SWODA Press Releases

Shaelynn Peck picks tomatoes in preparation for the 4-H and FFA Kids Farmers Market in Sentinel.

October 8, 2018

Photo of Shaelynn Peck wins Peoples’ Choice Award in national photography contest

Once again, Sentinel will be on the national screen at the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Training Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mary Peck, SWODA business and marketing associate, entered a photo taken of her granddaughter, Shaelynn Peck, in their home garden. Shaelynn is the three-year-old daughter of Tyler and Stephanie Peck of Sentinel

This “People’s Choice” winner was chosen online by the public “liking” her photo. In 2015, SWODA entered the “People’s Choice” winning photo of the Red Barn Drive Thru in Sentinel.

NADO members from across the nation submitted 100 images that demonstrated what makes their regions great places to live, work and play. Visit www.nado.org to see all the images submitted for the contest and learn the stories behind the winning photos.

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October 8, 2018

Financial resources available to give caregivers a break

The SWODA Area Agency on Aging provides for respite services for eligible caregivers in partnership with the Department of Human Service Aging Services Division. The definition of caregivers are "people of any age caring for someone 60 years of age or older with at least two of these Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) impairments (dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, toileting, or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment."

There is an application process and if a caregiver qualifies, a home visit is required. After the O3A assessment is completed on the caregiver and the care receiver, then vouchers are provided. The caregiver can then contract with any person of their choice (other than someone living in the same home of caregiver or care receiver or under 18 years old) to provide respite services. There are no income or resource limitations.

Studies have shown that caregivers will give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. It provides a way for a caregiver to get out of the everyday routine of caring for their loved one. For example, a caregiver has the option of using respite services to go to a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Caregiver Respite Voucher Program, please contact Ada Vanderford, caregiver coordinator with SWODA Area Agency on Aging, at 800-627-4882, ext. 127, or e-mail Ada Vanderford at ada@swoda.org.

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September 25, 2018

SWODA providing Title III services to Northwest

South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA), Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has again been designated by the Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division as the Interim Administrative Organization for the North West Planning Service Area 11 (NW PSA 11) for the state fiscal year of 2019 that began on July 1, 2018. SWODA AAA will continue to oversee Title III services for the counties of Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. There will be no interruption to services.

SWODA AAA is pleased to announce that beginning October 1, 2018, Community Action Development Corporation (CADC) will be expanding their Title III services in western Oklahoma to include the NW PSA 11. CADC has provided Title III services in the counties of Beckham, Custer, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties for over 36 years and has held a contract with SWODA AAA for the duration of this time period.

The citizens of North West Oklahoma and the services they receive through the Title III program are very important to SWODA AAA as well as CADC.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Samantha Walker, SWODA AAA planner, at swalker@swoda.org or by phone at 580-562-4882, ext. 105. You may also contact Anita Martinez, SWODA AAA director, at anita@swoda.org or at 580-562-4882, ext. 106.

September 11, 2018

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma again provides funding to Oklahoma’s Area Agencies on Aging

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma is again assisting with funding direct services for people 55 and older. This is great news for Northwest Oklahoma! Some of the types of services funded include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units, space heaters and/or air conditioner or heater repairs.

Funding for each type of service is limited, and the funds are used on a first come, first served basis until they are all utilized. Individuals 55 years of age and older who are in need of assistance not otherwise provided by other agencies can apply. Applicants with desperate or unique needs are looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance is available once per person every three years.

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma is partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state to provide this funding.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods, and Woodward.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at 800-627-4882 or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at 800-211-2116.

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September 10, 2018

Educate yourself to avoid being caught with large care bills!

Are you confused what Medicare will pay during Skilled Nursing Care? Do you know what your long-term care insurance policy pays? You may go to the hospital and be told you need skilled nursing and you wonder who pays. Before you get caught having a large long-term care bill, educate yourself about what your long-term care policy will pay. All long-term care facilities are not Medicare approved.

You also may be told Medicare will pay for your Skilled Nursing Care (SNF). Medicare has special limits on coverage for care that is provided in a “skilled nursing facility”(SNF). The coverage is intended to pay for skilled medical care for a short time between hospitalization and returning home.

Care must be performed by or under the supervision of licensed nursing personnel. Skilled rehabilitation services may include physical therapy performed by or under the supervision of a professional therapist.

You do not automatically qualify for Medicare SNF payment just because you are receiving some skilled services. Part A will not pay for a patient who needs skilled care only occasionally, such as once or twice a week, or who does not need to be in a SNF to get skilled services.

SNF criteria include the following:

•Hospitalized for at least three days, not counting the day of discharge and,

•Doctor must order skilled nursing care for the same condition for which you were hospitalized and,

•You must go into a Medicare approved, skilled nursing facility or rehab services facility no later than 30 days after leaving the hospital.

SNF benefits include the following:

•Under the SNF restrictions listed above, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days per benefit period.

•The coinsurance is paid for by the patient or a Medicare supplemental policy.

•Medicare’s SNF benefit ends after 100 days in a benefit period, but there is no limit on the number of benefit periods during which you can receive SNF benefits.

If you would like further information on long-term care issues, contact the ombudsman supervisor in your area: Cherrie Nutley (SW), 580-562-4882, ext. 132; or Jerome Thomas (NW), 918-576-9565.

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September 4, 2018

ATTENTION WASHITA AND KIOWA COUNTIES!

Comment periods on the 2040 Washita and the 2040 Kiowa County Long Range Transportation Plans are open for 30 days

The Southwest Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SORTPO) is seeking public comment on the 2040 Washita County Long Range Transportation Plan. The Long Range Transportation Plan establishes the goals and transportation strategies for addressing the County’s transportation needs. Prior to adoption of the plan there is a 30-day public comment period which will end on October 3, 2018. During this comment period individuals, agencies, and organizations are encouraged to review the document and submit comments. The Plan is available from the SORTPO offices located in Burns Flat or at www.sortpo.org (see “Publications” page) for review. Please submit written comments to Becky Cockrell, SWODA/ SORTPO, 98 Frontier, PO Box 569, Burns Flat, OK 73624 or to becky@swoda.org.

September 4, 2018

NWPSA 11 Aging Services offers financial relief to give caregivers a break

Caregivers now have financial help to get a break from their everyday routine of caring for their loved ones. The North West Planning Service Area 11 (NWPSA 11) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) believes it’s important that caregivers know they’re not alone and there is a program, with no income or resource limitations, benefitting many caregivers in northwestern Oklahoma.

The program to give caregivers a break (respite) is provided through NWPSA 11 in partnership with the Department of Human Services Aging Division. Along with respite services, assistance with access to respite services and other supplemental services are provided.

To be considered a caregiver, you must be caring for someone 60 years of age or older with two activities of daily living impairments (dressing, bathing eating, transferring, toileting or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment.

Studies show caregivers give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. For example, a caregiver can use respite services to go to a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie.

To apply for respite services, call Tangela Henry, NWPSA 11 AAA, at 800-627-4882, ext.126. If you qualify, you may be eligible to receive respite vouchers. You can then contract with any person of your choice (other than someone living in the same home as you or under 18 years old) to provide respite services. Remember, there are no income or resource limitations.

The NWPSA 11 AAA area includes the following counties: Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Woods, Woodward and Texas.

Services are funded in part by State and Older Americans Act Funds from NWPSA 11 AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of NWPSA 11 AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard of race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

September 4, 2018

Area optometrists working with SWODA to provide eye care assistance

Reduced-cost eye exams and eyeglasses are now available to area residents. Area optometrists in cooperation with South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Aging Services are making is possible for elderly people with vision impairments and who can’t afford treatment to receive needed services.

To qualify, you must be 60 years of age or older, and/or an ADvantage consumer. You also must live in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills, and Washita counties. You must also meet certain income and resource guidelines. If you are an elderly and/or disabled Advantage applicant, you must not be case managed by any agency other than SWODA Aging Case Management.

You can apply from September 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019, by contacting Tangela Henry at 800-627-4882, ext. 126. If you are a SWODA ADvantage consumer, you will need to contact your SWODA Aging Services Case Manager.

You will need to provide verification of income and resources through such documents as tax records, bank statement or Social Security check stubs. All information will be held confidential.

SWODA Aging Services thanks all optometrists who are working together to find solutions to problems and concerns of the aging and disabled in our area.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Tangela Henry at SWODA Aging Services, P.O. Box 569, Burns Flat, OK 73624 or telephone 800-627-4882, ext. 126.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

For more news articles specific for southwest Oklahoma, visit www.swoda.org.

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August 28, 2018

Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian Workshop Announcement

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Highway Administration, is pleased to be hosting another FHWA EDC-4 Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian Workshop in Elk City, OK on September 26, 2018. Several of these workshops were hosted last fall and this is a great chance to learn about various pedestrian improvements and countermeasures for those who were not able to attend previously. FHWA is promoting the following pedestrian safety countermeasures through the fourth round of Every Day Counts (EDC-4):

· Road Diets can reduce vehicle speeds and the number of lanes pedestrians cross, and they can create space to add new pedestrian facilities.

· Pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHBs) are a beneficial intermediate option between RRFBs and a full pedestrian signal. They provide positive stop control in areas

· without the high pedestrian traffic volumes that typically warrant signal installation.

· Pedestrian refuge islands allow pedestrians a safe place to stop at the midpoint of the roadway before crossing the remaining distance. This is particularly

· helpful for older pedestrians or others with limited mobility.

· Raised crosswalks can reduce vehicle speeds.

· Crosswalk visibility enhancements, such as crosswalk lighting and enhanced signing and marking, help drivers detect pedestrians—particularly at night.

There is no cost for this course and lunch will be provided on site. Registration for the course is open and can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/elk-citystep-workshop-tickets-49405291557. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Feel free to contact me, Laura Chaney (ODOT), or Becky Cockrell (SORTPO) with any questions regarding the course.

Elk City STEP Workshop Flyer.pdf

August 28, 2018

Share your concerns about elderly services at the SWODA Aging Service Advisory Council Meeting September 6

The Advisory Council for the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Agency on Aging will convene for a regular meeting at 1 p.m., Thursday, September 6. This meeting will be held at the Town of Burns Flat Community Center, 98 Frontier, Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

The Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council provides leadership and advocacy on behalf of citizens 60 years of age or older residing in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita Counties and help to determine services needed in the area.

The meeting is open to the public and accessible to the disabled. Individuals with a profound hearing loss should contact the Area Agency on Aging at least one week prior to the meeting if they wish for a signing interpreter to be provided. For more information, contact Ada Vanderford at 580-562-4882 or email ada@swoda.org.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

August 13, 2018

Recognize abuse and neglect in nursing homes!

Neglect and abuse are criminal acts whether they occur inside or outside a nursing home. Nursing home residents do not surrender their rights to protection from criminal acts when they enter a facility.

According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, all residents in nursing homes are entitled to receive quality care and live in an environment that improves or maintains the quality of their physical and mental health. This includes freedom from neglect, abuse and misappropriation of funds.

The law required nursing homes to have intervention strategies and regular monitoring to prevent neglect and abuse. Anyone suspecting abuse or neglect may report to the facility’s administrator or director of nursing, the state or local ombudsman, the local police or state law enforcement, adult protective services, or the state survey agency that licenses and certifies nursing homes.

Neglect is the failure to care for a person in a manner, which would avoid harm and pain, or the failure to react to a potentially harmful situation. Neglect may or may not be intentional.

Examples include incorrect body positioning which leads to contractures and skin breakdown; lack of toileting or changing of disposable briefs, causing incontinence resulting in residents sitting in urine or feces, increased falls and agitation, indignity and skin breakdown.

Lack of assistance with eating or drinking can lead to dehydration and malnutrition. Lack of assistance with walking can lead to immobility.

Lack of bathing can lead to indignity and poor hygiene. Poor hand washing can lead to infection.

Lack of assistance with participating in activities of interest can lead to withdrawal and isolation. Ignoring call bells or cries for help is yet another form of neglect.

Abuse is causing intentional pain or harm and may be physical, mental, verbal, psychological or sexual. Residents may experience abuse from a staff member, an intruder or visitor from outside the facility, including a family member. Forms of physical abuse include hitting, pinching, shoving, force-feeding, scratching, slapping or spitting.

Forms of psychological abuse include ignoring, berating, ridiculing, cursing and threats of punishment or deprivation. Sexual abuse includes improper touching or coercion to perform sexual acts.

Substandard care is another form of abuse and may result in immobilization, incontinence, dehydration, pressure sores and depression. Abuse may also include rough handling during care giving, medicine administration, or moving a resident.

Financial abuse occurs when a resident’s belongings or money are misplaced or misused without the resident’s consent. Examples include not placing resident funds in separate interest-bearing accounts and stealing or embezzling a resident’s money or personal property, such as jewelry or clothing.

In southwest Oklahoma (counties of Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita), contact your Area Ombudsman Supervisor Cherrie Nutley, 580-562-4882 or email cherrie@swoda.org with your questions or concerns.

In northwest Oklahoma (counties of Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward), contact your Area Ombudsman Supervisor Jerome Thomas, 918-576-9565 or email jerome@swoda.org.

August 6, 2018

Financial resources available to give caregivers a break

The SWODA Area Agency on Aging provides for respite services for eligible caregivers in partnership with the Department of Human Service Aging Services Division. The definition of caregivers are "people of any age caring for someone 60 years of age or older with at least two of these Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) impairments (dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, toileting, or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment.

There is an application process and if a caregiver qualifies, a home visit is required. After the O3A assessment is completed on caregiver and care receiver, then vouchers are provided. The caregiver can then contract with any person of their choice (other than someone living in the same home of caregiver or care receiver or under 18 years old) to provide respite services. There are no income or resource limitations.

Studies have shown that caregivers will give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. It provides a way for a caregiver to get out of the everyday routine of caring for their loved one. For example, a caregiver has the option of using respite services to go to a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Caregiver Respite Voucher Program, please contact Ada Vanderford, caregiver coordinator with SWODA Area Agency on Aging, at 800-627-4882, ext. 127, or e-mail Ada Vanderford at ada@swoda.org.

August 6, 2018

Funding for a variety of services still available to assist elderly

Funding is still available to purchase a wide range of services for residents 55 years or older. Do you need minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air condition window units or space heaters, and/or air condition of heater repairs? These are just some of the services covered.

Funding for each type of service is limited. Those with desperate or unique needs should file an application as those situations are looked at on a case-per-case basis. Assistance is available once per person every three years.

These funds are used on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are all utilized. There is an application process for individuals 55 and over in need of some type of assistance not otherwise provided by other agencies.

Funding for these services is provided by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma through a partnership with South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding enables AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

Ada Vanderford, SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program coordinator, can assist you in securing funding for minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air condition window units or space heaters, and/or air condition of heater repairs? These are just some of the services covered.

July 24, 2018

Ombudsman Volunteers Needed

Have you ever heard that strange word, ombudsman, and wondered, just what is an Ombudsman, anyway? A long-term care ombudsman is a person who receives complaints from residents of long-term care facilities, their friends or relatives and attempts to resolve those complaints within the facility. The ombudsman has the authority to explore problems and recommend corrective action.

The volunteers within this area are extremely committed to the program and the residents served. In fact, the volunteers of the area share approximately 40 years of experience. The volunteers say the residents count on the weekly visits. Over half of the residents in long-term care facilities receive no visitors. Ombudsman volunteers visit residents a minimum of two hours weekly and are required to attend one monthly meeting to meet the State continuing education requirement. Elk City, Hobart, Snyder, Altus and Mangum are especially in need of ombudsman volunteers.

Join others experiencing the value of being an Ombudsman volunteer. If you are interested, contact Cherrie Nutley, ombudsman supervisor, SWODA Area Agency on Aging at 800-562-4882, ext. 132. The SWODA region includes the eight counties of Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita.

July 23, 2018

How heat affects the elderly and how you can help

Cherrie Nutley, ombudsman supervisor at South Western Oklahoma Development Authority Area Agency on Aging (SWODA AAA), advises that the elderly are more likely to experience the effects of hot weather than younger adults are. Physically, the elderly cannot adjust to significant changes in temperature as well as younger adults can. That combined with the effects of prescription drugs; which also reduce the body’s ability to adjust to temperature changes, may exacerbate the side effects they may experience. Many medications the elderly take may cause dehydration or affect the ability of their heart, blood vessels or sweat glands. This in turn would affect their overall ability to respond to high temperatures.

When the body's temperature hits 104 degrees Fahrenheit, heat stroke sets in and can cause permanent brain damage or even death. Signs that someone is suffering from heat stroke may include the following:

-A strong, rapid pulse.

-Lack of sweating.

-Dry, flushed skin.

-Faintness or staggering.

-Mental status changes such as: confusion, combativeness, disorientation or even coma.

Another concern concerning high body temperatures would be heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke when the body fails to regulate its own temperature. The affected individual becomes confused, lethargic and may have a seizure. Their skin stops sweating and their body temperature may exceed 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include the following:

-Thirst.

-Weakness.

-Profuse sweating.

-Nausea and/or vomiting.

-Headache or lightheadedness.

-Cold or clammy skin.

-Normal to slightly high temperature.

If you suspect someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, you should do the following:

-Move them into an air-conditioned environment or a cool, shaded area.

-Provide fluids such as water and juice. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

-Recommend a cool shower or bath.

-Encourage them to rest in a cool area.

You can also use other items available to cool the body temperature down such as the following:

-Cold soda cans placed under the arm (armpit area).

-Rags with ice placed inside and put around the neck, under the arms, across the back, bends of the legs.

-You want to take care not to leave the ice exposed to the skin for too long, be sure to use a thick rag or towel when using this method. Damage to the skin can occur.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are very serious and can be life threatening. If you suspect someone is suffering from these signs, you should call 911 immediately. The best way to prevent heat-related illnesses in the elderly would be to monitor them as often as possible. Also, make sure to keep them hydrated by providing plenty of fluids. Water is always the best bet.

For information about services for area aging, please contact Cherrie Nutley, SWODA AAA ombudsman supervisor, 800-627-4882, ext. 132, or by email at cherrie@swoda .org

July 9, 2018

Funding for a variety of services still available to assist elderly

Funding is still available to purchase a wide range of services for residents 55 years or older. Do you need minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air condition window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs? These are just some of the services covered.

Funding for each type of service is limited. Those with desperate or unique needs should file an application as those situations are looked at on a case-per-case basis. Assistance is available once per person every three years.

These funds are used on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are all utilized. There is an application process for individuals 55 and over in need of some type of assistance not otherwise provided by other agencies.

Funding for these services is provided by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma through a partnership with South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding enables AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

June 25, 2018

Ribbon cutting celebrates completion of two more homes for Thomas

The South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of two new homes in Thomas. The new homes are the third and fourth homes that SWODA has developed in Thomas. SWODA worked with the City of Thomas and Thomas Economic Development Authority (TEDA) to acquire lots for the homes. SWODA's housing program began in 2013 in response to the lack of quality, moderately-priced homes in Southwest Oklahoma.

"SWODA is trying to make a difference in the community by addressing some of the need for new housing and helping continue the strong economic development efforts of the City and TEDA. Thomas has made great strides in recent years and SWODA is proud to work by their side" said Debora Glasgow, SWODA's executive director.

Both of the new homes are under contracts with buyers and SWODA plans to begin construction on two additional homes in coming months.

Members of the Thomas City Council and Thomas Economic Development Authority with Debora Glasgow, SWODA, on far right.

June 18, 2018

Cherrie Nutley completes ombudsman supervisor certification

Elderly residents now have a certified long-term care ombudsman supervisor overseeing the 23 long-term care facilities in Custer, Kiowa, Greer, Beckham, Harmon, Roger Mills and Washita counties. Cherrie Nutley completed 90 hours of training and passed her certification test. William Whited, state long-term care ombudsman for Oklahoma, presented her certificate in May.

Cherrie will be visiting each facility a minimum of every three month. She will oversee ombudsman volunteers and receive, investigate and work to resolve complaints within a facility. Cherrie and the ombudsman volunteers have the authority to explore problems and recommend corrective action.

Ombudsmen are committed to improving and enriching the quality of life of older people. The Aging Services of the Department of Human Services under the Authority of the Older American Act and the Oklahoma Long-Term Care Ombudsman Act administers this program.

Cherrie came on board in February as the ombudsman supervisor at the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA). She is married to Joey Nutley, and they make their home in Elk City. She has two children, Malcolm Byer and Chloe. Nutley has a love for the eldercare field and was an ombudsman volunteer before being hired to her current position.

The ombudsman program is always looking for dedicated volunteers. If interested in volunteering, contact Cherrie at 580-562-4882, ext. 132.

May 15, 2018

Funding still available to assist elderly with a variety of services

Funding is still available to purchase a wide range of services for residents 55 years or older. Do you need minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air condition window units or space heaters, and/or air condition of heater repairs? These are just some of the services covered.

Funding for each type of service is limited. Those with desperate or unique needs should file an application as those situations are looked at on a case-per-case basis. Assistance is available once per person every three years.

These funds are used on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are all utilized. There is an application process for individuals 55 and over in need of some type of assistance not otherwise provided by other agencies.

Funding for these services is provided by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma through a partnership with South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding enables AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

May 7, 2018

Caregiver shortage threatens for baby boomers

By the year 2030, this nation’s 72 million baby boomers will have reached age 65. This many baby boomers reaching retirement age at the same time will create a critical shortage of caregivers. In the next decade, an additional one million of these direct care professional workers will be needed, and by 2030, an additional three million will be necessary.

In the past, older people have been able to rely on family and friends to help with chores such as housekeeping and grocery shopping. However, baby boomers had fewer children, and often they are spread around the country. There are simply fewer people on which to rely.

In partnership with the Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, SWODA AAA provides for respite services for eligible caregivers, for those caring for people age 60 and over.

Paid caregivers mostly fill jobs taking care of older people, usually working as nursing assistants, home health aides and personal care assistants. Those employed as caregivers are primarily women in their mid-20s to mid-50s, and the caregiver industry is already suffering from low wages and high turnover rates. This situation is not expected to improve anytime soon.

Unpaid family caregivers, 61 percent of whom are women, play a significant role as well. They must balance work and family life. They must fill the void left by a paid care professional, if they are able to afford to hire a care professional at all. Each year, the U.S. economy loses about $33 billion in productivity because of employees who are also family caregivers and who must deal with issues related to taking care of family members.

For information about this program and other services offered through the SWODA AAA, call SWODA AAA Information and Assistant Specialist Ada Vanderford, at 800-627-4882 or locally at 580-562-4882.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

April 17, 2018

Tangela Henry ready to answer your questions about services for elderly

Are you 60 or older and need information about programs or services or just have problems and don’t know where to turn for help? You now have a real person you can call or see in person. Tangela Henry welcomes calls from elderly and their caregivers. She is the I&A assistant for the North West Planning Service Agency Eleven (NWPSA 11) Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

Some of the services for which information and/or assistance can be provided include the following: respite services for caregivers, hearing aids, transportation, housing, legal services, long-term care, Medicare, nutrition, health care, housekeeping, weatherization and other concerns of the elderly.

You can meet with Tangela or a representative of NWPSA 11 Area Agency on Aging in the OEDA Office at 330 Douglas, Beaver, Oklahoma 73932 the third Tuesday of every month.

You can meet with Tangela or a representative of NWPSA 11 Area Agency on Aging in the OEDA Office at 1116 19th St, Woodward, Oklahoma 73801, the fourth Tuesday of every month.

You can call Tangela anytime (leave a message) at the following numbers: 800-627-4882, ext. 126; 580-256-8553 (office in Woodward); or 800-658-2844 (office in Beaver).

SWODA is the Interim Administrative Organization for the NWPSA 11. NWPSA 11’s region of service includes Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Woods, Woodward and Texas counties. These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from NWPSA 11 AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of NWPSA 11 AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

Please check with the representative before traveling to the office in times of inclement weather.

April 17, 2018

Financial resources available to give caregivers a break

There is financial help for caregivers to give them a break from their daily duties. The Caregiver Respite Voucher Program gives caregivers the option of using respite services to go a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie. And, there are no income or resource limitations.

There is an application process and if a caregiver qualifies, a home visit is required. After the O3A assessment is completed on caregiver and care receiver, then vouchers are provided. The caregiver can then contract with any person of their choice (other than someone living in the same home of caregiver or care receiver or under 18 years old) to provide respite services.

The definition of caregivers are people of any age caring for someone 60 years of age or older with at least two of these Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) impairments (dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, toileting, or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment.

Studies have shown that caregivers will give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. It provides a way for a caregiver to get out of the everyday routine of caring for their loved one.

The SWODA Area Agency on Aging provides for respite services for eligible caregivers in partnership with the Department of Human Service Aging Services Division.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Caregiver Respite Voucher Program, please contact Ada Vanderford, caregiver coordinator with SWODA Area Agency on Aging, at 800-627-4882, ext. 127, or e-mail Ada Vanderford at ada@swoda.org.

April 10, 2018

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma provides funding to assist NW OK

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has again partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state, to assist with funding direct services for people 55 years of age and older. There will be an application process for individuals 55 and over who are in need of some type assistance that is not otherwise provided by other agencies.

These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized. Some of the types of services that can be purchased by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs. Funding for each type of service will be limited. Those who have desperate or unique needs should file an application because those situations will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance will be available once per person every three year.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator, Ada Vanderford, at 800-627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at 800-211-2116.

April 3, 2018

Information and assistance available through SWODA Aging Services

The South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) provides information about AAA services and other community programs concerning the elderly through the Information and Assistance (I & A) service. The I & A service is designed to help those 60 and older who need information about a program or service, or who simply have problems and do not know where to turn for help. Calls from the elderly and their caregivers are welcomed.

Some of the services that information and/or assistance can be provided for include the following: respite services for caregivers, hearing aids, limited transportation, housing, legal services, long-term care, Medicare, nutrition, health care, housekeeping, weatherization and other concerns of the elderly.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties. SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

February 27, 2018

Financial resources available to give caregivers a break

The SWODA Area Agency on Aging provides for respite services for eligible caregivers in partnership with the Department of Human Service Aging Services Division. The definition of caregivers are "people of any age caring for someone 60 years of age or older with at least two of these Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) impairments (dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, toileting, or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment."

There is an application process and if a caregiver qualifies, a home visit is required. After the O3A assessment is completed on caregiver and care receiver, then vouchers are provided. The caregiver can then contract with any person of their choice (other than someone living in the same home of caregiver or care receiver or under 18 years old) to provide respite services. There are no income or resource limitations.

Studies have shown that caregivers will give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. It provides a way for a caregiver to get out of the everyday routine of caring for their loved one. For example, a caregiver has the option of using respite services to go to a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Caregiver Respite Voucher Program, please contact Ada Vanderford, caregiver coordinator with SWODA Area Agency on Aging, at 800-627-4882, ext. 127, or e-mail Ada Vanderford at ada@swoda.org.

February 12, 2018:

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma provides funding again to assist with services for elderly

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has again partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state, to assist with funding direct services for people 55 years of age and older. These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized. There will be an application process for individuals 55 and over who are in need of some type assistance that are not otherwise provided by other agencies.

Some of the types of services that can be purchased by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs. Funding for each type of service will be limited. Those who have desperate or unique needs should file an application because those situations will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance will be available once per person every three year.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

Jan. 12, 2018

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma provides funding again to assist with services for elderly

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has again partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state, to assist with funding direct services for people 55 years of age and older. These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized.

There will be an application process for individuals 55 and over who are in need of some type assistance that is not otherwise provided by other agencies. These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized. Some of the types of services that can be purchased by the SWODA AAA include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs. Funding for each type of service will be limited. Those who have desperate or unique needs should file an application because those situations will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance will be available once per person every three year.

Counties covered by the SWODA AAA are Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita. The SWODA Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA Aging Services Information Assistant Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

For more news articles specific for southwest Oklahoma, visit www.swoda.org.