2023 News Events

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New Connections Brings Awareness to the Mental Health of Seniors

GOLDEN AGE FOUNDATION – Save the Dates Announcement

A New Year’s Greeting and Message from the Mobility Aids Program

Golden Age Foundation Time to Make Tax Appointments

Amazon Reward Program Will End on February 20

New Connections Brings Awareness to the Mental Health of Seniors

Southern California ReConnect Program, Kevin Alexander, Service Chief of Orange County Health Care Agency, and Council on Aging OC Carolina Gutierrez-Richau, Joanna Constanza, MA Director of the Preventative Mental Health Department,. On Jan. 11, over 40 LW residents attended the New Year, New Connections event in Clubhouse 4, organized by the Council on Aging – Southern California ReConnect EISOA Program in partnership with the LWSB Member Resource Liaison Office. 

Robann Arshat (l-r), and the guest speakers: Joanna Constanza, training and outreach coordinator, Survivor Support Services at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Anna Derby, GAF President, Michelle Jo Park, MD, Program Psychiatrist for the Council on Aging

The goal was to address the older adults mental health, the new three-digit suicide prevention line 988, and connect people with the available resources. 

The President of the Golden Age Foundation, Anna Derby, introduced the event by providing the history on the Council on Aging protective services for veterans and older adults and its collaboration with the Golden Age Foundation. 

Michelle Jo Park, MD, program psychiatrist for the Council on Aging – Southern California ReConnect Program, made a comprehensive presentation on elder abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the number of older adults in the U.S. has been growing and is projected to outnumber children by reaching 70% of the population by 2060. 

This growing population faces a number of challenges. One is ageism, or discrimination based on age that can include mental or physical abuse. Older adults also face health issues. According to Park, 80% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 50% have two or more. Approximately 40% of them report some type of functional disability, including age-related changes in metabolism of medications and alcohol, in particular. 

One in four adults will continue to use prescribed anxiety, pain or insomnia drugs long term, which may cause lethargy, confusion, falls and other life-threatening risks. Drug and alcohol use among older adults is particularly dangerous, Park explained, since they are more susceptible to the harmful effects of these substances. 

In addition to physical health issues, mental health disorders are a common issue among older adults. People can suffer from the whole spectrum of disorders, including depression, dementia or neurocognitive disorders, anxiety and substance abuse. One in four older adults experience loneliness and social isolation that may negatively affect mental health, leading to depression, heart disease and more. 

Park explained that older adults, victims of elder abuse, immigrants, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness. Statistics show that 19.9% of by MENTAL HEALTH, Park said. White males ages 85 and over have the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. 

According to Park, COVID-19 had less impact on older adults’ mental health than expected. COVID deaths, however, occurred in large numbers in people 75 and over, causing a loss of population. Unvaccinated and unboosted older adults made up the majority of deaths, and only 51% of older adults have received their booster shots. 

Besides mental and physical health challenges, older adults can also face elder abuse, which includes physical, psychological, financial and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, Park explained. One in ten older adults suffer from abuse, and signs of abuse require immediate action. Over the past five years, the number of Americans providing unpaid care to an adult with health or functional needs has increased from 43.5 to 53 million. The negative mental and physical impact of caregiving on family members has also risen. 

According to statistics cited by Park, the U-shaped curve of happiness in the U.S. is one of the lowest in the world. However, people aged 64 and older are still the happiest compared to other age groups. Despite these challenges, studies show that older adults are resilient, and that resilience can be taught and learned. Many people become more resilient after suffering a traumatic event, Park explained, and reap the benefits of it by slowing aging and better recovering from future diseases. Positive and secure attachments, reducing stress, the establishment of social networks and physical activities are just a few ways people can promote resilience to trauma. After Park’s presentation, Many LW residents found the event topics valuable and informative. MENTAL HEALTH from page 9 

people learned more about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988) from Joanna Constanza, training and outreach coordinator, Survivor Support Services at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. Though the 1-800- 985-5990 number still works, the new three-digit 988 number speeds up the connection and routes the caller to the national Lifeline. The Lifeline is different from dialing 911 in that it stabilizes most situations over the phone and connecting a person with local resources to help. The long-term goal of 988 Lifeline is to help people be more open about mental health and recognize when someone is at risk. This three-digit number can be used by an individual in crisis or by a third party such as a friend, parent, or a teacher. 

Dr. Kevin Alexander, Service Chief of Orange County Health Care Agency, spoke of the county’s resources that are available to those in crisis, with a goal to reduce suicide rates and bring community together. He added that the OC Links at www.ochealthinfo.com/services-programs/mental-healthcrisis-recovery/navigation-helpresources can offer help immediately, which has improved in the last ten years along with private and public insurance requirements. According to Alexander, the county works closely with the Department of Education and non-profits to educate young people about available resources and to destigmatize conversations about mental health. He added that people need to ask questions if someone seems suicidal and assure them that everything will be okay. 

Derby thanked the participants and attendees for their time and reminded the residents to reach out to GAF or Members Resources Liaison Robann Arhsat, with questions or resources for financial and emotional issues. 

Nick Massetti, the GRF Board member and the facilitator for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance said he enjoyed the event and encourages people to be more open about mental issues. He invited anyone diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety to attend the free classes (East Long Beach support group) via Google meet on Wednesday evenings. For time and more information, email: dbsaeastlb@gmail.com

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GOLDEN AGE FOUNDATION – Save the Dates Announcement

The Golden Age Foundation is an independent nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to serving the residents of Seal Beach Leisure World. Its purpose is to make our community a better and happier place in which to live. The Foundation was established in 1973 and is not affiliated with the Golden Rain Foundation. 

All Golden Age programs are provided free to Leisure World shareholders. The Foundation is entirely staffed by volunteers, so all contributions go directly to meeting community needs. The generous support of shareholders, residents, clubs, organizations and businesses is the main source of income. The Foundation’s programs and projects are made possible by the volunteer efforts of so many. 

There are numerous ways to help (see details at the bottom of this document): become a member and/or make a yearly contribution; become a volunteer; join the Amazon Smile or Ralph’s Rewards program; and last but not least, consider leaving a lasting legacy by naming Golden Age Foundation as a beneficiary in your estate planning. For more information, call (562) 431-9589. Your contributions are tax deductible. The Golden Age Foundation 501(c)(3) Tax ID is 23-7273105.


NOTE: All the listed programs have been affected in some way, due to the pandemic. Keep up with changes in delivery of services by reading the LW News.

Hospitality Center: On Monday through Friday of each week, the Golden Age Foundation sponsors a Hospitality Center in Clubhouse 6 (CH 6). Between the hours of 9:00 and 11:00 am, coffee and cookies are served to residents who drop by and socialize. New residents are especially urged to come and make friends. You will be welcomed by the Golden Age Foundation volunteers who staff this project.

Mobility Aids:  One of the most used and appreciated services of the Golden Age Foundation is loaning out free-of-charge wheelchairs and walkers to residents. The Mobility Aids room is on the ground floor, west side of CH 6 and is open Monday thru Friday between 9 to 11 a.m. No appointment is necessary but be sure to bring the GRF ID to get the Mobility Aids.

Tax Return Assistance: The Golden Age Foundation arranges for tax volunteers, trained by the AARP, to prepare basic State and Federal tax forms without charge.  Information concerning this program is published in the Leisure World weekly (LW Weekly) newspaper during the tax season. The program opens the beginning of February to usually mid-April. Appointments are required, and the phone number will be in the LW Weekly during the service period.

Shredding Service: The Foundation sponsors free document shredding for shareholders 3 times a year in the Clubhouse 2 parking lot, generally between 10 am and noon. The dates and times will be announced in the LW Weekly a couple of weeks before the service.

Recycling Program: The Foundation pays for the proper disposal of batteries and fluorescent bulbs to help preserve our environment. We ask shareholders to save the dead batteries for Battery recycling Service date to be announced through the Weekly in CH 2 Parking lot from 10 to 12.  Fluorescent/LED bulbs can only be dropped off at the Purchasing Department during office hours. The dates and times will be announced in the LW Weekly a couple of weeks before the service.

Golden Age Foundation has upcoming events to enhance the living in Leisure Worlds:

On March 14, in CH 2 , Shredding Service from 10 to 12.

On March 21, in CH 2, Battery Recycling Service from 10 to 12.

On April 22nd, in CH 6 downstairs, from 10 to 2 p.m., outside entertainers and food truck to celebrate Golden Age Foundation 50th Anniversary. There will be three different entertainers will play music to dance from it, and food truck will be there to serve to stay in celebration. 

For more information, go to www.goldenagefdn.org or text at (562) 301-5339.

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A New Year’s Greeting and Message from the Mobility Aids Program

The Mobility Aids Program, sponsored by the Golden Age Foundation (GAF), has been loaning rollators, wheelchairs, transport chairs and walkers to Leisure World residents for many years at no charge.   2022 has been a very busy Holiday Season.  For the month of December alone we provided services to over 100 Leisure World residents.  

Sadly, the Holiday rush has left us in short supply of Transport Chairs. Thus we are reaching out to you, our Leisure World community for support.

If you have a GAF Transport Chair on loan that you no longer need, please return it to the Mobility Aids Office in Clubhouse 6.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 – 11 am.  

If you have a personal Transport Chair gathering dust in your home or carport please consider donating it to the Program. 

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support of the Mobility Aids Program.

Please call the GAF phone line at (562)431-9589 if you have questions and/or need us to pick up your Transport Chair.  

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Golden Age Foundation Time to Make Tax Appointments

The AARP Tax-Aide Program sponsored by the Golden Age Foundation begins Wednesday,  February 1, 2023 through Wednesday, April 12, 2023.  IRS certified Volunteers will prepare and e-file returns on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings.  

Appointments are required.  Call 596-1987 and leave your name and telephone number on the GAF answer machine.  A volunteer will return the call to schedule an appointment.  Please answer your telephone even though the calling number will not be familiar to you or may be a blocked number.  Make sure that you have all of the documents necessary for filing before you call for an appointment.

You must be a full-year California resident and qualify to file as Single or Married Filing Jointly.  The following records should be brought to the appointment, if they are applicable to you:

  • Social Security number for everyone on the return
  • Government issued ID 
  • Copy of 2021 Federal and State returns
  • Forms W-2
  • Forms 1099 for interest, dividends, pensions, social security benefits, stock sales, etc.
  • Verification of the COST of assets sold during 2022
  • Forms 1095-A if you purchased medical insurance through Covered California
  • For itemized deductions, prepare and total a list of medical expenses, charitable contributions, taxes, interest and other deductions (total should exceed $5202).  Bring the list along with the organized receipts
  • Copy of a check, if you want a refund to be deposited or a direct debit for a balance due from your bank account

NOTE:  We cannot prepare returns that are Out-of-Scope for our program.  We cannot prepare returns with Rental property, a net loss from self-employment, sale of anything other than a California residence, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  

An Intake/Interview Sheet (Form 13614-C) must be completed for each return that is prepared. 

For your convenience, the form will be available in the LW Library.  Please pick up the form and complete it in advance.

The tax preparation room is in Clubhouse 3, in the Knowledge and Learning Center computer room.  You will participate in an interview with the tax preparer and the Quality Reviewer.  The process will take at least an hour to have the tax return prepared, reviewed, and printed.  It will be e-filed later that day.

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Amazon Reward Program Will End on February 20

Amazon just announced the end of the Smile.Amazon.com Community Reward program as of February 20th, 2023, and GAF would like to thank for the community’s support to bring the funds to provide extra services.  

 Amazon launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that they had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—their ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.

 They will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where they’ve seen they can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters.

To help charities like the GAF that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, Amazon will be providing us with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and Amazon will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities, like GAF will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating our own wish lists.

GAF would receive anywhere from $250 to $300 each quarter since 2013, especially during the Holidays it would go up more than $300 as the community reward, and the funds have been used for existing programs or new programs to enhance the lives of L.W shareholders. 

There is another way to donate to the Golden Age Foundation, and we would like to ask if anyone hasn’t signed up with Ralphs Community Reward program, please sign up by following below:

Ralph’s Reward program is another way to donate to the Golden Age Foundation. Sign up on www.ralphs.com.  You will need your Ralph’s Reward Card number to register or the phone number associated with your account. Ralph’s Reward registration phone number is (800) 443-4438 and  be sure to let them know GAF non-profit organization (NPO) number with Ralph’s  FS 519 to register. Be sure to check the bottom of the receipt to verify that GAF received credit.

The Golden Age Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) charitable organization dedicated to serving the special needs of our shareholders and residents. The Foundation was established in 1973 by members of the Board of Directors of the Golden Age Foundation. 

Our purpose is to make our community a better and happier place in which to live. When there is a well-defined need calling for a solution, Golden Age will fill it whenever possible. You can reach us by phone at 562-431-9589.

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