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Editor’s note: Senior Column first ran in the Napa Valley Register on Sunday, June 11.

I love jazz, as you probably already know if you’ve been visiting with us for a while. Today (Sunday) there is an amazing jazz group, the Jeff Hamilton Trio, playing at Silo’s. I’m a happy member of our Napa Valley Jazz Society, founded by Bill Hart, president. In Bill’s opinion, “This is the best piano trio currently active.”

I’m thrilled to be able to attend, as the show starts at 4 p.m., and I can drive back home while there’s still light in the sky, and I can see to drive. Yippee!

I’m just excited to be going and this has nothing at all to do with what I’d like for us to talk about today. Only to say, if you love jazz, don’t miss tonight’s performance.

We have an opportunity to learn more about elder abuse this coming week. The more education that we have on this subject, the better off we will be should we ever be aware of abuse happening to someone we know.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, June 15, and Friday, June 16. This event is sponsored by Napa County Alliance for Senior Education (NCASE), and affiliated with Napa Valley College. The event will be held at Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. All are invited and there is no charge.

This will be the second annual Elder Abuse Awareness Symposium. On June 15, registration will take place from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. The program will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the focus will be on elder abuse education and resources. Food trucks will be available.

There will be speakers representing the Napa County District Attorneys’ Office, Mental Health, Adult Protective Services, In Home Supportive Services, as well as two special guests: Jan Breslauer, whose mother’s home was taken by a caregiver, and Jane Anderson, a member of Aequitas, The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women.

The following day, Friday, June 16, the event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Community Room at Napa Valley College Library, and the title for the morning will be: Interactive Multi-County Discussion. The discussion will be on how to combat elder abuse and what are the solutions? You are invited to join the discussion and help with the answers.

A little background on the folks presenting this event, Napa County Alliance for Senior Education: For the most part, they are students at the community college, who are seniors who want to bring non-credit classes and workshops to the college, specifically for seniors and elders.

We all know how vital it is to keep exercising to keep our bodies healthy and all parts moving well. It’s also very important to do the same with our minds, to keep using it and continually learning new things.

And, of course, it’s very healthy to be with people, making new friends. As we’ve discussed in our column so many times before: be active, both physically and mentally, get out and make new friends, and continue to enjoy this sweet life for as long as we can.

The Napa County Alliance for Senior Education has been meeting for two years, and their mission statement is: “To redesign and enhance the quality of a long life through education using a multidisciplinary approach.”

One last thing on elder abuse that I’d like to discuss: When I think of elder abuse, one huge area will be found in abusive caregivers. Be very careful in selecting a caregiver for yourself or a parent or loved one. If you are interviewing an independent caregiver, one not working out of an agency, ask to see their caregiver permit. Our cities and our county passed an ordinance seven years ago to help safeguard our elders from possible abuse from a caregiver. If the caregiver comes from an agency, they are usually fingerprinted to verify they have no criminal record. To acquire a permit, the independent caregiver is background checked to also show that there is no criminal background. Please protect yourself or your loved one. This ordinance is to help keep us safe. Let’s take advantage of it. Call 255-4284 for additional information on how your caregiver can obtain the information she/he will need to become permitted.

I, for one, am very pleased to be living in a county that honors their elders by looking out for us with this very important law that was passed requiring caregivers to be permitted. Thank you Napa, American Canyon, Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga and Napa County.

Well, that wraps it up for us. Please join me at the symposium, and learn more about elder abuse and how we can be on guard by learning more about ways of protecting ourselves and others. Continue to take good care of yourselves and one another, with loving kindness.