The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us! As we hurry here and scurry there, let’s not forget those who may not be able to celebrate the season as they once did. Nursing facility residents, assisted living residents, shut-ins, and many disabled individuals may long for someone to show them that they are remembered this season. Something as simple as sending a holiday greeting to someone who you know is alone can spread cheer where there may have otherwise been none. There are many ways to spread holiday joy to those who need it most. Be creative.
ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Are you in need of assistance with your utility bills? The Energy Assistance Program offered through Pace Community Action Agency is designed to assist qualifying households with the higher costs of heating their homes in the winter months. The program begins November 1st and runs through mid-May. Households that meet program guidelines receive a one-time benefit to their primary heat source to help defray the higher cost of heating their home. The amount of assistance a household receives is based on a point system and not the amount of the utility bill. A home can earn up to 16 points with each point equating to $25 to the home’s primary heat source. An additional $75 benefit is given to the home’s electric account as well. Points are earned based on the following categories, household income, type of home, housing status, at risk category, heat type and payment status. Applications will be available November 1st and can be found on the Pace website at www.pacecaa.org or by contacting the Energy Assistance office in your county of residence.
TIME FOR FLU VACCINATIONS
Influenza (“the flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness that can be severe and life-threatening, especially for adults 65 years of age and older. The immune system weakens with age, which makes it harder to fight disease. The flu can be dangerous in older adults whether they are healthy or have a chronic health condition such as heart disease or diabetes, which can worsen as a result of the flu. Getting an annual flu vaccination is one of the things you can do to help maintain your health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single best way to help prevent the flu is to get an annual vaccination.
Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal information includes your name, Social Security, Medicare, or credit card numbers. The crime takes many forms. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make - or until you’re contacted by a debt collector. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Protect yourself. Keep your personal information safe. Don’t give your information out over the Internet, or to anyone who comes to your home (or calls you) uninvited. Give personal information only to doctors or other Medicare approved providers. To see if a provider is Medicare approved, call: 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) or 877-486-2048 (TTY users).
BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING
Generations is supporting a national campaign led by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) to spread awareness of the fact that older adults may reap major physical, mental and emotional benefits by volunteering for as little as two hours a week. There is a growing body of research that shows that older volunteers may experience a reduction in depression, chronic pain and stress, while improving their mental functionality and even their chances of living longer.
The winter issue of Generations magazine is out. Our magazine is geared toward adults in pre-retirement and retirement years and promotes active aging and preventive health. It is published three times a year and is free to subscribers. All we need is your name and address. If you would like to receive future copies of the magazine, contact Brenda Hancock at 812-888-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generations, Area 13 Agency on Aging & Disability, is a program of Vincennes University’s Community Services Division. Our agency connects individuals and caregivers to community resources and options for long-term care and in-home services. For more information, call 1-800-742-9002 or 812-888-5880 or visit our website at www.generationsnetwork.org.