Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Guide to Reverse Mortgages

What are reverse mortgages? They are a special kind of home equity loan for homeowners aged 62 and older. The homeowners receive a portion of their home equity as cash. The loan is repaid when borrower either dies, sells his home, or moves out of the home. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you get HUD-approved housing counseling before you decide to get a reverse mortgage. The USA.gov blog reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recently updated its guide to reverse mortgages. This update was needed due to new government rules concerning reverse mortgages. The changes are:
  • first year payout limits - there are now limits on how much money you can get from the loan during the first year.
  • new protections for the non-borrowing spouse.
You can learn more about reverse mortgages by reading the guide here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The November/December Elder Update is Available

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs publishes a bimonthly newsletter, the "Elder Update", for Florida Seniors. The current issue includes the following articles:
  •  Always Hire a Licensed Contractor
  •  Vet Trio Recalls Events of World War II
  •  She was a Marine- the story of a woman in the Marines in 1943
  •  The WWII Disaster No One Knew About
  •  2014's Best Intergenerational Communities
You can download the current issue here. Alternatively, you can sign up for a print subscription here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to Avoid Credit Card Hacking Over The Holidays

Credit card fraud can happen as the result of thieves finding a credit card billing statement in your trash, or  by someone taking a picture of your credit card when you are checking out, or someone could hack into an online account. You can read more about credit card fraud on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consumer information page here. To avoid fraud, the FTC recommends that you:
  • Don't give out your account information to a company unless you called them and know that they are reputable company.
  • Open your bills promptly and check for questionable charges.
  • Carry only one credit card for a shopping trip.
 Here is a link to an article about "elder fraud" and services that have started up to help prevent elder fraud. 
 In the short video below, Marietta, the editor-in-chief of the Consumer Action Handbook, discusses how you can avoid being a victim of credit card hacking this holiday season:



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Book About a Famous Nonagenarian Athlete

Olga Kotelko was a famous nonagenarian athlete. She held twenty-six world records for World Masters track and field events and won 750 gold medals. She started competing in track and field events at age 77.  She was an amazing athlete who held 17 world records in the 90-95 year old age category. Below is a video interview with Olga Kotelko:



You can read more about Olga Kotelko and about her secrets to successful aging in: "What Makes Olga Run?" by Bruce Grierson. You can borrow this book from the Pasco County Library System.




Monday, December 1, 2014

Social Security Increase for 2015

The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.7% benefit increase starting in January 2015. This cost of living adjustment (COLA) will provide an extra $22 a month to the average retired worker. Do you have an online Social Security Account? If you do not yet receive Social Security benefits, you can use this online account to estimate your future benefits. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you can use the online account to manage your benefits.

Below is a video from Social Security which leads you through the process of setting up an account. If you would like one-on-one help to set up your account, a Social Security representative will be at New River Library this Thursday, December 4th, at 1:00 pm. New River Library is located at 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, Fl.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

National Family Caregiver's Month



President Obama proclaimed that November is National Family Caregiver's Month. The Caregiver Action Network promotes this month as a way to raise awareness of family caregiver issues and to celebrate the work of family caregivers. This year's theme is "Care Comes Home". This theme is based on the fact that most adults prefer to age at home. Many older adults can stay at home because they have help from family members. Four in ten adults in the United States are family caregivers.

Do you care for an elderly relative or friend? Do you need information to help you with your caregiving? Pasco County Public Library System has the following recently published books for caregivers: 


                            How  to Care for Aging Parents


                            Caregiver's Handbook


                         An Unintended Journey


                        Dr Ruth's Guide for Alzheimers


                         Life's Little Emergencies


                         No One Has to Die Alone


                     The Caregiving Wife's Handbook


                                  The Good Caregiver

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Great Volunteer Opportunities

As we get closer to the holidays, you may be looking for volunteer opportunities. Two great volunteer opportunities are becoming a SHINE volunteer or becoming an IRS tax volunteer. SHINE stands for "Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders", a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, where volunteers are committed to helping others make informed choices regarding Medicare insurance benefits. 

What is it like being a SHINE volunteer? Here is the story of a SHINE Volunteer Couple, Bill and Marianne Ferrari: 


Marianne Ferrari writes:

"How do two retired executives spend their time after full careers?  After 27 and 23 years, respectively, we decided to take early retirement.   Bill retired several months prior to me and noticed an ad in the local newspaper for SHINE volunteers. Bill completed the comprehensive training requirements and started to counsel individuals regarding Medicare enrollment and health plan choices.  

As I was still working at the time, I couldn't help but notice Bill's passion about this SHINE program. I chuckled to myself because during our careers we had this ongoing rivalry since I was a Human Resources professional and he was an Operations professional. Needless to say, at times we had different perspectives!    Needless to say, several months later when I retired, I knew which organization I wanted to support—SHINE. 

I thought it was right down my alley since my work expertise was employee benefits.  While my work background is most helpful, I was surprised by how much I didn't know.  I immediately recognized the significant amount of technical and community resource information that one needs to understand to add value. I loved the challenge!  Life-long learning was one of my retirement goals and this service was certainly going to fulfill this objective. 

Since Bill and I are both volunteers, we will sometimes discuss challenges and help each other with creative solutions.  We do this in very general terms so as not to divulge confidentiality of cases.  Our health insurance system is complex and many of our clients are low income and in need of financial and other assistance programs.  

At times it takes teamwork to identify opportunities to provide the appropriate assistance.  It also requires patience, compassion, and a relentless quest to resolve issues.  Finally, SHINE has given back to me much more than I ever expected.  I learned that my job will always be important to me and will always be a source of self- identity.  But I've learned to define "job" as more than labor for dollars.  My job is helping seniors with their healthcare needs. The feeling of contribution and learning is much more fulfilling than any job I've ever held."

For Pasco County residents, there is an upcoming three-day program for individuals interested in volunteering with the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. The training will begin on December 9, 2014 and will be held at Rasmussen College on State Rd 54 in Pasco County.  Transportation costs are reimbursed and meals are furnished.  Visit www.floridashine.org for an online application.  Contact Sue Samson @ 727/570-9696 x234.

There are two volunteer tax assistant programs: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, and it specializes in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

You can find out more about becoming a tax assistant volunteer here. Below is a video about becoming a volunteer income tax assistant:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Upcoming Library Programs



Would you like help attend a caregiver's workshop,  sign up for a Social Security Account online, or learn how to use Facebook? These are just a few of the upcoming Pasco County library programs. The Friends of the Library sponsors our programs.  Here are some of the upcoming library programs for Older Adults in Pasco County:

Wed, November 12th at 2:00pm 
  Senior Social
New River Library
Adults, age 50 and above, can enjoy card games, board games, and Wii bowling. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Wed, November 12th and Wed November 19th at 6:30pm
    Hugh Embry Chess Club
    Hugh Embry Library
Enjoy chess out on the main floor from 7-8 pm! We have chess sets, or bring your own.
Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Thurs, November 13th at 10:00am
    Social Seniors
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join our new group of Social Seniors for coffee, cake, and conversation. Get involved at the library by offering programming suggestions. Or, take this time to meet new friends, discuss common interests, and engage in recreational activities. Occasional workshops on topics of interest may be scheduled. This is a brand new club for seniors, and we need your input!
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


 Thurs, November 13th at 6:00pm
     Knitting Club
     New River Library
 Learn basic knitting techniques. Please bring a pair of size 8 knitting needles and a ball of #4 yarn. This club is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

 Friday, November 14th at 11:00am and Friday, November 21st at 11:00am
    SHINE Medicare Help
     New River Library
A SHINE volunteer (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders) will help people with their Medicare enrollment questions.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Tues, November 18th at 200pm
    Introduction to Facebook
     New River Library
 Learn the basics about how to use Facebook to connect with family and friends.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Wed, November 19th at 11:30am
   My SSA: Help setting up your Social Security online account
   Regency Park Library
Get help establishing an online account with Social Security. With an account, you can easily change your address, set up direct deposit, verify your benefits, and much more!
Regency Park Library
9701 Little Road
New Port Richey 34654
(727) 861-3049


Wed, November 19th at 2:00pm 
    Caregiver's Workshop: Understanding Dementia
   New River Library
Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care will be presenting a free caregiving workshop.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Thurs, November 20th at 10:00am
    Senior Games
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join us for fun and games at the library. Meet new people while playing cards, board games, or challenging video games.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


Fri, November 21st at 2:00pm
   Senior Popcorn and Cinema
    Hugh Embry Library
Adults, enjoy recent releases of best films of 2014 with free popcorn. Call 352-567-3576 for title.
Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Also, many branches offer book discussions and technology programs (such as a computer classes and tablet classes).

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Free Online Genealogy Fair

Would you like to research you family history? You can learn lots of tips by watching the 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair, which was hosted by The National Archives on October 28, 29, and 30. Experts from National Archives' facilities nationwide, the historian from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, and representatives from Ancestry and FamilySearch were the speakers for this free event. These presentations should be useful for both beginning and more experienced genealogists. You can read the presentation schedule and handouts for each session here. The presentations are available online at Youtube.com. See below for videos from all three days.
Day 1:

 
Day 2:

 
Day 3:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Learn How to Protect Your Medicare Information

Do you know how to protect your Medicare information during the Open Enrollment Period?
Find out how in this video from the Florida Senior Medicare Patrol:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The September/October Issue of the Elder Update is Available

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs publishes a bimonthly newsletter, the "Elder Update", for Florida Seniors. The current issue includes articles about:
  •  A statewide survey of caregiving conditions in Florida
  •  Help available for those paying utility bills
  •  "Residents' Rights Month" for long-term care residents
  •  Fall prevention
  •  Being alone without being lonely
You can download the current issue here. Alternatively, you can sign up for a print subscription here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New "Aging on the Suncoast" Episode

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas produces and hosts a community access television program, "Aging on the Suncoast". This program  provides information of interest to elders, their families and caregivers.The October episode explains about the SHINE (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders) volunteers, who can help you choose the best Medicare program for you during Medicare open enrollment (October 15- December 7th).
Here is the video:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lifestyles after 50 Fun Fest in New Port Richey

The Lifestyles After 50 Fun Fest will be held on Wednesday, October 10th at the New Port Richey Recreation Center from 10:00am - 2:00pm. Admission and parking are free. The event will feature:
  • Free Health Screenings
  • Live Music
  • Free coffee and goodies
  • Free bingo and giveaways 
New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center                       6630 Van Buren St, 
             New Port Richey, FL 34653
             1-888-670-0040 or 813-653-1988

For more information, you can click here for the event flier.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Upcoming Medicare Programs

Want to learn the basics about Medicare and get your questions answered? There are two upcoming Medicare Basics Programs in Pasco County:
Tuesday, September 30th, at 4:00pm
Groves Golf and Country Club
7924 Melogold Circle
Land O'Lakes, FL 34637
Wednesday, October 1st at 2:00pm
New River Library
34043 State Road 54
Zephyrhills, Fl 34043
If you would would like individual Medicare enrollment advice from an unbiased source, you can trust SHINE (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders) volunteers. SHINE is a free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and is operated locally through the Area Agency on Aging Of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. The SHINE volunteers are trained to help people with Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance issues by providing one-on-one counseling and information. A SHINE volunteer will be at the New River Library on Sept 26th, Oct 3rd, and Oct. 10th from 11:00am - 1:00pm.
SHINE Volunteer Help
Fridays, Sept 26th, Oct 3rd, and Oct 10th at 11:00am
New River Library
34043 State Road 54
Zephyrhills, FL 34043 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Upcoming Library Programs



Would you like help with enrolling for Medicare, would you like to learn chair yoga, try Wii bowling, or attend an Alzheimer's caregiver's workshop? These are just a few of the upcoming Pasco County library programs. The Friends of the Library sponsors our programs.  Here are some of the upcoming library programs for Older Adults in Pasco County:

Wed, September 17th at 2:00pm 
   Five Wishes Living Will Program
   New River Library
Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care will be presenting a free living will program.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Wed, September 17th and Wed September 24th at 6:30pm
    Hugh Embry Chess Club
    Hugh Embry Library
Enjoy chess out on the main floor from 7-8 pm! We have chess sets, or bring your own.
Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Friday, September 19th at 11:00am and Friday, September 26th at 11:00am
    SHINE Medicare Help
     New River Library
A SHINE volunteer (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders) will help people with their Medicare enrollment questions.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Thurs, September 23rd at 2:00pm and September 30th at 2:00pm
   Alzheimer's Association Caregiver's 
   Workshop  
   Regency Park Library
 One of a series of programs on various topics related to the care of loved ones with Alzheimer's - presented by the Alzheimer's Association.
Regency Park Library
9701 Little Road
New Port Richey 34654
(727) 861-3049


Thurs, September 25th at 10:00am
    Senior Games
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join us for fun and games at the library. Meet new people while playing cards, board games, or challenging video games.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


Thurs, September 25th at 6:00pm
     Knitting Club
     New River Library
 Learn basic knitting techniques. Please bring a pair of size 8 knitting needles and a ball of #4 yarn. This club is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Thurs, September 30th at 4:30pm
   Chair Yoga
   Regency Park Library
Bring mindfulness, movement, relaxation and restoration through seated and standing supported yoga poses. Use the security and stability of a chair to challenge the core energy and increase movement possibilities. Taught by Faith Bevan from Flow Yoga & Pilates.
Regency Park Library
9701 Little Road
New Port Richey 34654
(727) 861-3049


Also, many branches offer book discussions and technology programs (such as a computer Q & A, a Basic Ipad Class, and Tablet Talk programs).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Senior Safety and Fall Prevention Day at USF

The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute at the University of South Florida will be holding  a Senior Safety and Fall Prevention Day on Tuesday, September 23rd from 8:30am to 12:00pm. This free program will include balance screenings and vision screenings. The National Council on Aging and the American Occupational Therapy Association is sponsoring this program.

USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute
University of South Florida
4001 E. Fletcher Ave, MDC 36
Tampa, Fl 33613
813-396-0606
Sep 23rd from 8:30am - 12:00pm


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The 90+ Study

Claudia Kawas, MD and Maria Corrada, ScD  are the principle investigators for the 90+ study. This research project from the University of California at Irvine started in 2003 to determine factors associated with longevity, to investigate dementia and ways to prevent it, and to find out how people can prevent memory loss and disability in this age group. Some of the major findings from this project are:
  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained. 
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did. 
  • Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men. 
You can read more about the study here. Here is a link to a "60 Minutes" television segment about this study: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/living-to-90-and-beyond-part-one

Monday, August 25, 2014

Get Help Florida Website




Do you need help finding benefits, housing, job resources, or legal help? The Get Help Florida website provides links to government agencies and non-profits who can help you. The site has a list of resources to help Seniors here

The Get Help Florida site was created by the Pasco County Public Library Cooperative with funds from a Library Services and Technology Act grant. The site is intended to be a statewide portal to valuable E-government resources for those in need of help.The Get Help Florida site organizes hundreds of resources by category, enabling users to quickly and easily locate agencies that can assist them, no matter what their need.                                                         

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The July/August Issue of the Elder Update is available



The Florida Department of Elder Affairs publishes a bimonthly newsletter, the "Elder Update", for Florida Seniors. The current issue includes articles about:
  • New "Living Healthy in Florida" wellness campaign.
  •  Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program (ELMORE), which helps senior homeowners with reverse mortgage difficulties.
  •  Outsmarting scammers.
  •  State Park improvements to increase assessibility. 
  • Aging in place.
You can download the current issue here. Alternatively, you can sign up for a print subscription here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cares Senior Centers


CARES, Inc is a non-profit organization that provides senior centers, home health care, adult day care, and respite care for older adults in Pasco County.  On June 13th, CARES was named the Out-standing Non - Profit 501c3 by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.  CARES Senior Centers in Hudson and New Port Richey offer may activities for seniors, including:
  • aerobics and exercise
  • Arts and Crafts,
  • Computer Learning
  • Dances
  • Recreation 
  • Support Groups
  • Travel Club
You can read more about Cares here. You can check the Hudson calendar of events here and the New Port Richey calendar here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Aging on the Suncoast

Did you know that the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas has been producing and hosting a community access television program, "Aging on the Suncoast", since 1988? This program  provides information of interest to elders, their families and caregivers. Past topics include:
  • Financial Resources
  • SHINE Medicare/Healthcare Counseling
  •  Medication Management
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Management of Chronic Diseases
  • Prevention of Consumer Fraud and Elder Abuse
You can  watch this program via Pasco County Government Access on:
BRIGHT HOUSE Channel 622  or VERIZON Channel 42
You can find the current TV schedule here.

Here are two of the most recent programs:

July 2014: Disaster Preparedness for Seniors:

   
June 2014: Domestic Violence in Later Life:

Monday, July 14, 2014

U.S. Census Report: 65+ in the United States: 2010

The U.S. Census Bureau has recently published an update of the 65+ in the United States: 2010 report. This report uses information from the 2010 Census; nationally representative surveys such as the Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey, and National Health Interview Survey; the national vital statistics system; and recent population projections for the United States and other countries. This report covers population statistics, health and long-term care, economic characteristics, geographic distribution, and social trends in the 65+ population.
Here are some highlights from the report:
  • excessive alcohol consumption and rates of smoking have decreased in the 65+ age group
  • the percentage of people overweight or obese has increased in this age group
  • Alzheimer’s disease was the fifth leading cause of death among the older population in 2010
  • The average cost of a private room in a nursing home was $83,585 per year in 2010
  • In 2006, Medicaid paid for 43 percent of long-term care. 
 Here are some bar charts from the study:






You can download the entire report here.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Free Computer and Tablet Tutoring Available


Do you have a family member or friend who is 50+ and would like to learn how to use computers or tablets? Most Pasco County Libraries offer free beginning computer classes in the fall and winter. However, if they would like to start right away, the New River Library Branch has a program which can help them. We have trained teen volunteers to teach beginning computer skills - like mousercise, email, and Facebook. This one-on-one tutoring provides a fun, stress-free learning experience.  These tutoring sessions are free and you can call to schedule an appointment at (813)788-6375.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54
Zephyrhills, Fl
813-788-6375.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Resources for Consumer Protection

If you have been a victim of consumer fraud, there are state and local agencies which may be able to help you. In Florida, there is the Florida Attorney General's Senior's vs. Crime Project. You can request help from them by filling out an online form here. You may also seek help from the Division of Consumer Services, which is a part of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This department  is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, information and protection. You can find their consumer complaint forms here. For more information, you can call: 
1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352),
 1-(850) 410-3800  - if you are calling from outside of Florida, or 
1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) en EspaƱol.

Our closest regional consumer help offices are:

Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency   1-(813)-903-3430 

Pinellas County Office of Consumer Services   1-(727)-464-6200

Another great consumer resource is the 2014 Consumer Action Handbook, published by the federal government. This guide includes a sample complaint letter and useful advice about how to resolve a complaint with a seller. You can pick up a print copy of this handbook at your local Pasco County Library branch.

Here is a video describing the Consumer Action Handbook:

 

If you live in another state, you can find an index of state consumer agencies here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Physicians United Plan" Medicare Medical Insurance Plan is Ending Soon


The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will mutually terminate its contract with the Physicians United Plan (PUP) on July 1st, 2014. This means that Medicare beneficiaries that were using this insurance company will have to enroll in a new healthcare plan by August 31st.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have stated the new Medicare Advantage/Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plans (MA/MAPD) will coordinate with Physicians United Plan to share information on the beneficiary out-of-pocket costs so that will not start over for beneficiaries. There are several options for beneficiaries during the SEP to include; keeping Original Medicare and the assigned Part D plan, purchase a Medicare Supplement policy (Medigap) to supplement Original Medicare, or select a new Medicare Advantage plan and/or change the Part D prescription drug plan assigned by CMS. The effective coverage date will be the first of the month following enrollment into the plan.

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the state’s eleven Area Agencies on Aging are providing plan comparison and enrollment assistance through the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. SHINE is a free and unbiased Medicare counseling program that can help beneficiaries whose coverage has changed to choose a new prescription drug plan or enroll in a state or federal Medicare cost-saving program.

SHINE can educate you about the choices that are available. Affected Floridians are encouraged to call the Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or visit the SHINE website,www.floridaSHINE.org. Information is available in Spanish and other languages, as well as for the hearing impaired (TDD: 850-414-2001).



Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. This event is held every year on June 15th. It is estimated that 5 million older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited every year. In addition, elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse.You can help to raise awareness about elder abuse by sharing this information with friends and family.
What else can you do to help?
  • volunteer with your local Meals on Wheels program - in Pasco County, contact the Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Department
  • become a long-term care ombudsman - in Pasco County contact the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas (727) 570-9696) to learn more about volunteering to help the elderly.
  • if you know a caregiver - offer to help them, so they can take a few hours break. 
  • learn about  the 12 things that anyone can do to prevent elder abuse by clicking here.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders


Hurricane season has started and it is a good time to check your emergency plans. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs has published their annual "Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders". This guide has information about:
  • planning for the hurricane season
  • manufactured homes and hurricanes
  • assembling a disaster supply kit
  • disaster preparedness for elders with hearing loss
  • disaster planning for your pets
  • heat stress and heat stroke
  • disaster recovery assistance
You can read the entire guide here.
For local disaster preparedness, evacuation maps and shelters for Pasco County residents, click here. From this page you can choose the Pasco County evacuation maps and the Pasco County shelter list. You can pick up a print version of this brochure at our Pasco County public libraries.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Older Americans Month Census Facts



President Obama proclaimed May, 2014 as "Older Americans Month". This year's theme of "Older Americans Month" is "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.".  Every Year the U.S. Census Bureau provides a fact sheet to celebrate this month. 

Here are some highlights from this fact sheet:
  • 43.1 million people in the U.S.were 65 or older in 2012
  • $33,848 is the median income of householders 65 and older
  • 9% is the poverty rate for people 65 and older
  • 18.2% of Florida's population was 65 or older in 2012.
  • 4.3 million full time year round workers were 65 and older in 2012.
  • 9.6 million veterans of the armed services are age 65 or older
The full census report can be found here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month.  This observance was originally called "Senior Citizen's Month" when it was created in 1963, but it was renamed "Older Americans Month" by President Carter in 1980.  The Administration for Community Living has announced the theme for this year - "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.

Falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths in older adults age 65 and older. Since about half of all falls occur at home, performing a home safety check can really help to prevent falls. You can decrease the possibility of falls by removing throw rugs, improving lighting, and removing clutter. For more home safety tips, click on this brochure: "Check for Safety" by the CDC. Other safety recommendations can be found here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

"Spotlight on Pasco" Senior Fair

Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care will be sponsoring a senior fair called "Spotlight on Pasco" at the Gulfside Square Mall in Port Richey on Thursday, May 29th. This fair will have many presentations and performers, including:
  • a veteran pinning ceremony
  • a fraud protection presentation
  • a senior self defense demonstration
  • a silver sneakers presentation
  • an Elvis impersonator
 The fair will be held:

Thursday, May 29th from 10:00am - 2:00pm
Gulf View Square Mall
 9409 US Highway 19, 
Port Richey , FL, 34668



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Memorial Day Event



There will be a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Florida National Cemetery on Monday, May 26, 2014.  Steve Jerve of WFLA TV News Channel 8 (Tampa) will be the Master of Ceremonies.  Joseph Harrin will lead the Hernando High School Band and there will be performances by Linda Burnette, The Double Trouble Quartet, Naomi McClain, and Isaac Bobonis.  There will be a rifle salute by the Marine Corps League 708 Detachment from Spring Hill, FL and Central High School NJROTC Color Guard will post colors.  Ye Mystic Air Krewe will provide a flyover.  Seating is limited, so please bring a lawn chair or blanket. 

Memorial Day Ceremony -
A Time to Honor America's Heroes

Speaker:   Major General Michael T. Plehn
                  Principle Director for Middle East Policy
When:    May 26, 2014 at 11:00am
Where:   Florida National Cemetery
                  Flag Assembly Area
                  6502 SW 102nd Avenue
                  Bushnell, Fl 33513

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Upcoming Library Programs

Would you like to play chess, play board games, or attend an Alzheimer's Support group? These are just a few of the upcoming Pasco library programs. The Friends of the Library sponsors our programs.  Here are some of the upcoming library programs for Older Adults in Pasco County:

Tues, May 20th at 12:00pm
     Libary Knitters 
     Hugh Embry Library
 People who enjoy working with yarn, here's your place to meet, share and enhance your knowledge! Bring a brown bag lunch, if you wish.
Hugh Embry Library14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Wed, May 21st and Wed May 28th at 6:30pm
    Hugh Embry Chess Club
    Hugh Embry Library
Enjoy chess out on the main floor from 7-8 pm! We have chess sets, or bring your own.
Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Thurs, May 22nd at 10:00am
    Senior Games
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join us for fun and games at the library. Meet new people while playing cards, board games, or challenging video games.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


Thurs, May 22nd at 6:00pm
     Knitting Club
     New River Library
 Learn basic knitting techniques. Please bring a pair of size 8 knitting needles and a ball of #4 yarn. This club is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

 Fri, May 23rd at 2:00pm
    Senior Cinema and Popcorn
    Hugh Embry Library
 Seniors and adults, enjoy recently released movies with popcorn! Free thanks to Friends of Hugh Embry Library.
CALL 352-567-3576 for the movie title!

Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Sat, May 24nd at 2:00pm
Chess Club
Land O'Lakes Library
"The Game of Kings"...Chess! Join us to play chess and learn the basics from our volunteer teacher. All ages and skill levels welcome. Bring your favorite chess set or use a library chess set.  
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214 


Wed, Jun 4th at 11:00am
Alzheimer's Association/Caregiver Support
Land O'Lakes Library
This program will explain the services and support available for patients with dementia.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


Also, many branches offer book discussions and technology programs (such as an introduction to windows 8, an introduction to ipad, and a tablet Q & A).

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pasco County Health Statistics

The University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have gathered health statistics on nearly every county in the United States.They use these statistics to rank the counties within states, so that you can compare your county to other counties in your state. The rankings are based on how healthy people are and how long they live in each county. The rankings also take into account key factors that effect health, such as: air pollution levels, rates of violent crime, smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, and the number of children living in poverty. These County Health Rankings are online and can be searched here.

Pasco County is ranked 42nd out of 67 counties in Florida in Health Outcomes and 26th out of 67 counties in Health Factors. The Pasco County Summary for 2014 provided the following statistics:
  •  8,716 premature deaths (the overall Florida average is 7,310)
  • 19% of people reported poor or fair health
  • the average number of poor physical health days reported by people in the last 30 days: 4.6 days
  • the adult obesity rate is 29%
  • the motor vehicle crash death rate per 100,000 population: 20
The Florida summary report can be found here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Plan For Retirement Safely



 The Securities and Exchange Commission provides a webpage with a lot of information to help Seniors invest their money wisely.  This web page has links to information about what questions to ask when considering investments and how to avoid internet scams and affinity fraud. In addition, they have published a pamphlet called "A Guide For Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud". 

 They have also created a brochure called "Early Retirement Seminars 101: Smart Tips for Spotting Retirement Scams", This pamphlet can help you to recognize fraudulent retirement pitches, that promise much more than they can deliver. For example, here are some common tactics used by scammers:
  • the "scarcity tactic" - claiming there is only a limited supply left for an investment.
  • the "reciprocity tactic" - offering to give you a discount on commission if you buy now.
  • the "source credibility tactic" - the broker claims to be a reputable expert.
  • the "social consensus tactic" - other savvy people have invested in this product.
Another useful resource is the investor bulletin, "Social Media and Investing - Tips for Seniors". This bulletin can help you avoid online investment fraud. Finally, be very wary of "free lunch" investment seminars. These lunch seminars are advertised as "educational", but they are really geared to sell you investments. You can read more about these "free lunch" sales seminars in a previous post here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Tomorrow, April 26th, is "National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day". It is important to dispose of your prescription medications properly to protect the environment and human health. You can turn in your expired, or no longer needed, prescription drugs at a collection center from 10:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday, April 26th. You can find your nearest collection center via this page.  

If you miss the collection tomorrow, you can still dispose of unwanted prescriptions using household disposal tips. You can learn the steps to dispose of unwanted prescriptions by reading this pdf : "How to Dispose of Medicines Properly".  


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Older Adults and Technology Use

The Pew Research Center has just published a report called "Older Adults and Technology Use". This report is based on findings from a telephone survey of 6,224 people ages 16 and older living in the United States. The main findings from this report are:
  • 59% of seniors (age 65 and above) go online - which is a 6% increase in one year.
  • 47% say they have a high-speed broadband connection at home.
  • 77% of older adults have a cell phone.
  •  Among older adults who use the internet, 71% go online every day or almost every day.
  • Among older adults who use the internet, 27% use social networking sites, such as Facebook.


You can read the full report here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Retirement Resources



Do you need information to plan your retirement? The federal government has many resources that can help. First, there is the Retirement Toolkit from the  the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This toolkit has links to information about 401Ks, social security, and Medicare. 

The United States Department of Labor also has created a publication called "Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement". This publication provides a lot of good information, such as "Almost 20% of retiree income will be spent on healthcare". This publication also states that after age 50, you can begin making catch-up contributions to 401(k) and other retirement accounts.

In addition, the Social Security website has a Retirement Estimator, so that you can get a good idea of what your Social Security benefits will be when you retire. You can use this estimator if you have enough social security credits to qualify for Social Security (at least 40 credits), but you are not currently receiving Social Security benefits.

It is not too late to start saving for retirement. Here is a link to a helpful article from usa.gov, "Retirement Saving Strategies for Late Starters", which has good tips for retirement planning.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Upcoming Library Programs

Would you like to watch a great movie, play chess, or join a knitting group? These are just a few of the upcoming Pasco library programs. The Friends of the Library sponsors our programs.  Here are some of the upcoming library programs for Older Adults in Pasco County:

Sat, Apr 12th and Sat Apr 26th at 2:00pm
    LOL Chess Club
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join us to play chess and learn the basics from our volunteer teacher. All ages and skill levels welcome. Bring your favorite chess set or use a library chess set.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214 


Tues, Apr 15th at 10:00am
  AARP Driver Safety
  New River Library
To register for this AARP class, you will need to call (813)907-3908.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Tues, April 15th at 12:00pm
     Libary Knitters 
     Hugh Embry Library
 People who enjoy working with yarn, here's your place to meet, share and enhance your knowledge! Bring a brown bag lunch, if you wish.
Hugh Embry Library14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

 Thurs, Apr 24th at 10:00am
    Senior Games
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join us for fun and games at the library. Meet new people while playing cards, board games, or challenging video games.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214 


Fri, Apr 25th at 2:00pm
    Senior Cinema and Popcorn
    Hugh Embry Library
 Seniors and adults, enjoy recently released movies with popcorn! Free thanks to Friends of Hugh Embry Library.
CALL 352-567-3576 for the movie title!

Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Sat, Apr 26th at 11:00am
     Sit-n-Knit            
     South Holiday Library
Join our knitting club for ALL AGES! No experience necessary. Supplies are provided for in-house use or bring your own project.
South Holiday Library
4649 Mile Stretch Drive 
Holiday, FL 34690 
(727) 834-3331

Also, many branches offer book discussions and technology programs (such as an introduction to windows 8, an introduction to ipad, and a tablet Q & A).