Senior Solutions: Now that the foliage sightseeing is done, what else is going on?

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First we want to send a huge "Thank you!" to our veterans. We have been having the privilege of working together with a great group of veterans through the American Legion on the Vet to Vet Visitor program. The Brattleboro American Legion Post kicked off the project and it is spreading across the region to other posts and community groups. If you want to learn more about it, contact us through our Help Line (802-885-2669) and we will get back to you and let you know how you can participate in this amazing Buddy System. Our veterans never stop serving!

We do have some updates on local transportation. The Medicaid Call Center for Windsor County residents will be through the Springfield office. The phone number is 802-886-8538 and the fax number is 802-886-3585. The Medicaid Call Center for Windham County residents will remain the same as always: 1-888-633-4001.

SEVT increased rides in July to four out-of-town rides per month; three dialysis rides per week; five cancer treatment rides; and Springfield and Bellows Falls have unlimited rides. CHT still offers gas cards to people who have access to a vehicle or a ride.

Legal Aid in Brattleboro is offering a free Advance Planning workshop all day (from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Senior Solutions Office at 205 Main Street, Suite 4 in Brattleboro. They can fit 12 appointments into this schedule, so call ASAP to Leah Burdick at 1-802-495-0497 or to 1-800-889-2047. You can also email her at lburdick@vtlegalaid.org . This is a project through Legal Aid's Elder Law Project.

The planning session includes a simple last will and testament, an advanced health care directive, a durable financial power of attorney, and long term Medicaid planning. You need to make an appointment. Legal Aid will instruct you on what information you need to bring to the workshop. If you haven't done any of the above planning - do it now.

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Remember, with Thanksgiving approaching you should check with our HelpLine and see if you qualify for 3SquaresVT which can supplement your food budget. Many of our older residents are "making do" and don't know that their social security and pension income may still be low enough for some extra money for food. Call 802-885-2669 and ask. We are happy to help. That goes for other issues as well. Our NCOA grant has a terrific menu of valuable benefits available for those over 60 years of age. Don't let this Older Americans Act money sit in the federal bank account. It is meant to help us. Call us today.

If you and your friends are looking for something to do, why not look on our website at www.seniorsolutionsvt.org and start visiting the congregate meal sites on our Dining Trail Map?

Let us know which ones are your favorites. It is a reasonable lunch donation and it helps the local providers fund their Meals on Wheels program. You can email your comments to me at jerenhouse@seniorsolutionsvt.org . You will have fun and probably meet some very nice people along the way.

Let's try to change the way we talk about older Vermonters. These are community members who are full of wisdom, experience and wonderful stories. Let's value this resource and integrate it into our daily lives. Many are part of our workforce. Having a good attitude toward aging is good for our health and will make us more creative in improving everyone's experience Of the aging process. At Senior Solutions next Advisory Council meeting we are having two dynamic presenters, Kelly Laflamme and Jennifer Rabalais who will help us understand how to reshape our mental models about aging. We are inviting local legislators so they can learn how to address these attitudes and issues in a positive way in Montpelier. The older Vermonters are a growing voting block and need their lives to matter to their government representatives. It all starts with a conversation.

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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