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05 June 2014
Groceries - What Will $16 Get You?
Should You Sign up for SNAP?
This month's National Council on Aging newsletter contained a brief handout called "Snap shots - Debunking the $15 Benefit Myth."  SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which used to be known as Food Stamps.  Many seniors, it turns out, never apply for this benefit, thinking it will only get them about $15/month, and they think "that's not worth applying for."  



The fact is that $15 is the MINIMUM monthly benefit, but many people's benefit amount is much higher.  In fact, 81% of all senior households on SNAP received more than $15/month.  Some seniors can use medical expenses as a deduction to maximize their SNAP benefit, and if you do happen to only qualify for the minimum, most states allow you to carry the balance over from month to month. In 2012, the average senior living alone received $119/month in SNAP benefits!  

Of course, some seniors will only qualify for the minimum, so what can you expect to get for that $16 at the grocery store?  The state of Arkansas decided to find out, and they put their findings in a document that we've uploaded to our Pinterest Health and Wellness page for you to view: http://www.pinterest.com/seniorcareinc/health-and-wellness-for-seniors/.
Peaches, apple sauce, coffee, spaghetti, oatmeal, and peanut butter are just some of the things on the list - if someone handed you a free coupon for those things, would you cash it in?  It turns out that you can squeeze quite a bit of nutrition out of that $16, especially if you buy store brands rather than name brands.  

For more information on SNAP, and to find your state office: http://benefitscheckup.org/cf/snap/cfm.


Posted by senior care blog at 4:15 PM in Financial Wellness nutrition Health | Link
 
16 April 2014
How's Your Water Sense?



WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which seeks to help families and businesses realize that they can reduce water use by 20 to 30 percent by doing just a few simple things, such as upgrading to higher quality, more efficient products. 

The average U.S. household wastes up to 10,000 gallons of water per year.  Managing water is a growing concern in the United States. Communities across the country are starting to face challenges regarding water supply and water infrastructure.  Each of us can do something to help.  Plus, we can reduce our water bills in the process.

  • Water is a finite resource—even though about 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, less than 1 percent is available for human use.
  • At least 36 states are projecting water shortages between now and 2013.
  • Each American uses an average of 100 gallons of water a day at home.
  • We can all use 30 percent less water by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances.
  • The average household spends as much as $500 per year on their water and sewer bill and can save about $170 per year by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances.
How can we help, and save money, too?

  • WaterSense labels products that are 20 percent more water-efficient and perform as well as or better than conventional models.
  • WaterSense labeled faucets—or aerators that can be installed on existing bathroom faucets—are about 30 percent more efficient than standard faucets, but still provide plenty of good flow.
  • WaterSense labeled toilets use 20 percent less water per flush, but perform as well as or better than today's standard toilets and older toilets that use much more water.
Learn more at WaterSense

Posted by senior care blog at 10:28 AM | Link
 
13 December 2013
JANUARY IS FINANCIAL WELLNESS AWARENESS MONTH
Some Simple Things You Can Do to Improve "Making Ends Meet"
SeniorCare would like to remind everyone of some things you can do to insure that you are obtaining benefits you are entitled to, and making the most of assessing your financial wellness, while looking after yourself physically as well.

BENEFITS CHECKUP
If you are low income, an elder, or disabled, the first thing you might want to do is visit Benefits Checkup to see if you are entitled to any of the benefit programs that can help you pay for medications, health care, food, utilities and more.  After all, staying healthy financially is not useful if you aren't healthy in other ways!

ECONOMIC CHECKUP
The National Council on Aging has a useful Economic Checkup that older people can use to learn how to better manage a budget, save money, and set financial goals.  

SENIORCARE MONEY MANAGEMENT SERVICES
If you are eligible, and need help with bill paying, check writing, formulating a budget, or filling out forms, SeniorCare's Money Management Program can assist you.

MONEY 101
There's also a more comprehensive series of informative articles called "Money 101" sponsored by CNN, which could be very useful to some people who still need to think more comprehensively about their finances.

NEEDYMEDS
For those who are in the Medicare "donut hole" or who are facing challenges paying for prescriptions, the NeedyMeds program provides assistance.  You can contact them by phone at 1-800-503-6897.  If you just need the NeedyMeds drug discount card, you can pick one up, or request one from SeniorCare Inc. by calling us at 978-281-1750 or 1-866-927-1050.

MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH CONNECTOR
Part of good financial planning involves planning for health care needs.  If you are not Medicare eligible, and need coverage, try the Massachusetts Health Connector

SENIORCARE ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES
If you think an elder is being exploited financially (or in other ways), you can make a confidential report by calling 978-281-1750 or 1-866-927-1050 during SeniorCare business hours.  Or, on weekends and holidays, by calling the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275.

SENIORCARE AARP TAX AIDE PROGRAM
Elders who need assistance in filing their taxes can get help from the Tax Aide Program.  Call 978-281-1750 or 1-866-927-1050, or ask at your local senior center.

Happy Holidays to all, and SeniorCare wishes you a New Year of health and happiness.  We hope we've made it easier for you to have more peace of mind by providing these resources.




Posted by senior care blog at 2:41 PM in Financial Wellness | Link
 
25 October 2013
Keeping Connected in Massachusetts
Utility Information


SeniorCare is committed to helping our consumers as the cold weather approaches.  Call us to get information on the nearest agency to call for weatherization or fuel assistance.

If you are a low income individual and need to find information on how to keep from having your utilities shut off, click on the following link::



Posted by senior care blog at 3:38 PM | Link
 
10 October 2013
Where to Find Federal Shutdown Information
SeniorCare has made no public statement at this time, since we are still assessing the impact of the Government shut down as it applies to aging and disability services.  However, consumers should be aware that some of our programs are funded at both the state or federal level.

The following information is being offered as a courtesy for those who wish to find out if a particular service or location is open or not.  Most government web sites have a statement posted on their home pages.  For example, here is the Administration on Aging page: http://www.aoa.gov/.  Please note that SeniorCare Inc. is open for business in both the Gloucester and Beverly offices and you may refer consumers to us as usual for services or information.

This number is operational during the shutdown if you wish to call about a particular department or for general information: 1-800-FED-INFO.  Please do not use the number to register your feelings about the shutdown, as they will not be relayed to your elected officials.  If you want to tell elected officials how you feel, please contact them through normal channels.

This list of contingency plans for various agencies was posted by the White House Office of Management and Budget: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans.

If you are an elder (age 60+) or a disabled adult, and are being impacted by a problem caused by the shutdown, please feel free to let us know via SeniorCare Public Relations Office at 978-281-1750 or (toll free) 1-866-927-1050, ext. 569.

Posted by senior care blog at 2:05 PM | Link
 
05 July 2013
Don't Follow Your Heart
The Scam that Relies on Love

Never send money to anyone you cannot positively identify as your family member or you could be a victim of the "Grandparent Scam" - check with your children or a trusted advisor if you aren't sure what to do.  Scammers are very good at tugging at your heartstrings in an effort to part you from your money.
... Continue reading Don't Follow Your Heart

Posted by senior care blog at 12:00 AM in Senior Scams | Link
 
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