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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Aging News and Perspective

Challenging negative views of aging - Make it your business!Challenging negative views of aging - Make it your business!

On April 6, I had the privilege of visiting Marietta, Ohio, to attend Governor John Kasich's State of the State address. Throughout the day, I traveled around Ohio's oldest city, marveling at the history and inherent beauty of the city, her setting and her people. And as I sat in the iconic People's Bank Theatre that evening, I couldn't help but wonder, "what if these walls could talk?" The history and experiences of that place certainly have immense value.

Then, it hit me: Why do we revere aging places and things and continue to see in them beauty and purpose, but we don't feel the same way about our own aging?

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Tapping into the arts to live 'Well Beyond 60!'Tapping into the arts to live "Well Beyond 60!"

Living "Well Beyond 60!" is about much more than eating the right things and staying active. It's also about doing things that make you feel good and that help you continue to grow and thrive emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. In short: your well-being is as important as being well.

For many of us, participating in and learning about the arts can be the pathway to that well-being. Research has shown that older adults who participate in the arts report improved physical health and better social engagement, as well as enjoy a higher quality of life and less risk for disability that can lead to a need for long-term care.

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Director Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D.Grandparents play a crucial role in the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder

Today, one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Just a few years ago, that number was one in 88, and the numbers have been steadily increasing over the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With more children being identified as having autism, Ohio started to look for new ways to provide consistent, broad-based community support for parents and families, and to increase the number of trained service providers and increase the quality of life for both individuals and families.

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Stay Safe & Sound this winter: Be fire smart

For several years now, there has been a concerted effort in Ohio to protect our older residents from accidental falls because they disproportionately affect our elders and can lead to hospitalization or death. There's another serious risk for older Ohioans that affects them more that the rest of the population, and that's death in a fire. While older Ohioans make up about 14 percent of our population, they account for more than 39 percent of fire-related fatalities.

And, like falls, fire-related deaths can be prevented.

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Help us take 10 Million Steps to Prevent FallsCalling all community organizations: Help us take "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls"

STEADY U Ohio, the state's collaborative older adult falls prevention initiative, is asking community organizations to help Ohio take "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" by hosting a local falls prevention awareness walk on National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. 10 Million Steps to Prevent FallsOur goal is to have at least 4,000 Ohioans walk a minimum of one mile in the name of falls prevention (4,000 participants x 2,500 average steps per mile = 10 million steps). To achieve this goal, STEADY U is seeking community organizations with an interest in promoting falls prevention to host fitness walks in their communities.

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Director Bonnie Burman and Chancellor John CareyNew Volunteer Program Bridges Generations, Offers Free College Tuition

It can be said that a community's most valuable assets are its elders, with their years of experience and wisdom, and its youth, who represent a vibrant future filled with opportunity.

The elders of the Mahoning Valley have helped build the region into what it is today, using their expertise in business, industry, innovation, and community involvement to bring new life to this part of Ohio. Continued prosperity will depend on future generations, which can learn from their elders while charting their own course for success.

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Ohio is on the Road to Balance

Upon entering office in 2011, the Kasich Administration prioritized the need to create more ways for aging Ohioans with long-term care needs and individuals living with disabilities to remain in the comfort of their homes, rather than enter institutional settings. As evidenced in a new report from the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University titled, "The Road to Balance: Two Decades of Progress in Providing Long-Term Services and Supports for Ohio's Older Population," Ohio has certainly moved the needle in recent years.

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Join us Aug. 4 at the Ohio State Fair for the Well Beyond 60! EXPOJoin us Aug. 4, 2015, at the Ohio State Fair for the "Well Beyond 60!" EXPO

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, is Senior Day at the Ohio State Fair, and the Ohio Department of Aging invites all fairgoers to visit the "Well Beyond 60!" EXPO from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Central Park on the fair grounds to take advantage of free health screenings and educational demonstrations. Senior Day admission is just $4 for adults age 60 and older!

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Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of FameMeet the 2015 class of the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

As we continue to celebrate Older Americans Month, we are very proud to present to you the 2015 class of the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Out of more than 50 nominations, we have selected nine outstanding individuals who embody what it means to live "Well Beyond 60!" They have helped Ohio prepare for its growing and changing aging population, are recognized as leaders in their prospective fields, and have bolstered their community and their state through their good works.

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By Bonnie K. Burman, Director of the Department of AgingTurning a negative into a positive with Music & MemorySM

A few weeks ago, a reporter from WDTN-TV2 in Dayton contacted the Ohio Department of Aging and our sister agencies for a story about the quality of nursing home care in her community. Staff walked her through our Long-Care Consumer Guide, explained the federal five-star rating system and described the state survey process. Then, the reporter asked a crucial question: What does the state do with the fines it collects from under-performing nursing homes?

This opened the door for us to talk about the Music & MemorySM program.

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Ohio State Plan on AgingSurvey of Community Dementia Programs and Resources

As a part of our State Plan on Aging for FFY 2015-2017, the Ohio Department of Aging is working to make Ohio a dementia capable state. Part of our state plan is to equip communities to respond to the evolving needs of residents living with dementia. To work toward this goal, we are conducting a survey of existing community-based programs.

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Driving Community ConnectionsDriving Community Connections

Driving Community Connections is a pilot partnership between ITN Greater Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati, supported by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Board of Regents, with the goal of linking college students with older adults in their community in need of transportation assistance. Nationally, ITN's volunteers are predominantly older adults; by tapping into the unique campus culture of the University of Cincinnati, ITN Greater Cincinnati can fill an important service gap. In addition to earning transportation credits that they can save for future use, transfer to a loved one or donate to someone in need, students also have the opportunity to earn college credit.

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As we age, our physical abilities and needs change. If our homes don't keep up with those changes, problems can arise.Aging in place begins in the bathroom

Any real estate agent will tell you that that updating your bathroom is one of the best things you can do if you want to sell your home. But, it's also one of the best things you can do if you plan to stay in your home for a long time to come.

As we age, our physical abilities and needs change. If our homes don't keep up with those changes, problems can arise, and the bathroom is the room that often presents the most challenges. Fortunately, there are several ways you can modify your bathroom to make it safer, most with little effort or expense.

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StayFive tips to help older Ohioans stay warm safely

As we age, our ability to adapt to extreme weather conditions changes. Our bodies tend to lose body heat more quickly and we are more likely to take medications that affect our ability to regulate internal body temperature, making us more susceptible to cold weather.

To help you and your loved ones stay warm safely this winter, we've partnered with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to share these safe heating tips.

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Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D.Thank you to the aging network for our many accomplishments

As we end the first term of Governor Kasich, I want to thank you for being a partner in helping us achieve our mission of ensuring that Ohio is on the leading edge of innovation and is responsive to the growing and changing aging population. Together, we have made Ohio a better place for all Ohioans. The editorial below is a nice overview of some of the administration's bigger accomplishments, but it is only a small part of what we have achieved together. In particular, I'd like to thank you for your help in giving our elders opportunities to be respected members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute.

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Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D.The gift you don't want to give (or get): The flu

The holidays are upon us and I'm sure all of you are looking forward to spending some time with friends and loved ones over the next couple of weeks. The last gift you want to give (and definitely the last one you want to receive) this holiday season is the flu.

You may have heard that the flu is particularly severe this year, with more than double the hospitalizations than at this time last year. You may also have heard that the flu vaccine has not been 100 percent effective this year.

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Protect yourself and your family - Get a flu shot!Protect yourself and your family - Get a flu shot!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults age 65 and older are at increased risk of serious complications from the flu. In fact, the CDC estimates that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 and 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States occur in people 65 years and older.

A flu vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent serious health complications from the flu. Dec. 7-13 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and we are helping the Ohio Department of Health dispell some of the confusion and myths about this year's flu vaccine.

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Eight strategies for celebrating the holidays and living well with diabetes

Happy Thanksgiving, Ohio! The 2015 holiday season is officially here. For most of us, the holidays are a time of celebration and fellowship. But for many living with diabetes, it can be a challenging time full of temptations and critical choices. It can be challenging to eat right and keep your blood sugar in a safe range when there are so many family feasts and tasty goodies to be had.

HEALTHY U Ohio, the state's chronic disease self-management program, offers these tips for a healthy holiday with diabetes.

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Approximately 1.3 million Ohioans provide some level of care for a loved one who is older or someone who has a disability.Asking for help makes you a better caregiver

Are you taking care of a friend or loved one or are you "just helping out?" Either way, your area agency on aging can help you help them.

Approximately 1.3 million Ohioans provide some level of care for a loved one who is older or someone who has a disability. This care, if provided by paid caregivers, would cost $14.2 billion each year. If you help someone with chores like cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking or transportation, you are as much a caregiver as if you bathed them and helped them in and out of bed.

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