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Generations Michigan

Summer 2009

Pushing

100 and Going Strong

Spotlight on Michigan’s Centenarians

Also in This Issue: n Ask the Expert n Caregiving News & Notes Published quarterly by Michigan’s Area Agencies on Aging

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Welcome to Michigan Generations Michigan is divided into 16 AAAs, each serving a different part of the state.

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They are:

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Whether you are an older adult yourself, a caregiver or a friend concerned about the well-being of an older adult, Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are ready to help. AAAs in communities across the country serve as gateways to local resources, planning efforts, and services that help older adults remain independent. AAAs were established under the Older Americans Act in 1973 to respond to the needs of Americans aged 60 and over in every community. The services available through AAA agencies fall into five general categories: information and consultation, services available in the community, services in the home, housing, and elder rights. A wide range of programs is available within each category.

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Visit the AAA’s state website at www.mi-seniors.net  

The services offered by   Michigan’s 16 AAAs cover a broad spectrum of needs, such   as information and referral, case management, in-home services, home-delivered meals, senior centers, transportation, and special outreach. To read more about each of Michigan’s AAAs and the services available, turn to page 8 of this issue.  MI

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Generations Michigan

SUMMER 2009  Published quarterly through a cooperative effort of Michigan’s Area Agencies on Aging.

For information contact: Jenny Jarvis 248-262-9202 jjarvis@aaa1b.com

Editorial Project Development: JAM Communications, Atlanta, GA Design and Production: Wells-Smith Partners, Lilburn, GA

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On the Cover: Centenarian Helen Bethke is part of a distinguished and rapidly-growing group of seniors to reach the 100-yearold mark. Here’s a look at this amazing trend — plus a glimpse into the lives of several centenarians around Michigan. See story, page 4. Photos of Mrs. Bethke on the cover and page 5 by Keith Emmerich Photography.

Summer 2009 Volume 7, #1 © 2009 by the Michigan Area Agencies on Aging. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, the Michigan Area Agencies on Aging and JAM Communications make no warranty to the accuracy or reliability of this information. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission. All rights reserved.

map photography courtesy travel michigan

AAAs —‑Gateways to Community Resources

1A Detroit Area Agency on Aging 1B Area Agency on Aging 1-B 1C The Senior Alliance   2 Region 2 Area Agency on Aging 3A Kalamazoo Co. Health & Community Services Dept. Region 3A 3B Region IIIB Area Agency on Aging 3C Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging IIIC   4 Region I V Area Agency on Aging   5 Valley Area Agency on Aging   6 Tri-County Office on Aging   7 Region VII Area Agency on Aging   8 Area Agency on Aging of  Western Michigan   9 NEMCSA Region 9 Area Agency on Aging 10 Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan 11 Upper Peninsula Area Agency on Aging 14 Senior Resources of West Michigan


CAREGIVINGNews&Notes Jury Duty

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new scam spreading across the country seems to be targeting the elderly, who are the easiest to prey on. The victim receives a phone call from an individual who claims to be a jury coordinator. When the senior protests that he or she never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks for information such as a Social Security number, date of birth or even a credit card number. Once this information is given out, the victim’s identity is stolen. The swindle is particularly insidious because the caller uses intimidation over the phone to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. This scam has been verified by the FBI (see link below) and has been reported so far in 11 states. The FBI and the federal court system have issued a nationwide alert on their websites, warning consumers about the fraud. For more details, check out: www.fbi.gov/page2/ june06/jury_scams060206.htm.

Doctors larming news on the medical front: More and more doctors are no longer accepting Medicare, either because they have completely opted out of the insurance system or they are not accepting new patients with Medicare coverage. The doctors’ reasons: Reimbursement rates are too low and paperwork too much of a hassle, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Trends indicate that internists are the most common culprits, but gastroenterologists, gynecologists, psychiatrists and other specialists are joining their ranks. Doctors who have opted out of Medicare can charge whatever they want, but they cannot bill Medicare for reimbursement, nor may their patients. Medigap, or supplemental insurance, policies usually do not provide coverage when Medicare doesn’t, so the entire bill is the patient’s responsibility.

Opt Out A of

Medicare

✗ Summer 2009

Rate of Diabetes Nearly Doubles

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ewly diagnosed cases of diabetes rose to 9.1 annually per 1,000 Americans between 2005 and 2007. This compares to 4.8 per 1,000 people a decade ago, according to new Centers for Disease Control figures. The report, which compiled data from 33 states, found that the soaring incidence of diabetes was worst in the South. The numbers reflect the problem of obesity in the U.S., says the American Diabetes Association. Risk of type 2 diabetes — the most common form of the disease — is closely linked to being overweight.

Generations Wins “Gold” “Scams that Target Seniors,” a feature story that ran in the Winter 2008 issue of Michigan Generations magazine, was a GOLD WINNER in this year’s annual National Mature Media Awards. The competition honors the best educational, marketing and advertising materials for older adults. In addition, the magazine won a SILVER AWARD for “Michigan’s Senior Centers: Why the Future Looks Bright,” which was published in Fall 2008. The winning issues of Generations were selected from more than 1,000 entries, including AARP publications and national newsstand magazines.

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Surfing the Net Each issue of Michigan Generations offers several websites devoted to caregiving information and resources: www.medlineplus.gov provides authoritative information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials and latest health news, plus easy access to medical journal articles. www.seniorhousing.net has resources and information on senior living options, moving and storage, health and wellness, and other aging topics. Look for more helpful websites in the next issue of Michigan Generations. 


Pushing

100 and Going Strong

Spotlight on Michigan’s Centenarians By Martha Nolan McKenzie

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Kenneth “Red” Simmons won’t turn 100 until January 5, but plans are already well underway for his birthday celebration. His daughter, 71, and her three children have already booked their flights, and the heads of University of Michigan’s track and field program, where Simmons was a head coach, are planning a party to top the celebration they threw for him when he turned 90. “They gave me just a tremendous party when I turned 90,” says Simmons. “This will be a really nice party with a lot of family and track friends.” Simmons will be entering a rapidly growing club. While centenarians used to be a rarity, they now make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, swelling by 35% between 1990 and 2000. Thanks to significant improvements in medical prevention and intervention, an estimated 70,000 Americans have reached the century mark, and close to 1 in 20 boomers are expected to achieve that distinction, according to United Nations population projections. In Detroit alone, some 50 to 60 centenarians attend an annual luncheon every May in their honor. “The oldest that we know of is Daisy Dailey, and she’s 114,” says Tina Moss, special projects coordinator for the City of Detroit Senior Citizens Department. “Our most recent luncheon was in May, and we had a man and a woman attend who were both 112.” In fact, the pool of 100-year-olds is finally large enough for scientists to be able to study it. The University of Georgia (UGA), in collaboration with several other universities, recently completed the Georgia Centenarian Study. Harvard University and Boston University conducted similar research in the New England Centenarian Study. 

A surprising finding turned up by both studies was that, contrary to the expectation of extreme frailty, many centenarians are healthy, vibrant and living independently. The Georgia study found that 20% to 25% of centenarians live independently in the community, are cognitively intact and generally full of life. The New England study noted that many of its subjects avoided common chronic diseases associated with aging, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and that 9 out of 10 were relatively healthy and independent into their 90s. That pretty much describes Simmons. He recently resealed his deck, pounding in loose nails, sanding rough spots and painting on sealer. “It took me a good couple of hours, so I skipped my workout that day,” he says. But missing a workout is rare for Simmons. He generally heads to the gym at the University of Michigan five days a week and spends at least a half hour climbing the stair machine and lifting weights. Helen Bethke fits the bill as well. At 100, Bethke lives independently in a senior complex in Chelsea. “She’s as sharp as a tack and remembers absolutely everything,” says Bethke’s daughter, Nancie Dresselhouse. “She doesn’t take any medications at all — never has. She’s just feisty!” So what is their secret? How can these people not only live to 100, but arrive at that age functional and healthy? That’s a good question, according to the researchers of the centenarian studies. “We found that there is no single secret, or even set of secrets,” says Leonard W. Poon, director of UGA’s Institute of Gerontology and principal investigator of the Georgia study. “But that is good news. If there was only one secret, and only a few people happened to have it, then it would be bad news for the rest of us. If there is no one secret, it means all of us may have a shot at making it.” Author Jim Heynen came to the same conclusion almost 20 years earlier in his book One Hundred over 100: Moments with One Hundred North American Centenarians (Fulcrum Publishing, 1990). Heynen traversed the country interviewing centenarians and compiling their stories into the book.   Continued on page 7

Verna Tellis Hamilton (center), 104, attends the City of Detroit’s annual centenarian lunch. She is joined by her niece Berline Brown (left) and nephew Stanley David (right). Hamilton has a degree in Gerontology from Wayne County Community College. Michigan Generations


Helen Bethke Born: April 8, 1909, in Ann Arbor, MI

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elen Bethke can’t quite believe she has reached the century mark. “There have been so many things going on with my 100th anniversary, I don’t know if I’m coming or going,” she laughs. “For the last two to three weeks it’s just been get together, get together, get together. I’ve had so many parties, I can’t count! But still it doesn’t seem possible that I’m 100!” Bethke views her advanced age with the same good humor and optimism with which she regards nearly everything. Of her apartment in an assisted-living facility in Chelsea, Bethke says, “I just love it here! It’s a beautiful place with beautiful surroundings. There’s so much to do. Everyone is like family here.” Family is something that has always been important to Bethke. She grew up the fourth of seven children in a large home in Ann Arbor with a very big lot. The family planted an extensive garden every year. “We even had pear, plum and black walnut trees,” says Bethke. “We were like a little farm.” When her mother got ill, Bethke had to leave school after 10th grade to help care for her younger siblings. “I was happy with that,” says Bethke when asked if she had any regrets about not graduating from high school. “I was the mother to the little ones.” Eventually she went to work in a nearby factory, painting the heads of rocking horses — even though she claims she is not particularly artistic. She married at 21 and raised three children. For 24 years, the family vacationed in Gaylord during the summer. “We loved to camp,” says Bethke. “Those were wonderful times.” Today, Bethke is still having a wonderful time.

Secret to a long life: “I’ve been asked that so many times, but I really don’t know.”

Fred Bayer Born: Feb. 4, 1905, in Detroit, MI

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red Bayer, 104, lived with his wife, Blanche, until she passed away at 97. About a year later, his daughter, Rosemary Tabbert, moved in with him in his apartment in a Monroe senior housing complex. “I’m an only child, and we’ve always been very close,” says Tabbert, 80. “When my mother and father retired, they moved from Detroit to Monroe, because that’s where I was living.” Summer 2009

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The oldest of 10 children, Fred Bayer had to go to work at a young age to help provide for his younger siblings. He shoveled coal into wealthy families’ furnaces, delivered newspapers and did whatever odd job he could find. At age 15, however, he landed an enviable position — drummer in a local orchestra. “I had started playing drums when I was very young,” says Bayer. “That job carried me through my early marriage and through the Depression. I played one night a week, which paid $7, and that’s what we lived on.” After the Depression, Bayer became a die cutter for a subsidiary of General Motors, a job he kept until he retired. His hard work paid off, and Bayer was able to buy a cottage in northern Michigan, where he took his family in the summers. “He always loved fishing, and still does,” says Rosemary Tabbert, his daughter. When he retired, Bayer and his wife, Blanche, moved to Monroe to be near their only child, Tabbert. Blanche passed away at 97, and today, Tabbert and Bayer happily share an apartment in a senior complex. “He goes to the senior center once a week to sing with a group that gets together to sing old-fashioned songs,” says Tabbert, “and he still loves to play the keyboard. I hope I’m going that strong when I’m 104!”

Secret to a long life: “Take one day at a time.”

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Ethel Kleeb Born: June 8, 1908, in Racine, WI

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n Olympia electric typewriter sits in Ethel Kleeb’s room in the Chelsea Retirement Community in Chelsea. “I typed out all the invitations to my 100th birthday party,” she says proudly. Has she thought about switching to a computer? “Oh no!” she laughs. “I’m too old to learn that.” Maybe, but it might not be wise to take that bet. Indeed, after going to business school, Kleeb took a special course to learn to operate a comptometer — the first electronic adding device to be driven solely by the action of pressing keys. She used the skill to do the payroll at Racine Rubber Company until she got married in 1935. “The company didn’t allow married women to work, so I had to quit,” she says. “But I didn’t mind. That was the thing to do — take care of your family.” Kleeb may have stopped working, but she always kept busy. When Kleeb, her husband and her son moved to Michigan, she became active in the United Methodist Church in Howell. She played golf into her 90s. And when she moved into a retirement community nine years ago, she took up dominoes, joining an exercise class every morning at 8:30 and volunteering in 


and we play on a different course every Thursday. I’m still playing in it.” How would Kelley like to celebrate his 101st birthday? “Just like I celebrated the last one,” he says. “I had pretty near 200 people at my 100th birthday party, and I liked it fine.”

Secret to a long life: “I have no answer for that. I did everything you shouldn’t.”

Helen Wittee Born: Dec. 8, 1908, in Mt. Pleasant, MI

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the Heritage Room, a small museum in the community.

Secret to a long life: “I think I have good genes on my mother’s side.”

Kenneth “Red” Simmons Born: Nov. 1, 1908, in Wright Township, MI

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enneth “Red” Simmons is the University of Michigan’s oldest living former head coach. More than 10 years before Title IX, the act designed to level the playing field for women collegiate athletes, Simmons and his wife, Betty, organized a women’s track club in Ann Arbor called the Michigammes. “Betty and I had gone to the Olympics in Rome in 1960, and the U.S. women’s team didn’t do well,” says Simmons. “So we decided to come back and start a track club for women. Within two years we won the state AAU championship, and we won many, many years after that.” In 1976, Simmons was named the UM’s first women’s track and field coach. Sports had been a big part of Simmons’ life since childhood. He attended a oneroom schoolhouse in Grand River. “When I was in seventh grade, a man came to teach, and he had a farmer mow a place for us to run and make a long jump and high jump. He told my parents I needed to go to high school because I was going to be a great athlete someday.” And he was. Simmons led his high school and later college track teams. He was a member of the 1932 Olympic track and field team. 

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He remains active today, working out at least five days a week and, with his second wife, Lois, staying very active in the university’s programs. “We retired in ’82 and we’re busier now than we ever were,” says Simmons.

Secret to a long life: “Picking good parents and a good wife, and I did both.”

John Kelley Born: Jan. 5, 1910, in Cleveland, OH

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ohn Kelley grew up on a farm. “I didn’t care too much for farm chores, and my sister didn’t care for housework, so we swapped,” says Kelley. “I helped out my mother in the house, and I actually became a pretty good cook. After we were grown, my sister would call me all the time and ask, ‘How did mother make this dish?’” Kelley enrolled in the International Business College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with his sights set on sales. His plans were soon put on hold. “The Depression came along and I had to drop out,” he said. “I never did get to go back and finish.” Once the economy came back, Kelley embarked on an ever-changing series of jobs. He worked at a steel plant, a power plant, an airplane parts factory and an industrial machinery concern. In between, he owned and operated a garage and two bowling alleys. He also married, divorced and raised two children. The one constant through his many changes has been golf. “I first played in 1927 and I’ve never stopped,” he says. “I ran a golf league for years. We have about 90 players

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ne of the things Helen Wittee is proudest of is the fact that six former students she taught in kindergarten still contact her regularly. “And they don’t just write to her,” says Betty Lewis, Wittee’s daughter. “Some of them come to see her once or twice a year!” Wittee taught kindergarten and first grade for 25 years, but she didn’t begin her teaching career until 1945. Before that, she traveled with her first husband and cared for her young daughter. “Stanley played the saxophone and the clarinet, and that’s how he supported us through the Depression years,” says Wittee. “People couldn’t afford other types of entertainment, but they could afford to dance. So we traveled all around with his music.” When Wittee’s daughter was old enough to start school, the family settled down in Michigan. Both Wittee and her husband taught school. Today, Wittee lives with her daughter and son-in-law in Cheboygan. Though her eyesight is failing and she has had to give up crossword puzzles and needlework, she maintains her passion for reading by listening to books on tape. “I’m listening to biographies of presidents right now,” she says. “But I love to read everything. I always have.”

Secret to a long life: “If you like people and have a good relationship with your family and friends, that probably keeps you going better than anything else.”

Howard Bryant Born: Dec. 25, 1906, near Eureka, MI

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oward Bryant wears a sweatshirt that reads “Plays in the dirt.” Indeed, the Ovid man has been playing in, or working with, dirt for more than a century. Bryant grew up on a farm north of Eureka. When it was time to go to Michigan Generations


college, he enrolled in Michigan State Agricultural College, but those were the Depression years. It took him 10 years to get his degree, since he kept having to leave classes to earn money. He finally earned his diploma, and taught agriculture to high school students as well as to returning WWII vets. “Some of those guys had been away in the military for seven years,” recalls Bryant. “A lot had changed in farming during that time and they had to catch back up.” Bryant taught agriculture until he retired, but he never gave up playing in the dirt. To this day, he plants and cares for a 10-yard-by-20-yard garden. “He’s a hobbyist landscaper,” says Howard Bryant, Jr., his son. “Mostly he likes to grow things to give to other people. He grows vegetables and gives them away. And he has a greenhouse where he’ll grow bushes and give them away to people. He loves to share.”

Secret to a long life: “Pick the right ancestors.”

Juanita Gephart Born: May 1, 1909, in Columbus, OH

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rowing up on a farm in Pittsford, Juanita Gephart preferred playing with animals to dolls. “I used to dress up

the cats and chase the calves,” she says. “I walked to a oneroom schoolhouse in grade school and rode a horse and buggy to high school.” After she left the farm, she always stayed in small towns. “She always enjoyed knowing everybody, just walking down the street and stopping to talk to anyone she passed,” says Phyllis Snyder, Gephart’s daughter. “She has always had a big circle of friends.” In 1934, Gephart gained a husband and a business partner, Gary Gephart. “We were in the chicken and egg business — not raising them, but buying and selling them,” says Gephart. “I was the bookkeeper.” They ran the business out of their home. “They were together all day and all night,” says Snyder. “They were really best friends. They worked together and then they retired together.” When they retired, they moved to Naples, Florida. In 1989, Gary passed away, and 10 years later, Gephart moved back to Michigan, to Temperance. Gephart now lives in an independent unit in a senior complex, which is another type of small town. “She loves it there,” says Snyder. “She visits with friends, goes to potluck dinners, plays cards. She’s just a happy person, and always has been.”

Secret to a long life: “I have no idea, it just happened. My daughter thinks it’s because I’m feisty.”

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In his introduction, Heynen notes the diversity of the people he talked to — free spirits and worrywarts, athletes and couch potatoes, the devout and the skeptics. “The variety of people should convince you that no one is exempt from the possibility of longevity,” writes Heynen. “Once and for all, you should be assured there is no one formula, no single secret. As you will see, if there is one secret, there must be at least 100.” Lempi Peterson, 102, of Negaunee credits hard work for her longevity. “I worked at Bell Hospital for 20 years,” she says. “I helped in the OR and I just loved it. I walked to work every day — it was Peterson 102 about a mile. I worked hard all my life and I think that’s what’s gotten me here.” Helen Wittee, 100, of Mt. Pleasant thinks that strong relationships with family and friends is the secret, while several centenarians credit good genes for their longevity. “Pick the right ancestors,” says Howard Bryant, 102, of Ovid. That being said, some factors can boost your odds of having Willard Scott announce your birthday on the Today show. Indeed, choosing the right parents helps. If your parents lived into their 90s or made it to 100, you likely have genes and perhaps a lifestyle that predispose you toward longevity. Predisposition, however, is a far cry from a guarantee. “If you read all the studies and literature on the topic, the best guess out there is that genes account for 25% to 30% of longevity,” says Poon. “That means about 70% is up to us — what we do in our own behavior or the environment we create.” It also helps to choose your gender wisely. About 85% of centenarians are women, and only 15% men. That’s because women are, in general, physiologically stronger and able to survive chronic diseases, while men are more likely to die of heart attacks or cancer at younger ages. But the men who do make it to 100 tend to be better off functionally than their female counterparts. Researchers speculate that’s because for men to make it to 100, they have to be in extraordinarily good health. A healthy lifestyle with a good diet, regular exercise and all things in moderation can not only increase your odds of living to 100, but of being in good health when you get there. The UGA study, for example, found that centenarians consumed about 20% to 30% more carotenoids and vitamin A from foods than non-centenarians did — which basically means they ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. In addition, very few centenarians smoked, were obese or consumed excessive alcohol. Continued on page 16

Summer 2009




regionalNews In communities across the U.S.,

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Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) serve as gateways to local resources, planning efforts and services that help older adults remain independent. Here are the programs and services offered by Michigan’s AAAs.

1A Detroit Area Agency on Aging 1B Area Agency on Aging 1-B 1C The Senior Alliance   2 Region 2 Area Agency on Aging 3A Kalamazoo Co. Health & Community Services Dept. Region 3A 3B Region IIIB Area Agency on Aging 3C Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging IIIC   4 Region IV Area Agency on Aging   5 Valley Area Agency on Aging

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  6 Tri-County Office on Aging   7 Region VII Area Agency on Aging   8 Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan   9 NEMCSA Region 9 Area Agency on Aging 10 Area Agency on  Aging of Northwest Michigan 11 Upper Peninsula Area Agency on Aging 14 Senior Resources of West Michigan

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Reg 1-A / Detroit AAA

Reg 1-B / AAA 1-B

Reg 1-C / The

Region 3B Area Agency on Aging Serving Barry and Calhoun counties in Southwest Michigan

Who Ya Gonna Call?

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o you remember that 1980s movie Ghostbusters? The theme song included the line “Who ya gonna call?” Of course, it related to banishing ghosts, not seeking information on services and programs for older

adults. But who will you call if you have questions on caregiving, in-home services, financial assistance, housing, food or transportation? The Area Agency on Aging’s Senior Connect Info Line links older adults, individuals with disabilities and caregivers with the resources, Area Agency on Aging in programs and services they Barry and Calhoun counties need, using our extensive database and network of referrals. The trained information and assistance specialists We’re here to help! walk callers through a process of identifying needs, reviewing programs and services for which they might be eligible and connecting them to the appropriate resources.

SENIOR CONNECT INFO LINE

1-866-642-4582



Our specialists pride themselves onHuman providing Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Reg 3-B / Burnham-Brook Reg IIIB Services Dept. (Region 3) quality service and truly enjoy helping people. Monique Cooper, one of our newest specialists, says, “It’s sorta like helping my mom. I would want her to get the best information and not have to worry about chasing down all the services herself. That’s what we do — we guide people to the resources they needRegand ensure that Reg 5 / Valley AAA 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging any referrals are followed up on. It’s a great feeling to help someone!” So the next time you have a question and aren’t sure who to contact, give us a call! We’re here to help. To reach one of our trained specialists, call us from anywhere in Barry and Calhoun counties at 1-866-642-4582. For more information, contact Reg 9 / NEMSCA Reg 9 AAA Reg 10 / AAA of Northwest MI Region 3B AAA at 269-966-2450 or go to www.region3b.org. Michigan Generations

Reg 3-C / Bra (IIIC)

Reg 7 / Reg V

Reg 11 / Uppe


Detroit Area Agency on Aging Serving Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and the five Grosse Pointes in Wayne County

Detroit Advocates Say: Live Today for a Better Tomorrow!

Reg 1-A / Detroit AAA

Reg 1-B / AAA

Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Services Dept. (Region 3)

Reg 3-B / Burn

Reg 5 / Valley AAA

Reg 6 / Tri-Cou

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hat if family caregivers could receive information, training, financial assistance, respite and professional services to support their efforts? What if direct care workers could have the respect and compensation their demanding jobs deserve? What if provider organizations could attract and retain better-trained staff? Regardless of medical or financial circumstances, what if older adults and individuals with disabilities had every possible option to enhance their quality of life? These are among the questions driving the Community Advocacy Network of Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA). At a long-term care summit in May, Detroit’s state legislators and their constituents carved out specific action plans, by district, to address critical consumer and policy matters. Participants explored ways to educate and inform residents of their districts about long-term care issues, with everything from newsletters and tip lines to the design and presentation of caregiver training programs. They were insistent about bettertargeted media and letter-writing campaigns. They also suggested partnerships with hospital discharge planners to initiate discussions on long-term care when patients enter a hospital. According to Paul Bridgewater, DAAA president & CEO, advocacy for long-term care also promotes healthy aging. The result? Attention will shift from long-term care to longterm living — and that’s grassroots advocacy at its best!

Over 100 individuals gathered at Detroit’s Greater Grace Conference Center for a summit to galvanize relationships long-term Regamong 9 / NEMSCA Reg 9 AAAcare stakeholders in Region 1A. Consumers, legislators, service providers, care workers and professionals in the aging network all met to make long-term care advocacy their priority.

Join our Community Advocacy Network!

Plan. Explore Options. Invest.

Learn About Long Term Care Issues Impacting Detroit. Support Quality Long Term Care Services through the following activities: l

Public Testimony

l District

Meetings Writing and Eblasts l Mailing Campaigns l Rallies l Participate in Comm unity Events l Meet with State, Fede ral and Local Legislators l Share information on Websites and through Links l Other Tactics and Strate gies l Letter

(313) 446-4444

Summer 2009

Reg 10 / AAA


Area Agency on Aging 1-B Serving the counties of Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw

Great Volunteer Opportunity

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he Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) is currently looking for individuals who are interested in helping Medicare beneficiaries with questions on Medicare. As a volunteer for the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), you have the opportunity to work from home, in a community setting such as a senior center, or to have “office hours” at a local AAA 1-B office. Individuals wishing to volunteer attend a four-day training that will be held at the AAA 1-B office in Southfield. As a MMAP volunteer, your goal is to provide Medicare beneficiaries and their families with information and knowledge to help them make their own educated choices. You may provide assistance in such areas as Medicare Part D plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap plans, Part

Reg 1-A / Detroit AAA

Reg 1-B / AAA 1-B

on Medicare Part D prior to the open enrollment period that starts in November. Interested individuals should have good oral and written communication skills, effective listening skills and Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Reg 3-B / Burnham-Brook Reg IIIB Services Dept. (Regionbe 3) comfortable working on a computer, including the Internet. Becoming a MMAP volunteer is an excellent way to assist Bob Fox, MMAP counselor, assists a senior with questions seniors, learn something on Medicare. new and meet others who want to help seniors and Medicare A and Part B benefits, Medicare probeneficiaries navigate through their grams for low-income households, and Reg 5 / Valley AAA Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging health care options. possibly the Medicare appeals process. If you are interested in additional MMAP volunteers receive ongoing information on this volunteer opportunity, training to keep you up-to-date please contact Jennifer Houghton, MMAP on changes to Medicare as well as manager, at 1-800-803-7174. refresher trainings — such as training

An Event Worth Attending

Reg 9 / NEMSCA Reg 9 AAA

Reg 10 / AAA of Northwest MI

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he Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) will be hosting the 10th annual Solutions for Family Caregivers Expo: Saturday, October 24, 2009, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Diamond Center, Rock Financial Showplace 41600 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI 48374 Free admission. Free parking. This Expo will benefit people who provide care for elderly or disabled family members or friends. The program will include expert presentations on a variety of topics such as home health care options, local services provided in the home, living wills and trusts and Medicare information. Exhibitors will also be on-site to provide information, products and services for seniors, caregivers and persons with disabilities. Care for older loved ones or adults with disabilities will be provided at no charge at the event. Reservations are required. Complimentary morning refreshments will also be 10

Carrie Lengyel, AAA 1-B care manager, speaks with a caregiver at the Solutions for Family Caregivers Expo.

served, and all attendees will have a chance to win fabulous door prizes. For more information on the scheduled presentations and other details, visit www.aaa1b.com or call us at 1-800-852-7795. Michigan Generations

Reg 1-C / The

Reg 3-C / Bra (IIIC)

Reg 7 / Reg V

Reg 11 / Uppe


Best Chef “Recipe” Fest

St. Clair County Event!

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he AAA 1-B is leading the way in recognizing that healthy aging and eating well go hand in hand. A new event will be held on September 30, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the new Greater Bloomfield Township Senior Association located at 4315 Andover Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302. Guest chefs will be stirring the pot to spice up old favorites by giving them a healthy makeover with seasonings, side dishes and salad combinations that follow the USDA guidelines and meet the dietary requirements for older adults. The winning recipes will be shared with AAA 1-B nutrition providers, to be used for homedelivered meal and congregate meal (lunches provided for older adults in a social setting) programs throughout the six-county region served by our agency. For more information on the Chef Fest, homedelivered meals or congregate meals, call the Area Agency on Aging 1-B at 1-800-852-7795.

re you caring for an older adult, an adult with a disability or are you a senior looking for more information on long-term care? Be sure to attend the 3rd annual St. Clair County Caregiver Fair on: Saturday, September 19, 2009 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thomas Edison Inn 500 Thomas Edison Parkway Port Huron, MI The event features presentations on a wide variety of topics including legal tips, Alzheimer’s disease, Social Security benefits and Medicare. There is no charge to attend. Visit with over 30 local exhibitors and enter for a chance to win some great door prizes! For more information call the Area Agency on Aging 1-B at 1-800-852-7795 or visit www.aaa1b.com.

E E R F

Region 2 Area Agency on Aging Serving Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee counties

Lenawee County Holds Fifth Monday Forum Reg 1-A / Detroit AAA

Photo courtesY The Daily Telegram.

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he Fifth Monday Forum was created by the late Selma Larson, a senior advocate from Adrian. Larson envisioned a meeting where senior citizens would have an opportunity to direct their concerns to area politicians. Today this forum is still active after nearly 20 years and takes place in those months that have a fifth Monday. There are four meetings annually. In 2009 the forums are being held on March 30, June 29, August 31 and November 30 at the Lenawee County Human Services Building, River Raisin Room, at 1040 S. Winter Street in Adrian. All interested older adults should arrive by 9:30 a.m., and the meeting will conclude at about 11:00 a.m. Summer 2009

Reg 1-B / AAA 1-B

Reg 1-C / The Senior Alliance, Inc.

Reg 2 / Reg 2 AAA

important role in electing these politicians, and the forum gives seniors an opportunity to ask pertinent questions and get feedback on a large number of issues. The forum is well attended and often becomes quite engaging. Recent topicsReghave included Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Reg 3-B / Burnham-Brook Reg IIIB Reg 3-C / Branch-St. Joseph AAA 4 / Reg IV AAA Services Dept. (Region 3) (IIIC) the challenging economic State Rep. Dudley Spade, center, addresses a Fifth situation, the Michigan budget Monday Forum as Joe Saterelli, left, and Nancy dilemma and how that will affect Jenkins listen. Saterelli is the former director of seniors and their programs, and the Lenawee County office of the Department of the massive cost of the war in Human Services and Jenkins is state Sen. Cameron Iraq in terms of money spent or Brown’s office manager. The forums are hosted by the Lenawee County Department on Aging. diverted from social programs in the United States. The forum continues to connect For more information, contact Reg 5 / Valley AAA Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging Reg 7 / Reg VII AAA Reg 8 / AAA of Western Michigan senior citizens with local, state and Barbara Stoy at the Region 2 AAA, federal politicians. Seniors play an 1-800-335-7881 or 517-467-1909. 11


Branch–St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging IIIC Serving a two-county area surrounding Sturgis, Three Rivers, Coldwater and Quincy

We Haven’t Heard from You!

Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Services Dept. (Region 3)

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t the Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging, we continue to grow to meet your needs. We can answer your questions about all facets of long-term care, from home and community-based Reg 5 / Valley AAA support and services to evidence-based disease prevention programs. We can help you understand the range of supportive housing Back row, left to right: Kim Brown, Ted Bierdeman and options, from senior apartKelly Beem. Front row, left to right: Laura Sutter and Dawn Frasier. Not pictured: Steve Todd. ments to nursing facilities. We have also recently expanded our Care Manageto announce the addition TedReg 9 AAA Reg 9 / of NEMSCA Reg 1-A / Detroit AAALBSW, to Regour 1-B / AAA 1-B ment Program to include a licensed Bierdeman, Care social worker. We are very pleased Management team. Ted comes with

Reg 3-B / Burnham-Brook Reg IIIB

Reg 3-C / Branch-St. Joseph AAA (IIIC)

a dynamic background in health care and embraces the person-centered philosophy that makes our program so valuable. The expansion of the Care Management Program involves a focus on assisting medically complex older adults and veterans of any age to Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging Reg 7 / Reg VII AAA remain in the setting of their choice. Utilizing the tenets of personcentered thinking, these programs allow for more self-directed care. Our staff is sensitive to the preferences of each participant, supporting them to live as they desire. Contact us at 517-278-2538 or toll-free 1-888-615-8009. You canAAA also Reg 10 / AAA ofat Northwest MI Reg 11 / Upper Peninsula Regfind 1-C / The Inc. atReg 2 / Reg 2 AAA usSenior on Alliance, the web www.bhsj.org/AAA.

Region IV Area Agency on Aging Covering Michigan’s Great Southwest including Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties

Senior Expo Honors Older Americans Month Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Services Dept. (Region 3)

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n celebration of May as Older Americans Month, the Region IV Area Agency on Aging and the local newspaper, the Herald-Palladium, presented the 13th annual Senior Expo, one of the premier spring events in Southwest Michigan. Several thousand senior citizens and caregivers attended the 2009 Senior Expo on May 15 in the Grand Upton Hall of the Mendel Center on the campus of Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. The theme was Living Today for a Better Tomorrow, highlighting the great strides that older adults have taken to make healthy lifestyle choices, leading to longer, more productive and healthier lives than ever before. Expo 12

Reg 3-B / Burnham-Brook Reg IIIB

participants learned about disease prevention and health promotion. Local businesses and agencies filled the exhibit hall with booths and information about their services. Sponsors

Reg 5 / Valley AAA

Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging

included Lakeland HealthCare and Lake Michigan College, both dedicated to education and lifelong learning, and Lakeland’s Health Pavilion provided health screenings for balance and fall prevention, pressure, denReg 9 / NEMSCA Regblood 9 AAA Reg 10 / AAA bone of Northwest MI sity, depression and memory, as well as colorectal kits.

Plenty of entertainment was on tap, Reg 4 / Reg IV AAA including a trombone ensemble, a school jazz band and square dancers. “Sample Seminars” hosted by the Area Agency on Aging and Horizon Bank offered trainings by experts on topics of health and wellness. Other features of the event included free document shredding, serRegcourtesy 7 / Reg VII AAA of a mobile Reg recycling 8 / AAA of Western Michigan vice, and free admission, parking and golf cart rides from the parking lot to the front door provided by the Berrien County Sheriff Department cadets. Donated door prizes, raffles, giveaways, games and a baking contest ensured that participants had a full day of fun and education. theof Reg 11 /For Uppermore Peninsulainformation, AAA Reg 14 /contact Senior Resources West Michigan Region IV AAA at 269-983-0177 or 1-800-442-2803. Reg 3-C / Branch-St. Joseph AAA (IIIC)

Michigan Generations

Reg 4 / Reg I

Reg 8 / AAA

Reg 14 / Sen West Michig


Services Dept. (Region 3)

(IIIC)

Tri-County Office on Aging A consortium of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties and the cities of Lansing and East Lansing

Seniors Connect at Dining Site

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eona Karber has been coordinating the Ovid dining site for 15 years, since she was 75 years old. And, yes, that makes Leona 90 years old. Leona, her sister, Katherine, and volunteer Rita work together to provide a meal to older adults in Ovid, a rural community in Clinton County, every Tuesday and Thursday. At a time when senior dining site participation is trending downward, Leona not only holds her own, but is increasing the number of seniors who enjoy the meal and companionship. At the church where the site is located, a senior citizen quilting group has changed its meeting date so that they can join the group for lunch. Of the participants who began the site

when she was in the hospital for an extended Reg 5 / Valley AAA Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging stay. These are only a few of the peowith Leona 15 years ago, only a half ple whose lives Leona has touched. dozen remain. Leo, at 102, drives himLeona’s group shares both grief self to the site twice a week to join and joy. The day after Leona’s son what he considers to be his extended died, Leona came to work to provide family. Two years ago, when Leo did the meal for her friends and family at not show up for lunch, Leona called the dining site, and to receive their his neighbor and asked her to check loving support. This is what makes on him. Leo had been ofof Northwest congreReg 9 / NEMSCA Reg 9 AAAthe service Reg 10 / AAA MI Reg 1-A / Detroit AAA Reg 1-B / AAA 1-B Reg 1-C / The Senior Alliance,to Inc. lying unconscious on the gate meals essential bedroom floor most of the seniors’ quality of the night — and Leona’s life. In this small snapcall helped him to receive shot of Leona’s contrimedical assistance. Gladys bution lies the vision is 100 years old and and the mission of the drives her 68-year-old Tri-County Office on disabled daughter to the Aging. site. Dale, age 92, also For more information, drives herself to the site please Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Reg 3-B / Burnham-Brook Reg IIIB Regcall 3-C /517-887-1440 Branch-St. Joseph AAA (Region 3) (IIIC) and only missed a mealServices Dept.Leona or 1-800-405-9141. Karber.

Reg 7 / Reg V

Reg 11 / Upp

Reg 2 / Reg 2

Reg 4 / Reg I

Region VII Area Agency on Aging Serving Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola counties

Computer Classes for Older Adults Are in High Demand Reg 5 / Valley AAA

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he Internet has become the information highway, and older adults are finding themselves asking the question, “What is the Internet?” The Bay County Division on Aging in Bay City has developed two highly demanded computer classes, aimed at educating older adults: “Introduction to Computers” and “Introduction to the Internet.” Classes are held at the Riverside Senior Center in Bay City, and each class meets for two hours, twice a week, for three weeks. The class size is small, which gives older adults more one-on-one training from the instructor. Participants are taught a wide range of computer and Internet skills, such as navigating around a computer, Summer 2009

Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging

Reg 7 / Reg VII AAA

Reg 8 / AAA

classes held at the Riverside Senior Center, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 989-893-5834. Similar comReg 9 / NEMSCA Reg 9 AAA Reg 10 / AAA of Northwest MI Reg 11 / Upper Peninsula AAA puter classes are offered in other counties within Region VII’s serBay City seniors learn computer and Internet skills. vice area. To find out using a Word document, setting up more information an email account and Internet browsabout computer classes, or to learn about ing tips. The cost is $25 per class and the other programs offered by Region VII, includes a lunch at the senior center. please call 1-800-858-1637 or visit our To find out more about the computer website at www.region7aaa.org. 13

Reg 14 / Seni West Michiga


NEMCSA Region 9 Area Agency on Aging Covering 12 counties of Northeast Michigan

Crawford and Alcona Counties Look Forward to Summer Programs

Reg 1-A / Detroit AAA

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ust as victory gardens were planted during World War I and World War II, the Crawford County Commission on Aging and Carl W. Borchers VFW Post #3736 have joined forces to provide a community garden for seniors. The Crawford County Commission on Aging is the sponsor for the garden project, and the Crawford County Michigan State University Extension will provide educational resources, according to Dan Crawford, staff writer for the Avalanche paper. The garden plots will be assigned to seniors, who can plant vegetables, flowers and herbs on their individual plots. “It will be on a first-

Reg 3-A / Kalamazoo Cty. Human Services Dept. (Region 3)

Land is cleared for a community garden for seniors in Crawford County.

come, first-serve basis and will be based on need,” says Sandra Moore, a certified master gardener through MSU Extension. There are no fees to get a plot, but gardeners will have to Reg 5 / Valley AAA sign a hold-harmless agreement.

The Alcona County Commission on Aging willReg be9 AAA Reg 9 / NEMSCA Reg 1-B / AAA 1-B 1-C / The Senior Alliance, Inc. holding their annual Reg summer education series — Safe, Sound and Secure, offered monthly in June, July and August. Guest speakers include area law enforcement officers, health professionals and service organization representatives who share the latest information regarding safety matters specific seniors.Reg IIIB Reg 3-C / Branch-St. Joseph AAA Reg 3-B /to Burnham-Brook The event is (IIIC) free to seniors, with lunch included for attendees. Coffee and the senior center’s famous sticky buns will be served prior to the program, which begins at 10 a.m. Topics range from vision problems to foot care, home security and prescription drug interactions. For additional information, contact the Reg 6 / Tri-County Office on Aging Reg 7 / Reg VII AAA Region 9 AAA at 1-800-219-2273.

Reg 10 / AAA Reg 2 / Reg

Reg 4 / Reg

Reg 8 / AAA

Upper Peninsula Area Agency on Aging Serving all 15 counties of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

New Kinship Care Resource Center to Help Families in the Upper Peninsula

Reg 9 / NEMSCA Reg 9 AAA

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he Brookdale Foundation Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) is designed to encourage the creation or expansion of services to grandparents or other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of parenting when the biological parents are unable to do so. The U.P. Area Agency on Aging was recently selected to receive a two-year grant from the Foundation to develop services for these families. With the assistance of the RAPP grant, the UPAAA will establish a regional Kinship Care Resource Center to connect relatives-as-parents with resources in their communities — helping them to successfully support 14

and raise the children in their care. Currently it is estimated that 1,100 grandparents in the U.P. are raising their grandchildren. In a recent survey sent to some of these families, grandparents expressed concern over financial issues, the mental health of children in their care and coping with raising children late in life. They felt a lack of support and wished they had a place to share their feelings with others facing the same issues. According to Sherry Whitman, who will oversee the regional project, the UPAAA will work closely with several agencies who have already expressed a willingness to help kinship families. “We sponsored a U.P.

Kinship Service Providers’ meeting last October and over Reg 11 / Upper Peninsula AAA 30 agencies attended. These agencies wanted to know how they could help coordinate services and provide support to the kinship families in their communities,” says Whitman. “The RAPP grant will help us to build upon that momentum.” An advisory committee is being formed to help direct the regional program. Technical assistance is also being provided by the Brookdale Foundation and the MSU Kinship Care Resource Center. Resource packets, informational events and support groups will be developed and implemented to help these families get the information and support they need. For more information about the U.P. Kinship Care Resource Center, call the UPAAA at 1-800-338-7227, or dial 2-1-1.

Reg 10 / AAA of Northwest MI

Michigan Generations

Reg 14 / Sen West Michig


ASKtheExpert

Kristi Bueche

Taking a Closer Look at

Your Drug Coverage

Do all of the prescription drug plans have a gap in coverage? all of the medicare prescription

Drug Plans have a coverage gap built into them. When you first start your plan in January of each year, you begin with a “clean slate.” The plan keeps track of how much your medications cost — the total cost that you pay plus what they pay. This is the initial coverage period. In 2009, that initial coverage period ends when your total medication costs reach $2,700. At that point, you go into the coverage gap and must pay the full cost of your prescription drugs. This coverage gap is also known as the “donut hole.” The drug plan then keeps track of your medication costs until you have paid an additional $4,350 out of your own pocket for the current year. At that point you reach the third phase, which is catastrophic coverage, and you will receive a much lower cost share on your medications. When you review your coverage each year, it’s important to know if you will reach the gap in coverage and if your drug plan offers any other coverage during that time. Some plans will cover generics or other specific medications during that gap in coverage, and this can make a big difference in your out-of-pocket costs.

Can I qualify for the Low-Income Subsidy to help with my medication costs? there are two requirements to

qualify. The first requirement is based on your total income. Your total income includes Social Security, pension, annuity, veterans’ benefits, spousal support, rental properties and any other types of regular income you have, whether it comes on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The income limit to qualify in 2009 is $21,855 per year for a couple and $16,245 per year for a single person. Summer 2009

Second, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at your countable assets. This does not include your home or your car. Some examples of countable assets are checking, savings and Christmas Club accounts, second vehicles, vacation homes, land contracts and the cash value of your life insurance policies. The assets can total up to $25,010 for a couple and $12,500 for a single person in 2009. If you support a family member who lives with you, or if some of your earnings are from work, you may still be eligible for the Low-Income Subsidy, also known as Extra Help. If you meet both of these requirements, you can apply at any time for the subsidy. Depending on your income, you could qualify for 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% subsidy. This subsidy could cover all or part of your premium, reduce or remove your annual deductible and lower the co-pays on your medications. Qualifying for the subsidy would remove the gap in coverage — your medication costs would not go up when the total reaches $2,700. Applications for the subsidy can be obtained at your local Social Security office, or apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov. There is no cost to apply.

What about my Part B premium — is there help to pay for that? yes. for assistance with paying your Part B premium, you can apply for Medicare Savings Programs through the Department of Human Services (DHS) in your county. Qualifying for help is based on your income and assets. There are several levels of qualification, ranging from full Medicaid coverage to only the Part B premium being covered. The application process is the same for each level of coverage. To apply, you will need to complete an assistance application and turn it in at

your local DHS office with the required documentation. To qualify for Medicaid, an individual’s assets need to be at or below $2,000; for a couple, $3,000. To qualify for assistance with just the Part B premium, an individual’s assets can be up to $4,000 with an income of $1,219; for a couple, assets can be up to $6,000 with an income at or below $1,640. A significant increase on the asset limitations is expected to take effect in January 2010, so if you don’t qualify at this time, you may qualify in the coming year.

Is there anything a Medicare bene­ ficiary can do if they were denied Extra Help for Medicare Part D? if you received a “notice of denial” from the Society Security Administration that says you were not qualified to receive Extra Help, and if you disagree with that decision, then you can appeal to the SSA. It is recommended that you do not fill out another application, but instead go through the appeals process outlined below. If you win your appeal, your Extra Help coverage will be effective from the first day of the month that you originally submitted your application. To appeal, you should request a review (hearing) of your case within 60 days of receiving SSA’s decision. If you do not want a hearing, you can just ask for a “case review,” where an SSA agent will review your application and any additional information you send in that would show you do qualify for Extra Help.

Kristi Bueche spent the past five years as a care manager for the Midland County Council on Aging. She took the role of regional coordinator for the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program in October 2008. 15


Continued from page 7

The study also identified a cluster of “robust personality characteristics” typical among centenarians. “They tend to be relaxed, stable, practical and down to earth,” says Peter Martin of Iowa State University, one of the study’s project managers. “But they are not the kind of person you can push around. They are a bit dominating and shrewd.” Centenarians are apt to stay intellectually and socially

T hese elders have much to share with the younger generations. engaged, volunteering, doing crossword puzzles, learning new things. Perhaps the most critical trait of centenarians is their resilience. “They tend to know how to cope with life and deal with adversity,” says Martin. And a big component of coping well is having a support system. “The people I see who make it to 100 tend to be more socially connected,” says Dr. Annette Carron, director of geriatrics and palliative care at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills. “Many only recently lost a spouse, and they tend to have children who are attentive and involved.” No matter what path brought them to the century mark,

these elders have much to share with the younger generations. Consider Ann Nixon Cooper, the now-107-year-old woman whom President Barack Obama mentioned in his victory speech last November. “She was born just a generation past slavery, a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky, when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman, and because of the color of her skin,” President Obama said in his speech. “And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen and cast her vote.” He summed up the significance of her experience by saying that “after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.” Perspectives such as these speak of the value centenarians bring to our society. “Regardless of how they got there, these are exceptional people,” says UGA’s Poon. “They should be honored. They should be national treasures, and we should learn from them.” Adds Moss: “We spend so much time looking ahead that we often forget to acknowledge our history and thank the men and women who have written it thus far. We must take the time to honor and rejoice in their longevity.” And we shouldn’t consider their stories completely told. “A 100-year-old is not a finished book,” says Martin. “Each is still writing his or her last chapter. And sometimes the most interesting facet of any book is found in the last chapter.” MI

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