Publication of Pima Council on Aging, Helping Pima County Age Well Since 1967
Never Too Late
National Family Caregivers Month/Season of Giving! Para información en Español ver páginas 26 – 28
November/December 2023 What’s News
• Aging in Our Community • Dementia Capable SoAZ • Healthy Minds for Life • Medicare & SMP Updates • Rights & Benefits • Caregiving • Community Lunch Program • Healthy Living: Classes Happening Now! • Ending Life Well • PCOA Puzzle • Visibility Matters • Advocacy • Senior Companion Program • Neighbors Care Alliance • CareGiver Training Institute • PimaCare at Home
PUBLICATION OF PIMA COUNCIL ON AGING, HELPING PIMA COUNTY AGE WELL SINCE 1967
Independence. Vitality. Respect.
Inside • Aging in Our Community 3 • Philanthropy 4 & 5 • Dementia Capable Southern Arizona 6 & 7 • Healthy Minds for Life 8 • Medicare & Senior Medicare Patrol 9 - 11 • Rights & Benefits 12 & 13 • Caregiving 14 - 16 • Community Lunch Program 17 • Healthy Living 18 - 21
• Ending Life Well 22 • PCOA Puzzle 24 & 25 • Nunca Es Demasiado Tarde 26 - 28 • Visibility Matters 29 • Advocacy 30 • Senior Companion Program 31 • Neighbors Care Alliance 32 & 33 • Featured Artist 34 • CareGiver Training Institute 35 • PimaCare at Home 36
PCOA Helpline: (520) 790-7262 Administration: (520) 790-0504 Donate: givepcoa.org E-mail: email@example.com Website: pcoa.org Mail: 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85710 Never Too Late is published by Pima Council on Aging, the Area Agency on Aging, Region II. Material from Never Too Late may be reprinted when permission is given and attribution is used along with ©PCOA 2023. Editor Adina Wingate, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5067 firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant Jan Baker, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5076 email@example.com Advertising Adina Wingate, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5067 firstname.lastname@example.org Design Consultant Lori Lieber, Lori Lieber Graphic Design email@example.com Editorial and Advertising Deadline for Next Bi-Monthly Issue DECEMBER 1 2023 Please include a contact person name and phone number with all submitted material. All articles are subject to editing in accordance with technical and policy guidelines but will not be altered in content without permission of the author. Publication of submissions is not guaranteed. Ads are not to be considered as PCOA endorsements of products, services, or individuals.
On the Cover: Detail from Glow, 27 x 27 cm, Mezzotint by Jennifer Clarke,The Drawing Studio. (Story, full image on inside back cover) Connect with us The best way to access our services is by calling our Helpline between 8:30 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday at (520) 790-7262 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org • Our 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. building is open for those requiring in-person assistance. • Our 600 S. Country Club Rd. building is open for those requiring in-person assistance.
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Page 2 | November/December 2023, Never Too Late
Pima Council on Aging
Aging in Our Community A Message from W. Mark Clark, President and CEO
(https://pcoa.org/how-you-can-help/ volunteer/) involvement, has the power to profoundly impact the lives of those who depend on our services. As we approach the year's end, please consider the significant difference you can make by supporting PCOA (https://bit.ly/ PCOAdonation) . Your generosity will enable us to continue providing essential resources, support, and assistance to older adults in need. Together, we can build a community where the later stages of life are marked by compassion, dignity, and active community engagement.
As we enter the months of November and December, a time of reflection and gratitude, our awareness deepens regarding the importance of family bonds and the spirit of giving. November, celebrated as National Family Caregivers Month, places a well-deserved spotlight on the invaluable role caregivers play in supporting their loved ones. All of us at PCOA are wholeheartedly committed to providing unwavering support to family caregivers within our community. It's worth noting that many of us may not even recognize ourselves as caregivers. We might assume that it's merely part of our familial responsibilities, not realizing that we are indeed “caregivers”. At PCOA, we understand the unique challenges faced by caregivers as they provide care and support to aging family members or loved ones, and we take pride in being a steadfast source of support for these unsung heroes in our community. When a loved one requires extra care, it reverberates throughout the family on numerous levels, encompassing financial strain due to healthcare costs, emotional and physical exhaustion from tending to ailing family members, a lack of formal caregiver training, the complexity of navigating the healthcare system, the need to develop new time management skills when balancing caregiving with other life commitments, and much more. Our comprehensive caregiver training program (https://bit.ly/ PCOAcaregivertraining) at PCOA is designed to equip caregivers with the essential tools and knowledge required to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities effectively. Our aim is to empower
caregivers, alleviate the burdens they face, and enhance the overall quality of life for both caregivers and the older adults they care for. Our support extends beyond education; we offer valuable resources, guidance, and a compassionate community where caregivers can exchange experiences and find solace. As we transition into December, the Season of Giving takes center stage. During this time, we urge everyone to reflect on the significance of community and the roles we play in supporting one another, particularly our older adults. PCOA, through our extensive array of programs, services, and advocacy efforts, serves as a vital lifeline to older adults in our community. Our support encompasses nutrition and wellness programs, caregiver training to address our community's crisis-level shortage, opportunities for social engagement, educational resources on Medicare and ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System) to ensure that older adults receive the services they need without exploitation, and comprehensive resources aimed at enhancing their well-being. The current economic landscape has made our mission even more critical, with an increasing number of older adults seeking our assistance. The Season of Giving provides an opportunity for us all to unite and make a profound difference in the lives of these vulnerable community members. I invite you to join us in our mission to support family caregivers and older adults in our community. Your contribution, whether it's through a donation (https:// bit.ly/PCOAdonation) or volunteer
W.Mark Clark President & CEO
PCOA Caregiver Services (pcoa.org): • Long-Term Care • Caregiver Support Groups
• Caregiver Training • Time Away (Respite)
• Grandparents Raising Grandchildren • One-on-One Caregiver Consultation • Caregiver Resources
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 3
Pima Council on Aging
Philanthropy Help Us Close the Year Strong for Older Adults!
As we look back on the past few years, it's hard to believe how far we've come in our response to Covid-19. While many are eager to return to normal, the lasting effects on the economy have left many older adults facing insurmountable challenges. PCOA has been on the frontlines, providing crucial support to older adults and we now find ourselves at a critical juncture. The Covid-era funding that has sustained our efforts is ending, just as the needs of our community have reached an all-time high. One of the most pressing issues we currently face is what can only be called a housing crisis. The lack of affordable housing is an issue that arises in nearly two-thirds of our calls. Rising rents have caused many older adults to face homelessness at an alarming rate, while exacerbating food insecurity and making basic living expenses inaccessible. Our dedicated staff and volunteers work tirelessly to prevent this crisis from deepening, but we can't do it alone. We urgently need your support to bridge the gap between dwindling resources and the growing need for assistance.
Your donation will make a tangible difference in the lives of older adults in our community in several critical ways: • Emergency Housing Assistance: Your contribution can help provide older adults with safe and stable housing, preventing homelessness and ensuring they have a secure place to call home. • Meal Delivery Services: Many older adults are struggling to afford basic necessities like groceries. Your donation will help us keep food on their table and their health in check. • Emotional Support: Loneliness and isolation have taken a toll on mental health. Your support will enable us to offer companionship and emotional support to combat the negative effects of social isolation. By donating to PCOA today, you're not just offering financial support; you're providing hope, security, and dignity to your neighbors who need it most. We firmly believe that no one should face the prospect of homelessness in their golden years, and with your help, we can make this a reality.
In consideration of your support, please note that we are a Qualifying Charitable Organization for the AZ Charitable Tax Credit. This means that when you donate to PCOA, you can claim a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your Arizona state income taxes. Couples who file jointly can reduce their taxes by up to $800; individuals by up to $400. You can donate by filling out and mailing the slip at the bottom of this page, or in the following ways: • Online at givepcoa.org • Call us at (520) 790-0504 • Drop off during regular office hours – 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM every weekday • Scan the QR Code below
Yes! I care and want to help with:
A one-time gift of
A recurring monthly gift of $________ charged to my credit card ($10 minimum).
My check made payable to PCOA is enclosed. Mail to: 8467 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85710 Please charge my gift to my credit card ($10 minimum charge).
Thank you for your compassion and support.
Signature Name Address City
PCOA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 86-0251768) and a Qualified Charitable Organization for the Arizona State Tax Credit (QCO Code: 20313). All or part of any donation may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution. Please consult a tax advisor.
This gift is anonymous. Please do not publish my name.
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Pima Council on Aging
Philanthropy As we look back on this year, we want to highlight a couple of our key supporters
Commemorating the Legacy of Lolly Almquist: A Champion for Older Adults
Pat Raskob, a Leader in Philanthropic Investing We would like to take a moment to recognize one of our most steadfast supporters, Pat Raskob. If you’ve had a chance to visit the Caregiver Skills Lab at PCOA’s offices at The Katie, you might have seen the names of Pat Raskob and Tom Paulus on the wall. Their support of this project is just a small marker of their sizeable impact. In 1981 Pat created The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson and was its first professional director raising $1 million annually until she started Raskob Kambourian Financial Advisors in 1986. The turning point in her journey came when Marian Lupu reached out and brought her attention to the pressing needs of the aging population. In her own philanthropic efforts, Pat had noticed it was much harder to fundraise for older adults. “People don’t want to think about aging,” Pat remarked. Pat decided to step up and make a difference and involved her
in fundraising committees and playing a pivotal role in various initiatives aimed at supporting older adults, earning PCOA’s Sticking Your Neck Out Award. Clark described Lolly as "an amazing force for good in this community" articulateness, and kindness. In 2012, Lolly Almquist and her family were honored at the Generations Gala, and highlighted her intelligence, where she received the prestigious Generations of Commitment Award from PCOA. This award celebrated her decades of tireless advocacy on behalf of older adults, a legacy that has been carried forward by her daughter Kristin T. Almquist, who helped to start the Council of Aging Foundation, a former side arm of PCOA’s operations. She is also survived by her two sons, Arthur and Peter. One of her other notable roles was as a member of the Tucson Unified School District Board, where she served two terms
Earlier this year, Tucson bid farewell to one of its most beloved philanthropists and community advocates, Laura 'Lolly' Almquist, whose lifetime of service to others has left an indelible mark. Lolly passed away, joining her husband John, who had preceded her in death just a year earlier. Their shared legacy of altruism and community service made them household names across Arizona. Lolly Almquist's journey of giving back began when she and her husband relocated to Tucson in 1958. Over the decades that followed, she immersed herself in various organizations and causes, including PCOA, where she was an integral leader during the early days of PCOA’s formation and continued to volunteer her time for decades to come. W. Mark Clark, President and CEO of PCOA, spoke with the Arizona Daily Star of Lolly's immense impact on the organization,mentioning her active participation
children in the mission. She is currently embarking on a new venture with her daughter Pam, a certified caregiver, to create integrated aging services here in Tucson. Pat's own desire to make an impact led her to invest in PCOA’s work, along with her husband Tom. “I like to make something possible that wouldn’t otherwise exist”, Pat says. When PCOA acquired the building that would later become The Katie, it was a natural fit for her to jump in and help make the Skills Lab a reality. "We don't have enough caregivers," Pat remarked, emphasizing the urgent need for well-trained professionals to care for our aging population. Pat thinks outside the box, and her work is not done. In reflecting on what the future holds, Pat said " I hope to continue assisting in joyful aging for years to come!"
after being elected in 1977. And in 1980, she was named Tucson Woman of the Year in recognition of her extensive volunteerism. Her dedication to serving our community, from children to older adults, earned her the admiration of many, including Arizona representative Raúl Grijalva, who fondly remembered Lolly as a 'dear friend' and a 'truly special person.' Lolly Almquist's legacy is one of compassion, empathy, and an unwavering dedication to community service. In honoring Lolly Almquist, we not only celebrate her remarkable life but also recommit ourselves to the principles she held dear - that by serving others, we can truly make the world a better place.
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 5
Pima Council on Aging
Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na
Dementia Care Partner Support Group – An ongoing program partnership between Alzheimer’s Association and Dementia Capable Southern Arizona This group can help provide social connection, encourage development of coping methods and maintenance of personal, physical and emotional health as well as optimal care for the person living with dementia. 4th Tuesday of each month | 10:30 – 11:30am
Concerned about your memory or your loved ones?
*Not held in December due to holidays* 600 S. Country Club Rd. | Tucson, AZ 85716
Call the PCOA Helpline at (520) 790-7262 or visit our website to request a free memory screening! Dementia Capable Southern Arizona Referral – Pima Council on Aging (pcoa.org)
No registration required. For information or questions, please contact Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x1739 or email@example.com.
In partnership with AARP Arizona 4th Friday of each month 10–11:30am November 17, December 15 *Note dates adjusted due to holidays* AARP Tucson Office 6700 N. Oracle Rd. Suite 331 Tucson, AZ 85704 Point of contact – Aaron Wodka at (520) 730-1170 or AWodka@aarp.org
In partnership with Posada Life Community Services 3rd Saturday of each month 1–2pm November 18, December 16 Posada Life Community Center 780 S. Park Centre Ave. Green Valley, AZ 85614 Point of contact – Ellen March at (520) 393-6840 or EMarch@casagv.org
Sponsored by TEP & In partnership with Senior Pride 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month 10–11am November 8, December 13 *Note only one café during month due to holidays* 600 S. Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716 Point of contact – Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x1739 or nthomas@ pcoa.org To register , visit https:// cafeatthekatie.eventbrite.com
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Pima Council on Aging
Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na
Training Online (Zoom) Dementia Capable Southern Arizona Classes - November & December Dementia Friends Information Session In Person 66% of dementia caregivers said caregiving interferes with their ability to take care of themselves or do daily activities. While you are caring for a loved one living with dementia, try to ensure that there is time to care for yourself. Caregiving can be a demanding and exhausting position. It can be easy to put your needs on the backburner and forget to take care of yourself. Caregivers of someone living with dementia are about twice as likely to experience substantial emotional, financial, and physical difficulties when caregiving. This added stress can increase a caregiver’s risk for physical and mental health challenges. Be intentional about practicing self-care and being compassionate with yourself. Caring for someone with dementia can make it especially difficult to find the time and energy to tend to your own needs. Sometimes you might even feel guilty or selfish when focusing on yourself. Remember that you are important too, and if you have trouble prioritizing yourself, also remember that the healthier you are, the better quality of care you will be able to provide for others. Acknowledge the difficulty of the situation you are in and give yourself credit for everything positive you are doing. Try to designate at least a little time each day for self-care, whether it’s deep breathing, taking a nap, pre-portioning food to reduce missed meals, going for a walk, or attending a support group. Help and support are out there, do not be afraid to utilize them.
Monday, November 6 10 – 11am
Friday, December 8 10 – 11am
Class size is limited. Register today: through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/ cc/dcsa-1070149 or through this QR code For more information or to register , contact Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x 1739 or firstname.lastname@example.org Memory Loss: Progressions, Behaviors, and Interventions part 2 Take a deeper dive looking at caregiver strategies, common challenges, how to approach them, and non-pharmacological approaches to caring for someone with dementia. Gain a general understanding of dementia with a focus on adopting a mindset of creating a dementia-friendly community. Sesión informative de Dementia Friends (Español) (Dementia Friends Information Session (Spanish) Es hora de cambiar la forma en que las personas piensan, actúan, y hablan sobre la demencia. Memory Loss: Progressions, Behaviors, and Interventions part 1 Dive into the progression of dementia, the brain changes that occur and behavior and care tips.
Jueves, 2 de noviembre 3 – 4pm
Wednesday, November 1 2 – 3:30pm
Wednesday, November 15 2 – 3:30pm
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 7
Pima Council on Aging
Healthy Minds for Life A Message from Lee Ryan, Professor and Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona
The “Silver Lining” of Caregiving I am a caregiver. My husband’s 92 year- old mother lives full time in our home. Cognitively, she is as sharp as a tack, but she needs considerable help with meals, cleaning, shopping, organizing doctor’s visits, and the like. So when I was planning my column this month, I took it as an opportunity to learn about the most recent research on caregiving and its impact on health. I was expecting to read studies highlighting the negatives that are often associated with being a caregiver – increased risk for depression, chronic illness, disrupted sleep, social isolation, and declining memory and other cognitive functions. But it turns out that’s not the whole story. In fact, recent studies of caregivers paint a much more positive picture that highlights the potential benefit – the silver lining – of being a caregiver. Let’s start with some facts. Caregiving is simply defined as a person who tends to the needs of another person – family or friend – with limitations due to illness, injury or disability. This often includes assistance with a person’s daily needs, managing a disease or disability, and providing social and emotional support. The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in four adults over the age of 45 are caregivers. Women are more likely to be caregivers than men. More than a third of all caregivers themselves have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregiving is often associated with health risks that negatively impact emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Caregiving can interfere with our ability to work, engage in social interactions and relationships, or maintain good
physical and mental health. Nearly all caregivers report increased daily stress ranging from mild to severe. More than half of caregivers report symptoms of depression, with approximately one quarter of caregivers meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depression. One in four caregivers report getting insufficient sleep. Caregiving may also negatively impact brain health, leading to increased risk for age-related cognitive impairment and dementia. Multiple studies have found that caregivers have poorer learning, memory, and inhibitory control compared to non-caregivers, and that cognitive scores decline more rapidly over a 2 to 4 year period compared to non-caregivers. But here’s the surprise. Other studies have reported that caregivers have better cognition compared to non- caregivers. In a major recent study on this topic, researchers from the University of South Florida followed more than 3,000 caregivers and another carefully matched 3,000 non-caregivers over a fourteen-year period. The results were impressive. Compared to non-caregivers, caregivers had better scores on measures of global cognitive functioning, memory, verbal abilities, and cognitive control. Even though caregivers reported higher levels of stress and depressive symptoms, they were not at higher risk for cognitive decline over a 14 year period. And, they lived longer, not shorter lives. What could account for these positive findings? In the South Florida study, caregivers reported psychological benefits of caregiving including emotional satisfaction, increased connectedness, increased meaning and purpose in life,
and opportunities for personal growth. It is entirely possible that these positive attributes – a psychological silver lining – balance the stress of caregiving, and may even provide benefits to brain health. The truth is probably somewhat more mixed. There is no question that caregiving may be overwhelming for some individuals and lead to negative health outcomes. But, clearly, researchers are telling us that it isn’t that way for everyone. We don’t yet understand why some, and not other, caregivers experience positive or negative outcomes. Is it related to availability of financial resources, access to adequate health care, or social support? It is critically important that we understand the circumstances that enhance caregiver health. If you are a caregiver and feel that you could benefit from support, please reach out to advocacy groups like Pima Council on Aging or the Alzheimer’s Association. They can help connect you with the resources you need to stay healthy and strong while you care for others. Lee Ryan is a Professor and Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona. She is a researcher studying aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and is a member of the Precision Aging Network. To learn more about the Precision Aging Network, visit our website at https:// precisionagingnetwork.org/ .
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Pima Council on Aging
Pima Council on Aging 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment Presentations Understand the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Learn about Medigap and Prescription Drug Plans. Questions to ask before you enroll. How and when to enroll. Learn about Medicare Savings Programs which may help with paying Part B premium and/or Part D drug costs for those who qualify. How to find plans that offer the lowest costs for prescriptions you take. Pick up 2024 Medicare Advantage plan comparison spreadsheets for Pima County Medicare beneficiaries. In-Person Location Virtual (Zoom) Day/Time
PCOA Lupu 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85710 https://lupumedicareip.eventbrite.com Oro Valley Library - REGISTRATION NOT REQUIRED 1305 W Naranja Dr, Oro Valley, AZ 85737 Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library 7800 N. Schisler Dr. Tucson, AZ 85743 https://wheelertaftabbettsrlibrary.eventbrite.com Murphy-Wilmot Library Woods Memorial Library - REGISTRATION NOT REQUIRED 3455 N 1st Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719 PCOA The Katie 600 S. Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716 https://katiemedicareip.eventbrite.com 530 N. Wilmot Dr. Tucson, AZ 85711
Virtual (Zoom) https://umvirtual22.eventbrite.com
Wednesday 12 - 3pm
Thurs. 12:30 - 4:30pm
Wednesday 10am - 1pm
Wednesday 2 – 5pm
Saturday 10:30am-2:30pm Wednesday 12 - 3pm
Virtual (Zoom) https://umvirtual22.eventbrite.com
Mondays at Oro Valley Library 10am -12pm
1305 W. Naranja Drive, Oro Valley, AZ 85737 In-person Medicare counseling – call (520) 546-2011 to schedule an appointment. (continued on page 11)
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 9
Pima Council on Aging
Protecting Yourself from Marketing Violations During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, you will likely experience more marketing from private Medicare plans, like Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D plans. Companies try to reach consumers in various ways, like television commercials, radio ads, events, mailings, phone calls, and texts. The government has rules, though, to protect you from forceful or misleading marketing. Knowing the rules and red flags can help you make the best choices for yourself during Open Enrollment. Point 1: Know the marketing rules that these private Medicare health and drug plans must follow. Remember, these companies are not the government. They just have permission from the government to sell their private plans to you. Point 2: Recognize potential marketing violation red flags.
• No one should make you feel that you could lose your Medicare benefits if you don’t enroll in their plan. • No one should ask for your Medicare or Social Security numbers just to provide you with information.
• No one should make a cold call to ask for your Medicare or Social Security information. Instead, rely on government websites, phone numbers, and offices for information. Your Senior Medicare Patrol, called SMP, or your State Health Insurance Assistance
Program, called SHIP, are government funded. Point 3: Report plan marketing violations.
These projects are supported in part by grant number 90MPPG0022, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy. No one should ask for your Medicare number, Social Security number, or bank information just to provide you with information. Someone can use your personal information to enroll you in a plan without your permission or to steal your personal information. If you have been enrolled in a plan without your knowledge or because of misleading marketing, you may be able to make changes to your coverage outside of the Open Enrollment Period. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or your local SHIP to see if you qualify and for help making the change. Pima Council on Aging is your local SHIP and SMP. Call (520) 546-2011 or email SHIP@pcoa.org for assistance. If you think you have experienced marketing violations, you should report it. Keep any documented proof, such as an agent’s business card, marketing materials, emails, or phone call records. You can report marketing violations to 1-800-MEDICARE or your local SHIP or SMP. Your local SHIP or SMP can explain the government’s marketing rules, help you review the incident, and report it to the correct authorities, if needed. Point 4: Protect yourself from unwanted enrollments or identity theft.
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Pima Council on Aging
Pima Council on Aging - 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment Presentations (continued from page 9) This project was supported in part by grant number 90MPPG0022, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy Call (520) 546-2011 to Learn if More Dates Have Been Added Near You.
Cut Your Medicare Prescription Drug Costs with “Extra Help”
Great news: thanks to the new prescription drug law, the Inflation Reduction Act, in 2024 people with Medicare may qualify for even more savings through the Extra Help program. This program helps some people pay their Medicare drug coverage (Part D) costs, like premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and other costs. In 2024, the program will expand and you may qualify. How does Extra Help lower my costs? In 2024, everyone who qualifies for Extra Help will pay: • $0 for your Medicare drug plan premium. • $0 for your plan deductible. • A reduced amount for both generic and brand-name drugs. If you get any level of Extra Help now, and meet the qualifications for next year, you’ll get these cost savings automatically—you don’t need to reapply. How do I find out if I qualify for Extra Help? In most cases, you must live in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, and have income and resources below a
certain limit. The income limit is based on your income from the previous year. • Your annual income must be below $21,870 for an individual, or $29,580 for a married couple in 2023. • Your resources must be below $16,600 for an individual, or $33,240 for a married couple in 2023. o Resources include money in a checking, savings, or retirement account,stocks, and bonds. Resources don’t include your home, one car, burial plots, up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you’ve put that money aside, furniture, and other household and personal items These limits can change each year. Even if you don’t qualify for Extra Help now, you can reapply for Extra Help any time, if your income and resources change. How do I apply for Extra Help? Some people qualify automatically, but if you don’t, it’s easy to apply for Extra Help: • Visit Social Security online at ssa.gov/extrahelp. • Call Social Security at (800) 772-1213. TTY users can call (800) 325-0778. After you apply, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter
to let you know if you qualify for Extra Help. Once you qualify, you can choose a Medicare drug plan. If you qualify for Extra Help and don’t select a plan, Medicare will select a plan for you. Where can I get more information? • Visit Social Security at ssa.gov/ extrahelp or call (800) 772-1213 (TTY: (800) 325-0778) if you have questions about the Extra Help program or need help filling out the application. • Visit Medicare.gov/extrahelp or call (800) MEDICARE ((800) 633-4227) to learn about Medicare drug plans, Extra Help, and other ways to lower your prescription drug costs. TTY users can call (877) 486-2048.
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 11
Pima Council on Aging
Rights & Benefits Information ALTCS Workshops
Learn about the Arizona Long Term Care System, including what it is, what it takes to be eligible for the program, and what kinds of services are available once a person becomes eligible. This workshop is a great place to start when you are considering ALTCS for yourself or for a loved one.
Rural Home Access Program Offers Free Home Assessments & Improvements toilet, lighting, shower chairs/ benches, anti-slip floor coating). “There is a strong link between health and homes,” notes Lupita Munoz, Home Access Administrator at Direct
Direct Advocacy & Resource Center expands its 30-year-old Home Access Program to rural areas in eight counties to promote home safety and aging in place. The Rural Home Access Program offers assistance to homeowners ages 62+ with low to moderate household income (up to 80% area median income). Falling once doubles an individual’s chances of a repeat incident, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which also identifies about 36 million falls among older adults each year. The Joint Center of Harvard University reports that nearly half of older adults age in low density or rural areas – many who need financial assistance to make accessibility and safety changes to their homes. The Rural Home Access Program is free for eligible beneficiaries and includes individualized home assessments and low-cost, high-impact safety solutions (e.g., grab bars, handrails/ railings, comfort-height
Please join us in person Date: December 19 (Please note a change of date for the December workshop.) Location: The Katie | 600 S Country Club Rd Please join us on Zoom from your computer, tablet, or phone Date: November 9 Registration is required for both the in person workshop and online webinar. To register , go to: https://bit.ly/3KldFP2 , or call Donna DeLeon at (520) 305-3450. In January workshops will resume the second Thursday of each month 2:30 – 4 p.m. Second Thursday of each month 2:30 – 4 p.m. Location may be subject to change. Eventbrite registration will reflect the most up-to- date location information. The webinar is available by telephone or via Zoom on a computer or smart device.
Advocacy & Resource Center. “We help older adults make their homes safe so they can avoid unnecessary admittance to nursing facilities or assisted living. Everyone should have the opportunity to live in their own homes – for life.” Funding for the Rural Home Access Program is through the Office of Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Anyone interested in applying for the Rural Home Access Program, or for more information on home safety/ aging in place, should contact Direct Advocacy & Resource Center: email@example.com, (520) 561-8777, 711 National Relay.
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Pima Council on Aging
Rights & Benefits Information
Minimizing the Risk of Financial Abuse for People Living with Dementia By Jack Burns , Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, Arizona
Celebrating 88 Years of Social Security By Jack Burns , Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, Arizona For 88 years, Social Security has provided income protection to millions of retirees, people with disabilities, dependents, and families that lose a wage earner. This year, we will administer more than $1.3 trillion in benefits and payments to more than 70 million beneficiaries. In addition, we issue millions of Social Security numbers each year, maintain wage records, and more. We are proud to serve the American people every day. To better serve you, we have prioritized our online customer experience. Our website SSA.gov makes it easier for you to find what you need. More than 180 million people visit our website every year. Whether providing service in person or online, our goal is help you understand what you may qualify for and transition you to an application process. We have also worked to make sure our programs, particularly Supplemental Security Income (SSI), remains accessible to the people who need it most. Last year, we launched an online tool that allows you or your representative to request an appointment to file for SSI and protect your filing date. A Social Security employee will then schedule a full interview. Find more information about SSI at www.ssa.gov/ssi/ . We remain committed to helping maintain the well-being and protection of the people we serve. We strive to ensure that every person who is eligible for or receives benefits gets them timely and accurately. That is how we help you secure today and tomorrow.
Financial crime against older Americans is a growing problem. People living with dementia are at an especially high risk of becoming victims. That’s why we’re committed to combatting fraud. As their memory and other thinking skills decline, people with dementia may struggle to make financial decisions. They may not remember or report the abuse – or understand that someone is taking advantage of them. This abuse can occur anywhere – including at home or in care settings. Victims of fraud who are 80 years and older lose an average of $39,200 every year. Studies show that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse. However, only a small fraction of these incidents are reported. You can help protect others by learning to recognize common signs of financial exploitation and abuse, including: • Unopened bills. • Unusual or large purchases. • Utilities being shut off due to unpaid bills. • Money given to telemarketers or soliciting companies. • Unexplained withdrawals from the person’s bank account. There are also many simple things that caregivers can do to reduce the risk of financial abuse for people with dementia and similar conditions, like Alzheimer’s. Do your best to make sure
they’re involved in deciding which safety measures to put into place. Some options include: • Agreeing to spending limits on credit cards. • Signing up for the “Do Not Call” list at DoNotCall.gov . • Setting up auto-pay for bills instead of paying them by check. • Signing up to receive automatic notifications for withdrawals from bank accounts or large charges to credit cards. • Requesting electronic bank and credit card statements and watching for unusual purchases or changes in how the person typically spends money. • Asking credit card companies to stop sending balance transfer checks and opting out of future solicitations. • Creating a separate account where you can keep a small, agreed-upon amount of money that the person can use for recreational activities, meals with friends, etc. To learn more about combating elder abuse, visit our blog at https://blog.ssa. gov/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day- combating-injustice/ .
Please share this information with your friends and loved ones who may need it.
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 13
Pima Council on Aging
Free training for informal, nonpaid family caregivers Caregiving Essentials: First Steps Training Schedule 2023-24
Fri., November 17 Tues., January 30 Wed., February 21 Fri., March 15
Wed., April 3 Tues., May 14 Wed., June 5
600 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson, AZ If staying for both, bring your own lunch. Coffee and water available.
Workshop 1: Steps to Resilience (9am – 12:30pm)
Workshop 2: Physical Care and Safety (1 – 3:30pm)
• Stress Management & Grief • Communication • Dementia Behaviors & Issues • Finances & Legal Resources • Lifelines for Support: Respite & Support Groups • Phone and Technology Use • Grief & End of Life Resources
• Re-positioning with reassessment • Activity Planning, Outings and Car Etiquette • Infection control and providing Personal Care
• Proper Body Mechanics • Home Environment Safety & Fall Prevention • Planning for an Emergency • Understanding Assistive Devices • Proper Walking /Transferring techniques
Register on Eventbrite: https://caregivingessentials23.eventbrite.com or call Pima Council on Aging, (520) 790-7573 ext. 1750; firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions, call Kelley Hansen (520) 790-7573 ext. 3413; email@example.com For possible respite during training, call Arizona Caregiver Coalition (888) 737-7494 or our Helpline (520) 790-7262. This training does not provide certification or CEU’s for employment.
Page 14 | November/December 2023, Never Too Late
Pima Council on Aging
PCOA CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Held in-person or virtually with Zoom
“In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Participation in the groups can be in person, by telephone, computer/tablet/ or smartphone with video. Support groups are a way to connect with others who are walking the journey of caregiving like you are. You get to SEE (if you use the video option) that you are not alone. You get to hear other’s challenges and successes, learn about helpful resources, know that your story matters and that you have been heard. Support groups are facilitated by a 12/14, 2nd Thursday , 1–2:30pm (East) In-Person 11/15, 3rd Wednesday , 1–2:30pm (East) In-Person 11/16 & 12/21, 3rd Thursday , 1:30–3pm Virtual ON ZOOM 11/20 & 12/18, 3rd Monday , 1–2:30 pm (Midtown) In-Person 11/21 & 12/19, 3rd Tuesday , 10–11:30am (North) In-Person
To protect the confidentiality of the group sessions, access information will only be given to registered participants. Emails are sent out on Fridays with updated schedules and additional information. If you participated in the groups before COVID, and have not been receiving the emails, please check your junk or spam folder. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact: Tonetta Clay, Support Group Facilitator (520) 305-3405, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER professional and are a safe place for you to express your concerns, frustrations, etc. and learn that others feel this way too.
11/2 & 12/7, 1st Thursday, 1–2:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 11/6 & 12/4 1st Monday , 1–2:30pm (East) In-Person 11/7 & 12/5, 1st Tuesday , 12–1:30pm (Oro Valley) In-Person 11/13 & 12/11, 2nd Monday , 1–2:30pm (Green Valley) In-Person 11/14 & 12/12, 2nd Tuesday , 5:30–7pm Virtual ON ZOOM
11/27 4th Monday , 11am–12:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 12/27, 4th Wednesday , 11am–12:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM (Rescheduled from 12/15 due to Christmas holiday) 11/28 4th Tuesday , 9–10:30am (Southwest) In-Person 12/28, 4th Thursday , 9–10:30am (Southwest) In-Person (Rescheduled from 12/26 due to Christmas holiday)
*NOTE: There will be no meetings on days where holidays are observed PLEASE RSVP for all groups. At all in-person meetings we continue to social distance and mask wearing is optional. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact: Tonetta Clay, Support Group Facilitator (520) 305-3405, email@example.com
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 15
Pima Council on Aging
For Caregivers, It’s Always the Season of Giving
By Tonetta Clay, Family Caregiver Support Group Specialist It’s the Season of Giving! And if you’re an informal caregiver (someone who sees to the needs of an older adult or adult with disabilities), you may feel that you’re all given out. For this reason, PCOA’s Family Caregiver Support Program is working hard to develop events that give care to you – the caregivers. November is National Family Caregivers Month and we celebrate, appreciate, and thank each of you for your hard work and dedication to your loved one who needs assistance to live safely and independently. We know that you put in countless hours—and sacrifice your own needs—looking out for the one you love. You make everything possible! So save the date and let us give you a little something! We will host an appreciation event for you on Wednesday, November 15th! Be-Leaf In Yourself! Wednesday, November 15 | 1 – 3:30 PM (come and go as you would like) Gene C. Reid Park, Ramada #22 (Across from PCOA’s Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center, 600 S. Country Club) Join us as we celebrate your strengths, provide resources to meet your needs, and connect you with supports and encouragement! Some of the resources you will learn about include: • Caregiver resources including support groups, training and workshops, and personalized coaching
In this workshop, you will learn: • How memory loss affects communication • Challenges that memory loss can create for caregivers • Strategies for communicating effectively with your loved one Building Support and Connections will take place on April 18, 2024 from 1:30 – 3 PM This workshop will emphasize the importance of: • Developing support outside your caregiving role • Building connections and strengthening your support system • Accessing resources in the community We invite you to attend any or all of these online workshops! Simply RSVP by contacting Tonetta Clay, Family Caregiver Support Group Specialist at (520) 305- 3405 or firstname.lastname@example.org! With the holiday season coming in to full swing, allow us to gift you with information, ideas, support, and resources to assist you along your caregiving journey. You are never alone in this journey, and you may even find gifts along the way! For more information about Family Caregiver Support services or our caregiver appreciation events, please reach out to PCOA’S Helpline at (520) 790-7262. Communication and Memory Loss: Dementia Communication Tips will meet on February 13, 2024 from 5:30 – 7 PM
• Healthy living resources including fitness and fall prevention • Dementia resources including Memory Cafes • Benefit resources including property tax credits and personal budgeting assistance • Medicare resources including non- biased plan options * Enter to win raffle prizes * Contribute your creativity to a community caregiver collage Register online through Eventbrite: https://caregiverappreciation2023. eventbrite.com. Or register in person , by calling Donna DeLeon at (520) 790-7573 ext. 1750. Being that it’s the season of giving, we also want to gift you with opportunities to share your caregiving challenges and learn strategies for surviving and thriving. Three amazing PCOA staff members will bring you supportive mini-workshops in the new year. Mark your calendars for these virtual presentations: Give Me A Break: Respite and Placing a Loved One in Residential Care will be held on January 22, 2024 from 11 AM – 12:30 PM. This workshop will explore important questions like: • What is respite care? And what types of respite exist? • When “should” I place a loved one into a care home? • How can I find community resources for respite care and care homes?
Page 16 | November/December 2023, Never Too Late
Pima Council on Aging
PCOA Community Lunch Program
Have Lunch and Make a Friend
Do You Know... • Someone who could benefit from a lunch program that also provides an opportunity to make new friends. Let’s face it, eating alone, at home, is no fun. • These programs are typically open from Monday – Friday (except as noted and holidays) from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1pm. • There are fun activities available during these hours. Depending on the site, activities include games, movies, crafts and even field trips. • A transportation subsidy may be available to get someone to these lunch programs. Transportation is provided via Sun Van to individuals with disabilities with a current ADA Eligibility Card issued by the City of Tucson. • Lunch programs are open to all individuals 60 and older and their spouse regardless of age. Once you register at a meal site, you will be required to reserve your meals each week. That way, we know you’re coming and your lunch is waiting for you. A suggested donation of $2–$3 is requested. Community Center Lunches are a program of the Pima Council on Aging in collaboration with sub-contracted agencies: Catholic Community Services, Chicanos Por La Causa, and the City of Tucson Parks & Recreation Department.
Check it out here: https://bit.ly/PCOAmeals This Month’s Menu
COMMUNITY LUNCH CENTERS NEAR YOU
290 W. Fifth St., Ajo 85321
(520) 387-5040 (520) 791-4353 (520) 791-4070 (602) 831-1643 (520) 889-0928 (520) 837-8210 (520) 887-9786 (520) 791-4969 (520) 791-3247 (520) 791-2509 (520) 485-7413 (520) 791-5787
Archer Neighborhood Armory Park Senior *
1665 S. La Cholla Blvd., Tucson 85713 220 S. 5th Ave., Tucson 85701 250 N. Silverbell Rd, Tucson 85745 101 W. Irvington Rd., Tucson 85714 1390 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson 85705 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd., Tucson 85705 5000 E. 29th St., Tucson 85711 2160 N. 6th Ave., Tucson 85705
Casa De Encanto
El Pueblo Neighborhood Center El Rio Neighborhood Center
Ellie Towne/Flowing Wells Community Center **
Freedom Recreation Center
Donna Liggins Center
Posada Life Community Center Quincie Douglas Senior Center
780 S. Park Centre Ave., Green Valley 85614 (520) 393-6814
1575 E. 36th St., Tucson 85713
Saguaro Christian Church William Clements Center
8302 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson 85710 8155 E. Poinciana Dr., Tucson 85730
Please call in advance to reserve a meal and for days and hours of operation. Funded by: Federal Older Americans Act through AZ DES/DAAS, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, City of Tucson, and Individual Contributions * Dinner meal only ** Open Mon., Wed., Fri.
November/December 2023, Never Too Late | Page 17
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