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Medicare Update

We Want You: Senior Advocacy Group Forming


o you want to be heard? Find your voice by joining the Senior Action Coalition through Area 1 Agency on Aging’s Project for Senior Action. A1AA Director of Programs Todd Metcalf said the first meeting of what he hopes will grow to a 150-member senior coalition will be in March, at a date and time to be determined. “Many seniors are tired of being forced into the role of reacting and adapting to cuts to resources and shrinking access to programs,” Metcalf said. “They deserve the opportunity to define their goals and have a hand in shaping the events that affect them.” Metcalf said the first step will be for the volunteer group to identify a single issue around home and community-based services it seeks to impact. The

SCAN Foundation will assist and support the Project for Senior Action by utilizing broadly accepted technologies and communication strategies to develop a successful social action network. The program is part of SCAN Foundation’s AGEnts for Change initiative to build a senior citizenry more capable of impacting policy around aging and longterm care. Training in new media, from cell phones to social networks such as Facebook to online video sharing, will be part of the program. “We need your ideas, talents, relationships and passion if we are to identify and impact the issues North Coast seniors care the most about,” Metcalf said. “If you have an issue around aging or long-term care, this is your opportunity to do more to influence the outcome and expand your base of support.”

Nursery and Garden Center Shop and Power Equipment Landscape Contractors

For the past two years, the Project for Senior Action has served as a conduit helping seniors and others contact decision makers directly, or by relaying their message in their words to the appropriate entity. Funded by the SCAN Foundation, the Project for Senior Action is building the coalition as the next step to improve the community’s capacity to advocate for programs, services and policies that will improve the quality of life for seniors on the North Coast. “This is a way to take action regarding pressing challenges affecting seniors and to strengthen the voice of seniors in our community decisions,” Metcalf said. For more information, call the Project for Senior Action at 707-441-0449, e-mail psa@a1aa. org., or drop by the office at 434 Seventh St. in Eureka from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. “We will find a role for everyone,” Metcalf said. “Stuffing envelopes, sending e-mails, staffing a phone bank, writing a letter to the editor – do what’s comfortable for you, but do something. Now is the time to be heard.” 

1828 Central Ave. • McKinleyville •


HICAP Fills Pock Savings, Extra H


he program manager for A1AA’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program began the year in good spirits – and for good reason. Three weeks removed from the end of the Medicare Part D enrollment period, she and her staff felt a bit like Santa after stuffing local pockets with thousands of dollars in savings on prescription drug costs. “About two-thirds to threequarters of the people we served saw significant savings,” Martha Johnson said. “And by that I’m talking about $500 to $3,000 per year.” For the Oct. 1 through Dec. 7 rush, Johnson said HICAP met with 1,450 people, fielded about 1,000 phone calls, completed “several hundred” worksheet responses to queries, and saved individuals and taxpayers $800,000 by changing people from their current plans into another plan that gave them better coverage at lower cost. She scanned down a list of names and ticked off the co-payment savings that came with a new Part D plan: $2,900, $4,151, $1,755, $1,946, $2,073, $2,288. “Here’s someone who never

Gray Matters Winter 2012  

A quarterly publication of Area 1 Agency on Aging

Gray Matters Winter 2012  

A quarterly publication of Area 1 Agency on Aging