To characterize decision making about end of life care as a difficult process is an understatement. It is an emotionally charged issue that may require clarification of medical matters, consideration of family dynamics and of spiritual beliefs. Perhaps it is no wonder that less than 30% of Americans undertake this important task. For those who do go through the process and record their end of life care wishes, it is unsettling to think that these carefully considered wishes could go unheeded. That can and does happen in instances in which end of life documents are not readily accessible. The American Bar Association now offers an app which can store, amend and share end of life care documents. My Health Care Wishes Lite (free) and My Health Care Wishes Pro($3.99) are an option to end of life
documents that are carefully stored and inaccessible in a safe deposit box, drawer or even in a physician’s office elsewhere. My Health Care Wishes Lite and My health Care Wishes Pro make it possible to access these documents
from the app on a smart phone. In the event that you don’t have or want a smart phone, those documents could be stored on a family member’s or a friend’s phone.
Whether you find yourself in a hospital far from home or your Power of Attorney is unavailable in a time of need My Health Care Wishes and My Health Care Wishes Pro apps can send the information electronically to a physician’s office or medical facility. The American Bar Association website (www.americanbar.org) can be accessed for more information about these apps. Jocelyn Ehrhardt, MSW Outreach Coordinator
If you have Medicare, you have the right to appeal decisions you disagree with. All steps in the appeal process have specific time frames and other requirements. It is very important to pay attention to the time limits for appeals!
Some appealable situations are:
• Medicare denies your request for a health care service, supply, or prescription • Medicare denies payment for health care that you have already received
• Medicare stops covering services that you are receiving
• Medicare pays a different amount than you believe it should
For assistance with appeals, the Medicare Advocacy Project (MAP) provides free advice and legal representation. MAP can assist anyone with Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, regardless of income. For assistance from MAP, call the Massachusetts Senior Legal Helpline at 866-778-0939. For assistance with understanding and accessing your Medicare benefits, you can 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-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 counselor will call you back, as soon as possible.
Counselors: Pauline O’Bray/Linda Warren
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) appointments are available with our SHINE Counselors. Please call the Senior Center at 508-393-5035 to schedule your appointment.
Free Hearing Clinic
Day: 2nd Friday
Date: August 8
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Peter Lee of Professional Hearing Healthcare Associates of Westborough will be at the Senior Center to provide free hearing screenings. Please call 508-393-5035 to make your appointment.
Free Blood Pressure Clinics
Tuesday, August 12 at 1:00 PM at the Northborough Housing Authority
Tuesday, July 22/August 26 at 1:00 PM at the Senior Center
Free Health Clinic
Tuesday, August 19 from 12:30 – 2:00 PM at the Senior Center