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Meet Linda Conner, Region 10’s Newest Ombudsman

Meet Linda Conner, Region 10’s Newest Ombudsman

Meet Our Newest Ombudsman, Linda Conner

The Region 10’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman team is proud to welcome Linda Conner!

Linda retired after being an R.N. for 45 years, 25 of those spent in long-term care; she found myself missing the interactions with residents. As a child her mom had her volunteering in the “Sunshine Club” at church and she visited the nursing homes regularly. Linda always felt a special bond with the residents as a child and that foundation served her well as a nurse. As her career advanced Linda’s love for long-term care residents grew, improving resident quality of care and quality of life were at the core of everything she did.

She has been blessed to have many different nursing jobs and served as a legal nurse consultant, but her heart was always with long-term care residents and she began a search to somehow re-engage. The Region 10’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program accepted her offer to become a volunteer Ombudsman. She is grateful for the opportunity to spend a few hours a month with this very special population and help make sure their lives are as fulfilling as possible.

About Region 10’s Long-Term Ombudsman Program

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted living facilities. Ombudsman address a variety of complaints regarding the quality of life and care of individuals living in long-term care facilities. “We are the resident advocates there to reinforce Resident Rights and ensure that the voice of the resident is always heard, we are there to support residents and family members and work with the staff to improve the quality of life and care.”

If you would like to learn more about the Ombudsman program, please contact Sandy Walker at 970-765-3131

Safe Online Shopping

Safe Online Shopping

‘Tis the season for excessive shopping and since many people will purchase their holiday gifts online, this is a good time to brush up on some internet safety tips. Here are a few reminders for protecting your personal and financial information while shopping online:

  • Don’t share your banking information while using free public Wi-Fi or public computers.
  • Only shop on secure sites that begin with “https” and/or display a padlock in your browser.
  • Verify the reputation of the online merchant. If you are unsure about a merchant do your research.
  • Make sure your computer and browser security features are installed and updated.
  • Confirm a working customer service phone number in case you have issues with the product.
  • Avoid shopping for a product based on unsolicited emails, texts or pop-up advertisements.
  • Be suspicious if you are shopping for a product and one site is offering unbelievably lower prices than any other site. They may be trying to collect personal information or sell knock-off products.
  • Read the fine print, terms, and conditions and return policy before finalizing any purchase.
  • Only use a credit card when shopping online, avoid any less conventional forms of payment like money orders.
  • Keep a record of your purchase on file in case you need to reference it in the future.
  • Regularly check your credit card statements to ensure all transactions are authorized by you.

If you are concerned about the safety and security of your information online, you always have the option to shop over the phone or in a store. To report online fraud to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center visit www.ic3.gov or call an AARP Foundation ElderWatch volunteer specialist.

800-222-4444

www.aarpelderwatch.org

Data Breaches + Identity Theft

Data Breaches + Identity Theft

In recent years, we have dealt with major data breaches at hospitals, retail stores, and government offices. In September, we learned Equifax’s data was breached, potentially affecting millions of people. While these breaches are alarming, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a victim of identity theft. It does mean that you should take precautionary measures to protect your identity.

The following are some steps to consider taking:

  • Review your annual credit report. Call 877-322- 8228 or visit annualcreditreport.com.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert is free and lasts for 90 days. Contact one bureau only. www.Equifax.com (800-525- 6285) www.Experian.com (888-397- 3742) www.TransUnion.com (800-680- 7289)
  • Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or call (866-447-7559) to learn more about the breach and if your information was affected.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your file. You will have to request to remove the freeze if you apply for credit. You must contact all three bureaus. Fee to freeze and lift applies. www.Equifax.com (800-349- 9960) www.Experian.com (888-397- 3742) www.TransUnion.com (888-909- 8872)
  • Monitor your credit card and bank statements.
  • Be wary of unsolicited phone calls or emails appearing to come from Equifax, the other credit bureaus or financial institutions.

If you have questions about any of these precautionary measures, don’t hesitate to contact an AARP Foundation ElderWatch volunteer at 800-222-4444 option 2.

800-222- 4444
www.aarpelderwatch.org

Source: AARP Foundation

 

How to Avoid Medicare Fraud

How to Avoid Medicare Fraud

Medicare Fall Open Enrollment is October 15 through December 7, 2017.  Use this opportunity to evaluate your Medicare options and compare plans. Decide whether you want to enroll in Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan and compare Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D drug plans.

Be aware of enrollment fraud. If you find yourself in one of the following situations, remember that you have rights as a Medicare beneficiary:

  • Are you being pressured to join a plan? If you are feeling a lot of pressure to join a plan, remember that you have a right to choose how you receive Medicare coverage. You can choose between a Medicare Advantage Plan and Original Medicare, and you can enroll in any Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D plan that is offered in your area. You have the whole length of Fall Open Enrollment to make choices about your health coverage, and you will not receive extra benefits for enrolling early. If a plan representative is pressuring you, or if you just need more time to review your options, tell them that you will follow up with them later to make a decision. You can receive unbiased counseling about your plan options from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). To find and contact your SHIP, visit www.shiptacenter.org or call 877-839-2675.
  • Do you believe you might be receiving false information? Plans cannot falsely represent themselves to get you to enroll. Before making a final choice about your coverage, confirm all the information a plan has given you. For example, if a plan agent tells you that all of your providers are in-network, check with your providers to see if this is true. Whenever possible, rely on information from government websites ( a website that ends in .gov) and emails, seek unbiased counseling from your SHIP, and get information about the full range of plans available in your area by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. Additionally, remember that a plan cannot claim to be endorsed by Medicare or to represent Medicare, and cannot threaten you with the loss of your Medicare benefits if you do not enroll in their plan.
  • Is someone asking you for confidential/personal information? Plans do not need to, and should not ask for your Medicare number, Social Security number, or bank information just to provide you with information. Plans should not call you at home to ask for this information, and should not ask you to give it to them at educational events. With this information, a plan can enroll you without your consent. Plans also cannot call you and ask you for a payment over the phone, but rather they have to send a bill. Additionally, know that there will be new cards issued for Medicare beneficiaries starting in 2018, but you do not need to take action or pay anything to get your new card or retain your Medicare benefits. Be wary of situations where people ask for your Medicare information or some form of payment related to this card.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, protect your Medicare and Social Security information and remember that you have the right to make your own decisions about your Medicare coverage. If you believe a plan representative has violated Medicare’s marketing guidelines, or if you think you were enrolled in a plan without your permission, you can contact your Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). You can find and contact your SMP by visiting www.smpresource.org or calling 877-808-2468.

-from MedicareRights.org

“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” now available in Delta

“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” now available in Delta

Powerful Tools for Caregivers, an educational series designed to provide caregivers with the resources they need to take care of themselves, is coming to Delta. Scheduled to start on March 6th 2017, Powerful Tools will be held at the Grand Mesa Oncology and Rheumatology building (1501 East 3rd Street, Delta, CO, 81416).

Presented by Region 10 and The Area Agency on Aging, this program helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, increase their ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources.

Classes consist of six sessions held once a week on Monday from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. The courses will be taught by experienced caregivers who have successfully applied the techniques they teach. Interactive lessons, discussions, and brainstorming will help caregivers develop the “tools” they need to maintain their peace of mind.

Class participants will receive the book, The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class. A $25 donation is requested for participants over the age of 60, but not required. Participants under the age of 60 are required to pay the $25 fee.

For more information or to register, contact Sandy Walker at (970) 765-3131 or sandy@region10.net. Participants can also register at www.region10.net/powerfultools.

Classes take place 1:00 to 3:30 pm on the following days:

  • March 6th
  • March 13th
  • March 20th
  • March 27th
  • April 3rd
  • April 10th

 

“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” now available in Montrose

“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” now available in Montrose

Powerful Tools for Caregivers, an educational series designed to provide caregivers with the resources they need to take care of themselves, is coming to Montrose. Scheduled to start on September 26th 2016, Powerful Tools will be held at the Montrose County Health & Human Services building (1845 South Townsend Ave).

Presented by Region 10, The Area Agency on Aging, this program helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, increase their ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources.

Classes consist of six sessions held once a week from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. The courses will be taught by experienced caregivers who have successfully applied the techniques they teach. Interactive lessons, discussions, and brainstorming will help caregivers develop the “tools” they need to maintain their peace of mind.

Class participants will receive the book, The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class. A $25 donation is requested for participants over the age of 60, but not required. Participants under the age of 60 are required to pay the $25 fee.

For more information or to register, contact Sandy Walker at (970) 765-3131 or sandy@region10.net. Participants can also register at www.region10.net/powerfultools.

Meet Madison Fowler–The newest addition to the Region 10 team!

Meet Madison Fowler–The newest addition to the Region 10 team!

Region 10 Community Living Services welcomes Madison Fowler, AmeriCorps Vista Program Volunteer. In an effort to further expand our capacity and streamline our processes; Community Living Services applied for a grant through the Community Resource Center.

Madison is a 23 year-old Arkansan who relocated to Colorado in April. She has had previous experience in the non-profit sector, working as an After-School Program Coordinator for the Hispanic community in her hometown of Jonesboro, AR. She also spent seven years working as a competition dance teacher and managing Christie McNeill’s Dance Studio, also in Jonesboro.

Now, Madison would like to extend her passion to teach and volunteer past working with children. Madison will be working on implementing a Senior Companion Program, as well as aiding All Points Transit with extending their volunteer driver program. Madison is excited for the opportunity to get familiar with the community and make a difference in the lives of those that Region 10 seeks to help.

Eva Veitch Community Living Services Director states, “We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to further improve services for disabled and older adults in our region. Madison will assist us in developing several programs that have been on the back burner for a while. These are important programs that will help us expand capacity, assist low income seniors financially and improve community engagement.

Madison’s first project is the research and development of a Senior Companion Program. Once fully developed this will allow us to recruit and train low income older adults to provide companionship and caregiver respite in return for a small stipend. This is a win-win program for everyone involved and a valuable resource for caregivers in Region 10.

Madison will also be recruiting new volunteer Medicare Counselors for the SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) these amazing volunteers help people new to Medicare and those with questions about supplemental programs. They also assist low-income seniors with Medicare savings programs and potential Medicare fraud issues.

If you are interested in learning more about Senior Companion or the SHIP please contact Madison at 970-765-3125 or madison@region10.net.

 

CLS launches new program: Partners in CareGiving

CLS launches new program: Partners in CareGiving

Our goal at Community Living Services is to bring the right people together, remove barriers, and solve some of the problems that disabled and older adults face. Partners in CareGiving is a perfect example of that facilitation. Three volunteers (listed below) approached the ADRC several months ago to ask for our input and assistance in developing this new model of caregiver support. As a result they have launched this exciting new way to support caregivers.

Partners in CareGiving is a caregiver peer support program designed to connect caregivers to one another. Partners in CareGiving empower, educate, and encourage CareGivers, as they perform their important work of caring for a loved one. PIC provides compassion, understanding, and validation for caregivers, developing long-term relationships, in order to strengthen caregivers for the extraordinary task they accomplish.

Many caregivers face their daunting task alone; family may not understand or be too far away to assist with day to day care. Friends may help, yet not understand the true commitment and dedication of caring for a loved one. PIC provides opportunities for caregivers to share their concerns, challenges, and everyday victories with an experienced and compassionate fellow “CarePartner”.

Partners in CareGiving volunteers are CarePartners, not professionals. Most importantly, they are fellow caregivers with insights, understanding, and a desire to support and guide other caregivers. CarePartners share their experience, wisdom, skills, and guide caregivers to community resources, agencies, and services. Both groups communicate using email, telephone, letter writing, and in-person meetings depending on what works best for CareGivers. CarePartners and CareGivers form a long-term, trusting, caring, compassionate friendship sharing the successes and challenges of CareGiving.

Caregivers of all experiences are eligible to participate in PIC, as a CarePartner or as a CareGiver.  To learn more about becoming a CarePartner or to gain support as you provide care, please contact:

Danielle McCarthy
970.417.5319
vibrantcaregiving@outlook.com

Laird Landon
970.275.2138
lairdlandon63@icloud.com

Glen Hinshaw
970.596.1496
brushfuzz7@gmail.com

 

 

Help is Just Around the Corner with Caregiver Summit & Retreat

Help is Just Around the Corner with Caregiver Summit & Retreat

We have all had those times when we felt we were at the end of our rope.  This is especially true for family caregivers; theirs can be a daunting task done out of love and without pay. Thanks to Region 10’s Community Living Services program help is coming again soon. On May 19th, the third annual Caregiver’s Summit and Retreat is returning to Montrose.

If you are a past attendee you know what an encouraging and inspiring day this will be. If it is your first time, you are in for a real treat. This special event is designed to honor, educate and support family caregivers, whether the person you care for is at home or in a facility. Your role is very important and The Summit is designed to help you with the journey.

We know that a barrier to attending an all-day event is-who will care for my loved one, so Region 10 also provides in-home respite. An additional benefit of the Summit is the Retreat which offers those you care for a day of fun, food and activities provided by Hilltop Day Haven and Senior CommUnity Care PACE. If you live in Delta County, Crossroads Assisted living will also provide a safe and fun day for your special person.

This year our keynote speaker is Dr. Amy D’Aprix. Dr. Amy is an internationally renowned speaker specializing in caregiving and aging issues.  She is the co-founder of The Essential Conversations Project which was designed to help families through life transitions. Colorow Care Center is offering “The Dementia Experience”; this opportunity allows participants to briefly experience the life of a person with cognitive challenges. Adaptive technology, wonderful speakers, free mini massages, respite service provider booths and great food round out the day.

Join us May 19th   more information or to register, contact Claudette at (970) 765-3121 or register online by filling out the form below.  There is a suggested donation of $10.00 for the Summit & the Retreat.

The third annual Caregiver Summit and Retreat has been scheduled!

The third annual Caregiver Summit and Retreat has been scheduled!

Region 10’s Community Living Services is preparing to host its third annual Caregiver Summit and Retreat. The annual event is scheduled for May 19th, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Grace Community Church located at 16371 Woodgate Road in Montrose.

The Caregiver Summit and Retreat gives local caregivers an opportunity to connect with others while gaining new insight into their rewarding but challenging role. A suggested $10 donation includes continental breakfast, informative sessions, lunch, and keynote addresses from Dr. Amy D’Aprix.

A special adaptive technology booth and “The Dementia Experience” are both new to the Summit this year, and will provide a unique interactive experience for visitors. Also, as an added perk, a “Pamper Room” will be available for caregivers wanting a mini massage or manicure.

To provide the respite care needed for caregivers to attend, the Retreat will take place at the same time, creating an opportunity for care recipients to socialize and have some fun too. Healthcare professionals have planned a fun day of activities and will provide assistance and support throughout the day. This includes lunch, music, activities, and a relaxation area.

In-home respite care is available for those care recipients who are not able to travel or attend the Retreat. This service is available on a donation only basis, and reservations must be made by May 6th.

Pre-registration is required by May 11th. Region 10’s Community Living Services considers caregivers to be one of the most valuable assets of a community, and this event is their way of saying “thank you”. To register, please complete the online application below or download printable forms by clicking here. You can also register by phone by calling 970.249.2436.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!

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