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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.

Falls are the leading cause of injuries for older adults. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, a senior citizen dies from a fall. Luckily, many falls are preventable. View the short, animated video, “6 Steps to Prevent a Fall” by the National Council on Aging, to learn simple tips and suggestions to help you reduce your risk of falling.

 

 

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) is a New York State program that provides secondary drug coverage and premium assistance for older adults with Medicare Part D.

You can join EPIC if you are a New York State resident, age 65 or older, and have an annual income up to $75,000 (single individual) or $100,000 (married couple). To receive EPIC benefits, you must be enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan.

EPIC:

 Pays the monthly Medicare Part D drug premium (up to the basic plan amount) for older adults with an annual income less than $23,000 (single individual) or $29,000 (married couple)

 Provides co-payment assistance for Medicare Part D and EPIC covered drugs after any Medicare Part D deductible is met

 Provides co-payment assistance for covered Medicare Part D excluded drugs

 Offers co-payments that range from $3.00 to $20.00 based on the cost of the drug.

It’s easy to join EPIC! Tioga Opportunities, Inc. offers a Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP), which provides free and objective information about Medicare to members of the community. Assistance with completing the EPIC application is available by calling 607-687-4120, or you can contact EPIC directly at 1-800-332-3742.
The “Can You Hear Me Now?” Scam

You may remember the Verizon commercial where the gentleman asks, “Can you hear me now?”  In the case of this newly identified scam, your best bet is to say nothing at all.

According to CBS New York, authorities are warning the public that scammers are calling homes and asking, “Can you hear me now?”  When the person responds, “Yes,” their voice is recorded and is being used to authorize charges for various services. 

If you receive a call like this, authorities advise to simply say nothing at all and promptly hang up.  It’s important to refrain from saying anything or pressing any buttons.  Doing so alerts the scammer that your number is a working number, which can be used for future scam calls.

(Source for CBS New York article: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/01/30/can-you-hear-me-now-scam/)

The Sweetheart Scam

People of all ages are using online dating sites to find love and happiness.  However, those sites are presenting a new way to exploit and take advantage of innocent people.  Scammers have used these meeting sites to target victims and attempt to establish a bond.  They then persuade the victim to continue conversations off the website.  Fraud becomes harder to track without the safeguards that the website offers.  As the scammer continues to build a “relationship” with their victim, they will begin to ask for personal information or financial help with a “predicament” they are facing. 

If you or someone you know is using a dating website, please be cautious!  To read the full article regarding the “sweetheart scam,” see the article at the following link: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/17/these-scammers-are-targeting-your-elderly-parents.html

For more tips on how to avoid falling victim to a scam and details about other scams, go to   NYS Division of Consumer Protection’s website: https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/scams/older_adults.html

The “Can You Hear Me Now?” Scam

You may remember the Verizon commercial where the gentleman asks, “Can you hear me now?”  In the case of this newly identified scam, your best bet is to say nothing at all.

According to CBS New York, authorities are warning the public that scammers are calling homes and asking, “Can you hear me now?”  When the person responds, “Yes,” their voice is recorded and is being used to authorize charges for various services. 

If you receive a call like this, authorities advise to simply say nothing at all and promptly hang up.  It’s important to refrain from saying anything or pressing any buttons.  Doing so alerts the scammer that your number is a working number, which can be used for future scam calls.

(Source for CBS New York article: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/01/30/can-you-hear-me-now-scam/)

The Sweetheart Scam

People of all ages are using online dating sites to find love and happiness.  However, those sites are presenting a new way to exploit and take advantage of innocent people.  Scammers have used these meeting sites to target victims and attempt to establish a bond.  They then persuade the victim to continue conversations off the website.  Fraud becomes harder to track without the safeguards that the website offers.  As the scammer continues to build a “relationship” with their victim, they will begin to ask for personal information or financial help with a “predicament” they are facing. 

If you or someone you know is using a dating website, please be cautious!  To read the full article regarding the “sweetheart scam,” see the article at the following link: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/17/these-scammers-are-targeting-your-elderly-parents.html

For more tips on how to avoid falling victim to a scam and details about other scams, go to   NYS Division of Consumer Protection’s website: https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/scams/older_adults.html

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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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