In the U.S., someone turns 65 years old every 8 seconds.
In 2010, 11 percent of Santa Clara County’s population was over 60 years old. By 2040, that number is expected to increase to 17 percent, with the largest growth in the 85-and-older age group.
In light of these facts, on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency's Department of Aging and Adult Services, in partnership with San Jose State University’s CHAMP (Center for Healthy Aging in a Multicultural Population), the Timpany Center, and the Friends of Human Relations Commission will come together to host a special event for local seniors that aims to connect them with valuable tips and resources for their continued well-being.
The 19th Annual Adult Services Resource Fair will feature more than 45 agencies to provide information, nutrition tips, screening, resources and networking for consumers, caretakers and community providers. Hundreds of participants are expected to attend.
In addition to offering the opportunity to gather valuable information, seniors will also be able to take advantage of free flu shots, fracture risk tests, advice nurse consultations, demonstrations and other services. To add a little fun to the event, there will be even be raffle prizes.
All of this comes at the same time as Gov. Jerry Brown has recently announced that he has signed Assemblyman Rich Gordon's bill aimed at helping to protect seniors in California from fraud, identity theft and other financial abuses.
Assemblyman Gordon was in San Jose on Tuesday to announce the new legislation.
"I think we've made a great step forward on behalf of the seniors in California and it is my pleasure to have carried this bill," Gordon told reporters at the news conference.
AB 1288 addresses financial abuses that affect seniors and dependent adults who are unable to handle their own personal or financial affairs. The legislation would expand the authority of the public guardian - who serves as the legal guardian or conservator of senior citizens - to possess all assets held in the name of a proposed conservatee's trust. Currently, a public guardian can only take possession or control of a person's real or personal property held in a personal trust.
The bill also extends the duration that a public guardian can take temporary possession of property, including trust assets, from 15 to 30 days, to allow time for the guardians to find and secure assets and to obtain a hearing date for the conservatorship petition. According to Gordon's office, the extended time will help safeguard a person's assets from misuse or fraud while the conservatorship petition is pending in court.
"The important element here is that we have provided a new level of protection for vulnerable seniors," Gordon said. "[And, it also gives] those who work so hard as deputy public guardians an additional tool - and that's the additional 15-day time limit."
The legislation exempts a current trustee or conservator who is a spouse of the proposed ward or conservatee from taking control of the assets in a trust, except in cases where it is determined that the real or personal property held in the trust would be at risk of substantial loss or misappropriation.
Also in attendance at the news conference Tuesday were Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier. Their counties co-sponsored the bill.
The law will go into effect on Jan. 1.
The 19th Annual Adult Services Resource Fair for Santa Clara County senior citizens is a free event and will be held in the Timpany Center at 730 Empey Way in San Jose.
- Bay City News contributed to this report