What is American Heart Month?
American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is an ideal time to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.
• The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963.
• The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.
• At that time, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease.
• While American Heart Month is a federally designated month in the United States, it’s important to realize that cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year.
That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
Nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, a percentage that reflects recently updated guidelines for treating high blood pressure, according to a new report. High blood pressure – also known as hypertension – can lead to heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
“We’re becoming more and more aware of the importance of high blood pressure. Levels we used to think were normal we now associate with worse outcomes, and treating them makes a big difference,” said Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin, a professor of cardiology at Boston University and chair of the group that wrote the American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2019 Update”.
The report, published Thursday in the AHA journal Circulation, has been released annually since 1958 and is based on data from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources. This year’s report said 121.5 million adults in the U.S. – 48 percent based on 2016 figures – has cardiovascular disease. Heart disease was the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke was No. 5, the same ranking as in the previous year.
For more information, visit: www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/31/cardiovascular-diseases-affect-nearly-half-of-american-adults-statistics-show
“Our connections to others are what bind us to life.”
– Patrick Arbore
The Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. While there are other organizations that respond to the needs of people who may be contemplating suicide, none provides the type of services that IOA’s Friendship Line offers to respond to the public health problem of suicide among the elderly. Knowing that older people do not contact traditional suicide prevention centers on a regular basis even if they are considering suicide, They created the only program nationwide that reaches out to lonely, depressed, isolated, frail and/or suicidal older adults. Their trained volunteers specialize in offering a caring ear and having a friendly conversation with depressed older adults.
The Friendship Line is both a crisis intervention hotline and a warmline for non-emergency emotional support calls. Founded in 1973 by Dr. Patrick Arbore, Director of IOA’s Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention, and accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, Friendship Line provides round-the-clock crisis support services including:
• Providing emotional support
• Elder abuse reporting
• Grief support through assistance and reassurance
• Active suicide intervention
• Information and referrals for isolated older adults, and adults living with disabilities.
Friendship Line 1-800-971-0016
Sometimes the road to happiness begins by simply saying hello to someone who cares. -Institute on Aging
When older adults cannot leave their homes and cannot personally prepare nutritious meals, home delivered meals are an available option. Volunteers who deliver meals to homebound older persons have an important opportunity to check on the welfare of the homebound elderly and are encouraged to report any health or other problems that they may observe during their visits.
AgeSmart funds 10 nutrition providers throughout 7 counties serving over 1200 meals every day. Last year, we provided 330,000 meals 2200 unduplicated clients.
To be eligible for HDM, an older adult must be assessed by CCU.
Must be 60 or older / adult child with disability living with an eligible older adult
No charge / suggested donation only – $ goes back into program to maintain program
Here is a list of providers in your community:
Bond County Senior Center
1001 E. Harris Ave
Greenville, IL 62246
Clinton County Senior Service Inc.
630 Eighth Street
Carlyle, IL 62231
O.W. Billhartz Civic Center
100 East Birch
New Baden, IL 62265
Western Clinton Co. Senior Services
520 North Main Street
Trenton, IL 62293
Senior Services Plus
2603 North Rodgers Avenue
Alton, IL 62002
Granite City Nutrition Site
2060 Delmar Avenue
Granite City, IL 62040
Columbia Senior Center
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
411 Palmer Road
Columbia, IL 62236
Waterloo Senior Multipurpose Center
207 West 4th Street
Waterloo, IL 62298
Sparta Senior Multipurpose Center
500 West Second Street
Sparta, IL 62286
Chester Senior Multipurpose Center
805 State Street
Chester, IL 62233
Red Bud Senior Center
1445 West Market
Red Bud, IL 62278
Steeleville Senior Center
107 West Broadway
Steeleville, IL 62288
St. Clair County
Mascoutah Senior Center
227 North Market Street
Mascoutah, IL 62258
Millstadt Senior Center
102 South Jefferson Street
Millstadt, IL 62260
Seasoned Circle Café
1274 N. 37th Street
East St. Louis, IL 62205
Nashville Nutrition Site
454 North Hoffman
Nashville, IL 62263
Okawville Nutrition Site
305 North Nashville Street
Okawville, IL 62271
If you want to learn more about the services available in your area visit our website….http://agesmart.org/services-in-your-area/.
Americans are living longer. America’s older population will double by 2030 and 20% of the population will be 65 years and older by 2050. Education and resources that empowers people to embrace their longevity and live their lives to the fullest is more important than ever. As children, we learn how to be successful adults, but no one teaches us how to age well. As a result, most are unprepared for this new stage in life.
Enter Aging Mastery Program.
Developed by National Council on Aging, the Aging Mastery Program® is a comprehensive evidence-based program that is designed to inform, encourage, and support older adults as they take steps to improve their lives and stay engaged in their communities. The program incorporates evidence-informed materials, expert speakers, group discussion, peer support, and small rewards to give participants the skills and tools they need to achieve measurable improvements in managing their health, remaining economically secure, and increasing social connectedness.
Core curriculum of this 10-session workshop includes topics such as healthy eating and hydration, sleep, financial fitness, advance planning, medication management, and healthy relationships. The program encourages individuals to make and maintain small, impactful changes to their behaviors to live a healthier, happier, and more secure life.
Ready to embrace your own aging? Registration for our upcoming Aging Mastery Program® is now open. We hope to see you there!
Shiloh Senior Center
7 Park Dr. Shiloh, IL 62269
Tuesday, March 5 – May 7, 10:00 – 12:00
To register, call 314-862-4859, ext. 24.
To learn about other wellness programs, contact AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.
Within normal circumstances related to age, this can cause an older adult to lose connections. This loss of connection has a real impact on a person’s overall health. People need social connections to thrive. About 29% of people 65 and over live alone. The potential of prolonged isolation can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (AARP Foundation 2012) Loneliness is linked to serious health problems and death among older adults. (University of California San Francisco June 2012)
In the Metro East there are approximately 30,000 older adults who have the potential of being isolated or lonely. This is a topic many do not think about and people may not even realize they are experiencing loneliness. In the UK, there is a Ministry for loneliness because they recognize the negative health effects. Loneliness is not a normal part of aging. We need greater awareness that it is a severe problem and many reminders to stay connected with family and friends.
For more information contact AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.
Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association Celebrates its
A walk through the last 100 years.
Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association (SIVNA) officially began on January 1, 1918 with a staff of five nurses and sixty-three patients transferred from the St. Louis Visiting Nurse Association. Cash on hand was $600 in borrowed funds and a contract with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to provide nursing care to eligible policy-holders. Currently SIVNA has a staff of 92 and serve just over 10,000 people in 2017.
Providing nursing care to the sick and injured in their home regardless of race, creed or their ability to pay and working with community organizations to improve the health of its residents was what drove their work in 1918 and still does today. The great influenza pandemic of 1918 enabled the agency to provide a valuable service to the community. During that epidemic between 50 and 100 million people are thought to have died, representing as much as 5 percent of the world’s population. That was the beginning of a long tradition of caring for the SIVNA.
Many of the projects SIVNA pioneered have become the function of state and local agencies such as the Child Welfare Program. In their first year 3,188 infants and children to age 6 were weighed, measured and given nutritional counseling. This was a joint program of SIVNA, Red Cross and a child specialist. These later became the infant welfare conferences and were continued by the East Side Health District when it was organized in 1937.
SIVNA worked closely with the Tuberculosis Society in providing nursing care to the tuberculosis patients. During 1921, these two organizations working with a physician began school health examinations. Also in 1921, assisted by the State Board of Health, four clinics for crippled children were conducted. A special fund was established by the Board to pay for braces, casts and other corrective appliances.
The East St. Louis Journal assisted the agency in establishing a milk and ice fund for indigent infants and children. This fund was established in 1921 and continued through 1945. Dental health was another concern in the early years. Queen’s Daughters assisted in the purchase and distribution of toothbrushes for every school child in East St. Louis.
The 50’s and 60’s brought new organizations and additional community services. In 1951, SIVNA began to work with the Cancer Society which furnished funds for nursing care of cancer patients, dressings and supplies. In 1959, the George Washington Hi-12 Club began their hospital bed project with 35 beds. This project was carried on by a special committee of the club.
January 1959, the SIVNA Board gave their approval to serve as the parent organization for the proposed home care program. January 1960, rehabilitative restorative nursing was initiated. One nurse attended a special course at the Rusk Institute in New York an on July 1, 1961, a homemaker program began on a three-year pilot basis with private funding administered by a Board of Directors. The coordination of health services, home-helper, or home health aide services has been an invaluable supplement to the nursing program. On July 1, 1966, SIVNA became a provider under Medicare. SIVNA was instrumental in working with the Medicare program in the early years as problems were identified and worked through.
A grant under the Older Americans Act of 1965 made it possible to extend services to cover all of St. Clair County. The Illinois Department of Public Aid, St. Clair County Board of Supervisors, together with agency personnel and equipment, enabled SIVNA to qualify for these funds. The grant was for a three-year period and provided nursing care to patients age 60 and over. This program officially began January 1, 1967.
Changes in funding and Medicare services indicated the need for a merger of the Home Care Association and SIVNA. The Home Health Aide Service became certified July 1, 1967 and final details of the merger were completed January 1, 1968.
During the 70’s and 80’s, the agency continued its growth and expansion of programs. The hospital coordinating role was initiated to establish a closer working relationship with hospitals, physicians, and patients. Under Title III, Home Health Service was expanded to Monroe County and a homemaker program was initiated.
In 1983, through a contract with the Illinois Department on Aging, and the Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois (now AgeSmart Community Resources), the agency became responsible for the Care Coordination Unit (CCU) and Title III programs. Assessments for homemaker, housekeeping, chore, daycare, and pre-screenings for nursing home placement are performed by SIVNA care coordinators in our service area.
December 1990, a contract was signed with the Illinois Department on Aging to follow up on victims of adult abuse. SIVNA’s team of Senior Protective Services was one of the first in the state established to participate in the program.
In 1996, the Choices for Care Program was initiated by the Illinois Department on Aging to provide early counseling to individuals seeking long term care services before being discharged from the hospital. SIVNA’s CCU has experienced care coordinators who explain all available alternatives to those in need of long term care, including services that can be provided at home. In 2000 SIVNA’s Care Coordination Unit was awarded additional territory by the Illinois Department on Aging. The CCU now serves the Illinois counties of St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, Washington, Bond and Clinton.
In 2013, SIVNA’s Senior Protective Services was expanded to serve disabled adults as well. The program’s name was changed to Adult Protective Services.
Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association continues now as in years past to provide superior individualized care to residents in our service area. SIVNA is uniquely able to meet all the needs of area residents who seek to maintain their independence and dignity. Congratulations on 100 years!
For more information about SIVNA visit their website at sivna.com or give them a call 618-236-5863
Have you ever notices that your Medicare card number is a social security number, usually your own? It is important to safeguard this number against identity theft and never give it to strangers over the phone. So why doesn’t Medicare just change the number. Well, Medicare is changing the number. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing out new cards to beneficiaries with an 11-digit combination of letters and numbers that has nothing to do with your social security number. CMS will stagger these mailings, and by April 2019, all Medicare beneficiaries will have their new cards. You will not need to do anything to receive your new card. It will be sent via mail.
Having your Social Security number removed from your Medicare card helps fight medical identity theft and protect your medical and financial information. But even with these changes, scammers will still look for ways to take what doesn’t belong to them. Here are some ways to avoid Medicare scams:
- Is someone calling, claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information? Hang up. That’s a scam. First, Medicare won’t call you. Second, Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number or bank information.
- Is someone asking you to pay for your new card? That’s a scam. Your new Medicare card is free.
- Is someone threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money? Also a scam. New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won’t be any changes to your benefits.
For more information and to report suspected scams contact AgeSmart Community Resources at
1-800-326-3221. AgeSmart Community Resources is your local Area Agency on Aging.
If you are receiving Medicare benefits you can expect to see changes if the Affordable Care Act(ACA)/Obamacare is repealed. When the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare was first enacted it added enhancements to existing Medicare benefits.
- The ACA significantly decreased the number of uninsured. A repeal of the ACA would once again increase the number of uninsured passing that cost on to hospitals, doctors, other providers and patients including people on Medicare. Expect an increase in Medicare Part A and B deductibles and copayments.
- The ACA added Preventive Services at no cost to you. If the ACA is repealed, expect to pay for your annual Well Visit, PSA Test, Mammogram and flu and pneumonia vaccines, among many others.
- The ACA has been lowering the cost of the doughnut hole. If the ACA is repealed it means the return of the doughnut hole. For those in the doughnut hole they may have to again pay 100% of the cost of their prescriptions, as they did prior to the ACA.
For more information:
National Associations of Area Agencies on Aging:
Kaiser Family Foundation: