Category: New & Events

All post for news and events.

White House FACT SHEET: Protecting Seniors and People with Disabilities by Improving Safety and Quality of Care in the Nation’s Nursing Homes

FEBRUARY 28, 2022•STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to have access to quality medical care. And in no case should a health care facility be causing a patient harm. The President believes we must improve the quality of our nursing homes so that seniors, people with disabilities, and others living in nursing homes get the reliable, high-quality care they deserve. That’s why he is announcing a set of reforms—developed by and implemented through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—that will improve the safety and quality of nursing home care, hold nursing homes accountable for the care they provide, and make the quality of care and facility ownership more transparent so that potential residents and their loved ones can make informed decisions about care.

To do this, the reforms the President is announcing will ensure that:

  • every nursing home provides a sufficient number of staff who are adequately trained to provide high-quality care;
  • poorly performing nursing homes are held accountable for improper and unsafe care and immediately improve their services or are cut off from taxpayer dollars; and
  • the public has better information about nursing home conditions so that they can find the best available options.

To read the entire White House Fact Sheet click HERE

CEJC March “Lunch & Learn” for Professional Conservators, 3/25 @ 12 PM

The Coalition for Elder Justice in CT, the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Office of the Probate Court Administrator collaborated to continue the free “Lunch & Learn” webinar series for professional conservators in 2022. Below is the information and registration for the March webinar: Nursing Facility Advocacy 101: Connecticut Standards of Practice for Conservators that will be presented on March 25, 2022, by Judge Jeannine Lewis and Attorney Sandra Sherlock White. This session has been approved for 1 CEC by the CT NASW, CLE approval is pending.

As a Conservator, you serve an important role in the lives of some of our state’s most vulnerable residents. Judge Jeannine Lewis and Attorney Sandra Sherlock-White will present the history behind the creation of the Connecticut Standards of Practice for Conservators, published in 2018 by the Office of the Probate Court Administrator.

Learn why this initiative is vitally important to enhancing outcomes for conserved individuals. Learn practical tips for complying with the Standards, guidance on best practices for serving as conservator or advising a conservator, advice on avoidance of common pitfalls, and insight from a probate judge and an elder law practitioner to assist conservators in navigating the practical realities of a very dynamic and human area of the law.

Please register for Nursing Facility Advocacy 101: Connecticut Standards of Practice for Conservators on Mar 25, 2022 12:00 PM EDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5416373919216585996

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoTo Webinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

Are You Getting Ready for Older Americans Month? New Materials Available from ACL!

New Older Americans Month Materials Available!!Logo: Older Americans Month, Age My Way: May 2022

Every May, ACL leads the nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). In 2022, ACL will be focusing on aging in place – how older adults can plan to stay in their homes and live independently in their communities for as long as possible. The 2022 theme is Age My Way, an opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities.

Have you visited the OAM website recently? We’ve updated it with even more materials to help you celebrate this May!
 
The 2022 posterssocial media cover imagesmasthead artwork, and templates for a community proclamation and sample article are available now. Stay tuned for social feed graphics, activity ideas, and more that you can use to celebrate OAM in your community. Don’t forget to follow #OlderAmericansMonth for the latest from ACL, and to see what others are planning!

CEJC March “Lunch & Learn” for Professional Conservators, 3/25 @ 12 PM

The Coalition for Elder Justice in CT, the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Office of the Probate Court Administrator collaborated to continue the free “Lunch & Learn” webinar series for professional conservators in 2022. Below is the information and registration for the March webinar: Nursing Facility Advocacy 101: Connecticut Standards of Practice for Conservators that will be presented on March 25, 2022, by Judge Jeannine Lewis and Attorney Sandra Sherlock White. CLE and CEC approval is pending.

As a Conservator, you serve an important role in the lives of some of our state’s most vulnerable residents. Judge Jeannine Lewis and Attorney Sandra Sherlock-White will present the history behind the creation of the Connecticut Standards of Practice for Conservators, published in 2018 by the Office of the Probate Court Administrator.

Learn why this initiative is vitally important to enhancing outcomes for conserved individuals. Learn practical tips for complying with the Standards, guidance on best practices for serving as conservator or advising a conservator, advice on avoidance of common pitfalls, and insight from a probate judge and an elder law practitioner to assist conservators in navigating the practical realities of a very dynamic and human area of the law.

Please register for Nursing Facility Advocacy 101: Connecticut Standards of Practice for Conservators on Mar 25, 2022 12:00 PM EDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5416373919216585996

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoTo Webinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

CEJC and CT Council of Family Service Agencies, Case Management Services for Crime Victims, Free Webinar 4/[email protected] 12 PM

The Coalition for Elder Justice in CT is partnering with the Connecticut Council of Famly Services Agencies to share important information about services available to older adults in CT who have been victims of crime and are seeking justice.

This course is designed to educate participants about, and promote awareness of, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) case management program administered by the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA).

The VOCA case management program at CTFSA provides crime victims with trauma-informed, client-centered case management services that encourage safety and resiliency. Case Managers (CM) support the personal growth and emotional healing of victims through assistance with the Victims Compensation Process; advocacy and emotional support; and connections to concrete supports such as counseling, housing assistance, childcare, and transportation; crisis intervention, and safety planning.

Click here to REGISTER!

CLE and CEC approval pending.

ACL: Info on Upcoming Changes to 3G Wireless Network Affecting Older Devices

  • Upcoming Changes to 3G Wireless Network

Did you know that service providers will be shutting down their 3G networks beginning in early 2022?

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed a consumer guide with more information on the 3G shutdown. Anticipated shutdown dates by provider include: AT&T = on 2/22/22; TMobile/Sprint = between March-July; and Verizon = by end of the year.  Providers like Boost, Cricket, and Straight Talk also use the networks of the larger providers. The FCC encourages customers of any network to contact their carrier for more information. Many carriers may offer free or low-cost replacement phones or devices.
  • This will affect older devices made for the 3G network, including but not limited to:
    • cell phones
    • tablets
    • personal emergency response system devices
    • smart watches
    • assistive technology devices with SIM cards (possibly older augmentative communication devices and braille note takers)
    • certain medical devices
    • home alarm systems, and more.
  • These devices on 3G networks will not be able to send texts, use data, or make or receive phone calls, including calls to 9-1-1.
  • These devices may still be able to access services via a public or personal Wi-Fi network.
  • Some devices may only require a software update to enable VoLTE (HD Voice) or other advanced services.

Older adults, people with disabilities, and people on fixed incomes may be affected.

What Can Consumers Do?

  • Contact your or doctor for any concerns with a medical device; or your mobile provider, or the provider’s website for more information about their 3G retirement plan.
  • You may need to upgrade to a newer device to ensure that you can stay connected.  Providers may be willing to help people upgrade if their current device is 3G; however, globally we are experiencing a microchip shortage – so could be shortages in general. 
  • Consumers with phones older than ~2013-2014, such as an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S4 should contact their mobile carrier to determine if their device will be affected.  To be safe, any device purchased before 2019 could be checked.
  • If you purchased your phone independent of a mobile provider, you should be able to check whether your device is 4G LTE (with VoLTE or HD Voice) enabled by checking your phone’s settings or user manual, or by searching your phone’s model number on the internet, to determine whether you need to purchase a new device or install a software update.
  • If you did not purchase your phone through a mobile provider, you may be able to check whether your device is 4G LTE (with VoLTE or HD Voice) enabled. This would help you determine if you need to purchase a new device or install a software update. To check, use your phone’s settings and find the About Phone option. You can also search for this information in your phone’s user manual or by searching your phone’s model number on the Internet.

Other considerations for the Aging Network:

  • If your SUA/AAA offers Personal Emergency Response System devices – if not done already, it may be prudent to see if they have been upgraded.  They won’t be helpful to someone who is relying on it – if it no longer works.
  • This is not a new issue as awareness about the planned shutdown has been circulating for some time, however, not everyone knows or even understands what this entails.  It is about more than just cell phones. 
  • Many Aging & Disability Network efforts focused on reducing social isolation during the pandemic & may have involved purchasing devices for older adults to use.  If not done already, it may be prudent to see if these devices will be impacted by these 3G shutdowns. 
  • Check in with your state’s Assistive Technology program.  They may already have informational or additional resources available that could be helpful in getting the word out about this change, or other ideas.
  • Stores and individuals may still be selling these devices to older adults who think they are getting a really good deal – only to encounter this 3G shutdown shortly.  In addition, if faced with needing to replace a device, encouraging folks to be savvy consumers such as asking for discounts, or providing tips to avoid “upselling” may be helpful.
  • Be on the lookout for scam artists who could potentially attempt to use this as an opportunity to take advantage of folks. 
  • If someone is planning to recycle or dispose of old devices – they would be well served to wipe any personal information from the device before discarding so as to protect themselves.  Consider sharing resources for recycling technology & removing personal information on electronic devices before disposal.

Additional Resources:

DSS: HUSKY D Coverage Ends 2/28 for Individuals Enrolled in Medicare and MSP

Text of Letter being sent to affected individuals:

Under federal law, HUSKY D provides Medicaid coverage for income-eligible adults without dependent
children who are between the ages of 19 and 64 and not enrolled in Medicare. Our records show that
you receive Medicare. Ordinarily, we would have stopped your HUSKY D coverage as soon as you
became eligible for Medicare. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a change in federal rules
allowed us to temporarily extend your HUSKY D coverage even after you enrolled in Medicare. Now,
following the latest federal rules, we need to end your HUSKY D coverage because you are also enrolled
in the Medicare Savings Program (MSP). MSP is a Medicaid program that helps you with your Medicare
costs, such as premiums.


Because you are enrolled in both Medicare and MSP, we can no longer extend your HUSKY D coverage.
Your HUSKY D coverage will end on February 28, 2022. You will stay enrolled in MSP for as long as you
continue to qualify. You can read more about MSP at the end of this notice.

Also, because you are enrolled in Medicare, you do not qualify to enroll in and buy a Qualified Health
Plan through Access Health CT.

How did we make this decision?

The Department of Social Services (DSS) and Access Health CT (AHCT) used information from your
healthcare coverage applications. We may also have used information from government computer
systems such as the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. There are
enclosures with this letter that will help you understand how we make our decisions.
For more information about HUSKY Health coverage, please review the “Different Types of HUSKY
Health” enclosure. We will also check to see if you might be eligible for HUSKY C based on the
information we have about you. HUSKY C is the state’s Medicaid program for individuals who are over
age 65, disabled, or blind. If the information we have suggests you may be eligible for HUSKY C, we will
send you a separate form to complete. You can also read more about HUSKY C at the end of this notice.


What should I do if I think you made a mistake?

You can appeal our decisions about your health coverage. For example, you can appeal if you think we
made a mistake about your age or eligibility for Medicare

We have sent a “Hearing/Appeal Request Form” with this letter. This form explains your rights and the
deadlines for asking for a hearing. For HUSKY Health decisions, the deadline is 60 days from the date of
this letter.

If you want to keep your current HUSKY Health coverage while the appeal process is ongoing, your
appeal request must be postmarked or received by DSS on or before the last day of coverage, or 10 days
from the date of this letter, whichever is later.

For decisions on whether you can buy a health plan through Access Health CT, you have 90 days from the date of the letter to request a hearing.

Sincerely,
The DSS HUSKY Health Program and Access Health CT

More about HUSKY C and long-term care programs

HUSKY C is the state’s Medicaid program for individuals who are over age 65, disabled, or blind. If you
need long-term care services and supports to help you remain in your home, or if you have a disability
and continue to work, then HUSKY C might be for you. You can learn more about HUSKY C online at
www.ct.gov/HUSKY.


What does having the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) mean for you?


• MSP will continue to provide assistance with cost-sharing for Medicare premiums, and,
depending on the level you qualify for, may also provide assistance with your Medicare
deductibles, coinsurance and other cost-sharing.


• You will continue to be eligible for Extra Help, which pays a portion of the Medicare Part D
premium and lowers your cost-sharing for medications on that plan’s list of covered
medications.


Do you have questions about this notice or want help navigating your healthcare options?
For application assistance or questions about Medicare, MSP, or HUSKY Health programs, please contact
CHOICES at 1-800-994-9422 for free and unbiased assistance

AOASCC: February Newsletter is Now Available!

 
 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.    

Caregiver Corner  

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.    

Community News  

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    

CHOICES  

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