Tuesday, August 21 , 2018, 9:43 pm | Fair 68º

Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Rona Barrett: Holiday Wish for Our Senior Caregivers

Happy holidays, dear readers!

I'm a terrible shopper. Last year, three people I gave gift cards to tried to exchange them!

So this year I thought I'd call on an expert to help on behalf of our patient, self-sacrificing but beleaguered professional and volunteer senior caregivers — our very own SCs!

Dear SC: Oh bearded one, I will dance the “Horah” if you have the presence of mind to deliver just a few of these services to help our own SCs bring joyful and triumphant quality care to our senior loved ones:

A trusted Marley-like mediator to investigate grandparent scams — especially this time of year — so they don't get Scrooged.

An oh-so-bright Rudolph, to help guide our families through an assessment of the psychological, environmental and health needs of those who are having difficulty in their present living situations.

And oh by gosh by golly, wouldn't it be nice to have a free-/low-cost toyshop from which they could borrow or rent medical and adaptive aids equipment?

How about an ombudsman ­— with a voice as big as the sea ­— to advocate for our seniors living in mobile home complexes?

And, oh kringled one, a small but important request: a list of local grocery stores that deliver — not down the chimney, but to the front door.

And did you know, sweet Sinterklaas, Medicare does not cover routine dental care? Seniors would love to know there are Hermies who aren't nitwits that provide these services at a reduced rate.

Just as you have your man-elf Buddy and other Santa's helpers, our caregivers would consider it a GINORMOUS gift to have a trusted substitute caregiver provide them some relief.

And how much comfort and joy it would give to those with Alzheimer's or dementia if they could get a free silver or gold ID bracelet?

Maybe you know of an elf or two who specializes in providing free/low-cost home repairs and senior-friendly or ADA safety modifications in the home.

Santa baby, you would make my Kalikimaka Mele if you could make assisted living and memory care “affordable”  — just like we're trying to do with senior housing.

Miracle of miracles, dear readers, the right jolly ol' elf responded.

Dear Child: Affordable assisted living and memory care, alas, stings the toes and bites my nose. It must happen — and Mrs. Claus and I hope soon. Santa's not getting any younger, you know.

But have a cup of cheer because as for the rest of your wishes, I spoke not a word, went straight to my work, checked my list twice and it seems all the services for senior caregivers are dancing on the pages of the Santa Barbara County Senior Resource Directory provided by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens-Area Agency on Aging. Accessing them is as easy as laying a finger aside your nose and calling 805.925.9554 or click here.

Yes, Rona, the real bearers of the finest gifts are our senior caregivers. They are truly good for goodness sake.

— SC

Until next time … keep thinking the good thoughts.

— In honor of her late father, entertainment journalist, author, senior activist and Santa Barbara County resident Rona Barrett is the driving force behind the Golden Inn & Village, the area’s first affordable senior living and care facility, scheduled to begin construction in early 2015. Contact her at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

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