Aging Answers

Aging Answers

2015 Editions Aging Answers January 2015

Things to Do in Northeast Ohio — January Through February Calendar



Alzheimer’s Support, 
First Tuesday of the month, 7-8:30 p.m. and second Friday of the month, 1:30-3 p.m. For caregivers and memory-impaired individuals. University Hospital’s Parma Medical Center’s Health Education Center, 7300 State Road, Parma. Call 440-743-4900 for more information or to register for a class.

Fitpaths Too (Geared for Seniors), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11 a.m. A complete workout for active seniors. Includes low-impact aerobic activity, strength training and stretching. Dress in comfortable, loose clothing. $35 for 10-class card. Register online at or call 440-356-0670, option 5. Fairview Hospital Wellness Center, 3035 Wooster Road, Rocky River



Chair Yoga, 10-11 a.m. Move your whole body through a complete series of seated and standing yoga poses. Chair support is offered to safely perform a variety of postures designed to increase flexibility, balance and range of movement. $35 for a 10-class card. Register online at or call 440-356-0670, option 5. Fairview Hospital Wellness Center, 3035 Wooster Road, Rocky River


HEALTHY U — Free 6-Week Workshop, Mondays, Jan. 12 through March 2, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lorain County Office on Aging will be offering free, fun, interactive and informational classes. Tips and support to deal with pain and fatigue, discover better nutrition and exercise choices, and learn better ways to talk with your doctor and family about your health. The classes are free to Lorain County residents 55+ years. Set your own weekly goals and make a step-by-step plan to improve your health. Register by calling Carolyn at Lorain County Office on Aging at 440-326-4805. North Ridgeville Senior Center, 7327 Avon Belden Road, North Ridgeville



Sweet Life Programs, 6-7:30 p.m. January 6 – May 12, This free 15-week program provides practical ways to help improve your health. Participants will have a health assessment by a Summa doctor, along with weekly meetings led by Summa counselors who specialize in nutrition and behavioral wellness.

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Aging Answers August 2016

Does Your Senior Pet Need to Go Back to School?

If your pet seems to be forgetting something they used to know, should you think “Back to School” for them? The short answer is: probably not.

Believe it or not, cats and dogs, like people, also can suffer “cognitive dysfunction” (i.e. memory loss like Alzheimer’s disease) as early as 11 years of age. Sometimes age-related changes may look like memory loss, but aren’t.

About Senior Cats

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, a cat is considered a senior at the age of 11 (60 in human years) and geriatric at the age of 15 (76 in human years).

If your cat is no longer using the litterbox, it may not be a problem with their brain. It’s possible your cat is getting arthritis, diabetes or has kidney disease. That’s why talking to your veterinarian about any problem your cat has with using the litterbox is worth a visit.

The other thing to note about cats is that they are extremely good at hiding their illnesses. No matter how well you think you know your cat, they may be sick without you knowing it. Regular veterinary visits with your cat can help with detecting problems and treating them before they become so bad that your cat suffers.

About Senior Dogs

It’s a little trickier to estimate when dogs are considered a senior or geriatric. That’s because dog breeds vary in size. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the dog, the shorter their lifespan. For instance, very large breed dogs like Great Danes may be seniors as early as 5 years of age, while small breed dogs like toy poodles may not be considered seniors until the age of 10. Ask your veterinarian if your dog may be considered a senior or not.

If your dog is peeing indoors and this is not typical, it may be a sign your dog has joint problems (e.g.

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Aging Answers Health Parenting

Tell Older Loved Ones ‘Don’t Fall for Me’ this Valentine’s Day

The Ohio Department of Aging is encouraging kids to tell their grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives “Don’t fall for me” this Valentine’s Day as part of its STEADY U Ohio fall prevention program. Download free printable Valentines and more. ...
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2017 Editions Aging Answers February 2017 Health Magazine

Help Your Aging Loved One Manage Finances while Minimizing Stress

Caregivers are almost inevitably called upon to participate in the planning and management of a loved one’s financial future. While no single process can help everyone work through this delicate and complicated task, there are some steps caregivers can take to reduce uncertainty and lessen the effects of a crisis.

Open the Lines of Communication
Few topics are as sensitive — or as important — as personal finances. Any conversation on money matters needs to be handled with respect for your loved one’s autonomy and feelings.

Focus on the benefits of planning. Stress that a good financial blueprint can only happen if discussions are straightforward and honest.

Share information or decisions about your own finances and insurance. This will help both of you get comfortable with the idea of mutual responsibility.

If there is an immediate concern that needs to be addressed, use “I” statements, such as “I am worried that…” or “I think a living will is a good idea.” Avoid “you should,” which sounds demanding and demeaning.

Point to examples of others who may have found themselves in similar situations.

Remember that a person’s ability to conduct their own financial affairs is quite often tied to a sense of their self-worth and independence. If you don’t agree with your loved one’s decisions, ask questions that will help them decide if the decision is best, such as “If your plan doesn’t work out the way you’d like, what else might you do?” Look for and present other options to breed trust.

Assess the Current Financial Situation
Caregivers tend to approach this step in one of two ways: either they are overprotective or they are too relaxed. As in most aspects of caregiving, what’s most important is to help your loved one to assert as much independence and control as he or she reasonably can.

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2017 Editions Aging Answers February 2017 Health Magazine

Aging Answers Resource Directory

There are many area agencies that provide services as well as volunteer opportunities. Here are some resources for seniors and caregivers.

Area Agencies and Centers

Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging
Serving Portage, Stark, Summit & Wayne counties
1550 Corporate Woods Pkwy.
Uniontown, OH 44685

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
11890 Fairhill Road
Cleveland, OH 44120

Community Partnership on Aging
Serving South Euclid, Lyndhurst, Highland Heights, Mayfield Heights and Mayfield Village
South Euclid: 216-291-3902
Lyndhurst: 440-473-5138
Mayfield Heights: 440-442-2628

Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services
13815 Kinsman Road
Cleveland, OH 44120

Geauga County Department on Aging
12555 Ravenwood Drive
Chardon, OH 44024

Lake County Council on Aging
8520 East Ave.
Mentor, OH 44060

Lorain County Office on Aging
320 N. Gateway Blvd., 2nd Floor
Elyria, OH 44035

North Ridgeville Office for Older Adults Senior Center
7327 Avon Belden Road
North Ridgeville, OH 44039

Ohio Department of Aging
246 N. High St., 1st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Solon Senior Activities Center
35000 Portz Pkwy.
Solon, OH 44139

Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging
Serving Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain & Medina counties
925 Euclid Ave., Suite 600
Cleveland, OH 44115

Family Caregiver Support Services

AARP Ohio Office
17 S. High St., Suite 800
Columbus, OH 43215

A Place for Mom

Alzheimer’s Association
Cleveland (Beachwood):
23215 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 300, 216-342-5556
Avon: 38440 Chester Road, 800-272-3900
Mentor: 8522 East Ave., 800-272-3900
Greater East Ohio Area Chapter
Serving Summit, Medina & Portage counties
Hudson: 70 W. Streetsboro St., Suite 201, 330-650-0552

Homewatch Caregivers of Beachwood
23811 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 114
Beachwood, OH 44122

Better Business Bureau
Serving Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga & Ashtabula counties
2800 Euclid Ave., 4th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44115
24-Hour Help Line: 216-241-7678

Catholic Charities

Cherished Companions Home Care, LLC
7181 Chagrin Road, Suite 200
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023

Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center
11635 Euclid Ave.

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2017 Editions Aging Answers February 2017 Health Magazine

Planning for the Unexpected

What would happen to your family and financial affairs if you suddenly became incapacitated? If you don’t know the answer, you could be subjecting your family to the unnecessary heartache, complications, and expense of a guardianship.

To illustrate how a guardianship works, let’s look at the case of Mr. Green, a 67-year-old widower who suddenly suffers a stroke. Mr. Green is left partially paralyzed, of diminished mental capacity and unable to handle any of his own affairs. He took no steps during his lifetime to guard against this possibility. His assets are in his name alone.

Mr. Green has a son, John, who is notified when the stroke occurs. John rushes to his father’s side to assist him in the hospital and ultimate placement into a nursing home. John finds that the doctor is unable to discuss with him any of the aspects of his father’s case because he has no legal authority to act on his father’s behalf. As Mr. Green’s income checks begin to accumulate, John cannot cash them nor pay the bills, which also are accumulating. When it is time for Mr. Green to move to a nursing home for rehabilitation, the nursing home is reluctant to deal with him and requests him to file for a guardianship.

Ultimately, John is forced to hire an attorney and apply in probate court to be appointed guardian of his father’s person and estate. As the process unfolds, John must make an inventory of all of his father’s assets, even though he knows little about them.

John now has the authority to speak to doctors and to deal with the nursing home in order to make decisions about his father’s health and physical well-being. However, he cannot pay his father’s bills without prior approval from the probate court. Additionally, John must formally account to the court as to the receipts and disbursements of the guardianship every two years for the rest of Mr.

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Aging Answers July 2015

5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Dog from Getting Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a viral disease of dogs. You may have read reports about this in the news. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can prevent your dog from getting this disease (and other viruses).


1. Know more about how this virus is spread to your dog

2. Get your dog vaccinated against canine influenza

3. Stay away from areas where your dog will encounter other dogs

4. Learn more about whether canine influenza can spread to other species

5. Understand what it looks like if your dog may be infected with canine influenza

How is the disease spread? Canine influenza is spread to other dogs like human influenza virus is spread to other people–coughing, sneezing, and even indirectly through objects like leashes, food bowls and clothing that can carry the live virus (this virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours).

What about a vaccine for canine influenza? Like the human influenza virus changes every year, so can canine influenza. Therefore, currently available canine influenza vaccines may not be 100% protective. Regardless, they are likely to help your dog’s immune system fight against exposure to many strains of canine influenza. Talk to your veterinarian about what vaccines are recommended for your dogs.

How can you prevent your dog from getting exposed to canine influenza? One of the best ways to prevent the spread of canine influenza is to keep your dog away from other dogs. However, you may want to balance the risk of exposure versus your dog’s happiness. If your dog loves to have “playdates” with other dogs, be sure you know that your dog’s playmates are receiving the same kind of precautions you give your dog, like vaccines. Similarly, make sure that if your dog needs to go to dog day care or to a boarding facility, that the facility has stringent guidelines about vaccinations (plus disease testing for heartworm and parasite control).

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Aging Answers July 2015 Uncategorized

Be Fit! Take the ‘Physically and Financially Fit’ Challenge this Summer

Summer in Ohio is the time to finally be able to enjoy the outdoors, which make becoming more physically fit doable. Summer also is a good time to take the “Financially Fit Challenge.” Here are some ways to help your aging loved one do both.


The days are longer, which means more time to plan activities to increase your physical fitness. Being physically fit helps you ward off health problems, have more energy, and feel better inside and out. You can become physically fit by adding more steps each day while enjoying the outdoors.

Take the challenge every summer by turning off the television or electronic device for at least an hour to enjoy more of summer’s fresh air in an outdoor physical activity. It only takes 21 days to create a new healthy habit, and you will have the satisfaction of meeting your fitness goal.


At the same time, you can become more financially fit by setting aside time to “Close the holes in your financial security bucket.” Did you realize that most people do not check their beneficiary forms that they may have completed a long time ago for their insurance, investment or retirement (IRA, 401k or 403b) accounts?

Just like getting a physical each year, your financial and risk protection house needs an annual check-up to cover up any holes. Adjust your plan to meet yearly changes. Eight out of 10 people do not have their important legal documents completed to ensure that their wishes will be completed their way during life or after they pass.

Have you thought about what would happen to your nest egg if you become too ill to take care of yourself or make your own decisions?

Without a plan, you may not have “your wishes, your way.” With a solid plan, your care will be followed the way you want it to happen.

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