October 28 - November 4, 1998

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Senior Scene

by Ethel M. Austin

At a luncheon at the Senior Health and Wellness Center (SH&WC), those of us who promote and encourage programs for the Third Age, were treated to information about the SH&WC new program lineup.

Quoting from their philosophy and mission statement, "The philosophy within our (St. Francis) system acknowledges that health is not just an absence of disease but a state of well-being that includes physiological, spiritual and social health."

"The Senior Health and Wellness Center is dedicated to helping people achieve successful aging by providing programs, services and resources, in all four domains of health, which allow older adults to maintain their health, independence and continue to lead active, fulfilling lives. "

Robin Abourizk, the director of the Center, outlined the programs for good health and well-being for the Third Age. The small fees provide professional leadership, and the facility is "rent free,"

The new membership program for "The Third Age Group" is free. Based on the premise that health and wellness need to be started earlier than age 65, the entry age has been lowered to age 50. Aside from the discounted fitness classes and free health screenings there will still be opportunities to buy the discounted Senior Fitness Pass which entitles the holder to l2 sessions in the well-equipped exercise room. Included is an initial orientation appointment with a staff member to tailor the program to your needs. The total cost is only $30. A bargain for those on lower incomes who need revitalization. Such fitness programs are not chargeable to Medicare or any other medical insurance. However, the membership will act as "preventative medicine."

Other advantages of owning the Third Age Group Membership is its affiliation with EldeMed America, which will offer an enhanced package of benefits, such as discounts and coupons for such needs as eye glass purchases, shoes, hairstyling (men and women) as well as many other essentials.

You can become a member by filling out a simple form at 95 Woodland Street, the home base of SH&WC or call 714-4412 and ask to have the application sent. Also call this number if you want to sign up for classes and programs. Ask for a list of November programs when you call.

November is Alzheimer"s Month. Many people have a difficulty deciding where to place a loved-one suffering with this disease. It is not a decision to be made in a crisis, or when the present caregiver is too worn out to make a wise and advantageous selection of homes. For decision-making tips, Write to Gray, Kirk, Vansant, Attention Beth Knight at 401 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Md.,21202.

Are you aware of the "Vial of Life" Program? If you don't know that this is a vital way to provide life saving medical information to paramedics, firemen and ambulance crews when you are unable to provide it yourself, then perhaps you would like to attend an informational event being held in the City Hall Atrium at l0am on November l8. Call 522-4888 X 6854 and speak to Audrey Hyman in the Hartford Elderly Services Division.

Do you really read your mail or your telephone bills? Are you taken in by checks made out for $15 or $30 which purport to give you those amounts of free calling if you sign up with them for long distance calling? Do you listen carefully to the limited cents a minute ads on TV which tell you all long distance calls can be yours for just pennies? When the bill comes in do you check to see if their promise was kept, or have you been charged for amounts you truly do not understand. Although I hear many complaints, one recently bothered me, as the client was having amounts charged on his bill each month for access fees both for the company which was bragging about their low cost long distance charges, and by the SNET company who handles this client's in- state calls. When he called for explanations neither company's phone people knew why the monthly charges were being made each month.

It could easily make your long distance calls cost more than straight charges. Check this out.

Reminders: Did you get your flu shot? Your doctor will give it to you if you missed it at your senior center or other location.

Also don't forget to go to the November 7th Greater Hartford Senior Citizen Coordinating Council's "Time to Make a Difference": volunteer showcase and exposition on November 7, from 9 to 2 at the Gengras Center of St. Francis Hospital. Call 724-6443 X350 for information. $5 gets you lunch and entrance to talks and workshops. Door prizes and awards. Speakers will have books they have written so you can learn more about "Being an Outrageous Woman" or "Being and Outrageous Man". Hope I'll see you there!

Talk with you next issue.

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