January 28, 2016 By: Teresa Osborne, Secretary of Aging SHARE Email Facebook Twitter BLOG: Helping Older Pennsylvanians During Winter’s Worst Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf PSA, Seniors, The Blog, Weather Safety Though its impact is still being felt in communities and neighborhoods across Pennsylvania, one of the worst winter storms in the history of the commonwealth did not disturb the commitment of scores of social and health care workers who care for older Pennsylvanians.From hospitals and nursing homes, to personal care homes and group homes, direct care workers, cooks, dietary aides, nurses, and support staff from various other facility departments worked around the clock to make certain that residents who rely on them for care and shelter were tended to before, during, and after the storm.Administrators from facilities most directly impacted by the storm have shared countless stories hailing these often unsung heroes who left the solace of their own homes to ensure that their facility’s patients or residents would be safe, cared for and comfortable.One such story involved an 18-year-old high school senior, Elsie McCarthy, who walked two miles so that she could be at her job at a Harrisburg-based assisted living community, ensuring that breakfast, lunch, and dinner was prepared, served, and cleared without interruption. Because of the dedication of workers like Ms. McCarthy, those who reside in such facilities don’t have to worry about having enough food or shoveling snow.I would also like to praise our local area agencies on aging, who ensured that extra meals were delivered and extra wellness checks were made. In one local community, the area agency on aging director calmed the fears of an out-of-town son by ensuring that his elderly mother’s pilot light was functioning and the vent pipe on her roof was clear of snow.This winter, the PA Department of Aging is reminding Pennsylvanians that while these dedicated workers have kept care facilities running, the majority of older adults who live on their own must practice caution and safety on their own accord when winter storms wreak havoc.While age alone does not make a person vulnerable or compromised in their capacity to respond to and recover from such storms, there is a correlation between advancing age and the likelihood of having special needs, such as being house-bound or socially isolated, having impaired mobility, or being reliant upon nursing, home health care or food from aging service providers or volunteer agencies. These needs increase frailty and thus heighten the need for an elderly citizen’s community to be good neighbors.There have been numerous incredible examples of neighbors stepping up to support each other. When severe weather strikes, being a good neighbor can help save a life.Here are some tips for checking on your elderly neighbors during winter weather:Take a few minutes to shovel out their driveway and sidewalks and clear the front of all the doors, so that even if the elderly occupant does not need to get out, if need be, medical personnel, home health workers, or volunteers can get in. If they have a car, offer to clean off the snow, start it up, and let it run for a few minutes.Engage in a conversation with your elderly neighbors. Ask them if their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work and if they have an adequate supply of oil, batteries, water, food, and medications. If you are headed to the market, call and ask if you can pick anything up for them.Knock on the door of those you may not have seen out and about during and after the storm. Sometimes a quick check-in can make a big difference — for safety or for those who may be lonely.As we witnessed throughout the commonwealth during and after this weekend’s blizzard, facility and home based health and direct care workers, area agency on aging staff, and community neighbors did a tremendous job to care for Pennsylvania’s seniors, despite the extreme forces of Mother Nature. I thank them for their vigilance and commitment as together we strive to enable, empower, serve, and protect older Pennsylvanians.
Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra will be performing at Liberty Park in Batesville on June 18.A new headliner has been named for Batesville Music and Arts Festival this coming June.The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra (IJO) has been booked for the show on Wed., June 18 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Park.The nationally recognized orchestra is Indiana’s premier professional repertory large jazz ensemble composed of instrumentalists and vocalists from the central Indiana area. According to the website, the IJO is committed to performing world-class musical arrangements based on tunes from the Great American Songbook.During the Batesville Music and Arts performance, the orchestra will perform popular tunes from musicians including Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington and Cole Porter and many more.Last month, it was announced that the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra would not return to the music and arts festival in 2014.The Mayor’s Committee for the Performing Arts selected the IJO after an extended search.