On December 31, 2016 the older adult (ages 60+) population in Massachusetts will for the first time be larger than the twenty and under population. This constitutes a
significant societal shift. To better inform the response to this change, profiles have been developed of the sixty plus population for every community in Massachusetts.
Developed first in 2014, revised and updated in 2015, the profiles include the following indicators: population characteristics, wellness and prevention, nutrition
and diet, mental health, chronic disease, living with disability, access to care, service utilization, community variables and civic engagement, safety and economic
variables. The profiles can be studied on a community, county or statewide basis. The Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Boston conducted
the research at the request of the Healthy Aging of Massachusetts Collaborative. The effort was funded by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. The profiles are more than a depiction of our older residents today. They help to highlight the trends emerging as Baby Boomers age. The profiles can be used to stimulate discussion, planning and problem solving.
The following is a sample of the Northborough profile; (www.mahealthyagingcollaborative. org) and in terms of strengths and weaknesses it, as expected, is a mixed
report. The population estimate of residents 65 and older is 11.4%. Fifty percent of that subset are women. Fifty-five percent of the 65+ population reports four or more
chronic health problems. Fewer than 10% report no chronic health problems at all. Sixty four percent of those 65 and older live on less than $50,000, 23.8 percent have
incomes of less than $20,000. Northborough is rated as a safe community by state standards and assigned a walkability score of 65 ( a high score compared to other
measurements of the same indicator). The Healthy Aging Collaborative realizes that aging does not occur in a vacuum and communities that embrace this issue will not only support healthy aging but improve the quality of life for all of its residents. The Northborough Senior Center is one such example. It attends to the emotional and physical needs of older residents
as well as providing younger residents with a resource for information, guidance, intergenerational involvement and more. It also addresses some of the issues
raised in the Northborough Profile. As we approach the population milestone that is anticipated on December 31, 2016, consider reading the profile for Northborough and
other communities at Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (link above) and what an age friendly community means to you. Jocelyn Ehrhardt, MSW, Outreach Coordinator
MEDICARE DIABETES TESTING SUPPLIES WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you, a friend, or a loved one has Original Medicare and uses diabetes testing supplies, you should know that Medicare is continuing its National Mail-Order Program to
help you get quality supplies while saving money. Under the program, you must use a Medicare approved national mail-order contract supplier to pay for diabetes testing
supplies that are delivered to your home. If you don’t want diabetes testing supplies delivered to your home, you can go to any local store (pharmacy or storefront supplier)
that’s enrolled with Medicare and get your diabetes testing supplies there. If you do not use one of these Medicare approved ordering methods, you may end up paying much more for your
supplies. If you have a Medigap policy, you may not owe anything for your supplies. Be sure that your supplier has your Medigap policy information when placing your order.
You also have certain protections when using a national mail-order contract supplier. Suppliers must make sure you get the prescribed brand of diabetes testing supplies
to avoid an adverse medical outcome and must never influence or try to convince you to switch your supplies to another brand. To find a current list of contract suppliers, visit Medicare.
gov/supplier or call 1-800-MEDICARE. For assistance with any Medicare issue, contact the SHINE Program. Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of Medicare and related health insurance programs. To schedule a SHINE appointment, call your local Senior Center. For other SHINE related matters, 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.
Day: Tuesdays (Day & Evening Appointments)
Counselors: Pauline O’Bray/Wayne Wirtanen
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) appointments are available with our SHINE Counselors. We also have some Tuesday evening appointments at 3:45, 5:00, 6:15, 7:30 PM. Please call the Senior Center at 508-393-5035 to schedule your appointment.