Free Basketball Tickets for Students of Salem Community Schools

Due to the generosity of Stanley Colglazier and his daughter, Sara Colglazier, to the Washington County Community Foundation, students of Salem Community Schools will receive free tickets to the January 17, 2020 JV and Varsity basketball games versus the Scottsburg Warriors.  Students may enter through any door accessible to the gymnasium and will need to sign-in for entrance to the game.   Salem students are strongly encouraged to wear Salem or black and gold attire.  The tickets are available for students attending Salem Community Schools in grades K-12; however, students in elementary school are required to be accompanied by an adult.  Be sure to take advantage of these free tickets as the Lions face off against Scottsburg.  For questions regarding tickets, please call the Washington County Community Foundation at 883-7334 or SHS athletic director, Hank Weedin at 883-3904. 

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

End

How to Create a Family Health Portrait

How do I go about making a family health history? Most of my relatives have died before age 65. My doctor suggested I create a family history to help identify my own genetic vulnerabilities.

An accurate family health history remains one of the most important tools to maintain your health as you age. The holidays may be an opportune time to discuss a family health portrait. Here are some things you should know, along with some tips and tools to help you create one.

Know Your Genes


Just as you can inherit your father's height or your mother's eye color, you can also inherit their genetic risk for diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. For example, if one generation of a family has high blood pressure, it is not unusual for the next generation to also have high blood pressure. Tracing the health ailments suffered by your relatives can help you and your doctor predict things you may be at risk for, so you can take action to keep yourself healthy.

To create a family health history, you will need to start by collecting some basic medical information on your first-degree relatives, which includes your parents, siblings and children. You may also want to include your grandparents, aunts, uncles and first cousins.

You should find out the specific ages of when a relative developed health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, depression, etc. If family members are deceased, you should try to find out when and how they died. If possible, include lifestyle information as well, such as diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol use.

Some relatives may not want to share their medical history or they may not know their family history. Typically, any information you discover will be helpful for creating a family health portrait.

You may be able to get information on deceased relatives by ordering a copy of their death certificate. The certificate will list their cause of death and their age at death. To get a death certificate, contact the vital records office in the state where your relative died, or go to VitalChek.com.

If you were adopted, the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search, ChildWelfare.gov/nfcad, may be able to help you locate your biological parents so you can get their medical history.

Helpful Tools


To get help putting together your family health history, the U.S. Surgeon General created a free web-based tool called "My Family Health Portrait," which can be accessed at phgkb.cdc.gov/FHH/html. The tool can help you collect, organize and understand your genetic risks. You may choose to share the information with your family members and doctors.

Another free resource that provides similar assistance can be found on the Genetic Alliance's website, FamilyHealthHistory.org. The online tool entitled "Does it run in the family?" allows you to create a customized guide of your family health history.

Handling the Results


If you uncover serious health risks that run in your family, do not despair. While you cannot change your genes, you can change your habits to increase your chances of a healthy future. By eating a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking, you can offset and sometimes even neutralize your genetic vulnerabilities. This is especially true for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

A family medical history can also alert you to get early and frequent screening tests. This can help detect other problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancers including breast, ovarian, skin, prostate and colon cancer, in their early stages when they are most treatable.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published November 15, 2019

How to Choose a Walk-in Bathtub

Because of my mobility problems, I am thinking about getting a walk-in bathtub that’s easy to get into and out of but could use some help selecting one. What can you tell me about walk-in tubs, and can you recommend some good companies that make and install them?

Walk-in tubs are a good option for mobility challenged seniors because they are much easier to get into and out of than a standard tub. They may help prevent slips, trips and falls. Here is what you should know.

The Basics


Walk-in bathtubs are uniquely designed with a watertight, hinged door built into the side of the tub that provides a much lower threshold to step over, usually 2.5 to 7 inches, in comparison with a standard tub threshold of 15 inches.

In addition to the low threshold, many walk-in tubs also have built-in seats, grab bars, anti-slip floors, anti-scald valves and handheld showerheads. Many higher-end models offer therapeutic spa-like features that are great for seniors with arthritis and other ailments.

The kind of tub you choose will depend on your needs, preferences and budget, and the size and layout of your bathroom. The cost of a walk-in tub with professional installation ranges from approximately $3,000 to $10,000.

Here are some other things you should consider:

Tub size: Walk-in bathtubs vary in size. Most models have high walls between three and four feet high and are between 28 and 32 inches wide, but will fit into the same spaces as your standard tub without having to reconfigure the room. There are also bariatric walk-in tubs that have wider door openings and larger seats to accommodate people over 300 pounds.

Wheelchair-accessible: Most walk-in tubs have an inward opening door, but if you use a wheelchair, an outward opening door may be a better option because they are easier to access.

Tub options: The most basic and least expensive type of walk-in tub you can get is a simple soaker tub. But, there are many other options available. There are aero therapy (air jets) tubs, hydrotherapy (whirlpool water jets) tubs, aromatherapy tubs that mix fragrant essential oils with the water or combination tubs with multiple upgraded features. Tubs with an in-line heating system will keep your bathwater warm while you soak. Tubs with self-cleaning systems may also be a priority.

Fast fill and drain: One drawback to using a walk-in bathtub is that the bather must sit in the tub as it fills and drains, which can make for a chilly experience. To help with this, consider a tub that has fast-filling faucets and pump-assisted drainage systems, which significantly speed up the process. These options may require some plumbing modifications to your bathroom.

Warranty: The best walk-in bathtubs on the market today are made in the USA. Look for companies offering a lifetime “leak-proof” door seal warranty and lengthy warranties on both the tub and the operating system.

Where to shop: To get started, contact a few companies that will send a local dealer to your home to assess your bathroom and give you product options and estimates for free. Most companies offer financing with monthly payment plans.

Unfortunately, original Medicare does not cover walk-in bathtubs nor do Medicare supplemental (Medigap) policies. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may help with the cost. There are also many states that offer Medicaid waivers that will help pay for the purchase and installation of a walk-in tub to those that qualify. The VA offers some programs that provide financial aid too.

 

Published November 8, 2019

How to Create an Ethical Will

Can you write a column on ethical wills and how to make one? The attorney that made up my will recently suggested I write a letter as a tool to explain the intentions of my will, as well as express my thoughts and feelings, but I am not sure where to start.

An ethical will – also referred to as a legacy letter – can be a valuable complement to your legal will, as well as a wonderful gift to your family or other loved ones. Here are some things you should know and some tips to help you make one.

Ethical Wills


A last will and testament tells your loved ones and the probate court how you would like your assets to be distributed. An ethical will is not a legal document, but a legacy letter that many people use to express their feelings and explain the elements in their last will and testament.

A legacy letter is a heartfelt letter that you write to your loved ones sharing with them your feelings, wishes, regrets, gratitude and advice. Usually a legacy letter is no more than a few pages. The process of writing an ethical will can actually be quite satisfying. Be careful that you do not contradict any aspects of your legal will or estate plan. If you are having trouble with writing an ethical will, there are resources available to help. You can also choose to express yourself through an audio or video recording.

Where to Start


To craft an ethical will, start by jotting down some notes about what is really important to you and what you want your loved ones to know. Take your time and remember that you are not trying to write for the Pulitzer Prize. This letter is a gift written for those you love.

After you have gathered your thoughts you can start drafting your letter. You can also revise or rewrite it at any time. Your ethical will should be kept with your other legal documents in a secure location but be sure your executor has access to it. A fireproof filing cabinet or safe in your home is often a good choice.

Get Help


If you need some help, there are numerous resources available on the internet. There are various websites that offer how-to information and examples of ethical wills. Many websites also offer resource books, including do-it-yourself guidebooks that are available for purchase.

You may find local organizations or companies that offer ethical will writing classes and workshops. They may also offer personalized services like coaching, editing, writing or recording your ethical will. Prices will vary depending on the services you choose and your location.

Many individuals choose to share their ethical will with their family and friends while they are still living so they can observe their reactions, while others believe it should be read after their death. This is a very personal choice.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

 

How to Help Aging Parents Manage their Medications

What tips or tools can you recommend to help seniors and their caregivers keep up with medications? My mother, who lives alone, is supposed to take several different medications at various times of the day but often forgets.

Anyone who juggles multiple medications can relate to the problem of forgetting to take their medicine, or not remembering whether they already took it. This is especially true for older adults who take medications at varying times of the day. Here are some different product and service solutions that may help.

Being organized and setting reminders are the two keys to staying on top of a medication schedule. To help your mom achieve this, there are a wide variety of pillboxes, medication organizers, vibrating watches, beeping pill bottles and dispensers with audio alerts that can make all the difference.

Simple Medication Helpers


You can help your mom stay organized by creating a simple medication list that breaks down exactly what she should take and when she should take it. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has a free printable resource. You can download and print a copy of “My Medicine List” at SafeMedication.com.

Smart Pill Boxes


There are also a variety of “smart” pill boxes on the market today that will remind your mom when she needs to take her medicine. It will also send family members and caregivers notifications if she forgets to take her pills or accidentally takes the wrong ones.

A few smart pill box options include Tricella, PillDrill and MedMinder. The prices range from approximately $200 to $300 or monthly subscriptions ranging from $40 to $65 a month. Some smart pill boxes require monthly subscription services. Most smart pill boxes require connectivity with a smart phone or tablet with either a data plan or Wi-Fi access. The more expensive models provide comprehensive pill tracking which helps for those on a strict medication schedule.

Convenient Packaging


Another way to help simplify your mom’s medicine is to find a pharmacy that offers prescriptions in single-dose packets. This packaging option may allow her in also include vitamins and over-the-counter drugs. Typically the single-dose packets are organized by date and the time of day they should be taken. This does away with all the pill bottles and pill sorting if you find a pharmacy that offers the service.

Apps and Calling Services


If your mom has a smartphone, there are apps she could use to help her keep up with her medication. One of the top rated apps is Medisafe which is a free app offered on Apple and Android phones. Medisafe will track your mom’s pill schedule, send her timely notifications to take her meds and send her reminders to fill her prescriptions.

Caregivers can also connect with the Medisafe app to receieve notifications about when it is time for their loved ones to take their medication and they can see whether or not it has been marked as taken.

If your mom does not use a smartphone, there are also calling services, which provide medication reminding calls. These types of services will call your mom at the scheduled times to reminder her that she needs to take her medication. If she fails to answer or acknowledge the call, a family member or caregiver will be contacted. Services like this typically cost between $15 and $20 per month.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published October 25, 2019
 

How to Stop Unwanted Junk Mail and Guard Against Mail Fraud

My father receives over 100 pieces of junk mail every week and I just discovered that he has given away nearly $5,000 over the past few months to many of the solicitors who mail him this junk. Can you offer any tips on how can I stop this?

Millions of Americans get bombarded with unwanted junk mail these days, including “mail fraud” schemes that you and your dad need should be careful to guard against. Here are some tips that may help.

Mail Fraud Alert


While junk mail comes in many different forms—credit card applications, sweepstakes entries, magazine offers, coupon mailers, donation requests, political fliers, catalogs and more—the most troublesome type is mail fraud. This type of junk mail comes from con artists who are trying to take your money.

Mail fraud can be tricky to detect because there are many different types of schemes out there that may seem legitimate. Some of the most common mail scams targeting seniors today are phony sweepstakes, foreign lotteries, free prizes, vacation scams, fake checks (see FakeChecks.org), donation requests from fake charities or government agencies that do not exist, get-rich chain letters, work-at-home schemes and inheritance and investment scams.

If your dad is getting any type of junk mail requesting money in exchange for a free gift or if he is receiving checks that require him to wire money, you need to call the U.S. Postal Inspector Service at 877-876-2455 and report it.

Unfortunately, once a person’s name and contact information is included on these mail fraud lists, it is very difficult to be removed from the list. This is because criminals regularly trade and sell mailing lists of people who they believe to be susceptible to fraud and the scammers will not remove names when they are requested to do so.

Knowing this, a good first step to help protect your dad is to alert him to the different types of mail fraud and what to watch for. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service can help you with this. They offer a list of the different mail fraud schemes at PostalInspectors.uspis.gov.

Another option is to see if your dad would be willing to let you sort through his mail before he opens it so you can weed out the junk. You may want to have the post office forward his mail directly to you to ensure this.

If your dad feels compelled to donate to certain charities, ask him to let you check them out first to make sure they are legitimate. You can do this at charity watchdog sites like CharityNavigator.org and Give.org.

Reduce Junk Mail


While scam artists are not likely to take your dad’s name off their mailing lists, most legitimate mail-order businesses will. To do this, start with the Direct Marketing Association, which offers a consumer opt-out service at DMAchoice.org. This will not eliminate all his junk mail, but it will reduce it. The opt-out service is $2 for 10 years if you register online or $3 if you register by mail.

Then, to put a stop to the credit card and insurance offers he gets, call the consumer credit reporting industry opt-out service at 888-567-8688 and follow the automated prompts. He will be able to choose to either opt out for five years or to opt out permanently. Be prepared to give his Social Security number and date of birth. You can also do this online at OptOutPrescreen.com. If you choose the permanent opt-out, you will have to send a form in the mail.

You should also make sure your dad’s home and cell phone numbers are registered with the National Do Not Call Registry (DoNotCall.gov, 888-382-1222) to reduce the number of telemarketing calls he receives.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published October 18, 2019

Our Donors Awarded Over $20K in Grants

Thanks to our generous donors and the Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow Funds, Washington County nonprofits will be receiving over $20,000 in grants.

The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a grant in the amount of $2966.00 to replace a 10-year old AED with two additional compliant AEDs.

A grant for $726.00 was awarded to the YMCA of Washington County for afterschool outings for the THRIVE mentoring program.  The mentors and mentees will meet twice per school year (in addition to weekly mentor/mentee meetings) outside of school hours in a safe space that will provide additional interaction.

Blue River Services has been awarded a $2899.00 grant for improved vocational training for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The funds will be used to purchase a smartboard.

Junior Achievement will once again receive a grant for educational programming in Washington County.  The $2500.00 grant will be used to teach youth economic and financial literacy.

A $6500.0 grant has been awarded to Dare to Care to continue the Backpack Buddy program.  The program provides nutritious, kid-friendly food to children for the weekends where they may otherwise go hungry. 

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

End

WCCF Announces Mahuron Education Fund and Elliott Family Fund Grant Recipients

The Mahuron Education Fund was established at the Washington County Community Foundation to encourage educators and staff to teach in innovative ways.  This year, the fund, along with the Elliott Family Fund has awarded several teachers in the county school corporations over $4300.00. 

Brenda Boling’s West Washington Elementary School 5th grade classroom will be Geocaching this year.  The grant will fund geocaching supplies for classrooms for teachers and students to enjoy while learning math word problems and riddles.

East Washington School Corporation Speech and Language Pathologist, Cheyenne Stone, has been awarded a grant for an iPad motor learning-based app to benefit students throughout the corporation with speech and language impairments.

Jennifer Stahl, West Washington Junior/Senior High School teacher, will be adding a standing desk to her classroom for student use.

East Washington Elementary 5th grade teacher, Tara Kennedy, will be teaching her students about recycling.  They hope to increase recycling I the school and the community while using the program to obtain and track data.

Jenisa Collier’s Bradie Shrum Elementary School Kindergarten school students will be learning more fine motor skills while gaining hand-eye coordination, and knowledge on shapes and numbers.

Students in Bev Lanham’s 2nd grade class at Bradie Shrum Elementary School will be getting new resources for independent reading, small group, and whole group settings to increase student ability to see text and hear themselves read as well as increasing fluency.

Bradie Shrum Elementary School 5th graders in Randy Nichols’ and Joni Hardy’s class will be utilizing new technology for math topic review.

Lorie Campbell will be assisting students and teachers with Response to Intervention.  The project at Bradie Shrum Elementary will focus on providing resources throughout the school to use during RTI time each week to increase fluency, phonics, vocabulary, sight words, and comprehension. 

Students at West Washington Elementary School will be enjoying Dance in Music.  Hannah Ledgerwood was awarded a grant to utilize dancing in the music room to focus on rhythmic skill, coordination, concentration, body control, and mental focus. 

Students at East Washington Elementary School will be learning math skills during PE time.  Leah Starrett, PE teacher, will be leading the charge for the program. 

Ronda Eiler’s East Washington Elementary School Kindergarten class will be using Magnetic Magic to provide students a hands-on opportunity to discover, build, and play with a  variety of magnetic toys to improve coordination skills.

The Elliott Family Fund, a donor advised fund within the Foundation, has also issued grants for innovative classroom ideas. 

Laura Mahuron’s 6th grade Science class at Salem Middle School was awarded a grant for Solar Energy Projects, STEM solar building kits to engage students in group work to understand the use of solar energy and energy transference.

Students in Michelle Stancombe’s advisory period will be certified in CPR through the purchase of CPR infant, youth, and adult mannequins. 

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

End

Resources to Help with Debt

My husband and I, who are both 66 years old, have fallen behind on our mortgage payments and have accumulated quite a bit of credit card debt over the past few years. Where can we get help?

Unfortunately, credit card and mortgage debt have become a growing problem for many older Americans who often face medical expenses on top of their mortgage and other growing costs. Here are some tips and services that can help.

Credit Card Counseling


To help you get a handle on your credit card debt, an accredited credit counseling agency may provide assistance. These are nonprofit agencies that offer free financial information and advice on how to handle financial problems.

Depending on the significance of your credit card debt, they can help you sort out your finances and set up a debt management plan (DMP), which allows a counselor to negotiate with creditors to lower your interest rates and eliminate any late fees and other penalties.

The agency will consolidate your debts into one payment and distribute the payments to creditors. Typically, the first counseling session is free, but a DMP comes with monthly fees, often in the range of $20 to $75 a month.

To locate a credible agency in your area, visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website at NFCC.org (800-388-2227), and the Financial Counseling Association of America FCAA.org (800-450-1794).

Be wary of debt settlement companies that claim to settle all of your debts or cut your debt in half for a fee without counseling. Most of these companies use deceptive practices and will only leave you more in debt then you already are.

Mortgage Counseling


If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, or if you have already received a letter or phone call about missed payments, you should contact your lender immediately. Explain your situation and see if you can work out a payment plan. Be prepared to provide your financial information, such as your monthly income and expenses.

You can also get help from a foreclosure prevention counselor. These are HUD-approved, trained counselors that will work with you, examine your financial situation and offer guidance on how best to avoid default or foreclosure. They can also represent you in negotiations with your lender, if necessary.

For a selection of housing counseling options see the Department of Housing and Urban Development website at HUD.gov – click on "Resources" at the top of the page, then on "Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling," or call 800-569-4287. You may also use the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or Financial Counseling Association of America websites. For phone numbers, see above.

Financial Assistance


You need to make sure you are not missing out on any financial assistance programs. The National Council on Aging's website, BenefitsCheckUp.org, contains a database of more than 2,500 federal, state and local programs that may assist seniors with prescription drug costs, health care, food, utilities, and other basic needs. The site will help you locate programs that you may be eligible for and will show you how to apply.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published October 11, 2019

Chuck Fluharty, Founder of the Rural Policy Research Institute, Coming to Salem. Public Invited

 Chuck Fluharty, Founder of the Rural Policy Research Institute, Coming to Salem. Public Invited

Chuck Fluharty will be coming to Salem on October 24, 2019 at 6:00 PM at the Salem High School Presentation Room as part of the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street project, a collaboration between Indiana Humanities, Washington County Historical Society, and Washington County Community Foundation.

He is the founder, President, and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), the only national policy institute in the U.S. solely dedicated to assessing the rural impacts of public policies. A Clinical Professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, and a Research Professor in the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri, he was also a German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Fellow from 2007 to 2011, and the Founding Director of the Missouri Public Policy Institute, as well as a principal in the design and development of the eventual Truman School of Public Affairs. The author of numerous policy studies and journal articles, he has presented dozens of Congressional testimonies and briefings. He is also a frequent speaker before national and international audiences, having delivered major public policy speeches in over a dozen nations, and has provided senior policy consultation to most federal departments, state and local government, planning and development organizations, and many foundations.

Chuck was born and raised on a fifth-generation family farm in the Appalachian foothills in eastern Ohio, and is a graduate of Yale Divinity School. His professional career has centered upon service to rural people, primarily in the public policy arena. He and his wife Marsha are the parents of two sons and a daughter.

Donate Now
Imagination Library
Youh Foundation
HEAP
FAQ
Make a Difference
Mailing List
CF standards
education Matters
Video Page

Washington County
Community Foundation

1707 North Shelby Street
Salem, Indiana 47167
Phone: 812-883-7334
E-Mail: info@wccf.biz

vimeo logo