Building a pool of skilled direct-service workers
Ohio is an aging state, with almost 15,000 Ohioans turning age 60 each month. By 2020, the 60 and older population will grow by 28 percent, while Ohio's total population will increase by only five percent. By 2050, one million Ohioans will be 85 or older and researchers estimate that one-half of that population will experience some form of dementia.
An Ohio Department of Aging goal is to ensure that the state's healthcare and long-term care systems have sufficient skilled professional and direct-service workers to serve all Ohioans. To do that, the department will work with the Ohio Department of Health, Boards of Regents and Nursing, as well as other state agencies, educational institutions and professional associations to develop strategies to recruit students into gerontology and geriatric healthcare specialties.
Currently, the department is working with the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) to increase student awareness of the research and career opportunities in age-related fields through a series of webinars, called Modern AGE-ucation. OAGE is a statewide organization of gerontological researchers, practitioners, educators and students that functions as the department's technical advisory body on issues of education, training and research in aging.
The Modern AGE-ucation webinars, available statewide, will allow researchers, professionals and students to exchange ideas and increase innovation in fields providing services to an increasingly aging population. Faculty and students enrolled in Ohio's colleges and universities will give one-hour presentations that can cover research in age-related areas, such as accessibility, usability or transportation. Fields of research can include health care, social work, architecture, technical and product design, marketing or city and urban planning.
Faculty and students who have conducted research in an aging-related area are invited to submit an application to be a speaker for the Modern AGE-ucation series. Those selected as Modern AGE-ucation event speakers will gain visibility in the aging network and help shape the direction of aging research and policy in Ohio.
Find more information about Modern AGE-ucation and apply to be a speaker on the Ohio Department of Aging website.
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Programs & Benefits
Helping Medicare consumers
The Early 2011 Guide to Helping Your Clients contains tips and methods for helping consumers understand and make the most of their Medicare benefits. The guide includes what's new in 2011, such as the Part D coverage gap discounts, ways to help low-income consumers at the pharmacy and general reminders about enrollment and disenrollment periods.
Federal benefit payments are going all-electronic
The U.S. Department of the Treasury now requires all federal benefit and nontax payments to be paid electronically. People applying for Social Security, Veterans benefits or other federal benefits on or after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically starting with their first payment. People currently receiving federal benefit checks will need to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013. Those who do not choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for federal benefits or those who do not switch by the deadline will receive their benefit payments via the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment. To sign up for direct deposit or the Direct Express® card, consumers can visit their local financial institution, sign up online at www.GoDirect.org or call the U.S. Treasury Processing Center at 1-800-333-1795.