UPDATED: Briar Hill Hosting Resource Fair INDOORS!

It’s going to rain – moving INDOORS! Win a Fitbit….Today, May 29th, 2 – 4

Briar Hill Health Campus, 600 Sterling Drive, North Baltimore,  is planning a Senior Resource Fair next Wednesday, May 29 from 2:oo to 4:00 pm. 

Information booths from local senior resources, refreshments, and door prizes will be available.

Bring a canned good to donate and be entered into a raffle.

Area businesses and  providers are asked to contact Briar Hill Health Campus to register for a table, or for more information.



Study Finds Wood County Retirement Living Among Best in Ohio

for Living mainly on Social Security…

Relying heavily on Social Security as your main source of income in retirement can make budgeting difficult – especially when it comes for housing, which may be the largest category in your spending. There are, however, places where Social Security goes further than others and in a new study, SmartAsset has delved into the data to find out where. In its fifth annual study, SmartAsset analyzed Social Security income, cost of living data, and taxes across all counties to determine where people are getting the most mileage out of Social Security, and Wood County ranked among the top spots in Ohio.

Image by silviarita from Pixabay 


For a look at how the leaders in Ohio compared, check out the table below:

RankCountyCost of LivingAnnual Social SecuritySocial Security Taxed?Social Security Goes Furthest Index
1Geauga, OH$18,979$21,302No85.16
2Fulton, OH$17,967$19,759No82.94
3Henry, OH$18,461$20,156No82.53
4Harrison, OH$17,674$18,804No80.17
5Huron, OH$17,693$18,611No79.28
6Medina, OH$19,102$20,006No79.22
7Warren, OH$19,486$20,378No79.17
8Delaware, OH$20,068$20,885No78.85
9Champaign, OH$17,693$18,492No78.78
10Wood, OH$18,291$19,075No78.72

The full study results, methodology, and interactive map can be found here: https://smartasset.com/retirement/social-security-calculator#Ohio

Source: Smartasset.com


Representative Ghanbari Honors Wood County’s Nonagenarians, Two Centenarians 

The celebration included an introduction of each honoree, a slideshow highlighting their lives, musical entertainment and awards

COLUMBUS — State Representative Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) recognized 70 Wood County residents celebrating a birthday of 90 or older during a special dinner Monday in Bowling Green. 

“It was a tremendous honor to join these residents, as well as their family and friends, in recognizing this truly amazing milestone,” said Representative Ghanbari. “I was blessed to meet folks like Ms. Margaret Neifer who is 101 years old, and other Wood County residents like World War II Army and D-Day veteran Mr. Harry Swartz.”

State Representative Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg), left, with Harry Swartz of Fostoria during a celebration honoring Wood County’s nonagenarians, Monday, May 20, 2019, in Bowling Green, Ohio. Swartz, a World War II Army Veteran who served in D-Day, was one of 70 honorees recognized during the celebration coordinated by the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (Photo courtesy/Representative Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Representative Ghanbari presented each honoree with an official House of Representatives Commendation co-signed by Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford). 

Coordinated by the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., the annual 90’s Plus Spectacular Event was held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. The celebration included an introduction of each honoree, a slideshow highlighting their lives, musical entertainment and awards presented by Representative Ghanbari and other elected officials. The dinner menu included pork loin, parmesan risotto, roasted cauliflower and carrots, tossed salad, fresh fruit and dessert.

“It was a delight to serve each guest dinner at the conclusion of the awards ceremony,” said Representative Ghanbari. “What an awesome evening to celebrate these nonagenarians and older residents. There is much we can learn from each of these honorees.”

State Representative Haraz N. Ghanbari is serving his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives after being appointed in March of 2019. He represents the 3rd Ohio House District, serving residents of Wood County.



Last day for Leisure Time in Wood County exhibit will be May 19, 2019

Last day for Leisure Time in Wood County exhibit will be May 19, 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019 will be the last day to take a tour of the exhibit THE RETURN TO NORMALCY: A Life of Leisure in Wood County, 1920-1939. The exhibit features then Presidential candidate Warren G. Harding, desired a return to the pre-World War I lifestyle or a “Return to Normalcy.” Soldiers returned from WWI, to their homes in Wood County with a desire to succeed, to relax, and to enjoy life. Advancements in technology also created opportunities for fun in this rural community. 

As THE RETURN TO NORMALCY: A Life of Leisure in Wood County, 1920-1939 leaves, the Museum is preparing for a new exhibit to open. Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives will open on June 16, 2019, and run until August 11, 2019. This traveling exhibit from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ touring program, “NEH on the Road,” documents the squalid living conditions of New York’s poor immigrants and laborers in “The Gilded Age” of the early 20th century. This contrast to the growing wealth of millionaires, such as Carnegie and Rockefeller, inspired many reforms of working-class housing. Riis was a Danish-born American photographer (1849-1914). This exhibit was made possible with a generous donation from Edwin & Irma Wolf.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. 

All events detailed at woodcountyhistory.org or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The Museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. 

Knowledge is Power

Understanding the rights of nursing home residents…

(Family Features) An estimated 1.4 million older adults and people with disabilities live in nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If a nursing home participates in Medicare or Medicaid – and most do – it must meet requirements “to promote and protect the rights of each resident.”

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

This means nursing homes are required to care for their residents in a way that enhances the quality of life for residents, respects their dignity and ensures they are able to make choices for themselves.

Established by federal law, the “Residents’ Bill of Rights,” states if you live in a nursing home, you are entitled to rights including:

  • The right to be fully informed in a language you understand of all aspects of your residency.
  • The right to participate in all aspects of your care.
  • The right to make independent choices based on your needs and preferences.
  • The right to privacy and confidentiality.
  • The right to safe and appropriate transfer and discharge, including the right to appeal decisions.
  • The right to visits from friends, family, providers and other people of your choosing.
  • The right to participate in social, religious and community activities.
  • The right to organize and participate in resident groups, often called resident councils.
  • The right to complain without fear of repercussions.
  • The right to be free from discrimination.
  • The right to be free from abuse, neglect and restraint.
  • The right to adequate medical care and treatment.
  • The right to get information about alternatives to nursing homes.

Some states have laws and regulations that establish additional rights for nursing home residents. Some states also guarantee a similar set of rights for people who live in assisted living or similar settings.

Every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam have an advocate, called a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, for residents of nursing homes, board and care and assisted living facilities and similar residential care facilities. These advocates work to resolve problems affecting residents’ health, safety, welfare and rights. Residents, their families and others have the right to contact their local Ombudsman program to help them understand their rights, learn about community resources and work through problems.

For more information on these rights, and to find your local Ombudsman program, visit acl.gov/ombudsman. The website also provides information on other programs and services available to help older adults and people with disabilities who need help with daily tasks, like getting dressed, bathing or cooking, to receive this support in their own homes. These programs can help delay or avoid nursing home care, guide nursing home residents looking to transition back into the community and support family members serving as caregivers.

Administration for Community Living

Life’s “Happy Hour” Now Peaks at 70?

We’re living longer and happier in the 21st Century, says AMAC

We’re living longer and happier in the 21st Century, says AMAC
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 19 — Life’s happy hour doesn’t occur until we are getting on in years, peaking at about age 70, according to one of the largest studies of its kind. The research was conducted by Harvard Medical School and its affiliate, McLean Hospital and the results of the analysis was reported recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], speculates that the healthier regime of senior citizens these days has a lot to do with the fact that it’s getting easier to grow old. “After all, the trend of adopting healthier lifestyles combined with the fast-paced advancements in medicine go a long way toward providing us with reason to be happy.”
Dr. Laura Germine, senior author of the research report, told reporters the study saw “declines in many visual perceptual abilities as we get older, but here we did not see such declines in the perception of happiness. These findings fit well with other research showing that older adults tend to have more positive emotions and a positive outlook.”
The fact is, says Weber, people are living longer than ever before. He cites The Centenarian, which keeps track of longevity statistics and which reports that the country with the most 100-year-olds is the U.S. It is estimated that there are currently more than 72,000 centenarians in America. And, the Web site predicts, “If the population of centenarians continues to increase at its current rate of expansion there could be close to 1 million people of 100 years of age or more by 2050 residing in the US.”
UC Berkeley professor Kenneth Wachter, a leading authority in the field of demographics, says that the extent to which human beings can live is “yet in sight. Not only do we see mortality rates that stop getting worse with age, we see them getting slightly better over time.”
The Boston University School of Medicine boasts that it has been conducting the world’s largest and most comprehensive study of centenarians. It is called the New England Centenarian Study [NECS] and when it was established one person out of 10,000 living in the U.S. Its most recent calculations puts the number of centenarians at one out of 5,000. And, the NECS reports that the number of American supercentenarians is growing as well.
Dr. Thomas Perls, director of the study, says that health related behavior — what we eat, how we exercise, etc. — is responsible for 70% of our aging process, with genetics accounting for 30%. But, he says, for supercentenarians, it’s 70% genetic.
AMAC’s Weber notes that the NCES offers us a chance to calculate our own longevity based on 40 questions about our health and that of family members. “To paraphrase Star Trek’s very own Vulcan, Mr. Spock, live long and be happy.”

Poetry Contest Winners Named

WCCOA countywide event entitled, “Dreams”

Subject: Poetry Contest Winners proclaimed in a countywide event entitled, “Dreams” For more information call: Danielle Brogley, Director of Programs, at 419-353-5661 or email dbrogley@wccoa.net Bowling Green, OH (April 20, 2019) –The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. held its fourteenth annual poetry banquet and drew in nineteen entries from all over Wood County. The theme this year was “Dreams.” The poems share stories of life, hope, dreams and love. We were looking for poetry that, in some way, celebrates the heart and souls of members of Wood County as they continue to celebrate their lives.
The declared winner was Vernagaye Sullivan of Wayne, Ohio, author of “End of a Dream.”

End of a Dream

A Caribou on a Wall,
So sad to see
Magnificence silenced,
Mere reminder of life,
Of pulsing energy, halted
Of continuance ended
On the path to extinction

The winner selected will receive a $50 gift card provided by Kathryn Williams, Independent Insurance Agent, Specializing in Medicare Products, Licensed in OH, IN, MI, NC, TX

When asked about judging the Poetry Contest, Bowling Green State University General Studies Writing Instructor Chad Michael Van Buskirk commented, “This was an especially rewarding collection of poems. Judging the poetry contest was a wonderful opportunity to engage with the fascinating and meaningful experiences and insights of our community’s older adults.´ Another special thank you goes to Jessica Zinz-Cheresnicks from BGSU for judging this collection of poems.

The Wood County Committee on Aging would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the entries for their contributions to the contest. The contest committee would like to extend a special thank you to Bowling Green State University for assisting with the judging of the entries. To read the winning poems visit our blog at http://woodcountycommitteeonaging.blogspot.com

Social Security – WEP?

Ask Rusty: Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Affects State Retiree

Ask Rusty: Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Affects State Retiree

Dear Rusty: I have a question in regard to the “windfall act.” I am receiving a pension from the State of Nevada. I retired from the State, and did not pay into Social Security, but I worked in the private sector before and am currently working in the private sector. My question is: How much “penalty” will I be subject to when I decide to finally hang it up? 
Signed: State Retiree

Dear State Retiree: The State of Nevada is one of 27 states which, for all or some employee categories, do not participate in the Federal Social Security (SS) program; rather their State pensions are designed to provide a retirement benefit in lieu of Social Security. Because you receive a Nevada state pension and have also worked in the private sector long enough to be entitled to a Social Security (SS) benefit, your SS retirement benefit, when you claim it, may be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), with the amount of reduction based upon how many years of substantial SS-covered earnings you have.

If you have 20 or fewer years of SS-covered employment, here’s how WEP will affect your Social Security benefit:
Your actual benefit amount is based upon your “primary insurance amount” (PIA), which is computed using the average monthly earnings from the 35 highest earning years over your lifetime, known as your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings or “AIME” (only earnings up to the maximum payroll tax cap for each year are counted). Your PIA is the Social Security benefit you are entitled to at your full retirement age.

Normally, when WEP doesn’t apply, your Social Security benefit amount is computed by taking the monthly average of those 35 inflation-adjusted years of earnings (your AIME) and using a standard formula to arrive at your PIA. That formula includes using 90% of the first part (called a “bend point”) of your AIME to be the first portion of three used to arrive at your PIA amount.

For those first becoming eligible for benefits in 2019 (usually at age 62) that first bend point is $926, which means that $833 (90%) would normally be the first contribution to your PIA. But when WEP applies, the formula is different; instead of using 90% of that first bend point, if you had 20 or less years of covered-SS substantial earnings they use 40%, which would mean that the first bend point would add $370 to your PIA amount instead of $833, a reduction of $463.

Remember that the bend points used are those for your year of Social Security eligibility, not for the year you claim benefits.The percentage used to compute that first “bend point” goes up by 5% for each year over 20 years of substantial SS-covered earnings you have – for example, if you have 22 years of SS-covered substantial earnings, the formula would use a 50% multiplier instead of 40%. And at 30 years of SS-covered earnings you’re no longer affected by WEP.

WEP can’t reduce your PIA by more than half of your NV pension amount, and there is also a maximum WEP reduction which might apply. And finally, please note that any benefit estimates you might get from Social Security now will not include the WEP reduction, which will be applied only when you actually claim your Social Security benefits.

This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation’s staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity.

To submit a question, visit our website or email us.

WCCOA Names Wii Bowling Tournament Winners

NB Senior Center represented….

Walbridge, Oh (April 19, 2019) – Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) held the annual Wii Bowling Tournament on Friday, April 12, 2019 at the Walbridge Public Library. The event, which has taken place each June for the past ten years, draws in participants from all over the county. They Wii Bowl for 4 hours and enjoy lunch together. The lunch was sponsored by Kingston of Perrysburg and Right at Home.

Ten teams participated in the tournament, including six teams from the Northeast Area Senior Center and Walbridge Area, one from the Perrysburg Area Senior Center, two from the Pemberville Area Senior Center and one from the North Baltimore Area Senior Center.

The annual event tests participants’ bowling skills in a high tech environment using the Wii system. The event encourages participants to work together and ensures that they are supporting and cheering on other senior center sites as well. 

The double elimination event ended with the Perrysburg Team being undefeated. Their final score was 23 after battling it out against the Walbridge team called “The Fireballs.” The Fireballs consisted of Hank Benavides, Kathy Wagner, Cheri Baldwin, Paula Seltzer, and Jim Fuleky. Their score was 226.   

Front, left to right:Sheila Biagioni, Sharon Filipovich, Darlene Doxie, & Cathy Wyss. Back: Joe Filipovich.

The winning team from Perrysburg consisted of five individuals: Cathy Wyss, Sharon Filipovich, Joe Filipovich, Shelia Biagioni and Darlene Doxie.


Social Security Financial Status Update – 2019

Disability Fund Shows Strong Improvement—Twenty Years

Social Security Combined Trust Funds Gain One Year Says Board of Trustees

Disability Fund Shows Strong Improvement—Twenty Years

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.  The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as last year’s estimate, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time.  The DI Trust Fund is estimated to become depleted in 2052, extended 20 years from last year’s estimate of 2032, with 91 percent of benefits still payable.

In the 2019 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

  • The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds increased by $3 billion in 2018 to a total of $2.895 trillion.
  • The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income, for the first time since 1982, in 2020 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period.  As a result, asset reserves are expected to decline during 2020.  Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.
  • The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2035 – gaining one year from last year’s projection.  At that time, there would be sufficient income coming in to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefits.

“The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.  “The large change in the reserve depletion date for the DI Fund is mainly due to continuing favorable trends in the disability program.  Disability applications have been declining since 2010, and the number of disabled-worker beneficiaries receiving payments has been falling since 2014.”


Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:

  • Total income, including interest, to the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to just over $1 trillion in 2018.  ($885 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $35 billion from taxation of benefits, and $83 billion in interest)
  • Total expenditures from the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1 trillion in 2018.
  • Social Security paid benefits of nearly $989 billion in calendar year 2018.  There were about 63 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.
  • The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.78 percent of taxable payroll – lower than the 2.84 percent projected in last year’s report.
  • During 2018, an estimated 176 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.
  • The cost of $6.7 billion to administer the Social Security program in 2018 was a very low 0.7 percent of total expenditures.
  • The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 2.9 percent in 2018.

The Board of Trustees usually comprises six members.  Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government: Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury and Managing Trustee; Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security; Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor.  The two public trustee positions are currently vacant.

View the 2019 Trustees Report at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2019/.

Nursing home abuse is on the rise, says AMAC

Federal, state and local authorities must act;family members, too, need to get involved

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 12 — Elder abuse in nursing homes is on the rise again and senior advocate Dan Weber is calling for government intervention at the state, local and federal levels.
Between four and five million Americans are in nursing homes, the great majority of whom are seniors over the age of 65. “And too many of them have been and continue to be victims of nursing home abuse,” according to Weber.
Who is president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. “If it is determined that a family member needs care in a nursing home, the facility needs deep vetting, not just a cursory background check”
Weber says that it was recently revealed during hearings held by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Committee on Finance that it may not be enough to rely on a nursing home’s good grades from the authorities when choosing a nursing home for a loved one. He cites the testimony of a woman whose mother died as a result of neglect in a home that had what Grassley described as “the highest possible ranking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of resident care.”
That revelation hit home for Senator Grassley who described the testimony at his hearing as “troubling.” He promised additional investigations into nursing home abuse by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Government Accountability Office. He said that as soon as those investigations are completed new hearings would take place.
Meanwhile, CMS announced that it was already in the process of updating the way it rates nursing homes. CMS also issued new guidelines for “identifying and ultimately preventing” abuse or neglect cases.
Nursing home attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley in Athens, GA say that in addition to physical abuse a majority of residents experience depression. And, they say that many patients too often are given the wrong medications.
AMAC’s Weber warns that the decision to admit a relative to a nursing home is made more difficult because the patient may object and because the need may a lot of time to act. And, notes the National Council for Aging Care, “If your loved one can still make choices or discuss their wishes clearly, it is very important that you acknowledge their opinion and act accordingly.”
Weber says that the decision to should not be determined by an individual family member. It’s a time when all family members close to the individual who is ill to be consulted, although it is always wise to consult his or her physician.
“But, in most cases it is family members who must make the ultimate decision to move the patient into a nursing home. And, beyond that, it is up to family members to ensure that the facility they choose is the right one. They need to do their homework to pick a facility that has a history of caring for its patients. And, once a loved one takes up residency in a home, family members should make regular, unscheduled visits to make sure their loved ones are not being mistreated.”
To facilitate the process of choosing and vetting a nursing home, there are a variety of sources on the Internet that can help you make the right decisions. Medicare, for example, has put together The Nursing Home Checklist that provides a list of the questions you need to ask.