Caregiver briefs: Care Compass Project offers info, support for caregivers

Press Staff Writer

        The Wood County Committee on Aging Care Compass project serves as a quarterly network gathering for caregivers and those who may be caregivers in the future.
        Care Compass is a place to gather information and obtain resources to make the journey of caregiving less stressful. The upcoming session, focusing on self-care for the caregiver, will be held virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 11 a.m.
        The Care Compass Project is free and open to all caregivers but requires pre-registration by calling 1-800-367-4935 or 419-353-5661 or by emailing Zoom login information will be given upon registration.                   Lunch sponsored by Brookdale of Bowling Green will be delivered to participants’ homes by WCCOA to the first 20 Wood County residents registered for the session.
        The agenda includes:
        • 11 a.m. – “Energy Boosters” presented by Teri Laurer, MSN, RN, director, Wellness and Occupational Medicine, Wood County Hospital. Laurer will discuss ways to boost energy that will lower health risks and encourage lifestyle habit changes.
        • 11:45 a.m. – “Strategies for Self-Care and Resilience,” presented by Francesca Leass, LISW-S, LIDC-CS, Wood County Health Department, who will suggest self-care strategies and recovering from difficult situations.
        The CARE Compass Project is sponsored by Brookdale of Bowling Green, Wood County Committee on Aging, Golden Care Partners, Ohio Living Home Health and Wood County Hospital.
Alzheimer’s programs
        The Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter will present a number of virtual educational programs to help the community and families impacted by the disease.
        Presentations cover a variety of topics and occur at different times during the day and evening via videoconferencing to allow individuals to participate in the convenience of their homes.
        Topics of discussion include common warning signs of the disease, how to better manage behaviors, how to better communicate and have difficult conversations and how to keep your brain healthy.
        The programs are helpful for anyone experiencing signs of memory loss, their family members who may be concerned, and members of the community who are looking for more information.
        All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is required. To sign up, call 800-272-3900.
        The schedule includes:
        Oct. 19 – Effective Communication Strategies, 3:30 p.m.
        Oct. 20 – 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s, 4 p.m.
        Oct. 21 – Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 1 p.m.
        Oct. 22 – Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior, 3 p.m.
        Oct. 26 – Dementia Conversations, 3:30 p.m.
        Oct. 27 – Effective Communication Strategies, 2 p.m.
        Oct. 28 – Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 6:30 p.m.
        Oct. 29 – Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body; Tips from the Latest Research, 3:30 p.m.
        The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. In Ohio, more than 600,000 Alzheimer’s caregivers provide care for more than 220,000 loved ones impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Visit or call 800-272-3900 for more details.
Help for Medicare Open Enrollment
        Magruder Hospital and Ottawa County Senior Resources can help seniors with comparisons for Medicare Open Enrollment, which runs Oct. 15-Dec. 7.
        Due to COVID-19, extra precautions will be taken to limit face-to-face time. Anyone who would like more information can call Magruder Hospital at 419-732-4061 or Ottawa County Senior Resources at 419-898-6459. 
Hospice of NWO offers virtual & online resources
        To meet the needs of the community, Hospice of Northwest Ohio is offering the following virtual and online resources free and open to anyone in the community.
        Advance Care Planning – A certified facilitator with certification from Respecting Choices©, will offer assistance with completing Advance Directives by guiding you through a series of questions that consider cultural, spiritual, and religious beliefs.
        The discussion will be completed over the phone or by video chat, by appointment only. Make an appointment by calling 419-931-5423 or
        Bereavement Services – Virtual bereavement group and private counseling sessions are available to anyone in the community who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Contact the Hospice bereavement team at 419-661-4001 to schedule a time for a virtual assessment, which will help determine which group would be most beneficial. Sessions offer a time to share personal stories and hear about the bereavement services available at this time.
        Caregiver Video Support Series – An educational, easy-to-access series for caregivers who aren’t able to follow a schedule or leave home.
        Each video is less than 10 minutes and is appropriate for professional and family caregivers. Topics include Stress Management, Advance Care Planning, Busting the Myths of Hospice, and Opioids for Shortness of Breath. Request additional topics by emailing Access videos at
        To learn more about Hospice of Northwest Ohio visit
Medicare Open Enrollment help
        Fall Open Enrollment is the time of year when seniors can make changes to Medicare coverage.
        From Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, eligible seniors can join a new Medicare Advantage Plan or stand-alone prescription drug (Part D) plan, or switch between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Any change(s) made during Fall Open Enrollment will take effect Jan. 1.
        The Wood County Committee on Aging reminds seniors of two resources that are available to assist in making these changes:
        • Schedule a one-on-one virtual Medicare meeting with the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program's (OSHIIP) Medicare experts or attend informational webinars by following this link:
        OSHIIP can also be reached on their hotline Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1-800-686-1578.
        • The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. has OSHIIP volunteers on staff. Call to schedule a one-on-one appointment for Nov. 3 or later by calling the Social Services Department at 419-353-5661 or 800-367-4935.
        Appointments must be scheduled in advance. No walk-ins will be accepted at this time.
        Please note: COVID screening questions will be asked over the phone before scheduling a Medicare consultation.
        For information on WCCOA programs and services, call 419-353-5661, 800-367-4935, or online at
Virtual learning
        The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) is offering various educational and enrichment opportunities through their new LivelyU Virtual Learning Academy (VLA).
        Virtual programs are recorded and accessible on the agency website and YouTube channel.
        The aim of the LivelyU VLA is to reduce social isolation, encourage active engagement, and enhance older adults’ abilities to remain at home while Wood County Senior Centers remain closed.
        LivelyU VLA is planned to continue after centers have opened as well. Sessions will focus on providing up-to-date information on various topics including public health, nutrition, financial planning, book clubs, cultural programming, caregiver education and more.
        To learn more about joining LivelyU VLA programming, call the WCCOA Programs Department at 419-353-5661 or 800-367-4935 or email  Past programs can be viewed at
Mobile Meals
        Mobile Meals of Toledo’s kitchen team aims to please when it comes to comfort food. Recently, clients enjoyed selections like turkey tetrazzini, spaghetti with homemade meatballs, and creamy macaroni and cheese with stewed tomatoes.
        Agency staff is aware of the growing problem isolation has on our community – especially during the COVID crisis. A short visit from a volunteer provides an opportunity to socialize. These visits also give Mobile Meals’ trained volunteers the chance to report any change of condition, which can include the warning signs of depression.
        In addition, Mobile Meals recently implemented a client call-out program to regularly connect with those receiving home-delivered meals – offering an additional way to help keep those at risk safe and healthy.
        Those who know of anyone who could benefit from home-delivered meals and regular wellness checks may call Mobile Meals at 419-255-7806 or visit
Grab `n Go meals
        Ottawa County Senior Centers continue to offer Grab `n Go Meals to county seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals can be ordered through senior centers, including local centers in Elmore, Genoa and Oak Harbor.
        Grab `n Go meals follow the regular monthly menu. To make a reservation for a meal, call the senior center of your choice by 9:30 a.m. one day prior to the day you wish to pick up a meal.
        The Grab `n Go pickup schedule includes:
        • Elmore Golden Oldies, 19225 W. Witty Rd. – Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-noon. Call 419-862-3874.
        • Genoa Senior Center, 514 Main St. – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11:30 a.m.-noon. Call 419-855-4491.
        • Oak Harbor “Harbor Lights,” 8180 W. SR 163 – Monday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-noon. Call 419-898-2800.
        All seniors 60 and older are welcome to join the Grab `n Go program. The suggested donation is $3 a meal, however seniors may pay whatever they can afford.
        Find more information at and click on Senior Resources (on the left side) to find complete menus and updates.
        Call Ottawa County Senior Resources at 419-898-6459 for more details.
Grocery delivery
        The Oregon Senior center offers online grocery shopping/delivery service to local seniors.
        The service is available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Call the center at 419-698-7078 with a grocery list. Center staff will place the order using your payment method, and then will pick up and deliver it to you.
        Those who need just a few items or a prescription are also invited to call the center for assistance.
Senior Helping Hands
        Senior Helping Hands can help Sandusky County seniors with health- and safety-related home repairs. In many cases, repairs can be completed free or at minimal cost.
        Among repairs offered are installation of grab bars, handrails and hand-held shower wands; modifications for handicap toilet access; ramp repair; kitchen and bathroom faucet modifications and more.
        For more info, call 419-332-8499 or visit



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