The Garden City Telegram

Keeping seniors safe and healthy all year long

May is known as Older American's Month. The theme this year is "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow." We recognize that safety is a primary concern for older Americans. We all know people who have suffered an accidental injury that has changed the remainder of their lives. We encourage older adults to learn about the variety of ways they can avoid the leading causes of injury.

People age 65 and older are at greater risk of dying in a fire. People 85 and older are at five times greater risk than the general population. Free smoke detectors provided by the Kansas office of the State Fire Marshal will be arriving soon. Watch this column for more information when it is available.

Seventeen percent of traffic fatalities in the U.S. are among people age 65 and older. Loss of muscle tone, flexibility, changes in vision or hearing and slowed reaction time all contribute. Protect yourself by taking driving refresher courses and by staying fit. AARP offers a low-cost refresher course online or locally. The next scheduled AARP Defensive Driving course will be Sept. 17. The Mini Bus or City Link are bus services available to "get you where you need to go." Call Finney County Transit at 272-3626 to learn about transportation available to you.

Improper use of medications is another safety concern. It is important for older adults and their caregivers to be aware of the dangers of using medications improperly. A combination of increased medication use paired with normal body changes can increase the chances of unwanted and even harmful drug effects or interactions. Choking is another serious cause of injury or death for adults older than 75.

Elder abuse/mistreatment is recognized as a public health crisis. Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. It comes in many forms: physical, emotional or financial.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among adults 65 and older. The senior center will be offering a falls prevention series beginning in August.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to the volunteers who delivered Meals on Wheels last week. Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 8:30 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m. A new service beginning Thursday is a monthly hearing aid check. Specialists will be here from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to check and/or clean your hearing aid. No appointments are needed and there is no charge. Come on by for this free service. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Strength Training for Seniors is at 5:15 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m. The covered dish dinner for the Finney County Senior Citizens Association begins at 6 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Monday has double pinochle at 12:30 p.m. Strength Training for Seniors is at 5:15 p.m. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, the day begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. Gentle exercises begin at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.

May 7 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. Library outreach is at 11:30 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance begins at 7:30 p.m. to music of the Ortiz Band. The recommended donation is $5.

Health tip

May's healthy eating goal is to switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products.

Lunch menu

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Baked fish, potato salad, perfection gelatin salad, roll, strawberries and pears.

Friday: Chicken salad sandwich, peas, creamy coleslaw, bread, rosy applesauce.

Monday: Pepper steak on rice, oriental vegetables, roll, peaches.

Tuesday: Barbecue pork, au gratin potatoes, broccoli, roll, applesauce gelatin salad.

May 7: Roast beef with potatoes and gravy, cauliflower and peas, roll, poke cake.

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