Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flu Information for Seniors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all individuals 65 years and older get the "seasonal" flu shot. The CDC recommends this vaccination because older adults have a much higher risk of complications from the seasonal flu than do other age groups. According to the flu.gov website, approximately 36,000 people die each year from flu complications and 90% of these people were 65 or older. The Florida Department of Health has a web page to help you locate a flu shot in your area.

However, older adults are not in the initial target group for the "Swine Flu" (H1N1) shot, because this age group is the least likely to get this version of the flu. If you are interested in finding out more about the seasonal flu and the swine flu, the CDC has partnered with WebMD to provide a blog called "Focus on Flu".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Senior Information Fair

Florida's Long-term Care Ombudsman Program will be sponsoring a "Senior Information Day" on Tuesday, October 27th from 2:30pm - 5:30pm at the New River Library.  
                  Exhibitors include:

        *  Area Agency on Aging
        *  Bay Area Legal Services
        *  Caregiver program
        *  CARES (Community Aging 
            and Retirement Services)
        *  Department of Children & Families
        *  Department of Health
        *  Senior Helpline
        *  Senior Legal Helpline
        *  Senior Medicare Patrol Program
        *  SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance 
            Needs of Elders)
        *  Social Security Administration
        *  Veteran's Services
        *  Victims Advocate Program

         Free gift bags will be available.

New River Library
34043 State Road 54
Zephyrhills, FL 33543
Phone: (813)788-6375

Free Online Lectures and Courses

Do you need new skills to recareer? Or would you like to listen to course lectures from some of the best universities in the world? There are now many opportunities for free learning online. There are no class credits for these classes, but you can't beat the convenience and the cost. One of the best sites for basic computer classes - everything from internet safety to Facebook - is gcflearnfree.org. This site is funded by the Goodwill Community Foundation and also provides tutorials for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, and Publisher.  If you would like to listen to lectures or access course materials for university courses, here is a list of good websites:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

America's Best Nursing Homes

     Last year, one of our blog posts described Medicare's Nursing Home Compare website.  This website ranks nursing homes by a 5 star system and only includes nursing homes that are certified to participate in Medicare. 
     Recently, the U.S. News & World Report has created its own searching tool for finding nursing homes - "America's Best Nursing Homes". It uses the data from the Medicare database, but adds features to make searching easier. For example, you can search for nursing homes with a four star rating, which are within 25 miles of a particular city, and which are owned by a nonprofit organization. It will also allow you to search for a particular nursing home, even if you only know part of the name of the home.  In addition, the U.S. News and World Report has published their honor roll of the top 34 nursing homes in the United States, which are listed here. More information about this nursing home search tool can be found here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

International Day of Older Persons

The United Nations celebrated the "International Day of Older Persons" on October 1st, 2009.  This year's theme was  "Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of  the International Year of Older Persons: Towards a Society for All Ages".

The United Nations has developed "Principles For Older Persons" to "address the independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment, and dignity of older persons". To learn more about the United Nations Programme on Aging, please click here.