Betty Rhodes Senior Corner: Some deserving praise
Senior Corner

Betty Rhodes Senior Corner: Some deserving praise


Good morning, my friends.

I’m excited about our visit this morning, and hoping that the information will be of value to you…so let’s get to it.

First of all, I’d like to thank our state Senator, Bill Dodd, for his recent honoring of Heather Stanton as 2019 “Woman of the Year”. So well deserved! Speaking as one who knows Heather, I just want to say, thank goodness she chose elder advocacy when she retired from the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, serving as project manager from 1998 to 2008. Before that, she worked for the city of Napa, overseeing parks and recreation, including the Senior Center.

As Napa’s Community Resource Department director, she oversaw construction of Las Flores Community Park and the Napa Skateboard Park. Her duties as flood control manager included guiding the Napa River flood control project, restoring wetlands, replacing bridges and creating various recreational faculties.

When Heather retired in 2008, she began devoting her time to helping Napa and Solano County seniors. Presently, Heather is on the board of directors of the newly formed Napa-Solano area Agency on Aging and is the chair of the Napa County Commission on Aging, where she is in her second two-year term.

Earlier, when I said, “Thank goodness Heather chose to devote her time to elder advocacy when she retired”, I meant it with all my heart. It’s been such a great pleasure getting to know her, working with her, admiring her strengths, her dedication, her willingness to put the time, energy and intelligence into any project she takes on.

As a fellow senior, I just wanted you to know, we are in good hands with Heather Stanton helping lead the way.

Be right back for more on Heather, but first. I have another “thank you” to make to Senator Dodd.

Bill, I’d love for my readers to be aware of the Senate Bill 314 that you recently introduced, which would add the word “abandonment” to California’s civil elder abuse laws, expanding on the existing legal liability – civil and criminal – faced by those who hurt or allow harm to befall elderly dependents.

(It was determined by state investigators that staff members abandoned about 100 elderly residents as the Tubbs fire closed in on the Oakmont of Villa Capri and Varenna care homes in Fountaingrove.)

Thank you, Bill. We seniors/elders are grateful for your caring for seniors.

In case you missed this week’s very first radio broadcast, “Senior Moments”, I will do my best to get you up to date. Remember: this broadcast is the inspiration and creation of a Practicum group project of Leadership Napa Valley, Class 32. Programming is sponsored by the Queen of the Valley Medical Center and Community Benefit in Collaboration with Community Action Napa Valley (CANV) and supported by Leadership Napa Valley. A reminder: Senior Moments, which aired Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 am. It will be a 30 minute live integration within KVON’s Wine Country Live morning show hosted by Barry Martin. This live broadcast will be rebroadcast on the same day at 12 noon. Topics addressed will be: advocacy, education, opportunities, networking, wellness, and disaster preparedness.

Well, it kicked off as promised on Wednesday, March 6th at 7:30, and it was amazing. Barry Martin introduced Bonnie Anderson, representing LNV Practicum group, who explained a little about our previous paragraph. She in turn introduced the guest speaker, Heather Stanton.

Of course, Barry did an excellent job as host, and we received a great education from Heather on senior needs. She mentioned the lack of revenue to deal with the older adult populations in California and Napa County as seen in the following:

Population over 65 as of 2018:

California 13.9% Napa 18.4%

Napa is 8.8% (12.086) of which 3,193 are over 55 which is 9% of the total number

Example of funding for Older Adults vs. Children

In the 2018 California State Budget Child Protective Services Training Budget is 86% higher than Adult Protective Services.

a. Number of children 0+to 19 in Napa County is 34,680; number of older adults 55 and older is 34,607.

b. Napa County Budget for Child Welfare Services is 45% larger then Comprehensive Services for Older Adults

The number of adults aged 65 and older is growing and by 2030 this cohort will represent more than 20% of the population in California with the fastest growing group being those individuals over age 85 who have complex needs requiring comprehensive and coordinated long-term services and supports Collaborative For Long Term Care.

As you can see, Heather has gathered authentic figures, and was kind enough to send me her chart. Please take the time to read and understand the work we have in front of us.

I asked Heather if there was anything that she would like to pass onto our readers, and she reminded me that we are short on Napa representatives to serve on the Napa/Solano Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council on Aging. If anyone would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please send in your application through:

I have so much more to share, but we’ll have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, be happy and make others happy.

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