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  • Ossorio Fall of Giving

    Dining for a Cause October 3rd, 2017 5:30pm-8:00pm

    Aging Matters and Ossorio’s are working together to raise funds for seniors in our community by enjoying an evening meal together. Proceeds from the event will support our Meals on Wheels and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Together they serve 1,773 homebound seniors annually through the 574 volunteers who deliver a meal, provide a safety check and a friendly hello.

    Let’s enjoy a meal together and celebrate a community of volunteers that serve 195,918 meals a year to the frailest of Brevard’s citizens.

    We will have staff and information on site to answers any questions you may have about the agency and how you can get involved.

     

    Hurricane Preparedness

    We are proud to announce that we are running at normal operational status again! All but our Port St. John lunch site is open and running!

     

     

    Pets on Wheels

     

    Pets are critical to the social and emotional health of many Meals on Wheels clients. They are often the “best friend” of the senior, serving as social worker, counselor, and guardian. For seniors who have few resources, the food they receive from Meals on Wheels may be used to feed a cat or dog before the senior eats. To make sure everyone gets the nutrition they need, Aging Matters in Brevard has launched a “Pets on Wheels” program to deliver pet food to Meals on Wheels clients. Food is donated to the Central Brevard Humane Society and delivered one Saturday each month by volunteers.

    Critical needs are volunteers to help organize the food, delivery drivers, and an air-conditioned storage space to store the food. For more information, call (321) 806-3741.

    Hurricane Preparedness Update

    Living in a coastal state, we are faced with certain risks for natural disasters and other emergencies for which we must always be prepared. While we hope for the best at all times, it would be irresponsible not to have an emergency plan for when those emergencies do occur. Many different types of disasters can force people to evacuate their homes, and proper and timely evacuation can be the difference between life and death. While it may be difficult to leave your home, your support net- work, and your friends, it could be even worse to ignore the warnings of emergency officials and stay behind.

    According to Florida law, individuals with special needs are eligible for evacuation assistance should they need it. If you have special needs, and family or friends are not available to help you, you may qualify for assistance services. Register with your local emergency management agency before disaster strikes. Whatever your circumstances, each family or household needs to have a plan to protect itself during a disaster. This plan should include what you will do and where you will go in case of evacuation. As part of your plan, organize a disaster preparedness kit to sustain you and your family for seven days. Most importantly, discuss your plan with your family, friends, and neighbors. Keeping your loved ones informed allows for consistency and prevents confusion should an emergency arise. Should a disaster occur, the plan you have in place will help protect you from further distress.

    Many seniors have specific medical needs that must be considered. Make sure to have a list of all of your medications, a generous supply to hold you over, and a plan for refilling prescriptions as needed. Safeguarding important documents such as your identification, Social Security card, insurance documents and policies, and emergency contact information is also critical during an emergency. And don’t forget to have a plan for your pets. Including your pets in your emergency plan will allow you to avoid the dangers associated with staying behind during an evacuation. Florida is home to more than 4.45 million seniors age 60 and older, and approximately one in four of them suffers some physical impairment. It is critical that as good neighbors, we assist those who might not be able to prepare for a disaster. In an emergency, we must come together as Floridians to ensure that no person is left without help. Florida’s elders have always been resilient. The information within this Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders will help all seniors and their families prepare and take steps to be safe and secure during and after an emergency event. We must all be ready to help our neighbors and ourselves, if and when that time comes.

    Secretary Chuck Corley

    Department of Elder Affairs

    Click Here for a digital copy of the newsletter sent out by the Department of Elder Affairs to help educate on senior preparedness for hurricanes/disasters.

    We will also have hard copies available at our Cocoa office, as well as the Sunflower House and all 12 of our Seniors At Lunch sites listed.

    Connect with Aging Matters in Brevard at (321) 639-8770 or via email at info@AgingMattersBrevard.org.

    #SaveLunch

    One in four local Meals on Wheels programs across the country has a waiting list of hungry seniors who need to be fed, but lack the funding to do anything about it. Help us rally support and call on Congress to fully fund Meals on Wheels before the September 30th decision deadline.

    Show your solidarity with 10 million seniors struggling with hunger by posting a picture of your empty lunch plate on social media using the hashtag #SaveLunch.

    Email your Members of Congress. We’ll connect you directly to their offices, so you can share what’s on your mind.

    Visit the Official #SaveLunch Website

    Follow Meals on Wheels American on Twitter and Facebook

    Connect with Aging Matters in Brevard at (321) 639-8770 or via email at info@AgingMattersBrevard.org.

    Older Americans Month 2017: Age Out Loud

    Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to. For many aging Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a new or second start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits you best.

    Take Barbara Hillary, for example. A nurse for 55 years who dreamed of travel, at age 75 Hillary became the first African American woman to set foot on the North Pole. In 2011, at age 79, she set another first when she stepped onto the South Pole. Former president George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving. Actress Betty White, now 95 years old, became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live in 2010, coincidentally during May—the same month recognized as Older Americans Month (OAM).

    Since 1963, OAM has been a time to celebrate older Americans, their stories, and their contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the annual observance offers a special opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” emphasizes the ways older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages.

    Aging Matters in Brevard will use OAM 2017 to focus on how older adults in our community are redefining aging—through work or family interests, by taking charge of their health and staying independent for as long as possible, and through their community and advocacy efforts. We can also use this opportunity to learn how we can best support and learn from our community’s older members.

    Throughout the month, Aging Matters in Brevard will conduct activities and share information designed to highlight our programs and services for seniors. We encourage you to get involved by reaching out to volunteer for Meals on Wheels, the Sunflower House, Senior TranServe or Vets Driving Vets.

    Join us and ACL as we speak up for #OAM17 and #AgeOutLoud this May!

    ***

    Visit the Official OAM Website

    Follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook

    Connect with Aging Matters in Brevard at (321) 639-8770 or via email at info@AgingMattersBrevard.org.

     

    Hurricane Preparedness

    Aging Matters in Brevard has resumed all normal services with the following exception:

    • Seniors At Lunch Site at
      • Captain’s House – Palm Bay relocated to Coast Guard Auxiliary Building until further notice(1455 Main St, Palm Bay)
      • Port St John (Scheduled to reopen Monday, October 17, 2016)

    Seniors who are able to attend an alternate dining site (must provide own transportation) are encouraged to call (321) 639-8770.

    Updated 10/13/16 10:06 am

     

     

    Aging Matters Awarded CHAP Accreditation

    Cocoa, FL — May 12, 2015 — Community Health Accreditation Partner, Inc., (CHAP) announced today that Aging Matters in Brevard has been awarded CHAP Accreditation under the CHAP Private Duty Standards of Excellence. CHAP Accreditation demonstrates that Aging Matters in Brevard meets the industry’s highest nationally recognized standards. The rigorous evaluation by CHAP focuses on structure and function, quality of services and products, human and financial resources and long term viability. Simply stated, adherence to CHAP’s standards leads to better quality care.

    “By achieving CHAP Accreditation, Aging Matters in Brevard has shown a commitment to excellence,” said Karen Collishaw, CHAP President & CEO. “We are excited to begin our partnership with Aging Matters in Brevard by offering support in its commitment to providing quality care and continuous improvement.”

    Aging Matters in Brevard provides a variety of non-medical home health services to patients and their families in Brevard County. Established in 1965, Aging Matters in Brevard is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and maintain independence and maximize quality of life for the citizens of Brevard County, particularly the elderly and disabled. Aging Matters in Brevard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization recognized by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Area Agency on Aging as the Lead Agency for senior services in Brevard County. Aging Matters in Brevard services are funded by federal, state, and local grants (Eligibility requirements may apply). Private pay services are also available. Aging Matters in Brevard offers a wide variety of services to enable seniors to live safely and independently in their own homes. 

    CHAP is an independent, not-for-profit, accrediting body for community-based health care organizations. Created in 1965, CHAP was the first to recognize the need and value for accreditation in community-based care. CHAP is the oldest national, community-based accrediting body with more than 9,000 agencies currently accredited nationwide. Through “deeming authority” granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CHAP has the regulatory authority to survey agencies providing home health, hospice and home medical equipment services, to determine if they meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation and CMS Quality Standards. CHAP’s purpose is to define and advance the highest standards of community-based care.

    For more information about the CHAP accreditation process, please visit the CHAP website at www.chapinc.org. For additional information on CHAP, please contact Nathan Constable, Senior Manager, Communications and Industry Affairs, at 202.467.1716, or nconstable@chapinc.org.

     

    Brevard seniors grateful for gifts

    By Cindy Flachmeier

    For FLORIDA TODAY

    A recent FLORIDA TODAY headline read, “A small gift can make a big difference.”

    From personal experience, I know that’s an understatement.

    For the past two Christmas seasons, I have seen the deep personal impact that small gifts made on lonely seniors in Brevard. The gifts were purchased with generous contributions from people like you to the Reaching Out Holiday Fund. Through a partnership between FLORIDA TODAY and Aging Matters of Brevard, your donations were used to buy handpicked gifts that the recipients had on their wish list.

    These seniors are your nextdoor neighbor, your elementary school teacher, or maybe the man next to you at church. They are parents, grandparents and great-grands. The commonality is that many seniors are alone, isolated due to poor health and have outlived many or all of their friends and family. Who better to touch with a loving gift?

    My involvement in senior gifting began in 2011 with a phone call from a FLORIDA TODAY editor, inquiring about whether Aging Matters in Brevard would be interested in partnering with the newspaper for the Reaching Out project if it were expanded to include seniors as well as thousands of children.

    With a quick “Yes, we are in­terested,” and after a year of planning, the 2013 distribution of nearly 2,000 gifts went off without a hitch. Gifts were distributed from Mims to Micco to seniors at home and at play. This second year, we upped the ante to 2,200 gifts.

    The gifts have been distributed for the past few weeks to individual homes, at the Sunflower House and at 11 Seniors at Lunch sites throughout the county.

    At the Martin Andersen Senior Center in Rockledge, this past week, a group of seniors attended a Seniors at Lunch program to enjoy good food, visit with friends and celebrate at the annual holiday party.

    I had the privilege of attending the party and watching 25 seniors eat a delicious meal and impatiently wait for everyone to finish eating so they could open their gifts. As their gifts were distributed, I quickly found out that seniors shake boxes, pull off wrapping paper, toss out bows and open their gifts with the gusto of their youth. They opened boxes and gift bags hiding slippers, cuddly throws, stamps, pajamas and darling Christmas stockings with gifts inside. The mood was festive and everyone loved their gifts.

    I find the most heartwarming aspect of this project is receiving thank-you notes after the gift delivery. I want to share these notes and stories so you can meet the folks benefiting from your donations.

    “Thank you so much for my wonderful Christmas gifts, the pink sweat shirt is so great. Just what I wanted. So warm and soft. The hand lotion is so much appreciated and needed. Thank you.”

    A 90-year-old husband and his 85-year-old wife who receive Meals on Wheels both completed Reaching Out wish lists. Unbeknownst to each other, instead of asking for a gift for themselves, they each had the perfect gift for the other.

    Often a request is made for a small gift for their pet: “The ‘kids’ loved their treats — another unexpected surprise to have the ‘kids’ get gifts since they are my family! The holidays are more pleasant when you are remembered. Thank you.” This note was accompanied with a photo of the “kids,” two cute Pomeranians.

    “Before things went from bad to worse in these past couple years, I was the one always willing to help wherever and whenever I could. There was no better joy in my life, than to give of myself. To do for those who could not go it alone. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been on the other end of the stick. I am so grateful for the gifts you gave me. For you and your families, I wish you all the best in the coming New Year.”

    “Thank you for the beautiful robe, it will keep me warm in the cold months to come. Your gift was such a surprise, the first Christmas gift I have received in 20 years. Thank you for remembering me.”

    I always feel a twinge of sadness and happiness when I read these notes. They remind me of how precious our lives are and how we must remember to care for one another.

    As we put away our holiday wrappings, I would be remiss if I neglected to say thank you to the people who made this project possible.

    To our volunteer project leaders, a giant hug and thank you to Kim Rodriguez and Merrell Shye. I want to give a special thank you to the elves from McGladrey, FLORIDA TODAY and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for hours of gift wrapping.

    Thank you to the Aging Matters staff who coordinated home deliveries. And there would have been no deliveries without our tireless 600-plus volunteers, whose only complaint was that we did not give them enough work.

    No matter what age we are, there is always magic in the air during the holiday season. Thank you to each and every one who played a part in this holiday magic.

    Thank you, FLORIDA TODAY, for caring about our precious children and older adults. Thank you to the Brevard community who have generously donated to the Reaching Out Holiday Fund. And for those of you who want to donate, there is still time!


    Volunteers and FLORIDA TODAY employees wrap packages for seniors at the Aging Matters in Brevard offices in Cocoa.

    CRAIG BAILEY/FLORIDA TODAY

    McGladrey’s Annual Volunteer Day Helps Seniors throughout Brevard County

    At McGladrey, they take a special approach to giving back to the communities where they work and live.  It’s what they call “McGladrey Social Responsibility.” Established in 2010, McGladrey Volunteer Day represents their commitment to the communities where they work and live. On Thursday, November 6, McGladrey employees across the nation stepped out to help non-profits.

    In Brevard County that meant, about 30 volunteers helped prepare meals at the Brevard Community Kitchen, wrapped holiday presents, delivered meals to homebound seniors, or visited with a senior at a Seniors At Lunch site. The seniors loved seeing this group of enthusiastic volunteers, all wearing bright green McGladrey t-shirts, coming down their walkways to deliver a meal or into their Seniors At Lunch sites for a visit.

    Aging Matters in Brevard would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to the employees of McGladrey for their day of service!

    McGladrey ElvesMcGladrey team wrapping gifts

     

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