This content originally appeared in the March 12th, 2020 edition of The Smart Reader.
What older adults and people with disabilities need to know about the Coronavirus
With many illnesses, older adults and people with disabilities face higher risks of contracting the disease and/or experiencing complications, particularly if they also have chronic medical conditions. Consequently, there often are additional prevention and treatment recommendations for these populations. That currently is not the case for COVID-19.
If specific guidance for older adults and people with disabilities is issued, ACL will post it on this page and share it through the ACL Updates email service. In addition, ACL recommends that everyone follow the guidance issued by state and local health departments, and watch the CDC website for the latest national information.
At this time, CDC recommends that everyone, regardless of age or disability, take the same precautions to avoid illness. These include the following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases, including colds and flu:
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Staying home when you are sick.
• Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Following CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Reprinted with permission from the CDC. For the most updated information visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus
Resume tips for older job seekers
If you’re looking to re-enter the workforce or switch career paths, a solid resume is important. The National Council on Aging has some tips to help make yours stand out.
• Don’t go over two pages, unless you’re an educator or unique professional who requires more
• Use a traditional, easy-to-read font, such as Arial, and keep text in a uniform size of 10 or 11; avoid multiple fonts, italics, and underlining.
• Bold your name, section headings, and employers’ names.
• Many employers scan resumes electronically to find “keywords” that are specific to the job. Use words and phrases from the ad or position description, including job title, qualifications, knowledge, and skills.
• Active verbs and a clear description of your accomplishments will bring vitality and strength to your resume. For example, “I led my team to exceed sales goals by 10%” is stronger than “Sales goals were exceeded by 10%.” Use current language, especially when it comes to technology. Instead of listing “computer skills,” name the specific programs you use, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat.
• Put your full name at the top center in bold and slightly larger. Include your home address, phone number (mobile is best for quick response), and email address.
• State your career objective using the profession and level of responsibility like “Senior Computer Specialist,” “Grocery Department Manager,” or “General Accountant.” If you’re returning to work after an absence or want to change careers, state that here.
• Using bullets, highlight the 10-12 skills, capabilities, and qualifications that make you a great candidate. Cite your specific knowledge and credentials, technical capabilities, personal attributes, and industry-specific attributes.
• In reverse chronological order, list each employer over the past 10-20 years. Include the employer name, description of enterprise, city/state, calendar years of employment, most senior job title achieved, accountabilities, and primary activities and achievements. You can consolidate other previous experience into a brief paragraph.
• Cite your education, relevant training, certifications, and affiliations. Include the name of the school, location, and course of study. You don’t need to put a graduation date unless it has been within the past 20 years. If you did not complete a degree program, note either “Attended” or “Completed Coursework.”
• Do not include personal or family information or photos.
Going on Medicare?
Learn about the 4 choices you’ll need to make.
Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center sponsors monthly Medicare workshops for people new to Medicare and their families. Learn the basics of Medicare coverage, options for private health and drug coverage, and public benefits that can help with health care costs.
Welcome to Medicare Workshop
Tuesday, March 31, 1—3 p.m.
Kenosha County Job Center
8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha WI
Conference Room S11, Entrance D
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – Seating and materials are limited.
Kenosha County ADRC: 262-605-6646 OR 800-472-8008.
Foster grandparents volunteer and impact the lives of students
Andy Zakatuan knows what it’s like to face struggles as a child. He was born in a concentration camp in Stuttgart, Germany after World War II. For him, English was a second language and something that was hard to learn. After arriving in the United States and finding his way, Andy persevered to create a better life for himself. Now, as an adult he continues to take advantage of opportunities that come his way – which included becoming a foster grandparent volunteer six years ago.
“I had an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life,” shared Andy. “I know that every child needs help at some time, and this is my chance to contribute.”
The foster grandparent program presents older adults an opportunity to provide one-on-one and small group tutoring and mentoring to elementary school children who need additional support. It is widely known for helping students improve academically and allowing older adults to thrive by being given a sense of purpose.
Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin has overseen the program in Racine and Kenosha since 1993. Currently, it operates at 18 school sites across the two counties. During the 2018-2019 school year, 322 children formed relationships with a foster grandparent who taught them basic social skills, reading and writing.
“The impact a foster grandparent can have on a student is incredible,” explained Jeromy Moore, supervisor of the foster grandparent program. “And the impression the students make on the foster grandparents is just as meaningful. The ability for two generations to connect through education allows both to learn and grow in a supportive environment.”
Over time the need for additional student support in the classroom has continued to increase. To meet that need, Goodwill is currently looking for more foster grandparents. To become a foster grandparent, eligible adults must be 55 years of age or older, able to work a minimum of five hours per week and can travel to a Racine or Kenosha school. For those that qualify, a non-taxable stipend is paid to income-eligible senior volunteers, along with travel reimbursement.
For Andy, participating in the foster grandparent program has not only provided him with extra income, it has allowed him to give back and pass on important life lessons.
“It’s not always about schoolwork. Things in life are hard but not impossible to learn or work through. When I’m able to validate a child’s feelings or pick them up when they stumble with a tough situation, that is the best part of my day.”
To sign up or learn more about the foster grandparent program, contact Goodwill at 262-833-1629 or email Jeromy.Moore@goodwillsew.com.
Jess Owens,Communications Manager, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago
Goodwill’s mission is to provide training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities and disadvantages who seek greater independence.
visit www.goodwillsew.com for more
Volunteers needed for transportation service
What is the Volunteer Transportation Program? Volunteer Transportation Service provides rides to Kenosha residents who are 60 years and older or an adult with a disability that has difficulty using public transportation.
How Does it Work? Volunteers use their own vehicle to transport the client. Volunteers are reimbursed 42 cents per mile.
Key Responsibilities of Volunteers:
• Reliable and dependable.
• Safely transport rider to designated destination(s).
• Assist rider when needed.
• Maintain good communication with the office staff and rider.
• Keep accurate records of each ride and complete end of month reports and other paper work in a timely manner.
• Follow safe driving practices.
Time Commitment: Very flexible. A driver’s availability dictates when they want to drive.
Qualifications: Drivers must be at least 18 years old, complete an enrollment form, and pass both a criminal and national sex offender background check. Drivers need insurance coverage, a good driving record, and have a car in good working condition. Looking for those who enjoy helping the elderly and disabled population; must be physically able to provide some assistance to the rider; however, lifting is not required. Good communication skills needed and confidentiality is a must.
Training and Support: Volunteers receive training and ongoing support from Volunteer Transportation Service staff.
For more information about this program/volunteer opportunity please contact Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services, Inc., at 262-842-7433
Transportation to the polls available
Accessible transportation is being offered to senior or disabled Kenosha County residents seeking to vote in the 2020 elections. To participate in early voting or to vote on polling day, individuals may schedule a ride and the round trip fee will be waived. Care-A-Van (262-658-9093), Western Transit (1-888-203-3498) and Volunteer Transportation (262-842-7433) are making this service available. All reservations must be made a day prior. Availability is based on vehicle capacity. For questions or additional assistance, call Lauren Coffman, Mobility Manager, at 262-605-6615.
Nominations Sought for the 2020 Remarkable Older American Award
Nominations are being sought for the 2020 Remarkable Older American Award. Nominees must meet the following criteria: Kenosha County Resident, 60 years of age or older and outstanding service to his/her community through Military service, volunteerism, commitment to family and/or career achievements which have a made a substantial and positive impact.
Individuals, organizations or businesses may nominate an individual for the award. Prior award recipients are not eligible, however, previously nominated persons are eligible. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
Nomination should include why you believe your nominee deserves the Remarkable Older American Award, based on the criteria listed above. Also include the nominee’s full name and phone number, along with nominators name and phone number. Please limit nomination comments to 300 words or less. Nomination forms are also available at the Kenosha County ADRC, 8600 Sheridan Rd., Kenosha.
The award will be given out at the Older Americans Celebration, Celebrating the History of Women’s Suffrage and the Future of Voting, on May 28, 2020. Questions may be directed to: Ted McMahon, Hospice Alliance, 262-960-5169 or Paula Clark, ADRC, 262-605-6616. Nominations should be submitted to:
Kenosha Co. Older Americans Month Planning Committee
c/o Ted McMahon
10220 Prairie Ridge Blvd
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
Or email: Ted.McMahon@hospicealliance.org