Seniors should get flu vaccine
Flu season is officially here, and anyone 65 and older is especially vulnerable to the flu and its sometimes-severe complications. The Orange County Office on Aging and Orange County Health Department have launched the Flu + You initiative to get the word out to adults 65 and over and those who care about them that they have two vaccine options; the traditional flu shot and a higher dose flu shot that helps address the age-related decline of the immune system by triggering the body to produce more antibodies against the flu. For more information, call 407-836-6563 or email at OfficeonAging@ocfl.net
Know when it’s safe to drive
More than 80 percent of drivers age 65 and older regularly take medications, yet only half have talked to a medical professional about possible safety issues related to driving. To help older drivers discover complications that could arise from their medication, AAA has created the Roadwise Rx online tool. Roadwise Rx allows drivers to put in what medications, herbal supplements and food they use, and then gives personalized feedback to show how they can impact their safety. Drivers are then encouraged to discuss the results with their doctor or pharmacist. To use the tool, visit SeniorDriving.AAA.com
Fall prevention checklist
The first day of fall kicked off a Fall Prevention Crusade to warn local families to safety proof their homes to prevent seniors from falling. Falls are the top cause of injuries, hospital visits and deaths among those 65 and older. Senior Helpers, one of the largest in-home senior care companies, warns families to safety proof their homes with a fall prevention checklist: install handrails on both sides of stairs and grab bars in bathrooms; provide plenty of light at the top and bottom of stairs and throughout hallways; paint the bottom basement step white to make it more visible; secure rugs to the floor to prevent tripping; attach non-slip strips to the bottom of slippers and shoes; in outside areas, check steps and walkways for loose bricks, cement or stone. For dementia or Alzheimer’s patients, caretakers are encouraged to encourage seniors to wear hip protectors; make sure they have a walking aid within reach; use an emergency sensor overnight to help detect wandering; lower beds to the ground at night; encourage seniors to rest with the head of the bed slightly raised; use a seatbelt on a shower chair and never leave them in the shower or bathroom unattended.
Call the Jewish Pavilion Help Desk
Barbara Bonapart, MSW, CCM, is the Senior Resource Specialist available at the Jewish Pavilion Help Desk. Bonapart, whose history is in social work and case management, can help sort through issues related to caring for dementia patients, elderly parents and how to find independent living facilities. She can be reached at 407-678-9363 with any questions, concerns, crises or need for advice and unburden yourself. The Jewish Pavilion is a non-profit that caters to our elderly of all faiths in long-term care. For more information on the Pavilion, please visit jewishpavilion.org
New aging educational information
The University of Florida IFAS Extension program has updated its website to include many publications on aging and caregiving. Visit bit.ly/QF8fh2 to learn about Aging in the 21th Century, Caregiving, Elders-Disaster Planning, Aging and the Family, Elders-Finances, Aging: Health and Wellbeing, Elders-Housing, Aging-Mental Health, Aging: Nutrition and Information Resources for Elders. For more information, contact the Orange County/UF Cooperative Extension Office at 407-254-9204.
Older Americans 2012
This 2012 guide covers the key indicators of well-being and is divided into five subject areas: population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care. Visit http://1.usa.gov/QHhH46 to read the report.