May is Older American's Month! Since 1963 May has been designated as Older American’s Month. It is intended to be a time to show special appreciation for the older people around us. Where better to develop that appreciation than at the Senior Center. We are very appreciative of the involvement of our volunteers and participants, most of whom are older people. They help to make the day to day operation of the Senior Center possible. Our volunteers serve at every level of the agency, from advisory to washing dishes. Our participants enable us to expand and provide varied programming and welcome newcomers. On a regular basis we experience stereotypes being challenged,
new skills being learned and herculean tasks being accomplished from care giving to fundraising. We benefit directly from the honed skill sets of our volunteers and participants. We also appreciate, deeply, the efforts that many Senior Center members make in dealing with the uncharted waters of retirement and aging. The interests and the needs of our members determine much of what goes on at the Senior Center, including the Outreach Department. The Outreach Department, in coordination with various public and private agencies, works to inform and assist members with financial, long term care and planning resources. I am able to meet with people at their homes as well as at the Senior Center, assist with
paperwork or aggravating phone calls. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss how Outreach can assist you.
Jocelyn Ehrhardt, MSW Outreach Coordinator
Need help with prescription drug costs?
Prescription Advantage may be your answer! Prescription Advantage is a state-run program which helps many seniors pay for their prescription drugs. Eligibility is based on income only and there is no asset limit! Who can join? If you are a Massachusetts resident, eligible for Medicare, and are: 65 years or older with an annual income at or less than $57,450 for a single person or $77,550 for a married couple OR under 65 years and disabled, with an annual income at or less than $21,601 for a single person or $29,159 for a married couple. If you are 65 years or older not eligible for Medicare, you can also join and there is no income limit. There is no charge for joining Prescription Advantage, if you have an annual income at or less than $34,470 for a single person and $46,530 for a married couple. There is a $200 per person annual enrollment fee for those with higher incomes. Call Prescription Advantage today to enroll on the phone or ask for an application form. You can
reach Prescription Advantage at 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 2. Also, help is available from the SHINE program. Call your senior center and ask for a SHINE appointment. Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare. You can reach a SHINE counselor by telephone. Call 1-800-AGEINFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3. Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number.
A volunteer will call you back, as soon as possible.
SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) appointments are available with our Counselor, Pauline O’Bray, at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Tuesdays, April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 20 ans 28. Please call the Senior Center at 508-393-5035 to make your appointment.
Staying Healthy with Medicare
An important goal for Medicare is to help people stay healthy by encouraging prevention. Medicare provides a number of preventive services. These services are free whether you have traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, like an HMO. Some of these services include:
• Colorectal cancer screening
• Pap tests and pelvic exams
• Prostate cancer screening
• Bone mass measurements
• Cardiovascular screening
• Flu and pneumonia shots
• Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
• Depression screening
• Obesity screening and counseling
There are very specific rules which state when and how often Medicare will pay for the above services. For a complete list of free preventive services, go to www.medicare.gov or see a SHINE counselor. Trained SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) Volunteers can help you! They offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare. Call your senior center and ask for a SHINE appointment. You can also call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3. Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number. A volunteer will call you back, as soon as possible.