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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Office Closings

The RSVP and Cornell Cooperative Extension offices will be closed from Thursday, December 25 thru Thursday, January 1 for the holidays. We reopen on Friday, January 2.

Enjoy your holidays and have a happy, healthy new year!

We'll see you in 2009!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Digital TV Conversion: The Time Is Now!

It’s only 67 days until the digital television transition on February 17, and December is the critical month. Since it may take as long as six weeks from applying for a government coupon to placing a converter box in operation,NOW is the time to apply for a coupon, buy a converter box and try it out!

Information on the transition, how to apply for the $40 government coupons, where to buy converter boxes, and how to install and use them is available at several websites: Among other resources, this FCC website has outreach information for partners and consumer education materials on buying and installing converter boxes. At this secure website you can apply for the $40 government coupons. Information is available here in 10 languages besides English. This NTIA website has links to apply for the coupons, and explanatory brochures in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. n4a is working to secure resources for AAAs and Title VI Native American aging programs to assist older adults in making a smooth transition. The website has free materials to help aging professionals and consumers get up-to-speed on this timely issue. This is the website of the DTV Transition Coalition made up of business, trade and industry groups as well as grass roots and membership organizations that share an interest in a smooth transition. It has a variety of educational and presentation materials.

Monday, December 8, 2008

NOTICE: Change in Transportation Services

Beginning December 22, 2008, Schuyler County seniors (60+) in need of transportation should call the Office for the Aging at 535-7108. Veterans, Medicaid (not Medicare) recipients, and clients with Mental Health appointments should continue to call their appropriate offices.

Seniors 60+ or Wheelchair Bound Seniors - Call Ric at the Office for the Aging, 535-7108

Veterans - Call Joan at the Veterans Office, 535-2091

Medicaid Recipients
- Call Ranay at Social Services, 535-8368

Mental Health - Call Lois at Mental Health, 535-8282

Though there has been a slight change in transportation coordinator duties, RSVP volunteer drivers will continue to provide this much needed service.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Buy a Cat for Christmas - Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack

Buy a Cat for Christmas - Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack
By: Jim Evans

DEAR JIM: My wife – 69 – has a calico cat, and she insists that this cat makes her feel better. She has even dressed it up for Christmas this year with a ribbon around its neck and jingle bells. Personally, I’m not a cat lover, and I tolerate this particular cat only because it seems to make my wife happy, but how can “a cat” make anyone feel better? I always thought dogs made people feel better, but cats??? SKEPTIC IN SKOKIE

DEAR SKEPTIC: Your wife probably has no idea WHY her cat makes her feel better but, believe it or not, recent research shows that cats may actually lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes by relieving the stress and anxiety typically linked to coronary disease and heart attacks.

Researchers for the Minnesota Stroke Institute in Minneapolis found that “people who do not own cats have a 40% higher risk of dying from a myocardial infarction than people who do keep cats as pets,” according to Adnan Qureshi, M.D. “We did not find a significant difference between people who owned dogs or other pets” (“ASA: Cats May Protect Owners Against Cardiovascular Death,” by Ed Susman, MedPage Today, February 21, 2008).

“Cats are, by and large, easier to care for and more manageable, especially among older persons,” said Qureshi. “Cats also tend to help build a person’s self-esteem, which could be diminished by risk factors for heart attacks such as obesity, mobility, or injury. We know that cats are helpful in rehabilitation from injuries and illnesses such as stroke.”

Results should still considered preliminary, but if the findings can be substantiated, cat ownership might be considered as a cost-effective intervention in reducing heart attacks and possibly other forms of cardiovascular disease such as stroke for high-risk individuals according to Qureshi.

Sounds like you might want to jump on the kitty bandwagon and make friends with your wife’s cat or buy one for yourself to reduce your stress level. Your local pet shelter probably has a nice selection to choose from in time for Christmas – even for a crusty old cat hater like you. Chill out and appreciate that your wife might be right on this one.

Jim Evans is a 41-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and internationally recognized fitness consultant. Send your questions about health and fitness to