Category : Aging

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AgeSmart Community Resources in on the Move!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Spring of 2019 AgeSmart Community Resources, the Local Area Agency on Aging will be moving to 801 West State Street in O’Fallon, IL. In the past ten years the programs AgeSmart provides for older adults, caregivers and veterans have expanded and they have outgrew their current space. The new location will better support the services and the people served by AgeSmart.

With the move AgeSmart will be adding an Education Center which will host a multitude of informative and interactive programs for the community. Some of these activities are health and wellness programs such as A Matter of Balance, a fall prevention program and Tai Chi others include New to Medicare seminars, Fraud Prevention, Aging Well and more. Activities will be listed on AgeSmart’s website www.AgeSmart.org.

The current home to AgeSmart is on the market. Check it out at: https://barbermurphy.com/properties/744-2365-Country-Rd-Shiloh-Illinois-62221-St-Clair-County/

Visit AgeSmart in the Spring of 2019!

What You Should Know About Older Drivers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older adults are statistically the safest drivers on the road.* Older drivers are more likely to use their seat belts and less likely to drive impaired. The number of accidents that involve older drivers decreases as age increases. Older drivers tend to drive when conditions are best and avoid busy rush hours and night driving. Sharing the roads with older drivers poses negligible risk to other drivers.**

Drivers over 70 do have a higher risk of accidents compared to other age groups and have more collisions than middle age drivers but not as many as young drivers. Limiting driving as a person ages depends on each individual. Age is not the whole picture. Age does affect motor skills and alertness but is different for everyone. It is unfair to say that all aging adults are affected to the same extent as others.

Eighteen states require older drivers to renew their licenses more frequently. In Illinois drivers over 75 are required to take a road test. California is unique and requires older adults to renew in person with an exam and written test every 5 years and Doctors must report when they feel a patient is exhibiting features that might inhibit their driving.

The ability to drive is related to health rather than age. Older drivers can do some things related to health to make them safer drivers.

• See the eye doctor every 1-2 years after 65
• Have your hearing tested every 3 years after age 50.
• If someone has dementia it is important to keep communication about driving open. People with dementia will eventually become unsafe but the question is: at what point? In the early stages of dementia many people are able to manage activities like driving.
• Read the warning labels on medications.
• Stay physically active.

Here are some tips from an 87-year-old driver who is a volunteer at AgeSmart.

When on longer trips:
• Plan your route in advance,
• Stop frequently, walk around,
• Enroute ask Siri for directions, Siri’s oral instructions such as “in half mile get in right lane to exit and McDonalds is on your right” etc.

Driving is an individual decision, based on many factors. Like anything related to aging, plan ahead, do your research and communicate with family.

For most people driving means independence. It is a way to get to appointments, go shopping and stay connected to the community. With the loss of this ability people become isolated and lonely and dependent on others. If you or someone you know is thinking of putting away the keys call your Area Agency on Aging or in the Metro East Illinois AgeSmart Community Resources to find out what options for transportation are available in your community. Call 618-222-2561 or visit www.AgeSmart.org.

Other resources:

Memorial Hospital Driver Rehabilitation Program – www.independentdriver.com
618-257-5250
AARP Driver Safety – www.aarpdriversafety.org
AgeSmart Community Resources – www.AgeSmart.org 618-222-2561
Alzheimer’s Association – https://www.alz.org/greatermissouri
800-272-3900

Source: *National Institute on Aging, **Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 

Older Adult Family Caregiver Respite Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Respite Care? Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. It can be arranged for just an afternoon or for several days or weeks. Care can be provided at home, in a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center.

Why? Respite care for loved ones provides short-term breaks for caregivers that can relieve their stress, renew their energy and restore a sense of balance to their lives. Respite care provides a period of freedom from caregiving duties, while loved ones continue to receive the care they require in a safe, caring and professional environment.

Primary caregivers for an aging loved one, may experience some form of stress or burnout. It’s natural for caregivers to become so involved in taking care of someone else that they tend to allow their own needs to get put aside. The problem is- if the caregiver becomes ill or hospitalized then who will be taking care of their loved one?

Caregiver burnout can be associated with serious health issues including depression, and yet burnout is still not recognized as a real health issue in the eyes of many caregivers. Families and communities need to develop sustainable care plans that do not just rely on a single individual.

Respite care will also allow the caregiver to maintain their own lives; to run errands, see their own doctors, participate in social activities, and possibly attend support groups with other caregivers.

Even when caregivers do recognize their need for respite, they might not seek it. For many, it’s hard to carve out the time or money to arrange respite care.

Who Provides Respite? Respite services may be provided in many different formats, home health agencies, community agencies, friend, family, Adult day services and skilled care communities.

Respite care can be as simple as a caregiver accepting offers of help from friends and other family members. Respite care can be certain days of the week scheduled when their loved one is at Adult Day Services. The length of respite care can be as little as 15 minutes to multiple days or weeks. Respite services in a long-term care community can be scheduled if the caregiver must be out of town for an extended period or is having medical procedures done and needs extended recovery time.

Respite care should not be considered a luxury or a weakness, but a necessity for the well-being of the both the caregivers and their aging loved ones.

AgeSmart Community Resources has a participant directed Respite Program that reimburses caregivers up to $100 a month to pay for respite services. Caregivers chose the people/agencies they want to provide respite services and determine the amount the Respite Providers are paid. Caregivers submit a Verification of Services form to AgeSmart at the end of the month and funds are safely reimbursed through electronic deposit to the caregiver. To qualify for the Respite Program, caregivers and care receivers must live in the same household, care receivers must be over the age of 60, younger if they have early onset dementias, and be assessed by the Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurses Services for Seniors before starting the program. All persons providing Respite Care for the Caregiver cannot live in the same household.

For more information about AgeSmart’s Respite program please contact Chris or Melanie at 618-222-2561, cfulton@agesmart.org or mobrien@agesmart.org.

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Medicare Annual Enrollment

From October 15 to December 7th, you can start stop or switch your Medicare Part D enrollment.

SHIP Counselors can provide you with no charge, unbiased  and confidential answers to your questions about Medicare and the coverage you have and want.  SHIP counselors do not work with or for any insurance company and will not not and sell you anything.

It is important for you to evaluate your current coverage and make sure that it will work for you in the upcoming year.

Contact AgeSmart Community Resources to find the SHIP Counselor closest to you in the Illinois Counties of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph , St. Clair and Washington.

MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT: ARE YOU READY

                                                                                                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicare open enrollment is October 15-December 7th. It is time to compare plans, and make sure you have the right health and prescription drug coverage for you. Stay with your current plan if you are happy with it. Or look for a new one with better coverage, higher quality, and lower costs.

If you need help with comparing your coverage you can contact a local Senior Health Insurance Counselor (SHIP) for FREE, UNBIASED, & CONFIDENTIAL assistance. The SHIP Counselor is a person who volunteers to objectively counsel Medicare Beneficiaries, their caregivers or representatives who have problems and/or questions with Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare managed care or long-term care insurance. The SHIP counselors near you are:

Bond County
Bond County Senior Center 618-664-1465

 

Clinton County
Clinton County Senior Center 618-594-2321
OFACIL 618-244-9212

 

Madison County
Collinsville Faith in Action 618-344-7788
Collinsville Senior Center 618-344-7787
Edwardsville Twsp 618-656-0232
The Oasis Institute 1-800-633-4227
Senior Services Plus 618-465-3298

 

Monroe County
Waterloo Senior Center 618-939-8880
LINC 618-282-2123

 

Randolph County
Chester Senior Center 618-826-5108
Sparta Senior Center 618-443-4020

 

St. Clair County
AgeSmart 618-222-2561
HealthVisions-ESTL 618-271-7000
Senior Services Plus (SWIC Programs and Services for Older Persons) 618-234-4410 Ext: 7028

 

Washington County
Washington Co. Senior Services 618-243-6533
OFACIL 618-244-9212

 

Still waiting for your new Medicare Card?
Your new Medicare card should have arrived in the mail by now. If you didn’t get it here is what to do next:
• Look around the house for any old or unopened mail. Your Medicare card will come in a plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human Services.
• If you still can’t find it, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Call center representatives can help you check your address and fix it if needed.
• In the meantime, user your current Medicare card to get health care services.

 

Grandparents Day is September 9th

Grandparents 2018

The proportion of children living with grandparents has doubled in the U.S. since 1970. Nearly 100,000 grandparents in Illinois are living with and responsible for their own grandchildren under the age of 18.  Many grandparents become caregivers during or because of a major life crisis.  As the children’s parents struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, economic hardship, and other challenges, these caregivers provide a vital safety net to children.  In addition to the emotional impact, these grandparents often need assistance to help navigate their way through a variety of family issues, including legal and custody, financial, and parenting skills.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program funded by AgeSmart provides education, respite, and emergency financial assistance as well as legal resources to the grandparents living in Southwestern Illinois.  Grandparents or relatives who are 55 years of age or older and caring for a child under 18 years of age are eligible for the services, regardless of income.  The services are available in Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington Counties and provided by local community organizations.  Contact the organizations below for more information.

Children’s Home and Aid  618-235-2335
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation  618-398-0958
AgeSmart Community Resources  618-222-2561

5 Facts About Social Security from ssa.gov

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Social Security

Most people know at least something about Social Security. For decades, Social Security has been providing valuable information and tools to help you build financial security. Here’s your opportunity to find out a little more, with some lesser-known facts about Social Security.

1. Social Security pays benefits to children.

Social Security pays benefits to unmarried children whose parents are deceased, disabled, or retired. See Benefits for Children for the specific requirements.

2. Social Security can pay benefits to parents.

Most people know that when a worker dies, we can pay benefits to surviving spouses and children. What you may not know is that under certain circumstances, we can pay benefits to a surviving parent. Read our Fact Sheet Parent’s Benefits, for the details.

3. Widows’ and widowers’ payments can continue if remarriage occurs after age 60.

Remarriage ends survivor’s benefits when it occurs before age 60, but benefits can continue for marriages after age 60.

4. If a spouse draws reduced retirement benefits before starting spouse’s benefits (his or her spouse is younger), the spouse will not receive 50 percent of the worker’s benefit amount.

Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to 50 percent of your spouse’s full retirement age amount if you are full retirement age when you take it. If you qualify for your own retirement benefit and a spouse’s benefit, we always pay your own benefit first. (For example, you are eligible for $400 from your own retirement and $150 as a spouse for a total of $550.) The reduction rates for retirement and spouses benefits are different. If your spouse is younger, you cannot receive benefits unless he or she is receiving benefits (except for divorced spouses). If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to reach retirement age, when you add spouse’s benefits later, your own retirement portion remains reduced which causes the total retirement and spouses benefit together to total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount. You can find out more on our website.

5. If your spouse’s retirement benefit is higher than your retirement benefit, and he or she chooses to take reduced benefits and dies first, your survivor benefit will be reduced, but may be higher than what your spouse received.

If the deceased worker started receiving reduced retirement benefits before their full retirement age, a special rule called the retirement insurance benefit limit may apply to the surviving spouse. The retirement insurance benefit limit is the maximum survivor benefit you may receive. Generally, the limit is the higher of:

  • The reduced monthly retirement benefit to which the deceased spouse would have been entitled if they had lived, or
  • 82.5 percent of the unreduced deceased spouse’s monthly benefit if they had started receiving benefits at their full retirement age (rather than choosing to receive a reduced retirement benefit early).

Social Security helps secure your financial future by providing the facts you need to make life’s important decisions.

This information is from the Social Security website at https://blog.ssa.gov/5-facts-you-might-not-know-about-social-security/