Finding the blessings in the experience
If you were a car, what would your gas gauge read?
For those feel like they’re “running on empty” while providing day-to-day care for a loved one or friend, a “fill up” is available through a class offered by Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
“Caring for the Caregiver” helps participants make life more comfortable for a friend or family member, while helping them find more personal meaning from the caregiving experience.
The workshop, being held at the Northeast Area Senior Center in Walbridge, will assist people who are caring for those suffering from a long-term, chronic illness or those who are frail or debilitated due to old age.
Co-sponsored by Hospice of Northwest Ohio, the Area Office on Aging and the Wood County Committee on Aging, the workshop will be held Friday, Dec. 2 from 10 to 11:30 am at the center, 705 N Main St.
According to the caregiver educators for Hospice of Northwest Ohio, “Caregiving can be exhausting, complex work. Without the proper balance and perspective, it can drain our strength and emotional energy, resulting in burnout and resentment. The analogy of a car running on empty is appropriate for caregivers because they must take time to refuel their energy and seek an occasional tune-up.”
Participants in the workshop will learn how to:
• Cope with changes, losses and life transitions;
• Say what is important to friends and family;
• Explore the spiritual aspects of caregiving;
• Create positive caregiving experiences;
• Talk about end-of-life care and make important decisions;
• Know what to expect as caregiving becomes more complex;
• Plan for the future.
The workshop is free, however, space is limited and pre-registration is required. Those interested in attending may call Sandy Hart at the senior center at 419-260-3228. For information on future sessions or to request one for your group, call Hospice of Northwest Ohio at 419-931-3408 or visit www.hospicenwo.org.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment is First Since 2009
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 60 million Americans will increase 3.6 percent in 2012, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2012. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2011.
Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $110,100 from $106,800. Of the estimated 161 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2012, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Information about Medicare changes for 2012, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.
The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
Respite care available
The Adult Day Center at the Alzheimer's Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter, provides respite care for those affected by Alzheimer's disease or a related memory loss disorder.
The center offers a variety of group and individual activities designed to stimulate the mind and spirit, conducted in a social atmosphere while providing respite and peace of mind for caregivers.
Two locations are available – at 131 N. Wheeling St., Suite 2, Toledo and at the Alzheimer’s Association chapter office at 2500 N. Reynolds Rd., Toledo.
Adult Day Center services provided by the Alzheimer’s Association are offered on a sliding fee scale. Operating costs are subsidized by the Lucas County Senior Services Levy through a grant from the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc. Additional financial assistance may be available for those who are eligible for Ohio’s PASSPORT program and other programs through the Area Office on Aging, and/or for those who qualify for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Transportation service is available at an additional cost.
For hours and more information, call the Wheeling Street center at 419-720-4940 or the Reynolds Road location at 419-537-1999.
Family Caregiver Support
The Area Office on Aging Northwestern Ohio’s Family Caregiver Support Program, which is funded by the Older American Act Amendments of 2000, recognizes the monumental role caregivers play in caring for older family members. The program offers a variety of services including
• Information to caregivers about available services;
• Assistance in gaining access to services;
• Counseling, support groups and caregiver training;
• Information about respite care.
• Supplemental services to complement the care provided by family caregivers.
Some services, such as in-home care, an overnight stay in a facility, transportation or equipment may have a co-pay based on the income of the person that you are caring for. No one is denied services for an inability to pay.
For more information, call 419-382-0624 or 1-800-472-7277 or visit www.areaofficeonaging.com.
What’s the 2-1-1?
Need help but don’t know where to turn?
Residents of Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Hancock and Erie counties may obtain free, 24-hour-a-day access to confidential referrals to health and social services and information about volunteer opportunities by calling United Way 2-1-1.
The easy-to-remember, three-digit number helps callers get connected to trained and knowledgeable information and referral specialists with access to accurate and up-to-date information on health and social service programs, donation clearinghouses, government offices, educational systems, and neighborhood groups.
United Way Volunteer Center is also part of United Way 2-1-1. People interested in community service can match their volunteer interests with nearly 300 community partners.
People using cell or pay phones can access United Way 2-1-1 by calling 1-800-650-HELP. Information and referral and volunteer matching resources may also be accessed online at www.unitedwaytoledo.org.
The East Toledo Senior Activities Center offers lawn care, snow removal, chore and housekeeping services to seniors in the East Toledo/Oregon area.
For more information about services, costs, etc., call Brenda at 419-691-2254.
Ottawa County Senior Resources offers a number of services for area seniors, including home-delivered meals, home care programs, transportation, health and wellbeing, respite and caregiver support and more.
Senior centers, including those in Elmore, Genoa and Oak Harbor, offer hot, nutritional meals along with social, recreational and educational events.
For more information, call Senior Resources at 877-898-6459.
Wood Co. Caregiver Support
The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., offers individual support through its Social Services Department. Call Jan Schneider, R.N., for individual consultation at 419-353-5661 or 800-367-4935.