Taking Steps to Prevent Falls

Look around your home for potential hazards…..

(Family Features) When you’re young, an injury from a fall may sideline you for a few days or weeks, but a full recovery is usually quick. As you get older, the consequences of falls can become more serious, setting up a sequence of events that can have longstanding implications on independence and health.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Although falls typically become more common and can be more serious as you age, falls are not a natural part of getting older. In fact, most falls are preventable. Knowing the factors that put you at greater risk of falling and taking proper steps can help prevent falls.

Risk factors for falls in older people include overall health (chronic diseases and physical conditions), environment (hazards and situations at home) and behaviors, such as rushing around or standing on a chair to reach something.

These steps from the experts at the National Council on Aging can help prevent falls:

  • Stay active: Exercise helps increase or maintain coordination and muscle tone that can keep you steady on your feet and your reactions sharp. Walking, gardening or taking an exercise class are just a few ways to keep your heart healthy and your muscles toned.
  • Manage underlying chronic conditions: The better your overall health, the lower your risk of falls. Chronic conditions like diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, obesity and high blood pressure can increase your risk. Managing those conditions by seeing your health care provider regularly, taking medication as prescribed, eating a healthy diet and choosing appropriate exercise can help prevent falls.
  • Review medications: Side effects from and interactions with some medications can cause dizziness that can increase the risk of falling. Types of medicine associated with an increased risk include sedatives and diuretics as well as those used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about all prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines you are taking.
  • Get your eyes checked: Vision changes as you age, so it is important to get your eyes checked once a year to make sure your prescription is up to date and screen for any eye-related diseases like cataracts and glaucoma, which are usually treatable when caught at an early stage.
  • Assess your home: Look around your home for potential hazards. Consider enlisting the help of a family member or neighbor who may be more likely to notice things you don’t. Install grab bars in your bathrooms, get rid of slippery throw rugs (or add a rubber backing) and keep passageways inside and outside your home well-lit and free from clutter and debris.

For more tips and information, visit acl.gov/fallsprevention.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
Administration for Community Living

Get Educated on Medicare in Medicare 101!

A representative from OSHIIP will be presenting a talk at the Perrysburg Area Senior Center (140 West Indiana Avenue, Perrysburg) on Tuesday, September 25…

Perrysburg, OH (September  2018) – The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. is working with the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) to ensure our local seniors have all the information they need for this fall’s Medicare open enrollment. A representative from OSHIIP will be presenting a talk at the Perrysburg Area Senior Center (140 West Indiana Avenue, Perrysburg) on Tuesday, September 25 at 1 p.m. Come learn about the recent changes to Medicare and how the October 15 to December 7 Medicare Annual Coordinated Election Period can work for you. Attendees will also get tips on how to enroll for 2019 coverage in a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) and/or a Medicare health plan, and will be able to see if they qualify to save an average of $4,000 on their prescription drug costs!

No RSVP is needed for the presentation on September 25, 2018. Please contact the Social Services Department at the Wood County Senior Center by calling 419-353-5661 or 1-800-367-4935 if you have any questions. You may also contact OSHIIP directly at 1-800-686-1578.

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

 For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

DeWine Warns of Grandparent Scams

The caller may claim the grandchild was in a car accident, caught with drugs, or put in jail, for example…..

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ahead of National Grandparents Day this Sunday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning families to beware of the “grandparent scam,” which has been reported by dozens of Ohioans in recent weeks.

The scam begins when a grandparent receives a call claiming the person’s grandchild is in trouble and in urgent need of money. The caller may claim the grandchild was in a car accident, caught with drugs, or put in jail, for example. The grandparent is asked to send money immediately, supposedly to pay a fine, attorney’s fees, or other costs.

“These con artists prey on a grandparent’s worst fears,” Attorney General DeWine said. “They claim the person’s grandchild has been in an accident or is in serious trouble, but it’s all a lie. We want people to be aware of the scam and to talk to their family about it.”

Many people who report the scam haven’t lost any money, but among those who have, the average reported loss is over $6,000 this year.

Victims commonly are told to pay using gift cards (by purchasing the cards and then reading the card numbers over the phone) or by wire transfer or cash. In some cases, con artists ask victims to tuck cash into pages of a magazine and then send the magazine. With these methods of payment, it is difficult to trace or recover the money once it’s been sent.

Grandparents who send money once likely will receive additional calls requesting more money. Scam artists also may encourage grandparents not to talk to other family members about the situation, making the scam harder to detect.

Tips to avoid the grandparent scam include:

  • Communicate with your family members. Talk to your family about scams and discuss how you would communicate during a true emergency. If you receive a call from a grandchild or another family member who claims to be in trouble, contact someone else (such as the grandchild’s parents) to determine if the person truly needs your help, even if you’ve been instructed not to contact anyone else. When in doubt, ask questions only your real family members would know how to answer, such as the last time you saw each other.
  • Limit the amount of information you share online. Don’t post upcoming travel plans or detailed personal information online, and encourage your family members to take similar precautions. Check your account privacy settings and limit who can view your information. Be aware that scammers may use information posted on social media or publicly available online to learn more about their targets and to make their ploys seem believable.
  • Be wary of unusual payment requests. If a caller demands that you pay over the phone using a gift card, pay via wire transfer, or pay by mailing cash, be skeptical. These are preferred payment methods for scammers because it is difficult to trace or recover the payment once it is provided.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office warns consumers about scams and offers a variety of educational materials, including a phone scams checklist.

Ohioans who suspect a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioProtects.org.

WCCOA is looking for Caregiver Nominations for Golden Care Awards!

The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 28, 2018….

Bowling Green, OH (September 4, 2018) – The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., will be collaborating with Brookdale of Bowling Green, Perrysburg Commons, Bridge Home Health and Hospice, Kingston of Perrysburg, and Briar Hill Health Care Campus to host the Golden Care Awards in order to recognize the caregiving heroes in Wood County.

This event will recognize compassionate caregivers working in a facility or home care setting, as well as community caregivers. The reception and dinner will be held on Thursday, November 1 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (315 South College Dr., Bowling Green) from 6 to 8 p.m., with a ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

Nomination forms are available at all Wood County Senior Centers or on our website at www.wccoa.net, and the deadline is Friday, September 28, 2018. Nominated “Caregiver Heroes” must have been working in a facility/home care setting, been an active caregiver for a family member, friend or neighbor within the last year. A caregiver provides direct care and tends to the needs of an older adult. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Nominees will be judged by the examples given in the following categories:

  • Level of quality of care given
  • Examples of patient experiences given (How have you helped improve this person’s quality of life? How have you helped them maintain their individuality?)
  • Depth of commitment (duration of care, special activities done with person, etc.)
  • Level of passion communicated in submission
  • Overall quality of submission

Return the completed nomination form with their photo to “Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc, 305 North Main St., Bowling Green, OH 43402” OR e-mail programs@wccoa.net

For more information, contact the Wood County Committee on Aging’s Programs Department through the above e-mail or by calling 419-353-5661 OR 800-367-4935.

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

The Wood County Throwdown is coming!

This will be the 6th annual Wood County Throwdown. On Saturday, September 29, 2018….

Bowling Green, OH (September 4, 2018) – The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. presents the 6th annual Wood County Throwdown. On Saturday, September 29, 2018, five area chefs will compete to showcase their culinary skills. The event will take place at Penta Career Center (9301 Buck Rd, Perrysburg) and doors open at 11 a.m.

Each contestant will represent a local organization that serves our local older adults, including: Brookdale of Bowling Green, Perrysburg Commons, StoryPoint Senior Living, Wood Haven Health Care, and St. Clare Commons. Attendees will taste five different appetizers, entrees, and desserts created by the contestants and will have the unique opportunity to critique these samples and vote to crown the People’s Choice Award for each dish presented. Local celebrity judges will announce the Wood County Throwdown Champion of 2018!

Local vendors will be present and entertainment will include live music by James Askins.

Cost for entry is $10 per person. If you would like to attend this event, please contact the WCCOA Programs Department at 419-353-5661 OR 800-367-4935. You can also e-mail programs@wccoa.net.

 

For more information, contact the Wood County Committee on Aging’s Programs Department through the above e-mail or by calling 419-353-5661 OR 800-367-4935.

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

 For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

“Understanding Your Grief” support group

The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. is currently partnering with Lutheran Social Services to hold an educational grief support group, “Understanding Your Grief.” 

Wood County, Ohio – The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. is currently partnering with Lutheran Social Services to hold an educational grief support group, “Understanding Your Grief.” 

The group is for those age 60 and over. It will run for 11 weeks and be held on Wednesdays from 1:00pm-2:30 pm at the Wood County Senior Center (305 N. Main St. Bowling Green, OH).

This partnership will allow the offering of the group free of charge; however, materials are needed to participate. The purchase of a book and workbook total $25.

This group will begin on Wednesday, September 26th and will be facilitated by Joan Staib, MSW, LISW.

To register for the group, please call 1-800-367-4935 or 419-353-5661 and ask for the Social Services Department.

Materials can be ordered through the senior center upon registration.

Scholarships available.

Senior Travel Tips

Peak senior travel time draws near; here are some tips from AMAC – Help ensure your journey is enjoyable, worry free and safe!

Peak senior travel time draws near; here are some tips from AMAC – Help ensure your journey is enjoyable, worry free and safe!
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug 24 – Summer vacations are the norm for full-fledged families with work and school schedules, but retirees prefer the leisurely, less costly pace of off-season escapes, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens. Thus, he says, the start of the peak travel season for senior citizens begins after Labor Day.
“While the rest of the world goes back to school and back to work, the most popular vacation destinations are not so crowded and in many cases less expensive. These are ideal conditions for seniors,” Weber explains.
There are a lot of reasons travel is at the top of the lists for retirees. Those who can afford it want to see the world and fly or sail off to exotic destinations now that they have the time. Even those on limited budgets can satisfy their wanderlust by taking road trips.
And, Professor of Sociology and Gerontology at the University of Kansas, Dr. David J. Ekerdt, says that travel is good for seniors. He tells Forbes Magazine “it is something to anticipate, something that populates your future with a project or event. It’s an affirmation of good health — that you can actually get in a car and go two states away.” Some say travel can even help you live longer and healthier.
But, whatever the benefits of travel for older Americans, there are a few tips that can help ensure your journey is enjoyable, worry free and safe.
AMAC, says Weber, recommends early planning. “For one thing, you need to take note of physical limitations you may have and, if you are traveling with a wife or husband, what concerns they may have. So, begin by planning a getaway that will not be so physically demanding if you are not up to it. It might be a good idea to check with your doctors to discuss your medical needs during your trip.”
Once you’ve picked a destination that’s right for you, here are a few tips:
–    Pack a sufficient supply of the medications you take in your carry-on luggage so that they will be easily accessible when you need them. And, make a list of the meds, just in case you run out or lose them.
–   According to the official site for Medicare “In general, health care you get while traveling outside the U.S. isn’t covered. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered part of the U.S. So check with your insurance provider to make sure you can receive insured medical attention at your destination if and when you might need it. If your insurance does not cover you, purchase supplemental coverage that will be available at your destination or destinations
–   Make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes and, if you are headed into a sunny clime, get yourself headwear that will protect you.
–   Provide a family member and/or a trusted neighbor with an itinerary, complete with the names and locations of the hotels at which you’ll be staying.
–   If you are flying to your destination and have any dietary restrictions, contact your airline to ensure they can provide meals that meet those restrictions.
–   Check that your passports are in order if you are traveling abroad and if you don’t have a current passport, apply for it giving yourself time for it to be processed.
–   Take a spare pair of glasses—particularly prescription glasses, just in case of breakage or loss.
–   If you have a long flight to your destination, be sure to periodically walk the aisles during your flight lest you fall prey to Deep Vein Thrombosis.
–   Use a money belt or safety pouch to carry your valuables, including your passport, travelers’ checks and cash. Leave expensive jewelry at home.
–  Make copies of all the documents you carry, including your passport, airline tickets, etc. Leave one set with a family member or a trusted friend; hold on to a second set—just in case you misplace an original.

Driver Safety Program for Older Adults

Road Safety Education: To Keep You Safe…..

From Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., AARP and the City of Bowling Green 

Bowling Green, OH – Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA), AARP and the City of Bowling Green will present the eighth annual Road Safety Education: To Keep You Safe from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, August 10 at the City of Bowling Green Facilities Building (located at 815 E. Poe Rd. in Bowling Green).

Participants are invited to drive in their personal vehicles to experience the following:

  • Educational Seminars: “Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle”, with Mike Brown, AAA of Northwest Ohio, and the Panel Discussion “What to do when…” with Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities & Lt. Brad Biller, Bowling Green Police.
  • CarFit: an educational program sponsored by AAA, AARP and AOTA that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles fit them. AAA will be topping off fluid levels in your vehicle and will conduct an internal audit of your vehicle.
  • Booths: Valvoline, AARP, Kingston of Perrysburg, AAA, Mobility Works, Insurance Companies & others will have booths providing information and services to guests. Adaptive vehicle equipment, local resources, transportation, refreshments, raffle prizes and much more!

Lunch will be provided and is sponsored by the Wood County Beef Producers.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, not only are Americans over the age of 65 a higher percentage of drivers on the road than ever before, they also suffer one of the highest rates of fatalities – second only to that of young adults. In 2015, older adults accounted for 14.9% of all traffic fatalities. As Wood County adults age and changes occur in their vision and other capabilities, opportunities such as this one will help to keep those senses sharp and everyone safe.

Reservations are required by contacting WCCOA at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or by emailing programs@wccoa.net.

For more information from the Insurance Information Institute, please visit https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-older-drivers.

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

 For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

 

WCCOA to hold “Matter of Balance” classes in NB

targeted toward preventing falls…..

North Baltimore, OH  – The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) will be holding a “Matter of Balance” course at the North Baltimore Area Senior Center (at 514 West Water Street, North Baltimore) every Wednesday from September 5 to October 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This course lasts for eight (8) weeks, and costs $15 to participate.

Are you experiencing a fear of falling? Are you limiting your activities due to this fear? Are you becoming physically weak? If you answered “yes” to any of these three questions, A Matter of Balance is for you! During this class participants will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risk at home, and exercise to increase strength and balance. Participants will receive a manual for training purposes and a certificate upon completion of the course.

lease contact the Programs Department of WCCOA to register by calling 419-353-5661 or 1-800-367-4935, or by e-mailing programs@wccoa.net

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

 For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

WCCOA’s Friendly Visitor Program looking for volunteers

Volunteers will communicate and visit weekly with an older adult in Wood County,….

Bowling Green, OH (July 31, 2018) – The Wood County Committee on Aging is looking for volunteers for a Friendly Visitor program. The purpose of this program is to reduce isolation and loneliness in homebound older adults.

Volunteers will communicate and visit weekly with an older adult in Wood County, spending a minimum of four (4) hours per month with the assigned senior participant while providing emotional support and building a meaningful relationship with them.

If you are interested in this opportunity, are 21 years of age of older, able to commit to at least 6 months of the program and are willing to complete a background check, please contact Lisa Myers at the Wood County Senior Center by calling 419-353-5661 or e-mailing lmyers@wccoa.net

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives. 

For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

 

BOLD Congressional initiative to combat ‘the scourge’ of Alzheimer’s disease

Bi-partisan bill in both Houses of Congress may provide them…

AMAC supports Congressional BOLD initiative to combat ‘the scourge’ of Alzheimer’s disease
WASHINGTON, July 20 – The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] has endorsed bi-partisan legislation in Congress to focus attention and resources on “the scourge” of dementia and, in particular, Alzheimer’s, which is America’s most expensive disease.
The BOLD [Building Our Largest Dementia] Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act [S.2076] and the House version of the bill [H.R.4256] were both introduced last November with bi-partisan support. Susan Collins [R-ME], Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, introduced the bill in the Senate. Rep. Brett Guthrie [R-KY] sponsored the House version. The measures would provide “research funding … needed to achieve our goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by the year 2025,” according to an online post by Sen. Collins.
AMAC president Dan Weber sent letters of support to Senator Collins and her cosponsors in the Senate and to Representative Brett Guthrie and his cosponsors in the House. In his messages, Weber stated: “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will empower those living with Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers, by increasing access to education and expanding necessary support services. The steps outlined in this bill will ensure both patients and caregivers are best positioned to deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s and preserve the financial integrity of our healthcare system by averting a potentially disastrous public health crisis.”
Weber has long been calling for a new focus on Alzheimer’s and says “it’s about time that one of the most devastating diseases afflicting older Americans receives the full attention of the U.S. government. It is destructive to the individuals who suffer from this malignant form of dementia and their families. But it also has the potential of overwhelming America’s healthcare infrastructure if it is not checked.”
Weber notes that AIDS, a disease that is in decline and afflicts 1.1 million Americans, receives some $32 billion in Federal funding. Meanwhile, he points out, the National Institutes of Health [NIH] says it will spend just $1.9 billion this year to fund research on Alzheimer’s – a disease that plagues the lives of more than 5.7 individuals in the U.S. and is expected to destroy the lives of as many as 14 million by the year 2050.”
Former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, who also served as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Alzheimer’s is the most under-recognized threat to public health in the 21st century.”
In an appeal for support of the BOLD Act, Satcher said that the legislation would create a “public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions.” It would:
·     Establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence that would increase early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, preventing avoidable hospitalizations, reducing health disparities, supporting the needs of caregivers and supporting care planning for people living with the disease.
·     Provide funding to help public health departments implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions.
·     Make available funding for the Increased data collection, analysis and timely reporting needed to support research aimed at controlling and controlling the disease.
“The BOLD Act provides a new, sorely needed perspective on Alzheimer’s disease and much needed, substantive support in the quest for a cure. Along the way it will help researchers to come up with new, more effective ways of managing this insidious form of dementia. Meanwhile, the more we learn about the pathways of Alzheimer’s with help from the public sector, the more effective medical researchers in the private sector can be in checking the progress of the disease among older Americans,” Weber said.