Donors Help Washington County Community Foundation Award Over $26K in Grants

Thanks to our generous donors and the Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow Funds, Washington County nonprofits will be receiving over $26,000 in grants.

Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana is the recipient of $2,500.00 for Junior Achievement Programs in Washington County School Systems.  The programming utilizes education focusing on economic and financial literacy.

A grant of $5,000.00 will be issued to the Washington County Senior Citizen Housing to replace apartment building roofs in MeadowDell Senior Housing Village.

CARE Pregnancy Center will be the recipient of a $1,050.00 grant to assist with the “I Decide for Me” program in East Washington and West Washington school systems.

A $7,262.00 grant from the Donnie Brough Fund and the Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow Funds will be granted to the Washington County Historical Society for the preservation of the Carriage House on the JHC Complex.

Dare to Care will receive a $6,000.00 grant for their Backpack Buddy Program.  The program ensures children receive proper nutrition on weekends.

The Northwest Washington Fire Department will be able to purchase new personal protective equipment for their volunteer firefighters with a $5,078.00 grant. 

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

 

Foundation Announces Mahuron Education Fund Grant Recipients

 

The Mahuron Education Fund was established at the Washington County Community Foundation to encourage educators and staff to teach in innovative ways.  This year, the fund has awarded several teachers in the county school corporations over $3400.00. 

Rosie Morehouse will be purchasing materials to utilize in group counseling sessions to prepare participants with an environment for positive learning at West Washington Jr/Sr High School.

Flexible seating will be a new addition next semester to Lesle Leis’ 3rd grade Bradie Shrum Elementary classroom.  The new seating allows students to be more focused and as a result become better learners.

New seating will also be a new addition to Miranda Bowling’s 4th grade classroom at Bradie Shrum Elementary to aid her students focus on their academic work.

Students in Lorie Campbell’s 3rd grade Bradie Shrum Elementary classroom will be learning Language Arts with a new LA Student Center.  The center provides students an opportunity to engage while learning during small group rotations to verbalize thinking in a group.

Brenda Boling’s 5th grade West Washington Elementary classroom will be learning “Why Do I Need to Learn That?” while they engage in activities that will improve their small motor skills and attention to detail with precision, practice, purpose, partners, and procedures.

3D Sculptures in Wool will be the focus of Michelle Chastain’s West Washington Jr/Sr High School art classes.  Students will demonstrate knowledge of anatomical form and use natural fibers to create an original fiber sculpture while learning how to make felts as well as dye and card wool.

Lesia Ellis’ 2nd grade East Washington Elementary School class will also be seeing a change in their seating style.  Ellis received a grant to provide students a flexible seating/presentation option in the classroom with “nugget” seating.

Students in Amy Rogers’ 4th grade East Washington Elementary School will be banging a drum.  A deep carved Djembe Bongo drum will create a culture of praise and positivity and help students focus and tune in to the lesson being delivered.

Tammy Clemons will be facilitating a musical production for 4th graders at East Washington Elementary.  She has received a grant to engage students in performing on-stage with the purchase of musical script, costumes, set design, and props.

Elementary school students at East Washington Elementary School will see Kate Jones promoting college and career education with a variety of different career costumes to introduce students to colleges and careers.

Erin Moore’s 3rd grade Bradie Shrum Elementary classroom will seeing what hatches as they monitor an egg incubator and explore the process for a group of chicks from egg to life.  Students will observe and record data for the project.

East Washington Elementary School might have the next “American Ninja Warrior” contestant thanks to a grant to Leah Starrett that will allow students to participate in monthly obstacle courses to work on balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

 

County Educators Promote STEM Education through Out-of-School Learning Opportunities

 

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) awarded Washington County Community Foundation a $25,000 grant for Out-of-School STEM Learning.  The purpose of the program is to partner with our local schools and organizations to create inspiring STEM learning environments for our youth. 

Dennis Tankersley, teacher at West Washington Jr/Sr High School, is the recipient of a $3,200.00 grant for the Skills USA After-School STEM Program.  The 12-student group will create two teams of six for the RoboRescue Challenge.  The robotics materials will be reused for future competitions and by integrating them into the Principles of Engineering class at West Washington Jr/Sr High School.  Tankersley will also receive  $300.00 for competition fees.

Anna Endris has received a $3,358.88 grant for a Coding Club at East Washington Middle School.  Students will participate in coding activities through Code.org, Scratch, and Sphero EDU while collaborating with peers as they work on project designed to challenge their minds and grow their interest in STEM fields.

Emily Johnson and Crystal Mikels will be expanding their STEM Club to include a BSE Circuit Breakers Robotics Club at Bradie Shrum Elementary School thanks to a grant of $7,559.40.  The new club is available to 3rd and 4th grade students and will be used as a stepping stone for STEM learning and to enhance a long love of STEM learning.  Johnson and Mikels will all receive  $300.00 to travel to competitions for the robotics club.

Greg McCurdy’s may add teacher at the “School of Rock” to his resume.  McCurdy’s Salem High School Guitar Club will be purchasing guitar building kits for members to use to build guitars.  The project borrows some of the procedures and knowledge included in STEM introduction and Advanced Manufacturing.  The $4,500.00 grant will allow each student to successfully finish and assemble an electric guitar.

John Calhoun, Salem High School Chemistry and Physics teacher, has been awarded a $4,500.00 grant for the creation of a MakerSpace at Salem High School.  He plans to transform an unused classroom into a MakerSpace and purchase equipment such as a 3D printer, among other items, for use in the space.

Each school corporation in Washington County will receive $430.00 to send educators to the HASTI conference for Science teachers.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

End

Flu Shots for Seniors

 

What can you tell me about the flu shots for seniors? I became ill last winter after getting a standard flu shot and am wondering if there is a flu vaccine for older adults that would provide better protection this year.

There are actually two different types of flu shots designed specifically for people age 65 and older: the Fluzone High Dose and FLUAD. 

These FDA approved vaccines are designed to offer extra protection beyond a standard flu shot. This is important for older adults who have weaker immune defenses and greater risk of developing flu complications. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu puts more than 200,000 people in the hospital each year and kills approximately 24,000 people. Eighty percent of those who die from flu complications are seniors. 

While these senior-specific flu shots cannot guarantee that you may avoid the flu this season, they will lower your risk. Here is more information about these two vaccines:

Fluzone High-Dose: Approved for U.S. use in 2009, the Fluzone High-Dose (see Fluzone.com) is a high-potency vaccine that contains four times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot, which creates a stronger immune response for better protection. This vaccine, according to a 2013 clinical trial, was 24% more effective than the regular-dose shot at preventing flu in seniors.

FLUAD: Available in the U.S. since 2016, the FLUAD vaccine (FLUAD.com) contains an added ingredient called Adjuvant MF59 that also helps create a stronger immune response. In a 2012 Canadian observational study, FLUAD was 63% more effective than a regular flu shot.

The CDC, however, does not recommend one vaccination over the other and, to date, there have not been any studies that have compared the two vaccines.

You should also know that both the Fluzone High-Dose and FLUAD can increase the mild side effects that can occur with a standard-dose flu shot, such as pain or tenderness at the injection site, muscle aches, headache or fatigue. Neither vaccine is recommended for seniors who are allergic to chicken eggs or those who have had severe reactions to flu vaccines in the past. 

Both vaccines are covered 100% by Medicare Part B, as long as your doctor, health clinic or pharmacy agrees not to charge you more than Medicare pays. 

Pneumonia Vaccines


The other vaccinations the CDC recommends to seniors, especially this time of year, are the pneumococcal vaccines for pneumonia. Around 1 million Americans are hospitalized with pneumonia each year and about 50,000 people die from it.

The CDC is recommending that all seniors, age 65 or older, get two vaccinations: Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. Both vaccines, which are administered at different times, work in different ways to provide maximum protection. Medicare Part B covers both shots if they are taken at least one year apart.

If you have not received any pneumococcal vaccine you should get the Prevnar 13 first, followed by Pneumovax 23 six to 12 months later. However, if you have already received the Pneumovax 23 vaccine, wait at least one year before getting the Prevnar 13. 

To locate a vaccination site that offers any of these shots, visit Vaccines.gov and type in your ZIP code.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published October 13, 2017

Solo Travel Savings Tips

 

Can you recommend some travel companies that offer good deals for single travelers? I've taken a couple trips since I retired a few years ago, but the single supplement fee really cuts into my budget.

Solo traveling is a growing trend among baby boomers and retirees. According to a recent Visa Global Intentions Study, nearly one-in-four individuals who travel today are traveling solo. Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks among solo travelers is the single supplement fee, which is an extra fee charged to single travelers who stay in a double occupancy room alone.

To help you avoid this extra charge, more and more travel companies and cruise lines are making adjustments to accommodate the growing solo-traveler market. Here are several to check into.

Singles Travel


There are a variety of travel companies today that specialize in vacations for solo travelers, including Singles Travel International (SinglesTravelIntl.com) and Singles Travel Getaways (SinglesTravelGetaways.com). Both companies offer tours, cruises and adventures in the U.S. and overseas. These companies will match you with a roommate so that you are able to avoid the single supplement fee or will ensure that you will not be charged if a roommate cannot be found.

General Tour Operators


Large tour companies in this category that have many solo travelers include Intrepid Travel (IntrepidTravel.com) and G Adventures (Gadventures.com). Intrepid Travel handles more than 100,000 travelers each year, sending them to more than 100 countries. G Adventures has more than 700 tours around the globe and offers a variety of travel styles. Both of these companies can pair you with a roommate and some tours offer your own room option for an additional fee.

For higher-end luxury travel check out Abercrombie & Kent (AbercrombieKent.com), which offers a 50% single supplement discount on their select small group solo travel trips and cruises. You can also look into Tauck (Tauck.com), which has no single supplement on its European river cruises.

50-Plus Travel


If you're interested in trips designed for adults ages 50 and older, consider ElderTreks (ElderTreks.com), Road Scholar (RoadScholar.org) and Overseas Adventure Travel (OATtravel.com).

ElderTreks specializes in exotic adventures worldwide and will match single travelers with roommates on most of its trips. The company does not charge if a match cannot be arranged.

Road Scholar offers worldwide learning adventures and has designated trips that offer the same price for solo travelers as for those traveling in pairs.

Overseas Adventure Travel operates in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Cuba, Australia and New Zealand and has free single supplements on all its land tours. It also offers either free or low-cost single supplements on its small-ship adventures.

Cruise Lines


If you enjoy cruising, there are a number of cruise lines that have some ships with single-occupancy cabins, including Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL.com), Royal Caribbean (RoyalCaribbean.com) and Vantage Deluxe World Travel's river ships (VantageTravel.com).

You can also consider booking a cruise at SinglesCruise.com, which searches a variety of different cruise lines for their single customers and provides roommate matching.

Solo Women


For solo women travelers, there are a host of tour companies and clubs like GutsyWomenTravel.com, Women-Traveling.com, SerenDipityTraveler.com, TheWomensTravelGroup.com and Womens-Travel-Club.com. These companies will either match you up with a roommate or reduce the single supplement fee.

Travel Partner


If you would rather find a suitable travel partner before you book your next trip, there are a number of free websites that you can check out. See Travbuddy.com, TravelFriend.us and TravelersMeeting.com. To find a cruise buddy try CruiseMates.com, which has a message board where users can post roommate requests.

For more information on solo travel, check out SoloTravelerWorld.com, which offers solo travel tips, destinations and stories, and also publishes a monthly list of solo travel deals.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published October 6, 2017

How to Find and Hire a Good Home Care Worker

 

What's the best way to find a good in-home caregiver for my elderly mother?

Finding a good in-home caregiver that is dependable, likeable, trustworthy and affordable can be challenging. Here are some tips and resources that can help.

Know Your Needs


Before you start the task of looking for a caregiver, your first step is to determine the level of care your mom needs. If, for example, she only needs help with daily living activities like preparing meals, doing laundry, bathing or dressing, then a "personal care aide" will do.

However, if she needs health care services, there are "home health aides" who can provide the same support as personal aides but who also have training in administering medications, changing wound dressings and other medically-related duties. Home health aides often work under a nurse's supervision.

Once you settle on a level of care, you then need to decide how many hours of assistance she will need. For example, does your mom need someone to come in just a few mornings a week to help her cook, clean, run errands or bathe? Or, does she need more continuous care that requires daily visits or a full-time aide?

After you determine her needs, there are two ways in which you can go about hiring someone. You can either hire through a home health agency or you can hire someone directly on your own.

Home Health Agencies


Hiring a certified home health agency to supply and manage your mom's care is the easiest but most expensive option of the two. Costs run anywhere from $12 to $40 an hour depending on where you live and the qualification of the aide. This is usually a better choice if your mom requires a lot of in-home health care.

The agency will handle everything, including an assessment of your mom's needs, assigning appropriately trained and pre-screened staff to care for her and finding a fill-in staff member on days her aide is unavailable.

However, there can be a few drawbacks. You may not be able to provide much input into the selection of the caregiver and the caregivers may change or alternate, which can cause a disruption in care and confusion.

You also need to know that Medicare does cover some in-home health care services if it is ordered by a doctor, but it will not cover personal care services, such as bathing and dressing. However, if your mom is low-income and qualifies for Medicaid, some personal care services are covered.

To locate and compare Medicare-approved home health agencies visit www.medicare.gov/hhcompare or call 800-633-4227 and request a free copy of the "Medicare and Home Health Care" (Publication #10969), which explains coverage and how to choose an agency.

Hiring Directly


Hiring an independent caregiver on your own is the other option. It is less expensive with costs typically ranging between $10 and $20 per hour. Hiring directly also gives you more control over who you hire so you can choose someone who you feel is right for your mom.

But, be aware that if you do hire someone on your own, you become the employer. Therefore, there is no agency support to fall back on if a problem occurs or if the aide does not show up. You would also responsible for paying payroll taxes and compensating any work-related injuries. If you choose this option make sure you check the aide's references thoroughly and conduct a criminal background check.

To find someone, you can ask for referrals through friends, doctor's offices or hospital discharge planners. You can also check online job boards like craigslist.org, carelinx.com or carescout.com. Some states offer registries (phinational.org) to help you locate quality caregivers.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published September 29, 2017

Check-in Services for Seniors Who Live Alone

 

Are there any services you know of that check in on elderly seniors who live alone? My 84-year-old father won't wear a lifeline help button and I worry about him falling or having a medical emergency and not being able to get to the phone to call for help.

Depending on where your dad lives, there are check-in call services, volunteer visiting programs and a variety of technology options you can turn to that can help you keep tabs on him. Here are several to check into.

Daily Check-in Calls


To make sure your dad is okay every day, consider signing him up for a daily check-in call service program. These are telephone reassurance programs run by police or sheriff's departments in hundreds of counties across the country and are often provided free of charge.

Here's how it would work. A computer automated phone system would call your dad at a designated time each day to check-in. If he answers, the system would assume everything is fine. But if he doesn't pick up, or if the call goes to voicemail after repeated calls, you (or whoever his designee is) would get a notification call. If you are not reachable, calls are then made to backup designees who have also agreed to check on your dad if necessary. If no one can be reached, the police or other emergency services personnel will be dispatched to his home.

To find out if this service is available in your dad's community, call his local police department's non-emergency number. If the police or sheriff's department in your dad's community does not provide a daily check-in call program, there are a number of companies you can turn to that offer similar services directly to consumers for under $15 per month. A few programs to check into include the CARE senior calling program (Call-Reassurance.com), CareCheckers (CareCheckers.com) and IAmFine (Iamfine.com).

Volunteer Visiting Programs


Another option you may also want to consider is finding a volunteer visiting program. These are usually run by churches, community groups or social service agencies.

These programs provide volunteers who will visit older adults in their homes usually for an hour or two once a week. The volunteers provide companionship as well as the reassurance that someone is checking in on a regular basis. They can also alert you if they notice your dad's health or living conditions start to decline.

To find out if these services are available, check with local churches or call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 to find groups or agencies near your dad.

Technology Solutions


There are a number of different technologies that will help keep your dad safe at home and help you keep an eye on him from afar. For example, for safety and peace of mind there are medical alert systems, which provide a wearable "help button" that would allow your dad to call for help anytime he needed it. Some of these systems also offer wall-mounted buttons that can be placed near the floor in high-risk fall areas, like the bathroom or kitchen, if he will not wear a help button.

If you want to keep daily tabs on your dad, there are wireless sensor-monitoring systems that he can put in his home that will notify you if something out of the ordinary is happening. There are also video monitoring cameras that have built-in motion and sound detection to let you know when something is detected and two-way audio that will let you talk and listen to him.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published September 22, 2017

Youth Foundation offers grant cycle

The Washington County Youth Foundation has been steadily working to be ready for the start of this year’s fall grant cycle.  They will be conducting a meeting at the Washington County Community Learning Center on September 28th at 7:00 pm to distribute grant applications. One adult and one youth representative from any organization wishing to apply for a grant should be present at this meeting.  The Youth Foundation offers grants for youth directed community service projects. 

Judy Johnson, Executive Director of the Foundation, commented, “The Youth Foundation has been offering a grant cycle since 2002.  They have funded many youth-directed community service projects.  It is so exciting to see youth and adults working together for the betterment of Washington County.”

At the September 28th meeting, representatives from the Washington County Youth Foundation will discuss the application process for the grant cycle.  Any organization wishing to apply for a grant should be represented by at least one adult and one youth.  However, this is not a mandatory meeting. 

Applications will be due by October 16, 2017, 3:00pm in the Foundation Office and the grant awards will be announced in November.  For more information, you can call the Washington County Community Foundation office at 883-7334.

The mission of the Washington County Community Foundation is to engage people, build resources and strengthen our community.  For more information, visit www.wccf.biz

 

Buying a New Car for an Older Driver

 

My parents are looking to buy a new car. Can you recommend some good resources that can help them evaluate and choose a good car for older drivers?

With more than 40 million licensed drivers in the United States age 65 and older, many automakers today are designing vehicles that are friendlier for older drivers. But what makes a good car for seniors? For many, top priorities include finding a vehicle that is easy to get into and out of, has simple adjustments for fit and comfort, is easy to operate, has good visibility and is safe, reliable and a good value.

To help you narrow your vehicle choices, Consumer Reports (CR) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) offer some great information and tools to assist you.

CR Best Cars


Consumer Reports recently released its rankings of the top 25 new cars for senior drivers. Each vehicle on the list offers excellent or very good ratings in categories like reliability, safety, road-test performance and owner satisfaction. In addition, many of the vehicles offer a variety of features that are extremely important to older divers, such as:
  • Easy front-seat access: Vehicles with low door thresholds, wider door openings and step-in heights make getting into and out of a car easier for those with physical limitations.
  • Good visibility: Being able to see well out of the front, sides and back of a vehicle is important for drivers of all sizes.
  • Simplified controls: Easy-to-read gauges and simplified/intuitive controls for changing the radio, shifting gears and adjusting the heating and cooling is a high priority among older drivers.
  • Bright headlights: Powerful headlights can make driving at night easier for people with decreasing or compromised vision.
The rankings also considered extra safety features (standard or optional) like backup cameras, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings and blind-spot warnings.

CR's picks include a variety of compact and midsized sedans and SUVs, two minivans and a station wagon from seven different automakers. Here is its top 25 ranking, starting from the top: Subaru Forester; Subaru Outback; Kia Soul; Subaru Legacy; Kia Sportage; Toyota Highlander; Toyota Prius V; Toyota RAV4; Honda Odyssey; Nissan Rogue; Honda Accord; Ford C-Max Hybrid; Hyundai Sonata; Toyota Camry; Subaru Crosstrek; Toyota Sienna; Honda CR-V; Honda Pilot; Kia Forte; Ford Escape; Toyota Corolla; Kia Sorento; Ford Flex; Hyundai Santa Fe; Hyundai Tucson.

For more information on CR's top 25 list, see ConsumerReports.org/elderly-driving/top-25-new-cars-for-senior-drivers.

AAA Tool


Another great resource that can help your parents evaluate and choose a vehicle that meets their needs is the AAA online tool "Smart Features for Older Drivers."

At SeniorDriving.AAA.com/SmartFeatures drivers can check the problem areas, such as diminished vision, cognitive decline, limited upper body range of motion, decreased leg strength, arthritic hands, weight conditions and height limitations. The tool will identify vehicles that have the features that will best accommodate the driver's needs. Although this tool looks at model-year 2016 vehicles, in many cases the features shown are carried over to 2017 models.

They also have a Smart Features brochure you can download that will tell you what to look for in a vehicle to best accommodate your needs.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published September 15, 2017

Exercises that Help Ease Arthritis Pain and Stiffness

 

What exercises are best suited for people with arthritis? I have osteoarthritis in my neck, back, hip and knee and have read that exercises can help ease the pain and stiffness, but I do not know where to start and I certainly do not want to aggravate it.

Many people who have arthritis believe that exercise will worsen their conditions, but that is not true. Exercise is actually one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis.

Proper and careful exercises can help reduce joint pain and stiffness, strengthen muscles around the joints and increase flexibility. It also helps manage other chronic conditions that are common among seniors with arthritis, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Recommended Exercises


Determining exactly which types of exercises that are best for you depends on the form and severity of your arthritis and which joints are involved. It is best to work with your doctor or a physical therapist to help you develop a personalized exercise program. The different types of exercises that are most often recommended to seniors with arthritis include:
    • Range-of-motion exercises: These are gentle stretching exercises that can relieve stiffness and improve the ability of your joints to move through their normal range of motions. These exercises should be done daily.

    • Strengthening exercise: Calisthenics, weight training and working with resistance bands are recommended (two or more days a week) to maintain and improve your muscle strength. Strengthening your muscles will help support and protect your joints.

  • Aerobic exercises: Low-impact activities like walking, cycling, swimming or water aerobics are all recommended three to five times per week to help improve cardiovascular health, control weight and improve your function overall.

It is also important to keep in mind that, when you first start exercising, you need to go slow in order to give your body time to adjust. If you push yourself too hard you can aggravate your joint pain. However, some muscle soreness or joint achiness in the beginning is normal.

To help you manage your pain, start by warming up with some simple stretches or range of motion exercises for five to 10 minutes before you move on to strengthening or aerobic exercises. Another tip is to apply heat to the joints you will be working before you exercise and use cold packs after exercising to reduce inflammation.

If you experience significant pain while you are exercising, you may need to modify the frequency, duration or intensity of your exercises until the pain subsides. Alternatively, you may need to try a different activity (e.g., switching from walking to water aerobics). It is important to note that if you are experiencing severe, sharp or constant pain, large increases in swelling or your joints feel hot or red then you need to stop and see your doctor.

Exercising Aids


To help you exercise at home, the Arthritis Foundation offers a variety of free online videos (see Arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/videos) to guide you through a variety of exercises. There are also arthritis exercise DVDs that you can purchase for a few dollars through Collage Video (CollageVideo.com, 800-819-7111) or the Arthritis Foundation Store (AFstore.org).

Also see Go4life.nia.nih.gov (or call 800-222-2225), a National Institute on Aging resource that offers a free exercise guide that provides illustrated examples of different exercises.

If you need some motivation or do not like exercising alone, ask your doctor about exercise programs in your area for people with arthritis. Hospitals and clinics sometimes offer special programs, as do local health clubs and senior centers.

The Arthritis Foundation also conducts exercise and aquatic programs for people with arthritis in many communities throughout the U.S. Contact your local branch (see Arthritis.org/local-offices or call 800-283-7800 for contact information) to find out what may be available near you.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published September 1, 2017

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