Furry Friends for Older Adults

National Golden Retriever Day. National Love Your Pet Day. National Walking the Dog Day. International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. These are just some of the official and unofficial pet-related holidays in February. We know that isolation can be a significant issue for older adults, especially now when face-to-face interactions are still limited. This begs the question, could a pet help?  … Continued

Spotlight: Jewish Family Services

February 19 is National Caregivers Day! Today on the blog we speak with Roberta Hirshon of Jewish Family Services (JFS). A staple in the community for decades, JFS provides assistance across the lifespan, including their newly expanded older adult program WISE.   Ahead of the Curve: If you had to give an “elevator speech” about what your organization does, how would you … Continued

Exploring the DASH Diet

February is American Heart Month! It’s tempting to focus on the chocolate hearts that are filling grocery shelves, but today on the blog we’re going to look at heart health.  Eating a healthy diet is a very common new years resolution, but you can adopt a healthier diet any time during the year! (looking for articles on … Continued

Saving Money in the New Year

Caregiving can be expensive, so can aging. We’ve all been told to save for retirement, but lots of little unexpected costs can pop up. Research shows that 45.9% of households spent more in their first two years of retirement than they spent before retiring. Today on the blog we’re finishing January with a discussion about one of the … Continued

Staying Active During Winter (with bonus Covid tips!)

Today on the blog we’re taking a look at another of the most common new year’s resolutions: being more active/exercising more. We’ve all heard that staying active has a lot of positive benefits ranging from strengthening muscles, preventing falls, and even reducing the odds of contacting certain diseases, but it can be hard to do when it’s colder outside and … Continued

Stalking and Aging

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Like with abuse, it’s crucial to discuss stalking and how to protect our community’s most vulnerable residents.    What is stalking?  The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC) defines stalking as “a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.” Stalking is a … Continued

The 12 Scams of Christmas

The holidays are upon us! This means lots of cooking, cleaning, and preparing for time with loved ones. Unfortunately, it also means that scammers are preparing for a big payday while everyone’s shopping online. Below are some popular scams to watch out for:  Pop Up Stores- Some of these are legitimate but be wary of stores offering the “it” toy … Continued

Spotlight: HomeWatch Caregivers (Part 2)

The Washtenaw County Elder Justice Coalition is a group of health and social service practitioners and community members working to acknowledge and prevent elder abuse in Washtenaw County through awareness, education, advocacy, and enhanced partnerships. Recently we spoke with Breanne Stuaart, President/CEO of Homewatch CareGivers. Homewatch CareGivers pride themselves on providing excellent care at a … Continued

Spotlight: HomeWatch Caregivers

The Washtenaw County Elder Justice Coalition is a group of health and social service practitioners and community members working to acknowledge and prevent elder abuse in Washtenaw County through awareness, education, advocacy, and enhanced partnerships.  Recently we spoke with Angelique Fluellen of HomeWatch Caregivers. Homewatch Caregivers pride themselves on providing excellent care at a variety of levels ranging from respite care and … Continued

Spotlight: Huron Valley PACE

We’re going to be closing out National Family Caregivers Month with interviews and information about adult day care programs in Washtenaw County. Recently we spoke with Tina Berry of Huron Valley PACE. A member of the National PACE Association, Huron Valley PACE helps older adults continue to age in place in their home by offering a full … Continued

Spotlight: Silver Club

We’re going to be closing out National Family Caregivers Month with interviews and information about adult day care programs in Washtenaw County. Recently we spoke with Shannon Etcheverry of Silver Club. A program of Michigan Medicine’s Geriatrics Center, Silver Club offers a respite for caregivers by providing their family member who has dementia with a social outlet … Continued

A sandwich no one ordered

You’ve probably heard the term “sandwich generation” (it was even added to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary). Basically, it refers to someone who is “sandwiched” between taking care of their aging parents while also taking care of their children or adult children. This type of caregiver is often pulled in two directions at the same time. Senior Living.org breaks it down even further by creating three … Continued

In a Nursing Home? Know Your Rights!

October is Resident Right Month. Older adults deserve dignity as they age. The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law ensured this by requiring nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” What does this mean? There are certain rights that nursing homes must adhere to if they accept Medicare and Medicaid, including:  The right to be … Continued

Aging and Mental Health

October is Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. Older adults tend to be shown in pop culture as being sad because they feel isolated or are suffering with loss. It’s important to distinguish between sadness and clinical depression.   According to a 2017 report by the World Health Organization, depression affects 7% of older adults internationally; ¼ of deaths … Continued

Staying Safe Online

October is both Crime Prevention Month and Cyber Security Month! Today on the blog we’re going to share tips for navigating the internet safely. The internet brings us new and different ways to connect, but it also brings with it new opportunities for scammers.   How can I stay Safe?  Make sure your computer is protected with anti-virus software  … Continued

Older Adult Resources for Vegetarians

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day! In honor of this holiday, we rounded up the congregate meal and senior living facilities that are vegetarian-friendly. Some agencies have temporarily suspended their lunch programs. Call ahead or visit their website before visiting. Adult Day Programs Huron Valley PACE– provides flexible meals/vegetarian menu. Vegetarian meal alternatives available daily.  Congregate … Continued

Do you plan on retiring?

According to a recent article by the Associated Press, 23% of Americans (nearly 1 in 4 people) plan on never retiring, mainly for financial reasons.   In a survey of retired persons, 38% rated themselves as “very or extremely prepared” for retirement, versus 24% who rated themselves as “not very or not at all prepared” for retirement.    Unfortunately, retiring may beyond … Continued

Fall Prevention

It’s officially fall in Michigan! Did you know that the first day of autumn/fall is also falls prevention day? 1 in 4 people age 65+ in America fall each year, which can result in health complications, hospitalizations, and even deaths. Although it’s common, falling is NOT an inevitable part of aging.   Why do so many people fall?  Medical conditions  … Continued

Spotlight: Hoarding Task Force of Washtenaw County

Disclaimer: The Hoarding Task Force receives referrals from community agencies and first responders. Please note that the phone is not answered immediately, instead callers are prompted to leave a voicemail. The Hoarding Task Force does NOT provide housekeeping/chore services.  [This interview was conducted before Covid 19. Call the agency directly for services and information that may have changed.] The Washtenaw … Continued

Senior Centers in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus has changed nearly every aspect of our lives. Despite the unique challenges of the past six months, senior centers in Washtenaw County continue to do their best to serve older adults in their community. Below is a guide to current services and offerings from local senior centers:   Ann Arbor Senior Center (734-794-6000 x42591) Building Closed? Yes  … Continued

Older Adults in the Media

What comes to mind when you hear the word older adult? Is it an active person playing basketball or teaching a grandchild how to ride a bike? Or is it someone with gray hair who sits on a couch with their caregiver?  Do a quick web search for “older adult”- what do your results look like?  Even though … Continued

Thrift Shops

This post was scheduled before the Covid 19 outbreak. Call head to your local thrift shop before visiting or donating. August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day! When you think of thrift shops you probably think of small, quiet stores with rows of clothes organized haphazardly. Thrift shops can be great for finding clothes and furniture at a discount, but they offer … Continued

Spotlight: Adult Protective Services

The Washtenaw County Elder Justice Coalition is a group of health and social service practitioners and community members working to acknowledge and prevent elder abuse in Washtenaw County through awareness, education, advocacy, and enhanced partnerships.   Recently we spoke with Rashanna Davis of Adult Protective Services (APS), Adult Protective Services investigators protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation … Continued

The 2020 Election: A Guide

This year’s election is looking a little different than in years past. How do you cast your vote when you’re worried about Coronavirus?  Are you registered to vote?  Michigan residents can visit the Michigan Voter Information Center’s website to see whether they’re already registered to vote. If you’re not, it’s easy to sign up. You can sign up for … Continued

Spotlight: Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP)

Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW) is home to a wide variety of programs serving young children to older adults and everyone in between. We’ll be interviewing representatives from different CSSW programs help our audience understand what resources are available and how to access them.    In recognition of July 30 being the anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, we recently … Continued

Avoiding Scams: Covid19 Edition

Unfortunately, scammers aren’t above using any situation to their advantage- including a pandemic. Below is a run through of various scams to be aware of.   The Vaccine/Cure/Test Scam  Scammers are taking advantage of the fear surrounding Coronavirus by calling older adults and offering to send them testing kits, vaccines, or even filters that filter out the virus (no … Continued

The Happiness Curve

You’re probably aware of the stereotypes of older adults. Popular culture loves to depict older adults as lonely, depressed, and isolated. But is that really the truth?  Recent studies show that if you were to measure happiness across a lifetime, it would be curved or U-shaped. People, in general, tend to feel most content in their 20s … Continued

The Elusive (?) Male Caregiver

When you think of a caregiver, you probably think of a middle-aged woman. 70-80% of older adults are cared for by a family member. 57-81% of those family members are female. Female caregivers may outnumber male caregivers, but that does not mean that they do not exist. As we’ve pointed out before on the blog, the face of caregiving is changing. Men … Continued

Elder Abuse

June is both national safety month and national elder abuse awareness month. June 15 is also World Elder Abuse Day. The term “safety” might make us think about fall prevention and medication risks, but there is more to staying safe than focusing on medical markers. Older adults can be abused in a number of ways and, unfortunately, it usually happens … Continued

Spotlight: SafeHouse Center

Recently we spoke with Amy Merkle, Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at SafeHouse Center. SafeHouse works to provide safety, support, advocacy and resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and their children, while also working relentlessly to change the systems and attitudes that allow this abuse to continue. In this interview, Amy discusses how to get connected with SafeHouse, signs … Continued

Resources for LGBTQ+ Seniors

Older adults face a number of unique challenges; unfortunately, these challenges are heightened for older adults that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer). While Baby Boomers are more likely to live alone than their parents, members of the LGBT community are three times more likely than the general population … Continued

Staying Active During Quarantine

Coronavirus and quarantine have changed what our everyday lives and routines look like. One effect of quarantine is that Americans are becoming more sedentary. As we’ve mentioned on the blog before, physical activity has a lot of benefits, including better heart health, stress management, and decreasing your risk of falling. The World Health Organization recommends that older adults should be active … Continued

Spotlight: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

April 19-15 is National Volunteer Week! Recently we spoke with Andrea Traskos of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW). Andrea is the Program Director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which provides enriching volunteering opportunities for older adults. In this interview Andrea discusses what the RSVP program does, who she works closely with, and shares … Continued

Keeping in Touch while social distancing

It can be hard to remember a time before we knew the term “social distancing.” With Covid-19 still a concern, how do we keep in touch with loved ones while keeping them safe?   FaceTime– if you use Apple products, you’re probably familiar with FaceTime, Apple’s video calling platform. For more information, click here.   Google Hangouts– if you … Continued

Caregiving & Stress

It goes without saying that caregiving can be stressful (we’ve even covered self-care tips and avoiding fatigue on the blog before). Aging in general can also be stressful. But how exactly does stress affect older adults and the people that care for them?  What does stress do to the body?  Stress can weaken the immune … Continued

COVID-19: Organizations Accepting Donations 

With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to feel hopeless. To help with that Ahead of the Curve has compiled a list of organizations that are accepting donations of materials, financial support, or time. Item Donations  Food Gatherers- (734) 761-2796  Accepting food donations   Shelter Association of Washtenaw County- (734) 971-1073. Click here to view their Amazon … Continued

COVID-19: Resources for Older Adults

With Coronavirus, it can seem like each day means more services closing for the near future. Below are resources for seniors and caregivers that are still available in some capacity.   Note: Please note that information is rapidly changing. This information is current as of January 16, 2021 and will be updated as needed. Call a resource before visiting.  Caregiving Ahead of … Continued

Important Announcement from Ahead of the Curve

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order to combat the spread of COVID-19 that takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.  Because of this announcement, Catholic Social Services’ Packard office will be closed effective Tuesday until further notice. Several programs have been suspended until further notice, … Continued

Spotlight: Housing Bureau for Seniors

The Washtenaw County Elder Justice Coalition is a group of health and social service practitioners and community members working to acknowledge and prevent elder abuse in Washtenaw County through awareness, education, advocacy, and enhanced partnerships. Recently we spoke with Susan Atkins of the Housing Bureau for Seniors. The Housing Bureau for Seniors (HBS) provides guidance … Continued

Sleeping as We Age

Why is sleep important?  Sleep is when the body repairs itself. The processes that our bodies go through when we sleep have been shown to affect mood, energy, memory, brain health, and our ability to learn. What’s stopping us from sleeping?  Difficulty sleeping is often portrayed as a normal part of aging- but it isn’t. … Continued

Heart Health 101

Happy February! In addition to being the month of Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month. Today on the blog we’re going to share some tips to maintain a healthy heart.  Eat five servings a day of fruits and veggies (focus on eating the rainbow)  Replace heavy condiments and mayonnaise with olive oil   Coconut … Continued

What’s a long-distance caregiver to do?

You love your family member and want to support them as they grow older…but you live in a different state- now what?  The National Institute on Aging defines long-distance caregiving as caring for someone you live at least an hour-long car ride away from. Long-distance caregiving is more common than you may think! According to … Continued

Take a break with our Caring Crossword

December 21 is National Crossword Day. Celebrate (and test your knowledge) with a special Ahead of the Curve crossword! To download the crossword and answers: Click on “download” button or hover mouse over the document title until it changes color. The crossword should open in a new tab (if it doesn’t, click “open” when prompted). … Continued

Grieving during the holiday season

Grief is universal and can be especially difficult during the holiday season. GrieveWell is a non-profit organization that envisions a community in which individuals grieve well so that they can lead a full life after loss. To reach their vision, the GrieveWell mission is to provide resources and support to individuals in grief — as … Continued

Family Caregivers Month: Rob Lowe

This month on the blog we’ve been focusing on stories from famous family caregivers in honor of Family Caregivers Month. We’re closing out the month with a video from actor Rob Lowe who acted as caregiver for his mother and is an advocate of the importance of self care for caregivers. During #NationalFamilyCaregiversMonth, I am … Continued

Happy Family Caregivers Month!

November is National Family Caregivers Month! This month on the blog we’ll be focusing on stories from famous family caregivers. Lots of people find themselves acting as a caregiver- even celebrities! We’re starting out the month with a video from Caregiving Club. Their CEO interviewed celebrities who have acted as caregivers and asked for their … Continued

Busting Scams

October is National Crime Prevention Month. We all know that scammers exist and like to prey on older adults. What you may not realize is that scams are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. According to the FBI, between 2018 and 2019 scammers collected $700 million from about two million people, most of which were … Continued

Caregiving: Where to Start?

Caregiving can easily feel overwhelming, especially when you’re starting out. A quick web search shows results for various guides, websites, and articles spread throughout the internet.   Luckily, Home Instead Senior Care Services has created an interactive quiz to help you make sure everything is covered in your care-giving plan. This is a great jumping off … Continued

Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

We’ve talked on the blog before about the importance of self-care for the caregiver. Today we’re going to focus on why self-care is so important: preventing caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue. What is compassion fatigue?  “Compassion fatigue refers to the phenomenon of perpetual caregivers — whether familial or professional — becoming physically and emotionally depleted … Continued

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Explore the Washtenaw County Senior Resource Directory

Our easy to use and regularly updated resource directory is a one-stop guide to older adult services in Washtenaw County.