September 2020, Vol. XXI, No. 3
A Trip You Don't Want To Take
September is National Falls Prevention Month, an especially important month for the Council and those we serve. Your Council promotes the importance of fall prevention throughout the year, but during September, we join with organizations and individuals across the country to put a spotlight on this challenging issue.
 
Let’s start with some statistics. 
  • One in four Americans aged 65 and better fall each year.
  • More than half of all falls happen at home.
  • Every eleven seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER due to a fall.
  • Falls in adults 65 and better are the leading cause of head injuries and broken hips. 
  • The projected cost of fall injuries may reach $68 billion in 2020.

There are a number of reasons that falls are more prevalent in the older population. One reason is decreased muscle mass, which we typically lose at a rate of 8 to 10% each decade from 50 years on. Changes in our vision and hearing also increase our risk of falls, as do other medical conditions such as chronic pain, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, foot disorders, and joint pain related to arthritis and/or bursitis.

Now that you have a few statistics and some of the reasons we fall, let’s talk about what we can do to prevent or reduce the risk of falls. 
 
We can put some effort into increasing our muscle mass. This does not mean you have to spend hours lifting weights. Just increasing our activity can build muscle strength and improve balance.  
 
Having our vision and hearing checked, along with our medications, may result in identifying a risk factor that can be addressed. Also helpful: assessing our environment and making changes like removing clutter and throw rugs, making lighting improvements, moving regularly used items to be in reach, and having grab bars installed—something we already know that Your Council provides. 
 
And to remind you of all of these things and more, we once again invite you to watch our Slips, Trips & Falls video which you can access through our website or on our YouTube Channel
 
The key is to do what we can to keep safe and strong, and not take that trip that leads to a fall!
The Responsible Reopening of Senior Centers
On August 20th, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio senior centers could reopen September 21st. This order includes many requirements and safety protocols to which the centers must adhere and which may make it challenging for all centers to open up by this date.
 
Planning and preparations have been in the works for several months for all of the centers, but each center will have a different plan for when they reopen, what schedule they will have, and what activities and programs will be offered. 
Some of the protocols you can expect are masks, hand washing, increased sanitation measures, screenings prior to in-person contact, daily log of participants, limited capacity, and distancing. And to reduce contact, cohorting or grouping of participants will be used when scheduling activities.
 
Virtual programming will continue, along with new activities. Some activities will not be scheduled at this time, such as euchre and board games, carry-in meals, and outings. This is an adjustment for all, so we will all need to practice great patience.
Education, Action, and Support
Your Council team challenges you to Get Moving Together during Fall Prevention Awareness Week—September 21st through 25th. We will promote a different activity each day to help us reduce our risk of falls. Find these activities and more about the challenge on our website and on our Facebook Page. Let’s do our part to reduce fall statistics. And yes, there will be a few prizes for some of our fellow challengers!
 
We will be reinstating the two-hour Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease session in October, which will then be offered monthly. Reservations will be required and space is limited. If you would like to receive notification, please contact the Council
 
Family members and friends caring for individuals with dementia are encouraged to contact the Council to learn more about services, caregiver support groups, and strategies for providing care and taking care of yourself. Phone support, as well as in-person support, is available. Caring for YOU, through education and support, is priority 1!
 
We have added a number of Greene County seniors to our Care Calls program, which provides a weekly 10 or 15 minute call to check on you or your loved one and to have a friendly chat! During this extra stressful and isolating time, it is especially important to be connected and heard.
 
The next in-person Medicare 101 session is September 16 from 3 to 4:30pm. It will be held in the Xenia Community Center. Limit of 8 participants, and reservations are required, along with a few other protocols. To save your seat or learn more, please contact the Council.
 
The annual letter to Medicare beneficiaries assisted in previous years was mailed August 25th. If you did not receive yours or you are new to the Council and would like our assistance with the 2021 Open Enrollment process, please contact us.
 
We are pleased to share that the Council’s 2021 calendar is at the printer and will soon be ready for distribution. You will be able to find them at the senior centers, the Council’s offices, and a few other community locations.
For Your Consideration
Census 2020 Ending on September 30th
Have you been counted? The 2020 Census will stop counting people, online, by mail/phone, and in-person on September 30th. If you have not yet responded, a census taker may knock on your door. Census takers are your neighbors, hired from our local area. They will wear masks and have ID badges. The 2020 Census results will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more for the next decade. As of 8/24, Greene County had a 75% self-response rate. Go to 2020census.gov for more information.
 
Election Day is November 3rd
There are three ways to vote in Ohio:
  • Early in-person voting (Oct 6—Nov 2) at the Greene County Board of Elections (GCBOE) 551 Ledbetter Road in Xenia
  • Absentee voting (requests due to GCBOE by Oct 31/application at greene.boe.ohio.gov)
  • Voting at your polling place on November 3rd, between 6:30am and 7:30pm. Masks are required
 
More info can be found at the Council’s website.
 

2020 Virtual JamFest - Thank You!
Yes, it was quite different - but it was terrific!

The Council team and volunteers pulled out their creativity hats and put together a fun, entertaining, and tasty Virtual JamFest. If you were otherwise engaged, the teaser, music and game videos can be found on our website.

Our appreciation to our generous musicians, who donated their music and names for the JamFest: 

Carol Culbertson
Stuffed Possum and Cornbread
Thomas Mac
Kingsfield Courtiers
Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers

Mouthwatering thanks to our bakers, jam makers and crochet & soap artisans:
Phyllis Beck
Sharon Benedict
Susan Finster
Marty Heide
Diane Hollenbeck
Beth Kinsel
Carol Kunze
Amy Margolin
Lynn Martin
Lisa Quesne
Jamie Rath
Kathy Schmaltz
Polly Werth
Sara Wallen
We also need to thank a few special donors and of course those of you who purchased items from the Country Store (we have a few jars of jam left!), bid on auction baskets and homemade treats, and who made a donation. The funds generated from the JamFest, which totaled $5500, will be used for future senior and caregiver programs & services.
Donor Spotlight
Please join us in thanking these generous donors who shared a gift since the last newsletter. 
In Memory Of:   
Gilbert Hamilton  
Viola Heitman                   
Don Necina     
Robert Shreck

Donors:
Ray & Marlene Acus
Margaret Allen
Judy Baker
Susan Finster
Sunder & Vinod Bhatla
Sheryl Fischer
Donors:
Jessica Lange
Margaret Mercer
Marian Miller
Caroline Mullin
Sherry Newcomer
Margie Perenic
Ed & Fran O’Shaughnessy, Jr.  
Perk Reichley
David & Donna Trout
Ginny Vikmanis
Added Touch
WBZI Real Roots Radio

Thank You To Our August Volunteers:
Cathy Brown
Barbara Werth
~ Important Info ~
◊ Medicare 101 ~ September 16th, 3-4:30pm @ Xenia Community Center
Space is Limited and Reservations are Required.
 
◊ September 21st through 25th ~ Fall Prevention Awareness Week: Let’s Get Moving Together     
                                   
◊ Weekly Programming with our Partners at Real Roots Radio, WBZI FM 100.3:
Wednesdays around 12:05pm Boomers and Beyond
Thursdays soon after 6:00pm Partners in Caregiving
 
◊ In-person and online Caregiver & Kinship Support Groups ~ contact the Council for more information
 
◊ Regular Updates and Information Posts on the Council’s Facebook Page
 
◊ Questions or to request grab bars, masks or other services ~ 937-376-5486 or yourfriends@gccoa.org
 
Please continue to be on alert regarding the various COVID-19 scams. 
For more COVID-19 information, please go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ 
 
We have several mailing lists tailored to specific interests, from special events to educational programs, and more. Click here to select which mailings you receive.
Greene County Council on Aging
937-376-5486 ext. 101
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.