Living life with passion and a sense of rhythm Cyril Paul teaches circle drumming on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Richﬁeld Elementary. (Photo by Mike Hanks) BY EMILY HEDGES CONTRIBUTING WRITER Bloomington senior Cyril Paul is a peace-loving man who lives to help others with the only currency he possesses – passion, drive and a pervading sense of carnival. Vibrant colors, rhythm and celebration define the 83-year-old’s memories of growing up in Trinidad. Now he uses those things to fight poverty, educate youth, and inspire change. “Poverty is something people shy
away from because they don’t know what to do about it,” said Paul, who became involved in the fight against poverty during the Johnson Administration. “Johnson did a great deal and spent a lot of money, but in spite of that, poverty erodes our country.” Paul is an active member of a local organization called Isaiah, a group of congregations, clergy and people of faith working towards racial and economic equality in the state of Minnesota. “We go to legislators and speak for the poor people in the inner city who are
unable to break the threshold, unable to get in a higher level of learning,” he said. Paul knows something about poverty. Growing up in Trinidad, it was a daily reality. However, he describes his childhood as a happy one. “My father was a very wonderful person. He never criticized. Whenever the carnival occurred, he’d be in the middle of the fray breaking up any disagreements,” he said. His father’s example made an impression on Paul, who believed a career as a police officer would give him the chance
to make a similar impact on his community. While training to qualify for the Olympics as a sprinter, he worked as a policeman in Nassau. However, four years on the job led to disillusionment and a new calling. Paul decided to give up his Olympic dreams and pursue a career in the church. A friend he met from Minnesota encouraged him to apply for a scholarship to Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. DRUMMER - TO PAGE 3
Page 2 Mature Lifestyles â€˘ Thursday, October 17, 2013
Late enrollment penalty
How do I enroll in Part D?
Can I keep my doctor?
Brand name drugs
Part B Medical Insurance
Coinsurance and copays
Covered vs. non-covered services
Cost and coverage comparisons
Cost and coverage comparisons
? Service areas
Combines Part A, Part B and usually, but not always, Part D
Is original Medicare enough?
Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
Prescription Drug Coverage
H2462_72053 Accepted 10/07/2013. HealthPartners is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in HealthPartners depends on contract renewal. ÂŠ2013 HealthPartners
Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013 Page 3
Drummer FROM PAGE 1 He followed the suggestion and was accepted with a full scholarship. “I came to Saint John’s to join the priesthood, but I didn’t like what I saw there,” recalls Paul. “I got an English major instead and started teaching.” Teaching became his true passion. After leaving a post with an inner-city school, Paul traveled around Minnesota bringing his own brand of carnival into schools. “It was a moment of excitement for the kids,” he said. “We would forget the idea of education. We wanted to teach them that life can be beautiful if we make a contribution, and make friends with lots of different people. We taught them to open their minds to new cultures and new ideas.” Paul said that as time passed, money for such educational extras dried up. Looking for a new way to challenge himself and make a positive contribution, he decided to raise money for education by riding a bicycle from Minnesota to California, where his two daughters lived. Although three friends rode part of the
way with him, he was on his own once he left Minnesota, except for the aid of his wife, who followed him in a station wagon carrying supplies. The trip took 41 days and raised approximately $18,000 through two fundraising events. One was hosted by a friend in Arizona and the other was hosted by his daughter at the end of the journey. “The main reason I did it was to do something to pay back what I’ve been given. I’m a poor person from Trinidad. All I can do is use my talents and skills to make a difference,” said Paul. These days, Paul’s message and desire to teach resonates through the drum. He leads a circle drumming class on Tuesdays at Richfield Elementary. “It’s a voice, an instrument that can be used to bring people together,” he said. He especially likes to see seniors join his group. “They think, ‘I’m old. What can I do?’ But they can come to class and learn the specific rhythm patterns that allows their own rhythm to explode.” Paul made a big impression on Bill Jennings, an instructor with RichfieldBloomington Community Education, as Paul took one of his computer courses. “While talking with Cyril during the
Cyril Paul in a circle drumming class. (Photo by Mike Hanks)
course breaks, I discovered that he was quite accomplished intellectually, but I was equally impressed by his vitality and sense of humor. He mentioned talents as a singer and musician, and I decided to recruit him to become involved as an instructor with Community Education,” said Jennings. Whether teaching the young or old, Paul believes helping others realize their full potential is his true calling. “I want to get into classrooms and inspire people. I see so many lives kind of wasted, like pieces of straw in a river
floating to Valhalla. I want to use all the energy I have to make life a little better,” he said. In 2000, Isaiah formed through the merger of three independent congregation based community organizations: Great River Interfaith Partnership (GRIP) in the St. Cloud area; Interfaith Action in Greater Minneapolis; and St. Paul Ecumenical Alliance of Congregations (SPEAC) in Greater St. Paul. For more information, go to www. isaiahmn.org. You may contact Paul by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
So much is changing the way we think about work and age. People are thinking differently about retirement and many want to stay in the work force or transition into part-time work. Older workers are capable, experienced and mature. Your talents are appreciated and your contribution and skills are critical to Minnesota’s economy. Call the Senior LinkAge Line® A One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors at 1-800-333-2433 now for help to START your journey as a mature worker.
Page 4 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013
Getting older is a beautiful thing
Bob Ramsey wrote the book “Creating Vital Aging Communities: How You and your Community Can Age Successfully Together” as a free gift to the community. (Photo by Seth Rowe) BY EMILY HEDGES CONTRIBUTING WRITER Getting older is a beautiful thing, and aging societies aren’t something to fear. This is the premise of a new book by St. Louis Park resident Bob Ramsey called, “Creating Vital Aging Communities: How You and Your Community Can Age Successfully Together.” Published through the support of two local foundations, Ramsey is currently meeting with local leaders and citizen groups to distribute the free book, raise awareness and ignite conversations. “In recent years I’ve become increas-
ingly involved with issues involving seniors. I write a monthly column on vital aging that evolved to the point I felt compelled to write this book,” said Ramsey. During the two years he spent working on the project, he hoped to engage local foundations to publish the book and in turn give it away. Park Nicollet Foundation and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis came on board, and together made the project a reality. “We printed 500 copies, so we are strategic about how we disperse them,” Ramsey said. “Each book has a note
attached urging the reader to pass it along to someone else when they are finished.” Readers will find Ramsey’s work is actually two books in one. Book One looks at the individual, redefining what it means to be “old.” “They aren’t just taking longer to die. They want to live, to remain active, involved, have purpose and leave a legacy,” he said. “I’m interested in helping people realize their potential, those playing the back nine of life and winning it.” Book Two focuses on aging communities.
“Some view this as a catastrophe, pending gloom and doom. They are worried we’re going to break the bank, wreck the health care system,” said Ramsey. “I’m convinced that’s not the whole story. There’s another scenario.” He describes assets and advantages provided by the older generation and how to direct them into growing the health and wealth of the entire community. “Historically, the older generations haven’t expected much or gotten much. We’ve marginalized them and let them RAMSEY - TO NEXT PAGE
Mature Lifestyles â€˘ Thursday, October 17, 2013 Page 5
Ramsey FROM PREVIOUS PAGE be spectators,â€? he said. â€œThereâ€™s a lot more resistance to that now. Winning communities of the future will view aging populations not as a problem or a drain, but as an asset that can partner with the community to make a better future.â€? Ramsey encourages individuals and communities to â€œre-educate themselves about aging; to overcome ageism; start building assets in seniors; accept some caregiving functions; address basic issues of health, housing and transportation; reinvent and re-energize the traditional â€˜senior centerâ€™; provide adequate safe havens, safety nets, opportunities and outlets for older adults; and build on existing success stories.â€?
Annette Sandler, director of Aging and Disability Services for Jewish Family and Children Services, sees Ramseyâ€™s book as already inspiring change. â€œItâ€™s an amazing book. I know of nursing homes and assisted living centers that are using it for study sessions with their staffs,â€? she said. â€œBoth halves of the book are interesting and impactful. It begins the conversation about how communities become vital communities.â€? Ramsey served as associate superintendent of schools in St. Louis Park from 1969-1993. He has authored 30 professional books and contributes a column on vital aging in Sun Sailor newspaper. Ramsey received the â€œOutstanding Citizen Awardâ€? from the city of St. Louis Park this year. To contact Ramsey, email email@example.com.
â€œIâ€™m interested in helping people realize their potential, those playing the back nine of life and winning it.â€? â€“ BOB RAMSEY Photo illustration
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Page 6 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013
Ombudsmen: making sure seniors’ voices are heard BY EMILY HEDGES CONTRIBUTING WRITER The Swedish word “ombudsman” may not be familiar to everyone, but to seniors living in long-term care, it means friend, sounding board, advocate and hero. Ombudsmen like Sally Schoephoerster and James Dostal spend their days out in the community ensuring those receiving long-term care services have their voices heard. “Every state has a program. We work with people in nursing homes, assisted living, home care, anyone who receives long-term care services,” said Dostal, who covers the west metro area, Scott and McLeod counties for the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, a program of the Minnesota Board on Aging. “We serve as an advocate for the residents. We are impartial. We listen to both sides of an issue and try to find a resolution.” The 62-year-old went back to school late in life to earn a degree in gerontology. He began with the department 13 years ago and feels it is a great fit for him. “It’s more than a job. It’s a part of who I am,” he said. “For me, it’s a job that has a purpose and a value for others. That makes it a great position to be in. People can feel lost and forgotten, powerless over what goes on – where
they are at, their illness. To be able to make a difference in someone’s life is why I do it.” Dostal holds a paid position in the program, but adds that a number of volunteer positions are available to those who would like to advocate for others. “Volunteers can go to nursing homes on a weekly basis and get to know the residents, get them to open up, and help to find solutions,” said Dostal. “There are a number of volunteers out there who have done it for a long time. It becomes part of who you are.” Schoephoerster has also been an ombudsman for 13 years and covers north and northwest Hennepin County. “Growing up in a family with an elder living with us, I felt comfortable in that environment,” she said. “I have a background working in gerontology, so it seemed like a natural direction for me.” Empowering her clients through education is what Schoephoerster likes best about the job. “I like to educate consumers. They should be knowledgeable about the rules that govern service providers,” she said. To be an ombudsman also means that you’re always working to make the system better. “We are the ones in there fighting for consumers. Addressing systemic issues is part of our advocacy,” said Dostal.
Photo illustration His advice to those entering into long-term care is simple: realize you are not powerless, take care in making decisions that will affect you legally down the road, read your contracts in assisted living and nursing homes, know what you’re getting yourself into, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Although ombudsmen don’t get involved on the financial side of longterm care, they ensure all clients are treated equally. “Whether you’re paying for long-term care privately or through public programs, you should get the same quality of service. We’re about the quality of care rather than how to pay for it,” he said.
Ombudsmen handle complaints and problems relating to: quality care and services; quality of life; rights violations; access to services; service termination; discharge or eviction; and public benefit programs. Ombudsmen serve residents of nursing homes, boarding care homes, assisted living facilities and those receiving home care services; those receiving Medicare benefits with hospital access or discharge concerns, and anyone seeking consultation about long-term care services. For more information on services and volunteer opportunities with the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, call 1-800-657-3591. All ombudsman services are free of charge to seniors.
Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013 Page 7
Heritage of Edina is proud to present its 5-star senior/assisted living community.
Dear Maria and staff at Heritage of Edina: On behalf of the family of my mother, Barbara Hummel, I would like to express our deep gratitude for the extraordinary loving care provided to Mom by Heritage throughout the last 8+ years of her life. The Heritage of Edina creed, “Reverence for Life,” reflects a strong devotion and respect for quality of life. My Mom was a daily recipient of that loving dedication. The entire staff really cared about Mom as a valued individual, and she truly loved all of them in return. My warm thanks go to Mary Sandahl who not only took great care of my Mom but also helped me personally to navigate the changes in her health. Our deep thanks to all the truly exceptional caregiving aides at Tiffany. A special thanks to the activities staff for all of the beautiful music and Mom’s fun bingo memories. Mom greatly valued her private room which had ample space for her special family photos and personal belongings. She enjoyed having us energize her room during the holidays with special holiday lights and decorations. The gracious, elegant décor at the Tiffany building helped us create a warm, comforting and dignified atmosphere for Mom. I fondly remember my numerous outings with my mother to the spectacular Michelangelo Gardens, enjoying the colorful flowers and peaceful fountains. Our entire family also enjoyed celebrating holidays together with Mom in the Remembrandt Room. We are forever grateful that Mom had such a truly loving and wonderful place to call home for so many years. Thank you, Heritage of Edina.
Love, Sharon Getzke, daughter of Barbara Hummel
Heritage of Edina is PROUD to honor the life of
Barbara Hummel 10/21/1925 – 8/24/2013
The Heritage Creed We believe: That our Residents are the reason for our existence. That tender loving care today means better health and happiness tomorrow. That our guiding principle is REVERENCE FOR LIFE. That by service to our fellow man we will justify the confidence placed in us. February 1965 Wayne Field
“Serving Seniors Since 1961”
Heritage of Edina, Inc. To make reservations for a tour and complimentary lunch call 952-920-9145
Page 8 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013
1-800-333-2433 Senior LinkAge Line is a free, statewide service for seniors, baby boomers, Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers and those trying to reduce prescription drug costs BY EMILY HEDGES CONTRIBUTING WRITER
SENIOR INSURANCE SERVICE Make sure you get the best health coverage for your needs at the best price! Free, no-obligation consultation to help you understand your Choices & Options
Dick Musser 763-645-4221
Julie Van Name is a nurse who never thought much about Medicare or prescription “donut holes.” The 55-year-old had health insurance through her work and no medical problems. All that changed suddenly when an autoimmune disease attacked her lungs, muscles and joints. She went from zero medications to 56 in the blink of an eye. “In a day I had this life-changing illness and needed all this help. I didn’t have time to prepare,” said Van Name. After going on disability, she received a notice that she was eligible for Medicare. Because she already had coverage, she declined Medicare, not realizing that she would soon be automatically dropped from her company’s policy. The result was a period of time that Van Name was uninsured. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I couldn’t afford to pay for my oxygen,” she said. That’s when Van Name learned about the Senior LinkAge Line, Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging’s free statewide information and assistance service covering all 87 counties of Minnesota. Loudi Rivamonte, recreation supervisor for Eagan, sees firsthand how often Senior LinkAge Line helps people like Van Name deal with difficult situations. “It is a great program, and I know from touching base with many of the seniors who have participated in counseling appointments, a vital service. The counselors spend one hour of face to face time with the senior and many times their family members and caregivers to help them navigate the benefits of Medicare. Having a neutral party to offer guidance through a sometimes complicated journey through the healthcare
world is quite a benefit,” she said. Michele Starkey, coordinator for the Burnsville Senior Center, agrees. “With the variety of calls and inquiries we get on a daily basis, it’s nice to have a central contact where people can get the help they need.” For Van Name, that help came from a Senior LinkAge Line volunteer named Julie. “I learned that if you don’t sign up correctly with Medicare the first time, you can be subject to a penalty,” she said. “It can be costly. They helped me through it. That was the first step. She told me next, I’d need help with prescriptions and deductibles. She started talking about donut holes, catastrophic coverage. I was so overwhelmed.” Van Name considered herself an educated person, but felt ill-equipped to climb the mountain before her alone. Not only did Julie from Senior LinkAge Line walk her through each step of the process, she also followed up along the way even after Van Name was referred to a local Senior LinkAge Line volunteer named Sally. “Sally was an extension of Julie,” said Van Name. “She was so knowledgeable. That first day, she spent two hours with me.” Sally went over the basics of Medicare Parts A and B. She explained how supplemental plans worked, and what her options were based on the medications she needed. “They weren’t telling me what to do. They showed me the differences. It was so easy to make a mistake that might have cost me a few thousand (dollars) a year,” she said. One of the biggest problems for Van Name was a coverage gap on her prescriptions.
LINKAGE - TO NEXT PAGE
Mature Lifestyles â€˘ Thursday, October 17, 2013 Page 9
Van Name ended up selecting one of the cheaper Medigap plans, something she wouldnâ€™t have had the confidence to do without the information provided by FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Senior LinkAge Line. In 2013, once patients and their plan â€œThey helped make sure I was made have spent $2,970 on covered drugs (the aware of all of my choices so I could combined amount plus your deductible), pick the best option,â€? she said. â€œWe used they end up in the coverage gap, also all of the information to come up with called the â€œdonut hole.â€? the best possible plan so I can continue â€œFor me, the donut hole was huge, a receiving care from the exact same physicouple of cians.â€? thousand V a n d o l l a r s,â€? Name is eashe said. I felt like this was something I want to ger to pay The Se- share. It was such a lifesaver. back the nior Linkdebt she Age Line she â€“ Julie Van Name feels counselors owes Senior showed Van LinkAge Name drug Line by volreimbursement plans and grants that unteering her time to become a counwere available to help her. selor like Julie and Sally. â€œBy the time I left, I felt like I knew â€œI would love to make it easier for all about all different plans. I wasnâ€™t pan- someone. They held my hand and made icked about what would happen when I this process nice and smooth,â€? she said. hit the donut hole. She prepared me for â€œI felt like this is something I want to what to do when that happened,â€? said share. It was such a lifesaver.â€? Van Name. â€œShe told me to call this clinic for this medication and that clinic for The Senior LinkAge Line may be that one. I was able to do that so that the reached by calling 1-800-333-2433. donut hole only cost me about $200.â€?
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Medicare annual enrollment period opens this month BY EMILY HEDGES CONTRIBUTING WRITER This October, Medicare’s annual open enrollment period coincides with the launch of the Affordable Care Act’s state-level, health insurance marketplace, leaving many seniors unsure about how the changes will impact them. “The question I get from those who are about to go on Medicare, or are on Medicare and considering changing plans, is ‘How does Obamacare affect Medicare?’” said Darwin Klockers, a Medicare counselor with Senior Community Services (SCS) who services the Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center areas. “It is a very simple answer. There is no impact other than some changes in the Part D Prescription Drug Program that make the coverage more affordable, primarily by giving them a discount on their prescriptions when they go into the donut hole.” Deb Taylor, chief operating officer of Senior Community Services, believes miscommunication has made some seniors fearful of changes from Obamacare, which is more officially known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “There is a lot of confusion about the Affordable Healthcare Act and Medicare,” Taylor said. “Basically, there will not be enrollment changes for Medicare beneficiaries as they will continue to have their annual review time to enroll in a Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. That coverage would be effective in January 2014.” As a result of the ACA, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, all U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required to have health insurance coverage. For those who are not on Medicare or hold health insurance through work, insurance may be purchased through their state’s health insurance marketplace. For Minnesotans, that one-stop shop is MNsure. Michele Kimball, director of AARP Minnesota, spends a good deal of time these days speaking to seniors about the ACA and MNsure. “The most common question I get from those over 65 is, ‘Do I need to worry about MNsure?’ The answer is no,” said Kimball. “Medicare beneficiaries are hearing so much about new health care exchange, and there’s a lot of misinformation.”
Photo illustration She stresses that MNsure is not replacing Medicare. MNsure will not sell Advantage plans (also called Medigap plans), and the ACA will not be cutting Medicare benefits to pay for coverage for the uninsured. What it will do is help seniors who have not reached Medicare age yet, or who have had trouble purchasing insurance because of preexisting conditions or cost-prohibitive premiums.
“Minnesotans’ buying power will go further on MNsure. The premiums of plans on MNsure are the lowest in the country, and individuals may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay their premiums,” said Jenni BowringMcDonough, media relations coordinator for MNsure. “Individuals can only get this financial help to pay premiums through MNsure. Some may even quali-
fy for a no-cost plan.” The ACA plans to strengthen and improve Medicare through free preventative care that no longer requires a copay, along with the gradual closing of the prescription drug donut hole, which will formally close in 2020. The ACA is also projected to save the Medicare program $500 billion over 10 years through greater efficiencies and resources to fight fraud, waste and abuse. “That savings will be used to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund an additional two years beyond its current solvency,” she said. Some comprehensive advantage plan holders may see a decrease in extras, such as dental and eye coverage, because of the ACA. Kimball explained that when Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which originated the Part C Advantage Plans, they decided to incentivize private companies to jump into the market by enhancing reimbursements up to 115 percent for services provided to beneficiaries. This stimulus was intended to last for two years. However, companies are still receiving this benefit 16 years later, something the ACA will end. “We’re going back to reimbursing 100 percent. Because of this, some advantage plans won’t be able to provide extras,” said Kimball. Kimball believes that much of the current health care confusion may be attributed to the slow implementation of the program. “Provisions of the ACA are gradual, not in full effect, so people are not realizing the benefits. I promise by 2016, the rhetoric will have died down,” said Kimball. On Oct. 25, Kimball will give the Keynote Address entitled “Health Care Law and You” at the Key Community Partner Awards hosted by Senior Community Services, which recognizes the effort and impact recipients have had on seniors in their communities. Tickets for the Key Community Partner Awards may be purchased by calling 952-767-7899. For more information about SCS, or if you have questions regarding Medicare, or the ACA , go to www.seniorcommunity.org. For more information about MNsure, go to www. mnsure.org.
Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013 Page 11
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY OF THE FOLLOWING?
CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY STUDY
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Page 12 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, October 17, 2013
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OF ADVENTURE, DID YOU?
Stay as active as you want to be. At UCare, we’ve got you covered, with a range of Medicare options designed with Boomers in mind. UCare for SeniorsSM lets you choose from plans that cover prescription drugs, travel, eyewear, dental, ﬁtness programs like SilverSneakers® and more. There are no co-pays for primary care visits with most plans. And you’ll get to talk to a real person 24/7 when you call customer service. It’s just what you’d expect from health care that starts with you. UCare Minnesota and UCare Health, Inc. are HMO-POS health plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in UCare Minnesota and UCare Health, Inc. depends on contract renewal. ©2013, UCare H2459 H4270_090512 CMS Accepted (09102012)
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