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Cognitive Decline — a First-Hand Account of Changes in Memory by Kevin Hanratty



I can remember things from 40 years ago, but I could not tell you what I had for dinner last night.

When I turned 67, I noticed that I had trouble remembering the names of things and celebrities. The noun or name would come to me after a delay of a minute or two.  I have been told that this a normal part of aging.

Difficulty with a person’s thinking memory and concentration is called cognitive decline.

Common signs of cognitive decline are:

  • Forgetting things more often
  • Forgetting important appointments or social engagements
  • Losing your train of thought or a thread of conversations, books or movies
  • Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions, planning steps to accomplish a task or understanding instructions
  • Experiencing difficulty in finding your way around familiar environments
  • Becoming more impulsive or showing increasingly poor judgment

Your family and friends may notice these changes.


  • Vitamin deficiencies, such as low levels of V12 and other B vitamins
  • Medications
  • Kidney or liver dysfunction
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider the following steps to help prevent cognitive decline.


  • Daily exercise
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay socially connected
  • Avoid stress
  • Engage in mentally stimulating activities such as reading and crossword puzzles
  • Keep learning

If none of these activities bring any improvement, please consult a medical professional for assessments to determine if there is something else happening which may be causing the decline.

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Announcement aligned with PRIDE re: Ex-Service Members to Regain Benefits & Resource Guide


As we head into the culminating weekend for PRIDE, we wanted to share information that could be relevant to members of the LGBTQ+ Community and their loved ones.

First, in case you missed it, the Biden Administration Pardoned Ex-Service members convicted under a defunct gay sex ban so they can regain benefits. This announcement on 6/26 could possibly apply to family members and partners of the service members. Learn more about this historic new policy change and its implications for benefits here.

Second, we wanted to share a wonderful resource provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR). This new resource was developed to help LGBTQI+ older adults and advocates understand and enforce their rights when receiving health and long-term care. The LGBTQI+ Older Adults – Know Your Rights Resource Guide explains how recently updated regulations implementing the Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, HIPAA, and grants to HHS-funded programs reinforce important protections and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex—including sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics, and sex stereotypes—and on the basis of disability, including HIV.

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Strategies for Preventing Scams

Scam alert


From tech support scams to grandkid scams, the threat of digital exploitation of senior citizens is increasing daily. June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and we are revisiting some articles to highlight scam prevention. To learn about different types of scams, and what to do if you’ve been a victim of a scam please click here.

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Cryptocurrency Scams: What to Know and How to Protect Yourself



(Note: June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and all monthlong we will be posting relevant content to help raise awareness.)

First, let’s talk about what cryptocurrency is. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that don’t require verification by financial institutions and can be used to buy goods or services or traded for a profit. There are different types of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether. Cryptocurrencies can be bought online using your phone or computer or at a special ATM for cryptocurrency. Buying cryptocurrency can be done through apps, exchanges, or websites.

Cryptocurrency is stored in a digital wallet. It can be difficult or impossible to recover your funds if something happens to your wallet. For example, if you send your cryptocurrency to the wrong person, lose your password, or your digital wallet is stolen or compromised in some way, your money will likely be gone.

Cryptocurrencies lack the legal protections that credit cards and debit cards have. Unlike the U.S dollars you have in an FDIC insured bank account, cryptocurrency accounts are not backed by the government. This means you can’t dispute a purchase of cryptocurrency the way you can dispute a credit card purchase. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, there may not be a process for getting your money back. Cryptocurrency payments sent to scammers are often irreversible.

Signs of Cryptocurrency Scams

Cryptocurrency scams are alive and well, including in Contra Costa County. Learn the following signs of a cryptocurrency scam so you can spot these scams and protect yourself.

  • Legitimate businesses or the government will not ask you to pay in cryptocurrency, including to buy something or to protect your money.
  • If someone you meet on a dating app or website asks you to buy cryptocurrency, it’s probably a scam. Be especially cautious if you haven’t met the individual making this request in person.
  • Don’t trust people who promise or guarantee big profits or big returns. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • The cryptocurrency trading platform lacks a customer service line or legitimate physical address.
  • Many raving reviews or testimonials can indicate a scam. Be skeptical of rave consumer reviews on a cryptocurrency website, those reviews may be fake.
  • A cryptocurrency website has many generic awards like “Customer Satisfaction” but it’s unclear who gave the award or you may never have heard of the award.
  • Poor spelling, bad grammar, or broken links can indicate a scam.
  • The website promises that the more you invest, the more money you’ll get in return. These types of investment plans are too good to be true and are designed to trick you into investing more money.
  • If a cryptocurrency platform won’t accept transfers from your bank, it’s likely a scam. Scammers don’t connect their trading platforms to traditional and legitimate financial institutions because the scammers can get caught.

Steps to Protect Yourself

  • Don’t send cryptocurrency to someone who contacts you unexpectedly and unsolicited, demanding you pay cryptocurrency
  • Never pay a fee to get a job
  • Never buy cryptocurrency as part of a job
  • Don’t click on links from text messages, social media messages, or emails from people or companies you don’t know
  • Don’t answer phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize

What to do if you are Scammed

Report the scam to the following:

If you need help reporting the scam, call Contra Costa Senior Legal Services at (925) 609-7900 and we can help you.

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In News

Tabora Gardens Senior Apartments in Antioch — Waitlist Opening 5/31


Waiting List Opening Soon

The waiting list for 1-bedroom units at Tabora Gardens opens on May 29, 2024 at 9:00 AM.

Applications will be available to submit online.

Please visit for more information.

Online applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on June 12, 2024.

Paper applications will also be available to pick up at 3701 Tabora Drive, Antioch, CA 94509 at the following times:

• Friday, May 31, 2024, 10am – 4pm

• Wednesday, June 5, 2024, 10am – 4pm

• Friday, June 7, 2024, 10am – 4pm

• Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 10am – 4pm

Paper applications will also be available online to print. Paper applications must be mailed to the address listed on the application. Paper applications must be postmarked by June 12, 2024 AND received by the manager’s office by 5:00 PM on June 19, 2024.

A lottery will be conducted for all applications received by the deadline.

The top 400 applications will be placed on the waiting list for consideration.

The 24-hour support phone line will open on May 29, 2024 at 9:00 AM and close on June 12, 2024 at 5:00 PM. Please call the number below for assistance. Persons with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations to participate in the application process. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please email or call : (844) 719-5759.


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In News

Protect Your Home and Family with Wildfire Awareness Month

As Californians, we know how dangerous wildfires can be. Luckily, there are steps we can take to prepare ourselves for wildfires. This month we celebrate Wildfire Awareness Month. Let’s treat this month as chance to learn how to keep ourselves, our families, and our homes safe in the event of a wildfire. As climate change causes more frequent and intense wildfires, it’s important to know how to prepare.

Wildfires can be extremely stressful, especially for older adults and those with disabilities. Reduce some of that stress by taking the following steps to prepare yourself for a wildfire:

  • Pack a Go Bag: include essential items for you, family members, and pets, such as important documents, medication, a phone charger, food (including pet food) and water
  • Learn about the different evacuation routes in your neighborhood
  • Ask for help from friends or neighbors if you’re someone who might need extra help in an emergency
  • Make a plan with those in your household about what you’ll do if there’s an emergency and plan a safe place to meet
  • Sign up for local emergency alerts at org. You can sign up to receive alerts about emergencies and earthquakes
  • Prepare your home to reduce the threat a wildfire will pose. Click here to learn more about how to prepare your home

Click here for additional resources about wildfire preparedness in Contra Costa County, including resources in Spanish and tips for seniors and people with disabilities.

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In News

CCSLS Recognizes Older Americans Month

Every May we observe Older Americans Month. This month is about recognizing the contributions that older Americans make to our communities, emphasizing trends in aging, and reaffirming our commitments to serving older adults. Every year, Older Americans Month has a different theme. This year’s theme is Powered by Connection, selected in recognition of the deep and significant ways that meaningful relationships and social connection impacts our health and wellbeing.

Many older adults struggle with loneliness and isolation as they age. Loneliness and isolation can negatively impact seniors’ mental and physical wellbeing. Seniors who feel lonely or isolated are also more vulnerable to elder abuse. To combat this problem, Contra Costa County offers many avenues for older adults to connect with others. For seniors interested in connecting with others, consider some of the following:

  • Senior Centers: many cities in Contra Costa County have senior centers that offer a wide range of programs. CCSLS conducts legal clinics at some of these senior centers, meaning seniors may be able to get free legal services at their local senior center.
  • Meals on Wheels Diablo Region offers programs for seniors, including their Friendly Visitor and Friendly Caller programs which are designed to connect seniors with others.
  • Senior Peer Counseling pairs adults age 55 and older with trained senior counselors who can provide support with challenges related to aging such as loneliness, loss of loved ones, health challenges, or isolation.
  • The Friendship Line makes free emotional support phone calls to lonely and isolated seniors. Call 1-888-670-1360 for free.
  • Front Porch has a program called Well Connected that offers talks and classes in a variety of subjects, including art, music, meditation, reading…
  • Try volunteering at an organization whose mission you support. Volunteering can provide the opportunity to engage with others while serving your community.

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In News

Participate in Senior Rally Day and Advocate for Seniors

Senior in suit

May is Older Americans Month. This month gives us the opportunity to recognize the contributions that older Americans make to our community, acknowledge trends in aging, and affirm our commitment to serving and protecting the rights of older adults. As part of this Older Americans Month, May 8 is Senior Rally Day.

Senior Rally Day is an annual event that occurs every May in California. This day is intended to raise awareness about the needs of seniors and seniors’ issues among legislators and the Governor. On this day, participating older adults contact their legislators and generate awareness of the need to fund programs for older adults. The Governor’s office finalizes their annual budget in May. Senior Rally Day serves to highlight issues important to seniors and remind those in government to think of older adults when planning the state budget.

It is especially important for those in our state government to consider the needs of seniors in budgetary planning because California’s population is aging rapidly. The California Department of Aging predicts that the population of Californians age 60 and older will grow more than three times faster than the state’s population as a whole.[1] As the state’s population ages, we must establish a robust support system designed to empower and serve our seniors. Participate in Senior Rally Day to advocate for the needs of seniors in California. Click here to learn more about Senior Rally Day and register to participate.


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Contact Us

2702 Clayton Rd.
Suite 202

Concord, CA 94519
(925) 609-7900

Events Calendar

For our upcoming events, check out our calendar.

Our Mission

The mission of CCSLS is to protect the rights of seniors. By providing legal services, the organization is also able to mediate poverty and improve health outcomes for the population it serves. Lawyers are uniquely qualified to help identify and address legal issues that impede the ability of seniors to remain healthy and independent.