November is National Family Caregiver Month.  Read on to learn how you can honor a caregiver and get information about programs and services that support family caregivers.
November 2015
Don't Miss This!
Celebrate National Family Caregiver Month: nominate a special caregiver for COA's Annual Awards Program
Pictured (from left) Outstanding Services Provider, David Lytle, Council on Aging Board of Trustees Chairman, William Thornton, and Outstanding Caregiver, Donald Neyer

November is National Family Caregiver Month.  With more than 65 million Americans serving as a caregiver, you are sure to know to someone serving in this role - whether personally or professionally. Council on Aging's Annual Awards honor those caregivers (our friends, colleagues, clients, and employees) who work to make life better for older adults and people with disabilities.

We are now accepting nominations for our 2016 Annual Awards Program. Click here to learn more about the awards, including award categories, a nomination form, and information about how the winners will be honored. The nomination deadline is January 15, 2016.  Click here to read about last year's honorees, shown in the photo above.

Council on Aging Updates
Butler County senior services levy passes by largest margin ever
On November 3, for the fifth time in 19 years, the voters of Butler County approved a senior services tax levy to provide assistance that helps frail older adults stay in their homes. The 1.3-mill renewal levy passed by the largest margin ever: 74.4 percent!    Read more...  

30th Anniversary Forum on Aging is March 8-9

Council on Aging’s 30th Annual Forum on Aging and Annual Meeting & Awards is set for March 8-9, 2016 at the Sharonville Convention Center. We are excited to celebrate 30 years of networking, learning, and inspiration! Professionals can earn up to 12 CEUs over two days, including 3-hour intensive workshops, panel presentations, and nationally-respected keynote speakers. Registration will open in January, but we've already posted information about our keynote speakers.

Put your organization front and center as a Forum on Aging sponsor

A special 30th Anniversary Forum on Aging Sponsorship Package and other sponsorship opportunities are available now. The 30th Anniversary Sponsorship Package will place your company front and center at what is likely to be our biggest Forum on Aging yet. Only one 30th Anniversary Sponsorship Package is available. Click here for information about all of our sponsorship opportunities.

Southwest Ohio Care Transitions Collaborative leads in reducing hospital readmissions
Since 2012, Council on Aging and nine area hospitals have been working together to reduce readmission rates among Medicare patients through the Southwest Ohio Care Transitions Collaborative.  

Recent data show this collaboration is paying off. The combined efforts of COA's Care Transitions program, and other hospital-based programs designed to reduce readmissions, are having an impact on readmission rates at area hospitals. Read more... 
Jewell, a Care Transitions patient, reviews medications with her Care Transitions coach
November is National Family Caregiver Month
In Ohio, more than 1.14 million people serve as informal caregivers for a family member, friend, or other loved one.  These caregivers provide over 1.2 million hours of care each year, with an economic value of more than $12 million. (Take a look at a state profile of caregivers and caregiving in Ohio)

While caregivers focus so much of their time and attention on providing care for their loved one, they often overlook one very important thing - their own health.  Caregivers who do not take care of themselves will soon find they cannot take care of anyone else. 

Respite - the theme for this year's caregiver awareness month -  is one important tool caregivers can use to rest up, get some exercise, run errands, or simply spend an hour or two doing something they enjoy. Respite comes in many forms: asking family or friends for help, hiring extra help, adult day care, or even a temporary nursing home stay. 

This month we hear from two local experts who share perspectives on the unique challenges faced by caregivers and the importance of taking a break or finding respite from their caregiving duties.  We've also included a few other useful resources for family caregivers. 
Council on Aging's caregiving expert offers tips on respite
Respite is  requested a lot, although people may not always use the word respite. They just know they need a break. They’ll say things to me like, ‘Can somebody else come in and stay with my dad so I can get out?’ I will tell them that in the caregiving world, we call that respite time. 
Recognizing the warning signs your older loved one may need help

If you plan to visit an older loved one over the holidays and you've had concerns about their health and safety, you may want to take a look at the Eldercare Locator's list of 10 warning signs your older family member may need help .  It's a good reference guide for what to look for anytime you visit an older loved one. 
VA offers support for caregivers of Veterans

If you are caring for a Veteran - no matter the age or type of service - the VA offers several support and service options designed with you in mind. The programs are available both in and out of your home to help you care for the Veteran you love and for yourself. Visit the VA's Caregiver Support website for more information and to connect with you local VA Caregiver Support Coordinator.
Guest Voice: Alzheimer’s caregivers face special challenges
By Susan Dickey, RN, MSN
Director of Clinical Services
Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati

Caregiving is truly difficult work.

And for individuals caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, the physical and emotional toll can eventually threaten their own health. Numerous studies have shown that Alzheimer’s caregivers are more prone to higher levels of stress as well as fatigue, depression, alcoholism and chronic illness.   Read more...
News You Can Use
Review your Medicare coverage during open enrollment period for savings on premiums and drug costs
With rising drug prices, many Medicare plans may raise premiums, deductibles, and other costs by large amounts. They are free to do this. And you are free to take your business elsewhere. This is why it's important to review your options for coverage during Medicare's open enrollment period.  Read more... 

Related: Read about a new partnership aimed at helping Medicare beneficiaries understand their full RX benefits. 
Long-term Care Corner
For funeral planning, slowing down and shopping around can pay off
If you are planning a funeral for a loved one, chances are you are emotional and feel pressed for time.

This could be one of reasons so many people overpay for funeral services. Or, according to a recent study and analysis , it could be that many funeral homes leave much to be desired when it comes to transparency in pricing and optional services.  One expert said: "The funeral business is, in many ways, still stuck in the 1950s technologically and culturally. Funeral homes are uniquely resistant to transparency in pricing.” 

T o bring funeral homes into the 21st century, some say it's time for the Federal Trade Commission update its Funeral Rule, requiring funeral homes to post prices on their websites - not just over the phone or in person.
For Your Health
Attention caregivers: take care of yourself if you expect to take care of others
We know a lot about the effects of caregiving on health and well being. For example, if you are a caregiving spouse between the ages of 66 and 96 and are experiencing mental or emotional strain, you have a risk of dying that is 63 percent higher than that of people your age who are not caregivers. 

Older caregivers are not the only ones at risk. If you are a baby boomer who has assumed a caregiver role for your parents while simultaneously juggling work and raising adolescent children, you face an increased risk for depression, chronic illness and a possible decline in quality of life.

Take the Caregiver Self Assessment and then learn more about the importance of self-care for caregivers from the Family Caregiver Alliance.
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. 
One-on-One Medicare Counseling
Sycamore Senior Center
10am, December 3, 2015
By appointment only:  (513) 984-1234

Welcome to Medicare Webinar
6-7pm, December 14, 2015
Click here to register
Resource Directory Tip
Adult Day facilities offer respite for family caregivers
The theme for this year's National Family Caregiver Month is Respite.  One way busy families and caregivers can get respite care for their loved one is through a local adult day care facility.  Adult day care facilities offer structured, supervised care during the day while caregivers work or take care of other responsibilities.  To find a list of local adult day facilities, visit our Resource Directory and search "adult day." Or, click here
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