The M&M | A Medicare-Medicaid Advocacy E-Newsletter | Holiday 2017 Issue

Colorado has an advocate for people with both Medicare and Medicaid who are members of the Accountable Care Collaborative. The Medicare-Medicaid Advocate can help members solve problems with the health care services- free of charge. We know it's not always easy to know which program covers your services or who to contact.
The Colorado Medicare-Medicaid Advocate can help!
Welcome to The M&M
News for CO's Medicare-Medicaid Beneficiaries
Happy Holidays and welcome to the inaugural edition of The M&M, the e-newsletter for Colorado Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries! Our aim is to provide helpful, educational and entertaining information relevant to the lives of folks who receive Medicare and Medicaid services. If you or someone you know would like to join our mailing list, please click here or the box below.

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Holiday Shopping
Tips to Keep You Safe While You Holiday Shop
With the holiday season fast approaching, you may find yourself out shopping more than usual. While you are enjoying the spirit of the season, you must still remain aware of your surroundings.

Police nationwide report an increase in crime around the holidays, particularly in retail areas. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, senior citizens are often targeted as the victims of crime, due to the perception that they will be easier to distract or slower to react to what is happening. Therefore, before you head out to the mall this holiday season, please read the safety tips below and keep them in mind.
  • Always keep your vehicle locked. If you are storing shopping bags or other packages in your vehicle as you move between shops, place them in your trunk, where they will be out of sight. If this is not possible, bring a blanket to cover the bags. A thief will be less likely to break into your vehicle if they can’t see what is inside it.
  • Shop during daylight hours when you can. If you must shop at night, make sure to park in a location where there is adequate lighting both on your vehicle and on your path from it to the store you are visiting. The closer you can park to the door of the shop, the better.
  • At all times, be keen to your surroundings and always walk purposefully and with confidence. Have your keys in hand before you exit a building to move toward your car. If you have to stop and fumble for your keys when you reach your car, you are making yourself vulnerable for attackers. You should also avoid carrying too many packages at once, so as not to be caught off balance.
  • Make sure your purses and wallets are secure, and be aware of them at all times. Keep the number of credit cards you are carrying at a given time to a minimum, and know exactly which ones you have on hand. Additionally, you should keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home, in the event your credit card is lost or stolen. If you must carry cash, separate it into different pockets or locations on your person.
  • The general rule about safety in number applies to holiday shopping as well. When possible, bring a friend or relative with you to the store.
Pets can bring companionship and joy for many years. Plus, adopting a pet sends a positive ripple effect throughout the community.
Health Focus
Pets Benefit Seniors Too
Pets can  help seniors’ health  by lowering blood pressure, boosting their moods and keeping them active.

Puppies and kittens need lots of attention, so seniors should consider adopting older animals. They’re often litter box trained or housebroken, and accustomed to living with people. It can also be easier to tell if you’re a good match with an older animal’s personality, which becomes more consistent with age.

Seasonal residents can consider  fostering animals  that aren’t quite ready for adoption. Seniors who can’t have a pet in the home can  volunteer  at their local shelter or  donate needed items to nearby shelters.

Pet Adoption Links:
Healthy Colorado Eating
Choosing Healthy Meals as You Get Older
Making healthy food choices is a smart thing to do—no matter how old you are! Your body changes through your 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond.

Food provides  nutrients  you need as you age. Use these tips to choose foods for better health at each stage of life.

1. Drink plenty of liquids | With age, you may lose some of your sense of thirst.  Drink water often . Low-fat or fat-free milk or 100% juice also helps you stay hydrated. Limit beverages that have lots of  added sugars  or salt. Learn which liquids are better choices.
2. Make eating a social event | Meals are more enjoyable when you eat with others. Invite a friend to join you or take part in a potluck at least twice a week. A senior center or place of worship may offer meals that are shared with others. There are many ways to make mealtimes pleasing.
3. Plan healthy meals | Find trusted nutrition information from  and the  National Institute on Aging . Get advice on what to eat,  how much to eat , and  which foods to choose , all based on the  Dietary Guidelines for Americans . Find sensible, flexible ways to choose and prepare tasty meals so you can eat foods you need.
4. Know how much to eat | Learn to recognize how much to eat so you can control portion size.  MyPlate’s SuperTracker shows amounts of food you need. When eating out, pack part of your meal to eat later. One restaurant dish might be enough for two meals or more.
5. Vary your vegetables | Include a variety of different colored  vegetables  to brighten your plate. Most vegetables are a low-calorie source of nutrients. Vegetables are also a good source of fiber.
6. Eat for your teeth and gums | Many people find that their  teeth and gums  change as they age. People with dental problems sometimes find it hard to chew fruits, vegetables, or meats. Don’t miss out on needed nutrients! Eating softer foods can help. Try cooked or canned foods like unsweetened  fruit low-sodium  soups, or canned tuna.
7. Use herbs and spices | Foods may seem to lose their flavor as you age. If favorite dishes taste different, it may not be the cook! Maybe your  sense of smell, sense of taste , or both have changed.  Medicines may also change how foods taste. Add flavor to your meals with herbs and spices.
8. Keep food safe | Don’t take a chance with your health. A  food-related illness  can be life threatening for an older person. Throw out food that might not be safe. Avoid certain foods that are always risky for an older person, such as unpasteurized  dairy  foods. Other foods can be harmful to you when they are raw or undercooked, such as eggs, sprouts, fish, shellfish, meat, or poultry.
9. Read the Nutrition Facts label | Make the right choices when buying food. Pay attention to important  nutrients  to know as well as calories, fats, sodium, and the rest of the  Nutrition Facts label . Ask your doctor if there are ingredients and nutrients you might need to limit or to increase.
10. Ask your doctor about vitamins or supplements | Food is the best way to get nutrients you need. Should you take  vitamins  or other pills or powders with herbs and minerals? These are called  dietary supplements Your doctor will know  if you need them. More may not be better. Some can interfere with your medicines or affect your medical conditions.

Go to  and  for more information.
National Institute on Aging | United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Disability Law Colorado
Home of CO's Medicare-Medicaid Advocacy Program
455 Sherman Street Suite 130 | Denver, CO 80203