Fall Prevention Checklist

Unfortunately, falls among older people are common, but they don’t have to be a normal part of aging.

Falls can be the result of tripping over objects, falling from stools or ladders, or losing your balance, possibly due to vision or hearing problems, or because of the side effects from some medications.

Click on this link for a free quiz to assess your risk for a fall: https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/falls-free-checkup/

You have the option to sign up for a free report and follow-up after you take the quiz.

Regular exercise can help reduce your risk for a fall. The National Institute on Aging has a helpful web site on exercise and physical activity: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/exercise-physical-activity

It is advisable to consult with your doctor before you begin an exercise routine.

Prepare for Disasters with Ready.gov

September is Emergency Preparedness month, but being ready for a disaster is a year-round necessity.

Whether it’s a pandemic, fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster, this national website can help you make a plan to protect your home, family, and business.

The Ready.gov site includes a section for people with disabilities: https://www.ready.gov/disability

You can also download the FEMA app to your Apple or Android mobile device. Content within the app is available in English and in Spanish.

Accessible Hiking in Texas State Parks

Five Texas state parks now offer accessible all-terrain wheelchairs for people with physical impairments for use in the park. These wheelchairs are not motorized and require arm strength and mobility to propel the chair. The five parks that feature these wheelchairs are: Lake Corpus Christi, San Angelo, McKinney Falls, Estero Llano Grande, and Palo Duro Canyon.

Here is a video of these all-terrain chairs: https://youtu.be/q4rDMXdkxLA

People who want to borrow the wheelchair must sign a waiver and view the video first.

For more information, send an e-mail to: accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov

Braille Calendars Available

Braille calendars are available for free from the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. If you are a member of the Talking Book Program, staff can order calendars for you. Leave us a message with your name, mailing address, and how many calendars you are requesting. Each patron may order up to three calendars per year.

If you are a not a Talking Book Program patron, you can call the Action Fund at 410-659-9315 and select option 2, or send an e-mail to CommunityRelations@actionfund.org

Other organizations provide large print calendars. Most of them are not free. For a list of sources, contact the Talking Book Program: tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov, toll free in Texas: 800-252-9605, or locally 512-463-5458.

Newsline Webinar June 11, 2020

Join a Zoom meeting on Thursday, June 11, at 7 pm central time to learn more about the National Federation of the Blind’s Newsline service.

Newsline allows you to access participating newspapers and magazines by audio if you have a print disability. You can listen by landline, by mobile phone, and even through Alexa.

If you are a Talking Book Program patron, we can sign you up for this service. Newsline is free. To request registration, email TBP at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov, or call us at 1-800-252-9605.

Here is the link to access the Zoom meeting on Thursday night: https://zoom.us/j/94278650088

Here is the link for the Newsline service: https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline

REACH of Plano online meetings

REACH of Plano will be having two Zoom meetings, one this week and one next week.

The first meeting will be a discussion of the book Being Heumann, an autobiography by disability rights activist Judy Heumann. The discussion will take place on Friday, April 24th, from 11 am – noon.

The second meeting will be about COVID-19 resources for Texas residents and individuals who reside in Collin County. Representatives from REACH of Plano, the Talking Book Program, and the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities will each present information on a variety of topics of interest to people with disabilities and health conditions during the current pandemic. This meeting will take place on Thursday, April 30th, at 1 pm.

Please send an e-mail to Julie Espinoza at jespinoza@reachcils.org if you are interested in one or both of these meetings.

The 2020 Census

The United States Census occurs every ten years, and helps provide funding for local communities and congressional representation. Make sure you are counted! You should receive census information by mail between March 12 – March 20. You may respond by mail, by phone, or online. The census allows you to respond in a variety of languages, and the online version is accessible. For more information, visit www.2020census.gov, call 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or contact the Talking Book Program for more information. Other phone numbers are available for other languages. The TDD phone number for deaf/hard of hearing persons is 800-467-2020.

Mental Health Resources in Response to the Pandemic

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Older adults and people with disabilities and underlying medical conditions can experience more stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak than other people. Find ways to reduce your stress and anxiety:

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
• Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
• Connect with family and friends by phone, text, or email.
• If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Here are a few more helpful phone numbers:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

For more information, visit this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?fbclid=IwAR3SWsrU16WUj2q2svJ3Yhnz33poz3lsQh2zCu4ys96dq4Um7jkDA_GYY_I

Mental Health Resource for Seniors

Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides counseling services on a variety of topics for elderly individuals in several states including Texas. During the COVID -19 pandemic, services are provided in a tele-health setting, using a computer or portable device. No doctor order is required, and the counseling services are covered by Medicare, private pay, and some insurance companies.

For more information, call 855-241-7160, or visit https://bluemoonseniorcounseling.com/specialties/telehealth

Sources for Personal Emergency Response Devices

During the current pandemic, when many people who are elderly or have disabilities are needing to isolate at home, a personal emergency response system would bring help in the event of a fall or medical event such as a heart attack or stroke. Here is a list of companies that sell these devices. Please note that your insurance may not cover the cost of these devices, and make sure to read all terms and conditions carefully.

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)

Alert Sentry

877-253-7899

http://alertsentry.com/

Great Call

800-918-8543

www.greatcall.com/

Guardian Medical Monitoring

800-782-9688

Medical Monitoring

Life Alert:

800-982-0332

www.lifealert.net/home/home.html

Life Fone

800-331-9198

www.lifefone.com

Life Station

866-584-4858

www.lifestation.com/

Medical Alert

800-800-2537

http://medicalert.com

Philips Lifeline Systems Inc:

855-681-5351

www.lifeline.philips.com/

Rescue Alert

800-688-9576

www.rescuealert.com/

Senior Safety Medical Alert Systems

888-473-2800

www.seniorsafety.com/american-medical-alarms/