April/May 2016, Vol. XVI, No. 5
Health and Wellness: Keeping Our Glass Half Full
We are continually amazed, although not surprised, by the number of seniors we meet who take seriously their overall health and wellness. This does not just include the fit and mobile, who actually make up the majority of the senior population. It also includes those who have overcome one or more medical or mobility challenges and have found ways to make the most of their abilities to do and participate in all that they can.

Our health and wellness is not defined by our age, a diagnosis, or how many exercise classes we take. It is, however, determined in part by how we manage what we have little or no control of, like our genetic make-up or the loss of our mate, and making the best choices and decisions for our unique situation and abilities.

Making the ‘best’ choices/decisions is where many of us struggle. Our brains may know what these are, but following through is easier said than done. In terms of food, for example, the best choices are not always the easiest or least expensive. For our physical exercise, we acknowledge that we don’t move enough, but our motivation is easily deterred by such things as pain, fatigue, the draw of a comfy chair, or a favorite television show.

We are pleased to share that along with the senior centers, we are experiencing a growing interest in health and wellness programs. 

People are wanting to take control of what they can and we see an increase in the number of folks accessing information through newsletters, brochures & speakers, attending classes to both learn and benefit from the support of others, asking about healthier food choices, and signing up for physical and brain fitness programs.

There is no magic program that works for everyone, but we encourage you to regularly explore the increasing number of options and make YOU a priority by taking advantage of what you can. Only you can make the decision to put your health and well-being first. Consider the reasons to do it versus giving in to the reasons to not!

Your Council will be adding a Wellness Programs/Offerings page to the website, which will include the Healthy U workshops (diabetes, chronic illness, & pain), Matter of Balance sessions, Tai Chi and other classes, partner and collaborative events, including the May 17th SeniorPalooza, and other relevant information. It is up to us to take care of ourselves and loved ones and your Council is here to be of whatever support we can!
  Honoring Volunteers: We Couldn't Do It Without You!
Words cannot express how much our volunteers mean to the Council team and to all those who are affected by their contributions! These individuals share their time and talents in numerous ways and we are humbled by every one of the 130+ individuals. Our heartfelt and sincere appreciation to all. 


Watch our page on Facebook for photos of our Enchanted Forest Reception later this month.
It's Your Money: Please Check Charities Before You Donate
As an Air Force veteran I was quite disturbed by a recent article in the New York Times regarding the very popular ‘Wounded Warrior Project’ charity. The article highlighted some questionable spending by the charity, including an “all hands” meeting of its employees at a five-star resort hotel, booking of business-class seats on airlines, $500-a-night hotels rooms, and other lavish spending of donated dollars. According to the Times article this charity has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years on public relations and lobbying campaigns to deflect criticism of its spending. If you are one of the thousands of people who donates to the ‘Wounded Warrior Project’ each year, this information should cause you to at least pause before writing your next check. So how can you investigate a particular charity BEFORE you decide to give them any of your hard-earned money?

The number one piece of advice when reviewing potential charities is to take your time; NEVER give on the spur of the moment and always take time to investigate a charity and the cause they are championing. If you have access to the internet, you can research the charity through review sites like Guidestar.org or CharityNavigator .org . In most cases, you will be able to see how much of a charity’s total dollars are spent on programs and services, administrative expenses, fund raising, and senior leader payroll. For example, the ‘Wounded Warrior Project’ used 59.9% of its donor collections for veteran’s programs, 6% for administrative expenses, 34% for fundraising expenses, and paid its senior leader (who has since been removed) $473,000 in 2014. As a comparison, the ‘Fisher House’ (dedicated to helping military families in times of personal crisis) devotes 91% of its funds to its programs, spends 6.5% for administrative expenses, 2.4% for fundraising expenses, and paid its senior leader $450,000. If you don’t have access to the internet and would like to investigate a particular charity, give us a call at the Council and we can help you investigate.

Here are some other steps you can take to protect yourself when dealing with potential donor situations:

  • · Ask for the name, address, and phone number of the charity -- and whether or not it is registered with the state. If the solicitors claim that it is registered, get a registration number. Be careful that you really are giving to an organization you are familiar with.
  •  Don't ever donate cash if you can help it. Write a check payable to the charity--not to the person standing in front of you. This also helps you document the donation for your records and for your tax return. Get a receipt with the name and address of the charity on it.
  •  Ask what percentage of your donation goes directly to the charity’s programs and cause. Legitimate charities will have a ready answer because they are used to answering this question.
  •  Be especially cautious about getting a charity donation request via email. Never respond to email requests from charities where you've never donated in the past.
  •  Be wary about charities that claim to be raising funds for the local police or firefighters. Always verify the charity campaign with the police or fire department before you give!
  •  Don’t be pressured to donate ‘on-the-spot’. Take your time to research. Legitimate charities will gladly accept your donation any time. Scammers demand you act NOW—it is OK to say NO!
  •  Don't give in to pressure about 'suggested donations' or 'requested minimum contributions.' Once you've determined the charity is legitimate and you want to contribute, simply give what you can and want to give. Any amount you give will be appreciated.

If you have a complaint about any charity, contact the Ohio Attorney General at
1-800-282-0515 or visit
www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Business/Charity . The best way we know to avoid charity scams is to decide IN ADVANCE which charities you'll support, and then CONTACT THEM (rather than letting the charity contact you). That way, you can gracefully turn down those uncomfortable/unsolicited charity requests that are surely coming your way.   

May is Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, a time when we celebrate the lives and contributions of our seniors.

Ohio has 2.5 million residents who are 60 and better and just over 25,000 live in our wonderful Greene County. Our 60+ population is growing more than 20 times faster than our overall population.

Greene County Activities:
Our Greene County seniors are honored in many ways and we actually kick off the celebration with the annual Senior Recognition Luncheon on the last Wednesday in April. This year’s Luncheon is April 27th at the Greene County Fairgrounds and includes Tony McIlvaine as our Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Sarah Twill from Wright State University’s Department of Social Work as our featured speaker, and a lovely meal catered by McCoy’s Catering.
 
The highlight of this event is the presentation of the Leadership Awards to nominees from each of the senior centers and the Outstanding Greene County Senior Award.
 
Luncheon tickets are $10 and the reservation deadline is April 15th. The luncheon brochures are available at the senior centers and Council and you can also request that one be mailed to you by contacting the Council at 937-376-5486 or info@gccoa.org .

May 17th is Senior Citizens Day, which we celebrate in Greene County with the SeniorPalooza. Our theme for this year’s fun festival for the 50+ crowd is Connections and individuals can participate in all or part of the activities at no charge, with the exception of $5 for those who would like a box lunch.
 
We will start the day with a 5K adventure heading out at 9am at the Fairground Recreation Center next to the Fairgrounds. This year’s adventure includes a scavenger hunt and some fun prizes. Those participating in the 5K also receive a tee shirt. The doors of the Assembly Building open at 10:30am and displays, activities and drawings for doorprizes will continue until 3pm. Event flyers and 5K registration forms are available at the senior center, the Council and on the GCCOA website.


Each of the ten senior centers in Greene County have a busy May schedule planned and we encourage you to check with any or all to see what might be of interest to you.  And for those of you reading this who are seniors, we appreciate and celebrate you!

Brain Health: Make it a Priority
Brain health is one of your Council’s priority program areas, so we continue to tweak and increase our efforts to educate and engage the community about what we should know and what we can do. It is important to understand that improving and maintaining the best overall wellness for ourselves is key to brain health. So good nutrition, regular physical exercise, appropriate sleep and rest, controlling conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and being engaged in terms of relationships, laughter, learning, and spirituality are all critical to brain health. In addition, our wellness regime should include activities which stretch and work the brain.
 
Many of the programs offered by the senior centers, library and other partners fit the bill for brain-stretching activities. Programs offered through the Council include the Memory Loss presentation held every other month, a bi-monthly brain fitness afternoon at our Beavercreek space, and the annual Brain Fitness Symposium which is set for July 13th and will focus on Music and the Brain. Several other offerings are in the works, so keep watch and keep stretching!
Congratulations to Our Artisans
Thank you to those who came out to the Senior Artisan Show and to the 42 artisans who shared their creations. The show included 78 pieces and 7 of our artisans were new to the show. We asked guests to choose their favorite pieces, and the top three were October in the Glen, by Roger Smith, Before or After by Dotty Crowley, and The Glade Creek Grist Mill, by Linda Keller. Our thanks to our friends at the Fairborn Art Association and we look forward to another beautiful show in 2017!
Donor Spotlight  
Please join us in thanking these generous donors who shared a gift since the last newsletter.  All unrestricted financial donations go to our charitable account with the Greene County Community Foundation, for future senior and caregiver services/programs.   
In Memory Of:
Archel R. Brown
Francis Heeb, Jr. 
Charlotte Panton
Jay Tieber
Gloria Wolff   

In Honor Of:
Millie Bates
Arah-Deah & Lynn Wolaver

Donors:
Judy Baker
Andree Bognar
Mr. & Mrs. Bob Cox
Diane DiTommaso
FMS Construction Staff
Joe & Joan Gallagher
Ross Grange
Gary & Kathy Heeb
Sam & Judy Hudson
Tom & Sally Maxwell
Mary Noble
Marilyn Osterday
Frieda Parks
Roger Panton
John Simmons

Stanley Smith
Maxine Tieber
Sharon Twardowski
Barbara Werth
Ron & Julie Woeste
Steve & Sue Wolaver
Mr. & Mrs. Ken Herr and Family
Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Magoto
Ed & Fran O’Shaughnessy
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Woerner
Elmcroft of Xenia
Fairborn Senior Center
Greene Oaks
Legacy Village
Montgomery Insurance & Investments
Village at the Greene
 
Our appreciation to our educational program presenters since the last newsletter:
 
Sarah Amend & Justin McColaugh
Tammy Cox & Eric Sears
Dave Cusack
Jerry Mahan
David Peterson
Pete Stephan
Upcoming Events
Memory Loss, Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
Thursday, April 7th ~ 6:30pm—8:30pm
Beaver View Health Center ~ 3095 Dayton-Xenia Rd, Beavercreek
 
GCCOA Membership Meeting
Tuesday, April 18th ~ 2:30pm
Fairborn Senior Center ~ 325 N. Third St, Beavercreek
 
Senior Recognition Luncheon ~ Greene County Fairgrounds
Wednesday, April 27th ~ 11:00am—1:00pm
Assembly Building, Greene County Fairgrounds
Brochures available at the senior centers and can be mailed by calling the Council
 
SeniorPalooza ~  A Day Long Festival for the 50+ Crowd
Tuesday, May 17th ~ 9:00am—3:00pm
Fairgrounds Recreation Center & Greene County Fairground, Xenia
 
Looking Ahead …
 
Wednesday, July 13th, 2:00pm to 5pm ~ Music and the Brain
Wednesday, August  17th, 4:00pm to 6:30pm ~ GCCOA JamFest
 
Greene County Council on Aging
937-376-5486
Committed to Seniors and Caregivers
Our mission: To promote independence and quality of life for Greene County senior citizens and caregivers by facilitating and supporting the development, implementation and continual improvement of a comprehensive and coordinated system of contact and care.