Wine Around the World 2016: Chile

This series of blog posts by author Patti Digh will focus on issues of aging in the countries whose wines we will taste at our Wine Around the World event on October 6, 2016. There are a limited number of tickets left. Don’t miss this unforgettable event! Purchase online or stop by our office at 105 King Creek Blvd, Hendersonville, NC.

Aging isn’t just a biological process; it is also a cultural one. Frequently the average life expectancy bears on what age counts as “old.” For example, in the United States, where the average life expectancy is over 78 years, people are not considered “old” until they are in their sixties or seventies. However, in Chad the average life expectancy is less than 49 years. People in their thirties or forties are therefore already middle­ aged or “old.”

Over the next two weeks, leading up to our Wine Around the World event at The Cedars, let’s grab our passports and go on this amazing journey into aging in many cultures.

CHILE’S RAPID DEVELOPMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON AGINGchile

by Patti Digh

Chile is a developing country with a rapidly expanding economy. In fact, it is expected to become a “developed country” within 10 years, one of the first in Latin America to obtain that designation. This rapid economic growth has brought significant changes in social organization. For example, an increasing number of older adults are now living alone versus in an extended family, and Chile has one of the largest proportions of older adults in Latin America.

In fact, the number of elderly in Latin America will triple as a share of the population by 2050. By 2050, there will be one Latin American elder for every child. The result will be a dramatic slowdown in population growth and an equally dramatic aging of the population. Latin America’s median age will climb by 14 years, from 26 to 40.

This coming age wave poses two fundamental challenges for Latin America. The first is to create national retirement systems capable of providing an adequate level of support for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. The second is to boost living standards while populations are still young and growing. While the United States, Europe, and Japan all became affluent societies before they became aging societies, Latin America may grow old before it grows rich.

In particular, Chile is in what is referred to as an advanced demographic transition stage. The population over 60 years of age represents 13% of the total population. It’s anticipated that the aging population in Chile will continue to increase to represent 20.8% of the population by 2044. Thus, in the near future, Chile will experience “super-aging.”

And because of the gender gap in life expectancy in Chile, more women will be living alone, a new phenomenon in Chile, and may experience increasing isolation. Additionally, more women may face reduced economic status in their later years as most did not participate in the labor force and were dependent upon their husband’s salaries and pensions.

It’s important to note that life expectancy in Chile also varies by geographic location and is up to 10 years less among certain indigenous populations there (e.g., Aymara), attesting to pockets of underdevelopment and poverty particularly among Indigenous populations and in rural areas.

To promote healthy aging, the government of Chile has been providing a nutritional supplement to older adults since 1998, distributing micronutrient fortified foods to adults 70 years or over who are registered for the program through their Primary Health Centers.

In 2002, a national effort to focus on health issues related to aging was initiated in Chile, focused on improving living conditions and health programs specific to the needs of older adults, developing and implementing elder abuse laws, and enhancing access to public spaces so that older adults can participate in tourism or use public transportation at reduced rates. The importance of specialized health care for the elderly such as comprehensive geriatric assessments is becoming an increasing focus of attention, as the prevalence of risk of falls and chronic diseases increases.

Access to participation in meaningful activities can be challenging for older adults in Chile. In Santiago, the city is divided into provinces with each responsible for organizing events for older adults. Provinces with more resources offer enhanced activities including travel opportunities, free exercise facilities, and opportunities for social engagement. A rising concern, however, is the lack of meaningful opportunities to remain socially and economically integrated as one enters old age in Chile. Not surprisingly, there has been a rise of mental health issues and in particular, depression. In Chile, it has been reported that clinical depression in older adults has reached 47%, which is a much higher percentage compared to estimate of 16% and 19% for adolescents and young adults.

To answer these needs, Chile has developed “The Integral Policy for Positive Aging” with three general objectives: protect the functional health of older people, improve their integration into the different areas of society, and increase their levels of subjective well-being.

Upcoming Medicare Classes

Provided by Council on Aging for Buncombe County

August 12 2 – 4 PM Goodwill Training Center, 1616 Patton Ave. Asheville

August 18 2 – 4 PM Fairview Public Library, 1 Taylor Road, Fairview NC

August 23 6 – 8 PM Weaverville Public Library, 41 North Main St. Weaverville

September 9 2 – 4 PM Goodwill Training Center, 1616 Patton Ave, Asheville

September 13 6 – 8 PM Leicester Public Library, 1561 Alexander Road, Leicester

September 19 10 AM – 12 PM Reuter YMCA, 3 Town Square, Biltmore Park, Asheville

September 21 10 AM – 12 PM Woodfin YMCA, 40 N. Merrimon, Asheville

September 21 5:30 – 7:30 PM Woodfin YMCA, 40 N. Merrimon, Asheville

September 22 2 – 4 PM Pardee Signature Care Center, 1800 Four Seasons Blvd. Hendersonville

Classes are free and open to the public. Register at www.coabc.org   Click on programs.

Help Us Help Seniors Beat the Heat!

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::UPDATE July 8, 2016 Thanks to promotion and help from the folks over at WTZQ, the community has donated 12 fans and the funds to by 8 more. That’s 20 fans to help older adults in Henderson County beat the heat! While that’s great news, we’re only a quarter of the way through July, and we’re still accepting donations of new, unused fans or funds to purchase additional units. Thank you, Henderson County! ::

It’s that time again! For many years we have participated in a heat relief program through grants. This year’s grant was awarded from Duke Energy Progress & Duke Energy Carolinas. These grants allow our agency to purchase and distribute fans to eligible residents of Henderson County in need of relief from the heat.

The need for fans this summer has been greater than years before and after distributing 77 units, we have run out of fans, as well as funds to purchase additional fans. With the hottest part of the summer approaching, we expect the need to increase and we already have a waiting list.

Please consider your neighbors and help us help our community! We are now asking for donations of new, unused fans. Fans must be new due to liability and safety concerns. Cash & check donations are also welcome, or you can donate online here: coahc.org/donate. The cost of the box fans we distribute is approximately $20. All donations can be mailed to or dropped off at our main office at 105 King Creek Blvd, Hendersonville, NC 28792. If you have questions, feel free to call us at (828) 692-4203.

Sprout’s Fairy Garden Looking to Relocate

Our Etowah Thrift Store has a fairy tenant looking to relocate. There’s a silent auction going on at their store which will close next Wednesday, June 29th. Bids are already rolling in. Check out Sprout’s story below.

Meet Sprout, a friendly fairy who tends his lovely garden with a lot of hard work and a sprinkle of magic. He is looking for the perfect spot to settle down, preferably with a sunny site, at least 4-6 hours of sun a day. A spot on a sunny porch would be ideal, although gentle rains won’t hurt him or his house. Help him care for his garden by watering it every 1-2 days and pinching back the plants as needed to keep them from becoming a jungle. His garden includes sweet potato vine, polka dot plant, purslane, succulents, sedums, caladiums, million bells, and mosses. He amended the soil with extended release fertilizer so hold off on adding any extra for a few months. This is a summer garden and will need to be brought indoors for winter, or replanted in the spring.

Etowah Thrift Store for the Council on Aging
97 Etowah Center Drive
Etowah, NC 28729
828-891-4442

Hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 10AM – 4PM
Saturday: 10AM – 1PM

The Differences Between Medicare and Medicaid for Seniors

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by Erica Erickson

Most Americans have heard of Medicare and Medicaid, but many do not have a clear understanding of the differences between these two programs or the types of coverage they provide. The following is a brief overview of Medicare and Medicaid to help clarify the major differences between the programs.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program that offers coverage to everyone over 65 years of age and people under 65 with certain disabilities. Medicare Part A is the standard coverage, which covers hospitalizations, short term nursing home stays, and hospice care. Medicare Part B covers outpatient doctor visits and related appointments. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part C is often referred to as a Medicare Advantage Plan, and is purchased through a separate insurance company. Part C policies typically cover Parts A, B, and D and may help cover copays and services not covered by standard Medicare coverage. Private insurance companies also offer a variety of other plans to help cover gaps in Medicare coverage.

Medicaid is a separate insurance program focused on providing coverage to people with limited resources. Medicaid is funded by both the federal and state governments and is administered by the state. There are many different Medicaid programs, most of which have specific income and asset limits. Most seniors who apply for Medicaid apply for programs to help them pay for their Medicare premiums and copays or to help them pay for assisted living, memory care, or long term skilled nursing care in a nursing home.

Because Medicare will only pay for up to 100 days of nursing home care, if a senior needs to stay in a nursing home for a longer period of time and cannot afford the cost (often exceeding $7,000 per month), the senior should apply for Medicaid for Long Term Care. There is no income limit to qualify for this Medicaid program, but the senior’s monthly income will go to pay the nursing home and then Medicaid will cover the balance. There are asset limits, but the senior can keep their home, one car, their household and personal belongings, and certain other assets, including cash and investments. If the senior is married and there is a spouse who will remain at home, that spouse can keep all of the assets listed above, their own income, plus up to about $119,000 cash or other assets, depending on their specific situation.

Medicaid has a 5 year look back period for gifts and if a senior gives away assets within 5 years of applying for Medicaid, they may be disqualified or penalized. The Medicaid application process is complicated and many seniors who may not think they qualify or who have been turned down in the past, may actually qualify for coverage. Additionally, there are many landmines and many ways seniors may inadvertently disqualify themselves from coverage, so before applying or after being turned down for coverage, it is strongly recommended that the senior consult an elder law attorney for guidance.

This article was written by Erica M. Erickson, an Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at Strauss & Associates, P.A., with offices in Hendersonville and Brevard, North Carolina. Erica can be reached at (828) 696-1811 or erica@strausslaw.com and she is happy to answer any questions you may have or to provide you with a free consultation regarding your estate planning needs, including Medicaid planning, wills, trusts, and more.

Community Hero

Richard-snowplowhero-RDLast weekend, after the first big snow of 2016, Richard, a Henderson County resident, was out removing the 12″+ around his residence. After finishing his own driveway, he remembered his neighbors down the road in the St. John’s Commons community, many of whom had no way of digging themselves out without some help. He took himself and his plow down to St. John’s and just started clearing driveways. When people came out to offer him payment he told them he wouldn’t accept payment, but anything they wanted to give, he would donate to Meals on Wheels.

After John’s mother passed away, his father received Meals on Wheels and he said it kept his father alive. This is why he chose to donate the $375 he collected to our Meals on Wheels program. May Richard be an inspiration to us all to consider our neighbors. He’s a real community hero!

Thank You Henderson County!

holidaythankyou2015Our volunteers and community go above and beyond at the holidays. From fulfilling client Christmas wishes through our Angel Tag program, to shoe boxes, and food donation and delivery, you help us brighten the lives of at-risk elders in Henderson County. Many of you wished to remain anonymous, and simply gave in the spirit of the season—this thank you is for you as well!

Holiday ornaments for our Meals on Wheels clients. 

From time to time, we have groups drop off little goodies for our Meals on Wheels routes. This season, the Boy Scouts of Henderson County and East Hendersonville High School Life Skills students both dropped off beautiful ornaments to help spread holiday cheer!

Angel Tag Gifts

Starting in October, we send out surveys and make calls to clients  asking what their Christmas wishes are. Many say they want nothing at all, and some are as humbling as a warm coat or toiletries. Anonymous donors, Immaculate Conception Parishioners, Retired Teachers Association of Henderson County, and First Baptist Sunday School Class helped fulfill the wishes of 169 elders!

Christmas Day Food Boxes

The Elks Lodge #1616 has a long running program that delivers food boxes complete with turkeys and other holiday food items. They’ve been delivering boxes to many of our clients on Christmas day for over a decade.

Shoe Box Gifts

Shoe Box gifts are a long running tradition for Christmas. The idea is that you take a shoe box and fill it with gifts for someone in need. This year the Times News collected over 600 shoe boxes for our clients and others in need.  Henderson County Crafters, Park Ridge Medical Association Billing Department, and Hendersonville Women’s Club also donated shoe boxes at our office.

Meals on Wheels Christmas Dinner Delivery

The American Legion Post #77 delivers Christmas dinner the Sunday before the holiday with a turkey or ham and all the trimmings needed to make a yummy Christmas dinner.

Meal Deliveries and Christmas Day Community Dinner

Bounty of Bethlehem is a community effort that began in 1983 and is run completely by volunteers who donate their time before and on Christmas day to provide meals for the community, including our Meals on Wheels clients!

Thank you all for everything you do!

 

 

Healthy Aging into 2016: A COA Staff List

NewYears2016

As we move into 2016, people across the globe are making their New Year’s Resolutions. This is a time-honored tradition across millennia, and though there are debates on where and when the tradition of resolutions began, it has carried through to current day. There are countless studies, articles, and opinions on how to make and keep your resolutions. So, instead of giving you a bunch of quotes from folks we don’t know, here’s a list of suggestions from some of our wonderful staff.

If at all possible, always park a little farther away from your destination spot to get in those few extra steps.” ~ Caron C.

Live everyday like you are still 21 years old. Always be curious; allow yourself to wonder.” ~ Maria H.

“Give out those smiles and hugs in abundance. Kindness makes the world go round.” ~ Wendy Lou

“Just get moving.” ~ Betsy K.

“It cost nothing to be a decent person.” ~ Trina S. 

“Don’t wait till tomorrow to be happy.” ~ Carole K.

Try to avoid processed foods and fast food whenever possible.  Get cooking, eat fresh, be happy.” ~ Harry W. 

“Snuggle up on the couch and watch a funny movie or TV show.  Laughter lifts the spirit and is good exercise for your internal organs.” ~ Lisa G.

“You have to keep laughing!” ~ Michele L.

“70% of aging is lifestyle. Be active and eat healthy foods!” ~ Suzanne S.

“Bloom where you’re planted!” ~ Lynne G.

“Sing in the sunshine and laugh every day. Yeah, I know it’s from a John Denver song, but it’s a good one.” ~ Phillip R.

“Tell a joke every day.” Megan M.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s ok to fumble every once in awhile.” ~ Alexis W.

“Take a walk. Read a book. Take a nap. Take care of you!” ~ Annette B. 

Bounty of Bethlehem Urgent Needs

For those of you unfamiliar with Bounty of Bethlehem, it is a Henderson County tradition since 1983. Hundreds of volunteers devote their Christmas Day to joyfully prepare and serve a delicious homemade meal to local residents. They are in desperate need of volunteers and donations leading up to the holiday. If you can fill any of the needs below, please call JoAnne at (828) 768-5473. All preparation is taking place at Immaculata Catholic School. 711 Buncombe St, Hendersonville, NC. 

Urgent Food Needs:  10 additional turkeys and 35 bone-In hams

Toy Needs 

0 – 2 Years Girls: 30 gifts
0 – 2 Years, Boys: 30 gifts
2 – 4 years, Boys: 30 gifts

TUESDAY

Turkey Prep (10 people)
1PM – 4PM
Yam Prep (2 people)
2PM – 5PM
Kitchen Helpers (general) (2 people)
3PM – 6PM
Heavy lifting and loading
12PM – 2PM, 2PM – 4PM, 4PM – 6PM (2 people)


WEDNESDAY

Volunteer Signup Table
8AM – 10AM, 10AM – 12PM, 12PM-2PM, 2PM – 4PM, 4PM – 6PM (1 person per shift)
Chopping and prep work (10 people needed) 
8AM – 12PM
Turkey Prep (10 people)
1PM – 4PM
Muscle 
11AM – 2PM, 2PM – 5PM
Smoker operators
8AM – 9AM,
Hand wash / sink station
8AM – 10AM, 10AM – 12PM, 12PM-2PM, 2PM – 4PM, 4PM – 6PM
Cook’s helpers
3PM – 6PM, 1PM – 3PM
Cranberry Prep
1PM-2, 2-3, 3-4
Towel Washers & Dryers
12PM – 2PM, 2PM – 4PM, 4PM – 6PM
Ham Slicing
4PM – 6:30PM

**Wednesday – Friday: All Day** Food Truck Manager. Fast paced, must be organized. Will be in a refrigerated truck.


THURSDAY

General Kitchen
8AM – 6PM, 11AM – 5PM


SATURDAY

Cleaning Crew

Financial Need

If you can help out financially, they are $15k short of their fundraising goal for this year.

Ways you can donate. 

  • Drop a check in the mail.
    PO Box 883, Hendersonville, 28793
    Make checks payable to Bounty of Bethlehem
  • Donate Online
    http://www.thebountyofbethlehem.org/
  • Drop off a check at Immaculata Catholic School between now and Friday.

High School Sweethearts: A Caregiver Story

JohnandWilma-croppedToday, Friday, November 27, Joe and Wilma have been married 58 years. They met in 8th grade and were high school sweethearts. Like any great partnership, it’s been a long road full of bumps and beautiful moments.

In 2000, Wilma had a stroke which they believe was a catalyst for the Alzheimer’s. It’s been a relatively slow progression, and as Wilma’s only caregiver for 13 years, Joe happily took care of everything for his wife. As a disease like Alzheimer’s progresses, caregivers take on more and more tasks. In 2013, Joe reached out to the Council on Aging of Henderson County, “I realized I was at the end of my rope, and I needed help.” said Joe, “trips out had just become nearly impossible and dangerous for her.”

Through our Caregiver Respite program—provided by a grant from the Land of Sky Regional Council—Joe now receives a small amount of financial assistance to help pay for Wilma’s secondary caregiver, Tracy. Being able to rely on Tracy gives Joe the much needed freedom to take care of errands and his own appointments. Self-care is one of the first things to go in the life of a caregiver, and it’s important to take time for yourself to prevent the ever increasing “caregiver burnout.”

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Joe, Wilma, Tracy and the pups.

When we asked Joe what kind of advice he could offer to other caregivers, or those with the role in their future, he said “Be patient and kind and remember that they’re in there somewhere, and spend as much time with them as you can, because one day you won’t be able to.”