to the community
  • Informal options – individuals from church congregation
  • Formal options – public transportation
  • Resource Bank with information needed i.e. Alliance on Aging
  • Role for technology – connect people i.e. Gogograndparent – similar to Uber and Lyft providing services in South County
  • MST
  • Veterans
  • ITN – arm to arm, door to door
  • Aspire – offers 12 transportation trips through insurance


Session on Professional Caregiver Workforce Development (Facilitator: Sadie Kvenild)


Summary on key points:

  • Caregivers needed! Shortage everywhere
  • Education – community, workforce, younger workers, families, workshops, career development in high school, compassion, Aging 101 training
  • Families often in denial – need hospice sooner
  • CNAs are overwhelmed with 12:1 ration in SNF – results in negligence
  • Need smarter equipment and machines
  • New gerontology program at CSUMB
  • Caregiver Workforce Development Workgroup already established


Session on Networking Elder Care (Facilitator: Nadereh)


Summary on key points:

  • How to decrease isolation and how to leverage community
  • Nature of our society is that we are more isolated than ever before
  • Community events are needed to encourage intergenerational connections (i.e. Mexico has Senior Nights” in neighborhoods to create connection
  • Connection is responsibility of individual
  • Information needs to be readily available – how to access?
  • Communication
  • How do we encourage elders to get out and visit with others – TRANSPORTATION
  • Walking neighborhoods/neighborhood associations
  • Need involvement of public officials and radio/tv


Session on Care for the Caregiver (Facilitator: Mitch Matthews)


Summary on key points:

  • Support group concept
  • Hotline for caregivers
  • Caregivers need to be accepted as individuals who do need a break and it is OK – self-care is important
  • Finding community resources that would help caregivers
  • Dealing with well-meaning siblings
  • Churches – give them presentations to provide them with info
  • Maintain boundaries – don’t take things personally


Session on Housing and Homelessness (Facilitator: Travis Beye)


Summary on key points:

  • 8% over 61 years of age in 2017 point in time census
  • Various reasons people become homeless
  • Even people with housing may not have support so consider:
    • Temporary shelters w/ focus on seniors
    • Peninsula shelter needed
    • Permanent housing
    • Help with funds for housing
    • More political will
    • NIMBY vs. YIMBY
    • Places to store belongings


Session on Staying In Touch (Facilitator: Maggie Mendoza)

Summary on key points:

  • New technology needed to provide assistance
  • Identification of local agencies that provide help and actual devices – BVIC, CCCIL and their device lending library allows consumer to test before buying
  • Challenges – technology is expensive
  • Lack of tech help centers


Session on My Aging Blueprint (Facilitator: Kristine Ware)


Summary on key points:

  • How to create a blueprint?  What is it?  It is a plan, a timeline of events, guidelines, recognize when to talk about key decisions such as POA
  • Educate with resources
  • Some gaps:
    • Financial assistance
    • Denial and lack of acceptance that help is needed
    • Wait too long to ask for help
    • Help is stigmatized
    • Lack of complete information
    • Stress
    • Lack of insurance information
    • Family gaps
    • Change in medical providers
    • Language
  • Solutions:
    • More support groups
    • AAA and IRA
  • Courses offered through MPC/CSUMB
    • Next door phone app
    • More symposiums like this!
    • Conversations with our elders
    • IHSS
    • Monterey Bay Village
    • Be proactive
    • Focus on mental health support for elders – re death and dying
    • Better education for young adults
    • More senior resource guides needed
    • More medical visits encouraged
    • Senior Centers offering classes
    • Younger adults assist with completion of wills/trusts
    • Staying connected to own family
    • Helping elder write a memoir


  • Do low income permanent residents qualify for transportation vouchers (green card holders)? MST vouchers are not based on residency status.
  • Why doesn’t IHSS have travelling services? IHSS does authorize time for medical appointments and grocery shopping.
  • How can local governments deal with caregiver shortage? Train more CNAs at the local colleges, set up center on Ft. Ord, locate funding to do so.
  • What future research should be conducted to better understand Aging?  Access information via National Institute on Aging.
  • What will Dr. Tribley do to make MPC bring adult learning PE courses back to the peninsula?  Need continuing ed and funding.  Was more robust before budget crises.


Special thank you to Timothy Barrett, Monterey Vice-Mayor who also served as Chair to the Planning Committee, and also to everyone that helped with the planning and hosting of the event including:   Monterey County Area Agency on Aging, Central Coast Center for Independent Living, Central Coast Senior Services, Monterey County Department of Social Services, Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, Alliance on Aging, Health Projects Center, Peggy’s Home Care, Abby Care Homes, Community Builders for Monterey County, Golden Connections, Interfaith Outreach of Carmel, Diocese of Monterey, El Estero Presbyterian Church and the Christian Church of Pacific Grove. 

The event was free to attendees with lunch provided and could not have been possible without the help of many sponsors: Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey County Area Agency on Aging, Interfaith Outreach of Carmel, Aspire Health Plan, the City of Monterey, Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, Central Coast Senior Services, QK Consulting, El Estero Presbyterian Church, Ave Maria, Old Monterey Business Association and the Catholic Diocese of Monterey.  In addition, sixteen private individuals donated to the event.

Evaluations and Commitment Cards

After the final panel, attendees were asked to complete an evaluation, as well as complete a Commitment Card.  Of the 130 attendees, 58 returned evaluations and 49 individuals completed Commitment Cards.  Overall, the evaluations were very positive and the feedback indicated a desire to have another event such as this:


The Commitment Cards demonstrated a desire amongst community members to continue the conversation by participating in already existing workgroups currently scheduled, or creating new workgroups.  Workgroups already in existence and open to new members are included at the end of this report. 

Next Steps

The planning committee met one week after the Symposium to de-brief the event and to discuss next steps.  Ideas included an interactive webinar so more individuals could attend from home, if needed.  Other future ideas also included an “Elder Care University”, which would be more training focused, as well as a monthly Speaker Series.  Overall, the committee agreed that they felt the energy around the event was positive and individuals felt that another Elder Care Symposium would meet the needs expressed by the community.  In thinking about an event in a year’s time, the committee discussed several potential ideas:

  • Earlier outreach and media efforts to inform the community of the event
  • Alternate location of event between Salinas and Monterey areas (Hartnell and MPC)
  • Create clearer breakout group titles and ensure each is clearly different than the others
  • Consider fewer breakouts
  • Have 1-2 breakout session scheduled in Spanish
  • Logistics – ensure “free parking” is noted on invitation and other announcements, open additional restrooms, ensure access for those with mobility issues, Spanish/American Sign Language Interpretation
  • Add a timekeeper and note taker to the final Panel Discussion to keep panelists on time and allow for facilitation, Q and A
  • Improve diversity of attendees and presenters – include more community members
  • Create plan around ordering food so as to avoid so many additional sandwiches and/or create plan for delivery of extra food
  • Revisit the Senior Day Care concept with the possibility of paid caregivers volunteering time for the event


The planning committee has committed to meeting again in mid to late November to begin discussing another Symposium and to determine individuals interested in becoming chair and co-chair.  In addition, the committee would like to reach back out to determine if there are others interested in participating on the planning committee for a future event.  Additional steps will also be outlined regarding the workgroups and those who completed Commitment Cards.

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