SHINE’s Light Will Burn Bright for Another Year!

elderly phoneThank you to all of you who advocated to Congress about the importance of SHINE.  Congress has approved funding for the SHINE / SHIP program for 2018.

This means we can continue to light the way for Medicare beneficiaries to pick the best plans and answer their questions about Medicare throughout 2018.

Click here for a message from Charlotte McHenry, SCC’s President and CEO.

Senior Connection Center’s April Newsletter

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Free Medicare Counselling in Jeopardy

Underwood TyprewriterPlease Help Support SHIP/SHINE – Free Medicare Counselling.  The link below will help you contact your representatives in Congress, and help them understand how critically important these programs are to seniors.  Medicare is complicated and seniors rely on SHIP/SHINE to get FREE, unbiased help on Medicare questions and concerns.

PLEASE WRITE TODAY!

Contact your Representatives in Congress

Thank You!

Another Vote for Pet Therapy

A new meta-analysis of 17 academic papers finds evidence that having a pet benefits people with mental health problems. The research also reviews the pet owners’ testimonials, laying out the various ways that pets offer them much-needed solace. Pets provide invaluable support for people with mental health problems. An increasing amount of research is pointing […]

via It’s Official: Pets Benefit Our Mental Health — Good Witches Homestead

PS:  How could you not feel safe, protected and at ease with those two beautiful German Shepherds nearby?

Many Thanks!!

 

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Thank you to those who were kind enough to contribute to our On-Line Food Drive to benefit the local chapter of St Vincent de Paul, here in Tampa.

Through your generosity we were able to donate close to 200 food items ranging from ten large bags of spaghetti to sixty cans of tuna, and over forty cans of mixed vegetables.

VA Pension Plus Aid and Attendance Rates 2018

from our good friends at Center for Elder Veterans Rights

Maximum Pension Benefit Plus Aid & Attendance

* Surviving Spouse      $1,176
* Single Veteran           $1,830
* Married Veteran       $2,169
* Veteran Couple         $2,903

Qualifying Pension Service Dates:

12/07/1941 – 12/31/1946:     WWII
06/27/1950 – 01/31/1955:     Korea
02/28/1961 – 08/04/1964:     Vietnam I (in country)
08/05/1964 ‐ 05/07/1975:      Vietnam II
08/20/1990 – Present:          Mideast Conflicts

In the Spirit of Giving …

food-drive-09
Please support our on-line  Holiday food drive

“When you find yourself in the position to help someone, be happy and feel blessed because God is answering that person’s prayer through you.

Remember: Our purpose on earth is not to get lost in the dark but to be a light to others, so that they may find their way through us.”

By Alberto Casing

Protect Yourself from Charity Scams

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While we may be heading into cooler weather and the beginning of the Holidays, it is also time for an increase in deceptive “charity” scams.

Be prepared, be aware!

From :  http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Consumer-Services/Consumer-E-Newsletter 

“Charity scammers use deception to steal money from people who believe they are donating to legitimate causes. They siphon money away from those in need and use it to line their own pockets. Scam artists often play on donors’ sympathy and take advantage of their generosity.

Here are a few tips for choosing a worthy charity and giving wisely.

  • Ask questions, such as:
    • “Who is the fundraiser and who will benefit from the donation?”;
    • “How much of the contribution goes to the charity mentioned in the request”; and
    • “How much of the donation goes toward administrative and fundraising expenses?”
  • Check if the charitable organization is registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by visiting FloridaConsumerHelp.com.
  • Never give cash. Contribute by check and make it out to the organization.
  • If you decide to donate online, look for indicators that the website is secure, such as a web address that begins with “https:” (the “s” stands for secure).
  • Be aware that many telephone appeals for funds are made by paid solicitors, not volunteers. The solicitors often work for a for-profit firm hired by the charitable organization. Telemarketing is expensive and may entail substantial fundraising costs.
  • Some organizations have 900 phone numbers. When you call the number, the cost of the call is automatically billed to your phone. Before dialing, make sure you wish to donate the price of the call to that cause.
  • Always obtain and save a printed copy of your donation or a receipt showing the amount of the contribution.
  • Not all organizations soliciting in the name of benevolence are true charities eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. If this is important to you, ask about the organization’s federal and state eligibility for receiving tax-deductible donations. Typically, such donations fall under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

To file a complaint about a charity, use the FDACS on-line form or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).”

2017 Cost of Care Data

An additional view of the 2017 Cost of Care data from Genworth Financial, showing local, Tampa-area costs versus state of Florida median.

GNW 2017 Tampa vs FL

Home Care/Assisted Living Cross-over … 2017 Update

Senior Care costs continue to rise, but most are within reason:

  • Home Health Aide, up 2.8%
  • Adult Day Care, up 3.1%
  • Assisted Living, up 1.8%
  • Nursing Home, up 6.2%

GNW 2017

Assisted Living Navigator's Blog

Cost of LTCRecently updated figures (emphasis, sadly, on “up”) from the annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

While every situation is unique and based on its own set of circumstances, note the potential cross-over point around $3,000 per month, where Assisted Living starts to make sense economically.  Certainly an aspect to weigh, but equally important are other medical, emotional and social considerations.  Always consider the complete scope of needs when making this important decision.

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Hurricane Preparation Tips from Bryan Norcross

Link to Weather Channel’s Bryan Norcross.  Great tips on what to do and when, as a hurricane approaches.  BE SAFE!

https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/irma-hurricane-expert-bryan-norcross-shares-safety-tips