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Mature Focus: News and Notes

Celebrating grandparents

Sunday, Sept. 13 is National Grandparents Day, a day set aside to honor grandparents throughout the U.S.

It has been 45 years since Marian McQuade, a stay-at-home mother from West Virginia, began campaigning for a special day to recognize the lonely elderly living in nursing homes and for grandchildren to be receptive to the wisdom their grandparents could share. Eight years later – in 1978 – President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation declaring the first Sunday following Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.

To learn more about Grandparents Day and find suggestions for ways to celebrate, visit grandparentsday.org.


Retirement savings survey

Fewer than one in five working Americans (19 percent) are putting away more money for retirement now than they were one year ago, according to a Bankrate.com survey. Slightly more than half of the nation’s employed (55 percent) are putting about the same amount as last year toward their retirement nest eggs; 14 percent are saving less than they did a year ago, and 10 percent said they added nothing to their retirement accounts this year or last year.

“With millions of Americans behind in their retirement savings, it is important not only to save, but to save more each year,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “Even for those saving the maximum, 401k contribution limits increased for 2015, affording the opportunity to put away more for retirement.”

The survey was conducted via telephone from Aug. 6-9. For complete results, visit bankrate.com.


Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Wednesday, Sept. 23 is the first day of fall and the date this year for Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one in three Americans aged 65 and older falls every year, and every 13 seconds in the U.S., an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury.

Fortunately, falls are not a normal part of aging, and evidence has shown that most falls are preventable. The NCOA offers these tips for reducing the likelihood of falling:

• Find a good balance and exercise program (see calendar item below). Look to build balance, strength and flexibility. For referrals, contact your local Area Agency on Aging, find a program you like, and take a friend. (To contact the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging in St. Charles County, call 1 (800) 243-6060, or email info@mid-eastaaa.org.)

• Talk to your healthcare provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling, and share your history of recent falls.

• Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure side effects are not increasing your risk of falling. Take your medications only as prescribed.

• Have your vision and hearing checked annually, and update your eyeglasses. Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.

• Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.

• Talk to your family members. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue.


On the calendar

“Free from Falls” is from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14 at Spencer Road Library, 427 Spencer Road in St. Peters. The class covers adult fall prevention tips and is followed by a screening to assess mobility and balance. Admission is free; registration is required. Call 928-9355.

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