Reimagine Aging News: April 2015

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In The News

CEO Deb Taylor’s monthly column, which is published in many Minnesota newspapers, focuses on how we can Reimagine Aging to better serve seniors and their caregivers. The most recent newspaper column is available here.

If you know of a caregiver or older adult who would benefit from Senior Community Services' many supportive programs and services, please encourage them to contact us. They can stay connected with us by doing three things: 'LIKE' us on FACEBOOK, 'FOLLOW' us on TWITTER, and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter here.
Know someone with home maintenance needs?
 

 
Chore services may be purchased through Senior Community Services' HOME store.
 

 

A Half Century of Progress for Older Adults


We've come a long way on our journey to enhance support and care for the older adults in our communities. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965, the legislation represented a historic step towards improving the lives of seniors in the areas of income, housing, health, employment, retirement and community services.
 
After Johnson signed that historic document, he gave his pen to Minnesotan Elva Walker Spillane, a national pioneer in aging services and advocacy. Ms. Spillane, who died in 2001 at age 87, founded many health and aging services organizations and served as Board Chair for the National Council On The Aging from 1986 until 1992.
 
It seems Minnesotans are often on the frontline of efforts to make life better for people in need. 
 
The Older Americans Act provided millions of adults with much needed services.  Today, 11 million people, about one in five older adults, receive services from a program enabled by the Older Americans Act. It provides much support in the way of nutrition, caregiving, transportation, legal services, socialization, healthcare and elder abuse prevention.
 
The OAA is significantly responsible for helping ensure the seniors live longer and can remain more independent, yet struggles persist. Federal funding is always a challenge given the ever-growing list of national priorities. So even after half a century, the advocacy for older adult services must continue to be persistently voiced. Seniors matter and the issue will only grow more relevant as members of the massive baby boom generation age. 
 
Senior Community Services continues to see a growing pool of seniors and caregivers in need. They require support with home maintenance chores, help finding quality and affordable health insurance, expertise negotiating down medical debt and managing complex care. Seniors also benefit from our senior centers which enhance socialization and reduce loneliness and isolation.
 
Overall, Minnesotans have benefited from a remarkable safety net that has grown significantly since 1965. Today, Senior Community Services partners with 300 other experienced and effective nonprofit organizations to annually help more than 25,000 seniors and caregivers live independently, with dignity and hope. And when other organizations have struggled and closed, Senior Community Services has stepped up to sustain the compassionate outreach they provided. We do this work with the donation of time, talents, and treasure from our friends in the community.
 
Minnesota is blessed with other wonderful senior resources. Eldercare Partners, which Senior Community Services helped create, supports Minnesota caregivers who provide 92 percent of senior long-term care.
 
The Senior LinkAge Line is another terrific gateway operated by the Minnesota Board on Aging. It connects families across Greater Minnesota with organizations in their particular areas.
 
We've come a long way since the 1965 signing of the Older American's Act, to better meet senior and caregiver needs. Let's keep it up as we Reimagine Aging.

Sincerely,

Deb Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
"Many people call in crying in frustration 
because they aren't being 
successful 
on their own. Then, there are hugs and
tea
rs of happiness after we're able to
help them." 


 ~ Kathy Stein, Senior Community Services Navigator
Senior Community Services Navigator Kathy Stein loves helping clients. "Many people call in crying in frustration because they aren't being successful on their own. Then, there are hugs and tears of happiness after we're able to help them," Kathy says.
 
That was the situation when a Carver County mother called desperately seeking help for her profoundly disabled teenage son, who will need a full-time caregiver for the rest of his life. "He was about to turn 18 and had he remained on his father's health plan, the young man's care needs would have devastated the family's finances," Kathy explains.
 
"When the mother first called, she'd reached a dead end. She was so stressed, explaining she could not do all this because there was so much to do as her son's caregiver."
 
Kathy was able to help guide the family through the bureaucratic maze so they could obtain social security disability and Medical Assistance, as well as parental guardianship status. "We were able to efficiently guide them to the proper resources to help their son, and they were very grateful."

But Kathy wasn't finished.  Since the mother is a full-time caregiver, Kathy was able to secure health coverage for her on MNCARE so she could go off of her husband's employer health plan. "By doing this, we were able to reduce their healthcare costs even further."
 




"Senior Community Services is an organization well worth supporting."

                         ~ Gerald Maher
After a successful career in the business world, Gerald Maher became a volunteer Medicare Counselor with Senior Community Services. He helps clients identify the best healthcare policies for their needs and pocketbook. "I have a good time with it. Health insurance policies are always changing so it keeps me on top of things."
 
His clients appreciate the knowledgeable support they receive. "Many people can make mistakes without realizing it because the health insurance world is very complicated and confusing. People may just decide to do what a friend or neighbor did, but that may be 180 degrees from what they need," Gerald says.
 
Gerald's a financial supporter of Senior Community Services, too. "Senior Community Services has this tremendous reach to so many people in need.  It's an organization well worth supporting. Years ago, my wife and I were caregivers so we understand the importance of the supportive services available for older adults and caregivers."
Honor a friend or loved one with a tax-deductible gift to Senior Community Services.
Your gift 
of $35, $60, $150 or an amount of your choosing will make life better for low-income seniors who need help maintaining independence. 
 
You may give securely online at www.seniorcommunity.org and click on Support.
 
Checks may be mailed to: 
Senior Community Services
Attn: Development 

10201 Wayzata Blvd. Suite 335
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of seniors.

Stay Connected With CareNextion


Are you caring for an aging loved one? Stay connected to caregiving from anywhere with www.carenextion.org. This free and secure online tool strengthens support networks through centralized coordination of care, task assignment and journaling.

You can also access helpful resources. Visit www.carenextion.org for more information or to speak with a staff person call 612-770-7005.

The Reimagine Aging Institute is the public awareness arm of Senior Community Services as we reach out to the community via the news media.  Through the Institute, we illuminate aging issues of broad relevance for seniors, their families, and Minnesota communities.

Visit the Institute's web page here.  And be sure to watch for media stories of interest to families with older loved ones and friends.

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