Senator Brady was on hand only briefly saying that he
was expected in Springfield. Representative Butler was also working
in Springfield on Wednesday and unable to spend the morning with
their guests due to ongoing state budget matters. Brady provided a
table of information and had staff on hand to talk with seniors.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had a staff member on hand to
discuss senior issues with guests with emphasis on raising awareness
of fraudulent practices often perpetrated on seniors, as well as how
to protect oneself against identity theft.
The event was very well attended by local seniors who took advantage
of the day to find out more about health providers and long-term
care services offered locally. There were also opportunities to
speak with representatives from senior focused organizations such as
AARP and Area Agency on Aging for Lincoln Land.
Area Agency on Aging works with the Oasis Senior Center on many
occasions offering Lunch and Learn opportunities for seniors. The
events raise awareness of senior issues such as help and support for
grandparents raising grandchildren, information about identity theft
and fraud, and many other topics including understanding medications
and managing medication schedules.
A representative with Memorial Stroke Center was handing out
refrigerator magnets pointing out the four indicators of stroke.
Called F.A.S.T. the four indicators Face, Arms, Speech, and Time are
easy to remember. Is the face drooping, are the arms weak, is speech
slurred, and finally, don’t waste time, call 911 and get help FAST.
The Stroke Center was also handing out a personal risk score card to
help folks visualize the issues that put them at higher risk for
stroke. In the high risk category: if blood pressure normally
exceeds 140/90, if total cholesterol is greater than 240, if one is
diabetic, has an irregular heartbeat, and overweight, there is a
danger of stoke in the future. Lack of exercise, smoking, and family
history play a large part in the risk as well.
Other medical services on hand included Springfield Clinic and
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Springfield Clinic offered
information about diabetes.
Staff from ALMH Physical Therapy Department were
on hand offering quick easy testing to determine balance and
flexibility as well as bone density. All these are especially
important for seniors. Many seniors suffer broken bones from falls,
which ultimately may come from the inability to maintain balance or
a stiffness in the joints that leads to tripping.
The balance test included sitting with the feet forward, arms
crossed left hand to right shoulder and right hand to left shoulder,
and then standing and sitting five times. The technician timed the
exercise and watched the person as they rose and sat. In the end,
she explained that there is a normal range, for example a person age
60 to 65 in the normal range should be able to complete the exercise
in under 11.4 seconds.
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The bone density test was also very simple. The “patient” was
instructed to remove a shoe and place a foot on a special white box.
The box was then able to record the bone density and the technician
read the density from a handheld digital pad.
While some may not want to talk about it, end of life services are
also important to seniors. Memorial Home Services and Safe Haven
Hospice of Lincoln were on hand to discuss delicate topics such as
hospice care. The Christian Village offered information about
nursing home care, their assisted living programsm Grace Point Rehab
to Home services.
Also on hand was Thrivent Financial, Veterans Affairs, and the Logan
County Department of Public Health.
The LCDPH offered information about managing medications and
provided free disposal of unused prescriptions.
The group had also included information about the
department’s ongoing health programs, such as nursing services, Home
Care, and much more. In addition, a story board was on display
featuring the efforts of the Heroin Task Force, and the Opioid
epidemic in Logan County.
One give away offered by the health department was the “Book of
Life.” The 16 page booklet offered important information such as
food safety guidelines for power outages, how to prepare a home
emergency preparedness kit, as well as a similar kit for travel, and
what to do and how to do it when a boil order is issued. There were
pages for booklet holders to fill out regarding medications and
doctors and also advance directives for end of life scenarios. The
health department representative explained that utilizing the book
could help put a lot of important information at ones fingertips in
the event of an emergency. She explained, in light of recent storms,
having something one can grab quickly on the way out the door, is a
smart choice, especially during various disasters.
Illinois Tourism/Illinois Department of Natural Resources had a
table filled with magazines and brochures about Illinois attractions
and places to get away without getting all that far from home.
Throughout the morning, visitors came and went, taking in the
information provided and talking with the various representatives on
hand. They also were able to sit and enjoy a morning snack and just
visit with friends for a while.
In all, the day was a great success with many people learning about
programs and offerings for seniors in Logan County, all aimed at
improving their overall health and improving their quality of life
in their golden years.