AASCC's Monthly News and Notes


June 2015 Issue

AASCC Celebrated Older Americans Month in May with two events.  Thirty centenarians from 13 towns in the greater New Haven area were honored at the 29th Annual Centenarian Luncheon. Visit our website for more about this event.

The Art of Aging Exhibition opened on May 21st with a reception. Read more here and plan to come by the office to view the works that will be on display until the Closing Reception on June 19th.

Volunteer Spotlight

Agency on Aging is the proud home to over 400 Senior Corps volunteers who have made the pledge to "work for the greatest good and use their lifetime of experiences to improve their country, their community, and themselves through service" as Senior Corps volunteers. During the week of May 18th, we joined programs from throughout the nation in saluting these amazing volunteers as part of Senior Corps Week!


Senior Corps Week is a time to salute volunteers from Foster Grandparent Program, RSVP, and Senior Companion Program, recognize community sponsors and partners, and communicate the impact of and on the lives of those who serve. In New Haven, Mayor Toni Harp issued a proclamation thanking our volunteers for their service and RSVP program manager Cherie Larson-Strucaly wrote each of her volunteers a note of appreciation.


Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions served over 150,000 hours last year, helping over 85 pre-K and elementary school students get ready for school and 94 frail older adults stay connected. RSVP volunteers serve in a wide range of roles, with an emphasis on both serving veterans and engaging them in continued service.


Multiple studies have shown that  volunteering not only benefits the community but also the volunteer -- contributing towards a longer life, lower levels of disability, and higher levels of well-being. At AASCC our volunteers are supported through regular get-togethers and on-going training, proving it's never too late to learn!


The Agency on Aging is always looking for older adult volunteers who would like to get involved! Stipends are available and volunteers can select the role and time commitment that works best for their schedule. Contact the Volunteer and Training Department at volunteer@aoascc.org or visit www.aoascc.org/seniorcorps for more information today!

Upcoming Events

"New to Medicare" Seminar, June 17


Art of Aging Reception, June 19



Annual Meeting June 18th:  If you are a professional in the aging network, then this is a great opportunity to find out what the Interagency Council is all about!

CHOICES Corner: 

"Doc Fix"

President Obama signed the "Doc Fix" bill into law on April 16, 2015.  The bill passed without any of the amendments that advocates for older adults endorsed.  The bill is designed to stabilize doctor reimbursements and move toward a system that rewards value over volume of care provided.  Unfortunately, it comes at a financial cost to Medicare beneficiaries and doesn't address the issues of therapy caps on out- patient services, increasing eligibility caps for low-income programs and extending funding for education and outreach programs for low-income beneficiaries.


Medicare beneficiaries will have increased out of pocket costs as a result of the "Doc Fix" bill.  Some of the increase will come from increased Medigap deductibles and limits on coverage for new Medicare beneficiaries. Some will come from future Medicare premium increases.  In addition, means-testing for some Medicare beneficiaries will be increased.  Congress opted to exempt the pharmaceutical and insurances industries from sharing in the cost of the "Doc Fix" bill.

 Caregiver Corner


Depression After a Stroke


Depression following a stroke is a common experience.  Depression often occurs in the individual who had the stroke and the caregiver.  Research shows that depression has a negative impact on recovery from a stroke.  Conventional wisdom says "it's not uncommon to feel bad after a stroke...look at all the individual has lost in personal functioning".   This is true, but just because it's common doesn't mean it should be ignored or treated lightly.  Untreated depression can have devastating consequences.  Most people who are depressed following a stroke, both patient and caregiver, are not properly diagnosed and do not get the help they need to feel better.


Following a stroke, it's very common to feel sad.  People have emotional reactions to any life changing event.  This combines with chemical reactions in the brain associated with strokes.  But, depression is more than feeling sad.  Individuals who are depressed have symptoms that persist over time; they feel helpless, hopeless; frequently very tired all the time; have no appetite; and may have lost interest in things that they usually enjoy; in some cases they may talk of suicide.  These symptoms shouldn't be ignored.  Although most people who are depressed won't attempt suicide, all will have a more difficult time recovering from a stroke.  Recovery from a stroke requires the full participation in their rehabilitation.  Depression limits their participation.  Caregivers who are depressed have less energy available to assist the person with the stroke in their rehab process.


There are many treatment options available for persons with depression, ranging from medication to counseling to physical exercise.  The important factor to remember is that stroke related depression is very common. It needs to be accurately diagnosed and treated if the person with the stroke is to have optimal recovery.  Whether it's the caregiver or the care recipient who is depressed, treatment is needed.  Discuss the symptoms with your care provider and select the treatment option that works best in your situation.




In the Community


The Greater New Haven Transit District Foundation received a $5,000 grant from AASCC through Older Americans Act Title III funding.  To raise funds to provide transportation services for older adults and individuals with disabilities, the GNHTD Foundation started an Art in Motion campaign.


As part of this initiative, the GNHTD is featuring original artwork on the buses. AASCC's sponsored bus has a lovely scene created by local artist Cathy Weiss, who did the artwork pro bono.  This bus will be in service 3-5 years providing transportation throughout New Haven county. 


 "We are proud to be a part of giving more access to transportation so that older adults and people with disabilities enjoy the freedom that comes with greater access" commented Ted Surh, President of AASCC,  "the level of demand has been consistently growing and will continue to grow as more older adults stop driving due to health reasons."  

A reception will be held at the GNHTD 840 Sherman facility on June 3rd from 5:00 to 6:00 PM
to officially launch this inaugural bus of the Foundation's campaign. 

Did You Know?

  • The average American makes an average of 3.4 trips a day.
  • More than 20 percent of older adults 65 and over do not drive.
  • Many older adults live in communities with poor access to public transportation. 

Older adults who no longer drive make: 

  • 15 percent fewer trips to the doctor
  • 59 percent fewer trips to shop or eat out,
  • 65 percent fewer trips to visit friends and family,

Excerpts from Aging in Place, Stuck without Options


Transportation is one of AASCC's priority areas. Consider the following excerpts from our area plan.


Respondents to a Connecticut Survey who reported issues with transportation, cited the following:

  • for 47%, lack of a car and/or inability to drive themselves
  • for 47%, lack of a person to assist or drive
  • for 36%, unavailability/unreliability of public buses
  • for 28%, fixed route does not take them where they wish to go
  • for 27%, dial-a-ride service is unavailable or unreliable
  • for 24%, cost of rides

Transportation is an essential support that allows older adults to remain independent and provides them with access to services.  Yet, the DSS Strategic Rebalancing Plan found that transportation is "Frequently acknowledged as one of the greater unmet needs in communities."  AARP anticipates that the number of older non-drivers will increase by about 15% by 2025. 

Copyright Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.

1 Long Wharf Drive, Suite 1L, New Haven, CT * (203) 785-8533 * www.aoascc.org*