Friendship Home’s First Annual Walk With Friends
June 5, 2014
Friendship Home in Norwell is hosting its First Annual Walk with Friends on Sunday, June 22, 2014. The 5K (3.1 mile) walk will take place at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham. This family-friendly event will raise funds and awareness for Friendship Home. Here are some more details if you’re interested in participating:
Registration is from 10:30 a.m. to noon, with the walk beginning at noon. Walkers will have until 2:00 p.m. to complete the course. You can register ahead of time online at friendshiphome.net or by calling (781) 659-8202 to request a registration form. You can sign up as an individual or form a team with friends and family members. Registration is $25.00 for individuals and just $50.00 for a family.
If you would like to lend a hand but not walk, volunteers are also welcome. For more information on volunteering, contact Linda Malone at 781-659-8202.
Walkers can also opt to fundraise and collect additional donations. All money raised will provide support for the Friendship Club program, which “offers individuals with developmental disabilities a unique opportunity to build and nurture friendships while contributing to our community, learning new skills and having fun!”
Friendship Home does wonderful work for people with developmental disabilities. If you’re around on the 22nd I encourage you to round up your friends and family to enjoy a nice summertime walk to support this great organization.
Shred Day This Saturday 9/21 @ South Shore Bank
September 17, 2013
Received this email:
Saturday, September 21, 2013
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
75 Washington Street, Pembroke
For those who feel like they are buried in personal documents that they don’t want to throw out for fear of identity theft, South Shore Bank has the answer. The Bank will host a “Shred Day” at their branch office at 75 Washington Street in Pembroke on Saturday, September 21st, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., during which people can bring their confidential documents to the Bank and watch as they are turned into confetti in a mobile shredding unit.
Shredding services at South Shore Bank’s “Shred Day” will be provided by Shred King Corp., which is AAA-certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). All shredded material will be delivered by Shred King to a recycling center.
The South Shore Bank “Shred Day” is free and open to the public.
For more information, call 781-337-3000.
Scammers Abound with Health Care Reform Starting Soon
September 3, 2013
Michelle Singletary has done it again. I love her columns. Read her latest column on how to watch out for scammers pretending to help you enroll under the Affordable Care Act.
A few hot tips:
- If you get an unsolicited call regarding health care insurance, hang up.
- Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account or Social Security numbers or your date of birth to unfamiliar callers.
Read the entire column here.
Testifying at the State House
August 5, 2013
Last week, I headed to the State House to once again testify on bills that could plug some holes in the MassHealth nursing home payment system and make things a bit easier for families caring for frail elders.
The shorthand for this bill is the “transfer of assets” bill. It comes down to this: As you probably know, should you need nursing home some day, and if you need MassHealth to pay for it, MassHealth understandably looks through five years of bank statements to see if you’ve given any large sums away in the last five years. After all, it would not be fair if we could just give our money away and then ask our fellow taxpayers to foot our nursing home bills.
But the problem lies in abiding by this principle too strictly. The MassHealth regulations (based on federal law) actually state that you cannot transfer assets within the last five years with the intent of qualifying for MassHealth. The MassHealth regulations indicate that applications should be approved where the assets “were transferred exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify for MassHealth.” The problem is, MassHealth is not following its own regulations.
Quite frequently, nursing home placement is the result of a sudden decline, or an unexpected illness. It is fairly common for a healthy, active elder to do what she has always done – birthday gifts to family, donations to her church, help out a child divorcing or at risk of foreclosure – and a few years later be faced with a sudden turn of events and need to move to the nursing home. These elders should not be punished for not only not knowing about the five-year “look-back” rule, but worse – for being healthy and loving their families.
What happens to you if you are one of these unlucky people? Let’s say you were in good health, your child’s home was in foreclosure, you paid off her debt, and then let’s say four years later, out of the blue, your health fails and you need nursing home care. Well, you might pay down most of your remaining assets to the nursing home, and once you run out of money, you apply for MassHealth assistance. If you run out of money before you get to the five-year mark from making that gift, things are going to be difficult.
Imagine this: You are in the nursing home, you have spent all your savings, and you have no choice but to ask for MassHealth to pay your nursing home bill. It is only at this point – when you have no more money – that they impose the disqualification period that resulted from the gift. Let’s say you gave your kid $33,000 – that amounts to four months of disqualification. So you are in the nursing home, you have no money, and MassHealth won’t start paying for another four months. The nursing home isn’t paid to care for you, so now what? Is it fair that the nursing home should provide 24/7 room, board, and medical attention without being paid? They can’t operate that way. They try to evict you for nonpayment. And then things get ugly. You might bounce from hospital to hospital, or you might end up in your last choice of nursing homes. Not pretty.
The “transfer of assets bill” would make it clear to MassHealth caseworkers (the folks that review and then approve or deny your nursing home application) that transfers in the last five years shall not result in denials if the transfers were made for certain various reasons. These are reasons that you might categorize under “living my life” or “taking care of my family,” such as a pattern of small gifts (monthly donations to church or annual birthday checks); helping a relative in financial crisis, foreclosure, or with medical care; or, whatever the reason for the transfer, at the time of the transfer, there was no reason to think you would need MassHealth in the next five years.
The “transfer of assets” bill is actually two identical bills – one filed in the House by Representative John Fernandes (H1021) and one filed in the Senate by Senator Katherine Clark (S503). Please call your state representative and senator and ask them to support these bills. To find your rep and senator and their contact information, click here. And thank you.
Art is for Everyone at the YMCA
August 1, 2013
Thursday evening, August 15th from 4-8 pm. BBQ, interactive art stations, and then a live auction for art created that very evening right before your eyes.
The schedule of events is as follows:
4-6pm – Family fun festival activities; make a bracelet, tye dye bandanas, paint a bird house, get your face painted or grab a hot dog dinner (small cost for each).
There will be live performances at 4:45pm (Friendship Home) and 5:45pm (YMCA – Charlie Brown scene).
Live Professional artists on site painting – their completed works will be auctioned off that evening.
For the adults – Paintfest sessions – create a painting on the spot in 20 minutes – materials and instruction provided – no talent needed. $10 to participate and you get to take home your painting. We will have two sessions – 4:15pm and 5:15pm for ten people each session.
Shop for artwork created by participants from each organization – open from 5pm to 8pm.
6-8pm is a cocktail reception for adults; a Celebrity Paintfest; and a Live auction.
For more info, click here.
See you there!
Rental Wheelchair Vans Available from VERC
June 18, 2013
First I’ve ever heard of this concept. What a great idea for people who’ve given up their cars but still occasionally want to get out with family or friends. Love it! Check out VERC’s website for more info.
The Elderly & Special Needs Patients and the Fiscal Cliff
January 9, 2013
In all the fiscal cliff nonsense of the last few weeks, here are a few provisions that affect the elderly and the disabled:
1. Remember how doctors were being threatened with a 27% pay cut for their Medicare patients? That threat went away. For a year. Set your clocks now for December 2013 when we get to watch this debate all over again.
2. Extension of the Medicaid payment of the Medicare Part B deductible for low-income folks. That’s the $99.90 that is deducted from your Social Security check every month. For low-income folks, Medicaid picks up payment for Medicare Part B. That was threatened to disappear. It’s been saved… until December 2013, anyway.
3. CLASS has officially been repealed. This was Ted Kennedy’s project, it was the first national response to our long-term care funding crisis. Lots of folks didn’t like it right from the beginning. Now it’s gone, and so far we still don’t have a national agreement on where we stand as a society on providing for long-term care.
4. Creation of the Commission on Long-Term Care. This outfit is supposed to develop recommendations for a national approach to establishing, implementing,and financing a long-term care system that establishes quality long-term care and supports. American history is littered with study groups whose recommendations and good work are ignored by Congress (sometimes for the good). We will wait to see who is appointed to this commission before we can predict whether their recommendations will be thoughtful and balanced or stilted in one direction. If the Commission is to be staffed in the thoughtful and balanced direction, then I expect that NAELA will advocate to have one of our knowledgeable thought leaders involved.
Nurses & Social Workers – CEU Workshop Series Starts This Week
September 10, 2012
Two-Part Workshop Series: I Want to Go Home! Helping Your Patients Go Home and Stay at Home for as Long as Possible. This Friday 9/14 (Part 1) and next Friday 9/21 (Part 2). Held at Wingate Silver Lake. Doors open at 7:00a, program is 7:30a – 8:45a. Wingate will be serving breakfast. Social workers and nurses will earn 2.5 CEU hours (must attend both mornings). Sponsored by our good friends at North River Home Care.
By attending these workshops, you will learn how to help even frail and/or low-income seniors live at home and remain independent for as long as possible. We will discuss various care options and will explore a variety of options for financial assistance. In addition, we will cover some of the legal matters involved in helping a senior ensure his or her financial and medical wishes will be carried out in the event of incapacity. Ultimately, I hope to provide you with the information you need to prepare your patients for long-term success at home. Armed with this information, you will be able to best serve your patients and further your career.
We held these same workshops in Hingham this past spring. They were quite a success, and we received a great deal of positive feedback from social workers and nurses alike. We are pleased to offer this educational opportunity to our friends further south. I hope you choose to attend these workshops and look forward to spending some time with you.
Space in limited to 20 attendees. To register, please contact Doreen in our office.
Nantasket Beachcombers Club – Bereavement Support Group
July 19, 2012
Now here’s a refreshing idea – a bereavement support group that meets in a place that so many of us find so… well, there just are not enough adjectives to describe how the ocean and Nantasket Beach make us feel. Comforted, comfortable, relaxed, at ease, in tune with ourselves, home.
The Nantasket Beachcombers Club is led by South Shore Hospital’s Robert Zucker, bereavement coordinator for the hospital’s hospice service. He will lead groups on Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30. Meet at the blue playground across from the carousel. Jump on this! He is hosting the group at the beach only into early August.
Here is more information on the Nantasket Beachcombers Club.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Issues Alert for Scams Relating to Recent Affordable Care Act Decision
No sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act than scam artists began working the phones. The scam works as follows: Claiming to be from the government, scam artists tell listeners that under the Affordable Care Act, they need to verify some information. For example, they might have the routing number of the person’s bank, and then use that information to get the person to reveal the entire account number. Other times, they have asked for credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, Medicare ID, or other personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has again issued a warning not to give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails, or knocks on your door. If you get a call from someone who claims to be from the government and who asks for your personal information, hang up. It’s a scam. The government and legitimate organizations with which you do business have the information they need and will not ask you for it. Then, file a complaint at ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. If you think your identity has been stolen, visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT. You also can file a complaint with your state Attorney General.
(Reprinted from NAELA e-Bulletin 7/18/12.)