West Side Senior News & Notes
New Home Instead Senior Care effort benefiting seniors, Meals on Wheels
GREATER AKRON — Home Instead Senior Care Foundation will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America for each person who commits to regular family dinners with senior loved ones.
A new survey of U.S. and Canadian families shows 50 percent of those surveyed feel they do not share enough meals with older loved ones, losing an important family connection, according to Home Instead officials.
To encourage families to make time for these meals, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $20,000 through July 31) for each person who pledges to schedule regular sit-down dinners at SundayDinnerPledge.com. Pledging to have a sit-down dinner with loved ones will help ensure other seniors have a quality meal, friendly visit and safety check through Meals on Wheels programs across the country, according to Home Instead officials.
“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” said Pam Myers, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Summit, Medina and northern Wayne counties. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”
According to Home Instead officials, almost 75 percent of the people surveyed said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. They say a big part of the problem is time — both not having enough of it and conflicting schedules, according to Home Instead officials.
“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime — it’s who is at the table with them,” Myers said. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience — both nutritionally and emotionally.”
To help families across the country host their own Sunday dinners, Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with celebrity chef and mother of four Melissa d’Arabian to develop easy, nutritious recipes. Additional resources include tips for how to involve seniors in meal planning and preparation, pre- and post-dinner activities and meal plans for healthy, inexpensive meals that all generations can enjoy.
For these free resources and more information on bringing back the Sunday dinner and reconnecting with senior loved ones, visit SundayDin nerPledge.com or call Home Instead Senior Care at 330-334-4664.
Mature Services volunteers recognized
|Shown from left are Cathy Lance, retired and senior volunteer program director; Dorothy Jackson, retired Akron deputy mayor and keynote speaker for the event; and Linda Valentine, president and CEO of Mature Services.|
|Photo courtesy of Mature Services|
“We were delighted to have so many of our volunteers join us this year, in addition to many of our sponsors and elected officials,” said Cathy Lance, the new director of the Mature Services RSVP Volunteer Program. “It was a great turnout with amazing community support. It’s always such an honor to recognize our volunteers for their dedication and commitment to serving this community. They truly inspire me.”
Volunteers attending the luncheon brought paper products and toiletries such as soap, toothpaste and deodorant to donate to community members in need, according to Mature Services officials.
Billy Soule, Akron’s assistant to the mayor for community relations, offered the invocation. Speakers included Leah Jones, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio); Ginger Baylor, congressional district office coordinator for U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-District 11); and Summit County Executive Russell Pry.
Dorothy Jackson, retired Akron deputy mayor, was the keynote speaker at this year’s luncheon. Jackson is considered by many to be Akron’s “goodwill ambassador” for her dedication to community activism, according to Mature Services officials. Her speech was on how to “Spring Into Action” and get involved in volunteering and helping those in the community who need a helping hand, Mature Services officials said.
The event also highlighted Mature Services retiring President/CEO Linda Valentine. Valentine served the agency for 27 years, the past five as president/CEO, Mature Services officials said.
For information about becoming an RSVP volunteer, call 330-253-4597, ext. 166, or visit www.matureservices.org.
Report on Ohio vision loss released to governor, lawmakers
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s Aging Eye Public Partnership’s (AEPP) 2014 annual report urges the governor and lawmakers to support a coordinated, integrated approach to improving the sight of older Ohioans and reduce the incidence of vision loss.
The report, “Ohio’s Vision — More Than Meets the Eye,” was released to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly. AEPP said the report provides current data regarding factors contributing to the growth of vision loss in Ohio and its financial, societal and personal impact. According to AEPP, findings in the report indicate vision problems cost Ohio $5.4 billion each year.
Unless appropriate preventive steps are taken, costs associated with the growth in age-related eye diseases and vision loss can be expected to skyrocket as life expectancy increases and Ohio’s population ages, according to AEPP.
AEPP encourages all Ohioans to preserve their vision by getting regular dilated eye exams, wearing appropriate eye protection, avoiding smoking, wearing sunglasses with UV protection, staying active and eating healthy foods. AEPP offers educational resources and services to government leaders and individuals in their efforts to reduce vision loss.
For more information about the report or to receive a copy, contact Laura Schwartz at email@example.com or call 614-464-2020, ext. 112.
Pam Lifke contributed to these reports.