AOASCC News & Notes


July 2017

Volunteer Spotlight

What does volunteering as a tutor through Experience Corps mean to Sam?  
Here's Sam's story.

I was paired with Joe, a third grade student who had so many challenges at the beginning of the school year, the teachers were very unsure of his academic needs. I quickly discovered that Joe likes sharks, so we began watching videos about sharks, reading books about sharks, and drawing pictures and talking about sharks. We became shark experts! Then the classroom teacher introduced the class to Jacques Cousteau.  So I began reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to Joe. We discussed the story, strengthening Joe's vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

When Jose was re-evaluated, his reading scores greatly improved! The teachers and I have done a happy dance for his success.
73% of the students tutored by Experience Corps volunteers showed improvement in  their reading scores- even those students who were one or more grade levels behind in reading skills.

Recruitment has begun for the next school year.  Join us at an informational session and find out more.
Caregiver Corner:  Communication with Cancer

Many of us are caring for someone with cancer.  It is a challenge to communicate effectively with a person with cancer.  There is such fear of cancer in our society because in many instances, cancer is a death sentence.  Most of us fear death for ourselves and those we love.  It's easier to avoid the subject than confront our feelings.  However, the person with cancer has little else on his or her mind. If you don't talk about the cancer, there is little else to discuss.
Some people with cancer are very angry about their diagnosis and they take their anger out on the people who are closest (and safest), their caregivers.  Others refuse to confront their feelings openly and instead become passive.  They stop communicating.  As a caregiver you spend countless hours trying to get them to talk with you, to acknowledge their fears and anxieties, to no avail.  It is very frustrating and emotionally exhausting for the caregiver.
You can be more effective in your communication if you really listen to what the person with cancer saying. Reflect back what you think you're hearing to ensure you're both on the same page.  Ask if they feel they have enough information about their disease.  Some people feel empowered by information and want to know everything, others feel overwhelmed and want to rely on their healthcare team for important decisions.  Don't say that you know "how he feels".  You don't.  Only the person knows how they feel.  You might be feeling frightened about the future without the one you love.  They might be feeling depressed at the thought of losing everything in life. 
Be accepting of whatever is said.  There isn't a right or wrong way to feel about a cancer diagnosis.  We each react differently.  We're entitled to our feelings.  Don't try to minimize the pain, but instead offer to be there throughout it.  If the person you care for has faced other challenges in life and successfully managed to get through a difficult time, remind them that the same strengths can be used to get through this challenge. It's very important to keep trying to maintain open lines of communication.  Often people with cancer will isolate themselves.  Help them to stay connected by not giving up on them when communication is difficult.
For some caregivers of persons with cancer, there comes a time when the cancer takes over and treatment ends.  The person for whom you care is facing death.   Even though they may appear to be cutting everyone off and withdrawing from life, we know that people don't like to die alone, but at times they cannot bear speaking about what they are facing.  Be there for them, without speaking.  You can communicate volumes with a gentle pat, hand holding or a simple smile.  For many caregivers, this is the most difficult form of communication.  It feels so ineffective, but it is more powerful than you can imagine.  Being there for someone, at the end, is a beautiful gift you can bestow.
Many of you are recipients of the Medicare Savings Program.  This program  pays the Medicare premiums for qualified individuals and holds medication co-pays at a low rate.  Unfortunately, there are plans to eliminate the program for many beneficiaries, perhaps you.  People in CT who have incomes above the 100% poverty level have been able to qualify for this program.  The resultis that the average Medicare recipient on this program saves about $175 per month.

If income eligibility limits are reduced, that amount of money would be taken from Social Security checks to pay Medicare premiums, and paid out of pocket at pharmacies to cover medication co-pays.   

If this cut impacts you, please contact your legislators and tell them how the cuts will impact your life.

Our legislators are dealing with very difficult budget issues.  All budget cuts are painful. It's very important for the legislators to hear from you about how proposed cuts will effect you.  Your voice can be very powerful.
Did You Know?

Medicaid provides health coverage to more than 4.6 million low-income seniors, nearly all of whom are also enrolled in Medicare. Medicaid also provides coverage to 3.7 million people with disabilities who are enrolled in Medicare. In total, 8.3 million people in America are "dually eligible", composing more than 17% of all Medicaid enrollees. 


For dually eligible beneficiaries, Medicaid covers a range of important services not covered by Medicare, including long-term nursing home care and in some cases dental, vision and prescription drugs not covered by Medicare Part D. Medicaid also help pay for Medicare premiums & out-of-pocket medical expenses through the Medicare Savings Program.  


1 in 5 Connecticut residents depend on some form of Medicaid.  About 14% of Connecticut's Medicaid beneficiaries are low income individuals 65 and over. Over 120,000 older adults in Connecticut rely on Medicaid to supplement their Medicare coverage.


AOASCC Happenings

Wednesday,July 12; 6:00 PM -  Family Caregiver Workshop 
Dementia Care, Maria Tomasetti,  Regional Director of the Alzheimer's Association

Mark your calendar!
October 17, 2017
November 8, 2017
Want to support a national-award winning event while getting word out about your organization?

Partner with us for the TEARS conference.
There are opportunities to sponsor the conference, reserve an exhibitor table for your organization or to place an ad in the program booklet.  Find out more.
Person Centered Counseling (PCC) Training

Do you provide assistance to individuals or caregivers who are exploring options for long term care?  Get the tools you need through this 20 hour online & in-person training series.
The State of Connecticut, through a federal grant, is providing this training at no cost and an AOASCC staff member will lead the in-person part of the training on July 28th. 

Participants must complete the first two online modules prior to the in-person training.  In-person trainings will be offered across the state at different times for those unable to attend or complete the online modules prior to July 28th.  CEU's are available and upon completion, participants are certified as a person-centered counselor.
Click here and see the brochure for more information and how to enroll.

Help Older Adults Stretch their Budget

Many seniors don't know they're missing out on a program that could help them stay active and independent. Tell everyone that SNAP provides eligible households money for groceries, freeing up money for other important things!

Visit or visit our website to  find out more.
AOASCC is Here to Help

Care Network Link
Need help finding support at home? Care Network Link is a wonderful resource to find trusted providers:  Homemaking, Personal Care Assistance, Live-In Caregivers, Wheelchair Ramps, Fall Alert Systems, Hair Stylists that come to your home.  

Give us a call at 203-495-1655 or sign up for membership at  Membership is FREE and will earn you discounts from the providers you hire.  Care Network Link credentials all the providers before allowing them on the network to make sure they are trustworthy businesses to have in your home.  
Social Security Disability Assistance Program
Our goal is to provide the knowledge and dedicated assistance necessary to succeed after you have been denied your claim for disability benefits. By navigating you through the Social Security maze, our goal is to truly be your advocate for independence ®.   Find out more.