Category Archives: Community

Wine Around the World 2017: An Aging Population is Transforming Britain

This series of blog posts by author Patti Digh will focus on aging in the countries whose wines we will taste at our Wine Around the World event on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Purchase tickets here! Wine Around the World 2017.

An Aging Population is Transforming Britain

By 2040, nearly one in seven Britons will be over 75, according to a recent study, which also reveals that almost a third of people born today in the UK can expect to live to 100. In 2014, the average age in the UK exceeded 40 for the first time. As the baby boomer generation enters retirement, the UK will also reach a dramatic demographic turning point: 2017 will see the ratio of non-workers to workers start to rise for the first time since the early 1980s.

This vastly improved life expectancy, which is growing by five hours a day, was one of the great triumphs of the last century. It is now, however, the source of the greatest challenges – and opportunities – of this era, for the UK and many other countries around the world.

Demographic change of this scale requires a long-term perspective. This ageing population brings great opportunities – but also challenges. The tax burden associated with an aging society and higher dependency ratio – the ratio of non-workers to workers – will rise to £15billion a year by 2060.

How will Britain cope? Further increases in the state pension age, as the government is currently considering, will not be enough. The aging population will also need to pursue full employment to maintain the “effective” dependency ratio for many decades to come, and of course the main beneficiaries of this will be disabled and older workers who are struggling to return to the labour market.

In the absence of governmental long-term responses, aging baby boomers in the UK are seizing the reins for the second time. When they were teenagers, this generation transformed the morals and structure of the 1960s with their mantra of “I want.” Their new mantra is “I need” and, thanks to both low birth rates and high life expectancies, their voice is once again the dominant one.

Wine Around the World 2017: California recognizing the need to provide culturally competent care to seniors

This series of blog posts by author Patti Digh will focus on aging in the countries whose wines we will taste at our Wine Around the World event on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Purchase tickets here! Wine Around the World 2017.

Recognizing the need to provide culturally competent care to seniors

California’s senior population is entering a period of rapid growth. By 2030, as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age, the over-65 population will grow by four million people. It will also become much more racially and ethnically diverse, with the fastest growth among Latinos and Asians. Many more seniors are likely to be single and/or childless—suggesting an increased number of people living alone. All of these changes will have a significant impact on senior support services in California.

By 2030 the demand for nursing home care in California will begin to increase after decades of decline. California’s community college system will be critical in training workers to meet the state’s healthcare workforce needs for the growing and changing senior population.

The growing diversity of this aging population illustrates a growing need for culturally competent care—that is, care that respects the beliefs and responds to the linguistic needs of seniors from diverse backgrounds. Respect is at the heart of cultural competence–patients who feel their healthcare providers respect their beliefs, customs, values, language, and traditions are more likely to communicate freely and honestly, which can, in turn, reduce disparities in healthcare and improve patient outcomes.

Disparities in health-care and dissatisfaction are more pronounced among racial minorities. According to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians received worse care and had worse access to care than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. The report also highlighted language barriers as a significant contributor to disparities in care. For example, patients who speak Spanish at home were more likely than patients who speak English at home to report poor communication with nurses.

When patients feel heard and understood by their healthcare providers, they are more likely to participate in preventive health care and less likely to miss health appointments. This can reduce medical errors and related legal costs for healthcare facilities, and it can improve health outcomes for patients. California, like other areas with increasing minority populations, will be well served to focus on creating culturally competent caregivers.

Inclement Weather Preparedness Checklist

Biltmore Village in 2004 during Hurricane Francis. Courtesy of local photographer Zen Sutherland.

Storms affect Western North Carolina each year. These storms can cause widespread power outages and roadblocks for several days. Please make sure to check in on your senior neighbors to make sure they are safe. Below you will find a suggested checklist that will help you prepare for major storms.

Meals on Wheels (MOW) and the Sammy Williams Center (SWC) will follow the same policy for tropical storms as we do for winter storms. If Henderson County Schools close, MOW will not deliver and SWC will be closed. If schools are open, even on delay, MOW will deliver (to the best of our ability) and SWC will be open.

Storm Supplies Kit

  • Supply of water (1 gallon per person per day, replace every 6 months)
  • Supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener
  • Change of clothing, extra socks, sweat suit, underwear, rain gear and sturdy shoes*
  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags, pillows and sheets*
  • Personal items (towel, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, dentures and cleaner, hairbrush and comb etc.)*
  • A first aid kit
  • Prescription medications and oxygen*
  • A battery-operated radio, flashlight. Plenty of extra batteries*
  • Extra cash
  • A list of family physicians, prescriptions and any special medical conditions*
  • Family information (address, phone number etc.) *
  • Alternate heating and cooking source

* Shelter supply kit: If you choose or must go to an emergency shelter, these are the suggested items to take with you.

Important Numbers

  • Council on Aging for Henderson County 692-4203
  • In case of a true emergency call 911
  • For transportation/transfer to a designated shelter call Henderson County Emergency Management at 697-4527
  • For road conditions call 511

 

Heat Relief in Henderson County

With temps on the rise, summer has finally arrived in full swing! This summer we are once again offering our Heat Relief Program through a grant 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. To be eligible for a free fan you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be age 60 or older
  2. Those under 60 must have a disability
  3. Resident of Henderson County
  4. Have a home situation where a threat to the person’s health & well-being exists (or…it is hot in here!)

Fans are limited to one per household. To take advantage of this program, stop by our office at 105 King Creek Blvd, Hendersonville, NC 28792, Monday – Friday 8AM – 4:30PM. Call 828-692-4203 for more information.

Henderson County is seeing most days hitting the high 80s / low 90s. We would like to encourage you to check in on your older adult neighbors and make sure they have the resources to beat the heat. With these high temps, we need to be aware of how the heat may affect us. Here are some hot weather tips to keep you and your friends and family safe.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best. Keep caffeine and alcohol at a minimum.
  2. Dress in lightweight, breathable clothing.
  3. Stay inside during extreme heat.
  4. Remember to wear sunscreen.
  5. If you don’t drive, please do not wait outside for your ride. Stay inside until they arrive.
  6. Take a cool bath or shower to bring down your body temp.

For more additional tips and more information on beating the heat, check out this list from the Center for Disease Control: Heat and Older Adults.

Council on Aging’s Response to the President’s Proposed Budget

Dear Council on Aging Supporters,

We are so grateful for your support which allows us to serve the most vulnerable members of our community. The recent unveiling of the FY 2018 Budget Blueprint sent to Congress this week by the President has created many questions surrounding the impacts to seniors in Henderson County. I wanted to take a moment to address those concerns.

The proposed budget put forth by the President includes cuts to the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program through which states receive funding to distribute locally. The Council on Aging for Henderson County is a recipient of funds through this grant program. Currently, 1/3 of our overall budget is comprised of grant funds through the CDBG. What does this mean for seniors in our community?

At this time more than 435 adults in our community benefit from a hot lunchtime meal by way of our Meals on Wheels program. This vital service provides not only a nutritious meal but a watchful eye from a caring volunteer to ensure our neighbors are well cared for.

More than 105 adults in Henderson County utilize the Congregate Nutrition program at the Sammy Williams Center to participate in nutrition education, health and wellness classes, and enjoy a nutritious lunchtime meal in the company of their peers. The success of this program relies in part on funding from CDBG.

For clients with more complex health needs, the Council on Aging provides a Care Management program. This program is also funded by way of the CDBG. Care Management services allow a registered nurse to work closely with qualified social workers to develop and implement care plans to improve quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens.

The Council on Aging for Henderson County could not possibly sustain the client volume we have today if the CDBG is cut as it is written in the President’s proposed budget. The impacts to seniors in our community would be deeply detrimental.

We are so grateful to our community for the support you have provided the Council on Aging for more than 40 years. We need your support now more than ever. Please consider volunteeringdonating, or reaching out to your elected officials to show our local seniors that we stand behind them. To find your representative, visit http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep. Programs that directly impact older adults in our community are most certainly effective and their return on investment has been shown to be many-fold not only for seniors, but for those caring for them.

We appreciate you!

Trina Stokes
Executive Director

To read the full statement from Meals on Wheels of America, please follow the link below:

http://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/national/press-room/news/2017/03/16/meals-on-wheels-america-statement-on-budget-blueprint

United Way Day of Caring: Four Seasons Hospice & Council on Aging

On September 30, the United Way of Henderson County had their annual “Day of Caring.”  This is a day where the community steps forward and volunteers for special projects at nonprofits and schools. This year the Council on Aging team signed up for the Four Seasons Hospice pillow sewing project in the morning, and their team chose our “Tidy up the COA Grounds” project in the afternoon.  And did they ever! They clipped, mulched, and tamed the wild landscape. Thank you to Lauren, Heidi, Stephanie, Lorraine, Clara, Sheri, Chris, and Debi! Below are just a handful of the before and after shots.

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The Four Season Hospice Day of Caring Team!

The Four Season Hospice Day of Caring Team!

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Making butterfly pillows!

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That’s one giant bag of fluff!

 

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

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!