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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Aging News and Perspective

Creating safer roadways is how ODOT makes aging its businessGUEST COLUMN: Creating safer roadways is how ODOT makes aging its business

I often tell people that Ohio's transportation system is the state's most valuable man-made resource. It helps people get to work, school, doctor's appointments, or the grocery store. It allows families to visit a fun attraction, like an Indians game.

However, those roadways that are so vital to our ability to travel can also be deadly. Last year, we saw a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths from the previous year. That included a 23 percent rise in deaths involving drivers over the age of 65.

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Make aging your business by taking control of your healthGUEST COLUMN: Make aging your business by taking control of your health

The Ohio Department of Health is partnering with the Ohio Department of Aging in challenging Ohioans to make aging everybody's business. Here at ODH, we say it is never too late for anyone to reinvent themselves and take control of their health. So, here are a few ways that you can take control of your health, no matter what your age.

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Vision Care - like aging - is everybody's businessVision Care - like aging - is everybody's business

Ohio's Aging Eye Public Private Partnership (AEPPP), an initiative supported by the Ohio Department of Aging and coordinated by the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness, works to address issues relating to vision care public policy, vision care services, vision education, and vision research that impact the quality of life for Ohio's seniors now and in the future. Dr. Jackie Davis, co-chair of the AEPPP's advocacy and awareness subcommittee encourages you to make aging your business by having regular vision exams and making healthy choices throughout our lives.

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Ohio EMA making plans for older adults, other special needs populationsGUEST COLUMN: Ohio EMA making plans for older adults, other special needs populations

At the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, planning on how to help Ohioans deal with their worst day is routine business. When a disaster strikes, those who are not prepared need additional assistance and that means allocating more resources (both personnel and supplies).

That's why emergency managers constantly stress the importance of individual responsibility and how taking some basic, easy steps toward emergency preparedness can make a real difference when it comes to surviving a disaster like a tornado, severe winter storm, drinking water shortage or a prolonged power outage.

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Aging with developmental disabiltiesGUEST COLUMN: Aging with developmental disabilities

Nearly 8,000 people age 60 or older receive services through Ohio's developmental disabilities system today. Earlier this month, John L. Martin, director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, appeared on the radio program "Contact" with London Mitchell to discuss the implications of an aging population on people with disabilities and their caregivers, as well as partnerships and new programs to help families make aging their business.

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Aging is the Ohio Department of Medicaid's business, too!GUEST COLUMN: Aging is the Ohio Department of Medicaid's business, too!

As we celebrate Older Americans Month this May, The Ohio Department of Aging reminds us that we all have a role in serving Ohioans beyond 60, and that our state benefits greatly from their contributions as leaders, mentors and volunteers in our communities.

The Ohio Department of Medicaid embraces this opportunity and has been working hard to provide older Ohioans with the high quality care they deserve. Approximately 182,000 Ohio residents are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, but there was previously a lack of coordination between the two programs.

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Aging is the Department of Youth Services' business, too!GUEST COLUMN: Aging is the Department of Youth Services' business, too!

Harvey Reed, Director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services, encourages you to make aging your business by volunteering to help youth and strengthen communities. The Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) is the juvenile corrections system for the state of Ohio. DYS is statutorily mandated to confine felony offenders, age 10 to 21, who have been adjudicated and committed by one of Ohio's 88 county juvenile courts.

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Quality long-term care requires quality leadersGUEST COLUMN: Quality long-term care requires quality leaders

As we age, many of us find ourselves or our loved ones needing more care than can be adequately provided by friends and families. Ohio's nursing homes are among the options available to individuals and their families as their care needs change. The Board of Executives of Long-Term Services & Supports (BELTSS) makes aging our business by working to ensure that our elders have access to high-quality, person-centered care that meets their needs and matches their values.

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Financial Security is Key to a Happy and Healthy Senior ExperienceGUEST COLUMN: Financial Security is Key to a Happy and Healthy Senior Experience

The good news is people in Ohio are living longer and healthier lives, the not so good news is it takes more resources to live those extra years. However, everyone, even seniors, can do something about their financial health. We all need to learn more about the existing mechanisms which allow us to create and maintain the money we need for our senior years.

The state, like most employers, has an aging workforce, and it is in the employer's and the state's best interest to ensure their workers have plans in place for a prosperous future and retirement. For State of Ohio employees, the Ohio Deferred Compensation program is one way the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) makes aging our business.

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The gift of sight is important for Living 'Well Beyond 60!'GUEST COLUMN: The gift of sight is important for Living "Well Beyond 60!"

What would you miss most if you lost your ability to see? I ask this question often as an icebreaker at training sessions I conduct on behalf of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. The responses often include:

  • "Seeing the expression on my children or grandchildren's faces as they grow up."
  • "Participating in my hobbies."
  • "Driving or getting around on my own."
  • "My independence."
  • "Everything!"

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Lifelong Learning Can Add Life to Your Years!GUEST COLUMN: Lifelong Learning Can Add Life to Your Years!

As the Ohio Department of Aging's theme for Older Americans Month states, aging IS everybody's business!

At the Ohio Department of Higher Education, we view our older population as a valuable resource and are committed to helping Ohio's elders grow, thrive and contribute to their communities. One of the ways we do that is through our GIVEback. GOforward. pilot program in the Youngstown area. GIVEback. GOforward. allows adults 60 and older to volunteer with one or more education-based programs in the Mahoning Valley. Once a volunteer completes 100 hours of service, he or she will earn a three-hour tuition waiver to Youngstown State University or Eastern Gateway Community College. Volunteers may use the waiver to continue on their own educational path or they may gift it to a friend, family member or other current or prospective student at either school.

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Meet the 2016 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 2016 class of the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. We have selected 10 outstanding individuals who embody what it means to live "Well Beyond 60!" They have elevated Ohio and their communities to the national and international stage, as well as created and fostered opportunities for their neighbors. It is our honor to recognize them for their achievements and contributions.

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Catholic Social Services of the Miami ValleyGUEST COLUMN: At Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, aging is our business!

This month, people all over Ohio are proclaiming that aging is everybody's business! It is definitely OUR business! We at Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) take our responsibilities to the older population seriously. A test site and then an administrative agency for the PASSPORT Medicaid home care waiver since 1984, CSSMV loves seniors. Members of our dedicated staff make life easier for thousands of seniors every month of the year.

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SourcePoint: Thrive after 55GUEST COLUMN: The special challenges of caring for an aging parent

If we are very fortunate, our parents will live to a ripe old age. And in exchange for the gift of enjoying the older loved ones in our families, many of us will eventually accept some level of responsibility for their wellbeing. Caring for an older family member or friend can be both an honor and a challenge. (And let's remember that being cared for by others - even by our children - can be a challenge, as well.)

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GUEST COLUMN: Here's one more "ism" to put behind us

I was shopping for sunscreen the other day, when I came across the NotYourMother's brand. I felt a familiar twinge of annoyance at the name's slight on seniors. Heaven forbid that you should use a product your mother would use. After all, she's old. And old means irrelevant and out-of-touch, right?

Oh well, so what? After all, there's Not Your Daughter's jeans. I need to lighten up.

But take a look at the store's greeting card section. That's where birthday cards portray older people as angelic, witless or bizarre.

 

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Universal design features in homes make life easierGUEST COLUMN: Universal design features in homes make life easier

Your home is the most important environment in your life. This is where you spend time in the day-to-day activities of living, eating, cooking, gardening, relaxing, entertaining, sleeping, and sometimes working from home. When we select our home we give a lot of thought to the location, price, square footage, maintenance demands and suitability to fit our budget. We also need to take into consideration how functional this home is now as well as in the future.

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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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Stay warm this winterFive 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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