March 2016

What a great meeting we had in February. Thank you to SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lawrence. Beacon Hill’s elders, or sabios, are an important part of our community. You provide stability, history, and impart wisdom to our neighborhood. We need your histories to document our pasts, but even more importantly, we need your input and ideas at meetings and your insights for our future. We know that you may face special challenges. Often people in our community need living assistance, special services (like meals on wheels), and home care. When I’ve spoken to elders in our community, several issues seem to come to the forefront: You worry about staying in your home comfortably and within your fixed means, you worry about crime, and some of you often wish you were more connected to your neighbors and community. We will focus on several issues of elders in our community as the year progresses. BHANA is interested in programs that help seniors stay in their homes by helping with home repairs, programs that help seniors with utility bills, senior services that help you with nutrition and medical services. What we, as a community, can do is work on issues of connectedness. Often I hear seniors complain, in general, that they simply do not know anyone on their block. That people are too busy to visit. I know that in Beacon Hill, many elders are surrounded by loving neighbors who visit, worry about them, and provide some basic services like lawn mowing or bringing a baked sweet or some leftover soup or dinner occasionally. There are many of you, however, who don’t know your neighbors and feel alone. If nothing else, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a next-door neighbor just introduced themselves to you or stop to say hello when you are out on your porch? For my younger neighbors, it is these gestures of grace that bring joy into someone’s life. I don’t only mean the life of the elders, but in your life. Some of the most interesting, funny, dynamic, and creative people I know are over 90. I am lucky they want to spend time with me! This month’s meeting, which will be conducted by Lola Rodriguez, BHANA Vice-President (I will be out of town), will feature CPS presentation of Casa Verde and Affordability Discount Programs which are programs to help the elderly pay utility bills and to weatherize their homes so they run utilities more efficiently with less expense. In other words, these programs will save time and money. They will enroll people at the meeting. Lola is the perfect facilitator for this meeting—she is a knowledgeable source in her own right as she works with the elderly services professionally. If you are not an elder, get information for your neighbors. It will make a great conversation opener. We are also going to begin our conversation about crime on Blanco and the Rosewood/Lynnwood area. I have received calls from elders and neighbors in that area who are worried about what is going on in that area. Our elders (all of our neighbors) should be able to live safely in Beacon Hill. We hope to continue to bring information about services for elders at future meetings. We need your input! Resources: City of San Antonio Senior Services: (210) 207.8198 SeniorServices.aspx Alamo Area Agency on Aging: (210) 362-5561 Kenwood Senior Center: Betty Eckert,