East Baton Rouge Council on Aging

Healthcare Edition 2023

What's Inside 04 Be The Shield 24 The 5 Most Common Health Concerns for Seniors 26 5 Doctor Red Flags That Mean You Should Find Another GP 36 How to Improve Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Care for Older Adults 32 Maintaining Mobility in Old Age



Published quarterly by the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging (EBRCOA). The Polished features news and information of interest to the senior citizens of the East Baton Rouge Parish as well as caregivers of the aging. The EBRCOA reserves the right to determine the suitability of materials submitted for publication and to edit all submitted materials for clarity and space. The EBRCOA does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or content nor does the EBRCOA or The Polished staff take responsibility should such advertising or editorial material appear in any issue.

EXECUTIVE STAFF Tasha Clark-Amar Chief Executive Officer Trudy Bihm-Howard Chief Administrative Officer Shanrika Barrow Chief Operations Officer Eva B. Pratt Chief Financial Officer Charlotte Turner Chief Programming & Emergency Preparedness Officer

Jonathan Stagg Chief Property & Construction Officer Angell Jackson Kennedy Chief Marketing & Information Officer Rose Christian Executive Assistant Dineshea Cooper-Morris Administrative Assistant MARKETING STAFF Don M. Green Marketing Coordinator

Meet Sophia Washington, a fun- spirited senior from the Charles R. Kelly Senior Center. Through bowling, she embodies holistic health—physical, mental, and social. Dive into this issue to discover inspiring paths to wellness for not just seniors of EBRCOA, but for individuals of all ages.



T his issue of Polished is dedicated to the importance of managing healthcare and wellness as you age. We must be focused on taking great care of our body as a whole especially as we age because it is the only one we have! The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging (EBRCOA) is expanding programs and community partnerships to bring more and improved service offerings to the seniors of East Baton Rouge Parish. It is our goal to seek out and collaborate with healthcare providers to offer continued healthcare knowledge and access to an underserved community. EBRCOA has been working with both the State Public Health (STPH) and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to raise awareness of various health conditions and increase access to screenings and vital immunizations. Through these partnerships, we have created two new programs: Be The Shield and LDH Power. The Be The Shield (BTS) initiative focuses on maintaining awareness of COVID-19. BTS serves as an ongoing reminder to remain diligent in mitigating transmission with resources to protect yourself and ongoing vaccination opportunities, as well as, tools to cope with the stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19

the community with practitioners. For this reason, we are very selective and thoroughly vet any organization or practitioner before we introduce them to our seniors. This is just the beginning! I am proud to say that there is even more on the horizon for our seniors with an intentional focus on your safety, medical health, mental health, and overall well-being to equip you with the resources needed to maximize your quality of life! I hope that you enjoy this issue which is only a snippet of the wellness and healthcare benefits that the agency provides to the senior community. Lastly, I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for Team EBRCOA! Our commitment to excellence would not be possible without the amazing staff. They are the reason that our vision to serve seniors and support their independence comes to life each and every day for a senior that you love. Sending you lotus love,

pandemic has had a major effect on everyone’s lives. Many of our seniors are still facing challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will help seniors, their caregivers, and their community as a whole. The LDH Power initiative highlights the importance of empowering our seniors with valuable knowledge regarding an array of current healthcare issues such as Monkeypox, Shingles, Pneumonia, Influenza, and Whooping Cough. It is recommended by the CDC that healthy adults over 60 should remain current with these various immunizations due to their increased vulnerability tied to their age and other possible health conditions. Older people are at higher risk for severe illness, making immunizations especially important to this vulnerable population. You had an opportunity to learn about each of these initiatives and much more at the Senior Skip Day 2.0 Healthcare Expo. The Healthcare Expo featured on-site immunizations, live cooking demonstrations for quick healthy meals, and dozens of vendors from a variety of healthcare topics such as cardiology, colorectal screening, women’s health, and much more! We know our seniors value the EBRCOA brand and they trust the relationships we foster in

Tasha Clark-Amar Chief Executive Officer




A helping hand in healthcare: Palford Medical Services administered a booster shot to a homebound senior.



The Be the Shield initiative is an excellent illustration of EBRCOA working hand in hand with our healthcare community partners to increase public health access to both education and vaccinations. EBRCOA is extremely grateful to all our partners that assist us in serving our seniors because What We Do Matters!

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Pafford Medical Services (PMS) are making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable seniors in East Baton Rouge Parish through their participation in the EBRCOA’s Be the Shield (BTS) initiative. BTS aims to provide public health education and access to medical immunizations that are crucial for the senior community including homebound seniors. The Be The Shield team, in conjunction with EMS and PMS, has worked diligently to provide vaccination access to eligible seniors across the parish. Collectively, they have visited homebound seniors to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are unable to leave their homes. Our efforts are making a significant impact throughout the community. This additional service offering has brought peace of mind to both our seniors and their families.

A chat with the cardiologist: Dr. Garland Green from the Cardiovascular Institute of the South speaking to COA seniors during the “Lunch and Learn” health information event on Wednesday, March 29.


On June 4th - June 10th, seniors from the EBRCOA senior centers embarked on a journey that took them through some of the most significant locations in the history of the civil rights movement and entertainment. From Memphis to Montgomery, these seniors spent a week exploring the places where activists, leaders, and everyday people fought for equality and justice. The tour began in Memphis, Tennessee where the seniors visited the Lorraine Motel, the site where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The Lorraine Motel is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, which showcases the struggles and achievements of the civil rights movement. While in Memphis, Senior visited Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, and explore the vibrant Beale Street, where they enjoyed sights and sounds of Memphis’s rich musical heritage. The tour concluded in Montgomery, Alabama where seniors visited The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. Blocks from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice informally known as the National Lynching Memorial is a national memorial to commemorate the victims of lynching in the United States.

For many of these seniors, this tour was an opportunity to revisit a significant moment in their own lives. Many of them lived through the civil rights movement and were directly impacted by the events. For others, it was a chance to learn about a pivotal moment in American history and to gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by those who fought for their rights. Thank you to Senator Barrow, for sponsoring the Senior M&M Tour. This trip was a testament to the power of education and travels to broaden our understanding of the world and its history. By exploring the places where the civil rights movement unfolded, these seniors were able to connect with a crucial part of American history and gain a new appreciation for the progress that has been made.



Here We Grow


The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging (EBRCOA) held its Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony for The Lotus Village Community on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at 965 North 18th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. The event celebrated the official opening of The Lotus Village Community, which is comprised of The Lotus Village Senior Living Complex (in partnership with Gulf Coast Housing Partnership), The Lotus Headquarters (and commercial kitchen), and The Lotus Senior Activity Center (and food pantry). The dedication ceremony began at 9:30 am, and the ribbon cuttings followed a brief program. The Lotus Village Community is the first senior village in Louisiana as designated by the Village-to-Village Network (VTVN), and it is one of 400 senior villages recognized worldwide. The VTVN designation allows EBRCOA to provide supportive services and resources to assist village seniors in

Joshua G. Hollins (LHC Executive Director) awards CEO Tasha Clark-Amar a plaque, designating The Lotus Village as IBHC Fortified Silver under the Green Communities initiative.

maintaining their independence in their homes and community. The Lotus Village Senior Residential Complex is a 25-million-dollar community comprised of 116 low to moderate-income residential rental homes designed to meet the needs of seniors, including the need for affordable housing. Each home is certified as IBHC Fortified Silver through Green Communities which means there’s an extra layer of protection from severe weather, such as impact-resistant

From Left: Joshua G. Hollins (ED LHC), State Rep. Edmond Jordan, Senator Cleo Fields, Ex-State Rep. Ted James (Louisiana)


CEO Tasha Clark-Amar alongside Kathy Laborde, President & CEO of GCHP.

windows, doors, roofs, and other physical reinforcements. The Lotus Headquarters is a new 25,000-square-foot administrative building fully equipped with a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, which will empower the agency to meet the growing demand for programs such as Meal on Wheels and Daily Congregate Meals served at its 21 senior centers and nutritional sites. The Lotus Senior Center is a state-of-the-art adult activity center designed with cognitive and physical enhancement activities. The facility is equipped with features such as the Lotus Food Pantry, The Lotus Computer Lab, a fully equipped geriatric cardio room, and a multi-purpose space. The three facilities, with a compilation of nearly 36 million dollars of mixed investments, are in Baton Rouge’s historical Suburb Gracie neighborhood and will transform a disinvested neighborhood and area into a mixed-use community that will attract seniors and new commerce.

EBRCOA Board Members, Police Chief Carl Dunn and Atty. Jacqueline Nash, capture a photo of the commemorative plaque for The Lotus Headquarters.




The Lotus Village Senior Residential Complex is a 25-million-dollar community comprised of 116 low to moderate-income residential rental homes designed to meet the needs of seniors, including the need for affordable housing. THE LOTUS VILLAGE


“let the good times roll”

The Mardi Gras season in East Baton Rouge is a vibrant time, full of tradition and celebration. Across our senior centers, our seniors embraced the spirit of the season, from sewing colorful vests to dancing in second lines.

One of the highlights of the season was the Zulu tramps joining our seniors in a second line around The Lotus Center. Our seniors really enjoyed the dancing as they waved their festive parasols to the beat of the music.



Our Lotus Headquarters and The Lotus Center were transformed into a Mardi Gras wonderland, complete with a towering Mardi Gras tree that sparkled with lights and decorations.

As the Mardi Gras season came to an end, our seniors were treated to delicious gumbo and king cake, it was a wonderful way to cap off a season full of joy and celebration.

1st place trophy from “Krewe of Oshun” Mardi Gras Parade


Seniors pose for a quick photo in their Mardi Gras attire during the Senior Center Mardi Gras Celebration/Parade at the Lotus Center. LOTUS CENTER SENIORS

From left to right: Sarah Price, Linda Metevia, Debra Douglas, Linda Evans, Shirley Henderson, Sucelia Dominique, Sharon O’Conner, and Dorothy Toussaint, members of the Lotus Center’s Sewing Production Group, proudly showcase their handcrafted Mardi Gras vests.



How to Protect Your Vision There are a few things we can do to protect our vision and maintain good eye health as we age. These include: • Getting regular eye exams: This is the best way to detect any eye problems early, when they are most treatable. • Eating a healthy diet: Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to protect your vision. • Exercising regularly: Exercise helps to improve blood flow to the eyes, which can help to prevent eye problems. • Quitting smoking: Smoking damages the blood vessels in the eyes, which can increase the risk of eye diseases. • Protecting your eyes from the sun: Wear sunglasses that block 100% of ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can damage the eyes and increase the risk of eye diseases Maintaining Good Vision By following these tips, we can help to maintain good vision and protect our eyes as we age. If you have any concerns about your vision, be sure to see an eye doctor.

Our vision naturally changes. This is due to several factors, including the normal aging process, as well as the development of age-related eye diseases. While some vision changes are inevitable, there are steps we can take to protect our vision and maintain good eye health as we age. Common Vision Changes in Seniors Some of the most common vision changes that occur in seniors include: • Presbyopia: This is the age-related loss of the ability to focus on near objects. It is caused by a hardening of the lens in the eye, which makes it difficult to focus on close-up objects. • Cataracts: These are cloudy areas that develop in the lens of the eye. They can cause blurry vision, glare, and other vision problems. • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): This is a condition that damages the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. It can cause blurry vision, blind spots, and other vision problems. • Glaucoma: This is a condition that damages the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. It can cause loss of peripheral vision and other vision problems.



Thank You to all of our sponsors.

We would like to send a special thank you to our amazing sponsors who have contributed to our 2023 events in celebration of our 50th Anniversary! These events include Senior Skip Day 2.0, Anniversary Gala & Senior Prom, and the Thanksgiving Dinner & Dance. These partners have recognized the synergy and connection in raising their organization’s profile in the senior community of East Baton Rouge Parish via partnerships, financial support, and collaborative community involvement to support and promote the East Rouge Council on Aging’s program/activities.


A Performance Food Group Company



SENIOR SKIP DAY 2.0 & Healthcare Expo

A s the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging prepared to celebrate its’ 50th year, there was one event that seniors didn’t want to miss on Thursday, April 27th. Due to inclement weather, the event was relocated from the Baton Rouge Fairgrounds to the F.G. Clark Activity Center on the campus of Southern University and A&M College. The Senior Skip Day 2.0 and Senior Healthcare Expo offered a fun-filled day of entertainment, food, and live music, all while providing seniors with valuable information about their health. Senior Skip Day 2.0 was a spin on when students skip school and spent the day together. Our seniors skipped their usual day at the senior center and

congregated for a day of fun! This event was geared towards celebrating and appreciating the seniors in East Baton Rouge Rouge Parish. They were provided plenty of activities and entertainment for seniors to enjoy, including games, and live music featuring Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, The Rusty Yates Band, and DJ Marquis. The festivities were just the beginning of what this event offered. The Healthcare Expo was a key component of the day, providing seniors with an opportunity to receive valuable health information, resources, and vaccinations. Seniors were able to take advantage of health screenings, as well as, learn about preventative care and healthy living habits.




Behavioral Health






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SENIORS A ccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people in America today can expect to live longer than ever before, and once they reach 65, they can live another 19.3 years on average. However, senior living means, knowing about your health conditions, through screening and managing chronic conditions. Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as stopping smoking, getting to a healthy weight, being physically active, and eating a healthy diet can help avoid senior health risks. Here are the most common health concerns for seniors and the screening you can expect to detect them. 1) Arthritis is the most common condition that people over 65 struggle with, and it affects 49.7 percent of all adults over 65. If you are experiencing arthritis symptoms, your doctor may analyze different body fluids to determine the type of arthritis you have. Commonly analyzed fluids include blood, urine, and joint fluid. To obtain a sample of joint fluid, doctors will cleanse the area and numb it before inserting a needle into the joint space to withdraw fluid for analysis. 2) Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among seniors over 65, and 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women over 65 have it. Cardiovascular risk assessment involves evaluating a patient’s total cardiovascular risk rather than just assessing risk factors, such as high

cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, in isolation. The most well-known tool for global cardiovascular risk assessment is the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). This assessment should be done every five years starting at the age of 18. For individuals at risk but who have no symptoms, the assessment is followed by advice on making certain lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on cigarettes, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. Medications may also be given to treat high blood pressure, high lipids, and diabetes as appropriate. Individuals at low risk should continue to lead a healthy lifestyle. More frequent assessment is recommended for those who are diabetic, chronic smokers, or obese. 3) Cancer is the second leading cause of death, and 28 percent of men and 21 percent of women over 65 are living with it. There are multiple types of cancer to screen for such as Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer.


a. Breast Cancer - The most effective method to detect breast cancer early, It is recommended that women receive mammograms regularly starting at age 50, or earlier if they have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors. b. Cervical Cancer - The Pap test is used to detect abnormal cells in the cervix that may develop into cervical cancer. The test involves collecting cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope to look for any signs of abnormality. Regular Pap tests can help identify cervical cancer at an early stage, which increases the chances of successful treatment.

detect colorectal cancer at an early stage when treatment is most effective. d. Lung Cancer - Yearly lung cancer screening is recommended for people who have a history of heavy smoking, smoke now, or have quit within the past 15 years and are between 50 and 80 years old. 4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases , such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are the third most common cause of death among seniors 65 and older, affecting 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women. The most effective test for COPD is a lung function test known as spirometry. This test involves blowing air forcefully out of the lungs into a machine that measures lung capacity. The results of the test can be analyzed immediately. In addition, using a stethoscope to listen to the lungs can also be helpful in identifying signs of COPD such as wheezing or prolonged expiratory time. 5) Alzheimer’s Disease Physical examination involves assessing the patient’s reflexes, muscle tone, and strength, as well as their ability to get up from a chair and walk across the room. A neurological examination checks for the sense of sight and hearing, coordination, and balance.

The Staff at the Lotus Headquarters “Dress in Blue” to bring awareness of Colorectal Cancer.

c. Colorectal Cancer - Colorectal cancer typically arises from abnormal growths known as precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. Screening tests such as a colonoscopy can identify these polyps and remove them before they develop into cancer. Regular screening tests can also

Sources: https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/ most-common-health-concerns-seniors/ Arthritis - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic, Screening for Heart Disease (healthhub.sg)




Watch Out For 5

Warning Signs to

As you age, it’s important to have healthcare providers you can trust, especially a primary care provider (PCP) or general practitioner (GP). Both play a vital role in your health and well-being. Here are a few things seniors should watch for when evaluating or selecting a PCP. Don’t rely solely on doctor-locating sites as reviews can be biased or curated. Instead, she recommends asking friends and family for recommendations. Here are five signs that it’s time to switch to a new GP:

Unfriendly office staff - Rude staff or unfulfilled commitments are unacceptable.

Slow response time - If your phone calls, emails, or patient portal messages are not answered promptly, it’s time to move on. Instincts – Most Importantly, follow your gut. If you feel like your concerns aren’t being heard, it may be time to look for another physician.

Uncomfortable sharing concerns - A good doctor should be accessible, compassionate, and willing to discuss your concerns. Incorrect prescriptions - Mistakes in prescribing medications are a red flag and require immediate action.

Having a trustworthy GP is essential for seniors. Don’t solely rely on online reviews, instead, ask for recommendations from people you know. Ultimately, trust your instincts when it comes to your health.

Source: https://bestlifeonline.com/find-a-new-doctor-signs-news/




Prescription Preventive Care Prostate Health Recreation Rehabilitation Retirement Senior Services Sleep Quality Socialization Strength Training

Hearing Loss Heart Health Hydration Immunizations Incontinence Independence

Aging Arthritis Balance Blood Pressure Bone Density Calcium Cardiovascular Cataracts Cholesterol

Insomnia Joint Pain Longevity Macular Degeneration Medications

Cognitive Dementia Depression Diabetes Exercise Falls Fitness Glaucoma

Stroke Vision Vitamin D Walking Wellness Yoga

Memory Mobility Muscles Nutrition Osteoporosis Physical Therapy

see Answer Key - Page 45





CareSouth Medical & Dental Smiles on the Move: CareSouth Medical & Dental’s Mobile Unit visited our senior centers, expanding dental care access to our seniors.



Maintaining Mobility in Old Age

A s you age, it is important to stay active in order to maintain your mobility. Mobility refers to our ability to move around freely and without pain. It is important for our physical and mental health. We can do many things to maintain our mobility in old age. Here are a few tips: • Walk regularly. Walking is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. It is also a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine. Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. • Stretch. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and range of motion. It can also help to reduce pain and improve balance. Stretch for at least 10 minutes each day. • Strength train. Strength training helps to build muscle mass and strength. This can help to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. Aim to strength train twice a week. • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for healing and repair. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. By following these tips, you can help to maintain your mobility in old age and enjoy a healthy and active life.

Additional tips for maintaining mobility in old age. • Use a cane or walker if needed. • Take a balance class. • Get regular massages. • Avoid sitting for long periods of time. • Get up and move around every 20-30 minutes. • Wear comfortable shoes. • Make sure your home is safe and accessible. If you’re experiencing any issues with your mobility, it’s important to consult your doctor. They can assist you in creating a strategy that will enable you to remain active and secure. Participating in a senior center allows you to engage in physical activities alongside people your age. Furthermore, if you require help with mobility aids such as a cane or walker, our care management team is available to guide you appropriately.


Seniors & Hearing Loss

If you think you may have hearing loss, it is important to see an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. They can help you determine the cause of your hearing loss and recommend the best course of treatment. There are a number of treatments available for hearing loss, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss, and they can help you to hear better in a variety of situations. Cochlear implants are a more invasive treatment, but they can provide significant benefits for people with severe hearing loss. Assistive listening devices can also help to improve hearing, and they can be used in conjunction with hearing aids or cochlear implants. • Make sure you are facing the person who is speaking to you. • Ask people to speak slowly and clearly. • Use gestures and facial expressions to help you understand what is being said. • Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat themselves. • Avoid noisy environments. • Turn up the volume on the television or radio, but not so loud that it hurts your ears. • Get involved in support groups for people with hearing loss. • Learn about hearing loss and how to manage it. • Communicate with others about your hearing loss. • Take steps to protect your hearing from further damage. If you have any questions or concerns about hearing loss, please talk to your doctor or an audiologist.

Hearing loss is a common problem that affects millions of people, and it is especially prevalent among seniors. In fact, according to the American Academy of Audiology, about 40% of adults aged 75 and older have some degree of hearing loss. There are many causes of hearing loss, but the most common is age-related hearing loss, which is also known as presbycusis. Presbycusis is caused by a gradual loss of hair cells in the inner ear, which are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can make it difficult to communicate with others, participate in social activities, and enjoy hobbies. It can also lead to social isolation, depression, and anxiety. If you have hearing loss, there are a few things you can do to manage your condition and improve your quality of life. These include: • Wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants as prescribed by your audiologist. • Getting involved in support groups for people with hearing loss. • Learning about hearing loss and how to manage it. • Communicating with others about your hearing loss • Taking steps to protect your hearing from further damage. Hearing loss is a common problem, but it is not a sign of aging. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can manage your hearing loss and live a full and active life. Here are some additional tips for seniors with hearing loss:


appy Birthday to Us!! East Baton Rouge Council on Aging celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary. To culminate this major milestone, the agency hosted a 50th Golden Anniversary Gala & Senior Prom on May 19, 2023, at the Raising Cane’s River Center from 6pm to 11 pm. This was also our very first Sneaker Ball! In Addition to the EBR Parish seniors age 60 and older, the Sneaker Ball was open to our community supporters and local dignitaries. This was a night to remember! The Gala/Senior Prom offered dancing, food, and live music.



Enhancing Older Adults’ Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Care

• Restructuring Medicare and Medicaid financing mechanisms • Continuing Medicare coverage for tele- mental health services By implementing these strategies, older adults will have better access to the necessary mental health services they need. If you are in need of assistance regarding your mental health or addiction, contact your Care Manager today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a mental health crisis for older adults in America, who are facing a shortage of Medicare providers and needed services. Physical distancing and quarantine have led to isolation, loneliness, agitation, and withdrawal, resulting in a significant increase in anxiety and depressive disorders among seniors. Unfortunately, millions of older adults with mental and/or substance use disorders go undiagnosed, and the ongoing opioid crisis has only contributed to this trend. The National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging (NCOA) is dedicated to addressing the needs of aging Americans with mental health conditions and promoting the interests of older adults in accessing mental health services. The NCOA has identified several priorities to address the needs of seniors including: • Exploring incentive programs for providers • Expanding required training in geriatrics • Developing approaches to increasing the number of providers with geriatric mental health training • Incentivizing behavioral health providers to practice in rural and underserved areas • Expanding Medicare’s provider network

Sources: https://www.ncoa.org/article/how-to-improve-access- to-mental-health-and-substance-use-care-for-older-adults


Action is needed now to address the needs of aging Americans with mental health conditions and prepare for substantially more Medicare beneficiaries developing depressive and anxiety related disorders. Source: https://www.ncoa.org/



In the News: Gabriel Frank

February 20, 2023

Affordable Senior Housing Community Opens in Baton Rouge

G ulf Coast Housing Partnership and the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging have opened the Lotus Village Senior Living Community, a 56-building, 116- unit affordable senior housing community located at 1600 Gracie St. and 715 N. 16th St. in Baton Rouge, La. The $25 million development of the community was partially funded through Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust Co., which provided $13.1 million in bonds for the community’s construction, as well as a joint funding venture between Red River Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas that procured an additional $750,000, as part of an Affordable Housing Program subsidy. Following the community’s opening, EBRCOA will provide supportive services for residents. Lotus Village began construction in 2021, alongside an accompanying Geriatric Healthcare facility and an open-air grocery market. Sectioned into duplex and fourplex buildings, the community is fully affordable, offering residences for seniors earning less than 80 percent of the area’s median income. Across the community, renters have access to a centralized administrative building that features a food pantry, computer room, exercise room, activity center and a commercial kitchen. Source https://www.multihousingnews.com/affordable-senior- housing-community-opens-in-baton-rouge-la/

Situated within one mile of downtown Baton Rouge, the community has quick access to the state capital’s parks, cultural sites and entertainment offerings. An on-ramp to the Interstate 110 is half a mile away. The financing, development and opening of Lotus Village takes place as the nation’s affordable senior housing developers simultaneously face an aging population, labor shortages and an increasingly difficult capital markets landscape. In addressing such capital shortages, many branches of the Federal Home Loan Bank have funded the development of many recent affordable projects. The Affordable Housing Program subsidy procured for the development of Lotus Village was part of a larger $17.2 million in financing for 26 projects around the South. In November of 2022, FHLB San Francisco procured funding for the development of Berkeley Way Apartments and the accompanying Hope Center, an affordable housing community with an adjacent homeless service facility in Berkeley, Calif.


Tech Savvy Seniors: Our seniors from the Baker Senior Center just completed their “Tech it Forward” course, instructed by Trinity Givens, Intergenerational Coordinator of Senior & Youth Programs.


Tech it Forward


A lzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes memory loss and other cognitive decline. It is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for loss of memory and other thinking abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. The early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be subtle and may go unnoticed for a while. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more noticeable and can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Some of the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include: • Difficulty remembering recent events • Difficulty finding the right words • Difficulty paying attention • Difficulty making decisions • Problems with language • Changes in mood or personality • Difficulty with visual-spatial skills • Problems with judgment • Wandering If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and improve quality of life. How is Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosed? There is no single test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. However, a doctor can make a diagnosis based on a person’s medical history, a physical exam, and neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychological testing is a series of tests that assess a person’s memory, thinking, and language skills. What is the Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease? There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. Some of the treatments for Alzheimer’s disease include: • Medications: There are a few medications that can help to improve memory and thinking skills in people with Alzheimer’s disease. However, these

medications do not cure the disease and their effectiveness declines over time. • Non-medication treatments: There are several non- medication treatments that can help to improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. These treatments include: • Social Support: People with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers can benefit from social support groups and other programs that provide emotional support and practical help. • Exercise: Exercise can help to improve physical health and cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. • Nutrition: Eating a healthy diet can help to improve overall health and may also help to protect the brain from damage. • Memory Training: Memory training exercises can help to improve memory skills in people with Alzheimer’s disease. • Cognitive Stimulation: Cognitive stimulation activities, such as playing games, reading, and doing puzzles, can help to keep the mind active and engaged. How Can I Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease? There is no sure way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease, including: • Maintaining a healthy weight • Eating a healthy diet • Exercising regularly • Staying mentally active • Not smoking • Limiting alcohol consumption • Controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels • Getting regular sleep If you are concerned about your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your risk and develop a plan to reduce it.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association


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Call Peoples Health today!

Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies. For Medicare Advantage Plans: A Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. For Dual Special Needs Plans: A Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal. Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Peoples Health plans under Medicare contract H1961 are rated 5 out of 5 stars for 2023. Y0066_EBRCoA23_M


In the News: Sudan Britton

February 16, 2023

New Mid City rental homes provide units for low-income seniors

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD )– The Lotus Village Senior Living Community is a $25 million dollar neighborhood comprised of 116 low to moderate-income rental homes designed to support the needs of seniors. The community’s headquarters are located in a new 25,000 square foot building equipped with a 10,000 square foot kitchen. Nestled between Spanish Town Road and Memorial Stadium on Gracie Street in Mid- City Baton Rouge, Lotus Village offers each of its seniors a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment home that features storm-rated windows, central HVAC systems and new appliances. In hopes of providing accessible resources to seniors, The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging became a driving force behind the establishment of Lotus Village. “The Council on Aging said, ‘We want to build housing that is resilient for our seniors,’” said Joshua Hollins of Louisiana’s Housing Corporation. According to EBRCA, nearly $36 million dollars went into the neighborhood’s development. The apartments, which range from 700 to 759 square feet, will become homes for seniors 60 and older. Unit prices range from $725 to $825.

Many residents and local officials agree that the new development will have a positive effect on the area. “This is a neighborhood that has suffered from years of disinvestment. There are a lot of positive things that can happen with development like this we can improve the neighborhood,” said Kathy Thylaborde, CEO of Gulf Coast Housing Partnership. An East Baton Rouge Parish resident named Jackie Grinner told BRProud, improvement and redevelopment of the area was needed. “I think it’s a wonderful idea. It’s a good location because this part of town needs development. I love the way they have the wall in the building sitting up really high. That way, the floodwaters won’t get in,” Grinner said.

Source: https://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/new-mid-city-rental-homes-provide-units-for-low-income-seniors/


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The Be The Shield (BTS) initiative focuses on maintaining awareness of COVID-19. BTS serves as an ongoing reminder to remain diligent in mitigating transmission with resources to protect yourself and ongoing vaccination opportunities as well as tools to cope with the stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on everyone’s lives. Many of our seniors are still facing challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will help seniors, their caregivers, and their community as a whole. The LDH Power initiative highlights the importance of empowering our seniors with valuable knowledge regarding an array of current healthcare issues such as Monkeypox, Shingles, Pneumonia, Influenza, and Whooping Cough. It is recommended by the CDC that healthy adults over 60 should remain current with these various immunizations due to their increased vulnerability tied to their age and other possible health conditions. Older people are at higher risk for severe illness, making immunizations especially important to this vulnerable population.



Find a vaccination location: https://www.vaccines.gov


About Us Since 1973, the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging (EBRCOA) has served the aging population of East Baton Rouge Parish through a spectrum of nutritional and social services. Additionally, the EBRCOA is charged with both meeting and discovering the growing needs of the ever increasing aging population. Central to the EBRCOA’s mission is service to seniors, as well as, the maintenance of their personal independence, and the enhancement of their storied lives. AGENCY PROGRAMS & SERVICES

Information Assistance & Management The Information Assistance & Management Department consists of trained care managers available to answer questions, conduct thorough assessments of client needs, make appropriate service recommendations, and refer clients to services at COA. Services Included: • Case Management • Cable Bill Assistance (Cox Communications) • Comprehensive Phone Assessments • Medicare, Medicaid, MIPPA Assistance • Material Aid (Incontinent supplies, durable medical equipment, supplemental nutrition supplies, etc.) • Power to Care (utility assistance) Nutrition Program • Congregate (Hot) Meal Program – The EBRCOA serves hot meals 5 days a week during lunch hours in a group setting at our senior centers

and feeding site across the parish. In addition to our daily menu, we provide hot meals for holidays and special dinners. The Nutritional Director, Chef Celeste Gill, incorporates delicious menu items, which create more variety for our seniors to enjoy. The meals are healthy and designed to meet the nutritional needs of adults 60 and over.


Serving Seniors Since 1973

• Meals on Wheels (Home Delivered Meals) – Meals on Wheels is among several federally created and supported programs designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of seniors. Each meal meets the dietary guidelines set by The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program. Each packaged meal includes detailed food nutritional analysis such as amount of sodium, fiber, protein, fat, vitamins and calories. The Meals on Wheels box includes: - 7 Homecooked Meals (Frozen) - Gallon of Milk - Bread - Fruit(s) - Snack(s) Fitness & Wellness Program Senior Fitness Program • The EBRCOA offers fun and senior focused fitness classes to keep seniors active and healthy. The classes include warm-up aerobics, balance, strength training, and stretching. - Wellness Program - Aerobics - Tai Chi - Water Aerobics - Line Dancing - Yoga

Lotus Food Pantry EBRCOA, in collaboration with The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and USDA, offer seniors aged 60 and older the opportunity to shop in our supermarket structured food pantry for essential items such as fresh fruit, produce, baked goods, canned goods, toiletries, personal/hygiene items, incontinent supplies, and household items. Lotus Rides EBRCOA Lotus Rides Transportation Department is an essential component of The Older Americans Act that allows the Council on Aging to provide transportation services to seniors to and from the senior centers and agency events across the parish. Disaster Preparedness EBRCOA is designated by the State of Louisiana to operate as the disaster preparedness arm for seniors during emergency situations. Our role is to protect the lives of seniors during any emergency including, but not limited to, pandemics, floods, hurricanes, and food deficits. COA Helps – The program provides short term assistance to seniors aged 60 and older to assist with paying their Entergy, DEMCO, water bill, and/or rental assistance. - Emergency Assistance Program - COA Rx (Senior Prescription Program) - Financial Literacy

If you are interested in any of the EBRCOA services, contact us at (225) 923-8000 or visit https://ebrcoa.org/services-application/ to apply for services.





Antioch Senior Center 7140 East Antioch Rd. Baton Rouge, LA 70817 Phone: 225-246- 7994 Baker Senior Center 3334 Jefferson St. Baker, LA 70714 Phone: 225-366-6432 Ben Burge Senior Center 9350 Antigua Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Phone: 225-228-2670 Central Lotus Activity Center 11111 Park Place, Suite C Central, LA 70818 Phone: 225-615-8339 Chaneyville Senior Center

Dumas House Senior Center 1313 North Sherwood Forest

Pearl George Senior Center 4000 Gus Young Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-389-5611 Perkins Road Senior Center 7122 Perkins Rd. Baton Rouge, LA 70808 Phone: 225-302-9662 The Lotus Center 1701 Main St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-923-8000 Zachary Lotus Activity Center 6363 Main Street, Suite L Zachary, LA 70791 Phone: 225-306-4102

Baton Rouge, LA 70815 Phone: 225-388-5646 Greater King David

Senior Center 131 Elmer Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70807 Phone: 225-775-4996 Highland Road Senior Center 14024 North Amiss Rd. Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Phone: 225-454-4773 Homewood Aquatic Senior Center 3654 Granada Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Phone: 225-636-5611 Jewel J. Newman Senior Center 2013 Central Rd. Baton Rouge, LA 70707 Phone: 225-239-7796 Leo S. Butler Senior Center

13211 Jackson Rd. Zachary, LA 70791 Phone: 225-286-4101 Charles R. Kelly Senior Center 3939 Riley St. Baton Rouge, LA 70805 Phone: 225-389-5464

950 Lorri Burgess Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-344-6775


OLOL Senior Residential Living 7565 Bishop Ott Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70806 Phone: 225-223-6559

Catholic Presbyterian Apartments 655 North St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-383-5551

Sharlo Terrace I & II 4915 Alvin Dark Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-346-0215

Turner Plaza Apt. 4546 North St. Baton Rouge, LA 70806 Phone: 225-923-8114

Intergenerational Center | The Ageless Circle 3820 Gus Young Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-330-4966 agelesscircle@ebrcoa.org

East Baton Rouge Council on Aging (Main Office) 965 N. 18th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone: 225-923-8000 Fax: 225-923-8030 ebrcoa.org | info@ebrcoa.org

ebrcoa73 ebrcoa1973 Lotus Rides Line | 225-361-0299 | transport@ebrcoa.org ebrcoa73


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