UCHD seeks to connect seniors with services

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After the success of its first meeting, the Union County Falls Coalition is set to host another aging parents event tonight, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Union County Health Department (UCHD).
Through the UCHD, the event is geared toward teaching adults how to take care of their elderly parents. Rebecca Honaker, Older Adult Falls Prevention grant coordinator for the UCHD, said this is a way for adults to gather community resources they need to safely care for their parents.
“Our goal is to let people know there are all of these great services in our county that can help you through these situations,” Honaker said. “You don’t really have to go through it by yourself.”
The first meeting was held in May, where residents crowded into a room at the UCHD to hear speakers discuss topics such as managing medications, senior living services and estate planning. Honaker said the May event was successful, but a problem arose when there were too many topics to present.
She said this year was a trial run to see how it would be received. From the May summit, she learned to narrow the topics.
“For this one, we wanted it to be a little more focused on health and falls-related topics, instead of having more of those financial and law-related topics,” Honaker said. “We’re also going to focus in on what are the resources in Union County for those certain things.”
The event will cover issues such as falls prevention, making sure if an elderly parent is capable of being independent, resources for the elderly and keeping elderly parents healthy and fit.
“We’ve narrowed this one down a bit more so people will have more time to go in-depth on all of the different resources,” Honaker said. “It’ll leave some time for questions at the end.”
Honaker said she’s received positive reactions about the event in the past, and it seems like something the coalition and the UCHD want to continue for the future. She said a lot of interest in the event has been building up, and there are plans to continue the event.
“This is the first time we’ve ever tried anything like this,” Honaker said. “Mainly in the past, we’ve done things in that were targeting seniors themselves. This event is more reaching out to their caregivers.”
The aging parents summit comes just in time, as September is falls prevention month. The event also comes close to the UCHD’s falls prevention day Sept. 22.
The coalition will also be promoting a campaign called “10-Million Steps to Prevent Falls.” In it, the Ohio Department of Aging will encourage Ohioans to take 10-million steps on Sept. 21 to raise awareness about older adult falls, which Honaker said is an issue in the state.
She said she encourages residents in the county to take a one-mile walk, or as far as they can, on Sept. 21 to help get the state to that goal of 10-million steps. She also said it would be nice for people could post pictures of their walks on social media.



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