AOASCC News & Notes
Closing Reception
Thursday, June 20th from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Join us as we recognize the winners of this year’s art exhibition,
including the People's Choice Award.
Did You Know?

A study published in 2017, concluded that "older adults who create art and attend arts events have better health outcomes than adults who do neither." Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Engage in the Arts

Highlights of this study:
  • 84 percent of survey respondents either create art or attend arts events.
  • 54.9 agreed with the statement "the arts help me to be active and engaged."
  • Older adults who both created art and attended arts events reported higher cognitive functioning and lower rates of both hypertension and limitations to their physical functioning than did adults who neither created nor attended art.
  • Among those who both created and attended, cognitive functioning scores were seven-fold higher than for adults who did neither type of arts activity.
Caregiver Corner - The Credit for Caring Act

CT Senator Richard Blumenthal is one of the bi-partisan sponsors of The Credit for Caring Act. The bill provides some financial relief to family caregivers by helping with the cost of in-home care, adult day care, respite care, and other services. The bill would give eligible family caregivers the opportunity to receive an annual tax credit for 30 percent of qualified expenses above $2,000 paid to help a loved one, up to a maximum credit of $3,000.

The estimated value of family caregiving is $470 billion  annually. These caregivers enable older adults and people with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities, and saves taxpayer dollars by preventing more costly nursing home care and avoiding unnecessary hospital stays.

Seventy-eight percent of family caregivers pay out-of-pocket to provide care for their loved ones, spending an average of nearly 20 percent of their annual income in 2016, according to an  AARP Research report . This equals roughly $7,000 each year in out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving. Long-distance family caregivers spent an average of nearly $12,000. Is it fair that family caregivers are providing care that saves taxpayers dollars that otherwise would be spent in providing institutional care paid by Medicaid and at the same time have to spend out of their own pockets, without any tax credit?

There are multiple sponsors of this bill, from both political parties. Perhaps this indicates that the bill has a chance of being enacted. If you believe that family caregivers deserve a tax credit, contact your legislators and let them know your opinion.

Volunteer to Fight Fraud

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) volunteers play an important role in addressing health care fraud by educating Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers through presentations, outreach events, and one-on-one counseling. 

A volunteer training is scheduled for June 13th from 9:30-3:30 a.m. Find out more.  
 Make a Difference in a Child's Life

Do you love reading & enjoy being with children? Find out about volunteering as an Experience Corps tutor at a local informational session .

EC volunteers tutor students in Kindergarten through grade 3 who are struggling to learn to read. Each volunteer tutors in one participating school or after-school program 2 days a week (average of 5-6 hours) during the school year.
Does your organization serve older adults?
Attend the Interagency Council Annual Meeting on June 20th at 12 noon and find out more about this group's networking and educational opportunities.

The Cycle of Positivity in Careagiving
Mary Underwood, Senior Vice-President of Memory Care, ARTIS Senior Living
The Interagency Council on Aging of South Central Connecticut, convened by AoASCC, is a consortium of representatives from non-profit, for-profit and government agencies in the south central region that serve older adults and caregivers. 
CHOICES - Ambulance Coverage

Medicare covers ambulance trips, but only when they are reasonable and necessary. That means that you can only be transported safely in an ambulance, to a Medicare approved facility. It can be a tricky judgement call. If you’re in an accident and the emergency responders suggest you go to the emergency room to be checked out, Medicare will only pay for ambulance transport to the ER if it would be unsafe to transport you another way. If the ER determines you were only bumped and bruised, Medicare will not pay for the trip. However, if the emergency responder feels you should travel by ambulance because there is concern about internal bleeding for example, Medicare would cover the trip.

The second qualifier is that the ambulance must take you to the nearest, appropriate facility. If you live in an area with more than one hospital, or Medicare approved emergency treatment center, you must go to the closest one. If you tell the driver you want to go to one on the other side of town, that might be easier for your family, Medicare won’t pay. So, for example, if you’re driving on I91 in Meriden and you live in New Haven and have an accident, the ambulance will take you to Middlesex hospital, even though your doctors and family are all in New Haven. However, if the closest hospital doesn’t have a service that you need, the ambulance will be approved for a facility further away.

Medicare never pays for transportation in a medivan where you use a wheel chair. If you are able to be safely transported in a wheelchair, there is no ambulance coverage. The fact that it may be difficult or nearly impossible to get into a wheel chair doesn’t qualify you for the benefit. You must require a stretcher, not that it’s just easier to use the stretcher. Some examples of when ambulance is medically required is when there is risk of going into shock, if you’re unconscious or bleeding heavily. 
If Medicare covers your trip, they do so at an 80% rate. You will be responsible for 20% of the Medicare approved rate. If your service is approved and the bill you receive from the ambulance company is more than 20% of the approved rate, contact your CHOICES counselor for help sorting it out. If Medicare denies your claim and you believe that ambulance transport was the only safe way you could have traveled for treatment, ask you doctor if (s)he agrees with you and would be willing to help you appeal the denial. You have a right to appeal the decision. Your CHOICES counselor can help you with the appeal process. Many claims are successfully appealed each year. You can reach a CHOICES counselor at 800 994-9422.
Help with Groceries

Ricardo, 62, was self-employed and successful, but had to stop working after he was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. After being hospitalized and losing his steady source of income, he found out he was eligible for SNAP benefits that helped stretch his food budget.

There are many good reasons to  #getSNAP . Apply today at
or from more information, visit our website.
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