Friday, June 29, 2012

Area Agency on Aging Survey

 The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas provides many services to older adults. They provide a telephone helpline which connects Seniors with local agencies and non-profits (1-800-963-5337). In addition, they administer the following programs:
  • SHINE (volunteers to help you choose a medicare program) 
  • SMP Program (Senior Medicare Patrol)     
  • Senior Victim Advocate Program    
  • The National Family Caregiver Support Program
  • Grandparent Caregiver Program     
  • Senior Safety Phones Project     
  • Food Assistance - SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
However, the Area Agency on Aging needs your help! They are preparing their Area Plan for 2013-2015 and they need information from local seniors to provide an accurate reflection of their needs in Pasco and Pinellas counties.  If you are age 60 or older, please  fill out this survey:
Thank you for your assistance.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Senior Fun Fest

The Senior Connections and Mature Lifestyles magazines will be presenting a Senior Fun Fest on Thursday, June 28th at the Strawberry Festival Expo Hall in Plant City from 9am - 2:00pm. Admission and parking are free. The event will feature:
  • Free Health Screenings
  • Live Music
  • Senior-Friendly Sports Center
  • free coffee and goodies
             Strawberry Festival Expo Hall
             2202 W. Reynolds St.
             Plant City, FL

Thursday, June 21, 2012

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Flash Mob

A previous post described the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2012. The purpose of this day is to educate people about elder abuse and how to prevent it from happening. Ethos, a non profit organization in Massachusetts, recently used a whole new way to raise awareness of elder abuse. They organized a flash mob at a Roche Brothers grocery store. A flash mob is is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a short time, then disperse. In this case, it is more like a "smart mob", since this group was organized and planned ahead of time. More than twenty five seniors and staff members from the Ethos Age Well West Roxbury program sang and performed a choreographed dance to the Beatles "When I'm 64" at a grocery store. Here is the video:

 You can find out more about elder abuse by clicking here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Tomorrow, June 15th, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Administration on Aging states that "Millions of older Americans are abused, neglected, or exploited each year, with an estimated 84% of cases going unreported." You can view a live symposium about elder abuse and financial exploitation today at the White House Live website. In addition, the Ohio Office of the State  will be hosting a Facebook chat about elder abuse tomorrow, June 15th at 9:30am. The guest speaker will be Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to go to this chat.
You can help prevent elder abuse by spotting the warning signs, including:
  • Signs of neglect: lack of basic hygiene, medical aids (i.e. glasses, medications), left without care if confined to a bed, or untreated bed sores.
  • financial abuse: caregiver has control of the senior's finances and does not use the money to take care of the senior's needs or the older adult is giving large amounts of money or gifts to their caregiver.
  • pyschological abuse 
  • physical abuse
You can learn more about the signs of abuse here and more on what you can do to prevent elder abuse from this National Center on Elder Abuse factsheet. In addition, the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs also has a brochure about preventing elder abuse.
If you suspect that an older adult is being abused, you should call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873. Another great resource is the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas elder helpline: 1-800-963-5337. If the senior lives at a nursing home or assisted living facility, a volunteer from the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman program may be able to help. You can contact them via the elder helpline: 1-800-963-5337.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Florida ID and Drivers License Information

When your current Florida drivers license expires and you have not used the one-time online "convenience" renewal option, you can renew by going online to It is important to type this address directly into your address bar, because doing a yahoo or google search on "gorenew" will result in a list of scam websites. These websites will charge you money and then redirect you to the real official government website. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles does not require a surcharge for purchasing a drivers license online.

If you have already used the one-time convenience renewal, then you will have to go to one of the drivers license offices to renew your license. Since the passing of the Real ID Act of 2005, everyone who renews their driver's license or wants to get a government issued ID card must prove who they are.You will need to bring several documents to prove who you are. To find out what documents you need, Florida residents can go to .Obtaining the documents can be a very involved procedure- since you may need to get a birth certificate or a marriage certificate from another state. Therefore, it is best to start gathering your documents a few months before your renewal date.

Older adults who are Florida residents will need a valid Florida identification card - even if they do not drive. These identification cards are necessary for air travel, they must be shown at the doctor's office, and may be needed to pick up some prescriptions. Some older adults may have problems obtaining the necessary documents and may need legal help. Ellen Cheek has written a great article about this in the March/April 2012 Elder update (p.6). You can read this article here.