Greene County Council on Aging - August 2020 Newsletter

August 2020, Vol. XXI, No. 2

Lemons to Lemonade

Another month has flown by and aside from the temperature, it doesn’t seem that much has changed. Of course that is not true, but it is definitely the feeling of many. Here at the Council, we have been doing our best to take the COVID-19 lemons and add what we can to make lemonade. This has been possible, in part, because of the patience, understanding, and support of our seniors, caregivers and the community.

So what have we been up to? We are glad you asked! Let’s start with the Yard Sale. This is something we questioned many times, but with a great deal of planning and help, we were able to host a successful and safe sale. This resulted in the downsizing of various drawers, closets, and garages from all over the community, and the raising of $3,000 for the grab bar installation program. 

We have held several virtual caregiver support groups, which we hope more caregivers will take advantage of. It is important to prioritize your self-care and consider accepting emotional support during these difficult times. We also have expanded our phone support and we welcome any caregiver to call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to allow us to walk with you on your caregiving journey.

We have had positive feedback on our two weekly segments with our partners at WBZI—Real Roots Radio: our Boomers and Beyond segment airing Wednesdays just after noon and the Partners In Caregiving segment airing Thursdays soon after 6pm. We have met a number of seniors and caregivers who have followed-up after these segments and allowed us to assist with a variety of challenges they are dealing with.

We have been preparing for the reinstatement of home visits which have been on hold since April. Our care managers have been able to accomplish a great deal with telephone calls, e-mail and postal mail, but meeting seniors where they live is critical to the quality of our work. We are planning for brief and distanced face-to-face visits, starting at the end of August.

We are planning for how we will offer other services and programs, including educational and wellness programs, moving forward. We are focusing on the intended outcome and not on how things have been done before. We acknowledge that the lemons are probably not going anywhere, at least not for a while, so we will make the best lemonade we can!

At the Wheel

The Council’s Annual Meeting took place July 21st, and included the sharing of the 2019 Annual Report, the election of members to the Membership Advisory Council as well as the Board of Directors, and a few updates.

The 2019 Annual Report, which can be found on the Council’s website, highlights several stories of seniors and caregivers served through various services, as well as statistics, financial information, and the listing of the 2019 Board, Membership Advisory Council, and Council team. 

We would like to thank Karen Wolford and Judy Baker for sharing their time and talents over the last six years as members of the Membership Advisory Council (MAC). We also extend our appreciation to Andrea Harkleroad and Becky Schatzberg who completed two terms on the Board of Directors.

Margery Jones, Vicky Mumford and Ellen Slone were elected to the Membership Advisory Council and Erin Dill, Jean Harner and Denny Sargent were elected to the Board of Directors.


Medicare Education and Planning for Open Enrollment            

Your Council has been talking with soon-to-be Medicare beneficiaries throughout the pandemic. No in-person meetings have taken place, but our Benefits Specialist has been helping Greene County residents plan for their Medicare benefits, typically with a few phone calls, an e-mail or two, and the mailing of some information. This will continue to be our process and we invite you to make contact if you or a loved one are 3 or 4 months from your 65th birthday.

We shared in last month’s newsletter that an abbreviated Medicare 101 session had been taped and added to our YouTube Channel. This session has been viewed 30 times in the last month and has triggered a number of follow-up calls to our office.

We will be restarting the in-person Medicare 101 sessions this month, with some changes. The first session is set for Wednesday, August 12th from 5 to 6pm and will be held in the large classroom in the Xenia Community Center next to the Council’s office. There is a limit of 8 participants and reservations are required, along with a few other safety protocols. We will be holding this session monthly. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Council at 937-376-5486 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As we head into Fall and planning for the 2021 Open Enrollment (October 15th through December 7th), we are preparing to send out our annual letter to Medicare beneficiaries we have assisted in previous years. This letter will jumpstart the Open Enrollment process by sharing how we will be offering information and assistance, as well as what you will need to have available in order for us to review with you your options for 2021. 

There are a few changes for this Open Enrollment period, including ONLY offering phone reviews. The majority of the reviews completed last year were via phone and e-mail, which went surprisingly well. To make the review process go as easily as possible, you will be mailed a form to complete and return to the Council. Included in this form is a list of prescription medications, names and specialty of physicians, and your preferred pharmacy. We will then call or e-mail to talk with you about your options.

Virtual Learning Opportunities

A shortened version of our Slips, Trips & Falls presentation can be found on our YouTube Channel. This 27-minute session is presented by our Education & Outreach Liaison Jeff Schairbaum. We encourage you to watch, learn, and share. 

The number one location where seniors fall is the bathroom. Your Council installs grab bar in bathrooms of those who are 60 and better, which may prevent or minimize the impact of a fall. Contact the Council for more information.

Our partners at the Area Agency on Aging, PSA-2 are sponsoring a Virtual Aging Mastery Program Workshop. Five two-hour sessions, each covering 2 topics, runs Thursdays, August 20  to Sept. 17 from 10am to 12pm on Zoom. To register, contact Sharon Fulcher at 937-626-7705.

Virtual learning is not for everyone, but more and more people are giving it a try. The Council, area senior centers, and other organizations continue to expand their virtual offerings and we encourage you to test the waters. You may just like it!

2020 Virtual JamFest

The Annual JamFest is on, but it will be much different than previous years. A flyer, available here, highlights the various activities and opportunities for you to join the fun and to support the mission of the Council.

We look forward to hopefully seeing you in person for the 2021 JamFest, but for this year we will need to meet online during the weeklong event—August 12th through 19th. In this time of limited activity and contact with those we care about, we hope that you will find some joy in some of the JamFest activities, whether or not you bid, buy or donate. All funds generated from the JamFest will be used for future senior and caregiver programs and services.

Our appreciation to all who are assisting with the JamFest, including our sponsors— Added Touch, Heartland of Beavercreek, Legacy Village, Village at the Greene, and WBZI/Real Roots Radio.

Donor Spotlight

Please join us in thanking these generous donors who shared a gift since the last newsletter. 

In Memory Of: 
Ora Mae Bortoff
Gary Deer
iola Heitman
Jean Sugg

Jan Banta
Barr’s Pharmacy
Anna Lou Bublick
Sondra Carter
Gery Deer
Debbie Halliday
Gilbert Hamilton
Teddy & Shirley Hoffer
Phil & Teri Houston
Ed Jones
Lois M. McClellan
Marian Miller
Frieda Parks
Marlene Simmons
Lisa Weekly 

Thank You To Our July Volunteers:

Lynn Berry
Cathy Brown
Jerri DeVoe
Debbie Halliday
Barb & Gary Hawk
Teresa Holloway
Beth & John Kinsel
Sherry Matsel
Barbara McKown
Nike & Jane Nihiser
Roger Panton
Elijah Smith
Barbara Vandecreek
Barbara Werth

~ Important Info ~

◊ Medicare 101 ~ August 12th, 5-6pm @ Xenia Community Center; reservations required
◊ Virtual JamFest ~ August 12th through August 19th (JamFest flyer here)
◊ 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
◊ Caregiver & Kinship Support Groups ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information
◊ Regular Updates and Information Posts on the Council’s Facebook Page
◊ Questions or to request grab bars or other services ~ 937-376-5486 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please continue to be on alert regarding the various COVID-19 scams.
For more COVID-19 info, please visit the CDC website or Ohio's Coronavirus site.

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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.
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