Earlier this year, Ohio released its “Well Beyond 60: The Road to Balance” program as part of Older American’s Month (celebrated in May each year). The goal was to inspire older Ohioans year round. This week, we take a look at the program, its successes and how each of us can make the most of our choices.
Did you know that Ohio is home to more than 2.3 million residents who are 60 or older? Another 2 million baby boomers brings the total to more than 40 percent of Ohioans who nearing retirement or already in retirement. Unfortunately, the National Council on Aging reports that 75 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have chronic health conditions. Those might include diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and other diseases/ailments. With falls being the leading cause of emergency room trips for injuries, it’s important for older Ohioans and Americans across the country to come together to lower these numbers and prevent these types of accidents and illnesses.
Enter “Well Beyond 60: The Road to Balance”
Dr. Bonnie Burman, director of Ohio’s Department of Aging reports, “Choices we make throughout our lives have a bigger impact on how we age than genetics. No matter your age or fitness level, there is always something you can do to improve your health and well-being. Living well beyond 60 is about learning to make healthy decisions so that we continue to be vital members of society.” There are three primary recommendations, and they include:
Taking control of your health. To this end, the HEALTHY U Ohio initiative is available to learn various strategies for managing everything from health care, education and learning to thrive, despite chronic conditions.
Empowering yourself by taking control of your safety. With such a high number of older Americans who fall and need emergency treatment, the STEADY U Ohio initiative reminds us that falls are not a normal part of aging and most can be prevented with minor changes to our homes, health and habits.
Continuing to thrive and contribute. Those of us who remain active, contribute in whatever way we can to our communities and encourage others to do the same are the ones who often have fewer health concerns, improved mental health and improved physical health.
As estate planning lawyers, we too know the difference small changes can make in the lives of many of our clients. Empowerment is important, especially as we go about the business of taking control of every aspect of our lives, including our legal considerations. We encourage older Ohioans to not underestimate the importance of their estate planning efforts. Whether it’s assistance with Medicaid, Medicare or Veterans’ benefits or if you want to update your will, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the many options available to you.
Interested in learning more about the “Beyond 60” initiative? Ohioans are encouraged to visit the many social media sites that are being made available, including the department’s Twitter page @OhioDeptOfAging. Use the hashtag #WellBeyond60. Be sure to follow our Twitter account, as well, to stay abreast on all things related to your estate planning efforts. Follow us @ZimmerLawFirm.