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Have you ever received a postcard in the mail saying you’re eligible for a free back brace? Maybe someone has called to tell you that your doctor has approved you for a free knee brace—all you need to do is provide your Medicare number! Sounds too good to be true?

Unfortunately, it is. Durable Medical Equipment (DME) scams are some of the most common forms of health care fraud.

Remember: A sales person who calls you on the phone CANNOT:

Diagnose or assess your health care needs: That is your doctor’s job. Your health care provider knows you and your medical history. Don’t let a sales person talk you into something you do not need.

Prescribe DME for you: Would you take medicine from a person other than your health care provider? Of course not! The same holds true for DME. Only your doctor can order DME for you.

Fit you for DME over the phone: It is impossible for someone calling on the phone to make sure equipment will fit you, and that is the job of the DME supplier. A good DME supplier will work with you until the equipment fits you just right and works properly for you.

Knowledge is power. Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone or toss that postcard in the trash. Be proactive and report any suspicious activity to the New York Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-877-678-4697.

Adapted from New York SMP Fraud Alert, Spring/Summer 2017

 

Tick Bite.jpg

Below are some ways to help you prevent tick bites:

  • In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself:
  • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
  • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
  • Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions.
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation.
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
  • Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

If you do get a tick bite, below is a quick guide on how to properly remove it:

Remove a tick.jpg

For more information

View this Youtube video

Or visit: Tick Information

You think you're doing the right thing giving your baby a bottle to help settle into nap or bedtime. But if that bottle is filled with anything but water, you may be setting your baby up for bottle rot or early childhood tooth decay and bottle rot. What is bottle rot? And how can you avoid bottle rot?

What Is Bottle Rot?

Bottle rot is tooth decay of your baby's first teeth. It happens when sugary drinks like juice, milk, or formula cling to your baby's teeth for a long time. A bottle may help him or her to fall asleep, but inside the mouth, bacteria are feeding on the juice, producing the acids that cause tooth decay.

Bottle Rot Attacks Baby Teeth

Baby teeth do several really important jobs. They help your child learn how to chew solid food and speak properly. They also serve as placeholders and guides for your child's permanent teeth. So, it's important that you protect your child's baby teeth from bottle rot and other types of harm.

You can prevent bottle rot from destroying your baby's dental health by taking some simple steps.

• Give babies only water in a bottle during a nap and bedtime.

• Limit the amount of juice and other sugary drinks during the day.

• Wipe your baby's gums with a clean, damp baby washcloth after mealtimes.

• Never dip a pacifier in sugar, honey, or other sweeteners.

• If your water is not fluoridated, ask your child's dentist or doctor if you should use a fluoride supplement.

• Avoid cleaning a baby's pacifier with your mouth, sharing chewed food or using the same spoon.

• Schedule your baby's first dental check-up by the time the first tooth comes in.
The HEAP Cooling Assistance benefit opens May 1, 2017.

If you are eligible, you may receive one Cooling Assistance benefit per applicant household for the purchase and installation of an air conditioner or a fan to help your home stay cool.

In circumstances where an air conditioner cannot be safely installed, a fan will be provided.

Only one air conditioner or fan, not to exceed $800 with installation, will be provided per applicant household. No additional HEAP cash benefits are available.

You may be eligible for a Cooling Assistance HEAP benefit if:

  • Your household's gross monthly income is at or below the current income guidelines for your household size as posted in the following table, or
  • You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamp) benefits, or
  • You receive Temporary Assistance (TA), or
  • You receive Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI Living Alone), and
  • You and your household members are United States Citizens or qualified aliens, and
  • Includes an individual with a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by heat, and
  • You received a Regular benefit greater than $21 in the current program year, and
  • You currently do not have a working air conditioner or the air conditioner you have is five years old or older, and
  • You did not receive a HEAP funded air conditioner within the past ten years.
Your household eligibility requirements include filing an application with your local department of social services, providing all necessary documentation, and the household must reside in an eligible living situation.

Getting the air conditioner installed

A participating Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) vendor list can be obtained by contacting your HEAP Local District Contact. It will be your responsibility to maintain the air conditioner. This includes the responsibility to remove, cover, store, and/or reinstall the unit or the installation sleeve after vendor installation.

Where to apply

You may apply for the HEAP Cooling Assistance with your HEAP Local District Contact.

View HEAP Monthly Income Limits.

Physical activity for young children is an important component of early brain development and learning.  When adults model and teach the importance of physical activity, young children are more likely to adopt a lifetime of healthful practices and behaviors.

Click on the link below for 15 simple outdoor activities you can do to get your children moving.

Outdoor Activities

Tioga Opportunities, Inc. staff is available to answer any of your general questions online every Thursday from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. To send a message to staff, click on the “Chat” box on the right-hand side of the website. This is a great opportunity to learn more about various resources that are available in our community!

The Alzheimer’s Association is now offering a variety of social events and community based activities for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and their caregiver.  A caregiver may attend on their own, but an individual with dementia must be accompanied by a caregiver, friend, or family member.  This is a great opportunity to get out, stay active, and connect with others in a fun, stimulating environment.  The events are in Broome County, but Tioga County residents are welcome to attend.  There is no cost to join these events (with advance registration)!

To learn more or to reserve a spot at one of these events, call the Alzheimer’s Association at 607-785-7852.

The Department of Aging recently offered a “Medicare 101” presentation on March 29th. If you were unable to attend, or would like to view the program again, please click on the link below to watch a video recording of the presentation. PowerPoint slides have also been included below for easy reference.

Medicare 101 video recording

Medicare 101 PowerPoint slides

For additional questions relating to Medicare, or to schedule an appointment with a trained Medicare counselor, please contact the Department of Aging at 607-687-4120.

Tioga Opportunities, Inc. held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on April 21st at the Countryside Community Center in Owego. This event provides an opportunity to acknowledge, thank, and honor all of the volunteers who dedicate their valuable time and energy to the organization. A total of 90 volunteers attended the event. The theme this year was “Old Hollywood.” Guests were welcomed by a red carpet and “Wall of Fame,” and were entertained by the photo booth and various movie prints and quotes throughout the room. Volunteers are vital to the operation of many of Tioga Opportunities, Inc.’s services to the community, like Home Delivered Meals, the Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program, several area food pantries, and many more. Tioga Opportunities, Inc. would like to take this chance to thank each of its volunteers again; their value is immeasurable! If you would like more information on becoming a volunteer, please call 607-687-4120, ext. 313.
Did you know that the fastest growing form of elder abuse is financial exploitation? According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, around 90% of abusers are trusted family members, friends, or caregivers. The average loss per individual financial abuse victim is a staggering $30,000. Certain populations are more at risk than others, particularly women, those who are between the ages of 80 and 89, and people who live alone. MoneyGeek, a website filled with financial resources, offers a comprehensive “Elder Financial Abuse Prevention Guide.” Please visit their website at MoneyGeek.com to learn about the warning signs of financial exploitation, how to properly vet caregivers, and how to avoid common scams that target older adults. Resources to learn more about financial abuse and tips on how to report suspected crimes are also included.
Child Food Insecurity Tioga County, NY

2017



Food Insecurity- lack of access to adequate food.

-Rate of Food Insecure children in Tioga County- 21% (2,340)

-Food Insecurity not only has children feel the effects of hunger by a missed or meager meal, but manifests itself in other biopsychosocial outcomes, including health and education.

-Children that are food insecure are more likely to be sick, be sick longer, be hospitalized, have growth issues both cognitive and physical, and to have behavioral issues.

-52% of school age children in Tioga County are eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.  Of the 50%, less than 10% attended a summer meal site.

-Available assistance:  BackPack Program, Summer Food Service Program, Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens, SNAP, National School Lunch, and National School Breakfast Programs, WIC (women, infants and children).

-The Tioga County Anti-Hunger Task Force meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. Countryside Community Center, 9 Sheldon Guile Blvd., Owego, from 10:30AM-11:45AM.  The meeting is an open meeting and all are invited to attend.

Contact:  Andrew Hafer ahafer@tiogaopp.org or Nancy Eckstrom at Nancy.eckstrom@gmail.com.

It’s important to drink water to maintain balance of fluids in the body, energize muscles, moisten tissues, keep skin healthy, regulate body temperature and maintain kidney and bowel function.

Studies suggest it takes 21 days to create a habit but, bottom line, bad habits can always come back, so think “long-term lifestyle change” instead of “short-term fix” by incorporating more water intake into your daily routine. How much water you need depends on your gender, age, size and activity level, so for starters drink enough to maintain a pale urine color.

Here are a few tips to get you started with better hydration habits:

Drink a glass of water as part of the morning routine. Make it something you do with breakfast or after brushing your teeth — drink 8 to 16 ounces. Warm, cold, with or without lemon, however you enjoy it most.

Pack a water bottle. Having water on hand makes it easier to increase intake because it’s a constant reminder and easy access. Remember to fill it up a few times throughout the day, especially after meals.

Serve water with dinner. Having a pitcher at the table is a good idea so refills are easy and encouraged.

Opt for water over alcohol. Women should limit themselves to one alcoholic drink per day, while men should limit consumption to two drinks per day. If you have more than one alcoholic beverage, have water after your first drink. You could also try seltzer water with a slice of citrus, cucumber or mint-infused water instead of another drink.

http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/March-2017/A-Healthy-Habit-Shift-Drink-More-Water/

Are you 60 years of age or older? Could you benefit from personal care and/or housekeeping assistance?

Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) is a supplemental program that can play a vital role in preventing or delaying the transition into a nursing home. An aide can be provided for up to six hours per week to assist with activities such as:

Bathing

Dressing

Personal care

Laundry

Light housekeeping

To receive EISEP services, a home visit and an assessment are required. A financial assessment is also completed as there may be a fee for the service depending on your household income and eligible housing expenses.

Please note that this is not a medical service (the aide cannot administer medication), and that there is currently a waiting list for this program.

If you are interested in learning more about EISEP, please contact NY Connects within the Department of Aging at (607) 687-4120, ext. 331.

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Tioga Opportunities, Inc.
9 Sheldon Guile Blvd.
Owego, NY 13827

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Toll-free at 866-352-3680.
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