AoASCC's Monthly News and Notes


October 2015 Issue

The Fearless Caregiver Conference provides practical information, advice and support for those caring for loved ones. The conference is designed to help attendees receive hands-on advice for his or her caregiving challenges.

AOASCC is sponsoring this conference when it comes to Connecticut on November 5th.  There is no cost for caregivers.  Find out more. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Foster Grandparent Program  

Miss Celinda was always busy working and now it was time to retire. She was feeling uncertain and a little afraid about her next step in life, but then she heard about the Foster Grandparent Program. The thought of becoming involved was exciting because she loves children, so she didn't hesitate to sign up. The opportunity to influence a child's life is important to her because she didn't get much guidance as a child.

Miss Celinda really wishes more people knew about the Foster Grandparent Program. She tells us that it has helped her in many areas, such as her mental well-being and overall health. She also says that the stipend is a help, as she has caught up on some bills. It is not about the money though, it's about the children she is able to influence. Miss Celinda has promised that she will continue with our program for many years to come.
Find out more about volunteering with children through AOASCC.   
Upcoming Events
October 8
C4A Annual Conference: Supporting Love Across the LifeSpan

October 15
TEARS Elder Abuse Conference

October 22
Interagency Council: Strategic Planning & Thinking

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Annual Breakfast Meeting
October 28, 2015
Keynote Speaker
Becca Levy, PhD
Yale School of Public Health
Promoting Public Health through 
Fighting Ageism
CHOICES Corner: 
The Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare D (prescription drugs) is quickly approaching: October 15th - December 7th. This is the time when Medicare beneficiaries should reevaluate their medications against the Part D plans being offered in 2016 to ensure that they have selected the best option. Also, beneficiaries can look into Medicare Advantage plan offerings. It is extremely important that people understand what they are enrolling in prior to doing so. CHOICES counselors are available to discuss options preferably by appointment. NOTE: It is illegal for insurance brokers and companies to make unsolicited sales calls. The consumer must initiate the initial contact. Also, marketing of prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans cannot begin prior to October 1st.

Caregiver Corner: 
Recently, three ADRC respite staff members participated in a two-day Pro-Tools for Caregivers training.  The purpose of the training was to train the staff to become leaders of these workshops for caregivers.  Powerful Tools for Caregivers (or PTC) has been offered since 1998 and has reached over 80,000 caregivers.  The PTC workshops are based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Workshops developed by Dr. Kate Lorig and her colleagues at Stanford University. 
The six-week workshop is held once a week for 2.5 hours.  Each class participant receives a copy of The Caregiver Helpbook that was developed for this workshop series.  During the 6 weeks, caregivers will learn and develop self-care tools such as reducing personal stress, changing negative self-talk, communicating their needs to family members and/or providers, communicating more effectively in challenging situations, recognizing the messages in their emotions, dealing with difficult feelings and making tough caregiving decisions.  

The program is available in English, Spanish, and Korean. Data from class participant evaluations indicates the PTC program improves:
  • Self-Care Behaviors: (increased exercise, use of relaxation techniques and medical checkups.)
  • Management of Emotions: (reduced guilt, anger, and depression.)
  • Self-efficacy (increased confidence in coping with caregiving demands.)
  • Use of Community Resources: (increased utilization of community services.)
AOASCC will host a PTC workshop series within the next year.

In the Community

The CARE Act, which passed with bi-partisan support during the 2015 legislative session, was signed by the Governor as Public Act 15-32.  The new law goes into effect October 1st and will assist patients and their family caregivers when they are transitioning home from the hospital by requiring hospitals to:
  • Provide patients the opportunity to designate a family caregiver
  • Attempt to notify the caregiver before the patient is discharged back home
  • Instruct the caregiver on the medical tasks-such as medication management, injections, wound care and transfers-that they will need to perform at home.

At risk for falls?
There is a new program to assist those who are at risk for falls, have fallen or who have had to phone 911 for a list-assist. This program's goal is to help the individual stay safely in their own homes by providing additional, no-cost help from doctors, nurses and paramedics.
 AOASCC has recently partnered with Yale University's Department of Emergency Medicine, AMR, several VNAs and several municipalities to promote the P.R.I.D.E. (Paramedic Referrals for Increased Independence and Decreased Disability in the Elderly) Program.  P.R.I.D.E.  is funded by a grant through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center in partnership with Yale University's Department of Emergency Medicine.
Older adults and disabled residents in the following towns and cities are eligible for this free program:  New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, North Branford, Guilford, Madison and Meriden.   Referrals can be made by calling 1-877-978-8343 or online.

Did You Know?
In 2013, about 25,500 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries in the US.
  • One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) fall each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.
  • Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually

 Center for Disease Control

Care Network Link is a one-stop resource for aging in place, serving all towns in Connecticut and those above the eligibility thresholds for programs offered by AOASCC. This new non-profit business offers a wide range of services and ensures that all the companies in the network are trustworthy, quality focused with well-trained employees. Membership is free and entitles you to discounts from the providers in the network. Whether it is housekeeping, personal care, meal delivery, chores or modifications to make your home safer, Care Network Link has the trustworthy providers to take care of your needs. Visit our website & find out more.

Copyright Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.

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