Ever wonder what the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) and the Area Agencies on Aging and Disability (AAAD) do for your community? The following stories, some exclusive to the site and others summarized and expanded from content on other sites, will help you better understand how these agencies are serving Tennessee's senior and disabled population close to home. Additionally, this page includes stories and news items related to Tennessee businesses and organizations unaffiliated with TCAD or the AAADs but working to serve those same Tennesseans.
Tired of delivering bad news, and tired of watching Tennessee's seniors become targets again and again, Shelby County Probate Court Judge Hon. Kathleen Gomes has now made it her mission to do what she can to arm concerned Tennesseans with the information they need to prevent elder abuse. Read more from WMC Memphis News Channel 5.
Added October 13, 2014
Another year, another great Tennessee lady. The state's full of them! There are competitions still to be held in other parts of the state, all leading toward the Ms. Senior Tennessee pageant. Read the article in the Crossville Chronicle for more information.
Added July 15, 2014
"In 2013, [Tennessee's] Adult Protective Services (APS) program investigated approximately 8,198 reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults. Still, elder abuse is an underreported crime because victims are often isolated, vulnerable to the abuser or unable to speak for themselves." Read the full article at Clarksville Online.
Contact Adult Protective Services (APS) to report suspicion of neglect and/or abuse at 1.888.APS.TENN (1.888.277.8366).
Added June 14, 2014
This isn't a local story. It was reported locally, but it happened in Connecticut. So why would we include it here? Probably for the same reason WKRN Nashville carried the story: It could happen here. Somewhere in Tennessee, someone is probably living like this.
The woman in this story didn't have to die, not the way she died. In fact, it sounds like she was offered help by local social service more than once. She turned it down. It isn't clear whether the woman had family, but if she did, then family might have been able to make a difference. This is one reason it's important to stay in touch with older family members, to check on them regularly.
Added June 16, 2014
It's not quite news yet, but it is time to mark your calendar! The National Senior Spelling Bee will be held July 12, 2014 in Knoxville, TN. Spellers must be 50+ in age. The top four places will receive monetary prizes, with first place receiving $1000. Visit nationalseniorspellingbee.com for more information.
*This event is neither sponsored, nor organized by the Area Agencies on Aging and Disability or the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. It is posted here as an item of interest. (And we are fans of friendly competition among seniors.)
Added March 25, 2014
Ashland City's Senior Center Offers Shelter
During the winter storm this first week of March, Cheatham County had 4,000 homes without power. Ashland City fire Chief Chuck Walker called Ashland City Senior Citizens Center Director Melissa Womack to requested that she open the center as an emergency shelter. Edwin Hogan from Cheatham Emergency delivered Mr. Melvin Henley to the center since he had no power.
Mr. Henley was cold and had neither breakfast, nor lunch. Bill Krantz and Alan Nicholson from the Ashland city Fire department got him food. Director Womack made him coffee and dessert. No one knew at the time if there would be more in need of shelter. Mr. Hogan contacted TEMA, but no one was available to assist with the shelter should the need arise. At that point, Director Womack called in three volunteers in case more were to need services.
Volunteers Shirley Honaker and Jerri Moore, along with Director Womack, called seniors known to live alone in the city and county. Thye made sure they had power, heat, and food. Tom Womack entertained Mr. Henley with conversation and billiards, and by afternoon Mr. Henley's family was reached and they came to pick him up.
Director Womack said of the day, "We were fortunate this time that more people didn't need our services, but are glad to know we had a plan in place."
Added March 6, 2014
The Gift Initiative describes itself as "a community education collaborative in Tennessee led by Alive Hospice with community partners and a growing list of individuals who recognize the critical need for education about advance planning for serious illness and end-of-life care." This Valentine's Day, the organization would like everyone to consider the act of love that is demonstrated by letting your family and friends know what you want if you are ever unable to communicate it yourself.
Advance directives tell doctors and medical staff how to treat you when your condition is severe. By deciding in advance and putting your wishes in writing, you remove from your loved ones the burden of painful and difficult decisions.
Tips from the Gift Initiative: How to Start the Conversation and Facts and Information. And if you're in the Nashville area, they have an event from 12:00 pm to 1:30pm coming up February 28 at Alive Hospice's administrative office at 1718 Patterson Street in Nashville. The program is free, and lunch will be provided. RSVP to Keith King at 615-346-8418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Added February 12, 2014
Cookeville's Herald-Citizen spotlights the 30th anniversary of Alzheimer's Tennessee. The organization raises money for both research and family resources.
*Alzheimer's Tennessee is an independent organization, not affiliated with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
Added January 28, 2014
The Interfaith Dental Clinic, working with area dentists, used to benefit from a fundraiser offered just one month out of the year. Participating area dentists, during the promo month, would offer a $99 teeth-whitening special. The full amount was then donated to Interfaith Dental Clinic. Anyone wanting their teeth whitened saved lots of money, and the clinic raised money to help those in need. Now the program is offered throughout the year!
For a list of participating dentists, visit the Interfaith Dental Clinic web site, or call 615-942-1237.
*Interfaith Dental Clinic is not affiliated with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. It is, however, a non-profit organization which may be able to offer valuable assistance to some of the people we serve. For that reason, we offer this information about the clinic, including a link to its site. Questions about the clinic and its services should be directed to the clinic, not the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
Added January 28, 2014
Starting January 1, 2014, Tennessee's Department of Human Services (DHS) offices will no longer handle new TennCare applications. Instead, TennCare's new call center, Tennessee Health Connection (TNHC), will handle applications starting in the new year.
TennCare is also building a new eligibility system called Tennessee Eligibility Determination System (TEDS) that will provide real-time eligibility determinations based on Modified Adjusted Gross Income when it is completed. Unfortunately, we've just learned that TEDS is not yet ready and may take a few more months to go live. In the meantime, the federal health insurance marketplace will determine TennCare and CoverKids eligibility based on information submitted in a marketplace application.
What happens if someone goes to DHS to apply after January 1? Each county's DHS office will have a new computer kiosk that will be connected to the Internet. Applicants will be directed to use the kiosk for filling out an application on healthcare.gov or be given the marketplace call center phone number.
Can consumers get help from TennCare? Until TennCare's new eligibility system is ready, the TennCare call center will refer people to healthcare.gov or the marketplace call center or mail them a paper application for the marketplace. If someone needs in-person assistance, it is likely that they will be referred back to a Navigator or Certified Application Counselor.
Contact information for TennCare is available on Tennessee's government site, which also offers an informational sheet addressing TennCare application questions. TennCare's main telephone line is 1-800-342-3145.
Added December 15, 2014
Watch NPT's Aging Matters Online
Did you miss Nashville Public Television's first installment of its new Aging Matters documentary series? Did you watch but want to see it again? (It's definitely worth watching two or three times.) It's available free online. The documentary itself is titled "End of Life," and there is a separate video for the discussion that followed. Each of those recordings is roughly an hour long.
Added November 12, 2013
"A proposal to create a new publicly funded agency to oversee the spiraling number of conservatorships in Davidson County is gaining support on Metro Council," reports The Tennessean. This follows, among other things, recognition of a growing caseload. Annual conservatorship cases, according to the article, more than doubled by a comparison of fiscal year 2009 with 2012.
Conservatorship involves the appointment, by a judge, of a guardian or protector for someone who is physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves.
The Tennessean also covered the story under "New Oversight of Conservatorships Proposed."
Added November 7, 2013
Have you been looking for healthier food choices but having trouble finding them because you don't live near a store where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold? Mobile markets are an option in some parts of the country. Take a look at this News Channel 5 report on Nashville's Mobile Market.
Added November 5, 2013
Senior Brain Games Champions!
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability's (TCAD) first Senior Brain Games Championship was held Friday, October 18, 2013. Three teams of senior citizens, one team from each of Tennessee's three major geographic regions (West, Middle, and East), competed in a quiz show format on the campus of Lipscomb University.
Our finalists were teams from the Selmer Senior Center (in Selmer, West Tennessee), the Lawrence County Senior Center (in Lawrenceberg, Middle Tennessee), and the Hamblen County Senior Center (in Morristown, East Tennessee). The winner was Lawrence County's "Be Sure You're Right, Then Go Ahead" team, named after a phrase attributed to Davy Crockett. The winning team left with a trophy, which it will pass along a year from now to the next team of champions, as well as $1000 for its senior center. All three teams played well and can be proud of how they represented their regions! Thanks to everyone who turned out for the final game, and particularly Lipscomb University for hosting us. See you next year!
Added October 22, 2013
Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability Announces Senior Brain Games
On June 19, 2013, Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) Director Jim Shulman announced the 2013 Senior Brain Games. This is an initiative to highlight both the Tennesseans that TCAD serves and the need for continued social interaction and mental stimulation throughout life, important for a healthier aging population. Trivia or other knowledge-based games will be played competitively by senior center teams throughtout the state over the next several months to determine a final group of three teams from East, Middle, and West Tennessee. Those three teams will meet in Nashville sometime in the fall to play a championship game. Further details will follow throughout the summer.
Added July 1, 2013
While not the result of work done by state agencies, this story deserved mention among our community news. As reported by the Herald-Citizen, the Monterey Police Department chief, Bill Randolph, has introduced a program to benefit the elderly of Monterey, as well as their families. A city employee will begin making daily phone calls, care checks, of those seniors who are signed up for the program. If a call isn't answered, an officer will make a welfare stop. The calls will be a reminder to seniors that they have not been forgotten, but they will also serve as a safety net for those living alone or far from family.
Those interested in enrolling a family member in the program are asked to call 839-2323 for information on completing an application. More information is also available from the Herald-Citizen report.
Added June 12, 2013
"Knox Community Leader and Mobile Meal Co-Founder Dies," as reported by Alexis Zotos of WATE News
Additionally, the May 28, 2013 edition of the Knoxville News Sentinal published the following obituary: "MONTY, BARBARA HELEN - age 80, died unexpectedly on May 26, 2013, the result of a massive brain hemorrhage of unknown cause. Born November 6, 1931, in Newburgh, NY, the daughter of Leon and Helen Oles. Graduated from Newburgh Free Academy (1948) and Cornell University (1952), where she majored in Nutrition and Dietetics. Barbara had been a hospital dietitian in Rochester N.Y., and subsequently unfolded a 45 year career with Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) where she became the Director of the Office on Aging and founded a large number of programs designed to assist seniors with solving problems, of which Mobile Meals, Project LIVE, and the CAC Transportation System are examples. When she retired in early May of this year, she was honored by a retirement celebration attended by several hundred people from the community, and by the naming of the Mobile Meals Kitchen, which she had created, in her honor. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, and a sister Jean Vesely, all of New York State. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Kenneth James Monty; daughter Melissa Lee Monty (husband Richard Dole Johnson) of Elk, CA; son Stuart James Monty (wife Lee Ann Hall Monty) of Orlando, FL; two granddaughters (Kristina and Lisa); three great grandchildren (Anthony, Ray, and Leah) residing in Florida; brother-in-law Frederick Vesely of Hartwick, NY; plus extended family residing in northeastern states. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced. Barbara would request that, in lieu of flowers and other considerations, contributions be made to Mobile Meals in her honor 865-524-2786 or http://www.knoxseniors.org/mobile.html."
Added May 29, 2013
Another Successful Gleaning Event for Tennessee's Hungry
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, the Tennesee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) participated in a sweet potato gleaning event coordinated by the Society of St. Andrew. Gleaning involves the gathering—before it goes to waste—of discarded produce left in farm fields. As the Society describes it, "[f]armers agree to open their fields or orchards to volunteers to collect the food left over after the harvest. Sometimes they will even allow volunteers to actually harvest crops if market forces make them uneconomical to harvest otherwise." The result is that the gap between the hungry and the source of production is bridged, and food waste is also kept from our landfills. In this case, available to TCAD was approximately 33,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, all fresh, nutritious, and perfectly edible. Over the course of a week, potatoes were given away by box and bag, with large quantities going to senior center residents.
Added May 29, 2013
"Commission on Aging Surveys Seniors, Others," as reported online by the Johnson City Press out of Johnson City, Tennessee.
More coverage of the Needs Assessment Tour as it continued in Johnson City.
Added March 8, 2013
"Discussion Focuses on Services, Programs for Senior Citizens," as available online at NWTN Today and published by The Weakley County Press out of Union City, Tennessee.
The issues and concerns that affect Tennessee seniors and adults with disabilities and their families are great and vary by region. In an effort to better understand the needs of Tennessee's aging population, the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) conducted a statewide listening tour in the form of town hall meetings across the state; these meetings provided stakeholders and interested parties the opportunity to share their issues, needs, and concerns with state officials.
Added February 15, 2013
"UCHRA Transportation Raises Funds for Home Delivered Meals Program," as reported by the Herald-Citizen out of Cookeville, Tennessee.
The Herald-Citizen shares a story on the continuing effort of one Tennessee human resource agency, the UCHRA, to raise funds and deliver meals to the elderly and disabled living in their own homes.
Added January 2, 2013
"Volunteers Deliver Meals To Homebound Seniors," presented by News Channel 5.
Channel 5 reports on the efforts of Nashville area volunteers to share both food and company with seniors who would otherwise spend Christmas alone.
Added December 26, 2012
"Tennessee Department of Health report "Cholesterol: Friend and Enemy of Healthy Aging," appearing in Clarksville Online.
This article, with a quote from TCAD Executive Director Jim Shulman, reaffirms the importance of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels as a shield against heart attacks and strokes.
You can also learn more on the topic at the Mayo Clinic site.
Added September 21, 2012
"Home Delivered Meals help elderly," a story by Laura Gwinn, published by the Herald-Citizen of Cookeville, Tennessee.
Learn about the home delivered meals program provided with the assistance of the Upper Cumberland Development District and Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency. Programs like this one help Tennessee seniors get the nutrition they need while remaining at home, and they can also open the door to other beneficial services of which seniors, their families, and their caregivers may not even be aware.
Added August 27, 2012