Date: October 5, 2018 | Category: News
Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15th. This is when you can compare plans and decide whether to switch to a new Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan; you can switch to original Medicare from Medicare Advantage; or you can stay where you are.
If you are already enrolled in Medicare and a Medicare Part D plan, you don’t have to do anything. But it’s wise to check into the choices you have for next year. Plans change, and your needs may change from one year to the next. If this is the case, it’s especially important to look at your choices for 2019. You should have already gotten information in the mail about what changes your plan is making. Take the time to read it.
BEWARE. Medicare Open Enrollment can bring out the fraudsters. You may get inundated with sales pitches. Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting ahold of people’s Medicare numbers. So guard your Medicare number. Don’t share your Medicare number with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or in person.
Most Medicare Health Plan marketing materials that you receive in the mail are legitimate promotions to educate you on the options. However, don’t automatically return postcards requesting more information. And, make certain to report suspicious activity.
Be wary of salespeople who knock on your door or call you uninvited and try to sell you a product or service. Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you about Medicare plans unless you have given them permission. Don’t let anyone rush you to enroll by claiming you need to “act now for the best deal.”
Look for plan information on the Medicare.gov Plan Finder. You can compare the plans online. If you need help, you may call the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to find a trained counselor who can help you with a one-on-one appointment. That number is (800) 390-3330.
As always, report suspected Medicare fraud or abuse to the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol at (888)515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
Date: October 4, 2018 | Category: News
Care Connection will provide one-on-one Medicare Part D prescription and Advantage plan enrollment help in all 13 counties in its service area beginning Oct. 1.
A trained Medicare counselor will offer free Part D comparisons and answer questions during enrollment counseling sessions by appointment. To find out which center is nearest you, visit the local centers section of our Website.
Enrollees should bring their Medicare cards and a list of current prescriptions.
Care Connection is partnering with CLAIM, Missouri’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program, to help people with Medicare concerns.
“It’s always a good idea to review your Medicare Part D during annual open enrollment because plans change every year,” said Rona McNally, Care Connection Director of Special Projects. “Our Medicare counseling services are popular in part because we are able to provide free, unbiased information. We don’t sell anything, and we do not recommend any particular plan.”
Date: September 27, 2018 | Category: News
Care Connection for Aging Services will celebrate the agency’s 45th anniversary with five days of festivities beginning Oct. 1.
Care Connection, a non-profit area agency on aging serving people 60 and older, was founded on Oct. 1, 1973, under the federal Older Americans Act.
The agency operates 23 locations in 22 communities within 13 West Central Missouri counties.
All of our senior centers will be celebrating with special meals, community service, games, 1970s parties, Bingo and the like. The events are part of celebrating the agency that throughout its 13-county area, prepares more than 550,000 meals for more than 11,000 individuals annually. Other services include education, transportation, tax help, care management, information, assistance in the home, Medicare counseling, telephone reassurance, legal services, the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol), long-term ombudsman program, and advocacy to people 60 and older and their caregivers.
“As we celebrate our 45th anniversary, we continue to expand operations to serve an increasing aging population – with an eye toward consumer-driven services,” said Care Connection Executive Director Diana Hoemann. “We are evolving to meet the needs of older adults, who are remaining in the workplace longer and living more active retirement lifestyles than ever. At the same time, we remain committed to serving the homebound adults with meals and other services to help them live independently.”
Seniors can get access to these services through their local senior center. Hot lunches are served daily at the center and delivered to qualified homebound older adults. Call your local center to learn details of the anniversary week celebration or visit goaging.org for more information.
Care Connection has a vision that the people it serves will live with maximum independence, respect and dignity. Its mission is to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences.
Date: August 31, 2018 | Category: News
During National Senior Center Month, Care Connection for Aging Services invites the community to see how people grow, learn, give, and connect at the agency’s 23 centers in West Central Missouri.
While hot lunches are still at the core of the mission, “Today’s senior centers also provide a vibrant, action-packed combination of fitness, education, volunteering and recreation,” said Care Connection Executive Director Diana Hoemann. “Senior centers are a community nexus where older adults find friendship, meaning, and purpose.”
All of Care Connection’s centers will showcase what they do in September with special programs to celebrate Senior Center Month. The national theme, “Building Momentum,” emphasizes the personal growth and momentum senior centers bring to their communities, including programming that empowers older adults to learn, give, and connect.
Examples of offerings in Care Connection centers include: gardening vegetables to be used in the center kitchen; operating a thrift store; taking advantage of fitness and gym equipment; taking guitar lessons; relaxing in a library or TV room; competing in timed puzzle-solving contests; and attending classes to learn how to stay balanced mentally and physically.
“Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘The purpose of life is to live it,’ and our participants are doing that every day,” Hoemann said. “They demand the opportunity to learn new skills, engage new people, and share their wisdom and knowledge. We serve them and this community the best we can with fun and engaging programs, while also providing practical tools and resources to help them stay healthy and independent.”
Care Connection for Aging Services, a non-profit area agency on aging, operates 23 locations in 13 counties, including Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair, and Vernon. The agency mission is to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences. For more information, call 1-800-748-7826.
Date: August 2, 2018 | Category: News
Care Connection for Aging Services will present Medicare 101 sessions for the public in all of its 13 counties over the next five months.
The sessions, presented over the lunch hour, are free and open to the public. The information is targeted to people who are new to Medicare or contemplating retirement. At the end of the Medicare 101 session, participants will know which decisions lay ahead and what factors seniors should consider in making Medicare choices.
Participants will learn about Medicare benefits, premiums, deductibles and copayments, as well as the differences in Parts A, B, C, and D. The session defines terms such as Medigap insurance and Medicare Advantage plans.
Presenters also will talk about the most recent news on the distribution of the new Medicare cards, which has started nationally but not yet in Missouri.
The session also addresses how seniors may qualify for assistance in paying for prescriptions and medical care.
Reservations may be made by calling 1-800-748-7826. Lunch will be available for a contribution for people 60 and older and for the full cost of the meal (about $7) for all others.
Care Connection does not sell insurance and will not recommend a particular plan.
Here is the schedule for the sessions, all of which begin at noon:
• Butler Senior Center, 611 W. Mill St., Butler on Sept. 27 and Nov. 29.
• Carroll County Care Connection Activity, Carroll County Memorial Hospital, 200 Lifecare Lane, Carrollton, Oct. 9 and Dec. 4.
• Clinton Senior Center, 970 E. Sedalia, Clinton, Sept. 13 and Nov. 15
• Cole Camp Senior Center, 206 E. Junge St., Cole Camp, Sept. 26 and Nov 28.
• Concordia Senior Center, 710 Main, Concordia, Aug. 9
• Higginsville Senior Center, 21st and Walnut, Oct. 17
• Korth Center, 309 W. Englewood, Stockton, Sept. 25 and Nov. 30.
• Margaret Gray Center, 811 C S. Business Highway 13, Lexington, Dec. 6
• Marshall Senior Center, 14 E. Morgan,, Marshall, Aug. 29, Oct. 30, and Dec. 20
• McCarty Senior Center, 19483 U.S. Highway 54, Wheatland, Sept. 7, Nov. 2
• Neal Center, 301 N. Main, Nevada, Aug. 28, Oct. 29, and Dec. 19
• Rivers Crossing Life Center, 5215 Business Highway 13 NE, Osceola, Aug. 30, Oct. 26 and Dec. 21
• Salisbury Senior Center, 304 Broadway, Salisbury, Sept. 5 and Nov. 14
• Sedalia Senior Center, 312 S. Washington, Sedalia, Aug. 15, Oct. 25, and Dec. 12
• Warrensburg Senior Center, 445 E. Gay, Sept. 27 and Nov. 29
• Warsaw Senior Center, Harbor Village, 17571 N. Dam Access Road, Warsaw, Sept. 27 and Nov. 29
Date: August 1, 2018 | Category: News
We are sharing the most recent Caregiver Teleconnection schedule with you all. This free service allows you to hear experts speak about topics that would interest family caregivers — all without ever leaving the house. Check it out.
Date: August 1, 2018 | Category: News
Through Fraud Facts, the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) tries to keep you informed monthly of the latest scams that the bad guys have conceived most recently. The emphasis generally is on Medicare fraud.
This month, we want to address the basics of the SMP mission. The SMP exists to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse. We accomplish our mission through outreach, counseling, and education.
We empower people to prevent Medicare fraud, errors and abuse by educating people insured through Medicare. We also work one-on-one with beneficiaries.
We engage volunteers who can show seniors how to protect their health, finances, and medical identity and to detect fraud, errors and abuse. At the same time, the Medicare saves precious dollars.
When Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members find problems, we encourage them to report these to the SMP. Then the SMP looks at whether fraud, errors, or abuse is suspected. When fraud or abuse is suspected, the SMP makes referrals to the appropriate state and federal agencies for further investigation.
In a complicated system, we are trying to provide you with the resources and knowledge you need to protect your Medicare benefits, detect errors, abuse and fraud, and then report them to the right people. If you suspect Medicare fraud, errors or abuse, call the hotline at 1-888-515-6565. If you want to become a volunteer team member, give us a call at the same number.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0204, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
Date: July 30, 2018 | Category: News
Care Connection for Aging Services has been honored with an Aging Achievement Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) in recognition of the agency’s Seniors Fit & Fun events.
The Fit & Fun concept was among 45 aging programs to receive honors at the n4a Annual Conference & Tradeshow Sunday in Chicago.
Care Connection’s staff members created the Fit & Fun concept as a fun way to present health, wellness and disease prevention information to older adults by getting participants involved in games and exercises. A dozen senior centers have hosted these events, and three more are scheduled for August in Concordia, Butler, and Osceola.
The 2018 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognize Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. A part of the criteria for the selection of the honorees was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities. The awards program is supported by WellCare Health Plans.
“With the health care landscape changing at a rapid pace, our members continue to meet the needs of America’s rapidly growing older adult population by finding new ways to position themselves in the long-term and health care marketplaces while strengthening the services they already offer,” said n4a’s Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood. “Our members work tirelessly, with little fanfare in their communities, and this program enables us to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their critical work to support older adults’ health, safety, independence and dignity,” said Markwood.
Diana Hoemann, Executive Director of Care Connection, said she is pleased that the agency has received national recognition.
“We believe the Fit & Fun concept is an innovative approach to providing essential information to older adults, and we are happy that national leaders have recognized the effort as well,” said Diana Hoemann, Executive Director of Care Connection.
The Fit & Fun is meant as a welcomed alternative to health fairs where exhibitors sit behind tables and hand out brochures, according to Rona McNally, Care Connection Director of Special Projects.
“We want seniors to get up and moving so that they see the benefits of even moderate amounts of exercise for the body and the mind,” McNally said. “In addition, the Fit & Fun provides important education about preventive benefits available as part of their Medicare coverage.”
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is the leading voice on aging issues for the 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) across the country and a champion in our nation’s capital for the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs. n4a’s primary mission is to build the capacity of our members so they can help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. (www.n4a.org / www.facebook.com/n4aACTION)
Date: July 26, 2018 | Category: News
Care Connection for Aging Services will offer an eight-session course called “Matter of Balance,” beginning Aug. 6, in Brunswick.
The course, which is geared toward people 60 and older, addresses the issue of falling, a problem that results in serious injuries among seniors every year.
The four-week class will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays at Sherry’s Home Cooking, in the Brunswick Senior Center Activity Room. The class was rescheduled from earlier this summer.
The Chariton County Senior Citizens Service Fund will pay $10 of the class fee, and each participant is asked to pay $15 per person to cover material costs.
To register, call instructor Samantha Schnell at 1-800-748-7826.
The class is meant to reduce the fear of falling and to increase activity among older adults. It was developed in accordance with research conducted by Boston University.
The participants will learn:
• To set goals for increasing activity.
• To view falls and the fear of falling as controllable.
• To exercise to create strength and balance.
• To reduce risk factors for falls.
Class participants can expect discussion, problem solving, skill building, assertiveness training, exercises and videos.
Nine of 10 participants in the nationally recognized Matter of Balance program said they are more comfortable talking about the fear of falling, planned to increase exercise, and would recommend the program to others.
Anna Marie Dudte, of Knob Noster, recently took the Matter of Balance course in Warrensburg and recommends it to others.
“I notice as I get older, my balance is getting worse,” said Anna Marie. The 76-year-old has traveled to Africa, China and Russia and remains fit by doing yoga and weight workouts at home with DVDs.
She said the Matter of Balance class taught her new tactics, such as exercises to strengthen ankles and steps to take to improve lighting and to remove fall hazards from the home.
“I enjoyed going to the class and learning anything I can to help stay active,” she said. “I enjoyed meeting new people and getting reacquainted with old friends. Now, I just need to keep up with the exercises.”
Care Connection offers the program as part of its mission to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences.
Three in 10 seniors fall each year, and about 20 percent of those are injured. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death among older people. Falls often happen at home, and many can be prevented.
Care Connection for Aging Services, a non-profit area agency on aging, serves 13 West Central Missouri counties, including Chariton, and operates the Brunswick and Salisbury senior centers. While the agency offers all its services to people 60 and older regardless of their ability to contribute, Care Connection encourages contributions toward the costs of its services.
Date: July 25, 2018 | Category: News
Care Connection staff members are gearing up for three special events designed to make fitness fun for older adults.
Care Connection centers in Osceola, Concordia and Butler will each sponsor a free “Seniors Fit & Fun” event featuring interactive games and prizes, with some interesting wellness education along the way. Events take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at each of these centers:
— Aug. 6., Concordia Senior Center, 710 Main, Concordia.
— Aug. 8., Butler Senior Center, 611 W. Mill St., Butler.
— Aug. 14, Rivers Crossing Life Center, 5215 Business Highway 13 NE, Osceola.
In addition to hands-on games and prizes, Care Connection will provide practical information about the preventive benefits that Medicare covers. Events will take place indoors, rain or shine.
Games and activities include exercise demonstrations, a spinning wheel, beach ball basketball, hula hoops, bingo, coloring for relaxation, and refreshments. Nutritionist Eric Messer will demonstrate how to make a tasty and healthy snack. The audience can sample the goodies. Game winners will receive prizes, and all participants may enter free drawings for prize baskets.
“Our objective is to get seniors moving and healthy. We want them to see some easy, hands-on activities that they can use to stay active and prevent common diseases and conditions,” said Rona McNally, Care Connection Director of Special Projects. “Just as important will be a reminder about all the Medicare-covered preventive services – from screenings for diabetes and heart disease to mammograms and colonoscopies.”
The event, which is open to the public, is presented in partnership with CLAIM, Missouri’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program. It is supported with financial assistance in whole or in part through a grant from the Administration for Community Living and administered by the Missouri Department of Insurance.