Dear Community Partners,

We know that there has been a lot of information distributed about COVID-19 vaccine through the news, friends and family and social media. Currently, TMMC does not have any for community members. We are still vaccinating our staff. Los Angeles County will not begin vaccinating people age 65 and older until we complete vaccinations for healthcare workers and receive more vaccine from the state for this new priority group. Please sign up for our newsletter below to receive updates from our COVID-19 Vaccine newsletter. For answers to some of your questions regarding the vaccine, please visit www.vaccinatelacounty.com. This newsletter is the BEST way to find out how the vaccine will be distributed. I encourage you to sign up.

Vaccination Townhall

Minority Health Institute and UCLA BRITE Center for Science, Research and Policy invite you to attend a virtual townhall with some of the nations’ premier COVID-19 experts and historically Black institution and organization leaders to address facts, fears and myths pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination as we fight to protect and save Black lives.

To register and participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination: It Matters in Saving Black Lives free virtual townhall, click hereor visit www.mhinst.org

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be hosting another COVID-19 Vaccine virtual townhall on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, starting at 6PM (PT). Get the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine. You can watch the townhall on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube at @LAPUBLICHEALTH. Have a question you’d like to ask? Click here.

Updated Travel Advisory

On January 6th, a new state travel advisory was issued. See the recommendations listed below:

  • Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one’s place of residence, or to other states or countries.
  • All persons arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries should self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival, except as necessary to meet urgent crtiical healthcare staffing needs or to otherwise engage in emergency response. Additionally, this recommendation does not apply to individuals who routinely cross state or country borders for essential travel.

Definitions:

  • “Non-essential travel” includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.
  • “Essential travel” is travel associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or otherwise required or expressly authorized by law, including work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health care, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

Information on the State’s Order and State guidance is available at: https://covid19.ca.gov/travel/

LA County Dept. of Mental Health is looking for health promoters/promotors

LACDMH is rapidly expanding its Promotores de Salud Mental program to serve other culturally and linguistically underserved cultural communities (UsCCs) through its United Mental Health Promoters Program. The priority populations for expansion includes Black and African Heritage, Native American/Alaska Native and Asian Pacific Islander communities. Candidates from all UsCCs groups including LGBTQIA2-S, Eastern European/Middle Eastern and Access for All are also strongly encouraged to apply. See attached flyer for more details.

Domestic Violence Shelters & 24 Hour Hotlines

See attached for a resource to keep handy.

Anita

Congresswoman Waters Delivers Good News to Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers Support Group in Los Angeles.

Congresswoman Waters Delivers Good News to Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers Support Group in Los Angeles

December 29, 2015
In The News

Sentinel News Service
Los Angeles Sentinel

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, delivered good news to attendees at the Actively Caring Through Sharing Support Group for Women and Men Caregivers Meeting (ACTS) on Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Los Angeles.

As a longtime advocate for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers, the Congresswoman educated the caregivers on the robust funding for Alzheimer’s disease research and Alzheimer’s caregivers programs included in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget that Congress passed last week.

“I am very pleased that this robust funding will help caregivers offer emotional, physical and financial support to their loved ones who are battling Alzheimer’s disease. This additional funding will help provide caregivers with the resources that they need to provide the best care for their loved ones,” stated Congresswoman Waters.

The omnibus bill includes funding for the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program (ADSPP), which aids families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease. ADSSP funds competitive grants to states to expand evidence-based interventions and long-term services to help patients with dementia and their caregivers. The funding for this program was increased by more than 25 percent, from $3.8 million in fiscal year 2015 to $4.8 million in fiscal year 2016.

Last March, Congresswoman Waters and Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ-4) circulated a letter in support of this program, which was signed by 21 Members of Congress.

In addition, the budget appropriates $14.7 million for the Alzheimer’s disease Initiative – Specialized Supportive Services program. This initiative provides specialized, person-centered services that help caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients to remain independent and safe in their communities. This initiative was launched in 2011 with a new website – alzheimers.gov – and a variety of outreach materials were developed. The initiative will continue to promote the new website to caregivers and associated organizations using materials already developed.

“This funding will make a tremendous difference in the lives of many caregivers, and I was pleased to provide the caregivers in ACTS information about what my fight to ensure programs that offer resources to them have the necessary funding to continue supporting their efforts,” stated Congresswoman Waters.

Congresswoman Waters has introduced legislation to help caregivers, such as Alzheimer’s Action Now, a set of bills that together will help Alzheimer’s patients and their families, promote public awareness, and encourage contributions to research efforts. Also included in Alzheimer’s Action Now is the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, which authorizes grants to public and non-profit organizations to expand training and support services for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients.

We Are Family: Alzheimer’s Caregivers and the Role of Community – Alliance for Aging Research

This is the next entry in our Lives Changed series.

The worst thing about Alzheimer’s disease is what it takes from you. For Jeanie Harris and Sharon R. Melancon, it took their 91-year-old mom, Peggy, and turned her into a different person.

“When mom’s Alzheimer’s hit, I could see the change in her eyes. My mother was gone. I had a new mother,” recalls Jeanie, 67.

Jeanie and Sharon lost their mom earlier this year, five years after they learned of her diagnosis. While their story is common for those who take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s—a story of loss, sadness, frustration—there’s also the other side: the love, the connection, the celebration of a life that touched three generations of Californians.

Peggy came to Los Angeles in the 1940s from Arkansas. There she met her husband, a native himself of Louisiana. They settled into the southside of Los Angeles, producing four children, Sharon, Jeanie, Vivian, and Steve, who is now deceased.

Throughout her life, Peggy was known as someone who cared for others, a trait she exhibited up to and after she received her Alzheimer’s diagnosis at 90.

When the close-knit family learned of the diagnosis, there was shock and then sadness. This was in fact the second time the family had been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. An older cousin of Jeanie and Sharon, known as Aunt Lorraine, also had the disease, passing away a year before Peggy.

So, while the family was familiar with the disease, it still didn’t make it any easier.

“It was very difficult and just unbelievable,” says Sharon, 62. “We as a family started our grieving process.”

Once the family had adjusted to the shock of the diagnosis, the next step was adapting to a life with their “new mom,” especially since her transition to Alzheimer’s was so rapid.

“You could see her struggling to try to remember things,” says Jeanie. “You just never knew how she was going to react. We had to hide things. It was not an easy adjustment for a person who had been independent her whole life.”

The family also realized a plan for care was needed, and this is where they came together like a well-oiled machine.

The worst thing about Alzheimer’s disease is what it takes from you. For Jeanie Harris and Sharon R. Melancon, it took their 91-year-old mom, Peggy, and turned her into a different person.

“When mom’s Alzheimer’s hit, I could see the change in her eyes. My mother was gone. I had a new mother,” recalls Jeanie, 67.

Jeanie and Sharon lost their mom earlier this year, five years after they learned of her diagnosis. While their story is common for those who take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s—a story of loss, sadness, frustration—there’s also the other side: the love, the connection, the celebration of a life that touched three generations of Californians.

Peggy came to Los Angeles in the 1940s from Arkansas. There she met her husband, a native himself of Louisiana. They settled into the southside of Los Angeles, producing four children, Sharon, Jeanie, Vivian, and Steve, who is now deceased.

Throughout her life, Peggy was known as someone who cared for others, a trait she exhibited up to and after she received her Alzheimer’s diagnosis at 90.

When the close-knit family learned of the diagnosis, there was shock and then sadness. This was in fact the second time the family had been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. An older cousin of Jeanie and Sharon, known as Aunt Lorraine, also had the disease, passing away a year before Peggy.

So, while the family was familiar with the disease, it still didn’t make it any easier.

“It was very difficult and just unbelievable,” says Sharon, 62. “We as a family started our grieving process.”

Once the family had adjusted to the shock of the diagnosis, the next step was adapting to a life with their “new mom,” especially since her transition to Alzheimer’s was so rapid.

“You could see her struggling to try to remember things,” says Jeanie. “You just never knew how she was going to react. We had to hide things. It was not an easy adjustment for a person who had been independent her whole life.”

The family also realized a plan for care was needed, and this is where they came together like a well-oiled machine.

The first step was to ensure that Peggy would never be alone. Sharon already lived next door to Peggy. Jeanie would eventually move in with her mom. Their experiences with Aunt Lorraine gave them valuable knowledge about what it was like to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s—even as they knew each person’s Alzheimer’s affects them in different ways.

It wasn’t easy, both Jeanie and Sharon admit, as they dealt with watching their mom struggle with the disease. “We cried a lot. You miss the things you used to do together. It was hard,” said Sharon.

But it also made them appreciate the deep love of their family. Peggy’s granddaughter Kym and Vivian also helped provide round-the-clock care.

Although the family had lost so much to Alzheimer’s disease, they also had each other, and that made a world of difference. It also gave Jeanie and Sharon some food for thought.

“We are working together as a family, and it was hard,” says Sharon. ”We thought, ‘How do people who do not have anyone to help them do this?’”

That thought soon led to the sisters starting the nonprofit Actively Caring Through Sharing, Inc. – A Support Group for Women and Men Caregivers (ACTS) in February 2014.

“We had learned so much about how everything works with Alzheimer’s care and treatment and how important education is,” says Sharon. “So we came up with this support group.”

The mission of ACTS is “providing encouragement, educational resources, support, and a safe place for caregivers to share their true feelings.”

“We want to show them that they are not alone. Our main focus is to help people get out whatever’s on their heart and mind, whether it is to share their heartaches or get feedback,” says Sharon. “It helps to unload their burdens. It is amazing to see their transformation from meeting to meeting.”

The group quickly became a valuable hub for both women and men caregivers in the southern Los Angeles area. The group meets once a month. ACTS also hosts various speakers throughout the year, who give insights on Alzheimer’s-related topics, and offers free educational resources (such as the Alliance’s own pocket films on Alzheimer’s disease) for people to use.

Jeanie and Sharon both hope this group will help ease the burden of those taking care of their loved ones with this condition.

“Until they find a cure, I am just hopeful more support groups for caregivers will come about,” says Sharon. “It is an under-represented group: the caregivers.”

Jeanie, Sharon, and the rest of their family serve as an inspiring example of how, despite the impact the disease has on a family, love and caring can make a huge difference. And caring is what they’ll remember the most about Mother Peggy.

“To the end, she was caring for others. That was at her core,” says Sharon. “With Alzheimer’s disease, whatever a person is strongest in, that is the last to go. She always cared for all of us.”

To learn more about ACTS, please go to: http://actscsg.org/