Senior Life: Learn about medical guardians and a statewide discount program

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a local group of public employee retirees who had invited me to speak on aging in Portage County. They also invited my husband, Allen, to come and share information about the Medical Guardian Program, which he coordinates for the Auxiliary of University Hospitals Portage Medical Center in Ravenna.

My husband and I want to thank them for their “cordial welcome” and lunch. After I gave them my “opinion” of what services are available for senior citizens in Portage County, the members had an opportunity to talk with Allen about the Medical Guardian Program.

Members of PERI are all retired public employees. Their monthly meetings are an opportunity for them to stay current on pending legislation in Columbus, which could affect their retirement benefits.

Allen and I have also had the opportunity to share information about the Medical Guardian Program with the members of the Portage County Senior Center.

For anyone who lives alone, has medical issues, or who is a fall risk, the Medical Guardian unit can save their life. This is why we distribute Lifesavers at all of our presentations … just a reminder about how significant this service can be.

The Auxiliary at UH Portage Medical Center has been providing this service to our community for more than 35 years. It is primarily a public service but is also a fundraiser for the Auxiliary. The program is coordinated by volunteers. A percentage of each month’s fee helps the Auxiliary meet one of their commitments to the Medical Center. For instance, they are currently earning money to help purchase some new equipment for the Cath Lab. The original commitment was for $500,000 and the Auxiliary is about halfway there.

Medical Guardian is just one of their monthly fundraisers. A big round of applause needs to be given to Angie Reedy, who coordinates all the monthly sales at the Medical Center. The sales vary from nuts to purses, to books and games, to medical uniforms and shoes.

The gift shop, the Chestnut Tree, at the Portage Medical Center, is also a fundraising project of the Auxiliary.

The coordinators of the Medical Guardian Program are available to give group or individual demonstrations of the equipment, knowing that it can save a life. For further information about this program, call 330-297-2552. Because the program is coordinated by volunteers, there is not a staff member available at all times, but they do respond to phone messages.

A couple months back, I mentioned in this column about how the Retired Senior Volunteer Program helps coordinate senior volunteer opportunities in our county (and beyond). But I noted an old telephone number for their office. The new number is 330-297-7027, ext. 322. I got this phone number directly from their director, Chrystal Shanley, so it should be a good number.

RSVP has moved their offices back to Ravenna and are located at 705 Oakwood St. in Ravenna.

Ohio residents age 60 or older and Ohio residents ages 18 to 59 with a disability are eligible for the Golden Buckeye Card. I forgot all about it a couple of months ago when I was listing various retail establishments that gave senior citizens discounts on purchases.

I went to the web again to obtain information about what this card can help us with here in Portage County.

I found that in Portage County, the Golden Buckeye Card will provide you with a 10% discount at the following businesses:

  • A Cut Above in Kent
  • Allied Vision in Streetsboro
  • Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill in Streetsboro
  • Blazek Pump & Well in Mantua
  • Deluxe Cleaners in Garrettsville
  • Firestone Tire & Service in Kent
  • Guido’s Pizza in Ravenna
  • Klaben Auto Stores, Inc. in Kent (for services & repairs)
  • Mr. Hero in Streetsboro and Kent
  • Portage Vision Care in Ravenna
  • Skylane Bowling in Garrettsville
  • Kent Stage in Kent
  • And more…

Once again, if a business does not have a Buckeye sign on their door, ask them if they accept the card.

If you do not have a Golden Buckeye Card, you can fill out an application online here.

Contact Sally Kelly with your senior news at 330-687-9501 or [email protected].

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