COVID-19 & COA Monthly Update
After a period of decline, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ohio are on the rise and this trend is negatively impacting older Ohioans - approximately 70 percent of hospitalizations are among people age 60+, up from 50 percent in July. Additionally, two counties in our service area - Hamilton and Butler - are red on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System map, indicating high levels of virus spread. Governor DeWine previously cautioned, "Spread among the young and healthy will eventually impact those who are older and more vulnerable, which is why it is so very important that younger Ohioans do all they can to prevent spread." Precautions such as mask wearing, avoiding large gatherings, hand washing and social distancing, especially as we head into flu season and the holidays, will be key to managing the pandemic and protecting older adults and other vulnerable citizens.
COA holding Town Hall for senior apartment building staff 
We are hosting an important virtual Town Hall meeting for managers and staff at area senior apartment buildings on Oct. 27 from 12:30-2 pm. The purpose is to help staff at these apartment buildings stay up-to-date on the latest information and public health guidance regarding COVID-19 in congregate living communities. Get more information and register (required!) for the town hall here.
ODA webinar for adult day and senior center providers set for October 16
On Friday, October 16, from 10-11:30 am, the Ohio Department of Aging and the Office of Budget and Management are holding a webinar to explain Coronavirus relief funding for Ohio Adult Day Service and Senior Center providers. Topics will include Coronavirus relief funds, testing, personal protective equipment and FAQs. Register here.
Report details Ohio AAAs' response to pandemic
48,217 people received 4,044,449 home-delivered and shelf stable meals directly in response to COVID-19. A new report from the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging reveals this statistic and many other details about how Ohio's Area Agencies on Aging (COA is a AAA) mobilized quickly to help older adults and those with disabilities from March through July. You can read the full report here.
Grant to help bridge Cincinnati's digital divide and access to programming
The Cincinnati Museum Center and Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library have received a grant for work that will in part help seniors in five city neighborhoods with better access to digital and outreach programming. COA Vice President of Innovation & Business Development Sharon Fusco will serve on the program's advisory board. Learn more.
Join OSU Extension's fall wellness challenge!
The Warren County office of OSU Extension is offering the Take a Break Wellness Challenge beginning October 19. You'll learn ways to take breaks and stay healthy this fall. Topics include play, rest, school/work balance, technology, snacks and more. You'll receive two email messages per week, a health tracking log and encouraging tips. Register for the program here.
Participants age 65+ needed for virtual research study 
Scripps Gerontology Center is seeking adults 65 years or older for a virtual research study, the purpose of which is to improve a preference assessment for older adults through the use of supplemental pictures. Participants will offer their opinions on the pictures chosen for the preference assessment. Participation will take about two hours over one to two sessions, scheduled at your convenience. For more information, visit this page. To participate in the study email Kelly Knollman-Porter or call her at (765) 265-3640. 
Good to know... 
Medicare Open Enrollment
The Medicare Open Enrollment period for 2021 is October 15 to December 7. This is a yearly event because Medicare health and drug plans can make changes to costs, coverage and providers and pharmacies in their networks each year. It is important to review the materials your plan sends you, for example the “Evidence of Coverage” and “Annual Notice of Change." If your plan is changing, make sure the plan will still meet your needs for the following year. Visit for more information about Open Enrollment. 

Need Open Enrollment assistance?
The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program offers free, virtual, one-on-one Medicare counseling sessions. Choose from "New to Medicare Counseling" (for someone new to Medicare or nearing Medicare eligibility) or "Medicare Open Enrollment Counseling" (for someone who already has a Medicare plan and wants to explore their Medicare options for 2021). Learn more and register for your session here.
Voting in Ohio
Voting in-person on Election Day (November 3) may present some challenges for seniors due to the pandemic. Here are some tips and resources for alternative ways to vote in the general election.

Early, in-person voting has begun in Ohio, and runs through November 2. Visit your county board of elections website for in-person voting times and dates.

Absentee ballots may be requested up until three days before an election. Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted. You can also return your absentee ballot in-person to your county board of elections before the close of the polls at 7:30 pm on Election Day.

Older adults and voting in 2020:

National, state and local COVID news
Indoor visitation at nursing homes and long-term care facilities now permitted  
As of Monday, October 12, nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio are permitted to allow indoor visitation. Visitors are limited to two for a maximum of 30 minutes. A state health order outlining these and other guidelines is available for review here.  
Hamilton County and partners launch Test and Protect program  
Need a COVID test in Hamilton County? The Health Collaborative, Hamilton County, five regional health systems and a regional university have formed Test and Protect, which offers pop-up testing sites throughout the county. Find testing dates and locations and learn more here.
COVID-19 medical and science news
COVID-19 and senior health and wellness
COVID-19 resources from COA
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. We promote choice, independence, dignity and well-being through a range of services that help people remain in their homes for as long as possible.
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