Date: September 17, 2020 | Category: News

We hope you are doing well as we continue to cope with COVID-19 and the changes it has forced upon us all. Like you, we are working to adapt to the present conditions. We really miss seeing folks at the centers. But there are bright spots!
Have you heard about “The Learning Connection,” a collection of online programs for older adults that recently launched for all the Care Connection for Aging Services senior centers?
This resource – in addition to our phone-based care management and meals provided curbside and through home delivery – is allowing our senior centers to continue to reach our beloved seniors in our community during this difficult time.
You can play a significant role in helping us reach beyond the walls of our buildings to serve older adults in their homes, on their computers, and in their communities with services that will enrich their lives.
Ron, a 71-year-old retiree who lives in a senior housing apartment, recently graduated from the Aging Mastery Program (AMP) offered online. He heard about the class several months ago in his senior center’s dining room, which he says is the only place to get good fried chicken in his community.
“The AMP class was very, very helpful, and I am grateful they went on with it during the pandemic. The leaders handled the switch (from in-person) to online beautifully.” Using Zoom made it easy for him to log into each class session using a simple link.
“There are a lot of things involved in the AMP class that I wished I would have known earlier when I was a caregiver for my mother,” said Ron. During the pandemic, Ron has also picked up a weekly fried chicken lunch through the senior center’s curbside service. The meal, along with a frozen one for later, is placed in his trunk for safe, contact-free delivery. He highly recommends it!
In addition to the program that Ron completed, the online Learning Connection includes a variety of programs to keep adults and caregivers informed and feeling well – even during this time when at-risk people are encouraged to spend more time at home to avoid COVID-19 infection. Being online allows us to safely reach as many older adults and caregivers as possible, some for the first time.
We have classes on Tai Chi and other exercises, family caregiver support groups and educational events, information on Medicare and benefits, as well as courses to help people plan their best lives in retirement. We’re even planning to add virtual recreational events.
Our goal is to end social isolation, which is as dangerous to an older person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We are using technology to keep older adults engaged in a positive aging experience.
But we still need your help to continue this and all the valuable programs that your senior center continues to provide, even as we physically distance.
Would you consider making a gift of $50, $100 or $200 to help us to serve Ron and many others like him who make their retirement years their very best? Your gift in any amount will go toward providing opportunities to create positive aging experiences. Giving online is easy at this link!
We can’t thank you enough for your partnership as we strive our area’s aging population in good times and in challenging times. Please take good care of yourself and your loved ones!
Sincerely,
Diana Hoemann
Executive Director
Care Connection

P.S. A last word from Ron about why he values his senior center. “When you are caregiving, going day-to-day, you need as much support as you can get.” You can make sure we’re here for seniors and their caregivers.

Date: September 17, 2020 | Category: News

Raising grandchildren can be a joy and a challenge.
That’s why Care Connection for Aging Services is beginning a new virtual group to support grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
The Grandparent Connection will meet online via Zoom on the first, third and fifth Tuesdays for one hour beginning at 1 p.m. The start date is 29.
In Missouri, nearly 51,000 grandparents are helping to raise more than 97,000 children.
“We want to create a caring place online where grandparents can find common ground,” said Marilyn Gunter, Director of Care Management for Care Connection. “We know there are many people out there in the same situation, and we want you to make the connection with others walking in your shoes.”
As you make the Grandparent Connection, you will help decide discussion topics: challenges of keeping up with children, providing nutrition, clothing; and other basics; guardianship, and education. All topics will be consider from the vantage point of a grandparent.
Care Managers Robyn Kistler and Shery Fogle, the group leaders, also will provide information and resources that you may not know exist.
The meetings are free to attend, but registration is required so that you may receive a Zoom link or call-in information to attend. Participants can join on computer, mobile phone, tablet, or landline phone. If you need assistance joining the meetings, we can help.
Register by calling 1-800-748-782, visiting www.goaging.org.events or emailing information@goaging.org.

Date: September 17, 2020 | Category: News

Care Connection for Aging Services is providing Care Management services by telephone while the centers are closed for in-person services.
Care Managers are providing one-on-one assistance and information on a large variety of issues related to daily living for adults 60 and older and their caregivers. The service is provided free of charge.
Call your nearest senior center to find your care manager or call 1-800-748-7826 for help.
“Many times, older adults, their family members or caregivers don’t know what resources are available, and through a simple phone conversation, we can connect them with services and information,” said Marilyn Gunter, Director of Care Management. “That’s why we are here – to answer those questions and connect you with the services that are there for you.”
Among the topics the care manager can help with are:
–Medicare and Medicaid.
–Home delivered meals.
–Community resources available for transportation and assistance in paying utilities.
–Missouri Property Tax Credit Application assistance.
–Government benefits such as food assistance.
–Family caregiving.
–Personal emergency response systems to allow older adults to live independently.
Care Managers also are leading several online support groups and information sessions. See the list at www.goaging.org/events to see the schedule and to register.

Date: September 10, 2020 | Category: News

Care Connection’s 22 locations are celebrating Senior Center Month in September as we continue provide essential services while keeping a safe distance.
The national celebration theme for the month is “Senior Centers: Delivering Vital Connections,” and the area agency on aging continues to do just that in the 26th week of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since mid-March, staff members in all our 13 West Central Missouri counties have prepared and delivered meals, made telephone wellness calls, and creatively connected older adults to activities, exercise and each other through the internet and telephone.
“We haven’t been able to open our centers for in-person services – yet – but we have every intention of doing so when local and national health officials indicate that it’s safe for older adults to meet for extended periods of time indoors,” said Care Connection Executive Director Diana Hoemann. “No one misses the fellowship and friendships we have forged with older adults in our communities any more than our center staff members do. However, we must remain closed amid increasing COVID-19 numbers in all our 13 counties and under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control.”
The 60-and-older group that Care Connection serves has been identified as the most likely to suffer lastly ill effects from the COVID-19 virus, prompting the agency to proceed cautiously.
“Meanwhile, we have worked hard to connect with adults 60 and older,” Hoemann said. “Most of our centers provide curbside meals for those who want to pick them up as well as frozen and hot lunches delivered to people’s homes.”
The theme of Senior Center Month highlights how Care Connection is delivering vital connections to support older adults aging well.
Preventing social isolation is vital and a core senior center mission. While the delivery methods have changed during the pandemic, centers have succeeded in continuing to provide knowledge, programming, and resources.
Care Connection is proud of the way in which our team members have answered the call.
The key words for the month are Mind, Body, Spirit, Community, and here is how we are addressing these:
•Mind: Our Cabin Fever Cures is a weekly newsletter offer brain health games, word finds, numbers puzzles and more. We also offer online courses meant to enhance the mind. We have expanded online courses to include support groups and activities to keep your mind strong.
•Body: Our virtual classes on Tai Chi, Exercise with Bobbie and Walk with Ease all aim to keep the body busy. These are offered free to the participants.
•Spirit: Our telephone reassurance is aimed at lifting spirits. Regular phone calls aim to keep older adults connected to services, information and a friendly voice.
•Community: We are continuing to create a virtual community where we can connect with our participants to keep them in touch until we can safely meet again. We are partnering with libraries, extension offices and others tor reach out virtually to older adults and caregivers.
To find out more about the center’s meals, care management or online offerings, call one of the numbers below. To register online for one of our Learning Connection sessions, visit www.goaging.org and click on the news and events tab.

Date: September 10, 2020 | Category: News

Did you know that it’s the end of Week 26 of the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine? Yes, indeed, spring turned into summer, and summer is moving toward the fall. What has not changed is our commitment to giving you a little respite from the serious news and sometimes boredom.
Click here for a look at the Cabin Fever Cures.

Date: September 3, 2020 | Category: News

The Missouri SMP wants you to be on the lookout for fraud related to COVID-19 contact tracing. Contact tracing helps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you,
your family, and your community by letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19. It helps people get testing if they need it and lets them know if they need to isolate or quarantine.
Unfortunately, scammers also see contact tracing as a new opportunity to defraud you, to get your personal information, and use it with bad intentions.
Here’s how you can protect yourself:
Be cautious of anyone who asks for specifics about your health insurance, like your Medicare number. Be wary of anyone who claims they need a credit card or cash to pay for a COVID-19 test. Be cautious of anyone who wants your personal information to set up a COVID-19 test.
Legitimate contact tracers will be state or local Department of Health employees or their contractors. They will ask about your symptoms to screen you for possible COVID-19 infection. A contact tracer will ask you about who you may have come into contact with recently. They also will be able to refer you to other medical and social resources. They may ask you if you have insurance so that they can help connect uninsured people with resources. They will not demand a personal credit card, Medicare number or bank account information in exchange for a test.
The Missouri SMP stands ready to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; to detect potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and report your concern. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
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: September 3, 2020 | Category: News

Much about life has changed since mid-March. One thing that has not is our ability to provide long-term-care advocacy for nursing home residents and their families. We are only a phone call away: 1-800-748-7826.
Click here to see the message from the Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

Date: August 28, 2020 | Category: News

No registration necessary. This is an on-going event and will take place every Monday at 12:00 noon.

Because we will be off for Labor Day on Sept. 7, the next session will be Sept. 14th.

Medicare 101, our primer for older adults getting ready to retire, will be presented on Facebook Live at noon each Monday.

The hour-long session includes all the Medicare basics including explanations of Parts A, B, C, and D, as well as Advantage Plans and Supplemental Plans.

The session is meant to explain the options that newcomers have available in Medicare and what each means, depending on an older adult’s individual situation. We have adapted these sessions from the Medicare 101 workshops that we routinely presented in our senior centers.

There will be a chance to ask questions during the session. If you are interested, please check out the Care Connection Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/goaging.org.

 

 

Date: August 28, 2020 | Category: News

Caregiving can be one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs ever. These sessions are designed to help you help others. There are several this month that deal specifically with COVID-19 and the anxiety and challenges the pandemic has presented. These are free. Check them out.
Click here to see the full lineup of the Caregiver Teleconnection, provided free to participants.

Date: August 28, 2020 | Category: News

This week’s Cabin Fever Cures includes a word find, some riddles and an interesting recipe. Click here to see it.