We’ve become conditioned to changing the batteries in our smoke and CO2 detectors twice a year when we change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Perhaps we could also get in the habit of refreshing our “Emergency Kits” at the same time? Everyone should have such a kit to be prepared in the face of an emergency. New England is in the midst of peak hurricane season, and winter is right around the corner. Below is a helpful Emergency Kit Checklist:
1. Three days of nonperishable/ non-cook food, water (1 gallon per day per person), and medication.
2. Flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries
3. First aid kit, cash, cell phone and charger
4. ID cards, information (Dr., meds, allergies), family/friends contacts, Health Care Proxy, toothbrush/toothpaste, blanket and washcloth
5. Clothes and baby or pet supplies if you need them
HESSCO Elder Services is thrilled to announce that it received a $10,000 financial reward for its outstanding participation during the third-annual GIVE65 Event, a program of Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. The GIVE65 Event, which took place July 10 – July 12, is a one-of-a-kind, 65-hour, crowd-fundraising platform exclusively devoted to helping nonprofits raise money online for programs and services that create hope for seniors. Home Instead Senior Care Foundation provided $125,000 in matching grants, and all approved, participating organizations were eligible for one of two $10,000 financial rewards recognizing outstanding small-, medium- and large-sized participating nonprofits based on operating budget.
In addition to the $10,000 reward, HESSCO donors gave over $5,100 which earned the agency $2,500 in matching dollars. HESSCO’s campaign raised funds to help pay for Emergency and Holiday meals for the seniors it serves in South Norfolk County.
HESSCO has approximately 500 seniors over age 60 who receive Meals on Wheels through its nutrition program. For many of these seniors, HESSCO is the primary source of their nutrition on each day they receive the meal. When there is a weather emergency, the program sometimes cannot deliver meals. To prepare for these weather events, HESSCO purchases shelf-stable emergency meals which are distributed to each senior who receives Meals on Wheels. HESSCO also provides local police and fire departments with a supply of emergency meals. The expense of the emergency meals is not funded through any federal or state program and thus, HESSCO incurs the full cost because of our commitment to serve the nutrition needs of seniors.
On Thanksgiving and Christmas, HESSCO staff, Town of Walpole School Department staff, and congregants from Temple Sinai Sharon volunteer their time to deliver a free, hot meal to any senior in our community who is alone for the holiday. In 2017, HESSCO delivered over 150 meals on Thanksgiving and another 150 on Christmas. The seniors who receive these meals express their gratitude through tears, hugs, smiles and holiday well-wishes. HESSCO never has difficulty finding staff and other groups to donate their time because all involved know they have made a senior a little less lonely; however, donations are relied upon to cover the cost of the meals.
Thanks to its success during the GIVE65 Event, HESSCO will have ample “back up,” shelf stable meals available to consumers in the event of an emergency, and our neediest consumers will receive a visit and a nicely prepared meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We’re Having a Heat Wave!
Hot weather can be dangerous, and seniors are particularly prone to its threat. To protect seniors, the standard advice is to get them into an air-conditioned building; have them dress lightly; and keep themselves hydrated.
Please take the time to check on elderly relatives, friends and neighbors. If someone is in need of an air conditioned environment, please see this link for a listing of local cooling centers for the Summer of 2018.
HESSCO Goes Purple for Alzheimer’s
Throughout the month of June, HESSCO has joined the Alzheimer’s Association to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.
- We’re walking – Team HESSCO is up! Join or donate to our team – for the Neponset Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s September 22, 2018. The money we have raised this month will be pledged to our team to help us reach our team goal.
- We’re recognizing The Longest Day – June 21st is the summer solstice and the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day®, an event that asks people worldwide to select any activity they love to raise funds and awareness to help end Alzheimer’s. The longest day of the year is symbolic recognition of the challenge caregivers face.
- We’re “Weathering the Storm” – A bulletin board has been designed with an umbrella and raindrops, each entitled with a different weather related song.
- We’re planting “Seeds of Hope” – As a symbol of our support, “Seeds of Hope” have been planted and cared for.
- We’re “Quilting” – Each staff member has contributed his/her own personalized “Square of Inspiration” to be incorporated into our company quilt which will showcase each other’s individuality.
- We’re “Going Purple” – We have answered the call to action by going purple and raising awareness this June. The more people know about Alzheimer’s, the more action we inspire.
Together we can #EndAlz!
|I’m pleased to report that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have started to mail new Medicare cards to beneficiaries.
Instead of a Social Security Number (SSN), the new cards will have a Medicare number that’s unique to each beneficiary. The new card will help protect identities and secure personal information. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
Medicare will automatically mail new cards at no cost to the address on file here at Social Security. So please make sure the address of anyone you’re helping is up-to-date. An address can be updated easily by linking to my Social Security.
As Medicare beneficiaries begin to receive their replacement cards, please share these three tips with them:
In addition, as of April 2018, Social Security removed the SSN from all notices and forms to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. These communications also include benefit-verification notices, Social Security post-entitlement notices, and certain documents sent to appointed representatives. The benefit-verification letter includes the recipient’s name and address. The SSN isn’t intended to serve as identification, nor should it be used as such by third parties.
Please share this information through your networks. For more information about the new Medicare card, click medicare.gov/newcard. You can also look up Medicare.gov for tips to prevent Medicare fraud.
As always, thank you for your interest in our programs and the people we serve!
Every May, the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation’s observance of Older American’s Month. The #OA18 theme, “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.
Participating in activities that promote mental and physical wellness, offering your wisdom and experience to the next generation, seeking the mentorship of someone with more life experience than you are just a few examples of what being engaged can mean.
Becoming engaged may not only benefit your community, you may benefit greatly as well:
- Decrease your risk of depression
- Enjoy a sense of purpose
- Stay physically and mentally active
- Reduce stress levels
- Experience “The Happiness Effect”
- Discover new opportunities
No matter where you are in your life, there is no better time than now to start. We hope you will join in and Engage at Every Age!
If you have Medicare, you can protect your identity and help prevent health care fraud by guarding your Medicare card like you would a credit card.
Identity theft from stolen Medicare Numbers is becoming more common. Medicare’s here to help by removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards and replacing them with a new, unique number for each person with Medicare. Medicare will mail new Medicare cards with the new numbers between April 2018 and April 2019.
Here are some important steps you can take to protect yourself from the identity theft that can lead to health care fraud:
- Don’t share your Medicare Number with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will NEVER contact you (unless you ask us to) for your Medicare Number or other personal information.
- Don’t ever let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare Number.
- Review your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you and Medicare are only being charged for actual items and services received.
If you’re looking to enroll in a Medicare plan:
- Remember there are no “early bird discounts” or “limited time offers.”
- Don’t let anyone rush you to enroll by claiming you need to “act now for the best deal.”
- Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds “too good to be true.”
If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare Number or other personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). To learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft and health care fraud, visit www.Medicare.gov/fraud or contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol (www.smpresource.org).
This message is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Eldercare Q&A January, 2018
Closing the Food Stamp “SNAP Gap”
Q: Are a lot of eligible elders not getting food stamps?
A. Yes. More than 40% of low-income elders eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as “food stamps,” are not on the program. Q&A ElderCare January 2018 CLOSING THE SNAP GAP 11 30 17