Saturday, May 29, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities in Pasco County

Community Aging and Retirement Services, Inc. (CARES) is urgently looking for volunteers for the Elfers Center. They need people to help with the "Telephone Reassurance Program". Volunteers in this program make telephone calls to elderly people to monitor their safety and to provide social support. In addition, they need volunteers to work in the center's thrift shop. To find out more about volunteering for one of these positions, please call (727)847-1290. Click here for more volunteer opportunities at other CARES Senior Centers within Pasco County.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Make a Wish Programs for Seniors

You have probably heard of the Make a Wish Foundation, which helps children with life threatening illnesses, but did you know there are similar organizations that help low income older adults? Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime Foundation grants lifelong wishes to Seniors who "have overcome tremendous challenges in their lives". This foundation was started by Olympic skier and former NFL player Jeremy Bloom and it now fulfills wishes for Seniors throughout the United States. The following video shows highlights from one wish: a trip for two dozen World War II and Korean War veterans from Ohio to see the World War II and Korean War Memorials in Washington, DC.

For more information about applying for a wish or about supporting this Foundation, click here 

The Twilight Wish Foundation is similar organization, which was founded in 2003. It has 13 chapters in 12 states (including Florida), which have fulfilled 1275 wishes in people in 35 states. One unique aspect of the Twilight Wish Foundation is their Inter-generational Caring Programs which bring students, clubs, and schools together to make wishes come true. For more information about this charity, please click here.

The Forever Young Senior Wish Organization in Collierville, TN wants to "change the image of aging and redefine it with self-confidence, respect, and a fun-filled life." This organization has fulfilled wishes from celebrating a 100th birthday, to family reunions, to getting an electric wheelchair. For more information on this organization, please click here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Search Engine for Older Adults

Sunmee Huh, a high school student has recently designed a user friendly search engine for older adults and people with low vision. This search engine is called Good50 and it has many useful features:
  • a large search box
  • on-screen zoom
  • fewer ads (only ads on the side, not the top of the page)
  • a high contrast version is available for people with low vision
  • safe search is on to prevent explicit content
This search engine also raises money for charities - it donates 5 cents to a charity for every 50 visits to the site. Previous charities include Meals on Wheels and the American Red Cross. Ms. Huh designed the website to help her grandfather search the internet. For more information about Good50 and Sunmee Huh, please click here for a Washington Post article about the website.

Here is a video introducing Good50 from Sunmee Huh:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hurricane Expo 2010

Hurricane season starts June first - are you ready? The Pasco County Office of Emergency Management will be hosting "Hurricane Expo 2010".  This year's theme is "Weather you go or stay, prepare today". Public safety agencies at the expo will teach you how to protect your home from hurricanes and how to prepare a plan for possible evacuation.

Saturday,  May  15
9:00am - 2:00pm 

New Port Richey Recreation Center
6630 Van Buren Street, New Port Richey
(between Massachusetts Avenue and Main Street)

Free Parking and Free Admission

Featuring Steve Jerve, Chief Meteorologist
News Channel 8 Presenting at:
12 Noon

Additional Pasco County hurricane preparation information and online emergency preparedness guides:  

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.

The "Emergency Readiness for Older Adults and Caregivers" publication recommends that you:

  • 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.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Census Facts for "Older American's Month" 2010

President Obama proclaimed May, 2010 as "Older Americans Month". This year's theme of "Older Americans Month" is "Age Strong! Live Long!".  Every Year the U.S. Census Bureau provides a fact sheet to celebrate this month. 
Here are some highlights from this fact sheet:
  • 38.9 million people in the U.S.were 65 or older in 2008
  • $29,744 is the median income of householders 65 and older
  • 9.7% is the poverty rate for people 65 and older
  • 6.2 million people 65 or older were in the workforce in 2008 and this is projected to increase to 10.1 million by 2016
  • The state with the highest percentage of the population 65 or older is Florida with 17% age 65+
  • 70% of people age 65 or older reported voting in the 2008 presidential election
  • 56% of people 65 and older were married in 2009
  • 9.1 million veterans of the armed services are age 65 or older
The full census report can be found here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Senior Fun Fest at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The Senior Connections and Mature Lifestyles magazines will be sponsoring a "Senior Fun Fest" on Wednesday, May 12th, from 9:00am - 1:00pm. Admission is free and the event will feature:
  • Free admission to the aquarium and exhibits
  • Free Dolphin Show
  • Free Health Screenings
  • Live Music
  • Free Muffins and Coffee
  • Prizes and Giveaways

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium is located at:
    249 Windward Passage
    Clearwater, FL

    For more information about the Senior Fun Fest, please call 813-653-1988 or 1-888-670-0040. 
    For directions, please call 727-441-1790.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Friday, May 7th at 3:00pm - Senior Social

    New River Library will be hosting its first Senior Social this Friday at 3:00pm. There will be games, Wii bowling, and some light refreshments. Bring your friends and come as you are!