DECEMBER 1, 2020 | Monthly News & Updates
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week: December 7-11, 2020
It is a fact of life that people grow older every day. With increasing age come changes in physical, mental and sensory abilities that can challenge a person's continued ability to drive safely. But this recognition must be associated with the importance of learning about and accessing education and options. There are a variety of safe travel options. The real need is a broader awareness of the solutions, rather than a narrow focus on the problem.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) believes that occupational therapy practitioners have the skills to offer education, assess risk, and when required, evaluate a person's overall ability to operate a vehicle safely as a gateway to providing solutions. Many occupational therapy practitioners are specially trained to offer evaluation and intervention along a spectrum of driving rehabilitation services. Occupational therapy practitioners work with older adults, and their families and caregivers, to offer individualized assessment and recommendations. They can identify individuals' unique challenges and find strategies and specialized services that will afford each driver a pathway to participation in daily living by partnering with them to meet goals of keeping active, healthy, and safe in their communities.
AOTA's Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, December 7-11, 2020, aims to promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to ensuring older adults remain active in the community—shopping, working or volunteering—with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home.
Throughout the week, AOTA will partner with stakeholders to bring attention to a different aspect of older driver safety. Occupational therapy practitioners are encouraged to inspire your peers to build a network of services by sharing your experiences during Older Driver Safety Awareness Week on CommunOT.

  • Monday: "Anticipating Changes That Can Affect Driving"
  • Tuesday: "Family Conversations"
  • Wednesday: "Screening and Evaluations With an Occupational Therapist"
  • Thursday: "Interventions That Can Empower Drivers and Families"
  • Friday: "Staying Engaged in the Community With or Without a Car"

If you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.
Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.
What Is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attackkidney problemsliver damage, or worse.
Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.
Bundle Up on Windy, Cold Days
A heavy wind can quickly lower your body temperature. Check the weather forecast for windy and cold days. On those days, try to stay inside or in a warm place. If you have to go out, wear warm clothes, and don't stay out in the cold and wind for a long time.
Here are some other tips:
  • Dress for the weather if you have to go out on chilly, cold, or damp days.
  • Wear loose layers of clothing. The air between the layers helps to keep you warm.
  • Put on a hat and scarf. You lose a lot of body heat when your head and neck are uncovered.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it's snowy.
  • Change your clothes right away if they get damp or wet.

Dear Friends of the Council,

The Council estimates more than 4,000 seniors in Osceola County are in need of nutrition and companionship during the Holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching, and during this time the Council on Aging considers the needs of our cherished seniors. Are they safe, do they have enough food, will they be alone for the holidays? This year has been more challenging than we have faced in the last 49 years of providing services. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, provide services, and the funding needed to provide services. 

Many individuals and businesses such as yourself have stepped up to assist the Council on Aging during the pandemic. Unfortunately our work is not complete. Holidays can be a difficult time of year for those who live alone and have been isolated from family and friends, especially this year.

Since 1986 the Osceola Council on Aging has maintained one specific focus each holiday season: Making certain that no elderly person in our community spends the most joyous time of year alone. This year it is more important than ever to comfort our seniors and make sure they are cared for during the holidays. Our “Senior Santa” program provides the warmth, laughter and good nutrition vital to our seniors during the holidays.

Holiday Activities have been modified this year as we make every effort to keep our seniors safe. We hope that you (or your business) will consider adopting one or more Seniors in our Senior Santa program with a small contribution of $30. This year, your adopted senior will receive a special gift and a holiday dinner delivered by a caring community volunteer on Christmas Day.

Please join us in becoming a “Senior Santa” sponsor in making a difference in someone’s life today by completing and returning the enclosed response card with your donation or go to our website at On behalf of all of our seniors, THANK YOU from the Osceola Council, on Aging for your generosity and support.

Happy Holidays
Wendy Ford
Osceola Council on Aging

Osceola Council on Aging's Pet Corner
Research has shown having a pet has several benefits for older adults, including higher levels of physical activity which in turn may lead to better health. As well, because pets need a routine of feeding, walking, etc., this gives older adults a daily routine. Pets can be protective against feelings of loneliness, provide emotional support, and give people something to talk about, perhaps a way to make friends or to chat to caregivers.
For those on a limited budget as most seniors, the costs of pet ownership may be prohibitive, or they may elect to spend money on a pet at the expense of food or other items for themselves. Friends and family may try to discourage seniors from getting a pet due to concerns about who will take care of the animal if the person moves into an assisted living facility or passes away.
Addressing these concerns is how Pet’s Corner came into fruition. Available to our clients and Osceola County resident’s Pet’s Corner accepts donations to help seniors care for their pets.
Keeping our promise to our clients who are no longer with us, are too frail to care for them, or moved into a long term care facility we have started an adoption page to help rehome displaced pets. Please see below our current pets available for adoption and email Edi Blume at if interested in adopting.

Osceola Council on Aging named Florida Trend Floridian of the Year for Non-Profits Social Services

The Osceola Council on Aging Clinic works with volunteers and partnering healthcare providers to deliver quality healthcare, prevention, education, specialist referrals, referrals to community social services, and case management services to the underserved and uninsured residents in Osceola County.

The Health Clinic is following strict CDC Guidelines
Thank you to all of our donors. We are not able to get a photo of every donor but we thank you all the same.

We are so fortunate to have had so many of you reach out to us asking how you can help and what you can do to ensure our community is well cared for. As an essential business we provide meals and other services to members of the community in need.Your donations are more critical now than ever to ensure they continue to receive these services during this unprecedented time.

Our greatest needs are contributions, both monetary and grocery items, for our community food pantry. We are trying to keep up with the new demand and increasing needs to feed the community. Leveraging your monetary donations allows us to stretch your dollars to serve even more individuals.

Thank You!