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California community unites to protect elderly

07:30 PM April 19, 2012

SAN BRUNO, California—San Mateo Supervisor Adrienne Tissier is leading the call to action to protect the elderly through policy, engagement and education.

“As the aging population in San Mateo County has continued to grow at a rapid rate, our District Attorney’s Office has seen the number of reported elder abuse cases increase tenfold over the last 12 years,” said Tissier. “We must continue to be vigilant to put policies in place and prosecute those who prey on our seniors, as even a small theft can have an enormous impact on an elderly person on a fixed income.”

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Tissier, the board liaison to the Commission on Aging, will join Consul Jaime Ramon Ascalon on behalf of General Marciano Paynor Jr. in keynoting a free seminar and resource fair on April 28 from 1-3:30 p.m.

at St. Robert Church on 1380 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno, California uniting community leaders, advocates, experts and providers in the field of elder care.

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The Fil-Am Group of St. Robert is hosting the presentation by ALLICE Kumares and Kumpares in collaboration with Seton Medical Center, Thomasians USA and Union Bank. Television journalists and longtime ALLICE allies Lloyd Lacuesta and Frances Dinglasan will co-emcee.

Community responsibility

Tissier is serving her second term as supervisor representing District 5, covering the northern reaches of the county. Famous for her business acumen, the UC Berkeley Economics graduate is equally noted for her advocacy for the elderly. She is on the frontlines in ensuring the county is prepared to serve its aging population, sometimes dubbed the Silver Tsunami. By 2030, 30 percent of the county’s residents are projected to be at least 60 years old. Just as she is recognized for her dedication to public service, the supervisor is admired for her devotion to her parents.

As keynote speaker at the recent launch of the Daly City Library Associates, Tissier bared her longing for her mother Mary J. Tissier, for whom a library booster program is named. Mary Tissier passed away last year.

Tissier’s empathy with the elderly is palpable in her many activities. She works with the California Highway Patrol in organizing free half-day classes every month to train older drivers to “update themselves regarding the rules of the road.” Over 1,000 senior drivers have attended the classes throughout the county.

“The senior population is obviously increasing and seniors also are living longer, and therefore driving longer,” Tissier says on her website. “Even if we help just 10 percent of our class attendees avoid accidents, that’s at least 100 collisions and 100 potential injuries prevented.”

Aware that isolation in a major issue among the elderly, Tissier helped create the San Mateo Transit or SamTrans Senior Mobility Action Plan that reviewed and recommended solutions to barriers facing elders’ ability to get around. The shuttle services and pedestrian-safe policies seniors enjoy today may be credited to Tissier’s vigilance and leadership as 2008 SamTrans board chair.

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Third pillar

Ascalon is fairly new in his post and he has familiarized quickly with his office’s priorities. “As one of ALLICE’s Kaakbay, the Philippine Consulate General looks forward to taking part in this forthcoming event,” said Ascalon, who was deputy chief of presidential protocol with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs before assuming his current post almost two summers ago. “This is also in line with the third pillar of Philippine Foreign Policy, which is the protection of the rights and the promotion of the welfare of and interests of Filipinos overseas.”

“We continue to support ALLICE’s laudable mission to promote healthy, happy, and harmonious family-living, especially among the Filipino American community,” Ascalon said.

Ascalon as family man would speak from the heart at his first Kumares-Kumpares event.The political science graduate of the University of the Philippines is married to Maria Cecilia Gregorio Ascalon. They are parents to two sons, Jaime Martin and Andre Luis.

Adult Protective Services manager Chris Rodriguez, a licensed social worker, knows full well the value of information. “One of the challenges of our work in APS or Adult Protective Services is educating the public and creating an awareness of the problem of elder and dependent adult abuse,” he said.  “Many people are familiar with child abuse.  Most people are surprised that elder and dependent adult abuse exists.”

APS social worker Rowland Valladares will share his experience serving Filipino American families. Valladares was 14 when he came to this country with his family. Besides having earned his undergraduate degree in Social Welfare at U.C. Berkeley and his master’s in Social Work at San Francisco State University, he complements his expertise with his proficiency in Tagalog and Hiligaynon, a Visayan language. The four-year APS veteran was a case manager with Asian Community Mental Health Services and the Regional Center of the East Bay, where he served people with developmental disabilities for over three years.

Glenn Sylvester, president of the Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers Organization will address elder abuse as a crime.  The retired sergeant with the SFPD was recently sworn in as Daly City Planning commissioner.  He is a master instructor for California Peace Officer Standards of Training with a specialty in cyber crime and identity theft.

Engagement

While ALLICE Kumares & Kumpares have been partnering with faith communities for their annual spring community outreach for the past six years, their 2012 “Our Family, Our Future” will be a milestone.

“This is our first faith-based effort focusing on caring for the elderly,” said S.F. Police Dept. Lt. Randy Caturay, ALLICE 2012 president. “Elder abuse may be intentional or unintentional. There is lack of understanding about what constitutes abuse and that’s our goal: To educate about the many forms of elder abuse to prevent it from happening. For this reason we invite everyone to join us.”

Each “Our Family, Our Future” is a community effort generously supported by Voltaire V. Yap Photography, Philippine Association of University Women – USA, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recover Services – Office of Diversity and Equity,  Philippine News and Philippines Today.

St. Robert Pastor Rev. Robert “Obet” Andrey will welcome the community and give the church’s view of caring for the elderly.  Corporate security executive Michael Clements and family nurse practitioner Elsa Agasid, NP, 2012 ALLICE secretary, will sing a song evoking home as a refuge.

Resource providers from public, nonprofit and community-based agencies will be on hand to consult about their products and services. Kaiser Permanente Filipino American Association will offer free blood pressure and body mass index tests.

Free refreshments will be served compliments of nonprofit and corporate sponsors led by Lucky Chances and Moonstar Restaurant, which also are donating gift certificates to be raffled at the end of the program.  Among prizes are a balikbayan box shipment through Forex Cargo, a shawl by Philippine Fashion Ambassador Renee Salud, and many other gifts.
ALLICE Kumares & Kumpares  include Alice Bulos, Bettina Santos Yap, Hon. Cherie M. Querol Moreno Edna Murray,; Hon. Erlinda Galeon, Jeannette Trajano, RN; Dr. Jei Africa, Psy D; Jennifer Jimenez, MFT; Hon. Joanne del Rosario; Jose Antonion, Kristine Zafrani Averilla, Lina Susbilla, andLorraine Canaya, NP; Malou Aclan, RN; Paulita Lasola Malay, MFT; Rev. Mark Reburiano, Robert Uy, Esq., Sarah Jane Ilumin, and Susan Roxas.

For more information on “Our Family,” call ALLICE (650)636-4031 (Erlinda), 878-4739 (Malou) and (650)872-2301 (Alice).

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