Monday, June 29, 2009

Take Precautions in the Summer Heat!

Recently we have had many "Heat Advisories" due to high heat and humidity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that older adults (aged 65 and over) are more vulnerable to heat stress than younger adults because:
  • Elderly people are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that interferes with the body's response to heat.
  • They may be taking prescriptions which limit perspiration or limit the body's ability to regulate heat.
  • They do not adjust well to sudden changes in temperature.
High heat can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. For more information about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, please click here.

What can you do to prevent heat-related illness?
  • stay indoors during the hot part of the day.
  • stay hydrated by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • do not do strenuous activities.
  • stay in air conditioning as much as possible (consider visiting a public library or mall if you do not have air conditioning).
You can help elderly relatives and neighbors by checking on them at least twice a day, by taking them to air conditioned places if they do not have air conditioning, and by making sure that they have an electric fan.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AARP Recareering Study

AARP recently published a report called "Older Workers on the Move: Recareering in Later Life". Research has shown that many older Americans do not transition from full employment to retirement all at once. Instead, many people take "bridge" jobs before full retirement. This report used data from the Health and Retirement Study and focused on a group of workers (aged 51-55) from 1992 through 2006. Highlights of the study include:
  • More than 8 out of 10 workers left their employer by 2006 and 43% of these workers had started a new job by 2006.
  • One in four full-time workers lost their jobs due to business closings or were laid off.
  • Workers who retired and then started new jobs were nearly twice as likely to change careers as those workers who had been laid off.
  • Nearly two-thirds of workers who changed jobs also changed occupations.
  • New jobs were usually less stressful and offered flexible work schedules.
  • Hourly wages were lower for the new jobs.
  • Nearly a quarter of the workers who changed jobs lost their health insurance.
The full study can be found here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Library of Congress YouTube Channel

The Library of Congress has started to find ways to share their collections online. Previously, they started sharing pictures from their collection on (see previous blog post). Now they are sharing videos using the site. The Library of congress plans to continue adding to this collection. Currently, the categories of videos include:
Here is a curator presentation on "Rosie the Riveter" from World War II:

The Library of Congress has even more videos on their own site. Their "American Memory Collection" has many different movies available - from videos of San Francisco before and after the earthquake and fire of 1906, to 61 motion pictures showing vaudeville performances, to films of the Spanish American War.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Preparing For Hurricane Season

Hurricane season began on June 1st. To prepare for hurricane season, you should review your insurance policies and find out about flood insurance - some facts and myths about flood insurance are in a post of the PCLS Resident Information Center Blog and more information can be found at

Some emergency preparation guidelines from the "Emergency Readiness for Older Adults and Caregivers" publication include:
  • Know the basics: know your evacuation route; know where your shut-off valves are for your household utilities; have a designated contact person who lives away from your local area; get to know your neighbors.
  • Have your emergency supplies ready - have a personal evacuation bag packed and have items necessary to shelter in place.
  • Make a personal plan - What special needs do you have? Do you have limited mobility or receive health care assistance in your home? How will you get this assistance in an emergency?
Detailed checklists for preparing for emergencies can be found in the Emergency Readiness publication mentioned above and the FEMA Are You Ready? guide. Links to more resources for emergency preparedness can be found here.

Pasco County provides emergency shelters for people with special needs, but you need to register ahead of time for these shelters. The registration form can be downloaded here. The completed form must be faxed or mailed to the Pasco County Office of Emergency Management.

You will also need to plan ahead if you have a pet. Pasco County has one shelter that allows pets, but you must meet certain qualifications and pre-register your pet. More information about this program is at this website. The pet registration form can be found here.

After a hurricane or disaster:
Seniors can find help through their local Area Agency on Aging helpline. Within Pasco County, FL the number is 1-800-963-5337 (if you have a local phone) and the number is 1-727-217-8111 (if you have a cell phone from outside the county). For other states, you can locate eldercare services through this search website. To apply for disaster assistance, go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency website (FEMA) here. According to a FEMA press release, "Disaster assistance grants are not considered taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, and food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Aid to Families with Dependent Children."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Want to get paid while job training?

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a national work based training program for older adults at least 55 years of age, who have a family income of no more than 25% over the federal poverty limit. It is being administered in Pasco County by Experience Works, which is part of Career Central. Career Central has offices in Spring Hill, Zephyrhills, and New Port Richey. The office addresses and hours of operation can be found here. The jobs pay minimum wage and involve about 20 hours of work per week. Participants are placed in local nonprofit organizations or in public agencies which are operated by the government.

According to Experience Works, "Thirty-eight percent of Experience Work's SCSEP participants found permanent jobs, notably as teachers aides, emergency dispatchers, care providers, and clerical assistants." The Pasco Library System will offer work sites for this program.