Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

NJFA to host Honoree Event and Celebration, December 7th

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

NJFA to host Honoree Event and Celebration, December 7th

Trenton—The New Jersey Foundation for Aging (NJFA) will host the Fall Honoree Event on Sunday, December 7th. The program will begin with a 2 pm matinee at the George Street Playhouse to see the production The Fabulous Lipitones. The show is a new musical comedy. Following the performance, guests will be invited to the Honoree Award Dinner at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick.

Photo of Susan

Susan Bredehoft

The 2014 Honorees includes partners that enable the NJ Foundation for Aging to continue its work on behalf of NJ’s seniors. Honorees include the Grotta Fund for Senior Care, Lowell Arye, and Susan Bredehoft, NJFA Treasurer. The Grotta Fund for Senior Care has worked alongside the Foundation to create greater awareness of the diverse needs of seniors. Recently the Grotta Fund funded professional development programs to improve care transitions for seniors as they return to their homes after a period of hospitalization. Lowell Arye has worked in state and federal government, academia, philanthropy and the non-profit sector for more than 30 years. Lowell’s nationally recognized work focuses on the nexus between income security, health and long term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities. Susan Bredehoft as Treasurer of the NJ Foundation for Aging has provided financial guidance and acumen to the NJFA Board during some fiscally lean years. Susan has also served as Event Chair since the inception of the annual fundraising event.

Lowell at Microphone

Lowell Arye, Deputy Commissioner of the NJ Dept of Human Services

  

After the performance at the George Street Playhouse the evening will include a reception and dinner at the Heldrich Hotel that will feature the award presentation, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and a menu that is sure to please. More information regarding tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available by visiting, www.njfoundationforaging.org , or by calling the office, 609-421-0206. Or, contact us by email at mchalker@njfoundationforaging.org

 

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Encore Presentation!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

 Encore Presentation!

 NJFA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting an Encore Presentation of two sessions offered at our June conference. If you were unable to attend in June or if you did attend and did not get to these sessions, now is your chance!

 Also, please send this along to any colleagues who may have missed out on our June conference.

 Space is limited! Register today!

 NJFA Fall Seminar Series

Monday, November 10th

8:30 am to 12 pm

Crowne Plaza Monroe

Aging in Place for All

Land Use and Complete Streets- Considerations for age friendly communities.

Karen Alexander, MPA, Managing Director, NJTIP @ Rutgers

Tim Evans, MS, MCRP from NJ Future

Recognizing and Adjusting Attitudes to Serve LGBT Seniors

Carolyn Bradley, Ph.D, LCSW, LCADC, Associate Professor Monmouth University.

 2 CEUS for Social Workers, LNHA/CALA, Activity/Recreation Professionals

 8:30 am        Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am        Welcome

9:30 am        Program Begins

 Registration: $45

Please RSVP by November 3rd.

Name:______________________________ Organization:________________________________

Email:_______________________   Phone#:___________________

Payment:

?Check

Please make check payable to NJ Foundation for Aging, 145 W. Hanover St. Trenton, NJ 08618

?Credit Card

(Visa/Mastercard/Discover Only)

Name (as appears on Card) _____________________

CC #________________________________________

Security Code(3 digit # on back of card)___ Exp Date___

Billing Zip Code ____________

This program has been sponsored by The Reinvestment Fund

Questions? For more information, contact the New Jersey Foundation for Aging at 609-421-0206 or email mchalker@njfoundationforaging.org

Please return this form by November 3, 2014 to the email above or fax to 609-421-2006

Space is limited, register early!

 

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http://www.njfoundationforaging.org/

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today (Oct. 15th)

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today (Oct. 15th)

Open Enrollment is happening now. From October 15th to December 7th you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.

What changes can you make?

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan with or without drug coverage. These plans are private companies that are approved by Medicare and give you the services of Original Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you do not need to have a supplement plan (also known as a Medigap policy) and if your Medicare Advantage plan has drug coverage, you will not need a Part D plan.

If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or drop your Medicare Advantage Plan. If you decide to drop a plan and not switch to another plan, you will be enrolled in Original Medicare.   You should then consider enrolling in a supplement plan to cover the costs that Original Medicare does not pay for and enroll in a Part D plan for drug coverage.

If you are in Original Medicare with a Part D plan, you can stay in Original Medicare and switch your Part D plan.

If you are in Original Medicare and do not have a Part D plan, you can enroll in a Part D plan.

Why You Should Review Your Coverage

It’s important to review your coverage before making a decision. And remember just because your doctor and medications are covered in your Medicare Advantage plan, supplemental plan or drug plan this year doesn’t automatically mean they will be covered in the coming year. Research studies show that Medicare recipients can save money if they review their Part D coverage. Make sure to confirm cost, copays, coinsurance, covered providers, and prescription drugs. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Has your health changed in the last year?
  • Is your current plan still meeting all of your health needs?
  • How much have you paid out-of-pocket in the last year—and for what?
  • How is your plan changing for the coming year? How will that affect your out-of-pocket        costs?
  • Are there better options available to you now?

There are many ways you can get assistance with this process. You can contact Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE or at www.medicare.gov

You can also contact your County SHIP (State Health Insurance Program) by calling 1-800-792-8820 or visit http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/services/ship/

NCOA (National Council on Aging) also has some useful information and tools. Like Medicare Quick Check, where you can answer some questions and you’ll get advice on choosing a new plan. Find it at https://medicarequickcheck.benefitscheckup.org/medicare-quick-check/?SID=543e7baa3cc91

In November, tune into Aging Insights to hear from the Senior Medicare Patrol of NJ, including Open Enrollment.

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September is Fall Prevention Month

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

September is Fall Prevention Month. The October episode of Aging Insights (all episodes can be seen here.) will feature two professionals talking about ways to prevent falls at home. Here are some tips from one of them, Linda A. Lucuski, MPT, Certified Vestibular Rehab Specialist at University Medical Center of Princeton, Outpatient Rehab at Hamilton.

Life can become a challenge when simple movements such as bending or turning suddenly cause you to become dizzy, experience vertigo or fall.

Dizziness is a sensation of movement and a feeling of falling. The individual may experience light-headedness, giddiness, swimming or floating. Vertigo is a sensation that the individual or the world around him or her is spinning or whirling about. Disequilibrium is the lack or loss of equilibrium or stability and a fall is defined as a loss of an upright or erect position suddenly. The individual does not have to land on the floor to qualify as a fall. By age 65 about 30% of the population in the United States will experience episodes of dizziness and will report a significant fall annually. These rates become significantly higher for individuals with impaired mobility. Falls can be one of the leading causes of hospital stays, fractures and even deaths in people over the age of 65.

All too often, a fall may result in loss of movement and activity, which may cause weakness, loss of mobility and then an even greater risk for another fall. Don’t limit your activity to prevent falls. Reduce your chance of a fall by following these guidelines:

Review your medications with your physician, pharmacist or health care provider. Many medications may cause dizziness, drowsiness or lethargy and may cause you to fall.

Have your eyes examined yearly and clean your glasses on a daily basis.

Keep moving. Exercise helps to strengthen your muscles and improve the mobility of your joints.

Consider a home safety assessment. Insurance companies may pay for this assessment when prescribed by your physician and performed by a physical or occupational therapist.

A physical therapy evaluation and treatment program may be appropriate for individuals with loss of balance and who fall frequently. Treatment may occur in your home or in an outpatient rehab center.

Wear sensible shoes. High heels, sloppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in socks or stockings. Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes as foot size can change. Wear proper fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles and choose lace-up or velcro closed shoes instead of slip-ons.

Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping over objects that are hard to see. Use nightlights in bedroom, bathroom and hallways. Have a lamp within reach of your bed and glow in the dark or illuminated light switches. Turn on lights when going up/down stairs. Have flashlights and batteries readily available.

Be aware of loose cords and wires. Remove clutter, especially in walkways. Place non-skid liners under carpets and remove throw rugs. Be aware of wet floors, both at home and in the community.

Consider purchasing a cordless phone that you can keep by your bed. You may also take the phone with you when you are outdoors, going to the mail box, etc.

Place non-skid strips in the bottom of the bathtub. Use a tub seat and a hand held shower if you experience loss of balance while showering. Install grab bars for easy access to the tub or shower.

Use railings on both sides of indoor and outdoor stairs. Place rubber stair treads on stairs to reduce slipping. Be aware of small pets that may get underfoot while walking or climbing stairs.

Falls may be prevented by following the guidelines above. Pay attention to your environment, stay mobile with gentle exercise and speak to your health care provider regarding any falls that occur.

Be sure to tune in to Aging Insights in October for the Fall Prevention Episode!

NJ Artist to Celebrate 80th Birthday

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Join us in congratulating Sydney Neuwirth on her upcoming milestone.

Ms. Neuwirth was featured in an issue of Renaissance Magazine and has been a friend of NJFA for a few years and we are happy to share the news of this celebration in her honor.

Sydney is celebrating her 80th birthday with a Gallery Show at Cranbury Station Gallery in Princeton from Oct 10 to the 13th offering a sampling of her art produced over the last 40 years. On Friday October 10th there will be a reception to honor Mrs. Neuwirth at the Gallery from 6 to 9 PM.

Sydney’s work is unique and she often works in a serial fashion. Most of her collages are composed of fragments of her own watercolors combined with pictures, letters and numbers cut from specially selected books that hold personal significance for her.

Don’t miss this exhibit; many of these pieces have not been formally displayed in the past. For more show information please contact gallery owner Kathleen Morolda at 609—921-0434. You can also visit Sydney’s website: www.sydneyneuwirth.com 

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Sydney Neuwirth, “The Alchemy of Fire”, watercolor with gold leaf

Honorees Who Shine a Light

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

NJFA to Hold Fundraising Event and Honoree Dinner

The New Jersey Foundation for Aging (NJFA) will hold its Annual Fundraising event on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. The event, titled Honorees Who Shine a Light, will begin with a 2 pm matinee at the George Street Playhouse to see the production, The Fabulous Lipitones. The show is A new acapella musical comedy by Mark St. Germain and John Markus. Following the performance at the George Street Playhouse, guests will be invited to the Honoree Award Dinner at the Heldrich Hotel.

At this year’s event NJFA is celebrating the work of three distinguished honorees. We are sure you will agree that their work and their commitment engender the spirit of lighting the way and being leaders in the field of aging. The honorees are, The Grotta Fund for Senior Careof the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest, Susan Bredehoft, NJFA Trustee & Treasurer, and Lowell Arye.

 Dinner will feature an award presentation, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and a menu that is sure to please. More information, is available on NJFA’s website www.njfoundationforaging.org/ by calling the office, 609-421-0206 Sponsorship opportunities are available please contact us for details. Formal invitations will be out soon, if you wish to receive an electronic invitation, please send your email address to mchalker@njfoundationforaging.org.

Property Tax Reimbursement Program Deadline Extended

Friday, August 8th, 2014

 Property Tax Reimbursement Program Deadline Extended

More seniors can benefit from tax relief

Access to tax relief is still available for New Jersey residents. The filing deadline for applications to the Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement Program) has  been extended to September 15, 2014. The original deadline was June 2, 2014.

The NJ Elder Index indicates that 184,320 persons over age 65 who own their home in NJ have incomes below $48,204, which is well below the eligibility threshold for the Property Tax Reimbursement program which hovers around $80,000.  These are seniors who struggle each day to maintain their quality of life by trying to cover their basic needs. The Property Tax Reimbursement is a huge help to these seniors.

In order to be eligible for the reimbursement in 2014 these homeowners must have paid their property taxes by June 2013. The Division mailed reimbursement checks to eligible seniors and disabled residents who filed their 2013 applications by the original June 2 deadline in mid-July. Checks for eligible applicants who file 2013 applications after June 2 will be processed and delivered as quickly as possible thereafter.

For more information and details on how to apply visit: http://www.nj.gov/treasury/taxation/ptr/index.shtml or call 1-800-882-6597

EyeCare America

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

You never know where you are going to find good information. This time we have to thank Abigail Van Buren, also known as, Dear Abby. A reader wrote in on the topic of eye care and how some people put off exams and tests due to insurance issues. Either lack of insurance or high out of pocket costs even with insurance; many of these people are seniors. The reader just happened to be an eye doctor and wanted to share information about a program that can help, EyeCare America. And luckily being the smart lady she is, Ms. Van Buren shared it in her column. So, we here at NJFA looked a little further into EyeCare America so we could share it with you.

EyeCare America is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Their mission is to preserve sight by raising awareness about eye disease and providing access to medical eye care.

By age 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision-limiting eye disease. To help address this growing need, EyeCare America provides eye care to US citizens and legal residents through volunteer ophthalmologists (Eye Doctor) at no cost to those who qualify. The exam is focused on eye disease and will not cover eye glasses, please see below for more details on what is covered in this program or visit the EyeCare America Website

EyeCare America facilitates eye care for U.S. citizens or legal residents who are without an Eye doctor. and who do not belong to an HMO or do not have eye care coverage through the Veterans Administration.

So, who qualifies for this help?

  • Those who are age 65 or older and who have not seen an eye doctor in three or more years may be eligible to receive a comprehensive, medical eye exam and up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam. Volunteer ophthalmologists will waive co-payments, accepting Medicare and /or other insurance reimbursement as payment in full: patients without insurance receive this care at no charge.
  • Those who are determined to be at increased risk for glaucoma (by age, race and family history) and have not had an eye exam in 12 months or more may be eligible to receive a free glaucoma eye exam if they are uninsured. Those with insurance will be billed for the exam and are responsible for any co-payments. The initiation of treatment is provided, if deemed necessary by the doctor during the exam.

SERVICES THAT ARE NOT COVERED:

  • Additional services necessary for your care such as, hospitals, surgical facilities, anesthesiologists and medications, are beyond the scope of EyeCare America services. The ophthalmologist is a volunteer who agrees to provide only services within these program guidelines.

EYEGLASSES ARE NOT COVERED:

  • Some eye conditions may affect vision as though eyeglasses are needed, when what is actually needed is the medical care of an ophthalmologist, and not eyeglasses. EyeCare America provides this medical eye care, only. The program does not provide eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglass/refraction exams (the prescription part of exam) or cover the cost of glasses. If you are concerned about the cost of these items, please discuss this with the doctor BEFORE the examination.

For more information or to see if you qualify, visit the EyeCare America website at eyecareamerica.org

 

 

Heat and Eat Programs are Vital for our most Vulnerable Residents

Monday, June 9th, 2014

                                                                                               

Heat and Eat Programs are Vital for our most Vulnerable Residents    

The New Jersey Foundation for Aging (NJFA) works with a variety of partners to highlight the essential safety net programs for low income seniors. These programs make the difference when seniors are faced with the daily challenge of paying the rent or buying food, paying for utilities or needed prescriptions.  SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- formerly Food Stamps) and LIHEAP (a subsidy program for utility assistance) are two such programs. 

The NJ Elder Index and related data presents the basic costs of living for single elder and elder couple households in NJ. The NJ Foundation for Aging developed this report in partnership with the national organization Wider Opportunities for Women. The NJ data indicates that 43 percent of NJ single elders and elder couples living the community do not have sufficient income or assets to cover their basic living expenses. The average statewide costs for a single elder renter living in a one bedroom apartment are nearly $28,000 annually but the average Social Security benefit for a woman in NJ is around $14,800 and slightly higher for a man at around 19,000.

However, many seniors actually receive significantly less than the average. This point was clearly illustrated in a recent letter to our office from a single 84 year old elder whose sole income is $761 a month from Social Security.  After her rent she only has $104 to cover her monthly expenses.  Her monthly SNAP benefit is crucial to her quality of life and wellness. Many NJ seniors who have worked and saved find they face a similar challenge with the widening gap between their costs and income. SNAP and LIHEAP benefits make the difference for thousands of our neighbors across NJ.

Cuts for both of these programs are now in place which will disproportionately hurt seniors and persons with disabilities. As advocates, we need to raise our voices to urge the restoration of these cuts by considering administrative changes for the LIHEAP, along with budgetary resolutions to assure that $3.2 million is available so that food stamps are available for about 177,000 families. It is also important to note that while these programs help low income seniors and low income families they also dramatically impact the local economy since it is estimated that every one SNAP dollar actually results in $1.70 that is actually spent locally.

These are essential programs for New Jersey’s low income residents and our economy.

 

Vulnerable Groups Linked by Need for Affordable Housing

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Vulnerable Groups Linked by Need for Affordable Housing

The NJ Foundation for Aging (NJFA) recognizes that aging friendly and age sensitive issues are in reality ageless. In this spirit NJFA works with many partners including the Anti Poverty Network (APN).  This organization represents a wide array of groups and concerns. The intersection or cross tracking of concerns creates a dynamic profile impacting people of all ages. Across the board access to nutrition & health services, employment and affordable housing are essential quality of life ingredients.

Among the vulnerable populations whose lives are deeply impacted by these intersecting concerns are our state’s elders. A simple examination of income data makes this reality painfully clear. The NJ Foundation for Aging’s NJ Elder Index and Data Report indicates that 25 % of all seniors living in NJ rely on their Social Security benefit as their sole source of their annual income. The average annual cost of living for a single elder renting a one bedroom apartment reported in the index is slightly below $28,000 and the cost of living is even higher in Bergen and Passaic counties. This level is a significant challenge when we know the average Social Security for a woman in NJ is $14,848 (and this is the average meaning many women receive significantly less). More than 252,000 single elders and elder couples face the daily crisis of covering their basic expenses with inadequate income.

Public benefits can improve the quality of life for the elder receiving the average SS benefit of $14,848 (as their sole source of income) as well as those with even lower incomes. This elder would be eligible for SNAP, for congregate meal programs, for Farmers market coupons, for energy and utility assistance, for PAAD, and a low income subsidy for their Medicare premium. Even with all of these existing programs, however, they would still fall short in the ability to cover their basic costs.

Here is where the needs and the solutions collide. Affordable housing is the only benefit that helps this elder really narrow the gap between their costs and their income. As declared by the headline for a recent NJ Spotlight article, “Affordable housing remains out of reach for a majority of NJ Renters”. This is not new news, but the article cites data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report. The NJ Foundation for Aging recognizes that affordable housing is needed for people of all ages so people do not age into poverty. Housing policy across NJ is sorely lacking and we need to offer a full portrait of those who would benefit from this important resource: children, low income families, adults, health care workers, seniors, and residents with special needs. Let’s make housing for all a priority.