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					    THE WARREN

         SENIOR                                           VOICE
      Published By The:
      Warren County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services
           Volume II Number 1, January, February, March 2007



              IN THIS ISSUE:
                              Meet Alice Cummings
                              A Vaccine For Shingles
                              Tax Information
                              Avoiding Medication Mixups
                          And More!

The Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Everett Chamberlain, Freeholder Director, John DiMaio, Deputy Director, Richard Gardner, Freeholder




                                                                                REQUESTED
                                                                         ADDRESS SERVICE




           PERMIT NO. 30
          BELVIDERE, N.J.
               PAID
                                                   Belvidere, NJ 07823-1949
           U.S. POSTAGE                            165 County Rte. 519 So.
       PRESORTED STANDARD
                                                   Wayne Dumont, Jr. Admin. Bldg.,Suite 245
                                                   Division of Senior Services
                                                   Warren County Department of Human Services
             FINALLY, A WAY TO COMBAT SHINGLES

I
   n May 2006, the US Food & Drug                          ing, tingling and/or burning. A few days
    Administration (FDA) approved a                        later a rash of fluid filled blisters appears
    vaccine that could cut in half the odds                (usually on one side of the body or face).
of coming down with the painful herpes
zoster virus, otherwise known as shingles.                 Because Zostavax vaccine is so effective,
                                                           some experts recommend it for everyone
“Zostavax” has been approved for adults                    over 60. The vaccine works by helping to
age 60 and over, and has also proven to                    protect the immune system from the shin-
be effective reducing the pain and discom-                 gles virus as well as the associated pain
fort of the disease for many of the people                 and other serious complications. Studies
who suffer with shingles.                                  show that if you do get shingles after being
                                                           vaccinated, Zostavax may help prevent or
The shingles virus is the same virus that                  reduce the debilitating nerve pain that
causes chickenpox. Once a person has                       sometimes goes along with shingles.
contracted chickenpox, the virus can live
and remain inactive in the body for many                           If you get shingles, see
years. With shingles, the virus becomes                            your doctor within the
active again. Older adults and individu-                          first few days of getting
als with immune system and other health                                   the rash.
issues may be at an increased risk of get-
ting shingles.                                              Zostavax is not a treatment for shingles.
                                                           It is a vaccine to help reduce the chance
The first signs of shingles are often felt and             of developing shingles. If you do get
may not be seen. These can include itch-                   shingles, see your health care provider
                                                           within the first few days of getting the rash.
   The Warren Senior Voice
   is an informational publication published by the        Antiviral drugs can treat shingles, but only
   Warren County Department of Human Services,             if begun within the first three days after
   Division of Senior Services with funds provided by
   the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders,
                                                           the start of symptoms.
   the NJ Dept. of Health and Senior Services, and
   the Federal Older Americans Act.
                                                           If you’re over age 60, especially if you had
   The Senior Voice is free of charge to Warren            chickenpox as a child, talk to your doctor
   County's older adults and citizens. All donations
   are used to support the cost of this publication.       about getting the shingles vaccine.

   To make a donation, comment, or to subscribe to
   The Warren Senior Voice, send request to: Susan         As with all drugs, Zostavax has side ef-
   Lennon, Executive Director; Warren County Divi-         fects. Studies indicate that side effects
   sion of Senior Services, Wayne Dumont Admin
   Bldg., Belvidere, NJ 07823                              are usually mild redness, tenderness, and
                                                           swelling at the injection site.
   The Warren County Department of Human Services,
   Divison of Senior Services provides services with-
   out regard to race, color, national origin, in com-
   pliance with Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act
                                                           Some people should not receive the
   of 1964, as updated, and regardless of handicap in      Zostavax vaccine. Please check with your
   compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation       primary care physician to see if you are a
   Act of 1973, as updated.
                                                           candidate for this new vaccine.
 MEET ALICE CUMMINGS:                           scramble to its feet is something she’s
                                                never forgotten.

On November 7, 2006, Alice Cummings             In 1905, not yet eight years old, she went
turned 109 years of age.                        to work in an envelope factory and earned
                                                $4.44 per week.
She was born one week after Thomas
Edison patented his movie camera, the           She was 16 when she married Robert
Kinetograph and two weeks before the            Cummings, a 27 year old carpenter. In
New York Sun ran the fa-                                   1915 Alice had her first child,
mous “Yes, Virginia there is                               Helen, and two years later,
a Santa Claus,” editorial.                                 she had a second daughter,
William McKinnley was our                                  Alice. Helen passed away
President. She was seven                                   Christmas day 2003, in
months old when we went                                    Lopatcong            Center,
to war with Spain and six                                  Philipsburg. Alice, now 89,
years old when the Wright                                  lives in Harmony.
brothers flew their airplane
at Kitty Hawk.                                                Alice raised her daughters
                                                              when horse drawn wagons
On November 7, 1897, Alice                                    delivered fruits, vegetables
Cummings was born at                                          and ice. In the winter, per-
home. She was delivered by                                    ishable food was kept out-
a midwife to her mother,                                      side in a box lined with
Theresa (18) and John                                         newspaper and oil-cloth for
Morganweck (22). She had a younger sis-         insulation. Gas, used for cooking, was ob-
ter Mary who lived to be in her sixties.        tained by feeding quarters into a meter on
                                                the wall.
Alice recalls sitting in a rocking chair with
her mother who would sing “I’m Forever          Alice has two grandchildren. She has
Blowing Bubbles”, and “Sweetheart If You        many great grandchildren, several great-
Should Stray”. Alice says of her mom...”she     great grandchildren and also a great-
was so beautiful as a young mother. I re-       great-great grandson, who is now 5 years
member asking classmates to wait with me        old.
so that they could see her.”
                                                Alice still has her own teeth, her mind is
She also remembers time she spent with          clear, and she uses a wheel chair to get
her grandfather, Jacob, who drove a horse       around due to weak legs. She doesn’t need
pulled car for a living. Alice remembers        glasses, takes no medication and does not
how she loved it when her grandfather           like to go to the doctor.
would take her to the barn to see the
horses, especially when a young colt was        Alice loves chocolate especially Hershey
due. The thrill of seeing a newborn colt        bars and Almond Joy.
 7 WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MEDICATION MIXUPS
                                                whenever you visit your doctor, a special-
                                                ist, or your pharmacist.

                                                4. Whenever you get a prescription, ask
                                                your pharmacist to go over all of the pre-
                                                scribing information. Make sure that the
                                                name of the drug on the prescription
                                                matches what’s printed on the bottle. Read
                                                through the package insert (if you didn’t
                                                receive one, ask for it) for any side effects
                                                or interactions. If anything is unclear or
                                                confusing, ask the pharmacist. Don’t leave
                                                the store until you’re 100 percent comfort-
                                                able with the medication and how to take
                                                it.

                                                5. Ask questions about your medications
                                                when you’re in the hospital. Find out the


Y
      our doctor scrawls a few words on         purpose of each drug, its interactions, and
      a prescription pad and hands it to        whether you’ll have to continue taking it
      you. You know you can’t read it -         once you’re discharged.
can your pharmacist?
                                                6. Know which side effects have been
Here are some recommendations to pre-           associated with all of the drugs you’re
vent medication mix-ups.                        taking. If you start having any of these
                                                symptoms, report them to your doctor im-
1. Any time you get a new prescription,         mediately.
ask a lot of questions. Have your doctor
tell you and write down: the name of the        7. Know your rights. You have the right
drug, what it treats, the dosage, how often     to make final decisions about your medi-
to take it, what side effects or interactions   cation, and the right to be told of any drug
it could have, and what to do if you experi-    error that occurs, and the effects it might
ence side effects.                              have on your health.

2. Do your homework. Look up any new            Any time you get a new medication, ask
medication in drug reference books or on        your doctor about possible interactions,
the Internet. If you search the Web, use        and read the printed insert. It should con-
reputable sources of information, such as       tain a list of foods to avoid when taking the
the National Institutes of Health (http://      drug. Blood-thinning drugs such as aspi-
medlineplus.gov)                                rin and warfarin (Coumadin) can make you
                                                bruise more easily because they affect
3. Keep a list of all the medications you       blood clotting. Some supplements, such as
are taking. This includes non-prescription      gingko, garlic, and fish oil, can have a sim-
and alternative remedies. Take it with you      ilar effect.
                                                or scolded. In the old days the parent
                                                would reinforce that punishment and
                                                scolding at home. Now, when a child re-
                                                ports the same situation to their parent(s),
                                                it is not uncommon for the school to get
                                                visited and the teacher berated.

                                                The other major generation divider has to
                                                do with the role of “mother”. The older gen-
Have you ever wondered why we never had         eration grew up where the mothers’ priori-
a “generation” gap years ago, why there is      ty was to remain at home, raise the chil-
one today and what, if anything, we senior      dren, cook meals and keep the house and
citizens, my contemporaries, are doing to       clothes clean. If she had to work to add to
diminish it?                                    household funds, it never interfered with her
                                                duties as a mother. Today’s mother views
Remember when it was commonplace for            her role differently. Her priorities may now
two or three generations to live under the      include furthering her career and adding to
same roof, share meals, social events and       the family income, but it seems “family” has
house chores on a regular basis? In fami-       thus assumed a new position in the home.
lies where more than one sibling had a
home, the location changed from time to         With each of our generations having differ-
time, but the arrangements did not. This        ent values and beliefs, it was inevitable that
interweaving of different age groups as a       our two worlds would clash. One may even
daily routine lasted for many years. It         think that harmony in the house would be
seems ours was an era without a genera-         eroded. In my experience, however, the con-
tion gap. So where did this phenomenon          flicts never lasted very long or were par-
come from? Some think the generation gap        ticularly very bad. Frankly, I can’t say which
was precipitated by dramatic changes in         generation was responsible for creating or
family values, and these changes were en-       bridging the gap that was created.
thusiastically embraced by the “younger
generation”.                                    I do know this. Lately it seems to me that
                                                my own contemporaries may be per-
The older generation believed children          petuating this generation gap by “flocking”
should be seen and not heard, while             to live in age-restricted senior citizen
younger folks believed that restraining chil-   housing complexes.
dren from making noise would inhibit a
healthy emotional growth to adulthood.
The older set believed spankings were            GO FIGURE!
sometimes necessary; however the young-
er generation preferred verbal admonish-
ment, rationale, explanations.

An example of the generational diversity
in child-rearing is highlighted in the story
of the child who came home from school to
tell a parent that he or she was punished
                                       CALL SOCIAL SECURITY
                                              DIRECT
DRIVER'S SAFETY CLASSES              A Social Security service repre-
    ( Formerly 55-Alive )            sentative is ready to help you
                                     with your social security needs.
    Washington Twsp. Seniors
 February 28, 2007 & March 7, 2007
                                     Call: 610-559-9378 press 1,
          9am – 1:30 pm
 Contact: Gail Werner – 876-5941     then the extension number be-
                                     low:
        Skylands Bank Plaza          If your name begins with :
         Hackettstown, NJ
   March 1, 2007 & March 8, 2007        AAA-EDE         Ext. 226
          10am – 2:30 pm                EDF-LAM         Ext. 221
Contact: Joan Moskowitz – 850-6872      LAN-RIV         Ext. 213
                                        RIW-ZZZ         Ext. 228
    Masonic Lodge – Washington
        March 13 & March 20          If you have a personal computer
           10 am-2:30 pm             you may also send your question
  Contact: James Taylor – 453-3365   via email to:
                                     john.j.mccann@ssa.gov
      Panther Valley-Allamuchy
           May 5 & May 12
       October 6 & October 13
  Contact: Jane Sanson – 852-8400

      Old Greenwich Church               REMEMBER!
  16 Church Rd., Stewartsville, NJ
        March 29 & April 5               Your donation helps us
         10 am – 2:30 pm
  Contact: Carl Guthardt 479-4830
                                         continue to bring you the
                                         latest information
                                         through the Senior
MUST ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS                Voice………..
      TO BE CERTIFIED
                                          Domestic Abuse and the Senior
   PROPERTY TAX RELIEF                             Population
  PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS
                                         The term “Elder Abuse” generally brings to
      AND DISABLED                       mind the mistreatment or neglect of a help-
Property Tax Reimbursement: In           less elderly person within the home or a care
2007 this program will provide prop-     facility. An article in the August issue of the
erty tax relief for those over age 65    Senior Voice dealt with this issue and the
and disabled residents whose in-         guidelines surrounding Adult Protective Ser-
comes in 2007 are under $43,700 for      vices.
a single person and $53,582 for a
couple. Inquire at your municipal or     Sometimes the abuse of an elderly person
township office for program applica-     within the home is a continuation of a long
tions and information. The Warren        history of domestic abuse by a partner or other
County Division of Senior Services       household member. The relationship may
can assist with information. Call toll   have been abusive since its inception, long
free 1-877-222-3737.                     before the victim would qualify as being a se-
                                         nior or may have evolved into an abusive rela-
Property Tax Deduction: Annual           tionship over the years. Studies show that in
deduction of up to $250 from prop-       most abusive relationships the abuse becomes
erty taxes for homeowners age 65 or      more frequent and violent with the passage
older or disabled who meet certain       of time unless something dramatic is done to
income and residency requirements.       interrupt it. In these cases many times the
This benefit is administered by your     victim of the abuse would not be deemed “vul-
local municipality.                      nerable” or “incompetent” and might not qual-
                                         ify for the Adult Protective Services program.
Veteran’s Deduction: Annual de-
duction from taxes due on real or per-   Seniors in these situations may feel that they
sonal property paid to qualified war
                                         don’t fit the profile of a client of the tradition-
veterans and their unmarried surviv-
                                         al domestic abuse programs either, that these
ing spouses. The deduction is $250.
                                         programs are geared to younger adults. Noth-
This benefit is administered by your
local municipality.                      ing could be further from the truth. The War-
                                         ren County based program, the Domestic
Disabled Veteran’s Exemption:            Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (DARCC) of-
Full exemption from property taxes       fers its free and confidential services to all
on a principal residence for certain     who find themselves within an abusive rela-
totally and permanently disabled war     tionship regardless of age.
veterans and their unmarried surviv-
ing spouses. Unmarried surviving         Some of the services offered by DARCC are:
spouses of service persons who died      24 hour hotline service (908) 475-8408, emer-
on wartime active duty may also          gency shelter, individual and group support-
qualify. This benefit is administered    ive counseling, legal advocacy and court, hos-
by your local municipality.              pital and law enforcement accompaniment.
                                         Perhaps an abused individual might want to
FAIR Rebate: Renters file along          work on a safety plan or explore options with
with their NJ Income Tax return.         a counselor. This help is available, please give
Homeowner’s rebate applications are      us a call.
sent by the state to each homeowner.                       by Sheila Garry Avery
                                                      Community Education Director
                                           Domestic Abuse and Rape Crisis Center in Warren County
                      DON’T FALL FOR THIS!
Okay, we know, you’re careful, and this is    the best type of exercise program for you
something that will never happen to you.      and stick to it.
That’s what one third of everyone over 65     2. Get your medicines reviewed. As we
said too, but it happened to them anyway.     age, the way medicines work in the body
You just can’t kid yourself and the num-      can change. Some medicines, or combina-
bers don’t lie: A FALL IS A MAJOR             tions of medicines, can make you sleepy
                                              or dizzy and can cause you to fall.
CAUSE OF DISABILITY AND DEATH IN
PEOPLE OVER 65!                               3. Get your vision checked at least once
                                              a year. Poor vision will increase your
Even if a fall doesn’t                        chance of falling. Improve the lighting in
cause an injury, it                           your home. As we get older, brighter lights
may still have lasting                        are needed to see well. Hang light-weight
negative effects on                           curtains or shades to reduce glare.
you. It’s “the fear
factor”, because now                          4. Make your home safer. Half of all falls
you’re afraid you’re                          occur in the home. Take these precau-
going to fall. You                            tions:
may start to restrict
any activity that you                             Remove trip hazards from stairs and
feel is threatening.                            places you regularly walk.
This can lead to a re-
duction in exercise……which leads to fur-          Remove small throw rugs or use dou-
ther weakness……which increases the risk         ble-sided tape to keep the rugs from
of another fall….and so on.                     slipping.
                                                  Place regularly used items in plac-
      Who Is at Risk of Falling?                es you can reach easily so you don’t
                                                have to use a stepstool.
YOU ARE! Everyone is, and the risk in-            Put grab bars next to your toilet AND
creases with age. It could be due to age        in the tub and shower.
related changes, medical conditions like
arthritis, cataracts or hip surgery and the       NEVER use a towel rack as a grab
medications you take can also place you         bar.
at risk.                                          Put non-slip mats in the bathtub
                                                and on shower floors.
These FOUR TIPS WILL DECREASE
YOUR RISK:                                        Have handrails and lights put in all
                                                staircases.
1. Exercise is one of the most important          Always wear shoes inside and out-
ways to reduce your chances of falling. Ask     side the house. Avoid going barefoot
your doctor or health care provider about       or wearing slippers.

				
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Description: Senior Voice Ginkgo Ext