Your involvement is essential to our success! Help HESSCO make a difference for consumers in South Norfolk County. We are a vital link for area elders, individuals living  with a disability and their caregivers in support of safe and independent living at home.



HESSCO provides support for elders and those who care for them. Services include but are not limited to: home care services, caregiver support, nutrition and nutrition counseling, information and referral, money management and more.



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Elder Home Care Wait Lists to Begin in 25 Days

By |August 8th, 2016|

News from Mass Home Care – The Baker Administration has officially announced that starting September 1st, waiting lists for some elders will begin in the home care program.  Home Care Wait Lists Sept 1 2016 An Avoidable Crisis

Eldercare Q&A Keeping Your Cool on Very Hot Days

By |August 2nd, 2016|

Eldercare Q&A – September, 2016

Keeping Your Cool On Very Hot Days

Q: Are seniors at greater risk for hyperthermia?

A: Yes. Too much heat is not safe for anyone, but most people who die from hyperthermia are over the age of 50.

QA Eldercare September 2016 Keeping Your Cool On Very Hot Days-1

Senate Proposes Elimination of Crucial Medicare Counseling Program – Medicare Rights Blob

By |July 18th, 2016|

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a 2017 spending bill that completely eliminates funding for the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Older adults, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers need assistance understanding the A, B, C and Ds of Medicare. Operating in every state, SHIPs answer questions about Medicare and help people solve problems. Eliminating SHIPs would leave millions who need support comparing coverage options, appealing denials, applying for financial assistance, and navigating increasingly complex Medicare benefits stranded—with nowhere to turn.

Today’s Medicare beneficiary must choose among more than 20 prescription drug plans, an average of 19 Medicare Advantage plans, as well as various Medigap supplemental insurance policies—all with different premiums, cost sharing, provider networks, and coverage rules. For more than 24 years, SHIPs have advised, educated, and empowered individuals to navigate their state-specific Medicare choices. Specifically, SHIPs help beneficiaries resolve fraud and abuse issues, billing problems, appeals, and enrollment in low-income protection programs. . In 2015, SHIPs provided assistance to more than 7 million people with Medicare.

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Be Prepared for Extreme Heat

By |July 12th, 2016|

Be Prepared for Extreme Heat

July 7, 2016, by Kathleen Votava, Office of Regional Operations, Administration for Community Living

As summer is upon us, this is an important reminder regarding planning for and responding to periods of extreme heat. It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care. Whether you are an older adult, an individual with a disability, or a family member caring for a loved one with functional needs, each person’s requirements and abilities are unique. During periods of extreme heat, every individual can take important steps to put plans in place and prepare for potential risks, such as power outages. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan, you can be better prepared for any situation. Read More

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Tools, Tips, Resources

By |June 14th, 2016|

Tools & Tips

Every year an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported.

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Meals on Wheels Recipients Receive Gift from New England Patriots

By |June 6th, 2016|

HESSCO home delivered meals consumers received a special gift last week from The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.  Following a big fundraising event, the Foundation had a number of bouquets and flower arrangements leftover.  Instead of letting them go to waste, the flowers were donated to HESSCO to serve as a gift to their Meals on Wheels recipients.  Volunteer meals drivers delivered over 40 vases of beautifully arranged white gerbera daisies along with note cards to seniors in Canton and Sharon.  “It’s more than just flowers…The consumers received something special, in addition to their lunch, to put a smile on their faces. We are so grateful to be able to share this gift with them,” said Debbie Fradkin, HESSCO Community Relations Manager.

Pats flowers 6 may 2016Pats flowers 2 may 2016


Project 351 partners with HESSCO and Foxboro COA to Benefit Area Seniors

By |June 6th, 2016|

Project 351, an innovative statewide youth-driven service organization, recently selected Health and Social Services Consortium, Inc. (HESSCO) and Foxboro Council on Aging to be the recipients of one of their spring service projects benefiting local seniors.  Project 351 unites an 8th grade Ambassador from every city and town in Massachusetts for a transformative year of leadership development, enrichment, and impact. Through unique service opportunities, Ambassadors gain valuable skills, create positive change in communities, build a statewide network of values-aligned peers, and unite the Commonwealth in common purpose.  Each spring, the Governor and New England Patriots Foundation host Ambassadors and Alumni at Gillette Stadium for a Reunion celebration of youth leadership and service.  Reunion features a Town Meeting, leadership skill-building workshops, inspirational speakers, and the annual “Peace & Unity Walk”, a fundraiser in support of The Martin W. Richard Foundation.  Ambassadors at this year’s Reunion, held on May 21st, participated in service projects in partnership with the Summer Urban Program, Hope & Comfort, Fresh Truck, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, the Foxboro Council on Aging and HESSCO.  The 351 Ambassadors shopped for garden fresh vegetables at Fresh Truck and packaged 400 the fresh food bags with the ingredients for summer salads.  They also compiled “Care and Compassion” bags which consisted of hand sanitizer, tissues, lip balm and framed inspirational quotes.  Through coordination with Foxboro COA and HESSCO, the 400 care and food packages were then distributed to seniors in Foxboro, Plainville and Wrentham at the HESSCO congregate meal sites and through the home delivered meals program.  “We are honored to have partnered with Project 351 for this truly inspirational event.  I was blown away by the care and compassion of the 351 students from across the Commonwealth.  The seniors in Foxboro, Plainville and Wrentham who were the recipients of over 400 care and food packages were extremely grateful to the students for their gifts,” stated Jayne Davis, HESSCO Nutrition Program Director.

Plainville seniors show off their fresh food bags they received from Project 351

Plainville seniors show off their fresh food bags they received from Project 351

Fresh food bags being distributed at Foxboro Meal Site

Fresh food bags being distributed at Foxboro Meal Site

Care & Compassion Bags given to Home Delivered Meals Consumers

Care & Compassion Bags given to Home Delivered Meals Consumers

Being Pushed Out of the Hospital Too Soon?

By |June 2nd, 2016|

Eldercare Q&A                                        July, 2016

 Q: If I think I’m not ready for a hospital discharge, can I appeal?

A: Yes. If you are on Medicare, and you think your hospital services are ending too soon, you can file an appeal—and gain some extra time from Medicare. You can ask questions about or challenge the quality of the health care you have received, your access to appropriate health care, your discharge from the hospital, or your termination from skilled services.

For example, if you are in a hospital, and you are told you are going to be discharged—but you feel too sick to leave—you can appeal your discharge to the Medicare designated Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), which for Massachusetts is a company named Livanta.

When the hospital is going to discharge a person on Medicare, they will give the patient a notice in writing called “An Important Message from Medicare,” which will explain how to file an appeal with Livanta. Medicare regulation requires you to request a review no later than midnight of the day of discharge. (On weekdays, Livanta’s Medicare Helpline is open 8 am to 5pm, on the weekends the line is open 11 am to 3 pm. Just leave your phone number if you get a message machine.) Once you appeal, you can then stay in the hospital without having to pay (except for copays and deductibles) until at least noon of the day after Livanta notifies you, the hospital, and the doctor of its decision. If you appeal to Livanta, you cannot be discharged without your consent. By appealing, you delay your discharge by at least a day or two.

To get your appeal started, you must call Livanta’s HelpLine at 1-866-815-5440. Livanta will then call and fax the hospital and request your medical records. A physician reviewer at Livanta decides whether or not you are healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital. When the review is complete, you will receive a phone call and letter from Livanta with the decision.

You can also file an appeal if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage managed care plan. You have the same appeal rights whether you are in traditional Medicare, or in a managed care plan. If you would like to have someone else explain your case to Livanta, you can appoint a representative to speak on your behalf. There are no fees to have your discharge appeal reviewed by Livanta.

Note: Be sure to ask your hospital: “What is my admission status?” If you are on “observation status,” you have appeal rights through the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). The hospital should give you an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN), which describes your appeal rights through the MAC.

You also have the right to appeal to Livanta over a termination of “skilled services,” such as home health, skilled nursing, hospice, and outpatient rehabilitation. Livanta will review your case, and decide if continued skilled services are medically necessary based upon standards of care.

This whole appeal process must be completed within one day after Livanta receives all medical records for hospital appeals requests filed in a timely way, or within 24 to 72 hours (depending on the type of review) from your first call for a skilled services appeal. If you are not satisfied with Livanta’s decision, you can request a further appeal—but any skilled services you receive after the termination or discharge date might not be paid by Medicare. This means you would be completely responsible for those costs. For a link to the Livanta Medicare appeal process go to:

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Sharon Housing Authority Receives “2016 Outstanding Agency” Award for Supportive Housing Program

By |May 26th, 2016|

The Sharon Housing Authority has been named “2016 Outstanding Agency” by the Massachusetts Chapter of National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for their Supportive Housing Program for its innovation and ability to enhance the lives of residents.  The award was presented to the Sharon Housing Authority at the NAHRO Annual Conference at The Sea Crest in Falmouth on May 23rd.


The Sharon Housing Authority and Health and Social Services Consortium, Inc. (HESSCO) entered into a partnership in December 2014 made possible through a grant from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.  HESSCO is the Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) provider for Sharon and 11 other towns in South Norfolk County.  The introduction of the Supportive Housing Program allows HESSCO to have a full-time Supportive Service Coordinator (SSC) on site to enhance independent living for seniors and persons living with disabilities.  The SSC is available to answer questions, assess situations, develop, implement and manage care plans, connect residents with resources, and organize social activities.  The Supportive Housing Program assists residents to age in place and to make lifestyle changes that help improve the quality of their lives.  Social activities are offered to residents in the newly renovated Hixon Farm Community Building.  Self-serve breakfasts are available daily.  Residents are also offered monthly luncheons, including a monthly Chinese lunch and summer barbeques.  The service provider agency, Anodyne Homemaking Services Corporation, provides 24 hour coverage and has staff on site from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.


According to Sharon Housing Authority Executive Director Jane Desberg, “This new partnership between HESSCO and Sharon Housing Authority has strengthened the ability to provide on-site supportive services and bridge a gap between housing and social service type needs of all residents…Working together, the Authority has been more successful in helping elders at risk.”


(pictured from L to R) Jane Desberg, Sharon Housing Authority Executive Director; Lisa Audette, MassNAHRO President, Chelsea Nelson, HESSCO Supportive Services Coordinator; Mary Jean McDermott, HESSCO Executive Director

(pictured from L to R) Jane Desberg, Sharon Housing Authority Executive Director; Lisa Audette, MassNAHRO President, Chelsea Nelson, HESSCO Supportive Services Coordinator; Mary Jean McDermott, HESSCO Executive Director


GATRA Rides for Canton, Walpole and Sharon Residents

By |May 24th, 2016|

GATRA Helps “The Ride” Passengers in Canton, Walpole and Sharon Travel to Foxboro

Patriot Place in Foxborough is not only the home of the world famous New England Patriots, but is also the prime location of many top-notched medical services south of Boston.

Unfortunately, many people living in Sharon, Canton or Walpole, who rely on The Ride service to take them to medical appointments at Patriot Place, were told they could not get transportation to the neighboring town. Why? Because The Ride does not go to Patriots Place. Why Not? Because The Ride is operated by the MBTA and Patriot Place is located in the GATRA service area so only GATRA vehicles can go there.

All that changed in January when Joanne LaFerrara, GATRA’s Director of Customer Relations, applied for and received a Community Transit Grant from MassDOT. This grant funds a coordinated transportation effort with The Ride. Consumers who have been approved for services from The Ride but would like to travel to the medical facilities located in Foxboro now have that option.

If the approved consumer resides in Canton, Walpole or Sharon, GATRA vehicles can travel to pick them up and transport them to Foxboro. If the consumer lives outside of those communities but would still like to make a medical appointment in Foxboro, GATRA and The Ride operator will work together and do everything they can to make it happen.

For additional information please call Joanne LaFerrara at 508-823-8828, ext. 275.