Register for COA's 30th Anniversary Forum on Aging,
presented by Interim HomeStyle of Greater Cincinnati, Inc.  Deadline is March 1.
February/March 2016
Don't Miss This!
Registration for Forum on Aging ends March 1
Online registration for Council on Aging’s 30th Annual Forum on Aging will close March 1. Walk-in registrations will be accepted on the day of the conference, but fees will be higher and some workshops may be full. 

March 8-9 at the Sharonville Convention Center, Forum on Aging is our region’s premiere conference for professionals who work with older adults and people with disabilities.  12 CEUs are available for professionals licensed in Ohio and Kentucky.

Register today for two days of networking, learning, and inspiration!  Learn more. 
Council on Aging Updates
Preview: COA's 2015 Annual Report

At age 102, Florence is as active and engaged with life as someone decades younger. Known as Feisty Flo around her senior housing complex, Florence is part of a fast-growing segment of the older population: centenarians.  She is also one of several Council on Aging clients who are featured in our 2015 Annual Report which will be released at our annual meeting on March 9. The report will be available in print and online after that date. Read more about Florence
Healthy U workshops start March 1

If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, you probably already know what you need to do for a healthy lifestyle. But maybe, you don’t always do what you know you should.  Healthy U is here to help.  Learn more
News You Can Use
Guest Column
Social Security: Filing your taxes just got
(a little bit) easier
Your annual tax filing deadline is fast approaching. If you receive Social Security benefits, one of the documents you need to file your federal income tax return is your Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099/1042S).  Social Security makes it easy to obtain a replacement benefit statement if you didn’t receive one or misplaced it.  Read more

Consumer Protection Week

It is fitting that March 6-12 is National Consumer Protection Week. This time of year it’s hard to avoid the fliers, yard signs, emails, and other advertisements offering tax preparation assistance and promising bigger, faster refunds. The fact is, tax time is prime time for scammers.  And as always, seniors are a prime target.  Read more

Get help with your taxes

There are many reputable area resources to help older adults and people with low to moderate incomes file their taxes.  Here's a quick roundup:

Council on Aging's Resource Directory

AARP Tax-Aide Program

United Way's MyFreeTaxes

Long-term Care Corner
Representative Payee program basics
More than 10 million older adults rely on Social Security benefits as their primary source of income. As the population ages and the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments increases, more older adults will need to rely on others to manage their finances.

The Social Security Administration has authority to appoint third parties, known as representative payees, to receive and manage payments when a beneficiary is unable to do so. To protect seniors from financial exploitation or interruptions in benefits, it’s important for advocates and caregivers to understand key issues relating to the program.

Justice in Aging has begun to develop a series of informational publications about the Representative Payee Program. Click here to download and read the first in the series.
For Your Health
Heart Month: What is heart failure?
Heart failure causes shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, and swelling in the ankles, feet and legs. Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working or is about to stop working, but it is a serious condition that requires treatment. Lifestyle changes – along with medications and ongoing care – are key to managing heart failure.
Reminder: Be fire smart
Fire is a serious risk for older adults.   While older Ohioans make up about 14 percent of Ohio's population, they account for more than 39 percent of fire-related fatalities.  In February alone, two house fires in Warren County killed an older woman and a man who was disabled.  Read more... 

Additional Resources:
Fire Safety Tips for Older Ohioans (Ohio)

Fire Safety Outreach Materials for Older Adults (US Fire Administration)

Your Safety First (COA factsheet)

Aging & Disability Resource Network Updates
Ohio's Older American's Month Theme: Aging. It's Everybody's Business

Each May, the nation celebrates Older Americans Month. The Ohio Department on Aging has announced Ohio’s theme for this year as “Aging. It’s Everybody’s Business.”

This year’s theme and logo promote the idea that caring for a growing and changing aging population requires partnerships and collaborations beyond traditional providers and that everybody can play a role in promoting opportunities for the elderly to grow, thrive, and contribute.

As we get closer to May, we will share details on statewide celebrations, activities, and promotions associated with Older Americans Month.

New tool will help standardize elder abuse data

How many older adults are victims of elder abuse each year? Anyone who has ever tried to find the answer to this question knows there is no easy answer.  That is partly due to the wide variations in how elder abuse is defined, how cases are reported, and how the related data is managed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a tool that aims to help standardize the way this important data is collected and managed, in the hopes that we can gain a more accurate picture of the problem and impact of elder abuse at the local, state, and national levels.   Read more 

Hiring Ohioans with Disabilities

A new interactive guide makes it easier for Ohio employers to recruit, hire, and retain qualified workers with disabilities. Hiring Ohioans with Disabilities: a Toolkit for Employers, Managers and Human Resource Professionals was produced by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. It was created in response to a recommendation of the Ohio Workforce Integration Task Force, created by Governor John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly in 2014, to increase employability and income parity for Ohioans with disabilities.

March is National Social Work Month

There are more than 600,000 social workers in the US, and we have 113 Licensed Social Workers here at Council on Aging.  During National Social Work Month, we send out a  special thank you to our social workers and social workers everywhere!  Read more 
March is National Nutrition Month

Visit Council on Aging's  Resource Directory  for information about local resources to help meet the nutrition needs of older adults and people with disabilities.  You'll find information about home-delivered meals, congregate meals, and more. Area businesses that have contracts with Council on Aging to deliver nutrition-related services are also included in the directory.  Search: nutrition. 
Proposed commission would study malnutrition among Ohio seniors        

A new bill introduced in the Ohio Senate would create a Malnutrition Prevention Commission to study the effects of malnutrition among older Ohioans, raise public awareness, and identify existing and new prevention efforts.  

In a study of food insecurity among seniors , Ohio had a 26 percent increase in the number of seniors who were at risk of hunger in 2013 compared to 2012. Ohio ranked first in the Midwest and 12th nationwide for food insecurity among older adults. Food insecure seniors have lower nutrient intakes and worse health outcomes.  Read more
Training offered on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors        

It is estimated there are one to three million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) seniors. As Boomers age, that number is projected to reach three to seven million by 2030. Professionals serving older adults are becoming more aware of their need to become more competent and skilled in working with LGBT seniors. 

An upcoming three-part webinar training series will try to address the training gap. Read more
Service Providers
From time to time, we will include information in our newsletter that is of particular interest to service providers who have contracts with Council on Aging or the state's Medicaid programs which serve older and adults and people with disabilities in our region.
Title III Service & Funding Schedule training for current providers
Current Council on Aging (COA) Title III providers are invited to attend a web-based training to learn about recent updates to the Title III Service and Funding Schedule.  The new document will be presented to providers during the training.  This training is recommended for anyone at your organization who needs to understand Title III funding, as well as those who submit and reconcile billing for Title III funds.

Training Details
 Friday, February 26, 2016 
Time: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM EST

For information on how to attend this training, please contact your Business Relations Partner or COA's  Provider Services Department .  
DRIVE Train the Trainer Course
The Train the Trainer session for the DRIVE courses (DRIVE: Transporting Older and Disabled Passengers)  will be offered April 25-26 in Columbus.  

Please Note: This course is for those who will be training drivers, not drivers themselves.  The course is open only to those providers holding PASSPORT or OAA Title III contracts and providers funded by the Ohio Dept. of Transportation.  No more than one  trainer per agency/company will be permitted.   More information and registration instructions
Events & Learning Opportunities
Visit the Events page on our website for a complete, up-to-date list of events for adults, caregivers and professionals.  Unless otherwise noted, the following events are NOT in any way affiliated with Council on Aging.  Please use the links included with each event to get or request additional information. 
Webinar: Achieving Collaboration Between Mental Health and Aging Services Through Coalition Building
February 24, 2016

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati: Free Wills Clinic
February 27, 2016

Council on Aging's 30th Annual Forum on Aging
March 8-9, 2016
Sharonville Convention Center
Registration deadline is March 1

Foundations of EMS & Community Paramedicine
Presented by the University of Cincinnati's Fire Science Program
March 21-25, 2016
2016 Consumer Protection Forum
March 30, 2016
Maple Knoll Village
CEUs available

Shalom Sprint 5K Run/Walk 
To benefit the Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at Cedar Village
Summit Park, Blue Ash
April 3, 2016

April 14, 2016
Sharonville Convention Center

Opening Minds through Art (OMA)
Facilitator training for artists, healthcare professionals, and service learning educators
May 23-26, 2016
The Knolls of Oxford
In other news...
A roundup of recent headlines that may be of interest to our readers.
The New York Times, Jan. 21

Not just a death, a system failure (final installment in a series about death and dying)
The New York Times, Feb. 6

Council on Aging | (513) 721-1025 or (800) 252-0155 |
About Council on Aging
Council on Aging is a state-designated Area Agency on Aging, serving a 21-county region.   Our mission: Enhance people's lives by assisting them to remain independent at home through a range of quality services. One call to COA links people to the wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities.    Learn more about COA