Greene County Council on Aging - January 2021 Newsletter

January 2021, Vol. XXI, No. 7

To Care Is To Include

We continue to be humbled by the countless family members, friends, neighbors and even strangers who are providing some level of care for the seniors and caregivers of Greene County. This has only intensified during this difficult time, which has not been too surprising given what we know about this wonderful community.

There have also been a few challenges that have arisen more often than we typically see. We attribute these, in part, to this time of COVID. But with every challenge comes an opportunity, which in this case is an opportunity to remind ourselves about making sure we don’t take over when we are taking care of others.

Providing care and support sometimes results in the most well-intentioned gestures being initiated without including the senior or caregiver in the process. Please know that this is not the norm, at least not from our perspective, but it does and has happened to the best of us.

Sometimes a person’s desire to make a situation better, comes at the expense of someone’s autonomy. We all have the right and need to make our own decisions and be in charge of our lives. This does not change

because of our age. Yes, there are difficult situations  that warrant having someone step in to make decisions on our behalf, but this is not what we are talking about.

As spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, friends, and neighbors, we need to talk with and listen to the elder for whom we are concerned and trying to assist. Their voice needs to be heard and the best way to accomplish this may be to ask them what they need and how you can be of help.  And then you can offer what you feel you can do and what you hope they will accept.

Sometimes our voices are heard by having someone look us in the eyes. And they are definitely heard when we are truly given the chance to speak. Even if we ‘know what Dad wants or needs’, he should still be given the chance to tell us. It may save time to take things over, but what you save in time may be a significant loss to the person you are trying to help. 

Your Council has always encouraged planning for the future whenever possible. This includes many things, but none as important as having conversations about our wishes with those we love and who may have involvement in our life as we age.  Maybe it is time to plan for this conversation, no matter which side of the table we are on.

Online HealthyU Workshops
Coming in 2021

We invite you to learn to better manage your health and chronic conditions in the safety of your home. In 2021 our Healthy U workshops will resume in two different virtual formats.

The Healthy U At Home – Diabetes workshop will start in early March. This will be a six week video conferencing workshop with weekly 2 hour sessions. 

The workshop will cover topics such as setting and achieving personal health goals, using good nutrition to improve health and control symptoms, strategies to deal with stress, fatigue, pain & depression, and using medications safely.

Later in the year we will host workshops as a phone discussion group as well – no computer required. These workshops will be for those with chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, anxiety, or COPD. There will also be a workshop specific to pain management. And just like the Diabetes workshop, these workshops will provide the opportunity to learn strategies to better manage your condition or your loved one’s condition.

If you are interested in participating in one or more of these workshops or would like to learn more, please contact the Council at 937-376-5486, ext 119 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ';document.getElementById('cloak973f9caeac98e6d39771d5f23daf400d').innerHTML += ''+addy_text973f9caeac98e6d39771d5f23daf400d+'<\/a>'; .

Winter Safety Reminders

Winter is here and it is important that we take some extra precautions to keep ourselves and loved ones safe and healthy. This is especially critical for older adults.

It is safe to say that we will be spending most of our time indoors, so keeping our homes warm is key. If you live with others, there may be some negotiating regarding the thermostat. Some of us are prone to being cold, no matter the temperature, while others are quick to overheat and prefer to keep their homes on the cooler side. 

What you don’t want to do is err on the side of saving on your utility bill instead of your health when setting the thermostat. We may tell ourselves that we can add another layer of socks or put on a second sweater, but this may not be enough to keep our body temperature at a safe level and prevent health challenges.

When our body temperature is low, we are at risk of hypothermia. This may be a surprise to some, if you think that hypothermia only happens when we are outside during the winter months. 

Many older adults may not be aware that the temperature in their home is not warm enough, making it even more challenging to maintain an ideal body temperature. It may be the family member coming for a visit or to drop off groceries who will notice the cooler temperature and suggest a bump in the thermostat. Before you shrug this suggestion off, consider that when our body temperature is too low, it can seriously impact our heart, kidneys, and/or liver. 

The winter season also comes with our regular reminder that if the weather is bad in terms of snow, ice, wind and cold—please stay home and stay in. If the neighbor offers to shovel your walk or driveway, graciously accept. If you have offers for picking up groceries, medications and other essentials, say yes. Keep a list of what you need and may soon be out of and plan ahead. Keep in contact with others and allow others to check in on you. And be as mobile as you can. Regularly get up from your chair to keep your muscles happy and your body warm!

The Benefits of Online Connections

Most of us continue to mourn the loss of being with and among people—in person. This is such an important part of who we are, but it is not something we can easily and safely do right now. It is also unclear when this might change.

Like most organizations, families and circles of friends, Your Council has ramped up our online presence.  The Council team is available by telephone and e-mail, but this is not enough. We understand that being online is not for everyone, but a growing number of people of ALL ages are not just giving it a try but embracing and enjoying what it has to offer.

Over the coming months you will have the opportunity to participate in more virtual educational, wellness and supportive programs like Healthy U, Legal Chats, Medicare 101, caregiver groups, and fitness classes.

Some of this information will be shared in this monthly newsletter, which we hope you will allow us to send electronically. This will ensure a more timely delivery, assist with reducing paper and postage expenses, and provide you with options for other information and alerts sent through Constant Contact. We invite you to review your newsletter subscriptions here.

GCCOA Volunteers
Quilt Winner

We want to thank all of you who have reached out to the Council over this past year, wanting to help seniors and caregivers in our community. We have been limited in how we have been able to use the time and talents of volunteers, but the contributions have had a tremendous and positive impact.

T
hank you to those who shared their time and talents over the last two months:  

Phyllis Beck
Cathy Brown
Leah Donohue
Barb Hawk
Jackie Markunes
Beth Massie
Tracey Rickey
Polly Werth

Thank you to those who supported this year’s quilt raffle, which of course was online. The winner of the quilt, made and donated by Jackie Markunes, was Maxine Tieber of Beavercreek! 

Donor Spotlight

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

In Memory Of:
            
Joe Alexander
Lee Barret
Lois & Gary Deer Sr.
Fred Dunlap
Evelyn Ferguson
Ruthie Jones
Frannie McPherson
Jerry & Betty Share

Donors:
Paula Adams
Dolores Alston
Cheryl Batchelor
Millicent Bates
Art Bauer
Cindy Brinson
Nancy Brown
Jo Carman
Rebecca A. Courtney
JoAnne Earley

Teresa Edingfield
Leon Fawley
Joe & Joan Gallagher
Jackie Geyer
Janet Grebner
Cleva Haden
Mary Hamer
William Kramer
Jean & Lyle Lockwood
Lauren Myers
Sadie Necina
Sherry Newcomer
June Kay Owens
Teri Owens
Ed & Fran O’Shaughnessy
Elizabeth Rath
Krista Rogers
William Snyder
Rebecca & John Sellers
Wayne Tofte
Donald & Mary Ann Stalter
Ginny Vikmanis
David & Evelyn Whilding

~ Important Info ~

Additional Online programming will be available in 2021. To ensure you receive information and alerts, sign up for our Special Events and Education newsletters.

◊ Weekly Programming with our Partners at Real Roots Radio, WBZI FM 100.3:
Boomers and Beyond on Wednesdays around 12:05pm
Partners in Caregiving on Thursdays soon after 6:00pm

◊ Online Caregiver & Kinship Support Groups ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information

◊ Questions or to request grab bars, masks or other services ~ 937-376-5486 or yThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

◊ Regular Updates and Information Posts on the Council’s Facebook Page and website

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/ 
or coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home

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.
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