Thursday, January 29, 2009

How is the Economy Affecting Older Adults?

The Urban Institute has several recent reports about how the economy is affecting Older Adults. Here are the reports and some of their highlights:

How is the Economic Turmoil affecting Older Americans? - Oct. 1, 2008
  • 49% of households 50+ own retirement accounts.
  • During the past 12 months, retirement accounts have lost $1.6 trillion, 18.3% of their value. (p. 2 of report)
  • Housing prices decreased between 4 % to 20% from January 2007 to May 2008, depending on the part of the country. However, from 1998 - 2006 the inflation-adjusted median home equity for adults aged 55+ increased by 41.5%.

How is the Recession Affecting Older Workers? - December 17, 2008
  • More older adults are working or looking for work now, compared to past recessions - the share of adults age 65- 69 participating in the labor force has risen from 20.2% in 1982 to 29.7% in 2007.

Senior Unemployment Rate Hits 31-Year High - January 14th, 2009
  • December 2008 unemployment rate for ages 65 and older was 5.1%.
  • This unemployment rate has increased 1.7% since November 2007.

The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan economic and social research center founded in 1968 (for more information click here).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do you know what government benefits are available for you?

The National Council on Aging has created a website to help Seniors with limited incomes to find out if they qualify for federal and state benefits programs. This website is called BenefitsCheckUp and it includes information about 1,650 different private and public benefit programs. For example, you can search for programs that can help with:
  • prescription drugs
  • energy assistance
  • housing
  • utilities
  • in home services
  • nutrition
  • employment
  • transportation
  • legal issues
  • tax relief
  • health care
According to the National Council on Aging, this website has helped over 2 million people to find over $6.8 billion dollars of the annual benefits that they deserve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Federal Physical Activity Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has recently published Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. They have included a chapter for active older adults aged 65 and older. The guidelines discuss the benefits of exercise and describe the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for older adults. There is also a chapter with information about exercising for people with chronic health conditions (such as osteoarthritis) and a chapter about exercising safely.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

AARP Driver Safety Program

New River Library will be hosting a 2 day AARP Driver Safety Program on January 14th and 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. This class is a refresher course for drivers age 50 and many insurance companies provide a discount to people who complete the class. More information about the AARP Driver Safety Program can be found here. Registration is requested for this class. To register for the class, please call (813) 780-9168.

[New River Library is located at 34043 S. R. 54, Zephyrhills, FL.]

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Computer Games are not just for kids!

Do you miss bowling, playing tennis, or playing baseball? Well, now you can play them again. The Nintendo Wii is a console gaming system that uses a hand-held remote which players swing to simulate these games.

Many retirement homes, retirement communities, and libraries are hosting Wii tournaments. For example, players from the Erickson Retirement Communities throughout the nation competed in a Wii bowling tournament. This competition and interviews with the players were videotaped and placed online.
Here is the Erickson Bowling tournament Youtube video:

If you would like to try out these games, there are two library events coming up:

Hudson Regional Library will be hosting a Senior Adult Gaming Experience on Saturday, January 10th at 2:00pm for ages 55+.

New River Library will be hosting a Senior Adult Gaming Experience on January 24th at 10:00am.

[Hudson Regional Library's address is 8012 Library Road, Hudson, FL and the phone number is (727)861-3040.]

[New River Library's address is 34043 S. R. 54, Zephyrhills, FL and the phone number is (813) 788-6375.]

Monday, January 5, 2009

Upcoming Programs About How to Avoid Scams and Fraud

Richard Zutell of AARP will be discussing how to pick an honest contractor and avoid home repair fraud on Wednesday, January 7th, at 2:00pm at the Hudson Regional Library. He will also be giving a talk about how to recognize the frauds and scams that con artists use on Thursday, February 12, at 2:00pm at Hudson Regional Library. Registration is requested for these programs.

[Hudson Regional Library's address is 8012 Library Road, Hudson, FL and the phone number is (727)861-3040.]