DAC’s Busy Summer

Getting the word out to new consumers has been a big policy directive for Disability Action Center.

One of the most effective ways to do this: attend tabling events throughout the center’s large service area. DAC has had representatives at health fairs this summer conducted at popular venues like senior centers in Mount Shasta City, public events in Oroville, Win-River Casino community room in Redding and Shingletown Health Center, to name just a few.

The agency’s had representatives at health fairs held at popular venues like senior centers in Mount Shasta City, and public events in Oroville and Shingletown.

The agency distributed literature to over 100 potential consumers who stopped by DAC’s table at the Win-River event. The public received valuable information about a Traumatic Brain Injury support group that meets twice a month, a popular housing rental list that is distributed every week to people with disabilities or the homeless, the agency’s Assistive Technology program, Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB), the upcoming DAN coalition symposium in Chico, Social Security updates and new voter registration opportunities.

During a summer staff meeting hosted by the center’s Chico headquarters, Executive Director Evan LeVang rededicated the Claude Whelchel Memorial Community Service/Lifetime Dedication Award to Karen Duncanwood, a tireless advocate for the disabled who lost the original Whelchel Memorial plaque due to the CAMP fire. Son Ryan Duncanwood, a popular disabled advocate, accompanied her at the award ceremony that was attended by Chico Mayor Randall Stone.

The late Whelchel regularly donated his valuable building contractor services to DAC and the north state disability community at large.

Seniors demonstrate a fitness drill during the Shingletown Medical Center health fair attended by Disability Action Center. (Dan Murphy photo)
The DAC table was a big hit at the Win-River health fair with about 100 consumers requesting services from staff. (Dan Murphy photo).
Disability Action Center Executive Director Evan LeVang (right) is shown with award recipient Karen Duncanwood and Chico Mayor Randall Stone. (Dan Murphy photo)

Cody Hull Lauded For Dedicated Service

Longtime volunteer Cody Hull was honored as Disability Action Center’s Outstanding Volunteer Award winner during a recent staff meeting in Chico.

Executive Director Evan Levang spoke of Hull’s enthusiastic efforts on behalf of DAC while presenting a special plaque to the award winner.

The plaque reads: “Thank you for your dedication.”

Among his numerous contributions to DAC, Mr. Hull compiles a housing list of available properties for Butte County residents and beyond. He also regularly works the center’s reception area, answering phones and greeting the public.

DAC program manager Wendy Longwell praised Hull’s willingness to be a team player. “Cody is always there when we ask him to go above and beyond,” Longwell said.

Chico Mayor Randall Stone attended the meeting and helped recognize Hull.

DAC OIB Senior Specialist Teresa Rios lauded Hull for his pleasant demeanor and versatility. “Cody is always willing to help with any and every project he is asked to help with,” she said. “When he gets to the office he always makes his way back to my office to say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’. It is such a pleasure to have him in our office.”

Hospital Stays – Know Your Rights

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CARA executive director Jodi Reid addresses a workshop for retirees at the Redding Library on April 12 regarding patient rights during hospital stays.

Are you facing an upcoming hospital stay? Premature discharge is a huge problem, and a bit of advanced planning can make a world of difference when it is time for you to return home.

The California Association of Retired Americans (CARA) had much to say in their recent special workshop. The big overall? Record this telephone number:

Livanta – California Medicare Appeals Helpline: 1-877-588-1123

You can receive assistance to appeal a discharge from a hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health agency or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility. You can also file complaints regarding the quality of Medicare-covered services.

Livanta is your national advocate if you feel you are being discharged prematurely from a hospital. Making the call will start your file and stop your discharge until it is cleared up by the hospital staff and a Livanta representative.

PLAN AHEAD

I. Hospital stays for surgeries etc.
Get detailed info ASAP and as much as possible from a health care provider before you are admitted, and about what is involved post-visit. Most people still don’t do this for themselves or loved ones and it leads to problems like living conditions in recovery and with accessibility/mobility. Hospitals aren’t good at communicating this to patients, or don’t have enough staff to do it properly.
  • Have a family member/friend record any conversations about your care pre- and post-visit with a smartphone device etc.
II. Discharge
Hospitals are notoriously understaffed on weekends. They are required to have a discharge planner coordinate a safe discharge for you either through a social worker, nurse, or the hospital discharge planner. The problem is most hospitals discharge patients too quickly and try to do it on Fridays to reduce bed counts. You may end up back in the hospital because of this. Hospitals can be fined up to $10,000 if a patient re-enters the hospital within 30 days of an unsafe discharge.
This behavior is so pervasive that Medicare now contracts with a third party (Livanta) to make sure you have a safe discharge. Medicare pays for you to appeal your discharge. This is a secret hospitals don’t want you to know about.
Should you end up at a skilled nursing facility for recovery, Medicare pays in full for the first 100 days. Medicare also pays for hospice services.
III. Make sure you are fully “admitted” into the hospital- not held for “observation”
Observation is a way hospitals attempt to get around not having to pay the possible $10,000 fine should an unsafe discharge be identified. Placed under observation rather than full admission could lead to a huge bill you are not covered for and probably cannot afford.
Medicare does not pay while you are under observation because those services are considered outpatient care.  Do not sign or authorize anything until you see an admission slip. You are not admitted into the hospital until you sign this piece of paper.
Be an assertive patient. Know your rights.

AT in Action

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Assistive Technology specialist Dwight Phillips, on the truck above, accepts a donation from the public in front of the Redding office of DAC, 2876 Park Marina Drive.

The Assistive Technology program for Disability Action Center has been in high gear, delivering and accepting donations from the public throughout its vast service area of northern California.

AT Specialist Dwight Phillips serves DAC consumers out of the Redding and Chico office locations and regularly accesses AT devices like wheelchairs, power chairs and walkers from the center’s storage facilities to meet consumer needs.

 

 

DAC Accepting Applications

DAC is seeking résumés from qualified individuals that are interested in working with us. We are now actively hiring for our Redding Center for the Older Individuals who are Blind Program (OIB).

The purpose of the OIB program is to

  • Provide independent living services to older individuals who are blind;
  • Conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals; and
  • Improve public understanding of these individuals’ challenges.

An “older individual who is blind” is an individual age 55 or older whose significant visual impairment makes competitive employment extremely difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Through these services and activities, the program seeks to improve independent living options for older individuals who are blind and increase their independence and self-sufficiency.

DAC Employment Application

Independent Living – Senior Specialist OIB North

Phillips Networks with Service Workers

Assistive Technology specialist with DAC, Dwight Phillips, recently teamed with the Western Service Workers Association of Redding to distribute clothing and toys to children in families experiencing material hardship.

Phillips used the The Disability Action Center’s box transport truck to move the special items from Chico to Redding. He also regularly transports large durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, motorized chairs, and hoyer lifts to facilitate bringing equipment for consumer pick-up between our center locations.

“It’s good to know there’s organizations still out there helping the less fortunate in our society,” Phillips stated.

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Disability Action Center’s Dwight Phillips, center, worked with Western Service Workers staff to give clothing and toys to the needy of the North State region.

DAC-Redding office relocates

The Disability Action Center’s office in Redding has a new location.

The non-profit independent living center recently moved to 2876 Park Marina Drive in Redding, vacating its old location on West St.

The office has a new manager: Wendy Longwell.

Dwight Phillips handles certain assistive technology needs for consumers.

Office hours are 9-5 Monday-Friday. The phone number: 242-8550.

Nor-Cal Emergency Information

Please check our Emergency Information Website Landing Page.
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City of Anderson to begin ADA access upgrades

By the end of June, work will begin to improve Americans with Disabilities Act parking access at the popular Anderson River Park, top city management and staff told the Disability Action Center at a recent meeting in Anderson City Hall.

The work should take about a month to complete, city engineer Dave Durette said, which will include moving ADA spaces to more level ground, the installation of a new paved path from the relocated parking spaces leading to the busy fishing access entrance, up-to-date signage and signature blue and white painted striping.

City Manager Jeff Kiser said the improvements will total about $20,000.

Kiser stated the city hopes to work with DAC in the future on a comprehensive ADA improvement plan at the park, which could total up to $150,000.

“Anderson River Park is probably the No. 1  destination spot for weekend recreation for all of Shasta County that offers direct river access,” Kiser said. “There is definitely a need for these (ADA) improvements.”

At the meeting, Kiser also pledged to join the new ADA Transition Committee for Shasta County-North, which will meet once a month at the DAC office in Redding, 1600 West Street. The committee will address ADA-related issues like access to public transportation, local, state, and federal legislation, and healthcare, to name just a few, and is still seeking members. Call DAC at 530-242-8550 for more details.

DAC talks disability rights with State Reps

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Collaboration and Solidarity was the theme for the Independent Living Conference 2018 at the Sacramento Convention Center, sponsored by the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers on June 6, part of a big week for disability rights advocacy in the state capital.

In conjunction with the conference, Disability Action Center Systems Change Advocates Talmadge House, Michael Brady and Dan Murphy sought support for disability rights legislation with state senators and assemblymen on June 7 as part of Advocacy Day.

DAC representative Carolyn Nava, House and Murphy were among hundreds who attended the annual IL conference, which included a full day of workshops and presentations. Among the workshop tracks addressed at the conference were youth transition, long term services and support, emergency readiness and recovery, community organizing and how to use social media like Twitter effectively for positive disability rights change in society.

The Twitter hashtag for the conference was #ILCon18.