Tuesday, July 31, 2012
For the second time, Georgia has been ranked among the top 10 states for senior hunger — a dubious distinction for a state that typically considers a top 10 ranking a good thing.
This disturbing news comes from “Senior Hunger in America 2010: An Annual Report,” a research study prepared by respected economists Dr. James P. Ziliak and Dr. Craig Gundersen and issued in May by The Meals On Wheels Research Foundation.
As of 2010 (the latest year for which data is available), more than 17 percent of Georgia’s seniors faced the threat of hunger — an increase from 14.8 percent in 2007 and well above the current national average of 14.85 percent. That put Georgia seventh among the Top 10.
Nationally, 8.3 million seniors were threatened by hunger, an increase of 78 percent from 2001 to 2010. Notably, six of the Top 10 are in the South: Mississippi (No. 1), Tennessee (No. 5), Alabama (No. 6), Georgia (No. 7), South Carolina (No. 8), and Florida (No. 9) — a shocking reality that the entire region needs to recognize.
Georgia’s ranking reflects the increased demand that we are experiencing for services such as Meals On Wheels.
In Atlanta, we’re seeing the largest waiting list we’ve ever experienced, while south of the city, Fayette County is home to one of the fastest-growing senior populations in Atlanta.
There’s no question that we can do better, and we must. Part of the challenge is a refusal to acknowledge that there is a problem.
As a society, we do not like to think about the fact that our parents and grandparents, the very people who raised us, might be going without a meal — much less many meals. But it happens every day, and if programs such as Meals On Wheels were not there to provide seniors with nutritious meals, many of them simply would not eat.
It’s often assumed that hunger is a problem limited to the poor — but that is not the case. This latest research shows that the majority of seniors facing the threat of hunger have incomes one to two times the poverty level. Too many of them are forced to make the choice between buying medications or a meal.
Our own senior nutrition programs are struggling to keep pace with demand, and costs are rising. Food prices have risen 6 percent nationally in the past year, and rising gas prices are an added burden — especially for Meals On Wheels programs that depend on volunteers to deliver the meals.
Given this stark reality, one might reasonably ask how a solution can be found.
Fortunately, the cure for senior hunger exists. In the richest nation on the planet we have an abundance of food. We have an abundance of ingenuity, generosity and compassion. We also have an existing infrastructure for delivering that food.
What we need now is to recognize that the problem is growing and take action.
Georgia owes it to its senior citizens to end senior hunger for good.
Deborah Britt is president and CEO for Fayette Senior Services. Jeffrey Smythe is executive director for Meals On Wheels Atlanta.
This editorial originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 27, 2012.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Seniors are most often hit hardest by hot weather because their systems often don’t adjust as well to extreme changes in temperature as do those of people who are younger. On top of that, many are taking medications or have medical conditions that affect their ability to cope with temperature changes, which is compounded because they often don’t recognize thirst and can quickly become dehydrated in the heat, compounding their illness. This makes it most important to plan ahead to protect older adults who are aging in place during periods of very hot weather for their location, especially for family caregivers who live at a distance.
“The most important part of planning is assuring senior loved ones ride out extreme heat in air conditioning” says Barry Birkett of Senior Care Corner. “If their home is not air conditioned we need to arrange to get them to the home of someone who is or a location such as a mall where they can relax out of the heat.”
Planning Ahead to Protect Seniors from Severe Heat
If their home has air conditioning, make sure it’s in good working order with regular inspections to minimize the risk it will quit on the hottest day.
Make sure senior loved ones use the air conditioning when they have it. Financial strains have driven many to cut back, but keeping the A/C off on the hottest days can be deadly.
For those living in homes without air conditioning, agree on plans for them to go to a location that has it, including arranging in advance for transportation when needed.
Stress upon them the need to drink a lot of cool, nonalcoholic beverages –especially water - in the heat, even if not thirsty.
Check in on senior loved ones who are aging in place at least twice a day in extreme heat, even if they have air conditioning. Talking on the phone may not be sufficient to determine if they are suffering from the heat, so those living at a distance may want to arrange in advance for Skype video calls.
Taking these precautions won’t guarantee senior loved ones stay safe from heat-related illness or worse, but they will improve the chances they won’t become one of the summer statistics.
About Senior Care Corner
Senior Care Corner (on the web at SeniorCareCorner.com) provides solutions, information and tools to family caregivers and others who care for and about senior adults to help them improve the lives of the seniors in their lives. Their blog, biweekly podcast and bookstore address a wide variety of topics family caregivers can use to better understand the wants and needs of their senior loved ones.
Originally posted at http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/7/prweb9679810.htm.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Each year, hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. In addition, elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, no one is immune to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It occurs in every demographic, and can happen to anyone- a family member, a neighbor, even you. Yet it is estimated that only about one in five of those crimes are ever discovered.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
How Can I Be Involved?
Each year on or around June 15th, communities and municipalities around the world plan activities and programs to recognize WEAAD. We encourage you to join others around the nation and world in observing WEAAD by carrying out activities such as:
•Developing an educational program or press conference;
•Volunteering to call or visit an isolated senior; or
•Submitting an editorial or press release to your local newspaper to create awareness of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an excellent opportunity to share information about abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life. However, raising awareness of mistreatment of older persons is an ongoing effort, not limited to one day. There are many ways to become involved, from the simple yet meaningful, to planning events that require a little more commitment and time. Visit the “Join Us in the Fight Against Elder Abuse” section of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) website for more information and activity ideas for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Whether the effort is great or small, once a year or throughout, all of these efforts empower us to make long-lasting differences in the lives of vulnerable elders.
More info can be found at: http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/EA_Prevention/weaad.aspx
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Please vote between June 13 and June 30, 2012, for Meals On Wheels Atlanta.
We will use the new vehicle to deliver nutritious meals to more than 300 homebound seniors each day in Atlanta. We currently have more than 150 people on our waitlist in need of meals. Georgia ranks seventh in the nation for senior food insecurity. More than 8,300,000 seniors go hungry in the U.S. each day.
Vote early and vote often.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Santa for Seniors exemplifies the spirit of Santa by providing volunteers the opportunity to purchase inexpensive “senior friendly” items such as magnifying glasses, neck pillows, blankets, and many other gifts that can be given to lonely and homebound seniors on special occasions and especially during the holidays.
“Senior citizens are probably our loneliest and least considered group,” Chairperson Jill Sherman explained. “A little bitty gift makes them smile like the days when they were young and Santa Clause came to see them.”
Meals On Wheels Atlanta, through its Santa for Seniors program collects new, unwrapped “senior friendly” items such as big print books, bath or personal hygiene products, small blankets, slip-resistant slippers, personal fans, flashlights, or stationery. Items can be dropped off at SCS, 1705 Commerce Drive NW between 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. For ticket information about the Christmas in July party, please contact Steve Hargrove at email@example.com or 404-605-8450.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
This year marks the 25th celebration of A Meal to Remember when it returns to Atlanta on Friday, November 2, 2012, at the St. Regis (Presenting Sponsor) to raise money for Meals On Wheels Atlanta (MOWA). MOWA has been delivering daily, nutritious meals to homebound seniors in the metro area since 1970.
The November gala guest chefs will include Chef Gerry Klaskala from Aria, Pano Karatassos, Jr. from Kyma, and Chef Joe Trevino, Executive Chef at the St. Regis Atlanta. Wine pairings will be selected by Michael Venezia of United Distributors. The event organizers hope to raise more than $500,000 which will provide nearly 77,000 nutritious meals for homebound seniors.
For more information or tickets, please contact Steve Hargrove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-604-8450. Tickets begin at $1500 per couple if purchased before September 14.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Meals On Wheels Atlanta (MOWA) will hold a series of Sunday Suppers this spring to raise money to help feed homebound seniors. Currently, more than 100 people are on the waitlist in need of daily nutrition that Meals On Wheels Atlanta provides.
Intimate dinners prepared by the finest Atlanta chefs will be held throughout the city in April and May. Chefs include Joe Truex (Watershed), Paul Albrecht (Paul’s), Liz Cipro (A Legendary Event), Gerry Klaskala (Aria), Todd Ginsberg (Bocado), Olivier Gaupin (Eleven at Loews Atlanta), Bennett Hollberg (Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse), Shaun Doty (Yeah! Burger) and more. Hosts include Joanne and Charles Ackerman, Sandra and Dan Baldwin, Cindy and Bill Fowler, Elizabeth and Carleton Allen, Jack Sawyer and Bill Torres, Sharon Umphenour, Judy Zaban, Paul Hagedorn, Su and Al Longman, Leslie and David Wierman, and others.
Meals On Wheels Atlanta delivers more than 100,000 meals a year to Atlanta seniors who, for a variety of reasons, may be unable to meet their own nutritional needs. From short-term to long-term assistance, the difference MOWA and its volunteers makes to these seniors is undeniable. In addition to the nutrition aspect, the daily visits made by staff and volunteers to individuals whose lives are mobility-limited, make such a difference to these seniors’ lives. More than 6,000,000 seniors go hungry in the U.S. each day and Georgia ranks sixth for senior food insecurity.
Dates for the dinners are April 29, May 6, and May 20. Tickets are $300 per person and may be purchased by phoning 404-604-8450.
About Meals On Wheels Atlanta / Senior Citizen Services of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc. (SCS), a nonprofit, community-based organization, has been providing services since 1965 and supports senior independence through meals, shelter, education and community. Their programs include Meals On Wheels Atlanta, Home Repair Services, Vivian T. Minor Adult Day Care for Alzheimer’s/Dementia, and Fulton County Neighborhood Senior Centers. For more information on programs, please visit www.scsatl.org.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Seniors in this age range typically have a half-century of driving experience under their belts -- yet while they've experienced countless situations on the road, there are new high-risk situations that may lie ahead.
Aging effects people so gradually, they often don't realize how their capabilities may have changed over time. To keep senior drivers safe behind the wheel, AAA has developed an improved Senior Driving website, complete with safety tips, helpful videos, educational slide shows and many more helpful resources. The site's redesign has rendered it more user friendly, and its fresh content will help seniors objectively assess their driving abilities.
Just because someone is 65, 75, or even 85 years old doesn't mean their ability to drive safely has been compromised. In fact, research has shown that senior are crashing less often than they did just a decade ago.
For more information and tips about senior driving, please visit www.SeniorDriving.AAA.com.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Meals On Wheels Atlanta announced today that Bill Ellington, a student at American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, is the winner of the new logo contest for Meals On Wheels Atlanta. Bill will receive a $1000 prize this Wednesday generously donated by Monica and John Pearson.
The logo contest was judged by local artists: photographer Lucinda Bunnen; painter Radcliffe Bailey; Cartoon Network Creative Director, Damon Pittman; the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s political cartoonist Mike Luckovich; David Cohen, brand strategist; Equation Arts and High Museum of Arts curator, and Michael Rooks.
“We are so excited about our new look and new name,” stated Jeffrey Smythe, Executive Director. “Meals On Wheels Atlanta has such great name recognition and trustworthiness.”
Meals On Wheels Atlanta will become the new name for Senior Citizen Services of Metropolitan Atlanta (SCS) this spring. SCS began delivering nutritious meals to seniors through its Meals On Wheels Atlanta program in 1970 and is the oldest provider of home-delivered meals in the city. Meals On Wheels Atlanta delivers more than 300 meals daily and nearly 106,000 meals each year.
The award announcement will take place Wednesday, March 28th at 2 p.m. at Senior Citizen Services, 1705 Commerce Dr NW, Atlanta, 30318.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Mayors and Commissioners assist in feeding homebound seniors throughout state
Atlanta, GA –Various chapters of the Meals On Wheels Association of Georgia (MOWAG) announced today that they will be participating in the national 2012 March For Meals campaign. March For Meals is a national campaign held during the month of March, initiated and sponsored by the Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of local communities.
MOWAG’s March For Meals events will include a Mayors For Meals event that will have mayors, various elected officials, public safety officials, and community partners throughout the state deliver meals to homebound senior residents. Some of the chapters that will be participating in the program include DeKalb County, Clayton County, Fayette County, North Fulton County, Coweta County along with the cities of Athens, Winder and the city of Atlanta. Mayor Kasim Reed has agreed to join hundreds of other volunteers with meal deliveries in an effort to bring about a greater awareness of this very serious issue among our country’s senior population.
Jeff Smythe, president of MOWAG is excited about the various events taking place throughout the month of March that will help shine some light on the issue of senior citizens going hungry.
“With Georgia’s ranking as #6 in the nation for incidence of senior hunger, our dozens of local meals on wheels programs are a safety net across the state. March For Meals and Mayors For Meals bring recognition to the critical daily efforts of so many volunteers and staff members.”
As the problem of senior hunger in America is getting worse this year, Meals On Wheels programs across the country are also celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the inclusion of Senior Nutrition Programs in the Older Americans Act (OAA). The OAA is the primary piece of federal legislation that authorizes and supports vital nutrition services, both congregate and Meals On Wheels, to Americans age 60 and older.
To find out more information about MOWAG or to locate a chapter in your community visit www.mowaa.org/state_ga.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Internal Revenue Service is warning senior citizens and others to beware of come-ons that use the promise of tax refunds to tempt them to file returns. The agency said it has seen a surge of fraudulent claims coming in from across the U.S.
The IRS, which said it has detected and stopped thousands of fraudulent claims, warned that promoters charge large upfront fees to file the claims and then have disappeared by the time taxpayers discover they’ve been scammed.
“This is a disgraceful effort by scam artists to take advantage of people by giving them false hopes of a nonexistent refund,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
In most of its guises, the scheme promises refunds to people with little or no income who normally don’t need to file a tax return. Promoters promise victims they can obtain a tax refund or other payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit - which couples with adjusted gross incomes of less than $160,000 can use to help cover higher-education costs – even if the victim isn’t enrolled in or paying for college.
The agency says that con artists often falsely claim that refunds are available even if the victim went to school decades ago. It added that the victims often include senior citizens, people with low incomes and members of church congregations.
To avoid being entrapped by this scheme, the IRS is warning taxpayers to beware of the following:
- Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits.
- Unfamiliar for-profit tax services selling refund and credit schemes to the membership of local churches.
- Internet solicitations that direct individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicit Social Security numbers.
- Homemade flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
- Offers of free money with no documentation required.
- Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
- Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for economic-stimulus payments.
- Unsolicited offers to prepare a return and split the refund.
- Unfamiliar return-preparation firms soliciting business from cities outside of the normal business or commuting area.
March 6, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 201211:00 AM-1:00 PM
Central Library Auditorium1 Margaret Mitchell SquareAtlanta, GA 30303Google Maps - MapQuest
Seniors from Senior Citizen Services of Metro Atlanta will talk about their experiences growing up under segregation and during the Civil Rights Movement.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Monday, February 20, 2012
Isolation can be a serious problem for seniors and it sometimes leads to depression or substance abuse. Addressing hearing loss early is an easy way to prevent isolation, as seniors who have trouble hearing may be less likely to engage others in conversation. If you or someone you love suffers from hearing loss, a trip to the doctor’s office might solve the problem and open the door to opportunities for interaction. Many seniors benefit from using technology to maintain contact with old friends or to make new ones. Online photo albums and instant messaging services can help keep seniors connected to the outside world. Plus it’s never too late to learn new skills – just ask Roy! You can learn skills like these from classes at neighborhood senior centers.
To make sure seniors like Roy have a place to go, Senior Citizen Services runs seven neighborhood senior centers, in collaboration with Fulton County. Seniors age 55 or older are provided transportation to local centers for activities that strengthen, stimulate, enliven, and empower. Centers provide lunch and create opportunities for developing critical relationships, socializing, health and wellness activities, arts and crafts, field trips, and education.
This is just one way that we make sure that no Atlanta area senior is hungry, cold or forgotten.
For more information, see http://www.myseniorcare.com/health/mental-health/overcoming-senior-isolation-article
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Hold a pre-meeting before the start of the book club to decide if one person will act as a host, or if the group will take turns. Also discuss what type of book the group will focus on reading - classic literature, detective novels, popular fiction, etc. Seniors may enjoy discussing history, authors who research and write about pre-and post-World War II, and art, culture and politics relating to mid-century Americana, for instance.
Many books now come with reading guides to facilitate discussion. When the book selection is made, the host can provide the group with the name of local bookstores or online resources to buy the book or check your local library. The host is also responsible for initiating discussion on the book, ensuring that everyone who wants to is able to contribute, and keeping the tone of the club congenial.
Plan to meet once a month for 1-1/2 hours to allow everyone time to read the selection beforehand. Limit the number attending to no more than twelve so that everyone can share in the discussion.
It's a good idea to have snacks (cheese and crackers, dessert and soft drinks) on hand.
If a particular selection turns out to be a favorite, consider reading other books by the same author. If the book being discussed is also a movie, the group can plan an outing to see the movie or rent the DVD to watch for a movie night.
Read more: How to Host a Book Club for Seniors eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4422811_host-book-club-seniors.html#ixzz1l8podc2a
Friday, January 20, 2012
Timmy Woods, the famous Beverly Hills designer and manufacturer of fashion forward wearable art handbags for women, is coming to Atlanta Tuesday to show and sell her famous wooden handbags at Kings Home Furnishings on Menlo Drive in west Buckhead. A percentage of sales will benefit the heart-warming Santa for Seniors program sponsored by the Senior Citizens Services of Metropolitan Atlanta.
In 1985 Woods, a design major at the Fashion Institute of Technology, began designing and manufacturing handbags. She immediately won attention, but took time off after an auto accident and branched out into her family’s international real estate business. Inspired in 1992 by primitive, hand-carved wooden boxes in the Phillippines, she perfected cutting-edge handcrafted sculptured handbags from fallen Arcadia trees — each handmade bag takes 30 days to complete. Design forms are taken from a broad range of interests and lifestyles such as nature, pop trends, sports, hobbies, holidays and special events.
Enticed by the three enthusiastic co-chairs Jill Sherman, Dottie Smith and Jade Slover leading year-around fundraisers for the Atlanta senior holiday gift program, Woods will display and sell her collectible trend-setting wares in an evening trunk how reception format and give an early 2012 boost to the Senior Citizens Services programs.
“Many supporters and Atlanta chic fashionistas collect Timmy’s handbags — including Santa faces — and know her as a special, warm-hearted friend,” Sherman said. “We thought this evening would be a fun event to help our year-long fundraising efforts bring cheer and senior-friendly gifts to isolated older folks in Atlanta.”
Details and information: (404) 355-8995 or visit http://www.kingshomefurnishings.net/store/ or www.timmywoods.com.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
- Microwave ovens for seniors to warm their meals
- Reliable truck for Home Repair program
- Any painting items: paint, brushes, rollers, pans, etc.
- Power tools: drills, pressure washers, paint sprayers, etc.
- Lawn mowers
- Ceiling fans
- Digital cameras
- Energy efficient light bulbs - 60 watt
- Exercise bikes and/or treadmills for Neighborhood Senior Centers
- Large plastic storage containers
- Ten sets of 2 lb. dumbbells
- Exercise mats for Senior Centers
- Kiln supplies for Senior Centers
- Permanent markers (bold point)
- Dry-erase board
- Small filing cabinet
- 1, 1.5, and 2 inch binders
- Paper shredder
Thanks so much.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Home heating safety
More home fires happen during the winter months than any other time of the year mainly due to home heating devices and people age 65 and older are three times more likely to die or be injured in a home fire as those younger. In addition, heating devices and household appliances that are fueled by gas, oil, kerosene or wood in a closed up house can also produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Some simple things seniors can do to protect themselves are:
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home and check the batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
- If you’re using a space heater remember that space heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from the heater, and if you’re looking to by a new space heater get one that automatically shuts off if the heater falls over.
- If you use a wood burning fire place make sure you have a glass front or screen large enough to catch flying sparks and rolling logs and have chimney flue pipe checked once a year.
- Get an ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher for the home; learn how to use it and check it yearly to be sure is working.
Winter auto safety
To ensure winter time driving safety — if you live in a cold climate — have your vehicle serviced and winterized so it’s ready for winter driving and winter road conditions.
Some specific items to be checked are the:
Tires: check the tire air pressure and make sure your tires have sufficient tread.
Radiator: have the anti-freeze levels checked.
Belts: inspect the belts and hoses for cracks or leaks.
Oil: ask you mechanic about switching to a thinner grade of engine oil for better performance in colder temperatures.
Wipers: inspect the windshield wipers and wiper fluid to ensure better visibility.
Battery: make sure the battery is fully charged.
Preventing wintertime falls
A common problem among the elderly is broken hips, which happen more frequently in winter due wet and slippery conditions. To help prevent wintertime falls seniors should wear shoes with non-skid soles, stay only on sidewalks or areas that have been cleared of snow and ice, use handrails when available and avoid getting out after dark or in hazardous weather conditions.
For more information, go to: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/10806061/ns/today-today_health/t/brrrr-winter-safety-tips-senior-citizens/