AASCC's Monthly News and Notes


April 2015 Issue
  In art picture onlyMay, AASCC will hold its third annual Art of Aging Exhibition. 

 Would you like to exhibit your art?
Would you like to support this wonderful event?  
Visit our website to find out how!

Sponsored by:

Volunteer Spotlight

Rebecca Gerena has been a volunteer in the Foster Grandparent Program since 2006, volunteering 20 ours per week. She is 70 years young and loves working with children. Born in Puerto Rico, at age 20 she moved to New Haven. She worked very hard for many years before retiring from Lulac Head Start as a Teacher's Aid.

"I loved being involved with children and families. I was so excited to learn that I could stay at Lulac Head Start as a Foster Grandparent Volunteer".


Each day she has to take two buses to get to and from Lulac Head Start. "I enjoy what I do very much," she said. "I sing to the children every morning when they arrive and I get to be the leader of the music group when we parade to each classroom with instruments while (singing). I also love reading stories to them and seeing them smile when I make silly faces. I love being a part of Lulac Head Start because they treat the Foster Grandparent Volunteers like they are part of their family. I thank God for this program because I feel that I have something to look forward to everyday and I also don't have to leave my passion which is working with children."


Find out about Volunteering with Children through AASCC. 



Federal agencies set a new record for increases in improper payments by Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor: $17.5 billion. Medicare Advantage, which allows older Americans to get their Medicare benefits through private health plans, saw improper payments of $12.2 billion. Improper payments increased by $19 billion over the previous year, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. Fraud and errors of overpayments and payments made without proper documentation accounted for the increase.


The Obama administration says reducing improper payments is a priority. A spokesperson for the budget office said "While progress has been made over the years, the time has come for a more aggressive strategy to reduce the levels of improper payments we currently are seeing."


Medicare's payments to doctors and hospitals had the most improper payments, at $46 billion. The report said many were caused by insufficient documentation for home health claims and errors on medical necessity forms for hospital patients.

As part of a more aggressive strategy, throughout the country, Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs have been established to empower seniors to address the issues of medical fraud, billing errors and health related scams.  SMP staff recruit and train volunteers who provide one-on-one counseling and assistance to seniors who have questions about possible Medicare or Medicaid fraud or need help in understanding health care documents. Counselors are available to help seniors review their cases and understand billing and other paperwork. In suspicious cases, SMP can help seniors report fraud to the proper authorities. 

If you are interested in being trained as a volunteer in the SMP program contact the Agency on Aging at 1-800-994-9422.

Upcoming Events


"New to Medicare" Seminar, April 8 


Do you know someone interested in working with older adults and individuals with disabilities? There are current openings for Care Managers and Care Managers Apprentices.

Save the Date!

Art of Aging Reception

May 21st, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

free & open to the public

Caregiver Corner


Throughout history grandparents have had a role in raising their grandchildren. About 7.8 million children currently live in grandfamilies. Grandfamilies are diverse and come together for a variety of reasons-including job loss, out of state employment, military deployment, divorce, deportation, illness, death, substance abuse, incarceration, or mental illness. Grandparents or other relatives often take on the care of children with little or no chance to plan.

There are several challenges grandfamilies face. Some of the most common are housing, financial, education, and legal. Many caregivers lack a legal relationship to their children and cannot access educational enrollment, school services, or health care on their behalf. Others may have a legal relationship, but taking on sudden caregiving responsibilities often means they do not have suitable housing. Caregivers are also often in their prime retirement savings years and rather than save for their retirement, they find themselves providing for their grandchildren with no plan in advance. A significant number of grandparents have already retired and are supporting themselves and their grandchildren on fixed retirement incomes. Over one in five of these grandparents live below the poverty line. 

Despite these challenges, research confirms that children fare well in the care of their relatives. Compared to children in non-relative care, they have more stability, are more likely to maintain connections with brothers and sisters and preserve their cultural heritage and community bonds. There are programs designed to assist grandfamiles although accessing these programs can be a challenge. Federal and state benefits including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing and child care assistance, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, Social Security and Medicare can provide relief to some grandfamilies. Tax benefits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), can also be an important sources of support. If you need help determining whether you qualify for these programs or need help applying, call the Agency on Aging at 1-800-994-9422.



Focusing on Excellence

We all know about the benefits of "Spring Cleaning" to de-clutter our homes and our lives, but spring is also a great time to assess and make changes in other areas of our lives.   According to everydayhealth.com Spring is an opportune time to lighten up your diet by eating more fresh produce and grilling lean meats. The warmer Spring weather is the perfect time to become more active and fit by enjoying a walk, a hike or a bicycle ride. Getting back to nature is another benefit to the warmer weather that spring brings. Planting a garden of vegetables, herbs or flowers provides rewards lasting beyond the season.   Spring can also be a time for reflection, change and new beginnings. It can be a time to assess habits and develop new goals and strategies for making positive, lasting changes.



AASCC announces the launch of Care Network Link!

As a non-profit entity, the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut has been assisting the most vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities for over 40 years. During this time, we have had to deal with some of the most heart-wrenching stories of people needing care; the anxiety of caregivers finding the right care for their loved ones; splintering of beloved families over the "right way" to care for their parents and many more. AASCC has many services to assist older adults, but many of those programs have eligibility parameters based on income.  As a result, we saw many individuals with needs and were limited in the services we could provide to them.


Born out of this frustration of seeing so many unmet caregiving needs, Care Network Link was created to be a reliable resource in Connecticut for caregivers to find services so that their loved ones could remain safely at home as long as possible. Care Network Link's mission is to guide our members through the myriad of available options so that they can make informed decisions that will allow them to maximize their loved ones' independence and minimize their reliance on institutionalized care.


 Visit CareNetworkLink.org to find out more. 


Support AASCC

During May there are two great ways to show you support of the work of the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.
A tribute section will be featured on our website's homepage. We invite you to take this as an opportunity to recognize your mother, grandmother, wife or another special woman who has touched your life by donating to the many wonderful programs we provide at AASCC. Reserve your spot today!


Please mark your calendar for May 5th! 

The Great GiveĀ® 2015 is an online giving event supported by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Valley Community Foundation, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and other community sponsors to help promote giving to nonprofits that serve the Greater New Haven region. Find out more.

By donating to AASCC through this special event, not only will you be giving to programs that support the independence of older adults and individuals with disabilities, but AASCC will earn additional contributions from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Copyright Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.

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