Aging Gracefully newsletter logo

2023 Holiday Edition

Aging Gracefully is now published every other month with occasional exceptions for holidays. You can always find aging-and-dementia resources on our web page.


Beating the Winter Blues graphic showing winter landscape behind frowning face
NAMI Wake County graphic with Winter Self-Care Tips

Many people feel "down" or have the "winter blues" when the days get shorter in the fall and winter and feel better in the spring when longer daylight hours return. Sometimes, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and behaves.

Divider between items within a larger section

Talking About Mental Health:

9 Tips for Older Adults

  • While it is normal to feel anxious or sad from time to time, constantly feeling anxious and depressed could be a sign of mental health troubles.
  • Some people may feel uncomfortable talking about mental health but it is still very important to do so in order to receive proper treatment as well as lessen the stigma surrounding mental health and illness.
  • Some older adults can be susceptible to developing mental health problems due to life changes.
  • Sharing your own experiences is important to help other people feel comfortable talking about mental health.

Click here to read the full article


New evidence emerges about how hearing loss could increase the risk of dementia.

Graphic showing multi-colored brain and facts about hearing loss and dementia

Hearing loss causes structural changes in parts of the brain related to symptoms of dementia, according to a new study.      


The areas of the brain affected by hearing loss are regions associated with attention and executive function in the frontal cortex, as well as the auditory regions of the temporal lobe.                 


Previous research has found that hearing loss is associated with dementia, although the relationship between the two remains to be clarified.        


Upcoming research investigates the possibility of reversing such changes with the use of hearing aids. 

Graphic shown accompanies article

Read the full article here

Osteopenia vs Osteoporosis:

Causes, Risk Factors, and Differences

Graphic showing stages of bones from healthy to severe osteoporosis

Osteopenia is a loss of bone mass or bone mineral density. It is the stage before osteoporosis, and without treatment, it can progress to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis happens when bone mineral density and bone mass decrease even further or when there are structural changes to bone tissue.  Click here to read the full article.

Health Insurance Information and Resources

Medical bill stamped as Past Due

Affording Health Care

Now a Struggle for Half of all Americans: Poll

More than half of working-age Americans struggle to afford their health care and many forgo care, possibly risking their health, according to a new survey. The Commonwealth Fund survey queried more than 7,800 individuals aged 19 and up between April and July. The survey found that 51% of these Americans struggled to afford their health care, with 32% living with medical debt.

Click here to read the full article.

How to Shop for Medicare Advantage Plans

Table comparing differences between Medicare Advantage Networks like HMO, Local PPO, Regional PPO, and PFFS
Chart showing what Medicare Part C covers

The right Medicare Advantage plan for you will depend on your health history, prescription medications and where you live, among other factors. These are strategies for selecting the best plan, which you can read more about in this article.

  • Check star ratings.
  • Compare out-of-pocket costs.
  • Keep your meds in mind.
  • Look for your doctors. l
  • Consider the plan type.

Click here to read the full article.

Divider between items within a section

Insurance Navigators:

The Basics and Why You Might Need One

An Insurance Navigator is an individual or organization that trained and able to help consumers and small businesses and their employees, as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. These individuals and organizations are required to be unbiased. Their services are free to consumers. Navigators must receive no direct or indirect payments from health insurers.   

Click here for an Ohio Department of Health flyer with more about what Insurance Navigators do, how they can help you, and how to find one in your area.

Click here to see an infographic showing differences between Licensed Insurance Agents and Navigators.

Meet with an Insurance Navigator Graphic showing customer walking in door

More Navigator and Insurance-Shopping Resources

How to Find an Insurance Navigator in Your Area


Go to:               

Click the “Navigator Search” tab                                                                

In the “Search For” tab, click the arrow box to select “Business Entities”                                                            

Enter your city.                                                                            

Click the “Search” button. A list will populate to show all the business entities offering navigator services. You can contact any business entity in your search in order to receive assistance with enrollment.         

Click here for the United Medicare Providers Best Rate Guide

Phone: 855-492-2524

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services web site - click here.

Sources of information about the health care marketplace:

Click here for Get Health Insurance Answers. (Scroll to the bottom for Health Care)

Sign up for health insurance with support by phone at this link:

Activities for Healthy Aging: Out and About

From physical activity to new forms of art and expression, to purchasing locally-made artwork as holiday gifts, Northwest Ohio offers many opportunities - indoors and out - for seniors and everyone - to beat the "winter blues."


Glass blowing. A good cold weather activity to participate in or just to watch and enjoy. There are many benefits and advantages to glassblowing. Here are a few, according to

Artistic expression - brings out creativity

Collaboration - teamwork and a sense of community

Therapeutic - meditative and a sense of mindfulness and relaxation

You can find out more here

Click here to find where you can see and participate in glassblowing in Northwest Ohio.

Black person blowing orange-tinted glass ball in studio

Dance Classes

Older man and woman ballroom dancing

Dance classes are another indoor activity. Whether it is tap or ballroom dancing, this is an enjoyable activity for seniors. Please check with your doctor before taking a class.

Here are 12 health benefits that dance classes can offer for seniors.


Learn more by clicking here.

Northwest Ohio Dance Schools and Studios Offering Lessons

Melissa’s Dance Academy - Waterville, Ohio:

Paulette’s Studio of Dance - Toledo, Ohio:

Toledo Ballroom - Toledo, Ohio:

Click here to find even more Winter and holiday activities: local craft stores and classes, cooking classes, holiday lights, and historical-themed sleigh and trolley rides.

Details for all activities are available on their web sites and Winter 2023 Buzz Book available at

Divider between items within a section

Activities for a Healthy Brain As We Age:

Best Indoor Brain-Building Activities

Mario and Luigi riding Go-Kart

Click here to read about BrainHQ, Luminosity, and more of the best adult brain-building actiivites and puzzles - including Mario Kart!

Scrabble board with bag of tiles
2023 Crossword Puzzles Books for Adults book cover

Puzzles (some are free, some require a subscription) 

Divider between items within a section

Music and Classic Old-Time Radio Shows

(some are free, some require a subscription) free daily shows Subscription needed

Banner with snowflakes announcing winter activities

Find more resources at the Senior Committee page of the Lucas DD web site.

Dementia Friends of Ohio Training Sessions

Hosted through the Ohio Council for Cognitive Health

Remaining 2023 Sessions

December 14 and 26.

Click here for more information and to sign up.

Check out these local senior organization calendars

for some exciting upcoming events!

Area Office on Aging logo with white O between two blue A's

Northwest Ohio Area Office on Aging Events Calendar

Virtual and In-Person Support Groups, Workshops, and More,

through early 2024.


Matter of Balance - Wednesdays now through January 10

To help reduce the fear of falling and increase activity level

View of Aging Pop Quiz, December 31 at 5 pm

Transportation to events is available through various sources. Click here for the Transportation Search, or call their main number, 419-382-0624 and ask for the Aging and Disability Resource Network.

The Margaret Hunt Center offers rides to their events and for some other needs within their service area. Click here:

MemoryLane Care Services Events Calendar

Check back each month for that month's activities!

Lucas County Board of DD logo with tagline

Aging Gracefully is published and edited by the

Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD or Lucas DD) Senior Supports Committee.

Click here for the Senior Support Committee web site page.

Learn about:

  • How we can help providers and families support someone who is aging, or has dementia, or is at risk for dementia
  • How we can help siblings and other relatives of the individual take on caregiving responsibilities as the individual's parent ages
  • Activities and tips for healthy aging
  • Webinars, trainings, and everyday tips related to aging, DD and dementia, offered by outside community partners
  • Caregiver support networks

This additional page of the LCBDD web site can help you locate sources of financial help for various needs (for all ages).

The Senior Committee includes LCBDD staff, as well as providers and

families who have experience with aging and dementia.

Click here to find past issues of the newsletter.

Copyright © December 2023 Aging Gracefully, All rights reserved.

Contact Us


1154 Larc Lane

Toledo, OH 43614

Lucas DD Senior Committee Web Page

Follow the Lucas County Board of DD on social!

Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  Instagram  Youtube  Pinterest