Tuesday, April 26, 2016



Statement from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee on Older Americans Act Reauthorization Signed Into Law
President Obama signed the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 into law today, [April 19, 2016] reaffirming our nation’s commitment to the health and well-being of older adults. Last July, the President called on Congress to reauthorize this important legislation as part of his remarks at the White House Conference on Aging.

For more than 50 years, the Older Americans Act has helped people live the lives they want, with the people they choose, throughout their lives. Through the aging services network, it has helped older adults continue to work, play and volunteer in their communities, to the great benefit of all. Because of the Older Americans Act, neighborhoods and organizations across the country are able to continue to draw upon the wealth of knowledge that comes only with life experience.

The OAA underpins a promise to preserve the right to live independently, with dignity, making everyday decisions according to our individual preferences and goals across our lifespan. This promise is more important than ever. In a few short years, more than 77 million people will be over the age of 60, and more than 34 million people – mostly family and friends – will be supporting a loved one who is over 60. These numbers will continue to grow for the next several decades.
The OAA affects everyone – older adults, people who help support them, and all of us who hope to one day grow old. I am delighted to see its reauthorization, and I am deeply grateful for the renewed commitment to preserving the rights of all people, for the full course of our lives.

For a summary of the act follow this link: http://theconsumervoice.org/uploads/files/issues/OAA_Summary_1-14-15_final.pdf



In this issue a nifty new activity for guys is announced: bowling in Keene. Check it out!


So, you left home, at last? Congrats! But, Mom and Dad still rattling around in the old place? 

Working and can’t be home when the kid gets back from school?  

Need to be reminded to take a medication?  

These are classic worrying situations aren’t they?  Well, the Are You OK (RUOK) telephone reassurance program can help and it is available to seniors and others living in the Greater Hillsborough Senior Services area.

The RUOK program was developed as a public service project for an Iowa police department in the mid 1980’s. The program enabled seniors who were living alone to respond to a daily, computer-generated phone call, thereby ensuring that they were, well,  OK. The sheriff’s department credited the alerts triggered by the system with saving the lives of several senior citizens.  Since then the system has been adopted in many towns in the USA. At the urging of the Greater Hillsborough Senior Services board of directors the Hillsborough Police department purchased the RUOK software and a dedicated phone line for Hillsborough area seniors in 2015.

It is easy to get into the program.  All you do is submit some basic information about yourself, including emergency contacts, next of kin, doctor and clergy, to Hillsborough or Deering police departments. A form is available here or at either of the police departments, at GHSS Senior Lunches, in the GHSS newsletter, Senior Moments!, or you can download a copy from the GHSS Blog spot under the 'Documents and Minutes' tab (http://greaterhillsboroughseniors.blogspot.com/). Once you’ve done that, you will receive a computer-generated phone call at the time, or times, that you designated. You will be asked to press a randomly selected number on your telephone key-pad to ensure that whomever answers the phone is a live person. If you fail to respond to the call after three attempts, the police will be alerted to come to your address and simultaneously contact your emergency contact, who probably will be somebody living nearby. You can schedule more than one call in a day. For example, a morning call to ensure your security and one or more calls throughout the day to remind you to take your pills. A working parent can set up a call at home at a designated time that their child must answer.  And, according to company information (http://www.ruok.com/) you can schedule a call for your birthday! You can also suspend calls for times when you are not going to be at home.

RUOK is available to all seniors and others living in the Greater Hillsborough Senior Services area (Antrim, Bennington, Deering,  Henniker, Hillsborough, Washington, Warner, Weare, Windsor). According to Chief Roarick, of Hillsborough PD, while only Hillsborough and Deering are formally ‘on board’ with the program, there will be no difficulties for residents of the other towns. There is no cost for subscribers to RUOK

RUOK is not a medical alert system. It cannot be used for acute medical or other emergencies. It can, however, lead to medical or other service.

The RUOK telephone reassurance program is a tool that can bring ‘peace of mind’ and reassurance to seniors living alone. It eases the concern of friends and family who may find it difficult to maintain consistent, reliable contact with them.  GHSS hopes that our area seniors will take advantage of this great, free program!