Aging Services News
Guests recently gathered at the Countryside Community Center to enjoy two entertaining events.  On Thursday, February 15th, almost 100 people came to the Department of Aging’s “Dinner with Friends” Valentine’s Day dinner.  Ryan Wilson treated the crowd to lively music while diners dug into a spaghetti and meatballs dinner.  These events are held quarterly and normally include live entertainment.  It’s a great opportunity to bring a friend or meet some new ones! 

An “Armchair Tour” of Italy allowed over 40 attendees to visit Italy vicariously on March 1st.  Pat Kane presented a slideshow of pictures from his past trips to the country.  The audience enjoyed his stories about Italian culture while munching on snacks including meatballs, bruschetta, and caprese skewers.  We are already looking forward to Pat’s next presentation on Northern Ireland and Scotland on May 17th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM.  We’d love for you to join us!  Please call 607-687-4120, ext. 331 to reserve your seat.

Do you know where to find help and information on services and supports in your community?  NY Connects is a trusted place that gives you information about available options whether you are paying for services yourself, through insurance, or are eligible for a government program.  NY Connects serves anyone who needs information on long term services and supports, such as older adults, a child or adult with a disability, family members or caregivers, friends or neighbors, and helping professionals.

 Click on the link below to learn more:

https://youtu.be/2bGCpSwYs9w


For more information, call NY Connects at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. at 607-687-4120, ext. 331.

Starting in April 2018, Medicare will mail new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare, to help protect you from identity fraud.  Fraudsters are always looking for ways to get your Social Security Number so Medicare is removing Social Security Numbers from all Medicare cards to make them safer.

Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you.  The new card will help protect your identity and keep your personal information more secure.  Your Medicare coverage and benefits stay the same.

And there’s more good news—Medicare will automatically mail your new card at no cost to the address you have on file with Social Security.  There’s nothing you need to do!  If you need to update your official mailing address, visit your online my Social Security account.

Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare Number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card.  Treat your Medicare Number like you treat your Social Security or credit card numbers.  Remember, Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information.

For more information about your new Medicare card, visit go.medicare.gov/newcard.  You can also call the Department of Aging at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. (607-687-4120) with questions or concerns.
The Department of Aging at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. celebrated the holiday season this year by welcoming guests to two special events:  a Holiday Luncheon and the Winter Wonderland Social Hour.  On December 14, a total of 76 guests joined us for a delicious roast beef lunch.  Jewel Griffith entertained the crowd with Christmas carols and encouraged many in attendance to join in!  The following week, we were thrilled to host student singers and instrumentalists from Owego Free Academy for a special holiday performance.  The crowd was stunned by the students’ talent, and some were even brought to tears.  It was a wonderful way to ring in the holiday season and New Year!
The staff at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. and the Department of Aging strive to help older adults maintain their independence and their ability to continue living at home for as long as possible.  Due to the variety of services offered by the Department of Aging, there have been a number of older adults who have been able to remain living independently in their homes for ten years or more.  These seniors have utilized services at various degrees throughout the different stages of their lives.  Some began just needing help with housekeeping and Home Delivered Meals.  As the years went by, they found themselves requiring assistance with personal care, Respite, and transportation services.  Several have also become residents of Tioga Opportunities, Inc.’s various housing sites in the county.  These individuals were able to extend the length of time spent living in their homes by ten years or more, and thus, improve their quality of life because of the services offered by Tioga Opportunities, Inc.
Tioga Opportunities Inc. is excited to announce the upcoming implementation of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).  RSVP is one of the largest volunteer networks in the United States for people aged 55 and over.  In Tioga County, RSVP volunteers will provide transportation services for older adults to get to medical appointments, and will also deliver meals to homebound seniors throughout the county.  Volunteers will receive pre-service orientation, assignment-specific training, and supplemental insurance while on duty.  Mileage and meal reimbursement will also be available.  RSVP volunteers forge new relationships with people in their community and make a significant difference in the lives of others by improving their health, well-being, and overall quality of life.

Recruitment efforts are now underway!  Please contact Christine Shaver, Director of the Department of Aging at Tioga Opportunities, Inc., at 607-687-4120, ext. 313 to enroll in RSVP or for more information.

Tioga Opportunities, Inc. is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with GreatCall, a well-known supplier of health and safety solutions for older adults, their families, and caregivers.  Through this exciting endeavor, the “Lively Mobile” medical alert device will be available to clients for a significantly reduced rate. 

The current Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) device in use by the Department of Aging is quickly becoming outdated.  Its use requires a landline phone, and its coverage is limited to just a short distance from the base unit in the home.  Many clients and families have requested a device that can be used outside the home—at the store, while on vacation, or in the community.  In order to better respond to our clients’ needs, and maintain their safety at home and in the community, we are transitioning from the current PERS device to the “Lively Mobile.”  We feel strongly that the “Lively Mobile” is a high-quality unit that will effectively meet our clients’ needs, and we look forward to helping the community take advantage of this innovative device! 

To transition to the new “Lively Mobile” device, please call 1-888-841-7973 and provide the referral code “TIOGA” to receive significant discounts on the device and monthly monitoring charges.  Please call the Department of Aging at 607-687-4120, ext. 312 for more information.

There are many challenges when taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  A common obstacle faced by many is getting the individual to take a bath.  They might cry, scream, or become combative, leaving the caregiver feeling helpless and unsure of the next step.

The perception of water changes with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a fact that remains relatively unknown to caregivers.  The disease can impact the individual’s depth perception and sense of temperature.  To many people suffering from this illness, interacting with water could be scary, regardless of temperature. 

Instead of taking a shower or bath, caregivers may find that a hand-held shower head works better and might be less frightening for their loved ones, while others may prefer sitting on a bath seat instead of being submerged in water.  Try to make the process of bathing as pleasant as possible for the care receiver.  Some caregivers play relaxing music or use nice-smelling body soap.  In all situations, it is important to remember to be patient, sensitive, and respectful of the individual’s dignity. 

Sources: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2016/02/health-alzheimers-water-is-invisible-dementia-patient.html


https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20029/daily_living/6/washing_and_bathing

 

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced on October 13, 2017.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017 (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).  The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Source: https://www.ssa.gov/news/

On Thursday, October 19th, 85 guests attended the Department of Aging’s “Oktoberfest” celebration dinner at the Countryside Community Center.  A traditional meal of roasted pork, boiled red potatoes, cabbage, and carrots was enjoyed by all.  The highlight of the evening was Rick Pedro, who delighted the crowd on the piano.  We’ve never seen hands and feet move quite so fast! 

Most people associate Oktoberfest with good food and beer, but have you ever wondered how this custom began?  The tradition started in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates.  It was this joyous occasion that inspired the celebrations we’ve been enjoying for over 200 years!

If you receive a letter or a phone call claiming that the warranty on your car is about to expire and offering you an “extended warranty,” use caution.  This scam attempts to trick consumers into buying a fictitious plan that will extend their automobile warranty.  The letter will explain all the potential charges you could face should your vehicle need to be fixed without the warranty, but often doesn’t even list your car’s make and model.

If you receive a letter or phone call stating that your car’s warranty is about to expire, check with the manufacturer or your local dealership.  DO NOT call the phone number listed on the letter.  Be cautious!  For more information on this and other scams, please call 607-687-4120, ext. 331.

Tioga Opportunities, Inc. is thrilled to share that it is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Tioga County Senior Citizens Foundation for 2018. 

Many older adults in our county depend on services from Tioga Opportunities, Inc. to help them remain safe and independent in their own homes and to assist them in accessing nutritious meals.  The generous support of local foundations, such as the Senior Citizens Foundation, is critical in helping Tioga Opportunities, Inc. meet the needs of the county’s seniors.

Numerous programs offered through Tioga Opportunities, Inc. will benefit from this gift, including Home Delivered Meals, Group Workcamp, and various food pantries throughout the county.  Funding will also be utilized this year to assist older adults with transportation to medical appointments, a critical need in Tioga County. 

Tioga Opportunities, Inc. would like to thank the Senior Citizens Foundation for their generosity.  Local support such as this grant assists in the provision of services that make an important difference in the lives of many people in the community.

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