The village of Amelia can boast of television celebrities after residents from Amelia Crossings participated in the cable show “Cooking with Rita” on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
“We had a wonderful morning at Cooking with Rita,” said Melita Ellington, chair of the Amelia Senior Support Commission. “We were invited to come to the cooking show and share some recipes. Eight ladies from Amelia Crossings made four dishes.”
The group made chicken soup with cheese ravioli, wilted lettuce salad with warm salad dressing, Rita’s favorite pasta (whole-wheat pasta) with fresh veggie sauce and pineapple angel food cake with fresh fruit.
The show was taped at Union Township Television studio and will be aired on Channel 22 in February.
The residents of Amelia Crossings meet at 7 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month for programs of special interest to senior citizens. Residents at Chaucer Square on Lori Lane also meet once a month. Their meetings are held 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month.
Officer Janice Lovins of the Amelia Police Department shared some tips on self-defense during the meetings in January. She has served on the Amelia Police Department for more than seven years and is certified by the state of Ohio to instruct females in self-defense.
"I want to make you aware of a lot of things tonight," said Lovins. "You can be taken advantage of by total strangers as well as family members. It can be very difficult to stand up to a family member or a grandchild, but you don't have to be a victim."
Lovins used a few simple exercises to get the group of nearly 20 people to think ahead. First, she told the group to look around the room at those in attendance and then with their eyes closed, they were to describe what others were wearing or what they looked like.
"Be aware of your surroundings," she said. "You need to learn to be able to identify someone. Also be aware of those around you as you walk to and from your car."
She noted that more crimes are being committed against the elderly than ever before and that crimes were not just committed in big cities, but rural areas were seeing an increase in crimes against the elderly.
She offered some common sense tips that senior citizens could put to practice. Many of the people in attendance stated that they did not carry their car keys in their hands while walking from the store to the car. Most said they waited until they got to the car to get the keys from their purse.
"Get your keys out before you start walking to your car," said Lovins. "They could be used as a weapon if someone attacks you. Don't be afraid to push your keys into someone's eyes."
She told them that there is no need for them to purchase guns or knives for self-defense.
"Many of the things you carry in your purse can be used as weapons," she said. "An ink pen can be a weapon that could be aimed at someone's temple."
She also told them not to open their doors to people they didn't know or weren't expecting.
"Ask for ID's and then call the contact number on the ID," she said. "Most legitimate business people will not mind waiting while you check them out."
Lovins offered tips for specific ways to carry a purse and told the audience that there was never a reason for carrying a social security card with them.
"Only take what you need with you and leave the rest of your cash and credit cards at home," said Lovins. "When you go into a restaurant, hook the handle of your purse under the chair leg. If someone tries to grab your purse, they'll have to take you with it. There are a lot of things we can do to keep safe."
She suggested that they shred all mail that had account numbers and told them that it was ok for them to hang up on callers they didn't know. Several women voiced concerns about receiving phone calls from people they didn't know wanting to have a conversation with them. She told them to let the police know when they receive calls of that nature.
"Never think that it bothers the police if you call us with a concern," said Lovins. "That is what we are here for. You guys are a big part of our community and important to us. Call us if you have any questions or concerns."
The Amelia Police Department offers a Safer Seniors Program to all senior citizens in the area. Those interested in learning more about the program can contact Police Chief Jeff Sucher at (513) 753-4747.
The Amelia Senior Support Commission meetings are open to anyone residing in the village and not restricted to residents of the Crossings or Chaucer Square.
"I will be meeting with some of our local Girl Scouts who are working toward the equivalent of Eagle Scout," said Ellington. "Part of their program is community service and they have chosen to working with seniors and want to present their ideas to me about working with our program. We have also had interest from UC Clermont students to integrate seniors into their areas of study. I love the intergenerational aspect of these opportunities and it truly is community outreach."
For more information about upcoming programs contact Melita Ellington at (513) 753-4747 or check the web site at www.ameliavillage.com.