Veterans Spotlight

Chad Buder – Coast Guard Veteran, Paralyzed Veteran’s of America Board Member, AgeSmart Client

Meet Chad Buder. Chad was born and raised in Madison County. He graduated from Edwardsville High School, joined the Coast Guard in 1998, and became an Electronics Technician. 

Chad was injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2001 while serving on the USCG Mohawk in Key West, Florida.

Chad was introduced to AgeSmart Community Resources in 2015 when he enrolled in the Veteran Directed Care program with the St. Louis Veterans Association. AgeSmart monitors the veterans enrolled in this program in our seven-county service area in Illinois and St. Louis City.

Currently, Chad is a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Board of Directors, assisting them with their annual golf tournament and their first 5k race in Tower Park last month.

He is an avid sports fan, loves movies, and has a dog named Kelly.

Chad, thank you for your service and Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Hip Hop and Happening Senior is a new segment that allows us to celebrate a senior in our service area that is living his or her best life.

Merle Boswell, 91 years old, of Lebanon, Illinois is our first Hip Hop and Happening senior.

Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Merle and her husband, now deceased, moved to Lebanon more than 20 years ago.

Merle enjoys fishing, working in her garden, attending church at the First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, reading, and visiting with her daughter who lives in O’Fallon and her two granddaughters, who live in Texas and New York.

Daily exercise is important to Merle. She enjoys riding her indoor recumbent bike, and walking. Her exercise mantra is “I do what I feel like”.

AgeSmart Community Resources was fortunate to meet Merle when she stopped by the office to meet with one of our counselors and learn about senior insurance options.

Merle’s advice for a happy and healthy life is “Live a good, clean life, and marry a wonderful man”.

If you know a Hip Hop and Happening senior, let us know!   We would love to share their story!

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Healthy Senior Day

The Gateway Region YMCA is celebrating its annual Healthy Senior Day on Thursday, October 24, 2019. 

This community event, free and open to all, is designed to provide Active Older Adults age 55 and up with opportunities and resources that can help them live with greater health and happiness. At the YMCA, we believe in building overall healthy lifestyles in spirit, mind and body. The event will include:

  • Fitness Classes
  • Social Opportunities
  • Flu Shots provided by a local pharmacy* (Covered by most insurance plans or can be purchased)
  • Community Agencies and Partners
  • Screenings
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Food & Beverages
  • Giveaways & Prizes

*Bring your insurance card and photo ID. 

Clinton County YMCA – 10:00 am – NOON

Collinsville, Maryville, Troy YMCA – 9:00 am – NOON

Downtown Belleville YMCA – 11:00 am, – 1:00 pm

East Belleville YMCA – 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Monroe County YMCA – 10:00 am – NOON

O’Fallon YMCA – 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Randolph County YMCA– 10:00 am – NOON

Tri-City  YMCA – 10:00 am – NOON

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Open Enrollment Editorial

Medicare’s open enrollment is October 15 – December 7.

Why open enrollment for Medicare is important to you.

Let AgeSmart Community Resources help you find your way through the ever-changing world of Medicare Open Enrollment. Beginning on October 15 all people with Medicare may change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs. Information for next year’s Medicare plans will be available in early October.

AgeSmart’s trained Senior Health Insurance Counselors can help you make an educated decision about your coverage. Our goal is to help simplify the process and make sure you have the insurance and prescription plan to suit your needs. We will meet with you one-on-one, review your current plan, and based on the information you provide, share options that may better serve your individual situation. To schedule an appointment at our O’Fallon, IL office, or find a location convenient to you, please call AgeSmart Community Resources at 618-222-2561. This service is free of charge.

AgeSmart Community Resources, your local Area Agency on Aging, serves Madison, St. Clair, Bond,  Clinton, Monroe, Randolph and Washington counties. Our mission is to give older adults the opportunity to help them maintain their health and independence and to live well.  For more information about AgeSmart Community Resources visit

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Fall Prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls

Falls put you at risk of serious injury. Prevent falls with these simple fall-prevention measures, from reviewing your medications to hazard-proofing your home.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Fall prevention may not seem like a lively topic, but it’s important. As you get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Still, fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Instead, consider six simple fall-prevention strategies.

1. Make an appointment with your doctor

Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • What medications are you taking? Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, or bring them with you to the appointment. Your doctor can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling. To help with fall prevention, your doctor may consider weaning you off medications that make you tired or affect your thinking, such as sedatives and some types of antidepressants.
  • Have you fallen before? Write down the details, including when, where and how you fell. Be prepared to discuss instances when you almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to grab hold of something just in time. Details such as these may help your doctor identify specific fall-prevention strategies.
  • Could your health conditions cause a fall? Certain eye and ear disorders may increase your risk of falls. Be prepared to discuss your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk — for example, do you feel any dizziness, joint pain, shortness of breath, or numbness in your feet and legs when you walk? Your doctor may evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style (gait) as well.

2. Keep moving

Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. With your doctor’s OK, consider activities such as walking, water workouts or tai chi — a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.

If you avoid physical activity because you’re afraid it will make a fall more likely, tell your doctor. He or she may recommend carefully monitored exercise programs or refer you to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can create a custom exercise program aimed at improving your balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait.

3. Wear sensible shoes

Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in your stocking feet. Instead, wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles. Sensible shoes may also reduce joint pain.

4. Remove home hazards

Take a look around your home. Your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways may be filled with hazards. To make your home safer:

  • Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
  • Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
  • Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your home.
  • Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
  • Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
  • Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
  • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower. Use a bath seat, which allows you to sit while showering.

5. Light up your living space

Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see. Also:

  • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
  • Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs.
  • Make clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.
  • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
  • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.

6. Use assistive devices

Your doctor might recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help, too. For example:

  • Hand rails for both sides of stairways
  • Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps
  • A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
  • Grab bars for the shower or tub
  • A sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub — plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down

If necessary, ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. He or she can help you brainstorm other fall-prevention strategies. Some solutions are easily installed and relatively inexpensive. Others may require professional help or a larger investment. If you’re concerned about the cost, remember that an investment in fall prevention is an investment in your independence.

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