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April 24, 2007 > Older Americans Month @your library

Older Americans Month @your library

By Gertrude Rooshan, Senior Services Librarian, Fremont Main Library

To serve seniors in the community, the Fremont Main Library has a number of programs to offer seniors, such as our new Teen/Senior Web Connection. By the end of May we will have a number of trained teens to become volunteer tutors for seniors who wish to learn using the Internet, E-mail, and Word. This program will be held in a class-room type setting, every Monday from 3 - 5 p.m., on a drop-in basis. It will benefit seniors who wish to join the work-force, simply to enjoy e-mailing their friends and relatives or browsing the internet for fun. This will be an on-going program, held indefinitely, with no sign-up required.

Another May program helping seniors stay mobile, active and safe will be held on May 22 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fremont Main Library. The program will be in two parts: A free "CARFIT" assessment in the Library parking lot. Trained professionals will lead seniors through a 15 minute checklist of their vehicle to make sure all adjustments and adaptations will enhance driving safety. The second part of the program will be a "Transportation Resources Fair." The Fair will have representatives of the Tri-City Elder Coalition, The Alameda County Senior Injury Prevention Program, and the Alameda County Library as part of the Pathways to Positive Aging, as sponsors of the event. Information at the Fair will be on older driver safety programs, fall prevention, walking and exercise programs, nutrition and wellness programs, senior support services, assistive devices, pedestrian safety, travel training, and public transit and Para-transit services. You need to sign up only for the CARFIT program.

Our partnership with the Tri-City Elder Coalition and the City of Fremont makes it possible to bring you the programs just mentioned. As partners in the "Pathways to Positive Aging", we participate in a community-wide effort to help seniors achieve a better quality of life in the Tri-City area. The City of Fremont Human Services Department has received grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy, and has partnered with Tri-City Elder Coalition to service seniors in our community. As a member of the various committees and workgroups, such as the Community Engagement committee, the Senior Opportunities Committee, and the Intercultural and Intergenerational Committee, the Alameda County Library System plays a vital role in this effort.

The library provides a link to referral assistance, educational and social opportunities for seniors, as central meeting ground, as media distribution center and point of reference, and as a place of meaningful activities. We are uniquely placed to mediate the great social transformation of a growing older population, to foster intercultural relations, and to provide intergenerational programs for seniors. Our library can develop new opportunities for community learning and engagements for productive aging. In all of our capacity to help seniors, we are proud to be partners with the Tri-City Elder Coalition and the City of Fremont in their collaborative effort to serve seniors.
Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future is the theme for Older Americans Month 2007. The United States population is rapidly aging. By 2030, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will more than double to 71 million older Americans, comprising roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Improved medical care and prevention efforts have contributed to dramatic increase in life expectancy in the United States. In a new report "The State of Aging and Health in America 2007," published by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we find the latest statistics on how America is aging. The report is a useful and informative guide to living healthier and longer lives. To see the whole report, go to www.cdc.gov/aging/saha.htm
In keeping with this theme of aging healthy, the library offers a number of useful databases on health and medicines. The most comprehensive is Medline Plus, by the National Library of Medicine, especially good for giving information on a particular condition. You will find it listed with other health databases at www.aclibrary.org. Under Research Guide, click on Articles and Databases, click on Health and Medicine, then Medline Plus. Medline Plus has a Senior Health Button on the right, which leads you directly to NIH Senior Health, by the National Institute of Health. There you can change the text size, adjust the screen contrast, and listen to the audio version.
Once you begin you can click on a list of senior related medical topics. There is also a feature on Medicare Prescription Drug coverage. Medline Plus also features senior topics. By entering senior into the search box, you will see a number of excellent topics relating to health issues, nutrition, guidelines for injury prevention, drugs and supplements, assistive devices, a medical encyclopedia, and the latest news. At the Home page we get all of the same options, by clicking on Health Topics, go to Demographic Groups and click on Seniors Health. This will give us an alphabetical list of senior related health issues. Each topic is treated with the most comprehensive, detailed and authoritative and detailed manner.
More senior-related pages can be found on our website by clicking on Older Adult Services. You'll see descriptions of upcoming programs, and descriptions of library services and materials aimed at seniors. Click on Internet Resources for Older Adults and have a look at the internet tutorials, the Alameda County Network of Care, hospital and drug comparison sites and much, much more.

Celebrate Older Americans Month with us at the Fremont Main Library at 2450 Stevenson Blvd. (510)745-1500 on May 7th from 9:30 - 12 noon. This free workshop on "Aging and Spirituality: My Neighbor's Faith" is now in its 5th year. Each year there is a variation on the theme of our community's faith based groups sharing the experience of aging through their traditions. This year's theme will be "healing through diverse faith traditions". How is healing understood and supported by different traditions? This program is for seniors, caregivers, and professionals with Continuing Educational Credits given. The program is sponsored by the Tri-City Elder Coalition, Alameda County Library, and Stanford Geriatric Education Center.

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