The record snows of last winter are still vivid for many of us and yet winter is once again just around the corner. One thing to emerge from last winter is the importance of
preparedness. The Town of Northborough Emergency Preparedness Handbook is a good place to start. The Handbook advises residents on practical tips to get through the first 72 hours
of an emergency, including a weather event. The Handbook reminds residents that “you may need to survive on your own for some time before outside help will be available”. The Town of Northborough also invites vulnerable residents or those with special needs to fill out and submit the Northborough Registry of Emergency Needs. This form captures relevant information about residents with special needs, limited social support, etc. It will not result in special treatment but will help with the emergency response planned by town personnel. In the same manner, National Grid invites customers dependent upon life saving equipment to register this situation with the company. The National Grid Notice of Life Saving Equipment, Northborough Registry of Emergency Needs and the Town of Northborough
Emergency Preparedness Handbook are all available at the Senior Center. Another important area of preparedness is that of snow removal. Older residents are encouraged to make arrangements for snow removal ahead of the first snowflakes. Last minute arrangements are usually more expensive than those made ahead of time. Residents need to be clear about their needs, plowing the driveway, shoveling sidewalks, etc. Landscape companies, referral agencies such as Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau and, best of all, word of mouth from neighbors and friends are some of the ways to locate a service provider. One source cited a homeowner that paid $45 per storm of 3 inches or more for a 25x40 driveway and 130 feet of sidewalk as an average. For a safe winter with as little stress as possible, plan ahead. As far as Senior Center programs, unless otherwise instructed, the Senior Center will be open. If we are closed there will be an announcement on our telephone. Please
check with the front desk about your particular class or activity. Very often, the instructors have a winter storm procedure. Jocelyn Ehrhardt, MSW Outreach Coordinator
WITH MEDICARE PLANS, DOES IT MATTER WHICH PHARMACY YOU USE?
For many Medicare plans, the pharmacy you use could make a big difference in the cost of your drugs! All Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans (HMOs, PPOs) have network pharmacies. Most
pharmacies accept most plans. However, if you go to a pharmacy that is not in your plan’s network, your drugs will not be covered, and you will pay full retail price. For 2016, 80% of the Medicare drug plans have preferred pharmacies. By using a preferred pharmacy, you can save money! Some plans have changed their preferred pharmacies for next year. You should check that the pharmacy you currently use is the best one to use with your plan. Most plans have a mail-order program that allows you to get a 90-day supply of your covered prescription drugs sent directly to your home. Mail order sometimes costs less, but using preferred pharmacies may cost less than mail order.
MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS DECEMBER 7! IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR MEDICARE PLAN, DON’T WAIT! CALL 1-800-MEDICARE NOW!
Counselors: Pauline O’Bray/Linda Warren/Wayne Wirtanen
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) appointments are available with our SHINE Counselors. Continuing this month, we have added Tuesday evening appointments at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00pm. Please call the Senior Center at 508-393-5035 to schedule your appointment.