As temperatures rise in July and August so do the number of older adults at risk for heat exposure, heat stroke, and other heat related illnesses. According to the NOAA National Weather Service the average number of heat related death or emergencies in a normal years is 175. In 2001 over 300 people died from excessive heat exposure, more than the combined number of fatalities from other weather related incidents such as hurricanes, tornados, flood, and lightening that year. Heat related illness and death are preventable so please take a few minutes to learn about signs and symptoms that could avoid a hot weather health emergency.
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“The Maturing of America– Communities Moving Forward for an Aging Population,”a newly-released report from the National Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), claims that many local governments are simply “holding the line” when it comes to providing strategic support and services to their older residents. The cause, according to the report, is the “maturing” of the aging population coupled with recent economic downturns. In many cities, this in itself has been a financial hurdle.
The report is a follow-up from a 2006 survey which established benchmarks to prepare for the millions of Americans that are reaching retirement age each year. Areas such as healthcare, housing, transportation, taxation, volunteer opportunities and many other facets of life that are pertinent to aging Americans are examined. The conclusion: Holding the line is simply not going to be adequate.
The National Center on Senior Transportation awarded grants to four organizations in April to develop or enhance community collaboratives that focus on the mobility needs ofculturally and ethnically diverse older adult populations. CPAAA recieved one of the four grants.
The “Hispanic Elders Transportation Access” program through Central Plains Area Agency on Aging will form a new collaborative to improve access to public transportation among
Hispanic elders. Stakeholders will be identified through outreach activities including articles
in Spanish‐language newspapers, announcements on Spanish radio and notices in church
bulletins. Through a survey and focus groups, barriers to public transportation will be
identified and presented at a community forum where strategies will be developed to
According to Valerhy Powers, Director of Transportation and Physical Disabilities for CPAAA, It is anticipated that the action plan developed as a result of the forum will be supported by 93% of targeted public transportation providers. Hispanic elders and family members (at least 85%) will be more informed of transportation resources.
The Central Plains Area Agency (CPAAA) on Aging has teamed up with the Medicare Rights Center to engage volunteers through community education around Medicare coverage, rights, and options.
April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day. It is a day designated to think about and discuss our desires about future healthcare decisions. As seniors, you may feel bombarded with information on this topic. Too often I find that people have the reaction … “I’ve already done that” … as if there is nothing left to do. In the words of Paul Harvey, here’s “…the rest of the story!”