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Page 8Senior Times - September 2018Update On YourStacey LottSENIOR PROGRAMSHelen Guzzo, Special to Senior TimesAttorney at LawWHAT ARE THE GREATEST NEEDS OF SENIORS?What gaps in existing services needto be filled to ensure that public dollars are being spent wisely to help people in the best way possible? Every three years, Calhoun County Senior Services, the county government office that administers Senior Millage tax dollars, and CareWell Services, the Region 3B Area Agency on Aging for Calhoun and Barry counties, collaborate together to conduct a needs assessment to measure what the highest needs are for seniors, age 60 and over.The Senior Needs Assessment has many components including a community household survey, a review of demograph- ics of seniors, a survey of organizations that provide services to older adults, focus groups, and a community forum. The final report will consolidate all the findings and will be issued in the spring of 2019.If you would like to participate in the 2018 Senior Needs Assessment sur- vey, please call (269) 781-0846, or email, to have a questionnaire sent to you.The community household survey isa questionnaire that was sent to 2,000 randomly selected registered voters, age 60 and over, in both Calhoun and Barry Counties. The questionnaire is also being distributed to seniors who use Senior Transportation or receive commodity boxes through Community Action, those who exercise through Senior Health Partner’s Fit & Fun program, and seniors who receive home-delivered meals through Senior Services of Southwest Michigan. The questionnaire is also being distributed at special events such as Senior Day at the Calhoun County Fair.If you receive a questionnaire, please complete it as honestly as possible andreturn it for this important community study. All responses are anonymous and will help determine the most effective use of local, state, and federal funds directed toward senior programs and services. The survey is expected to have a 25% response rate. A similar senior community survey was conducted in 2013 and 2016. This year’s results will be compared to previ- ous years so that trend lines can be ana- lyzed.The demographic review will be available at, a joint data project of Calhoun County’s Coordinating Council that aims to make data more available to individuals and community groups to measure community health and to make decisions based on facts and data. Older adults are a priority population on the data site.The U.S. Census estimates the Calhoun County 2017 population at 134,128 with 17.4%, or 23,338 people being age 65 and over. Average life expectancy for seniors beyond age 65 years is 4.4 years less in Calhoun County than in other areas of the country. Nationally, life expectancy for females is 81.5 years; in Calhoun County an older adult female life expectancy is 79 years. For men, nationally life expectancy is 76.7 years whereas in Calhoun County the life expectancy for a man is 74.5 years.Information gained in past Senior Needs Assessments has led to greater sup- port for senior centers to help older adults become less isolated, increases in senior transportation, and greater emphasis on providing information on available ser- vices and referrals.Helen Guzzo, MSW, is the Manager of Calhoun County Senior Services, which funds a variety of services for Calhoun residents, age 60 and over, with Senior Millage tax dollars to promote wellness, safety, dignity and independence. To learn more, call (269) 781-0846.Estate Planning & Elder Law269.963.8222130 East Columbia Avenue Battle Creek, MI 49015www.staceylottlaw.comMODERN VINTAGE, CUSTOM UNIQUE& SOME ANTIQUEHaving trouble finding the PERFECT item for that empty corner?WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY 12-6PM • SATURDAY 10AM-5PM • TUESDAY BY APPT.ALLEN ANTIQUE MALL MICHIGAN’S LARGEST Over 200 booths Dealers from 6 states Limited dealer space available  Grill and restaurant on grounds  Home of primitive connections  Home of country junction Bus tours welcome Campgrounds close byOpen 7 days, 10am - 5pm PH (517) 869-2788NI-94 MarshallI-69 Coldwater Exit 13Old US 12 IndianaOhioHTHGIRS'TIERE!2517 W DICKMAN ROAD IN BATTLE CREEK269-245-22329011 W. Chicago (US 12) • Allen, Michigan 49227www.heartlandnursing.comAllenBattle CreekComprehensive skilled nursing & rehabilitation servicesExperience Makes a Difference.200 Roosevelt Avenue E Battle Creek, MI 49037269.965.3327Brain FitnessGet moving. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that, among seniors, “Moderate or high physical activity is associated with a reduced incidence of cognitive impairment after two years.” In addition to regular exercise, a great way to stay active is to spend time with your grand- children or other young family members. Chasing around after children can keep you physically active and improve your sense of well being.Play games. Playing games is another way to maintain and increase brain health. Regularly engage in intellectually stimulat- ing games helps keep your mind active and helps you stay socially connected to your peers.Engage in social interaction. Studies have shown that seniors who regularly par- ticipate in social interactions can retain their brain health. For those friends and family that live far away, correspondence by e-mail or social media can keep you connected.Volunteer your time. Staying active within your community and continuing to give positive contributions are invaluable to both physical health and brain health for older adults by increasing longevity, sense of purpose, and more.Join a group or club. Meet new people and develop satisfying relationships with other seniors who have similar interests. Contact your local senior center or library to find clubs in your area.Tips

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