Date: December 5, 2019 | Category: News

December 7th marks the last day of the open enrollment period for Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. However, your job in guarding your Medicare card number and information continues. One of the best ways that you can do that is to keep track of your interactions with your health care providers.
The Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) provides a free Personal Healthcare Journal to help you keep track of your doctors’ visits. The journal has space for you to record physicians’ information; appointments and questions for the doctor; and allergies, family history, medications and other healthcare information. There are places to record the services you received and answers to questions at each visit.
When you receive your explanation of benefits or Medicare Summary Notice, you can use the Personal Healthcare Journal to compare the date and services received at visits to those listed on your MSN or EOB. Read your medical billing statements regularly and completely. Check the name of the provider, the date of service, and the service provided. Do the claims paid match the care you received? Do they match the information you put in your Personal Healthcare Journal? If you see a mistake, call your provider. If your concerns still are not resolved, call the Missouri SMP for assistance.
To receive a complimentary Personal Healthcare Journal or to report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP 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: December 4, 2019 | Category: News

Care Connection for Aging Services will offer a free workshop series to help older adults get a healthier start in 2020.
The “Living a Healthy Life” workshops begin at 6:30 p.m. beginning Dec. 18 at the Warrensburg Senior Center, 445 E. Gay St. The course consists of six weekly sessions of two and a half hours each on Wednesday evenings. Pre-registration is required by calling 1-800-748-7826.
The workshops are being offered in the evening so that they are available to older adults who are working during the day. The course is offered at no cost to people 60 and older and their caregivers.
The workshop uses proven practices based on an ongoing series of studies conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine. The course provides a path for older adults to enjoy life with conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Topics include:
–Decision making.
–Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance.
–Techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
–Appropriate use of medications.
–Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
–Evaluation of new treatments.
Materials – including a textbook, a journal and a cookbook – will be provided. Participants make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program.

Date: November 26, 2019 | Category: News

Here is a link to the newest Caregiver Teleconnection Schedule.

Date: November 8, 2019 | Category: News

Care Connection for Aging Services is joining healthcare advocates to increase awareness during National Diabetes Month in November.
According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population; nearly one in four adults living with diabetes doesn’t know he has it. Another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, with blood glucose levels higher than normal. Nine of 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
With the theme “Take Diabetes to Heart,” the National Institutes of Health is “linking diabetes to cardiovascular disease.”
Having diabetes means a person is more likely to develop heart disease and to have a greater chance of a heart attack or a stroke. High blood sugars from diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves that control the heart. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as others.
However, diabetes is preventable and manageable.
Care Connection’s 22 locations will have information on hand all month to emphasize the importance of preventing and managing diabetes. Individuals may evaluate their risk using a simple questionnaire developed by the American Diabetes Association.
A course called “Living a Healthy Life” is offered periodically in all of Care Connection’s 13 West Central Missouri counties. Course participants learn to manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The course teaches how to make an action plan and stick with it as a strategy to living a healthier lifestyle. To find out when and where the next class begins, call 1-800-748-7826 or visit the events section.
Here are some basic steps to manage diabetes and lower your chances of having heart disease or a stroke:
–Manage your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Ask your doctor for help.
–Follow a healthy eating plan and exercise.
–Alleviate stress using deep breathing, gardening, walking, yoga or music.
–Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
–Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.

Date: November 8, 2019 | Category: News

During National Family Caregivers Month this November, Care Connection is joining the Caregiver Action Network (the National Family Caregivers Association) to encourage all caregivers to “Be Care Curious,” the theme of this year’s FCG Month.
Here are some areas where family caregivers could “be care curious:”
•Your Loved One’s Goals: Talk about what their goals are for treatment and their care in general. It can be hard to talk about goals when facing a disease. But these talks help make sure your loved ones are getting the care they want.
•Treatment options: Ask your doctor if there are other options for treatments if a loved one is not responding well.
•Research: Question and understand the information you get from the Internet. Is the article you just read from a reliable source? Ask questions of doctors and others to learn as much as you can about your loved one’s condition.
•The Care Plan: If your loved one is in the hospital, be sure to ask what happens next. Will she need home care after being discharged? Are there new medications or procedures you will need to manage at home?
•Coverage: Don’t be shy about asking questions about insurance coverage.

Date: November 8, 2019 | Category: News

Care Connection for Aging Services is focusing on dementia caregivers’ training during National Family Caregivers Month in November.
The agency’s Family Caregiver Program is seeking participants for a caregiver education program that provides practical advice and support for caregivers of people with dementia.
Topics include: daily care, everyday activities, anxiety, injury prevention, safety, anger issues, meals, bladder and bowel problems, self-care, communication, sleep, bathing, wandering, transferring, brain health, driving, and balancing work with caregiving.
Participants will learn at their own pace with either printed materials or online. Pre- and post-surveys will measure the program’s success. The information is targeted to caregivers of adults who are newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other dementia, as well as struggling caregivers who need a boost.
“The program is aimed at making the life of the caregiver a little bit easier,” said Marilyn Gunter, Director of Care Management for Care Connection. “We want to reduce physical and emotional stress that comes with caregiving.”
For the caregivers’ training, a Care Connection Care Manager will evaluate the needs of the person with dementia and the caregiver; provide information about the disease; consider potential safety risks and offer appropriate safety assistive devices; and work with the caregiver to develop a care plan so that the person with dementia may stay at home as long as possible.
Care Connection is partnering with the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging to provide this service as part of a federal grant through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
If you want to participate or find out more, call the Care Manager at your nearest senior center or call Marilyn Gunter at 1-800-748-7826.
Care Managers:
Bates and Vernon counties: Artricia Lowry, 417-667-5847 in Nevada and 660-679-5830 in Butler.
Benton County: Dee Locke, 660-668-2352 in Cole Camp and 660-438-3300, ext. 3 in Warsaw.
Carroll and Chariton counties: Robyn Kistler, 660-542-0399 in Carrollton and 660-388-5431 in Salisbury.
Cedar County: Katie Hunter, 417-876-5574 in El Dorado Springs and 417-276-5306 in Stockton.
Henry County: Roy Qualls, 660-885-3482 in Clinton and 660-647-3224 in Windsor.
Hickory and St. Clair counties: Melanie Foster, 417-646-8292 in Osceola and 417-282-6100 in Wheatland.
Johnson County: Laura Miles, 1-800-748-7826.
Lafayette County: Bertina Markworth, 1-800-748-7826.
Pettis County: Joy Guymon, 660-826-0713.
Saline County: Jennifer Sims, 660-886-9888.

Date: November 4, 2019 | Category: News

Care Connection has adopted the food safety practices of the National Restaurant Association in kitchens throughout its 13-county West Central Missouri area.
The head cooks and assistants in all the agency’s kitchens are undergoing training and certification by ServSafe, a nationally recognized food safety and sanitation program administered by the National Restaurant Association.
In all, 35 Care Connection employees have ServSafe certifications, with plans to systematically train all the kitchen staff, according to Diana Hoemann, Executive Director of the area agency on aging. Care Connection’s kitchens annually produce more than 500,000 meals for consumption in senior center dining rooms and delivered to homebound seniors.
“The training is important to providing high-quality nutritious meals to our customers,” said Care Connection Nutritionist Eric Messer. “We use this to train our staff on the importance of safe food handling procedures as well as safe cooking and holding temperatures. ServSafe goes more in depth in the handing and sanitation procedures than a standard food handler’s class.”
The course requires four hours of lecture about food safety rules and a certification examination.
Here is a list (by county) of Care Connection employees certified by ServSafe:
Bates: Rita Lowe, Head Cook, Butler
Sandra Reynolds, Assistant Cook, Butler
Rosa Engeldorf , Assistant Cook, Butler
Benton: Heather Redburn, Head Cook, Warsaw
Janis Garren, Assistant Cook/Center Coordinator, Cole Camp
Nancy Todd, Assistant Cook, Warsaw
Crystal Penny, Assistant Cook, Warsaw
Heather Roades, Assistant Cook, Warsaw
Cedar: LeighAnne Watters, Head Cook, Stockton
Phyllis Johnson, Assistant Cook, Stockton
Victor Chavarria, Head Cook, El Dorado Springs
Kathryn Blevins, Assistant Cook, El Dorado Springs
Chariton: Jessica Givens, Head Cook, Salisbury
Henry: Debbie McGlade, Head Cook, Clinton
Carrie Memphis, Center Coordinator, Windsor
Carolyn Baker, Assistant Cook, Clinton
Billie Dietrich, Assistant Cook, Clinton
Hickory: Donnita Stanley, Head Cook/Center Coordinator, Wheatland
Vicki Baker, Assistant Cook, Wheatland
Johnson: Eric Messer, Nutritionist, Warrensburg Central Office
Joyce Lagud, Head Cook/Center Coordinator, Holden
Sally Hart, Assistant Cook, Warrensburg
Lafayette: Judy Latty, Head Cook, Concordia
Alretta Wright, Head Cook, Higginsville
Julia Hawkins, Center Coordinator, Higginsville
Carol McGinnis, Head Cook, Lexington
Debbie Cohron, Head Cook, Odessa
Pettis: Machele Thierfelder, Head Cook/Center Coordinator, Sedalia
Phyllis Mootz, Assistant Cook, Sedalia
Carolyn Rinker, Assistant Cook, Sedalia
Saline: Shae Sullivan, Head Cook, Marshall
Susan Dyke, Assistant Cook, Marshall
St. Clair: Terrie Hudgens, Head Cook, Osceola
Rebecca Smith, Substitute Assistant Cook, Osceola
Vernon: Heather Greer, Head Cook, Nevada

Date: November 1, 2019 | Category: News

We are happy to bring you this month’s Caregiver Teleconnection schedule from WellMed. Click here to see the schedule. These are free of charge.

Date: October 31, 2019 | Category: News

For this month’s fraud fact, the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) wants to call your attention to changes in the open enrollment process for Advantage and Part D plans. As many of you know, we are in the midst of open enrollment season for Medicare Part D and Advantage plans.
This year, Medicare is offering you the opportunity to create your own login and password for your Medicare account. You must do this in order to save important information such as your prescription list into your online Medicare account.
While it’s good for you to do this, you need to guard that account user name and password just as you would any other personal identification and information – much like a credit card or Social Security number. That means you should not give just anyone the information to make an account on your behalf or sign into your Medicare account. Make sure you trust any individual to whom you give that information.
Missouri has the CLAIM program, a State Health Insurance Assistance Program. The CLAIM program provides local, in-depth, and objective insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers. CLAIM has certified counselors to help you make your Part D prescription insurance comparisons. It’s a good idea to make such comparisons each year because plans change. You can find a CLAIM counselor by calling 1-800-390-3330. Open enrollment ends Dec. 7.
As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP 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 24, 2019 | Category: News

Photo caption: These staff members of the Warrensburg Manor Care Center partnered with Care Connection for Aging Services’ Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman Director Kathy Ray-Smith to participate in Residents’ Rights Month in October. The event is designated by Consumer Voice to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities. Ray-Smith conducted a staff in-service training for the Warrensburg Manor staff members to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect, and the rights of each resident. The federal Nursing Home Reform Law guarantees residents’ rights and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity, choice and self-determination. The law also requires nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” This year’s national theme, “Stand for Quality,” emphasizes the importance of quality in all aspects of residents’ experiences. Each staff member wrote a declaration about why she stands for quality. Pictured here from left, front row, Misty Downs, Sunshine Storm, Amber Brown, Makinzie Kiger, Mallary Shumate, and Sierra Eckard; from left, second row: Breck Stamper, Michelle VanVickle, Virginia Wheetly, Joy Sierra, Angela Betz, Kimberly Edwards and Allison Hughes.