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‘Agrability’ workshop helps farmers, others with the challenges of aging

By Edwin Lentz
Farmers greatly enjoy their lifestyle of independent living, working in the outdoors, and being their own boss. Most farmers in the country and in our area are more than 50 years old and do not plan to retire.
However, like the rest of us, farmers face physical issues as they get older. Knees do not want to bend, joints creak, and backs ache.
Diseases become more common such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Arthritis has been identified as a condition affecting many individuals in Hancock County.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a national program called “Agrability” that promotes independence for people in agriculture who want to continue to farm after experiencing a disabling condition from injury or the aging process.
The program’s goal is to provide education, resources and technical assistance to those individuals and their families so they may continue to be successful in agriculture. This program is not only for farmers. Any senior who wants to be more active outdoors or enjoys gardening and yard work will benefit from this program.
The Hancock County Extension office in cooperation with the Hancock County Agency on Aging will offer an “Ohio Agrability” workshop on Friday, Jan. 24. A program, “I’m Not As Young as I Used To Be!” will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hancock County Senior Center, 339 E. Melrose Ave., Findlay.
Kent McGuire, Ohio Agrability program coordinator, will lead the workshop. McGuire is from the Ohio State University campus but is originally from the Upper Sandusky area.
The workshop will feature topics such as “Safety for Seniors,” “Assistive Technology Used for Farms and Gardening,” and “Tricks of the Trade for Aging Limitations.”
Major points during these topics will include improving your mobility, managing arthritic limitations, planning a productive day, applying universal design concepts to the whole property, and showcasing adaptive tools and equipment.
McGuire will report where these tools and equipment can be purchased from local stores, avoiding hours of searching on the Internet.
The Ohio Agrability program has more than 30 fact sheets written for individuals wanting to improve their quality of life, regardless of their physical and aging challenges. These articles may be found at http://agrability.osu.edu/factsheets.
Senior citizens who want to remain productive in agriculture, continue to garden, or stay active outdoors, should consider this workshop.
The workshop is free and open to the public. Contact the Hancock County Extension office, 419-422-3851, or lentz.38@osu.edu for additional information.
Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at lentz.38@osu.edu.
Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.

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