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Senior center information

In light of the recent events due to the COVID–19 Virus, Experience, Inc., our local Area Agency on Aging, is committed to helping our senior population in Warren and Forest Counties stay well and safe. We are calling our consumers to check in on them to ascertain what needs that they have.

The senior centers in both counties are closed to the public for programming, which includes the VITA Tax Preparation as long as the Governor has declared a stay-at-home order. The IRS has extended the filing deadline 90 days. PA Property Tax and Rent Rebates deadline for older adults and Pennsylvania residents with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2019 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2020. According to the irs.gov website the distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. However, some people who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. When more specific details become available, they will update the irs.gov page.

Experience Inc., the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) continues to operate and provide critical services to the older adults of Warren and Forest Counties. While the main office and all area senior centers are closed to the public, the AAA remains committed to our senior population. We are currently unable to come to people’s homes or have them in our office, but staff is available to answer questions or to help if someone is in need of our programs and services. We will do everything that we can to meet consumer needs over the phone. Call the Area Agency on Aging at 814-723-3763. If you already have a case worker please dial their extension, leave a voice mail and they will return your call.

Food Resources

Local Food Pantries in our area include: The Salvation Army, 311 Beech St, Warren, phone (814)723-8950; Nazarene Food Pantry, (814)723-3960; the Grace UM Church Food Pantry, (814) 723-9440; First United Methodist Church Food Pantry, (814)723-4930; the Sugar Grove Food Ministry, 210 Jamestown St, Phone: (814) 489-3105; Sheffield Food Pantry, call the Methodist Church at 814-968- 5222; the St Joe’s Soup Kitchen is open for take-outs, call (814)723-2090

Some local restaurants are offering curbside pick-ups for your convenience: Hog Wild BBQ, Open Tues – Sun: 11-8pm, call 814-706-3239, 386 Kinzua Rd/ RT 59, Warren; Bob Evans, 360 Jackson Run Rd, Warren, (814) 726-1661; APPLEBEE’S, 2725 Market Street, Warren, (814) 406-7373.

Groceries – Walmart is offering curbside pick- up, 2901 Market St, Warren, (814) 641-1410; Aldi’s and TOPS in Warren are offering home delivery, but you have to order online; Kondak’s Market in Clarendon #723-9869 delivers in both counties, but there is a delivery charge based upon where person lives.

Congregate meals for adults age 60 and over will be available for take-out from noon until 2 pm on Thursdays only from your local senior center. Reservations must be made before Noon on Monday each week in order to receive the Thursday meals. These meals will come frozen and packaged in a bundle of five meals for your convenience. If you are not able to go to your center to pick up your congregate meals, please call the ACC to inquire about receiving them at your home. For this meal service related to senior centers please call the Allegheny Community Center, 814-723-4180.

For Home Delivered Meals, please call Experience, Inc., at (814) 723-3763, extension 139 or 122; or 1-800-281-6545 for those who do not have long distance calling.

STOP THE SPREAD OF GERMS: CLEAN, RINSE, SANITIZE

*AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK

*COVER YOUR COUGH OR SNEEZE WITH A TISSUE, THEN THROW THE TISSUE IN THE TRASH

*AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE, AND MOUTH

*CLEAN AND DISINFECT FREQUENTLY TOUGHED OBJECTS AND SURFACES:

Cleaning, Rinsing and Sanitizing:

Cleaning is when food and other dirt are removed from a surface.

Rinsing is washing a surface with clean water to remove soap, detergent or other impurities.

Sanitizing reduces pathogens on a surface to safe levels.

How to Clean and Sanitize a Surface:

1. Clean the surface: using soap and warm water

2. Rinse the surface: removing soap with clean water

3. Sanitize the surface: be sure the sanitizer concentration is at least 200 ppm ( you can make your own sanitizing solution: 1/3 cup bleach per 1 gallon of water OR 2 tablespoons bleach per 1 quart water. This will give you a 1000+ ppm disinfecting solution). After cleaning the area with detergent, spray or wipe with surfaces with the disinfectant.

4. Air dry surfaces

*STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK, EXCEPT TO GET MEDICAL CARE

*WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN WITH SOAP & WATER FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS

For more information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19

5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Science-backed tips

for strengthening your

immune response quickly and effectively

by Hallie Levine, AARP, updated March 21, 2020

When it comes to fighting viruses, everyday precautions such as washing your hands often and avoiding sick people are key. But experts say that boosting your immune system may also give you an edge in staying healthy. Here are five smart steps to add to your to-do list now.

Stay active

Working out is a powerful way to boost your immune system, says Mark Moyad, M.D., M.P.H., Jenkins/Pokempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. It causes your body’s antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more rapidly, which means they may be able to detect and zero in on bugs more quickly. Being active this way also lowers stress hormones, which reduces your chances of getting sick, Moyad adds. Research suggests that exercise’s effects may be directly relevant to virus fighting, too. According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, of 1,002 people surveyed, those who exercised at least five days a week had almost half the risk of coming down with a cold as those who were more sedentary. If they did get one, they reported less severe symptoms. There also may be a protective benefit from the sweat in your sweat session: Research has shown that simply raising your body temperature may help kill germs in their tracks. The key to exercise, however, is to do it in moderation. “Like many other things, there’s a sweet spot — doing too much can also put so much stress on your body, it depresses your immune system,” explains Moyad. He recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise (either vigorous or moderate) most days of the week.

Watch your diet

“Eighty percent of your immune system is in the gut, so when it’s healthy, we tend to be able to fight off infections faster and better,” says Yufang Lin, M.D., of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. “When it’s not, our immune system is weaker and more susceptible to fighting off infection.”

In general, Lin recommends that people focus on a Mediterranean style of eating, which means a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, found in foods such as fatty fish, nuts and olive oil. “This eating pattern is high in nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and other antioxidants shown to help reduce inflammation and fight infection,” she explains. Adults between the ages of 65 and 79 who followed a Mediterranean type of diet, along with taking a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement for a year, showed small increases in disease-fighting cells such as T cells, according to a 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.

It’s also important to limit meat, especially processed and fried foods, all of which are more inflammatory, Lin adds. “Generally, I recommend a whole food diet,” she says. What’s more, it’s smart to include fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso and kefir, in your daily diet. These help build up the good bacteria in your gut, which, in turn, supports a healthy gut and immune system, Lin explains.

Stay on top of stress

There’s a strong link between your immune health and your mental health. “When you’re under chronic stress or anxiety, your body produces stress hormones that suppress your immune system,” Moyad says. Research done at Carnegie Mellon University has found that people who are stressed are more susceptible to developing the common cold.

In one study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 276 healthy adults were exposed to the cold virus, then monitored in quarantine for five days. Those who were stressed were more likely to produce cytokines, molecules that trigger inflammation, and were about twice as likely to get sick. In addition, people who are stressed are less likely to pay attention to other healthy habits, like eating right and getting enough sleep, which can affect immunity, Lin adds.

Although you can’t avoid stress in your life, you can adopt strategies to help you manage it better. A 2012 study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at adults 50 and older and found that those who either did a daily exercise routine or performed mindfulness meditation were less likely to get sick with a respiratory infection than subjects in a control group, and if they did get sick, they missed fewer days of work.

Get enough sleep

Z’s are another natural immune system booster. “Your immune system is like your computer — it needs moments of rest so it doesn’t become overheated,” Moyad explains. “Sleep reboots the system.”

When you’re sleep-deprived, he adds, your body churns out stress hormones like cortisol to keep you awake and alert, which can suppress your immune system. People who got a full eight hours of shut-eye had higher levels of T cells than those who slept less, according to a 2019 study. Try to get at least seven hours of slumber a night, as a 2015 study, published in the journal Sleep, found that people who did so were four times less likely to come down with a cold than those who clocked less than six.

Be strategic

about supplements

There’s no magic herb or vitamin you can pop to automatically prevent a cold, flu or other virus. But a 2017 review of 25 studies, published in the British Medical Journal, found that a moderate daily dose of vitamin D may offer protection if you’re already low in the sunshine vitamin, points out Tod Cooperman, M.D., president and editor in chief of ConsumerLab.com.

The best way to find out if you’re lacking in vitamin D is to get your blood levels tested; you should be between 20-39 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter). If you’re within that range, a daily supplement of about 600 to 800 IU is fine. If you’re low, talk with your doctor about additional supplementation — up to 2,000 IU a day. Cooperman advises taking it with meals that contain fats or oils, to increase absorption.

The Cleveland Clinic’s Lin also recommends cooking with herbs such as garlic, ginger, rosemary, oregano and turmeric. All have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, she explains, and some, like garlic, have even been shown to be protective against colds. “When my patients ask me about taking supplements to enhance their immune system, I always go back to food, food, food,” she says. “Food is medicine.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect current health guidelines related to social distancing

AARP link: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/boosting-immune-response.html?cmp=EMC-DSO-NLC-WBLTR—MCTRL-032020-F1-4447875&ET–CID=4447875&ET–RID=28294590&encparam=c6Hj8X2Hwq3sUlaXQLLbA6n2R2W2Eht2W6yQNr8xXsU%3d

Activities To Do At Home

If you can’t go on vacation–bring the vacation to you! There are many websites offering virtual tours and vacations. Here are a few!

5 Virtual Vacations for Seniors – Week Long Activities for Monthly Activity Calendars

https://www.tripsavvy.com/virtual-field-trips-for-kids-3129414

https://www.virtualvisittours.com/

https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

Need craft or hobby supplies? Walmart has a curbside pick-up offered, or you can order from any craft website for home delivery.

Dreamboat Marine in Warren is offering to mail you items for your crafts and hobbies as well. Their number is 814-723-8052.

EXPERIENCE, INC -YOUR AREA AGENCY ON AGING

Established in 1968, Experience, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging, is dedicated to meeting the needs of senior citizens of Warren and Forest Counties. Experience, Inc. is a nonprofit company. They offer a wide variety of programs and services created for seniors to enhance the quality of life. Their services are designed with your long-term independence in mind. Their professional staff is here to help, plan and coordinate your care.

Here is an explanation of the services provided by Experience, Inc., your area agency on aging:

APPRISE is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help all Pennsylvanians with Medicare. Counselors are specially trained staff and volunteers who can answer your questions about Medicare and provide you with objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare. This service is free.

Questions? Call 1-800-281-6545 or (814)723-3763 ext. 123

Forest County residents: Please call the number above to schedule appointments in Marienville and Tionesta. Please continue to watch the Forest Press for dates and places, or call our toll free number, 1-800-281-6545 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

IN-HOME CARE SERVICES – A professional Care Management staff provides service coordination care through an assessment plan of your needs.

FAMILY CARE GIVER SUPPORT–Families are the major provider of long-term care, but research has shown that caregiving exacts a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. Experience, Inc. provides programs and services that can help by providing respite care and financial reimbursement for those who qualify.

HOME DELIVERED MEALS–Meals are delivered to older adults, those with disabilities, or anyone who qualifies by the inability to prepare a nutritious meal for themselves.

Personal Care and Home Support–Personal Care Services provides “hands-on” care in the home to individuals 60+ who are unable to independently meet their personal hygiene needs or perform activities of daily living.

PERSONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM–The Personal Emergency Response System or PERS, are home devices that connect older adults to a 24-hour call center with the push of a button.

SENIOR COMMUNITY CENTERS–Experience provides community supports in centers throughout Warren & Forest Counties – Nutrition and Health Programs, Socialization, Education & Personal Growth, Care Management for Aging Services, & Volunteer Opportunities.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THESE SERVICES CALL EXPERIENCE, INC., AT 814-723-3763, EXT. 139, OR VISIT THEM AT 905 FOURTH AVENUE IN WARREN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Make a difference in our community by volunteering. Current needs are:

As we move forward during the public closures of our senior centers, we are still in need of volunteers to put Care Packages together. If you are interested in helping with this project, call Sue at the ACC at 814-723-3237 for more info.

Blankets for Babies, the Cancer Center and the Vets Hospital – love to knit, crochet or sew? The ACC collects and distribute blankets throughout our area to those in need. It is a project that you can do at home and still benefit many people.

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