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tv   Face the State  CBS  February 6, 2016 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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ones probably won't, and how we can all be a little bit
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jjj jjj arianna bennett: welcome to face the state, i'm arianna bennett thank you for joining us. well there's no doubt the elderly population in the united states is growing. that's a mix of longer life expectancy and a generation of aging baby boomers. now when that happens it puts a strain on social services meant to help the elderly but it also means a bigger portion of our population in retirement and living alone. now mary brock the executive director of seniors in service is here to talk about the ways to engage and help the seniors here locally. mary, thank you so much for coming on the show. mary brock: and thank you for having me. bennett: okay, so first off just to get us started, tell me about seniors in service. brock: okay, seniors in service, we're a non- profit agency. we've got three programs that we run through our
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senior companion program. that is where we have senior volunteers that are 55 and over and they visit seniors that are living independently in the community. and it's basic social support. they might do some doctors visits with them, take them to doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, out to lunch, just try to keep them socially engaged so they can stay in their homes longer. we also have a volunteer program called the foster gram parent program. with that program we have senior volunteers 55 and over and they're tutoring and mentoring children in supervised settings. so we have them in title 1 schools. we have about 43 sites in northern nevada where we have these volunteers placed. and then the third one is a caregiver program. that's a respite voucher program for people that are taking care of loved ones that are 60 and over that are not really safe to be left alone, they have a lot of health issues, and they need a break. bennett: so how did all of this get started? i guess i want to rewind a little bit.
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brock: well thank you for asking that question. the senior companion and foster grandparent programs have been around for a very long time. they were actually developed by the nixon administration. they're under what's called the federal arm of the corporation for national and community service. they're what's called senior corps. most people are familiar with peace corps, this is a similar entity in that we have we're-we're using the valuable resources of our seniors to make a difference in our communities. so that's how they originated. and in northern nevada they've been around since 1976. bennett: wow. in its same form or has it changed a lot since then? brock: it's changed. i mean each time you have a new administration come in they change priorities. the senior companion and the priority has always been helping people stay independent. foster grandparent program there might be different goals for the
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of a need would you say there is here in our community for these services? brock: well for the senior companion program we have a huge need. there are several agencies that are providing services, there are a lot of agencies providing services, designed to keep seniors at home and help them get to their doctors appointments and help them stay healthy. our program, we partner with the retired and senior volunteer program which is through the unr sanford center for aging. they also have volunteers that are visiting with seniors in the community doing something similar to what we are but we all have waiting lists. one of the things that we face with our seniors is may of them lose their ability to drive themselves so they become very dependent on their communities - their neighbors, their family if they're fortunate to have family that can take them out and take them shopping. it's amazing too, what people
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grocery store, when i first moved to reno in 1999 i was in a grocery store in east sparks and i smiled at somebody and said hello and the lady started crying and she said that was the first person i had talked to in like a week. and you just don't realize sometimes how isolated our seniors can be if they don't have means of getting out and if they don't have a good social support network. bennett: right. and the really scary thing about all this too is that as the baby boomers continue to get older and our life expectancy grows we're just going to see so many more people who are needing services like this in our community and across the country. brock: yeah that's very true. it's a very popular program throughout the united states. it is in existence all the way through the united states. and when i'm talking to people that are in need we actually see that with our volunteers they often start off thinking they're the ones in need but they get so much
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helping other seniors. i mean they form really strong bonds between the- their-their clients but they're also their friends. you know they advocate for them. they help them apply for additional services. but it gives them a lot of purpose in life and that's what we hear from our volunteers a lot. i have something to do. i have something to look forward to monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday. and i think that's very important. bennett: okay now going back to the senior companion program. how does someone go about getting on the list? i mean i know you mentioned there's a waiting list so what's the process? brock: the first thing that i needed to do is call our office or if they have access to email they can email our office too. but they can call our office, 775-358-2322, and we'll begin that process. we have a very simple client evaluation form that they can complete and get in to us. that's step 1. bennett: okay, now when you say a waiting list, how long are we
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100 days, thousands of days? brock: it's about 100 names, 100 plus. bennett: that's a lot. brock: yes. bennett: so what's what's the inhibiting factor i guess? what's preventing it from or preventing the seniors from getting into the program, into actively in the program? brock: the biggest prohibiting is we need volunteers. we need additional volunteers. where right now we have about 60, we could use a good 75 volunteers. bennett: oh okay. brock: to meet the need. and we'd still have somewhat of a waiting list but it would address a lot of it. bennett: but that's a very feasible thing to have happen. brock: it is. bennett: only 15 or so more volunteers but of course probably as many as you could get would be great. brock: it would be great, yes. bennett: okay what kind of people are you looking for for volunteers? brock: people that are generally interested in helping others. they like other people a lot and they enjoy being with us. and you know we see a lot of different needs and a lot of different personalities. it's just like anywhere else in your life if
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people whether it's church or you know hobby groups. you know there are people that are generally happy all the time and people that can be a little cranky sometimes so you have to be a you have to be able to adjust to the different types of personalities too. bennett: okay and then i mean you need people who have the ability to drive? brock: yeah driving, yep. driving is a huge thing and we do reimburse for mileage and transportation for our volunteers. bennett: okay, our own cars? brock: their own cars. bennett: okay. anything else they-they're required? i mean do they have to have a clean background check or anything brock: well we do there's a whole orientation process where we go through and we have do all that background checking stuff that we have to do, and they do have to pass all that. those are federal regulations and state regulations. and it protects them, it protects us, and most importantly it protects the clients that we serve. so there is a process involved for the volunteers but it's a
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lot from it too. bennett: okay. and about what kind of i mean is it going to be mostly grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, that sort of thing? or is it ever anything more extended and about how long, like how much time commitment? brock: we look for the majority of our volunteers do up to 4 hours with a client at least once a week. and we say up to. there are a lot of our clients that just like are family members, you don't really want to be with them for 4 hours so they might spend an hour with them or two hours with them and it's up to that client and volunteer to work that out. and which is the flexibility is in their hands. bennett: okay, great program. i want to talk about your foster grandparent program because this is really cool too, kind of on the other end of things. seniors who are able and have some free time can really give back. tell me a little bit more about that. brock: you know that program is a lot of fun too. those volunteers the majority of our volunteers are placed in around the 2nd and 3rd grade level in elementary school is where
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with a student or a small group of students to again help them meet academic goals so that they can be more successful as they proceed forward. we also have a couple of volunteers at jan evans juvenile services and one of our biggest goals there is keeping those kids that are want them remained interested in school so they don't drop out. what's really interesting, we had oscar delgado, council-reno councilman schools bernice matthews last summer or last spring. and he was visiting with a couple of the foster grandparent volunteers and one of the classrooms would have the little grandma mary who's just adorable and it turns out they recognized each other. and she had been a foster grandparent volunteer in his classroom, one of his classrooms when he was a kid. bennett: oh my goodness. brock: i know it was really neat. and one of the things she does is she makes these little
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students so that they can decorate on them and give them as gifts to their parents and he still has a couple of them that they made, so it's a really neat relationships. very reno. brock: very reno. i know. bennett: all the connections, definitely. okay so same idea, people who want to get involved in that call the number you mentioned earlier? brock: yes. bennett: we can also put your website on our website as well, i want to touch on a little bit what else you guys need. i mean how are you funded? brock: we receive funding through the federal government for the foster grandparent and senior companion programs as well as state of nevada's aging and disability services division. and then also pursue private grants and we do fundraising to bring in extra funds for volunteers. bennett: okay so for those who don't have the time maybe to donate their time, are you do you accept donations? brock: oh absolutely. we appreciate everything that we get very much so. bennett: yeah very cool. okay and then and then finally the voucher program for the respite. we only have
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quick do you have a message about that? brock: yeah if you go to somebody, have a loved one that you think could use a break- the control is in their hands. if they qualify for this program, they submit an application to us, we'll help them out. if they don't qualify through us we'll help them with other resources but contact us. bennett: right, probably a lot of people you know who could use a little break. brock: yes. bennett: okay mary thank you so much for your time- brock: thank you. bennett: - i appreciate it. all right thank you and like i said we will put their information on our website, that's now coming up on face the state it seems every year we have more viruses to worry about from ebola to the measles and now zika. i'll speak to an infectious disease specialist to find out what we need to be
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jjj arianna bennett: welcome back to face the state, i'm arianna bennett thank you for staying with us. well in the last few years we've seen the growth and spread of several viruses prompting travel alerts, quarantines, and some degree of panic. though not all of them pose significant dangers here in nevada, but it is good to know which ones to watch out for. now dr. james wilson, director of the nevada state infectious disease forecast station is here now to talk about all of this. dr. wilson, thank you so much for coming on the show. dr. james wilson: thank you very much. bennett: okay so the forecast station is a relatively new thing right? wilson: yes, yes. bennett: when did it start and
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well my background having worked for the government for several years, we were basically busy trying to figure out how can we get better at warning on infectious disease right? some of the analogies that we borrowed were from the meteorlogical community so that's weather forecast right? so you say well how does disease relate to the weather, well it's not related to the weather data that we're talking about it's how do you actually translate that information to people in a way that that is meaningful and actionable for the general public? and we were concerned because this came from an era where we had time delays in warning on sars. time delays in warning on west nile virus and a whole bunch of other events that the public knows about and some that maybe the public doesn't know about. and we were concerned that we were getting behind the eight ball in a lot of these events. so we spent about two decades trying to figure out okay how can we take our discipline into a forecasting environment, into an operational forecasting environment? so we basically set up several prototypes. actually
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work began forecasting in haiti after the earthquake and there we had set up the world's first operational forecast station. and it was in the context of forecasting diseases like dengue fever and diarrhoeal disease and malaria and so and so forth after the earthquake that we got the tip off on the information for the cholera disaster there and then later the tip off of where did that disaster come from and it turned out to be a un base that was up stream of a few villages and nearby. we wound up taking that concept and dropping it into western colorado and we tested it there with a hospital and that was very successful. and then we were invited to come to the state and try it at the state level here. bennett: and so now you're based at the university of nevada and launching this interesting thing and it's kind of one of it's kind right? wilson: it is. bennett: i mean nothing else exists in the world? wilson: to our knowledge no other team in the world does
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country of japan just as an example we forecast 70 diseases down to the prefixer level. so we do forecast things like aids and drug resistant bacteria and and you know exotic diseases, rare diseases. and they can be forecast, so they can be anticipated. i think it's important to point out though that we forecast things that we have data for. so sometimes we have crisis like ebola or zika virus where there's not a whole lot of predictive information there. they just appear. and we call those black swan events. so we do our best to anticipate crises like that sometimes once they get rolling we can provide some anticipatory information as things evolve. but the analogies to the weather community are profound in that sometimes the weather becomes the news, right? so on a daily basis you know you had partly cloudy skies, chance of rain. well for us on a
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okay we have a standing advisory for sexually transmitted diseases so it's not as lively as precipitation but but occasionally we do have something interesting to report. so just like they report on tornadoes, we'll get excited reporting about ebola. bennett: well it's very important stuff especially if you live in an area where i mean we've seen such at least maybe not an increase but we've seen a lot of mosquito born illnesses happening and if you could issue a warning that's like, maybe wear your bug spray, or don't go to tropical south america that's a good thing for people to know. speaking of that, let's talk a little about the zika virus. it's zi-kuh i'm pronouncing it correctly right? wilson: yes. bennett: so zika virus, i know when we spoke earlier you said northern nevada doesn't necessarily need to be worried climate wise? why is that? wilson: well so when you're looking at mosquito transmitted viruses you're looking at a dynamic here. so you do need to have appropriate species of mosquito to transmit the virus, okay? we don't really have that
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point. so the guidance that a lot of folks are hearing you know in the major media outlets is you know quoting cbs and who and that is you know we're worried about pregnant moms. well that's true but we need to kind of think a little bit more broadly here is that men who problems if that partner's pregnant. right? and sometimes women don't know immediately if they're pregnant. so there's some uncertainty there. so if you are going to go there and travel make sure that you're not pregnant, that you're taking birth control, that you're using mosquito repellant and that you're mindful that the guy is at risk too okay for introducing the virus. bennett: and 22 days is the period right? wilson: mm-hm. bennett: where you need to be careful after exposure? wilson: so the data is really uncertain. so our best understanding right now is we're looking at about 10 days of live virus in the blood before you start
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know you're affected yet right? and then another 12 days after you develop symptoms. added to that complexity is the vast majority of people don't even really have significant disease. they feel a little ill, a little oopy, but they don't really go into the physician. they're not sick enough to go see a physician. they certainly aren't ill enough to be hospitalized. so this is- this is also a disease that mimics dengue fever. now dengue is endemic throughout this region and that's fever, joint pain, and rash. to add even more to this complexity we also have another african mosquito transmitted virus down there called chikunguya. that's a real mouthful, we call it chick for short. but it showed up in st. martin in 2013 and we've been tracking that for two years. and then it did enter brazil and there was a lot of confusion about whether it did or did not transmit in brazil. of course it did. but due to the world cup we didn't see a whole lot of reporting around there because
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around major events like that that can draw big crowds and big economy to these countries. bennett: right right. now speaking of some of those major virus events, ebola was a really big one. really quickly because we don't have a ton of time - ebola, are we out of the woods? wilson: well, i would be cautious in saying that everything is over and done with yet because we still keep getting these surprise cases popping up every now and then. we're not quite sure why that is. we think maybe it's because some of the survivors maintained live virus in their body for a bit longer than we anticipated. so then you'll have a random case pop up. ebola you've seen some media attention trying to compare zika to ebola and i categorically would tell anybody that that's just not really an appropriate comparison. these are completely different diseases. ebola is 70% lethal. we had just shy of 20,000 cases in all of west africa. it was a disaster. zika on the other hand is a crisis. yes this is an
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kill people. we have an unresolved issue about maybe its truly causing microcephaly, which is you know these babies with small, smaller cranium size, smaller heads. there's some confusion there. you know we're not quite sure that's really zika. bennett: okay, really quickly, west nile virus, could even be a yes we need to be worried or no we don't in this area, what would you say? wilson: west nile transmission here is very thin meaning we have really about a week or two where you tend to see west nile and that's usually the last week of august. bennett: okay what about measles? is this something we should be concerned about? wilson: no. not really. so long as we're maintaining a proper vaccination coverage. bennett: more about whooping cough, pertussis, another vaccine preventable disease. we've had some challenges with pertussis and we do see transmission here every year. bennett: okay, finally with just a few minutes left, what about
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mild this year. we did forecast the severity level of flu this year successfully and it has been mild. we are seeing some e interesting influenza b activity but that's a milder form of influenza. so all in all it's not very impressive. bennett: with the ease of transmission with the flu though, i know you've mentioned before that it's a concern, if it change it could be a real public health problem? wilson: mm-hm, we worry about pandemics right? so every hundred years or so you will see the emergence of a whole new type of influenza virus and then it can spread throughout the world and cause quite a bit of disruption and damage. we're kind of outside that window now. we have had a pandemic, it doesn't mean we can't have another one next year. they're very difficult to predict. the irony here is i had actually published a paper emphasizing we needed to worry about h5n1 in china and and then yet i was the one calling the cdc saying well we're tracking something in
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influenza pandemic, you know we're not quite sure what it is though. and so there's a bit of irony there that a guy like me who does this for a living for 25 years can still not be able to anticipate something like that down to the specific virus. you just they're just difficult to anticipate. bennett: and different strains and you never know what it's going to do right? wilson: yep it's a black swan. bennett: yeah, okay. any parting advice? is it get vaccines? get your flu shot? wilson: well you do need to get your flu shot even if we have a mild season we still recommend getting your flu shot. and the vaccine this year is very well matched to the strain so we're really we're seeing a pretty good season all information on all of this or to see past episodes just head to our website thank you for being with us. we'll see you next week.
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[daughter] sometimes the hallways felt like a giant maze. [mother] jenny didn't feel like going to school, and she slept during the day and was up at night. she seemed irritable all the time. [daughter] it felt like there was a weight on my shoulders. and the weight was really hard to hold up. [mother] one day my daughter was crying, that's when jenny told us she thought about hurting herself. [daughter] then my parents got me treatment.
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