Erenhouse: 'Keeping up with Senior Solutions' on BCTV

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Senior Solutions continues to serve adults over 60 and those who are disabled. Our case managers have remained serving our clients through various modalities. Phone contact, limited in person contact outside, and virtual communications have enabled them to ensure client needs are being met. Please remember to call our Help Line 802-885-2669 with any questions or concerns you may have.

We have a new monthly BCTV show, "Keeping Up with Senior Solutions," available on YouTube where we discuss benefits available to aging Vermonters. In these uncertain economic times it is so good to know that we have access to programs that provide additional financial help with nutrition, health insurance, caregiver respite, Home Meds screening, plus programs to help reduce social isolation. Please go to the link at https://www.brattleborotv.org/keeping-senior-solutions/episode-7-61120 and join the presentation with our guest, Sarah Tilden who among other talents, is a wealth of information about Medicare extra help resources. You may not realize but many Vermonters have just enough income that they don't qualify for Medicaid, but do have Medicare and not the extra money to make co-pays, prescription costs, and other costs. She explains some of the special subsidy help available to meet those expenses.     

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING

Senior Solutions has many community partners. One of them is Brattleboro Area Hospice which is holding two zoom sessions on advanced planning on July 1 and July 8. For those of you who miss these sessions, Don Freeman will be our guest on BCTV late in August.

From 10 to 11 a.m., Brattleboro Area Hospice's Taking Steps Brattleboro (TSB) program will host a Zoom Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Question and Answer Information session on the next two Wednesdays. If you are interested in attending, please contact Don Freeman by email: don.freeman@brattleborohospice.org or calling 802.257.0775 ext 101 and leave your contact information so you can receive the emailed zoom invitation and/or telephone call-in number.

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Are you one of those people who have postponed completing this important life planning document? TSB trained volunteers are available to assist you in completing your Advance Directive. Visit www.vtethicsnetwork.org to see forms and obtain information to ask questions on July 1 or 8. Brattleboro Area Hospice (BAH) is an independent, non-profit organization that provides non-medical support to dying and grieving community members and volunteer-staffed assistance with Advance Care Planning. BAH is 100 percent locally funded, provides services free of charge. Visit at 802-257-0775 ext 101 or by email don.freeman@brattleborohospice.org

For more information about Advance Care Planning or to receive your Zoom meeting invitation and/or telephone call-in number, please contact Don Freeman, Taking Steps Brattleboro Program Coordinator at 802-257-0775 ext 101 or by email don.freeman@brattleborohospice.org .

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OTHER GREAT PROGRAMS

Another Community Partner is AARP. The appointments they had been setting back before the coronavirus ended meetings, will be held as scheduled but at Senior Solutions office at 38 Pleasant Street, Springfield. No walk-ins. These appointments are only for existing appointments with AARP tax preparers and advisors. We are happy to be able to provide a safe, clean area for this program. Your AARP contact will be calling you to confirm the appointment and explain the procedures for entering the building. If you are unsure of your appointment you may call Audrey at 802-345-5415 or our front desk at 802-885-2655.

This is a great time of year to put on your mask and go to the local farmers market. If you have a 3Squares account card, take it with you. Participating markets will take $10 out of the account and return $20 in tokens to you so you can shop that day for fresh local produce! If you have a bit of garden yourself you can do what our neighborhood is doing. We all have extra plants and are sharing them as well as watering each other's plot during the super-hot days. I already have an invitation to pick the lettuce growing next door. This sharing is a wonderful way to develop and continue connections with others. It gives us an excuse to wave, talk across the driveways, and helps us all know that we are not alone!

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The other great program system we have at Senior Solutions is the terrific joint venture with the Brattleboro and Chester American Legions for the Vet to Vet Visitor Program. Open to any veteran of any age, and of any affiliation or no affiliation, male or female or any other identification, everyone in Windham and Windsor counties is welcome to call our HelpLine and volunteer or request a visitor. Visits have been restructured to protect all parties during this epidemic. Our volunteer coordinator has helped create adaptive services like shopping pick up and delivery, outside visits, etc. which the participants determine appropriate.

Our Senior Companion Program is under the direction of the federal government with income eligibility requirements and has created lovely long-term friendships. Recently, our Friendly Visitor Program welcomed many extra COVID-19 volunteers who filled in for those whose age kept them on the sidelines. Now we are looking for new recruits since several of these kind and wonderful people need to go back to work. Give us a call at 802-885-2669 if you can visit, shop or call someone each week for 1 or more hours.

Be well, stay cool, and we are so proud of everyone in Vermont for helping each other and basically for being caring human beings!

Joann Erenhouse, Esq., is the community relations director for Senior Solutions, the federally-designated Area Agency on Aging serving Southeastern Vermont since 1973. Senior Solutions provides information and assistance and administers a variety of programs for older adults and people with disabilities. Call 802-885-2669 or visit www.SeniorSolutionsVT.org.


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