Event will help seniors clear tech’s hurdles

Day by Day: Event will help seniors clear tech’s hurdles

By LIZ THOMPSON

August 11, 2019

This Week News

When we reach age 55, we are considered senior citizens.

That means we can join a senior center and receive discounts at stores.

Those of us born between 1944 and 1964 often are called baby boomers. We came of age before computers were in homes and certainly before we could hold one in our hand or on our lap.

Most of us, and definitely those born earlier, remember the first TV in our homes, and some remember party lines on telephones. Rarely did we have more than one telephone or TV in our homes. We set what was called rabbit-ear antennae on top of the TV and moved them around to get a fairly good black-and-white picture.

Over the years, we became aware of technology seeping into our daily lives. Those of us fortunate enough to work where we learned our way around computers have a fair advantage over those who did not. We grew into the knowledge, making the advances less traumatic.

Even if senior citizens find technology confusing or frustrating, it can help some stay in their home longer and more safely. It’s called “aging in place,” meaning a person lives and ages in their residence of choice for as long as they are able.

Aging in place includes having services, care and needed support in the residence.

But the idea meets some hurdles in the health, social and emotional needs that must be addressed to help people maintain well-rounded lives.

The Upper Arlington (Ohio) Commission on Aging understands these challenges and offers an annual symposium on different topics to inform senior citizens.

This year, the topic is “Technology and Aging: What You Need to Know and What You Want to Know.”

Presentations will include “Aging and your Health Care” and “Aging in Place.”

This year’s symposium is set from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m Sept. 18 at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, 2300 Lytham Road.

From 8:30 to 9 a.m., those who attend may view exhibits from technology groups, companies and other related sponsors with the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging.

The free event includes lunch.

Registration is required, and the deadline is Sept. 11. To register, call 614-407-5748 or go to uacoa.com and use the “contact us” form.

Featured speakers are Donna Matturri, technology and media librarian with the Upper Arlington Public Library, and Danielle Murphy, consumer educator from Attorney General David Yost’s office.

“We hear so much in the news about the worst possible outcomes in technology: identity theft, hacking, fake news,” Matturri said. “When you have to sort through all that negative noise, it feels nearly impossible to stay positive about using a smartphone or computer.

“Technology can connect us to family and friends (and help us make new friends), keep us organized, help us stay safe and active and, through your local library’s resources, entertain you.”

Murphy will inform guests about the Cybersecurity, Help, Information and Protection Program.

“The presentation is a basic educational session designed to help consumers stay safe in cyberspace,” she said. “As consumers of all ages rely more and more on technology, it is vital they understand how to protect their electronic devices and keep personal information private.”

Murphy said her presentation will focus on the importance of security and privacy, including the special challenges brought by mobile devices.

She will offer seniors practical security and privacy tips they can put to use and will provide copies of the CHIPP booklet to all who attend.

This booklet is available at ohioattorneygeneral.gov by clicking on “publications” and looking for the CHIPP under the “consumers” header. The booklet also can be ordered by calling 800-282-0515.

A panel, moderated by Age-Friendly Columbus, will feature representatives from Nesterly, Smart Columbus and Lyft.

The forum is open to all senior citizens.

Advertisements

Symposium will provide chance to bone up on osteoporosis

Day by Day

Symposium will provide chance to bone up on osteoporosis

By LIZ THOMPSON
August 13, 2018

This Week Community News

As we age, our bodies don’t let us pretend we are teens or young adults anymore. We have more odd aches and pains, and for some of us, just setting out for a walk takes planning, if it can be done at all.

Many of us take our vitamins, eat as healthfully as possible and stay active. After retirement, we have more time for hobbies and special interests that keep us socially involved and physically on the move.

Aches and pains we didn’t have years ago, and the fact we seem to be getting shorter, can be warnings we should not ignore. Osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle, is a condition that can worsen as we age.

“Your bones are in a constant state of renewal – new bone is made and old bone is broken down,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created.”

“A fracture (broken bone) as a child is not uncommon,” says Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carmen Quatman. “Playing hard and taking some risks can sometimes lead to a colorful cast and a few weeks of ‘slowing down’ to recover.

“As an older adult, however, a fracture can result from a low-energy event, take longer to recover from and could be an important sign to recognize for further evaluation on your overall bone health.

“Osteoporosis is often unnoticed and untreated in people over the age of 65 until after a fracture, and even then, many patients are not aware that wrist, shoulder, ankle and hip fractures could be warning signs of osteoporosis.”

By 25, our bone mass and strength is at it optimum level. From there, our bodies begin a slow trend down in size and strength.

“Even though you may not be at your peak bone health, there are still things to do to preserve the bone you have,” Quatman said. “Screening labs such as calcium, Vitamin D levels, and DEXA (bone-density screenings) can be performed to help determine fracture risk and provide data to the patient to encourage bone-health initiatives. Prevention and early intervention of osteoporosis can lead to a significant impact on fracture risks in older adults.”

Preventing the loss of bone is something that begins in our youth. How active we are, our diet, medications we use and lifestyle choices we make throughout our life can affect our bone mass when we are older.

Quatman is working on a study involving falls prevention by studying records from the Upper Arlington Fire Division on the runs it makes that involve accidental falls.

Some medical conditions, such as celiac disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer, lupus, multiple myeloma and rheumatoid arthritis, may cause a higher risk for osteoporosis.

It is more likely in women, especially postmenopausal women and those who are Caucasian or of Asian descent.

There are some things we cannot change, but making healthful lifestyle choices and being aware of prevention and risk factors serve to set us on a path to better health.

Each year, the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging offers a senior symposium for those who want to learn more about topics of interest.

This fifth symposium takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 19 at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, 2300 Lytham Road. (Ohio)

The topic is osteoporosis and bone health. Quatman will speak, along with endocrinologist Dr. Laura Ryan with the Center for Women’s Health at the Ohio State.

Topics include non-pharmacologic treatments, such as healthful diet and weight-bearing exercise, and management of the disease.

There is no cost, but registration is required. Call 614-583-5326 to register no later than Sept. 14.

Education is never a waste of time – especially when it improves our lives.