Fall risks impact everyone from infancy into older age. From the moment babies take their first steps to running errands as an older adult, fall risks exist. However, older and disabled adults are affected more by the potential effects of falls. A fall can be a gateway to other problems, leading to a decline in health. BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) recognized this risk and is piloting a program called Safe At Home, which focuses on fall prevention education and home modifications.
As individuals age and develop chronic medical conditions, they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature, and they may also be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. Operation Fan Heat Relief helps vulnerable adults at risk for heat-related illnesses stay safe during the summer. Individuals who are 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, are eligible to sign up for assistance.
Older unvaccinated adults are more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 in our region, Centralina Area Agency on Aging has been working to provide homebound seniors and others with educational materials.
Fifty years ago, on March 22, 1972, the Older Americans Act was amended to include the Senior Nutrition Program, a nationwide community-based service that includes congregate and home-delivered meal options. The Senior Nutrition Program in NC has been successfully providing access to healthy meals, nutrition screening, nutrition education, socialization and other supports to allow adults ages 60 and over to stay in their homes and communities longer.
Celebrating Women’s History Month: The aging network in the greater Charlotte area is a close-knit group of professionals, many of whom can draw the beginning of their education of gerontology to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s gerontology program. The program has been a staple in the aging network for decades and there is one woman who has been both director of the program and mentor to many students, Dr. Dena Shenk.
The ombudsman program advocates for the resident who call our adult care homes and nursing homes their homes. We work to resolve issues of concern and advocate to protect the rights of those living in long-term care facilities. We also provide technical assistance to residents, the public and facilities.
A community that is pedestrian friendly benefits everyone. And when sidewalks, crosswalks and transportation infrastructure are missing or in need of repair, the result is a lower standard of living for people who depend on these facilities for mobility. Pedestrian infrastructure is a key component in supporting community connections and the health of residents and visitors. Aging adults and those with disabilities are disproportionately affected by gaps in pedestrian infrastructure.
Concord Avenue is one of the main gateways into the City of Monroe, Union County. In 2015, City officials created the Concord Ave Master Plan with the purpose of having a road map with a vision for economic, housing and community revitalization along this corridor, including the enhancement of connectivity to services and facilities for both residents and visitors.
Early care and early childhood education programs play a fundamental role in fostering healthy communities and vibrant local economies. While the importance of these crucial services can often be
overlooked or forgotten when times are “normal,” the COVID-19 pandemic quickly reminded us that these programs are essential to ensuring economies and communities not only thrive, but function in the first place. Additionally, as many communities across the state of North Carolina experience record levels of population growth, demand for early care programs is at an all time high.
The Centralina Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) helps older adults bridge the gap to retirement by providing paid job training for adults 55 and older. Although training for individuals in this age group is not common, there are several reasons why it is necessary. Adults in this age group may be too young for social security, need a second job in addition to social security or simply not be ready to retire. Centralina staff help participants develop employment plans to find jobs that match their interests, abilities and goals. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, in-person operations were derailed so Centralina AAA had to get creative with training methods.