Senior Agenda Link

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

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.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Playground Nation Combats the Dangers of Social Media for Children

Are you feeling disconnected with your children or grandchildren due to today's technology? If so, you're not alone. Technology seems to be widening the generation gap at a time when families desperately need to practice cohesion.

Consider the following excerpt written by Genevieve Zook:
While the young are busy posting an apology to their readership blog, before they take an extended summer vacation with their family, the older generations are slow to make use of the latest gadgets and online tools, and are baffled by the reason one would want to post the date you will be absent from your house on the Net.  The resulting clash is being called a new generation gap...While the younger generation has expressed impatience with the older generations's slowness to adopt the latest online product, the older generation is just as bewildered by young people who choose to publish their private information on the Internet.
Read the complete article here.

Social Media is one form of technology that has the potential to exasperate the disconnect between children and parents or grandparents.  In part, because it is wildly popular and has become a fabric of youth culture and then again because too many of us older adults do not really understand how it all works.  Think of social media sites like Facebook as public interactive platforms where folks meet online to chat, exchange information, network, stay connected and play.  What is of paramount importance here is that all of this happens in public.  Every post, comment, like, conversation - even the items one chooses to look at are all for public consumption.  What's worse? Activity on Social Media sites is not only public - but it can also be permanent. These facts set the stage for what is known as cyber-bullying and sexting and also make way for predators and other criminals to profile, study and "get to know" our children online.  Read How to Protect Your Child from the Dangers of Social Media here.  What starts online doesn't necessarily stay online and so Social Media sites are riddled with intrinsic dangers which should cause parents and grandparents to be concerned about and monitor content and activity.

Kevin Murphy, founder & CEO of Playground Nation, was interviewed on Senior Agenda on 3/13/14 to discuss these and other concerns.  Kevin shared some alarming truths about "electronic platforms" and how they put our children at risk. Listen to the complete interview here.  Playground Nation is a SAFE social network for children ages 7-12 that addresses safety concerns and content appropriateness.  The creators of Playground Nation share a faith-based approach where content is geared up to be engaging without compromising integrity.  Visit their website here.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Early Detection Key for Age-Related Eye Disorders & Disease

Dr. Jackie Davis-Associate Professor-The Ohio State University College of Optometry 
Laura Schwartz- Special Projects Coordinator -Prevent Blindness Ohio

Did you know that 50% of all blindness is preventable? Blindness and vision loss are greatly feared because the loss of sight affects quality of life in unimaginable and well-documented ways including mobility, risk of falling, functional ability, increased depression, and feelings of or actual isolation.  In short, low vision has the potential to compromise our independence.  That's why we have to overcome our fears in favor of regular check-ups and safety precautions. 

Dr. Jackie Davis, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and Laura Schwartz, Special Projects Coordinator for Prevent Blindness Ohio joined us in the studio on 2/27/14 to provide information to educate and raise awareness around age-related low vision and blindness.  The four leading causes of vision loss were identified as Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataract.  Signs, symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention were discussed for each disorder.  Listen to the complete interview here.  

Both guests are actively involved in Ohio's Aging Eye Public Private Partnership which is a statewide collaboration working to prepare for the rapidly approaching growth in aging eye challenges.  The Partnership addresses issues related to vision care policy, services, public and professional awareness and vision research for Ohio's senior population now and in the future.  

They left us with the following take home message:  To preserve your vision, get regular dilated eye exams, wear appropriate eye protection, avoid smoking, wear sunglasses with UV protection, stay active, eat a healthy diet, and keep your blood pressure and sugar as close to normal as possible.  

For more information listen to the complete interview or visit Prevent Blindness Ohio at or call 1-800-301-2020 ext 112 or visit The Ohio Ophthalmological Society at or call 614-527-6799.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Talk Radio Reminds Us that the Ear Sees Deeper than the Eye

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We all know that the heart sees deeper than the eye.  What talk radio has taught me is that the ear also sees deeper than the eye.

There is something liberating about talk radio.  I mean where else can you stir up conversation, engage in dialogue, raise awareness, issues calls to action, search for truth, question authority, challenge the status quo, expose injustice, cause folks to reconsider, entertain, educate and express yourself without ever worrying about whether or not it's a bad hair day?  In fact, better than that - no selfie required.  I like that because more than freeing me up to go around looking crazy, it frees my listeners up to listen!

I thought I had discovered my passion as a teacher but these days I'm convinced that I was meant to be your radio personality and the host of a program we call Senior Agenda.  A program that they told me would not work because senior topics aren't sexy enough and seniors don't use the internet and there is noting new or controversial or newsworthy to explore.  Well,  they were all wet!  

We are rapidly approaching one year of programming and it has been quite a ride. But we are just getting started!  Welcome to the Senior Agenda family!  We mean to change the senior landscape and improve senior lives and demand that we all operate in respect when it comes to seniors and the elderly.  So the next time you are standing in line at the grocery store behind a 90-year-old woman holding up the line because she moves a little slower than most and feels the need to make exact change. take a deep breath and remind yourself that patience and love and respect are admirable attributes.

Senior Agenda can be heard live on Thursday mornings at 10:00 on and Sunday evenings at 7:00  in Franklin County (Ohio) on Columbus Community Radio at 98.3 and 102.1 on your FM dial.  Callers are welcomed during the live program at 1-877-932-9766.  Revisit recent programs at

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sassy Seniors on Mother's Expectations, Marriage, Faith and Politics

Melba, Rosemary and Susan aka Senior Agenda's Sassy Seniors

Meet Senior Agenda's Sassy Seniors.  We call them our Grove City trio of spitfire. They made their debut on 2/20/14 and are scheduled back by popular demand in June. They are long-time friends and confidants but they each have their own unique perspective to share. Their experiences are as varied as their voices. Listen to the recent interview here.

Rosemary Barkes is the author of The Dementia Dance and was featured on Senior Agenda earlier this year shortly after her book was published.  Revisit that blog here. My favorite thing about Rosemary is her thirst and enthusiasm for learning and life.  She's an adventurist.  Although she presents with a stylish sophistication, she also has a child-like charm about her when contemplating the possibility of tomorrow's adventures.  Her eyes actually light up and dance!  But don't get too comfortable.  She can be serious and will set the record straight without hesitation. Her theme song should be: I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down...Listen here.

Melba Hompertz is a feisty, opinionated trail blazer. She chose career over marriage and spent 35 years in the male-dominated sphere of financial services. She is now a certified financial planner. My favorite thing about Melba is her fever and determination as a political activist.  She believes she can make the difference and so she does!  She is driven and measures her success in terms of the impact she makes. She is one of those special women who doesn't just talk about it - she is about it!  Her theme song should be:  Ain't nothing gonna break my stride.  Nobody's gonna slow me down.  Oh no, I've got to keep on moving...Listen here.

Susan Brunner is motivational speaker and Christian author of fiction. Her pen name is Susan Kay Box Brunner. This woman is a Survivor!  Her story is riddled with unbelievable hardship but she just keeps going and learning and growing.  She has cheated death on more than one occasion. My favorite thing about Susan is the fact that she radiates unconditional and unbridled LOVE.  She has the wisdom to accept the things she cannot change but she also counts it all joy.  Although she speaks softly, her message is powerful and she is a voice of influence.  Her theme song should be: Oh Lord My God, When I in Awesome Wonder...Listen here.

Stay tuned to Senior Agenda for more girlfriend chatter and life-lessons with The Sassy Seniors!