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Senior Agenda airs live every Thursday morning at 10 am. Podcasts are also available.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Top 20 Volunteer Opportunities in Franklin County for 2015


  1. OHIO Grassroots Alzheimer's Project (GAP) - this is a new organization and meetings are held at The Worthington Retirement Community in Gahanna every other month. Call 614-800-5550 for  meeting details. Learn more about their vision & mission here.
  2. Military Appreciation Follow this link for details and direction.
  3. American Red Cross Call the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus at 614-253-2740  ext 2355 or Follow this link for national details and direction.
  4. RSVP This is the nation's largest volunteer organization for seniors 55 + and specializes in matching seniors with volunteer opportunities that tap individual talents and passions.  Follow this link to learn more.
  5. The Salvation Army Follow this link for details and direction.
  6. Catholic Social Services Friendly Visiting Program Volunteer to visit a senior experiencing loneliness and social isolation in Franklin County.  Visit this link to learn more.    
  7. Hospice Organizations  Volunteer at any local hospice including Mount Carmel Hospice.
  8. LifeCare Alliance  Volunteer opportunities are endless with this incredible local organization including delivering Meals on Wheels to local homebound seniors. Visit their website for details.
  9. Mid Ohio Food Bank Help fight hunger by volunteering today.  Follow this link to learn more.
  10. Volunteers of America/ Greater Ohio Volunteer to help the less fortunate today.  Follow this link to learn more.
  11. COLUMBUS COALITION for the HOMELESS Volunteer to fight homelessness in our city.  Follow this link to learn more.
  12. Good Neighbor Picnic 2014 Volunteer to participate in organization for 2014 effort to provide a day of family fun for the homeless in our city.  Visit their website to learn more.

  13. Volunteer Guardian Program Volunteer to be a guardian to a senior.  Free training and supervision offered through COAAA Follow this link to learn more.
  14. Ohio Department of Aging Volunteer to help seniors through COAAA - Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-589-7277 Follow this link to learn more.
  15. Hands On Central Ohio Foster Grandparent Program Volunteer to mentor a child in need.  Call 614-221-6766 or Follow this link to learn more.
  16. Ohio Historical Society Volunteer to help preserve our state's history.  Follow this link to learn more.
  17. Employment for Seniors  Volunteer to help other seniors find employment.  Call 614-863-1219 or Follow this link to learn more.
  18. Columbus Metropolitan Libraries Volunteer opportunities range from clerical duties to participation in the HomeworkHelpCenters where you can tutor children. Call 614-849-1055 or Follow this link to learn more.
  19. PAWS Ohio: Public Animal Welfare Society Volunteer to love a pet through adoption, fostering or other agency duties.  Follow this link to learn more.
  20.   For a list of over 400 local individual volunteer opportunities. Follow this link now!
Remember to listen to Senior Agenda for local opportunities through the year. As I often say on the radio program, you don't have to go it alone!!! 

Rhinestone Cowboy Making Us Witnesses to the Truth about Alzheimer's

Glen Campbell's willingness to be a poster child for Alzheimer's Disease makes him a true American/Alzheimer's hero. Reports indicate that his health is now rapidly declining and he is living out his final days in an Alzheimer's nursing home in Nashville "mumbling incoherently" and unable to recognize friends & family.  What's worse?  It will get worse.  Each new day will bring new challenges and losses.  Each new day will bring new anxiety.  Each new day will be a new heartache - for Campbell and his family.  That's Alzheimer's!

Campbell's diagnosis was announced in 2011.  A farewell tour was scheduled for 2012 while the legendary singer/songwriter could still remember the words to his hit songs. He released his final song entitled  "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" last week and a documentary, Glen Campbell: I'll Be Mewill be released on Oct 24.  The documentary focuses on his final tour and fight against Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's kills and the prognosis is epidemic.  According to the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Fact and Figures Reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 67 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's in the United States. To add insult to injury, studies indicate that Alzheimer's deaths are vastly under-reported which results in a false sense of security and under-funding. Research shows that Alzheimer's was the underlying cause in 500,000 deaths  in the United States in 2010, a figure close to six times the estimate from the Centers for Disease Control.  In other words, in just one year, Alzheimer's killed nearly as many as AIDS - responsible for 636,000 deaths in the United States - had taken in more than three decades.  (Alzheimer's, a Neglected Epidemic. May 2014) 

We salute Campbell!  In the coming days we will see more and more cases of Alzheimer's & dementia.  Today we need more heroes like the courageous Mr. Glen Campbell.  He may not be able to miss us, but we will certainly miss him.  In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with our hero and his family.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Alzheimer's Challenges are Mounting but Together We Can Move Mountains

We are happy to announce the kickoff of a movement we are calling OHIO Grassroots Alzheimer's Project or OHIO GAP. The first meeting will be held on 8/28/14 at 6:30 at The Worthington at 1201 Riva Ridge Blvd in Gahanna, Ohio.  The meeting is open to the public.  We will begin strategizing, forming committees, and discussing our purpose, mission and vision. Please consider joining us.  

Alzheimer's kills and the prognosis is epidemic.  According to the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Fact and Figures Reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 67 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's in the United States. To add insult to injury, studies indicate that Alzheimer's deaths are vastly under-reported which results in a false sense of security and under-funding. Research shows that Alzheimer's was the underlying cause in 500,000 deaths  in the United States in 2010, a figure close to six times the estimate from the Centers for Disease Control.  In other words, in just one year, Alzheimer's killed nearly as many as AIDS - responsible for 636,000 deaths in the United States - had taken in more than three decades.  (Alzheimer's, a Neglected Epidemic. May 2014)  

So where is the outrage?  

I read an article in The New York Times called Alzheimer's, a Neglected Epidemic back in May that literally kept me up at night. I would lie awake while the wheels in my head went round and round wondering if we should move on what the article was suggesting. In short, the article asserted that the fight against Alzheimer's lacked momentum due to 1) distorted views about aging and 2) a lack of in your face leadership or a "strong inside game."  The sentiments of the article resonated as truth, mirrored my own observations and stirred an awakening inside of me that left me weighing options as I stood on the threshold of what to do next. A few weeks later I read another piece called The Unfortunate State of the Alzheimer's Movement  released by Glenner Memory Care Centers which further cemented my desire to do something.  

From the article: 

"But while public health campaigns to fight issues such as HIV/AIDS and infant mortality gained considerable popularity during their respective eras, Alzheimer's has not gained a similar response...The fight against issues like AIDS, infant mortality, and childhood cancer harvest immense attention because these conditions are considered extraordinarily tragic.  They deny children and young adults the opportunity to live a long, fruitful life.  On the other hand, Alzheimer's affects older adults - mostly over the age of 65. Alzheimer's is indeed a heartbreaking and disastrous illness, no one would  argue that, but a lack of attention combined with society's 'distorted' views of aging fosters a sentiment of indifference that permeates throughout all facets of our community - from legislation to the media to our own personal values."


Lack of momentum is further complicated and confused by a host of other challenges! The fact that stigmas about mental health disorders and ageism collide in Alzheimer's in a youth-obsessed culture making the Alzheimer's patient even more invisible in the public eye works against us. Caregiver stress, frustration and fatigue make it difficult to mobilize families who would otherwise be leading the fight on the front lines. Misconceptions and a lack of understanding continue to rule pubic opinion and policy.  For example, the media has advanced the idea that healthy living can help prevent Alzheimer's,  but the scientific evidence is unclear.   This type of misinformation can and does give way to victim-blaming.  Fear is also a factor. Studies indicate that Americans fear Alzheimer's more than heart disease, diabetes or stroke.  Patients and caregivers often struggle with fear-related issues in Alzheimer's.  A cousin to fear in the Alzheimer's experience is denial.  Everyone seems to be in denial.   Patient's often hide symptoms during the early stages and family members and close friends do not want to acknowledge Alzheimer's at any stage.  


Senior Agenda will continue to work to raise awareness, demand notice from our politicians, fight for funding for a cure, and encourage treatment options through volunteerism and donation. We will also continue to back those senior advocates, physicians, scientists, families, caregivers, and businesses that participate in the fight against Alzheimer's and dementia.  We will continue to stand with the Alzheimer's Association as we believe they are currently standing alone on the front lines.  Above all that, we will continue to celebrate seniors and the elderly as worthy of the attention and dedication needed to beat this diseases.  I have blogged many times about ageism and we will stay the course! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wish We Had Talked About Death Before Papa Died

I pulled into the driveway and there he was standing in the window with the dog by his side.  They were waiting patiently for some word about the events of the night. I had left the house around midnight and now the sun was preparing to show itself. More hours had passed than I realized. Why didn't I think about this before now? How should I tell him?  What words should I use?  Oh God!  There is no time to ponder anything.  He sees me.  He has been waiting for hours.  I hope he wasn't afraid.  Why didn't I use the drive home to figure this out?  Mommy will be here in a minute, maybe she will know what to say.  I waited for her to pull in behind me and we got out together.  We were in shock. She was still trembling. I was numb and the tears that would flood my world in the coming days and weeks and months had not yet made an appearance.  The front door opened and he stepped out into the twilight and asked, "Where is Papa?"  Neither of us spoke as we walked towards him. "Go in house and put Moses away before he gets loose,"  I instructed.  "Ok, but where's Papa?  Did he have to stay?  Who's with him?  My son had already experienced more hardship than most but this kind of loss was still unknown to him. For a moment, I felt like a complete failure.  I could not protect him.  "Moses doesn't want to go out," he said.  I rolled my eyes and commanded the dog to go lay down somewhere but he was already laying down. "What's wrong," my son asked. My mother sat on the couch and asked my boy to come sit in her lap.  "Isaiah, Papa went to be with Jesus".  It was clear that he was not grasping the message that she was trying to convey so she tried again.  "What I mean is that Papa is needed in Heaven so that is where he went.  Do you understand," she asked.  Isaiah turned to me and asked, "Will he come back when he is finished doing what God needs him to do?"  "No, Isaiah.  Papa died at the hospital tonight."  I will never forget my child's reaction.  I could see the brutal reality of that night roll through his being.  I can still hear his sobbing. He was 12 years-old and until that day he had never sobbed.   Mommy sobbed.  Isaiah sobbed.  No one spoke for almost an hour.

I have often wondered how that night might have played out differently and if it would have made a difference in the way my child processed his grief had I been better prepared.  As parents, we want to protect our children from harsh realities. Death is inevitable and unpredictable and real.  It is absolutely beyond our control. We cannot protect them from it. We can do a better job of preparing them for it. The experts agree that talking about the possibility before a tragedy occurs is best. I think common sense would agree!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Endurance in Action: Sandi Latimer Style

Sandi was interviewed on Senior Agenda for one of our Slow Down, Listen & Learn segments in early May.  Afterwards, she agreed to help organize our "Author's Pavilion" for the Parkinson's Benefit on June 13th in a volunteer effort to help make the event as inviting as possible.  Just four days before our signature event, Sandi returned home from a day of volunteer work to find her husband dead.

I was aware of her loss but thought it insensitive to ask if she was still planning on attending. I privately speculated that the funeral might actually be the same day as the event.  Authors were contacting me asking what to do.  "Did you hear about Sandi's husband?"  "Is the 'Author's Pavilion' still on?"  "Should we cancel out of respect for her loss?"  I had only known Sandi for just over a month but something told me she would want us to plunge forward.

The day of the event, one by one the authors arrived and each inquired about whether or not I had heard from Sandi.  I had not but instructed them to save her a spot just in case.  "She's not coming. She is burying her husband today, " one author explained.  "You are probably right, but save her a spot anyway,"  I replied.

Not only did she attend the event that evening, but I have watched her continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on in a way that is truly remarkable in recent weeks.  She continues to promote her books, volunteer and offer words of encouragement to others.  Consider her recent blog or her recent post of facebook: "Many of you have asked how I'm doing.  I'm proud to say I'm vertical and breathing.  I still have a vast supply of tears.  I'm trying to keep up with my regular schedule as well as do what other things are expected of me.  Anger, frustration, wonderment, and a variety of other feelings are present.  I'm trying to turn a negative into a positive.  Someday I will learn to release the parking brake, or start a lawnmower or snow thrower, or back the SUV out of the garage, or even play a CD.  But right now other things have taken priority."  

The podcast of her interview back in May will only be available on our site for a few more days.  If you missed that program, listen here.  I also think you will enjoy my recount of our initial meeting if you haven't read that piece.  Read here.

Sandi has shown incredible resolve, fortitude and strength in the past couple of months.  She is endurance in action.  She is obviously actively grieving but she is also still making her own special contributions.  If you know someone like Sandi, please consider contacting her via her blog link listed above.  Sharing stories is one way to keep hope alive and make it through another difficult day.  

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Sandi.   

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Local Author Raising Money for Presidential Libraries Project

Sandra Gurvis, the author of 16 commercially published books and hundreds of articles,  was interviewed on Senior Agenda this morning.  Her titles include DAYTRIPS FROM COLUMBUS, 3rd ed.; OHIO CURIOSITIES, 2nd ed; CAREERS FOR NONCONFORMISTS, AMERICA'S STRANGEST MUSEUMS, and more. Her work has been featured on "Good Morning America," "ABC World News Tonight," and in other newspapers and magazines.  We had fun in the studio as we chatted about everything from life in the 1960's to idealism (or the lack thereof) in this decade.  If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to the Slow Down, Listen and Learn interview here.  

One of Sandra's current projects is all about Presidential libraries.  If you are a history buff, patriot or just enjoy Americana here's your chance to support a local artist in her effort to produce what she is calling CLOSE ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK. According to Sandra, the book will contain photographs and be organized geographically so if you were to visit, say, Texas you'll know where to go.  Learn more about the project and/or donate here.

Please consider making a donation.  What a wonderful way to say happy birthday to our country this 4th of July 2014! Sandra is an accomplished and prolific writer so we can rest assured our donations will help move this project along and result in yet another valuable and insightful published piece of work.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Senior Agenda Raises $2140 for Parkinson's in 2014

Registration with Izetta (Lisa's mom) and our dear friend Lisa Mattevi. 

Live jazz by Dwight Lenox and the Lenox Avenue Express.

The Author's Pavilion. 

The Freedom Home Health Family.  Freedom is the primary sponsor of Senior Agenda. 

The stunning Ms Tiffany Ori of Parkside Village in Westerville which hosted the event. 

Radio personality & host of Senior Agenda - Lisa Stockdale & brother - pictured here.

We had a full house and a great time at the 2014 Senior Agenda Parkinson's Benefit for the National Parkinson's Foundation Central & Southeast Ohio! Thanks to everyone who attended, donated and sponsored. Special thanks to Parkside Village for providing such a beautiful venue and being so supportive along the way. More pictures are available on our facebook page at Senior Agenda . Please consider liking us there to follow that aspect of our work.

We have included a snapshot of the wonderful testimonials coming in below:  

YEHAAAA!!! CONGRATULATIONS (1000 likes on our facebook fan page)!  By the way, the Parkinson's event was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!  So glad you didn't pay attention to Friday the 13th, full moon, ect. ect. ect.
Carolyn J. 

WOW!  I came to support the Parkinson's Foundation and fell in love with Lisa and Senior Agenda. That young woman is dead serious about protecting us seniors.  She is a wonderful spokesperson and it is obvious she speaks from the heart.  The celebration was just beautiful.  

James R. 

What a great evening!  It was well worth the ticket and the raffle ticket!  I made new friends and spent quality time with those I knew already, plus supported an excellent cause.  I also appreciated your not hiding your Christianity and Judea-Christian values - both in the program and when you spoke.  Keep on standing up!  

Marian P.  

Just a note to say Thank You for the invite to the celebration last evening.  What fun!  I met many new friends and shared a lot with possible new friends.  You put on a WONDERFUL spread...May He continue to Bless you as you continue to walk in obedience with Him.

Inez J. 

Lisa really knows how to put on a party.  Not only did we enjoy music, food and drinks, it was good to see that Senior Agenda was able to give over $2000 to the Parkinson's Foundation.  

Sarah R. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

This Memorial Day 2014 the Eagle Bows his Head in Shame

We take these allegations seriously. We are closely examining the facts.  We are working tirelessly to get to the bottom of this.  We are deeply concerned.  This is unacceptable. We are prepared to act pending the outcome of our current investigation.  The American people can trust that we will hold folks accountable if these allegations prove to be true. 

Blah... blah...blah...Puke, gag, choke, vomit and blah some more.

Just a bunch of political profanity which morphs into blasphemy when it is used to gloss over the breach of trust committed by the US government regarding the lack of care, cooked books, gross incompetence and what ought to be classified as criminal behavior in the Veterans Administration.  It is an absolute betrayal!!!  It's a betrayal of the men and women who put their lives on hold and at risk to defend our freedoms and protect our interests at home and abroad.  And it's a betrayal of the American people at large. 

We know code for we are a bunch of pencil pushing bureaucrats with our heads up our elbows who will cover for one another every time - all the time - from here to there and everywhere in between - anytime we are in jeopardy of being held accountable.  We know how to decipher your side-stepping, hocus pocus, mumble jumble.  And we know you don't mean it when you say you're mad as hell.  We know you lack common sense, compassion and the ability to be outraged.   We also know you think we will forget.  While we have grown accustomed to your trickery and lies, NOT this time!  We are demanding and will continue to demand accountability and meaningful action from the top down on this one.  No one gets a pass. 

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, the US federal holiday designated to commemorate the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces, our hearts are heavy and we REALLY are MAD as HELL.  By now, most of you know enough about what they are calling the "VA Scandal" to know that our government has failed us. Review news clips here.

In the wake of the scandal with 26 VA facilities currently under investigation and allegations that 40 veterans died awaiting care in Phoenix, the Obama administration announced yesterday that more veterans will be able to obtain care at private hospitals.  In addition, the VA announced that VA facilities are "enhancing capacity" so that veterans can get care sooner. See Washington Post article here.  

Our response to that is so what!  And we're not sure we believe you! This directive is too little too late and seeing as how we are smack in the middle of Memorial Day weekend, it smells like more political posturing and lip-service.

Washington has been fully aware of the on-going problems within the VA and potential dangers those problems give way to for years. Consider the following excerpt taken from a letter written by the leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to North Carolina Senator Richard Burr this past week: 

"The VFW staff you choose to rebuke and whose principles you have questioned walk the walk.  They've been there, done that and some of them have the scars to show for it.  Collectively, those same staff members have among them more than 47 combat deployments...

Let me assure you Senator, our DC staff does not operate in a vacuum, or independently from its headquarters in Kansas City...We don't act in hopes of grabbing a headline or securing an interview on cable news; our only agenda in this is to ensure the veterans of our nation timely and adequate healthcare...

The fact of the matter is this: every year the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and Paralyzed Veterans of America have been trying to call attention to the issue, warning Congress of the consequences, and trying to work with Congress and VA on solutions.

Each year our organizations build an analysis of VA benefits and services known as the Independent Budget, and each year since 2005 the Independent Budget has warned Congress about the dangers of long wait times and care rationing due to improper resources, oversight and accountability.  Last year, and again this year, then-VFW-Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton and I warned you and both the House and the Senate Veterans Affairs committee about the dangers of long wait times.  This decade of stern warnings has fallen on deaf ears.

There's no doubt that the culture within the VA needs to change.  In a letter to the President, we made it clear that he needed to take immediate steps and ensure necessary authority to Secretary Shinseki that will guarantee the status quo of protecting enmeshed and 'untouchable' bureaucrats within the VA system cannot and will not continue.  We urged him (Obama) to provide him (Shinseki) the authority to impose the strongest disciplinary actions, including removal and prosecution whenever and wherever necessary, on any VA employee who would abdicate their responsibilities and have a hand in the mistreatment or abandonment of those who have earned timely and adequate healthcare."  

In addition to the remedies suggested above in the letter from the VFW, Senior Agenda believes the following measures should be taken:

  • The Justice Department should be involved in the current investigation.  We no longer trust the internal workings of the VA or it's Inspector General. 
  • Stop ALL bonuses to ALL VA employees until we have a better understanding of who is to blame in all of this.
  • Those employees who are currently on paid leave of absence due to their lack of leadership or worse in this scandal should be on leave of absence without pay.
  • Demand a forthcoming, transparent, detailed plan of correction within the next 30 days.  We aren't talking about a 500 page convoluted document and time is of the essence. Get help from the private sector since you obviously don't know how to run a business effectively.   
  • VA leadership should be required to give weekly press conferences and make themselves accessible to the press until we see some light at the end of the tunnel.  
  • Fire VA Chief Eric Shinseki. That's how it works in the real world.  (We know this is not the position of the VFW.  This is our position).  
  • Prosecute everyone involved in cooking the books and looking the other way.           
Happy Memorial Day and God Bless America.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Slow Down, Listen and Learn with the Delightful Sandi Latimer

Sandi Latimer (left side) awarding another writer a certificate

She arrived early. I wasn't surprised.  She had been somewhat imposing from initial contact.  I had never seen or spoke with her before this morning.  All communications had been via email.  She was a tiny little woman in a tiny little car who drove herself and came solo.  Fearless, I thought.  She had reached out weeks prior and asked if she could come on the radio program to be interviewed. No one had ever done that before unless they were trying to sell something. She sent a bio before I requested it along with other informative emails.  And now - here she was early and ready to go. None of this offended me - mostly because it is exactly how I would have proceeded but it was still enough to cause me to think of her as aggressive. When we met my head was spinning with all my "to do" responsibilities and the rapidly approaching completion of a difficult work week.  I was secretly wishing I had some idea of what to expect from her.  I was secretly wishing that I had read her bio more thoroughly prior to the program.  I got the distinct impression that she knew all that (and maybe more) about me the instant she got her eyes on me.  She literally sized me up from head to toe and then back again.  I began wondering if she was a tiny older me. Smiling...

Once in the studio, she settled into her chair very quickly, put her glasses and the headphones on, folded her hands and looked up at me smiling.  "I'm ready," she reported.  Her smile was endearing but I still wasn't sure what she wanted to share or how this was all going to play out. An hour in live radio can seem like five minutes or a week depending on the personalities in the studio.  

My hour with Sandi Latimer flew by with a quickness.  She has a remarkable ability to recall all the details and a captivating way to tell the story.  She is the perfect combination of unassuming and confident.  Think I am being too kind? Listen to the interview.
Sandi prides herself on the fact that she has worked consistently for the past 57 years as a writer - a craft she obviously adores - without a single day of unemployment.  She started as the area correspondent for her local newspaper, the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, as a youngster.  Later she earned a degree in journalism from Kent State University.  Her career has included stints in radio, broadcast journalism, print journalism, communications and marketing.  More recently she authored a collection of dog stories called Poodle Mistress: the autobiographical story of life with nine toy poodles.  The book is available here at  In a few weeks her second book called Newsroom Buddies, which chronicles her 45-year friendship with her former boss at United Press International, will be published. Sandi tries to write every day and judging by the twinkle in her eye - she will be writing for many years to come.  She is currently affiliated with the Ohio Writer's Guide and Writers' Ink.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Home Health Aides under Scrutiny in Ohio

For every bad home health aide willing to take advantage of a vulnerable senior or person living with a disability there are dozens who choose the work for all the right reasons.  That's our starting point and it will also be our finishing sentiment.  It's not a disclaimer and it's not an afterthought!  It's our position.  It is grueling work with crappy pay.  But...

Home health aides have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.  This past week our local news channel, WBNS-10TV, ran a two part series that raised some legitimate concerns and questions about the industry.  Check out part one and part two. These reports help to raise awareness but... 

WBNS 10-TV got it wrong.  Ohio does NOT require background checks for all home health aides.  Agencies aren't skipping the background check - they are not required for private duty providers.They are only required if the agency participates in a state funded program (such as Passport) or for Medicare-certified agencies.  In other words, the state regulates government programs and not the industry. Other states regulate the industry. It's time for Ohio to step up and put regulations in place that address issues such as training, background checks, accountability, codes of conduct, education and yes - pay.  

This is a multi faceted problem that will require more than finger pointing and the occasional disapproving glance if the goal is truly to protect the elderly and/or disabled.  We suspect the whole thing drills down to the fact that we undervalue our elders and folks with disabilities. Why do we feel justified in paying home health aides so little? Where are the training and educational requirements? What about accountability? Why is it classified as a low level felony for a paid caregiver to steal from or otherwise take advantage of the elderly and/or disabled?  Where is the jail time? Where are the safe-guards preventing a convicted home health aide from continuing to work within the home care/caring industries? Why are background checks not required for everyone working in the home care arena? Regulation is needed because we are inviting paraprofessionals into the homes of the elderly and/or disabled without offering proper training, direction or supervision. It's a recipe for disaster yet we are quick to shake our heads in condemnation when things go astray.  

As a member of the home care profession, let me remind you that our position is that most home health aides are well-meaning and compassionate employees who never come close to violating the trust of their clients. They reside at the absolute bottom of a rigid hierarchy within the home care/medical industry and still they manage charged emotions and difficult family dynamics on a daily basis with little or no support.  They do housework & laundry, run errands, prepare meals and double as a taxi cab driver when their clients need transportation. They assist with personal care including bathing, toileting and yes - they change diapers as needed. They also hold hands and dry tears. They, like their clients, deserve our support and backing. 

We will be offering a more in-depth look on Senior Agenda in May. Stay tuned.  In the meantime, contact your local elected representative and demand regulation.   

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Residential Alzheimer's Homes Meet Neighborhood Resistance

Neighbors in Dublin, Ohio are fighting to maintain a "balance" in their neighborhoods while Alzheimer's advocates believe that supervised home settings make for the best possible care model for folks with Alzheimer's & dementia.  Do the neighbors have a legitimate concern?  Do Alzheimer's patients have a right to live out their last days in a home setting?  Do Alzheimer's patients have an increased  propensity for violence or are they more likely to engage in criminal activity?  Is the residential care model really in the best interest of the dementia resident or is this just another way to squeeze a buck out of distressed families?  Are these care models really safe?  Is fear the driving force at work among the neighbors?  If this is the wave of the future, how can we work together to bring  acceptance and understanding?  What is really going on?

Please join us tomorrow at 10:00 am for the live broadcast where we will be discussing this local situation which has larger ramifications and national relevancy. Both sides have been invited to participate in the discussion.  As always, we also welcome your comments and perspectives.  You can call in at 1-877-932-9766 at any time during the program.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Senior Bullies Continue to Rule in Too Many Senior Communities

Almost weekly someone shares a story with us that involves seniors bullying other seniors.  They are more often than not at a loss to know what to do about it.  After all, we are not talking about children whom we can assign detention, suspend or remove from the classroom when they bully.  We are talking about mature, accomplished, elders whom we admire and respect. In response to what is seeming more and more like an epidemic, a few years ago we developed a series of senior bullying workshops that have been presented in a number of independent and assisted living communities, as well as senior centers in and around central Ohio.

Many seniors initially attend the bullying workshops out of curiosity and under the impression that they are unaware of any bullying within their communities.  The unfortunate truth is that bullying is human behavior that we do not outgrow just by advancing in years. When they come to understand that bullying includes a whole continuum of conduct that goes beyond physical abuse they are quick to identify and acknowledge bullying behavior.

We include a section in our most popular brochure called - You Might Be a Bully If:

·         You refuse to allow other residents to sit at your table at mealtime.
·         You encourage others not to be friendly with residents you dislike.
·         You participate in hurtful gossip about other residents.
·         You raise your voice resulting in the intimidation of another.
·         You refuse to participate and/or discourage others from participating because you dislike a participating resident. 
·         You label others with hurtful nicknames or engage in name calling.
·         You continue to "tease" another resident even though that individual has asked you to stop.
·         You are the member of a clique which is by definition exclusionary. 

What does bullying typically look like in senior arena?  The most pervasive form of senior bullying is a combination of verbal and social bullying.  This practice involves yelling, spreading rumors, name calling, manipulating relationships and participating in cliques.  There are a large number of disputes over shared resources like seating in the dining room or the attention of staff members in senior communities and centers.   

Consider  the following examples centered around one shared resource - the laundry area. 

Ø  A resident once told me that another resident initially became verbally abusive with him because he entered the common laundry room  in front of her causing her to have to wait to do her laundry.  In the weeks and months that followed, the female resident began spreading rumors about the male resident and would routinely chase him down in her power-chair to call him names and shout obscenities at him. He eventually moved out of the community in an effort to avoid the bully.

Ø  A female resident who was a notorious "busybody" started a hurtful rumor about a new male resident that included the notion that he was a cross-dresser after mistakenly identifying another female resident's laundry for the gentleman's laundry.  This situation caused the gentleman not to want to leave his apartment and culminated in a first time bought with depression. 

Ø  An unidentified resident once hung an extra large pair of bloomers on the pegboard in a laundry room with a note that named a resident (property of so and so) adding that "someone needs to diet."  The resident who was named had been the target of a whole barrage of bullying behavior including hate mail and shunning.  This situation eventually erupted into a physical altercation and the arrest of the woman who had been being targeted because she threw the first punch. 

What can be done to stop senior bullying?  We teach folks to recognize bullying behavior.  We also provide information about the reasons people bully and the potential consequences of bullying.  We teach intervention strategies.  We focus on learning to present as assertive without becoming aggressive.  

  • For the target - learn effective strategies like ignoring or avoiding the bully. Learn to speak from a place of confidence.   
  • For the witness - understand that bullying doesn't continue without a group of by-standers who act like it's okay.  Express your disapproval.  
  • For the bully - learn to listen and see yourself as others see you.  Ask for help or seek counseling if necessary.  
  • For the senior communities - make efforts to schedule educational workshops.  Develop and adopt anti-bullying policies and procedures.                       
We all need to stop pretending that bullying is not a problem in senior communities and centers and start addressing the issue.  It will take all of us working together to change the situation.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Public Affirmations from Senior Agenda - Our Identity Exposed

ADVOCACY - The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea or policy, active support. - ADVOCACY

Our platform is growing and we believe the time has come to make some public affirmations about our vision, purpose, mission and identity. We are senior advocates.  We actively support seniors.  We work to stir up discussion and make way for dialogue.  We are dreamers with our ears to the grindstone, our eyes on the prize and our feet on the ground.  We toil to stay abreast of ALL the issues that matter to seniors including the personal and the political.  We refuse to be bullied. We are working hard not to be bamboozled. We are unapologetically Christian.  We support Judeo-Christian values. We are bipartisan.  We support those who vote for seniors and we denounce those who do not.  We are volunteers.  We are community builders.  We believe in family and friendship.  We are patriots.  We are students of life and so we study, research, examine and then re-examine the issues and topics we present. We are committed to seniors and the elderly.  

Please continue to listen to the radio program, email us, join the blog and like us on facebook.  These small things make it possible for us to reach larger audiences but more importantly they make it possible for us to stay encouraged.  We celebrate each new supporter and are indebted to those who stand with us already.  There is work to be done!

Here are just some of the initiatives we support:  
  •  To participate in community building and to get seniors involved at the local, state and national levels.
  • To educate and raise awareness.  
  • To honor and protect the elderly. 
  • To celebrate aging instead of practicing ageism.
  • To stop elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.  
  • To support those who provide better healthcare and housing options for seniors.
  • To demand cures and more research for dementia & Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.    
  • To stop scams against seniors and to support efforts to catch and punish those who prey on seniors. 
  • To understand the aging process. 
  • To refuse to allow seniors to be homeless. 
  • To fight hunger and poverty.  
  • To be a source of encouragement.  
  • To listen to seniors and provide a platform for their stories to be told and heard.    
  • To stop Medicare and Medicaid fraud. 
  • To protect pensions, retirements funds and Social Security.   
  • To protect Medicare & Medicaid.  
  • To ensure that seniors get the same aggressive healthcare treatment as their younger counter-parts.   
  • To focus on wellness including mind, body, and spirit.  
  • To feature local organizations and agencies working with seniors.  
  • To endorse local organizations and agencies that are providing excellent services or care.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Celebrating our 1st Year of Senior Advocacy - Join the Fund Raiser for Parkinson's

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We are delighted to announce a benefit for The National Parkinson Foundation of Central & Southeast Ohio to celebrate Senior Agenda's first year of programming. The beautiful Parkside Village Senior Living Community has graciously agreed to host the event on Friday, June 13th 2014 at 730 North Spring Road in Westerville just minutes from Polaris. Festivities will kick off at 7:00 pm and include a luscious buffet dinner, open bar, live jazz, highlights from our first year of programming and donated door prizes from local trusted vendors and providers. Tickets are on sale now for just $35 and can be purchased through Eventbright here or by using the tab in the menu section at the top of the blog. All proceeds (100%) will go to The National Parkinson Foundation of Central and Southeast Ohio. Space is limited so purchase now in order to secure your place at what is sure to be a memorable celebration for a wonderful cause.

About the Cause...NPF Central & Southeast Ohio is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to individuals and families affected by Parkinson's Disease.  They host and organize a number of activities, fund raisers, support groups and educational opportunities for the local community while simultaneously participating in the national effort to raise awareness. Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative progressive brain disorder for which there is yet no cure.  The best hope is for researchers to continue to work toward a cure and treatment options.  In the meantime, local chapters like the NPF Central & Southeast Ohio work at the community level with grassroots efforts to assist those affected and inform the public.  Visit their website here.

About Senior Agenda...Senior Agenda with Lisa Stockdale is a weekly radio program that goes live every Thursday morning at 10:00 (EST) on That program re-airs on Thursdays at 5:00 pm during your drive home and can also be heard locally Sunday evenings at 7:00 on Columbus Community Radio at 98.3 and 102.1 on your FM dial.  We focus on all things senior. No topic is taboo.  Nothing is too boring, and nothing is off limits.  Senior Agenda works to raise awareness, educate and issue calls to action by examining pertinent social, political, healthcare, economic and personal issues that impact seniors.  There is a strong emphasis on wellness in aging and celebrating seniors. Listen to recent podcast here.

About (TTR) offers the finest in online radio programming, talent development, audio and video production, show promotion and marketing in the city.  The studio is a high tech, first class operation which easily accommodates several guests creating an atmosphere conducive to spark conversation and encourage dialogue. has been streaming 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks a year since 2006.  The TTR family works tirelessly to keep the station up and operating at optimal capacity.  They welcomed Senior Agenda with Lisa Stockdale to their lineup in May of 2013.  We are blessed to have one of the most experienced production managers in the nation - Mr. Ed Dozier - overseeing our efforts.  

About the venue...Parkside Village in Westerville has graciously agreed to host our very first fund-raiser/birthday bash.  Parkside Village is central Ohio's newest (2012) and most dynamic Senior Living Community.  More than the stunning property situated on a wooded lot with a country-like feel or the elegant/upscale interior or the varied floor plans or even the delightful staff is the care they provide.  As a community liaison for a home care agency that works closely with Parkside, I can personally attest to the wonderful care, attention to detail and on-going communication provided at Parkside.  They offer assisted living, independent living and memory care.  The memory care unit, better known as "The Glen," is one of the most inviting in the city.  It comes as no surprise that Parkside recently achieved a deficiency-free survey with the Ohio Department of Health.  Visit website here.

About the music will be performed by local jazz artist Dwight Lenox and the Lenox Avenue Express. Dwight has been singing professionally in central Ohio for more than 20 years and he and his band have almost 15 years together.  They specialize in jazz but also offer a fun variety of dance music.  Dwight was interviewed on Senior Agenda recently - a podcast will be available for review shortly.  For a preview of the music, listen here.  We are honored to have such talent to help us celebrate Senior Agenda and raise money for NPF Central & Southeast Ohio.  

About the door prizes...a nice variety of door prizes will be offered by trusted local vendors and healthcare providers.  Those who donate door prizes will be listed in the event program and acknowledged on social media sites in the weeks leading up to the event.  Please contact us at 614-800-5550 if you are interested in making a donation.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 Serving Our Seniors Day: Community Building in Action

The Westerville Division of Police and the Westerville Citizen Police Academy Alumni organized Serving Our Seniors Day again this year in an effort to provide information and resources for seniors and caregivers in the local community.  The event has become affectionately known as S.O.S. Day and 2014 was another huge success.  Despite the inclement weather, the turn out was good and there were several dozen vendors available to provide information and answer questions.  Attendees and vendors enjoyed a delicious free bagged lunch.  Entertainment included singing and dancing.  There were also several dozen door prizes.  

This is community building in action!  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Slow Down, Listen & Learn with Jazz Singer Spectacular Dwight Lenox

Dwight Lenox

This week on Senior Agenda we will be interviewing jazz singer Dwight Lenox during our live broadcast Thursday morning at 10:00 on  If you are a music lover, you won't want to miss this up close and personal interview where we explore the music and life lessons of this incredibly talented performer.  Call in with questions or comments at 1-877-932-9766.  Check out the preview above to become a fan!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Homeless Elder with Amazing Superhero Power

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This photo wasn't meant to highlight the fact that homelessness among seniors is on the rise in this country but maybe it should.  It is difficult to guess the age of the elder depicted here because living on the streets and in shelters causes premature aging.  While we typically define seniors as 65+, in the context of homeless seniors we are talking about those ages 50+.  

Awww - but maybe you are more interested in his superhero power. He has the ability to make himself invisible also known as invisibility. Invisibility is a power which renders one unseen to the naked eye and the elder pictured above definitely has it.  The only problem is that his power kicks in at times when he would rather be visible. That's where Senior Agenda comes in - we are trying to help him reclaim his ability to be seen.  He often warns others who either don't see him at all or are only able to see him for a brief moment before he becomes invisible to steer clear of invisibility.  "If you ever get the chance to choose a superhero power, take one of the other ones like the ability to fly, night vision or shift-shaping.  Those can't possibly be as damaging as invisibility,"  he said.  He reports that those people who are able to see with their hearts and not just their eyes seem to be able to see him at all times.  Until we are able to figure all of this out, let's all practice seeing with our hearts.

Homelessness is an especially brutal proposition for our elders because they experience increased vulnerability and health risks. Can you imagine living on the streets or in a shelter and also suffering from age-related health conditions like incontinence, diabetes, severe arthritis, loss of balance, dementia or Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and vision or hearing impairment?  Can you imagine needing daily medications that you cannot afford, retain, or house?  

According to Dr. Tom Byrne, a research assistant professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, about 28% of all homeless adults were age 50 or older in 2011.  That is up from 23% in 2007.  The number is expected to continue to rise as the baby boomers age given the difficult economy and the effects of yesteryear's recession on retirements, pensions and savings.  

Solutions are multifaceted.  To learn more about long-term solutions, visit the Homelessness Resource Center.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Westerville Police Organize Community Outreach to Better Serve Seniors

D.A.R.E. Officer Carrie O’Neil, Crime Prevention Specialist (civilian) Preston Tartt and Lieutenant Tracy Myers joined us on Senior Agenda on March 13th to answer questions, provide insight and offer advice about senior safety and crime prevention.   Listen to the complete interview here.  They spoke about scams that target seniors, neighborhood watch programs, the dangers of social media, and the importance of keeping the screen door closed & locked and the garage door down.  Lieutenant Tracy Myers said that their department is interested in having a "touch point" with each one of their demographic groups, including seniors, so that they can better educate, protect and serve the community.  

The Westerville Division of Police and the Westerville Citizen Police Academy Alumni have organized a Serving Our Seniors Day again this year in an effort to provide information and resources for seniors and caregivers in the local community.  The event has become affectionately known as S.O.S. Day which is next Saturday, March 29th from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at Westerville South High School located at 303 South Otterbein Avenue in Westerville. It is FREE to the public and includes entertainment, local vendors, door prizes and a FREE lunch while supplies last.  

Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging will present "60+ Rules for the Road" at 10:00 am and the Westerville Division of Police will present "Crime Prevention for Seniors" at 11:45 am.  

For more information call 614-901-6490 or send an email to    You can also visit their website here.