Questions and Answers - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Questions and Answers

For August, 2007

Question:

I am a 60 year old woman who has recently been diagnosed with hypertension, high cholesterol, and congestive heart disease.  My doctor prescribed medications that will help lower my blood pressure, lower my cholesterol, and hopefully prevent any heart or blood vessel damage.  However, she said I need to make some lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet, exercising more, and reducing stress.  I find this very overwhelming since I've become accustomed to cooking a certain way and not really exercising that much because my husband does most of the chores around the house.  My doctor does not seem to understand this though.  Is there any information available that will help me deal with these health problems and communicate better with my doctor?

Answer:

The Area Office on Aging offers the evidence-based Healthy U Program to older adults in your situation.  The Healthy U Program is a six-week workshop designed to teach older citizens practical skills for living a healthier life with an ongoing health condition.  These conditions include heart disease, lung disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and emphysema.  Throughout the duration of this program, you will learn relaxation techniques, appropriate exercise plans, proper medication usage, and improving your communication with your family, friends and doctor.  You will also receive some ideas about healthier meals and ways to monitor salt, cholesterol, and fat intake.  Currently, the Healthy U Program is offered at the following senior centers: Maumee Senior Center, Erie County Senior Center, Wood County Senior Center, and Paulding County Senior Center.  For more information, please contact the Area Office on Aging at 419-725-6969.

Question:

I am a 72 year old man living alone.  I have three children who live in North Carolina, California, and Florida so I do not have the opportunity to see them very often.  My wife died of cancer last year.  Every Saturday morning I go fishing with an old friend.  The time we spend fishing together is nice, but he has a family of his own and watches his grandchildren throughout the week.  Other than my fishing buddy, I really have no one else to talk with.  Ever since my wife died, I have been losing more and more sleep, my appetite has decreased, and nothing I do anymore makes me happy.  Lately, I have been feeling guilty about feeling lonely and somehow it is my fault.  I know if I keep going on like this my health will get worse and worse.  Is there anyone I can talk to about what I am experiencing?  Who can I contact for help?

Answer:

There are several resources that are available throughout Northwest Ohio that can help you.  The first person you could contact is your primary physician.  It is important that he/she is aware of this information.  They will be able to discuss the matters with you, identify any problems, and develop solutions.  The second resource you could contact is the Lutheran Social Services' Living with Hope Program for counseling services, which can be reached at 419-243-9178.  The third resource you could contact is your county mental health board for counseling service.  For a telephone number for your county office, please contact the Area Office on Aging at 419-382-0624.  Whichever option you choose, please remember that there is help available and you are not alone in this. 

Question:

I am a 60 year old man who moved to Toledo from Pittsburgh about four months ago.  Every morning I go for a short jog at the local high school track.  On Saturday morning I go to the Wolf Creek YMCA and swim several laps.  In Pittsburgh I was involved with a Senior Olympics program in the spring.  It was a great opportunity to exercise, compete, and meet new people.  Is there a program similar to this in Toledo?  Since I am new here I was hoping to meet some new friends and find people to play basketball and volleyball with on a regular basis.    

Answer:

The Area Office on Aging sponsors the 50+ Sports Classic every June.  It was held at St. Francis de Sales High School last year.  The event includes track and field events, basketball, ping pong, volleyball, golf, and many more.  Gold, silver, and bronze medals are given out for each event.  There are also age groups for each event so the competition is fair.  Participants in the past have been very satisfied with the organization and judging.  They also have thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect of the event.  For more information regarding the 50+ Sports Classic, please contact Justin Moor at 419-725-6969. 

Question:

My mother is 85 years old and lives alone in Holland.  She moved into her current apartment about 15 years ago when my father died.  For those 15 years she managed very well.  She used to work outside in her garden and flower beds until last year when she feel and broke her hip.  She has trouble walking now and I am worried she might fall and not be able to reach for the phone.  Is there a fall call-button system or emergency system that I can get for my mother?

Answer:

The Area Office on Aging provides the Emergency Response System to older adults that are at risk for falling.  The button can either be placed around the neck or around the wrist.    In the event of a fall, your mother would only need to press the button and her emergency contact would be called.  The Emergency Response System costs about $35 a month.  For further information regarding this system, please contact the Area Office on Aging at 419-382-0624.

Question:

This past spring I participated in the Healthy U Program held at the Maumee Senior Center.  I was diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago and suffered from a stroke last year.  The Healthy U Program taught me how to deal with the daily challenges of my conditions.  I learned about relaxation techniques and ways to overcome the frustration with the paralysis from my stroke.  All in all, the Healthy U Program was very beneficial to me and I want to help others with long-tern conditions like myself.  Is there any way I can do this? 

Answer:

Yes, there is definitely a way you can accomplish this.  The Healthy U Program is accepting volunteers like yourself to lead the next Healthy U Program at your senior center.  The Program is dependent on people like you who want to pass on what you have learned.  To become a leader, you will need to attend a leader training program for a week.  After the completion of this training you will be able to co-lead a Healthy U Program workshop.  You will also receive a $150 stipend for each program you lead.  For more detailed information, please contact Justin Moor at 419-725-6969.