Category Archives: Community

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The Four Season Hospice Day of Caring Team!

The Four Season Hospice Day of Caring Team!

img_3347

Making butterfly pillows!

img_3340

That’s one giant bag of fluff!

 

Help Us Help Seniors Beat the Heat!

beattheheat-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

::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!

 

 

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.

Recording Our History: The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Oral history is a human tradition. StoryCorps is a nonprofit committed to archiving real-life stories of our time. Anyone can participate. In fact, they want everyone to participate. This Thanksgiving, StoryCorps is featuring “The Great Thanksgiving Listen” where contributors interview elders in their families and communities. You could finally ask your Uncle Steve about that time he saved a man’s life at the State Fair or ask Grandma to tell you about what Thanksgiving was like when she was a kid!

Each story submitted will be archived in the Library of Congress. That’s right! Your stories will be archived in our nation’s national library! We’d like to encourage you to participate. If you submit a story you’d like us to share from the holiday, please email us at wbillings@coahc.org.

Do they have an app you ask? Why, yes, yes they do. Whether you’re on an iPhone or an Android, you can use their smartphone apps which can be found here: https://storycorps.me

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 1.29.15 PM

Aging Around the World: Germany

by Patti Digh, Council on Aging for Henderson County Board Member

Are Nursing Homes Inevitable?

In most of the developed world, birth rates have been falling. Population decline results in economic and social strains and can even threaten national security. Germany is a particularly severe example of this trend. Germany has had an extremely low birth rate for decades. Its resident population is in absolute decline; its family policies have failed to restore birth rates to a replacement level. Now what?

Aging in Place in Germany

WAW-germany-blogpostApproximately every fourth person in Germany is over 60 years old. Because of low birth rates and increasing life expectancy, German society has the third ­largest proportion of elderly people worldwide after Japan and Italy.

The vast majority of elderly people in Germany lead independent lives, are socially active, in contact with their children and relatives, and for the most part are in a position to determine their own lives and actively decide how to make use of their time.

Financially speaking the elder generation is for the most part taken care of: The 1957 pension reform gradually gave pensioners a full share in the nation’s wealth. Poverty in old age has not been done away with entirely, but the risk of being poor in old age is lower than that of other age groups.

A Federal project seeks to strengthen and secure cross-generational ties. Almost every district and each municipality in Germany now boasts a multi­generational house. The 500 subsidized buildings, to which 15,000 people are committed nationwide, form a point of contact, network and hub for family advice, health support, crisis intervention and care planning.

People of all ages live in these buildings together.

“We haven’t built a nursing home in 10 years and we don’t plan on building any,” says Alexander Künzel, chief executive of the Bremer Heimstiftung, a foundation providing long­term care services. Instead, the foundation offers multigenerational residential buildings where seniors can rent one of 85 apartments with round-­the-­clock assistance and a nursery school next door.

This can be summarized in just a few words: As part of a growing trend in Germany, what really matters is that elderly citizens stay out of institutionalized care.

This is a strongly held belief at the Council on Aging for Henderson County. With the help of so many other agencies in our community, we provide and coordinate services to help our clients live independently for as long as possible.