Page 1

Discovering The Mature Lifestyle

So what is Medicare anyway? Page 3

Medicare & Insurance

October 20 & 21, 2016

October Issue

North Memorial offers TotalCare program for seniors BY SUE WEBBER CONTRIBUTING WRITER Senior citizen patients at North Memorial Health Care qualify for the TotalCare for Seniors program. The program’s geriatric specialists work with seniors and their families to provide post-hospital services, through long-term care, Transitional Care Units, assisted living, indep endent li ving o r hosp ice s ettings. “When a pa tient is dis charged, if t hey need transitional care, they are referred by a p rimary ca re p rovider to a n urse p ractitioner, who follows them into long-term care,” s aid Teresa B loom, ma nager o f t he TotalCare program. Patient c are is ma naged o nsite, a t t he facility where the client lives. Physicians a nd n urse p ractitioners work as a team to provide the care at the patients’ choice of 13 facili ties w hen they leave the hospital.

TotalCare for Seniors is available at the following facilities: Annandale Health & C ommunity, Annandale Centennial V illa A ssisted Li ving, A nnandale Colonial Acres Health C enter, G olden Valley Good Sa maritan Am bassador, N ew Hope Good Samaritan Robbinsdale, Robbin-

Heading North Memorial Health Care’s TotalCare for Seniors program in Robbinsdale are, from left: Teresa Bloom, manager of the TotalCare program; Dr. Joseph Sicora, medical director; and Sarah Johnson, nurse practitioner. (Submitted photo) sdale Maranatha, Brooklyn Center North Ridg e H ealth & Reha b, N ew Hope Pioneer Est ates A ssisted L iving, Eden Prairie St. Therese, New Hope St. Therese – Oxbow, Brooklyn Park The Birches at Trillium Woods, Pl ymouth The V illa a t S t. L ouis P ark, S t. L ouis Park The Villa at Osseo, Osseo

Transitional Care by St. Ther ese, Robbinsdale Wellstead of Rogers, Rogers Clients a t T CUs a re visi ted o nce o r twice weekly, w hile patients in lo ng-term care are visited monthly. Those in assisted living a nd indep endent li ving a re visi ted every three to six months. Visits a re s cheduled in b etween if t he client is ill. “We have 500 patients in t he program, and it’s growing rapidly,” said Sarah Johnson, one of nine nurse practitioners in the

program. J ohnson s aid t he p rogram includes three physicians. Dr. J oseph S icora is medical dir ector of North Memorial Home & C ommunity Services, which includes TotalCare for Seniors, as w ell as H ome Health, a nd Hospice and Palliative Care. He also is medical director a t S t. Therese in N ew H ope a nd St. Therese Oxbow Lake in Brooklyn Park. “North Memorial always has taken care of patients in nursing homes,” Sicora said. “The last three years we have structured it better s o do ctors a nd n urse p ractitioners work as a team. A lot of facilities ask us to help take care of their residents. We have to f ocus o ur r esources o n t he p laces w e work c losely wi th t o co ntinue t o deli ver high-quality service.” TotalCare for S enior s erves p ost-acute people in r ehab, t hose w ho ha ve b een in the hosp ital a nd need sho rt-term r ehab before they’re ready to return home. They also serve as a p rimary care provider for those who are too frail or elderly t o co me t o t he c linic, o r w ho ha ve no transportation. “There are a lot of health care facilities trying t o figure o ut ho w t o t ake ca re o f these people,” Sicora said. North M emorial als o is o ne o f a f ew hospitals s tatewide t o offer a n in patient Collaborative A cute C are f or t he E lderly (CACE) uni t t o addr ess t he ac ute ca re needs of frail, aging adults. It a lso o ffers home health care, as wel l as hosp ice su pport t o pa tients a nd lo ved ones w ho a re facin g a t erminal illness, death and dying.

Page 2 Our Life โ€ข Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 /


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Our Life â&#x20AC;˘ Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 Page 3 /

Health issue? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;-ologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for that We all kno w that people are living lo nger a nd en joying la te lif e more t oday. N aturally, t here a re many reasons for our increased longevity, inc luding b etter diet a nd a more active lifestyle. Medical ad vancement is als o a prime co ntributor. W eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re b lessed with good health care. But it comes at a cost (a nd I do nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t j ust me an stratospheric he alth in surance p remiums.) Besides b eing exp ensive, g etting care from our health care system can be frustrating, complicated, confusing a nd exha usting. F or st arters, selecting a su pplementary he alth insurance p lan is lik e na vigating a maddenin g maze o f co nvoluted corridors. Then, t here are t he myriad rules to follow, hurdles to clear, hoops t o j ump t hrough a nd f orms to fill out. As it turns out, our health care system is held together with red tape. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eno ugh t o mak e y ou s eek medical treatment. But most co nfusing to me is t he

Guest column ... by Bob Ramsey mushrooming f ragmentation a nd specialization o f medical ca re. P rimary c are do ctors ha ve b ecome mostly b rokers, s orting o ut patient a ilments a nd r eferring t hem to the appropriate sp ecialists. I was amazed recently to find an en tire department o f â&#x20AC;&#x153;ha nd do ctorsâ&#x20AC;? in our local hospital. I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be surprised if t here a re no w do ctors f or the right hand and others specializing in left hand c are. We no lo nger have a single family doctor; we have a whole posse of healers in our corner. Coping wi th all t hese sp ecialists raises s erious q uestions. W ho do you call first? Who prescribed what for w hat? And w ho g ets t he final

word? We can only hope they know what e ach o ther is do ing a nd do nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get in a turf war over our bodies. There tr uly is a n â&#x20AC;&#x153; ologistâ&#x20AC;? f or every ailment, injury or dis ease today â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and my wife and I have seen them all â&#x20AC;&#x201D; s o ma ny in fac t, t hat it p rompted her t o p en t his li ttle tongue-in-cheek verse - adjacent. With all t hese do ctors o n o ur case, we should live a long time. After all , o ur c linic ca n ba rely a fford to let us die; w eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re su pporting t oo many of their physicians. Although w e kid a nd co mplain about t odayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153; care b y co mmittee,â&#x20AC;? we are the beneficiaries of this modern approach to medical tr eatment. Keeping us he althy has definitely become a t eam sp ort. S o t hanks, team! Bob Ra msey i s a l ifelong ed ucator, freelance w riter a nd a dvocate f or â&#x20AC;&#x153;vital a ging.â&#x20AC;? H e c an be r eached a t 952-922-9558 o r b y e-m ail a t jo

Ode to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ologiesâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your body is complicated,â&#x20AC;? Said my doctor to me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your blood count is low, So go to HEMATOLOGY!â&#x20AC;?

And being a woman, I occasionally see â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Of course, that would be â&#x20AC;&#x201D; GYNOCOLOGY! My aches and pains persist Then my heart rate dropped Through my anatomy, down. So of course, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sent Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pacemaker for me. To RHEUMATOLOGY! So the good doctor sent me To CARDIOLOGY! Now that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help, So what next should it be? What are these spots on my The doctor said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now go skin? To NEUROLOGY!â&#x20AC;? They do nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lo ok no rmal to me! Since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m getting old, So the next place I go is â&#x20AC;&#x201D; My kidneys agree, To DERMATOLOGY! That I should be sent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; To UROLOGY!! Printed words on the page, Are harder to see. Enough of these â&#x20AC;&#x153;ologies,â&#x20AC;? And t hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sp ecialty f or I think all would agree, that. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably be sent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OPTHALMOLOGY! To PSYCHIATRY!! J. R.

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Page 4 Our Life • Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 /

Counseling available on many Medicare insurance topics BY SUE WEBBER CONTRIBUTING WRITER

“Everybody’s si tuation is different, Lund said. “It’s like a puzzle.” During the enrollment period, you can Dawn L und calls her self “ a M edicare make c hanges t o va rious asp ects o f y our nerd.” coverage. “I’ve always worked in t he aging field,” • You can switch f rom Or iginal Medisaid L und, w ho is dir ector o f M edicare care to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa. programs a t S enior C ommunity S ervices • You  can als o  switch f rom one  Mediin Minnetonka. care Advantage  plan to another, or from Fall has been a busy time for the agency one M edicare P art D (p rescription dr ug) for the last 20 y ears, when they began of- plan to another. And if you didn’t enroll in fering Medicare health insurance counsel- a Medicare Part D plan when you were first ing. eligible, you can do s o during the general “Our agency and L inkage L ine are t he open enr ollment, a lthough a la te enr ollonly two in Minnesota who offer unbiased ment penalty may apply. counseling,” Lund s aid. “ We assist p eople Among t he most im portant decisio ns with no n-biased guida nce o n M edicare newly retired people must make is what to options year-round.” do about health care once they are no lonIn 2015, a n estimated 1,717 c lients re- ger covered by their employer’s plan. ceived hel p t hrough M edicare he alth inEven if t hey’ve b een r etired f or s ome surance co unseling c lasses o ffered a t S e- time a nd c hose a he alth p lan in t he past, nior C ommunity S ervices. I t is j ust o ne each y ear’s o pen-enrollment p eriod gi ves of t he pro grams offered a t t he ag ency, retired p ersons a cha nce to r econsider whose vision is t o “mobilize t he commu- other, s ometimes b etter, o ptions. I t is nity to reimagine aging.” The agency offers wise, during the open e nrollment pe riod, educational w orkshops to c heck a p lan t o s ee if at s everal lo cations, p lus there will b e c hanges; confidential, individual check p rescription lists assistance b y a ppointand co verage f or t hose ment at nine locations for prescriptions; a nd t hen people wh o n eed m ore check o n ne w p lans a nd help. changes to other plans to A t otal o f 45 ac tive be sure coverage is b eing volunteers co nduct t he provided a t t he most a fclasses, a fter r eceiving 20 fordable cost. hours of training. According t o L und, “The calib er o f p eople it is im portant t o ha ve a [volunteers] w e g et is secondary p lan in p lace kind o f incr edible,” L und to assist wi th t he costs said. that M edicare do es no t The open-enrollment cover. F or exa mple, period f or in surance t his when you go to a do ctor, year r uns f rom O ct. 1 5 Medicare co vers 80 p erto D ec. 7. Y ou ca n s elect Dawn L und i s direc tor of cent o f t hat c ost. W ith coverage for the first time Medicare p rograms a t S enior nothing else in place, you then, or make changes in Community S ervices i n M in- are responsible for the reyour current coverage. maining 20 percent. netonka. (Submitted photo)

In 2015, an estimated 1,717 clients received help through Medicare health insurance counseling classes offered at Senior Community Services. For p eople w ho ca nnot a fford another plan, L und s aid, S enior P artners C are is “one of the best kept secrets in Minnesota.” “It is no t in surance,” she s aid. “ It is a community-based p rogram t hat ena bles Minnesota M edicare r ecipients t o access the medical ca re they need.” The program bridges the financial gap between an individual’s medical bills and his or her Medicare coverage. SPC has partnered with most of the major metr opolitan a rea hosp itals a nd h undreds o f clinics a nd p roviders st atewide. These healthcare providers (SPC Partners) have agreed to accept Medicare as full payment for Medicare covered expenses. They waive t he M edicare ded uctibles, co insurance, and copayments. To be eligible, you must have Medicare parts A a nd B , r eceive ca re f rom pa rticipating me dical p roviders, me et inco me and ass et t hresholds, a nd sub mit a n a pplication along with a $42 a nnual application fee. Participants cannot exceed $1,980 monthly income and assets cannot exceed $48,600 (no t inc luding a ho me a nd o ne car). Partners in t he p rogram w ho ha ve agreed to accept Medicare as full payment include F airview, H ealth E ast, H ennepin County M edical C enter (H CMC), N orth Memorial and Park Nicollet. Along with Medicare and a supplementary coverage, people age 65 and over need to ha ve a p rescription dr ug p lan, L und said. “ So ma ny p eople w ho t urn 65 a nd don’t t ake a ny medica tions assume t hey don’t need a p lan,” she s aid. “If y ou don’t

sign u p a nd need i t, y ou pa y a p enalty. You’re punished for being healthy.” She suggests that people with drug plans review their plans every year, making a list of their medications and then researching to find the most economical drug plan that fits t heir needs. C ouples w ho sign u p f or the s ame p lan ma y find t hat t hey sho uld have different dr ug p lans, dep ending o n the medications they need. “So many people have high-cost medications,” Lund said. “A lot of people with diabetes find t hat e ven wi th a dr ug p lan the m edications ca n s till be co stly. P rescriptions can go up $20 t o $30 f rom one year to the next.”

CareNextion helps with senior caregiving

Another of Senior Community Services that ma y b e hel pful to o lder ad ults a nd their fa milies is C, a f ree website. “This s ecure a nd co nfidential internet resource mob ilizes fa mily, f riends, a nd neighbors t o hel p co mmunicate a nd coordinate care for an older adult,” said Deb Taylor, CEO o f S enior C ommunity S ervices. She noted that only 16 percent of older adults li ve wi th lo ved o nes w ho ca n p rovide supportive care. “We see many older adults li ving indep endently a t ho me w ell into their 80s, 90s a nd beyond, who need help w ith co oking, sho pping, ho usehold chores and health needs,” Taylor said. COUNSELING - TO PAGE 6

Our Life • Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 Page 5 /

So, what is Medicare? Medicare is he alth in surance for people 65 or older, people under 65 wi th cer tain dis abilities, and people of any age with EndStage Renal Dis ease (p ermanent kidney fa ilure r equiring dial ysis or a kidney transplant). You a re eligib le f or M edicare on t he first day of t he month in which you turn 65. If your birthday is o n t he 1st, t hen y ou a re eligible o n t he 1st o f t he p rior month. You ca n enr oll f or M edicare 90 days prior to turning 65. You are enrolling in M edicare Part B (Medical Services). Your Part A, which covers in-patient hospital services, begin s a utomatically on the 1st of the month in which you turn 65. When y ou a re first eligible for Medicare, you have a s evenmonth p eriod t o sign u p. This seven-month pe riod be gins three mo nths b efore y our 65t h birthday, includes the month you turn 65, a nd ends t hree mo nths after you turn 65. You can sign up for Medicare as s oon as y ou b ecome eligib le,

regardless o f w hat mo nth i t is. But e ach y ear, y ou ha ve t he o ption of ma king change s to you r Medicare A dvantage a nd p rescription drug plan (or Medicare Part D) during open enrollment. The o pen enr ollment p eriod this year runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2016. You can select coverage f or t he first time t hen, o r make c hanges in y our c urrent coverage. I f you ma ke change s during o pen enr ollment, ne w coverage b egins J an. 1, 2017. New costs a nd b enefits changes also begin if you keep your existing Medicare health or prescription drug coverage and your plan makes changes. During th e o pen e nrollment period, y ou ca n swi tch f rom original M edicare t o M edicare Advantage, or vice versa. You can also s witch f rom on e M edicare Advantage p lan t o a nother, o r from one Medicare Part D (p rescription dr ug) p lan t o a nother, or dr op y our M edicare P art D coverage altogether. Questions to co nsider mig ht include:

• C onvenience: W here is the d octor’s office located and what are the hours? Do they use electronic h ealth r ecords? Is th e pharmacy y ou us e in t he p lan’s network? • C ost: H ow m uch a re t he premiums? How do y ou pay for hospital stays or doctor visits? • Coverage: How well does the plan cover the services you need?

Medicare’s four parts:

Part A (hosp ital in surance) helps cover: • Inpatient care in hospitals • Skilled nursing facility care • Hospice care • Home health care Part B (medical in surance) helps cover: • S ervices f rom do ctors a nd other health care providers • Outpatient care • Home health care • Durable medical equipment • Some preventive services Part C (Medicare Advantage): • Includes all benefits and ser-

vices co vered under P art A a nd Part B • U sually inc ludes M edicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan • R un b y M edicare-approved private insurance companies • M ay inc lude extra b enefits and services for an extra cost Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage): • Helps cover the cost o f prescription drugs • R un b y M edicare-approved private insurance companies • M ay hel p lo wer y our p rescription dr ug costs a nd hel p protect aga inst hig her costs in the future. The e asiest wa y t o enr oll in Medicare is t o g o t o w Source: M edicare & Y ou 2016, t he o fficial U.S. go vernment M edicare h andbook published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare

and Medicaid Services.

Medicare expert suggests questions for seniors to consider BY SUE WEBBER CONTRIBUTING WRITER Sara W agner, a M edicare exp ert a t Health Partners in B loomington, s aid t he thing she he ars most f rom senior citizens who are just signing up for Medicare is that it’s “really confusing.” “It’s not something anyone can prepare for,” s aid Wagner, w ho has a mast er’s degree in gerontology and has been at Health Partners for 15 years. “People are looking for help, resources and ‘what does this mean?’” Wagner said. “They’re starting from square one.” There a re cer tain t hings p eople mig ht want to co nsider as t hey sho p f or he alth care coverage, Wagner said. • Can I keep my doctor? “Not all plans have the same network,” Wagner said.

• Do I need a r eferral t o see a sp ecialist? • CMS (Centers fo r Medicare a nd Medicaid Services) has a five-star, in-depth ra tSara Wagner is a Medicare ing syst em expert at Health Partners in p lace f or in Bloomington. (Submitted plans, a q ualphoto) ity assura nce score ca re available a t medica “ In M innesota, we’re fortunate to have good quality plans, but you should look at the plan’s star rating,” Wagner s aid. “ It’s p retty r igorous. It

speaks t o t he q uality a nd s atisfaction o f members’ exp eriences, no t j ust w hat y ou pay in monthly premiums.” • W hat ca n y ou a fford t o pa y e ach moth? • What do you pay out of pocket if you travel to see a doctor outside the plan network? • Is there a fitness benefit? “We find a lot of people who are interested in t he fitness benefit,” Wagner said. • I s t here a den tal p lan inc luded? “Sometimes w e f orget a bout t eeth,” Wagner said. “Some plans include dental plans, and some don’t. You have to know what you’re buying.” All plans have an emergency plan that will cover you when you travel, according to Wagner. However, s ome have a ca p on extended b enefits, she s aid. “ Most p lans

have some sort of travel benefit,” she said. • Is there a co rresponding prescription drug plan? “We often find that people like everything with one carrier,” Wagner said. She no tes t hat most he alth in surance carriers in M innesota o ffer c lasses o r information s essions, o r o pportunities f or people to e ducate t hemselves b efore t hey enroll in M edicare. “ They wa nt t o hel p people make the transition,” Wagner said. Seniors ca n g et inf ormation f rom a ny independent insurance agent, a broker that represents all p lans, f rom S enior L inkage Line or at the website. Telemedicine no w is o ffered b y s ome plans as an alternate to a face-to-face visit with t he do ctor. “A lo t o f p hysicians p articipate in that,” Wagner said. GOOD QUESTIONS - TO PAGE 6

Page 6 Our Life • Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 /

‘Navigating Medicare’ classes available Anyone w ho is getting r eady t o r etire and wa nts t o kno w more a bout M edicare, or is a family member or c aregiver t o s omeone with M edicare co verage may benefit from attending a presentation to learn about Medicare. The pre sentation i s an educational o pportunity, no t a s ales p itch. I t is o ffered in cooperation wi th S enior C ommunity S ervices, a no n-profit agency in Minnetonka. A no minal f ee is co llected t o defer costs. Anyone w ho is in terested ma y register wi th t he co ntact list ed b elow:

Cheryl, 612-861-9363. • Monday, Nov. 7, 1 t o 3:30 p .m.: Lenox C ommunity C enter, 6715 Minnetonka B lvd., S t. L ouis P ark. Contact: Toni, 952-928-6443. • Monday, Nov. 7, 6:30 t o 9 p .m.: Minnetonka C ommunity Ed ucation, 4584 Vine Hill Road, Excelsior. Contacts: Jennifer DeJong, 952-401-6843, or Ama nda C ambronne, 952-4015055. • Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30 to 9 p.m.: Minnetonka S enior C enter, 14600 Minnetonka B lvd., M innetonka. Contacts: S teve P ieh, 952-939-8369, or Kate Egert, 952-939-8354. • Monday, Nov. 28, 6:30 t o 9 p.m.: Wayzata Community Education, 305 Vicksburg L ane, Pl ymouth. C ontact: Diane Robinson, 763-745-5205. Registration: 763-745-5213.

Upcoming classes

Finding help with insurance options

• Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6 to 8:30 p.m.: Richfield C ommunity C enter, 7000 Nicollet A ve. S., Ric hfield. Contact:

Senior C ommunity S ervices p rovides o ne-on-one a ppointments f or




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health insurance help at the following locations: • Bloomington: 9, 10 a nd 11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Cr eekside C ommunity C enter, 9801 P enn A ve. S., B loomington. Info: 952-563-4944. • B rooklyn C enter: 9, 10 a nd 11 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at Brooklyn Center Recreation Department, 6301 S hingle Cr eek Parkway, Brooklyn Center. Info: 763569-3405. • Eden Prairie: Noon, 1 and 2 p.m. on t he t hird Thursday o f t he mo nth at Eden P rairie S enior C enter, 8950 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie. Info: 952-279-8050. • Edina: 1, 2 and 3 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month at Edina Senior C enter, 5280 G randview Square, Edina. Info: 952-833-9570. • Golden Valley: 9, 10 and 11 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month at Golden Valley Park and Recreation Department, 200 B rookview P ark-

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“Consequently, we constantly hear from families, esp ecially t hose wi th mem bers dispersed acr oss t he co untry, w ho need help co ordinating a nd ma naging ca re f or an o lder lo ved o ne. And ma ny o f t hese devoted ca regivers gr ow w eary a nd o verwhelmed by providing constant care.” CareNextion is desig ned to st rengthen informal su pport netw orks t hrough centralized co ordination o f ca re, t ask assignment, journaling and communication with care team members. “A typical care scenario involves adult

Questions FROM PAGE 5 As for Health Partners, she said, “We’re really proud of our Virtuwell online clinic. It’s available 24/7, and it treats 50 common conditions, incl uding b ladder inf ections, flu and sinus infections.” To use the program, patients fill out an online f orm a nd a nswer s ome q uestions

way, G olden V alley. I nfo: 763-5122340. • Minnetonka: 1, 2 a nd 3 p .m. on the first a nd t hird M ondays o f t he month a nd 6, 7 a nd 8 p .m. o n t he third Monday of t he month at Minnetonka S enior C enter, 14600 M innetonka B lvd., M innetonka. I nfo: 952-939-8393. • Plymouth: 9, 10 a nd 11 a.m. o n the second Wednesday of the month at Pl ymouth Cr eek C enter, 14800 34th A ve. N., Pl ymouth. I nfo: 763509-5280. • Ric hfield: 1, 2 a nd 3 p .m. o n the s econd Monday of t he month at Richfield C ommunity C enter, 7000 Nicollet Ave. S., Ric hfield. Info: 612861-9363. • S t. L ouis P ark: 1, 2 a nd 3 p .m. on the first Wednesday of the month at L enox C ommunity C enter, 6715 Minnetonka B lvd., S t. L ouis P ark. Info: 952-928-6444.

children living far from a parent and trying to co ordinate ca re f or Mom o r D ad f rom another city,” Taylor said. “With CareNextion, t hey ca n cr eate a nd ma nage a ca re team o f r elatives, tr usted neig hbors, a nd friends w ho can help share caregiving responsibilities.” Everyone who has the confidential password can log in to CareNextion to find local resources, see upcoming appointments, and co ordinate tra nsportation a nd o ther needed tasks and household chores. Caregiving is b etter o rganized, t hus r educing the need f or co nstant p hone callin g a nd emailing multiple people. that a doctor would be likely to ask. Certified nurse practitioners make a diagnosis, create a p ersonalized tr eatment p lan a nd send a prescription if needed. Wagner sug gests t hat p eople w ho a re approaching Medicare start looking at options a y ear in ad vance, “to get an idea of what’s out there.” “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Wagner said. “You really don’t have to do t his alone.”

Our Life • Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 Page 7 /

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Page 8 Our Life â&#x20AC;¢ Thursday/Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 /


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