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Independence   November 2021   AOASCC News & Notes     AOASCC Announces New Program   Chaperone Support Program – Do you know that tens of millions of Americans are in critical need of non-emergency medical assistance to remain living in their homes? Many also need companionship to avert the devastating effects of isolation.  

The Agency on Aging is launching a new program, thanks to funding from the Community Care Corps, to use local volunteers to assist family caregivers, older adults, and persons with disabilities with non-emergency medical care to help those receiving care maintain their independence.  

This grant provides us with the opportunity to offer companionship to those who need or desire someone to accompany them to a medical treatment, therapy, and same-day procedure appointments, etc. while using the transportation preference of the client. Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers is part of this project as their service is free and we can actually monitor the success more efficiently. Chaperone Volunteers will offer support to referred individuals pre, during and post of their appointment.   Visit our website if you are Interested in Volunteering.   Contact us if you would like to refer yourself or a loved one to receive services.    

Did You Know?   According to a 2020 report, more than one-third of adults over 45 feel lonely, and nearly one-third of adults 65 and older are socially isolated (lack social connections).  

Studies strongly indicate increased health risks:

-Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
-Social isolation was associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia.
-Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) was associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
-Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
-Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.   As reported by the CDC    

VIRTUAL FEARLESS CAREGIVER CONFERENCE December 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.    

We are proud to sponsor this conference that is free for family caregivers. Bring your questions to the experts. Register here.    

CHOICES: Stay Informed about Health Insurance   The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced Medicare will cover booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine without any cost-sharing or co-pay. Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 and older or at high risk can get the shot six months after they received their second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The agencies expect decisions about boosters for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines to be made soon.  

This coverage policy comes at a critical time. As the Centers for Disease Control explained, “[w]ith the Delta variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease” for those who are vulnerable to exposure or serious illness.  

Since the beginning of the pandemic, older adults have been among the hardest-hit populations experiencing higher rates of hospitalization and death than other age groups. COVID-19 related deaths among older adults are on the rise amid the Delta surge. One reason for this could be lagging vaccinations. Recent CDC data show vaccines remain effective at preventing hospitalizations and death. States with the lowest vaccination rates had the highest death rates, at nearly two times the national average. Conversely, states with the highest vaccination rates experienced relatively low death rates. Many older adults were among the first vaccinated and now are among the first to experience decreasing vaccine effectiveness over time—which the booster shots could help address.  


Open Enrollment: October 15 – December 7.    

Your needs and the options available may change over time, so it’s important to review your Medicare plan every year during Open Enrollment. Our CHOICES counselors can help you understand and compare options, so you can make choices that are best for you.  

Call 800-994-9422 in the state of Connecticut and you will be connected with the Agency on Aging in your area.   

CHOICES is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) where certified counselors are available to provide accurate, impartial information about Medicare. Find out more.  

  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 one of them? Visit our website for more information & to find out how SNAP can make your grocery dollars go further!