Independence February 2022 AOASCC News & Notes
Spotlight on Volunteers: A Volunteer at heart – The Doris Blackmon Story
Harris & Tucker School Day Care has been a Foster Grandparent site for over 30 years and this is where you will find Ms. Blackmon. Doris Blackmon, was born in1931 in Greensville, SC. She is a lover of music and has played the piano for years at her home church, The Mount Zion SDA Church, in Hamden. She is a graduate from Hillhouse High School and after retiring from the Seamless Rubber Company, she later worked as the cook for 20 years at the Harris and Tucker School. Twenty-five years ago, Ms. Blackmon enrolled with us as a volunteer. She is one of the oldest active, consistent and committed volunteers presently with the agency. Harris & Tucker School Day Care has been a Foster Grandparent site for over 30 years and this is where you will find Ms. Blackmon. Even during the pandemic, Ms. Blackmon has continued to work as a volunteer comforting the toddlers during nap time with a story or a song. We are glad to still have Ms. Blackmon actively involved as a Foster Grandparent volunteer where she serves as the door keeper at the center and can always be relied on to actively participate in the monthly in-service trainings. At age 91, Ms. Blackmon states she will continue working with the children and being a volunteer Foster Grandparent through AOASCC. We are proud of her commitment to serve God and her community of children.
Volunteer On Ms. Blackmon! Find out more about the Foster Grandparent Program.
Are you caring for someone with cancer? The caregiver has a key role in the patient’s care. Good, reliable caregiver support is crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of people with cancer.
Today, most cancer treatment is given in outpatient treatment centers – not in hospitals. This means someone is needed to be part of the day-to-day care of the person with cancer and that sicker people are being cared for at home. As a result, caregivers perform many tasks usually associated with healthcare professionals. These roles change as the patient’s needs change and expand during and after cancer treatment.
It’s hard to plan for a major health problem like cancer. Suddenly you’ve been asked to care for the person with cancer, and you’re also needed to help make decisions about medical care and treatment. You may not have expertise in any of the things you’re asked to do. None of this is easy. There will be times when you know you’ve done well, and times when you just want to give up. This is normal.
There are many causes of stress and distress in cancer caregivers. Dealing with the crisis of cancer in someone you love, the uncertain future, financial worries, difficult decisions, and unexpected and unwanted lifestyle changes are just a few of them. You need people around you who can provide accurate information and help you make decisions when needed. Talk with a nurse or social worker at your treatment center or talk with other cancer caregivers. Contact your local American Cancer Society to learn about services in your area. Talking with other caregivers can help you feel less alone. If you can’t visit a group in person, the American Cancer Society has the Cancer Survivors Network (CSN), an online community of people whose lives have been touched by cancer. Other organizations have internet-based groups and even online counseling, too. Through online or in person support groups, people can share their stories, offer practical advice, and support each other through shared experiences.
Alzheimer’s Association to host annual New England Family Conference The Alzheimer’s Association will host a free virtual educational conference for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their families. The New England Family Conference will take place March 4-5, 2022 and is open to individuals living with Alzheimer’s, family caregivers and the general public. More information alzfamilyconference.org
If you’ve ever called the Agency on Aging of South Central CT to ask a question, chances are you spoke to a certified CHOICES team member. Team members are volunteers and staff of the agency who have been trained to respond to your questions. “CHOICES is a partnership between the state’s 5 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. It is administered by the Department of Aging and Disability Services. Free and unbiased services are provided to Medicare-eligible individuals, families, and caregivers of all ages and income levels,…with particular attention to reaching individuals with disabilities, individuals who have low incomes, individuals who live in rural areas, and individuals whose primary language is not English.” Many services are available through CHOICES and although, due to the current pandemic, most services are provided by phone or virtual meetings, team members are still here to assist you. Find out more
Frauds & Scams Medicare Advantage Plans Open Enrollment period runs January 1 to March 31. Beware of any potential Medicare marketing violations. Check out this video & read more information on tips to identify scams.
Did You Know? Many older Americans do not have dental insurance because they lost their benefits upon retirement and the federal Medicare program does not cover routine dental care. Oral health problems in older adults include the following: Untreated tooth decay. 1 in 5 older adults have untreated tooth decay.Gum disease. About 2 in 3 (68%) adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease.Tooth loss. Nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Having missing teeth or wearing dentures can affect nutrition.Oral cancer. Cancers of the mouth (oral and pharyngeal cancers) are primarily diagnosed in older adults; median age at diagnosis is 62 years.Chronic disease. People with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be more likely to develop gum (periodontal) disease, but they are less likely to get dental care than adults without these chronic conditions.Most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs; many of these medications can cause dry mouth. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of cavities. Center for Disease Control
Need dental care but do not have insurance? There are some options from free dental clinics to providers that offer sliding scales. Call our Resource Center at 203-785-8533 (option 4) and we will let you know of any available services.
Is this You? Less than half of eligible older adults; approximately three out of five seniors who qualify to receive SNAP are missing out on benefits—an estimated 5 million people in all. Are you on of them? Visit our website for more information & to find out how SNAP can make your grocery dollars go further! www.aoascc.org