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HESSCO SERVICES

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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UPCOMING EVENTS

Sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of the latest events at HESSCO and in the South Norfolk County region. Visit our blog page where an updated calendar will be posted - offering details of important dates to remember.

WHAT'S HAPPENING

First Stop ASAP

By |June 27th, 2019|

 

There are literally hundreds of listings for elder care resources. The good news is we are quite fortunate to have so many options. The bad news, however, is knowing where to start and determining what services are the right fit for you. Your designated ASAP could help. An ASAP, or Aging Services Access Point, is just that…a Point of Access to available Aging Services. There are 26 ASAPs, covering every city and town in Massachusetts. These are private, non-profit, state-designated agencies under contract with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs to provide seniors and caregivers with access to a variety of programs and services.

Trained Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists as well as Options Counselors are available, free of charge, to field calls. I&R Specialists ask questions to assess the callers’ needs. They aim to help the caller understand their situations and empower them to make informed decisions about possible solutions. They have a vast knowledge of available resources, as well as the cost and qualifying criteria associated with the services. They conduct preliminary screenings to determine eligibility for subsidized home care, family caregiver support, and/or home delivered meals. The caller will be asked questions about their age, physical limitations, diagnoses and income. If a caller is seeking more than a phone call, Options Counselors are available to provide a more in depth 1:1 phone or in person meeting.

After the initial call, a meeting is scheduled for an intake assessment. From there, the senior has a Care Manager who helps coordinate their service plan and is their go-to person if their needs change. At any point in the process, referrals to other agencies can be made, in lieu of or in addition to, ASAP services. Each ASAP researches and maintains a directory of reputable community resources and are able to guide callers in the appropriate direction. ASAPs subscribe to the “no wrong door policy” and assist individuals living with a disability by directing them to appropriate agencies.

To reach the Aging Services Access Point that serves your city or town, call 1-800-AGE-INFO or visit www.800ageinfo.com.

 

This article was submitted by Debbie Fradkin, Community Relations Manager, HESSCO, the ASAP covering South Norfolk County, and may be reached at 781-784-4944 or DFradkin@verizon.net

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

By |June 13th, 2019|

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older people by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. In a society that values the just treatment of all people, WEAAD reminds us that elder abuse has implications for all of us, and so it’s important to find the right solutions to it. WEAAD is a call-to-action for society’s individuals, organizations, and communities to educate each other on how to identify, address and prevent abuse so we can all do our part to support everyone as we age.

We need everyone to educate each other about the impact of elder abuse and the pervasiveness of ageism (biases against older people) in our culture. We all deserve to lead happy lives, free from abuse as we age. Through community outreach and statewide engagement, we can raise this social issue to a worldwide priority that must be addressed and prevented. Take action today!

Below is a useful guide regarding falling victim to scams.  Print it out and keep it handy as a reminder.

Protecting Our Communities From Scams

 

Source: USC Center on Elder Mistreatment

Don’t Get Left Out in the…Heat

By |June 10th, 2019|

Official “summer” is just around the corner, but the warmer weather is already upon us. The risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion is real, especially for the elderly.  Below are some tips to stay cool as well as a link to an updated list of local cooling centers.  If you don’t have air conditioning, don’t hesitate to take advantage of these resources.  And as always, check on elderly family, friends and neighbors.

Tips to Stay Cool

Slow down, avoid strenuous activity.  Do not try to do too much on a hot day.

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.  Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Attempt to stay hydrated.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.  They can actually dehydrate your body.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals.  Avoid high protein foods that increase metabolic heat.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun.  Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate perspiration, which cools your body.
  • Go to a place where you can get relief from the heat, such as air conditioned schools, libraries, theaters and other community facilities that may offer refuge during the warmest times of the day.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers.  Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
  • Avoid too much sunshine.  Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself.  If you are outside, use sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.
  • Do not leave pets outside for extended periods.  Make sure that they have plenty of drinking water.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors.

Cooling Centers 2019

Connect, Create and Contribute…A Way of Life at Every Age

By |May 29th, 2019|

*Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

A community is made up of individuals, their experiences, connections and shared mores.  Equally, a community is only as strong and vibrant as individual members.  When you make connections in your community, you are not only making the community stronger, you are helping yourself.  Being engaged, especially in something you enjoy, helps to decrease isolation and loneliness which can in fact improve your own health.  This is true at any age.  Still, as an individual ages, they not only may find themselves with more free time, they may also have more experiences to share.  Older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives. Everyone benefits when everyone can participate. We encourage you to connect, create, and contribute for stronger and more diverse communities this May, and throughout the year.

 

*excerpts taken from acl.gov

April is Health Care Decisions Month

By |April 30th, 2019|

National Healthcare Decisions Month exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. For everyone.

Honoring Choices of Massachusetts’ Who’s Your Agent?® Program makes it easy to create and update your health care plan. One simple question- “Who’s Your Agent?” can open the door to early and meaningful health care planning discussions to get good care all through your life. Download Getting Started Tool Kit This do-it-yourself tool kit helps you to:

1. Choose a trusted person to be your Health Care Agent (Agent). Appoint your Agent in a Health Care Proxy. * Not sure who to choose yet? “No Agent – No Problem!” Just start with Step 2.

2. Talk with your family about your care choices. Write down your choices in a Personal Directive (Living Will);

3. Talk with your care providers to match care to your choices. Use the 5 Things to Talk About with Your Care Providers discussion guide to put your plan into action.

Federal Trade Commission Scam Warning

By |February 15th, 2019|

Federal Trade Commission Scam Warning

The Federal Trade Commission is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money.

In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social Security number is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. He will ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

In other variations, he says that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. He also might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that he’ll tell you how to keep it safe.

All of these are scams. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The SSA will never call and ask for your Social Security number. It will not ask you to pay anything. It won’t call to threaten your benefits.
  • Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213), but that’s not the real SSA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. You cannot trust what you see there.
  • Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you in this way. Do not confirm the last 4 digits. Do not give a bank account or credit card number – ever – to anybody who contacts you by phone asking for it.
  • Remember that anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash is always a scammer no matter who they say they are.

If you’re worried about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, get off the phone. Then call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

If you have spotted a scam, then tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

To learn more, you can go to Fake Calls about your SSN.

Sharing the News…Suburu Share the Love Event

By |December 10th, 2018|

At HESSCO, we are well aware that Meals on Wheels is so much more than just a meal. Local Meals on Wheels programs not only provide daily nutritious meals, but also nourishing companionship and critical safety checks to America’s homebound seniors.

Meals on Wheels has participated in the Subaru Share the Love Event since its inception in 2008. Through Meals on Wheels America, the Subaru Share the Love Event has helped deliver nearly two million meals to America’s seniors.
Subaru and its retailers support Meals on Wheels because it’s part of their commitment — to leaving the world a better place than they found it through the core values of trust and love.

Help share the news! Suburu Share the Love Event runs from November 15, 2018 to January 2, 2019. Through this year-end sales event, Suburu of America will donate $250 to the buyer’s selected charity – and we hope you’ll choose Meals on Wheels. Each donation to Meals on Wheels programs enable seniors to age with independence and dignity in their own homes, where they want to be.

30 Days of Gratitude/Family Caregivers

By |November 6th, 2018|

Thank you to all of the caregivers who work tirelessly to do the best they can in one of the toughest jobs there is. November is #NationalFamilyCaregivers Month; a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. The Family Caregiver Support Program at HESSCO has been created to assist these informal caregivers who are caring for a loved one and looking for resources, answers, direction, or emotional support.

There is no charge for services from the Family Caregiver Support Program, and there are no income eligibility requirements for this program.

#GivingTuesday is three weeks away.  Held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the holiday giving season and inspires people to give back in impactful ways to the nonprofits and causes they support. Among many things, your donation will help us to serve more family caregivers through our Family Caregiver Support Program.

This year’s #NationalFamilyCaregivers Month theme is “Supercharge Your Caregiving.” Below are 10 techniques from the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) you can employ to support yourself in your journey.

 

  1. Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  2. Take care of your own healthso that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of helpand suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectivelywith doctors.
  5. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks
  6. Watch out for signs of depressionand don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologiesthat can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical informationso it’s up to date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

Gratitude

By |October 31st, 2018|

What are you grateful for?

gratitude picture
Welcome November! As we look ahead to the upcoming holiday season, we pause to reflect on the past year. We have so much to be grateful for. The support we receive throughout the year enables us to deliver the level of service we have so proudly provided to the South Norfolk County community for the past 40 years. It is along this vein that we are launching a month-long Gratitude Campaign.
We invite staff, volunteers, partner organizations and all of our HESSCO supporters to join us on Facebook/Twitter and follow our #30Daysof Gratitude. Please post what you are thankful for! We will be sharing our followers’ sentiments throughout the month. If we select your gratitude to feature in one of our posts, you will win a prize!
At the end of the month, HESSCO will be participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to gratitude and giving. #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This kicks off the holiday giving season and inspires people to give back in impactful ways to the nonprofits and causes they support.
Thank you for joining us in this journey – We are grateful for YOU!

Are You Prepared?

By |October 3rd, 2018|

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