Category Archives: News

Wine Around the World 2017: Aging in Greece

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.

What can Greece teach us about aging well?

Greece is aging faster than any other nation in Europe, adding to the difficulties facing the country in resolving its massive economic problems.

Ikaria, a small Greek island, has been dubbed a “blue zone,” one of the few places in the world where people lead healthy, active lives past the age of 100. People on this island are living to 90 almost three times as often as Americans, and are far less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or depression. Their low-stress lifestyles, level of physical activity, and a few other habits unique to their culture could be the secret.

Here are four things the Greeks can teach us about aging well:

  1. They know how to take a break from the stresses of daily life. As with many countries with hot climates, people in Greece stop midday to take a quick, but restorative nap. Research has found that Greek men who napped just half an hour a day were much less likely to have heart attacks.
  2. They drink to their health. Boiled Greek coffee is a staple in Ikaria and it’s loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants that protect your body from aging and a variety of chronic diseases. Drinkers of this coffee were found to have improved endothelial function—which protects your blood vessels—compared to those who drank other types of coffee.
  3. Their diet is heart-healthy: the freshest olive oil, a rainbow of vegetables, tons of lentils and beans, while taking it easy on the meat. This diet has been linked with benefits ranging from a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, to even lessening the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
  4. Family is everything. A welcoming sense of community and family ties are a major part of life in Greece. In Ikaria, a typical evening routine includes visiting neighbors. Studies have not only shown that older people tend to eat worse when they’re alone, but loneliness in later life can lead to poor health and earlier death.

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

 

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