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West Side Senior News & Notes

11/1/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Nominations open for Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) is accepting nominations for outstanding older individuals to be inducted into the 2013 Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

The hall honors the role seniors play in their communities, across the state and nationwide, while it promotes the benefits of active, productive and purposeful living at all points in our lives, according to ODA officials. Individuals and organizations interested in nominating a neighbor, colleague, family member or friend may visit www.aging.ohio.gov/news/nominations for more information, to submit a nomination or download the nomination form. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 30.

“More than ever, communities rely on older adults to play an active role and set an example for other generations to follow,” said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the ODA. “Candidates for the Hall of Fame are pioneers, leaders, teachers, artists, helpers and doers who live lives defined not by age, but by the good work they have done and continue to do.”

Nominees for the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame must be age 60 or older and be native-born Ohioans or residents of the state for at least 10 years. Posthumous nominations will be accepted. The nominee (or a representative of the nominee) must consent to the nomination. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Nominees will be evaluated on the impact of their current contributions, or a continuation of contributions begun before age 60, in areas of endeavor including, but not limited to: arts/literature, business/technology, education, health/fitness, community activism and science/medicine.

According to ODA officials, those selected will join more than 350 inductees since its inception in 1978. To learn more and view past inductees, visit www.aging.ohio.gov/news/halloffame.


Program provides Medicare-eligible individuals with advisers

AKRON — According to Akron General Medical Center officials, patients have multiple choices when it comes to health care, especially with their Medicare options.

In 2013, most Medicare plans will be revised, and individuals on 2012 Medicare plans will receive a document called the Annual Notice of Change outlining their plan changes for next year. According to Akron General officials, it is vitally important to review this document because premiums might increase and benefits might change.

Medicare’s open enrollment began Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7.

Akron General’s RetireMed program provides Medicare-eligible individuals throughout the area with advisers and advocates who guide them through the process of selecting a Medicare plan.

All RetireMed services are available at no cost to the individual. RetireMed will research patients’ doctors, drugs and hospitals while taking their budget into consideration, and recommend plans that best fit their needs, according to Akron General officials.

RetireMed offers continual support by providing clients with year-round advocacy to help resolve complex issues they might encounter with their plans. RetireMed also provides clients with annual renewal advice to make sure that their Medicare plan will still be right for them from year to year.

For more information about the RetireMed program, call 877-291-4110 or visit www.retiremed.com/info/agcommu nity/.


Summa’s senior services expand in Barberton, Wadsworth

GREATER AKRON — Older adults, their families and caregivers can get more care at Summa Barberton and Wadsworth-Rittman Hospitals. According to Summa officials, these hospitals will offer inpatient and outpatient senior services as well as palliative care, services already offered at Summa Akron City Hospital.

According to Summa officials, senior services at Summa Barberton Hospital will include an inpatient-dedicated acute care for elders (ACE) unit for older adults with complex medical cases and syndromes. The unit’s multidisciplinary team includes a geriatrician who has expertise in caring for older adults; a certified nurse specialist; a pharmacist; nurses; case management workers; therapists and social workers. Geriatricians also will offer inpatient geriatric assessments that can help identify problems such as delirium, dementia, falls and balance issues, depression or complicated social situations, and provide care recommendations to keep seniors as functional, safe and independent as possible, according to Summa officials.

Adults of any age also can receive specialized care for chronic illnesses in the hospital’s inpatient acute palliative care unit (APCU), according to Summa officials. The APCU unit’s team, made up of a physician, nurse practitioner, social worker, dietician and spiritual care worker, works together to provide progressive treatment for pain and symptoms associated with serious and advanced illnesses, and address any emotional, social and spiritual issues. As part of the hospital discharge process, patients in the hospital’s ACE and APCU units are connected to a variety of resources, including ongoing follow-up appointments, community agencies and home-care services.

According to Summa officials, Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital will open an outpatient Center for Senior Health to improve the health, quality of care and functional status of older adults with complex medical problems. Patients and their families will meet routinely with a geriatrician and social worker to evaluate the health, functional status and cognitive ability of the patient, according to Summa officials. Teleconferencing also is available for patients’ families who may not reside in the area.

The patient’s geriatrician will work with the patient’s primary care physician to implement an appropriate, personalized care plan and provide any additional support services based on the patient’s medical conditions and needs, according to Summa officials.

“Chronic conditions and issues relating to older adults require significant time and attention,” said Dr. Cathy Maxwell, medical director of Senior Services at Summa Barberton and Wadsworth-Rittman hospitals and a physician with Summa Physicians in Geriatric Medicine. “We want caregivers to know that they are not alone and that we understand how hard caring for a loved one can be. Our goal is to share our team’s knowledge and experience in order to provide caregivers with the advice, accessible care and support they need to help make their loved ones as independent and safe as possible at home.”

For more information about senior services at Summa Health System, call 888-720-5318 or visit www.summa health.org/seniors.


Ariel Hakim and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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