Friday, June 17, 2016

Why Barbara Bikes

Front Porch Employee Raises Nearly 30K in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

CARING Housing Ministries Director of Education and Training, Barbara Schwerdt, didn’t even own a bike when she first embarked on the AIDS/LifeCycle “Ride to End AIDS” in 2011. Now on her third ride, Barbara is a seasoned cyclist who has raised a total of nearly $30,000 since she began. Funds raised by AIDS/LifeCycle go directly to providing life-saving services offered through the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Barbara was inspired to take on the challenge after losing her best friend to AIDS in 1998. “Chris was a one-of-a-kind friend that I was fortunate to have in my life for 15 years. And although nothing will bring him back, the funds we raise each year save the lives of others.”

The 15th Annual AIDS LifeCycle, is a week-long, 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and includes over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists. CARING Housing Ministries contributes by giving Barbara a paid leave to complete the challenge.

Congratulations to Barbara for completing her third AIDS LifeCycle “Ride to End AIDS” and for raising funds and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Get inspired to make a difference! Read more about Barbara’s amazing ride on her blog page and see her photo album here.

CARING Housing Ministries is a Front Porch affiliate which strongly advocates for quality supportive affordable housing. CARING specializes in creating and managing communities that serve people of limited income with exceptional needs, including seniors, families, and those who are physically disabled or have been diagnosed with chronic mental illness. CARING collaborates with non-profit sponsors, government agencies and financial organizations to revitalize existing communities and create new ones.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Opening Our Eyes to Elder Abuse

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a call for better detection and action

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and Next Avenue joins in the effort to shine a light on this pervasive problem.

An estimated 5 million older Americans are abused, neglected or exploited every year, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. That’s a conservative number, the organization says: for every one case that’s reported, as many as 23 are not.

“Elder mistreatment is a serious public health issue, and merits the same level of response as child abuse or domestic abuse,” says Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., president of The John A. Hartford Foundation and a researcher and authority on elder mistreatment and abuse, in a statement last week.

She urged all of us to increase our vigilance.

“In particular, health care, emergency services, social service, and law enforcement professionals, who are on the front lines, should use every interaction with an older person to screen for possible mistreatment,” she says. “One simple yet powerful way to do this is by asking the question: ‘Are you safe at home?’

That’s especially important with older adults who may be cognitively impaired or rarely outside of the presence of a potential abuser, Fulmer says.

Manifestations of Abuse

Elder abuse comes in many forms, including physical, psychological, financial and sexual abuse.

Last month, Next Avenue published a series on abuse in the guardianship and conservatorship systems, finding that, despite decades of efforts, pernicious patterns have endured.

As the boomer population ages, the numbers of people affected by guardianship and conservatorship will rise tremendously, experts predict. With the stroke of a judge’s pen, an older adult can see his or her most basic rights stripped away. A family member or even a stranger appointed by the court will decide where they will live, how their money will be spent, what health care they will get, when they will go out and whom they are allowed to see.

Educating Ourselves

We urge everyone to learn about elder abuse and know the signs that someone may be being abused.

We also urge the presidential candidates to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and offer their ideas on how to address the disturbing reality many older adults live with every day.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is organized by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

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