Network News April 2018

AARP Helps Families Face Every Day Caregiving Challenges

Did you know that more than 40 million people in the United States are taking care of an older loved one?

AARP recognizes the challenges family caregivers face on a day-to-day basis and is working to help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier through advocacy, and by providing information, resources and tools.

AARP fights for family caregivers—and the loved ones who count on them—on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. This year, AARP fought successfully for the federal, bipartisan RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, Engage) Family Caregivers Act, now law, which creates a multidisciplinary task force to focus on the challenges America’s family caregivers face—and make recommendations on how to provide better, more coordinated support for them.

At the state level, AARP State Offices have worked to pass hundreds of new laws to support family caregivers when it comes to help at home, access to care, workplace flexibility, training, relief, and much more. Further, in about 40 states and territories, the AARP-authored CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act, to support family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home, is now law.

AARP proactively develops resources such as the ones below to better support caregivers in their journey:

Free Information and Support.

Check out our guides and tools for helping support the caregiver journey.

  • On our Family Caregiving Page you will find articles, videos, local events and resources.
  • Download our Prepare to Care Guide, which provides information, resources and checklists to help you on your caregiving journey.

Connectedness and Community.

Some of the best resources for caregivers are other caregivers.

  • Download the free Caregivers in the Community (CINC) app which matches you one on one with caregivers in similar caregiving situations.
  • You can also connect with others with similar interests, experiences and needs through the AARP Caregiving Community Forum.
  • Share your family caregiving story through the AARP I Heart Caregivers initiative. Your family caregiving stories inspire us all.
  • Check out our Tips and Hacks page, where you can learn crafty ways to re-engineer simple household items to work around day-to-day obstacles and help solve problems.
  • Use the Caregiver Assessment Tool to gain a deeper understanding into what kind of family caregiver you are, the impact caregiving has on your life and how your situation relates to other caregivers.

For many caregiving is not an easy journey. AARP Family Caregiving provides access to information, communities, tools and solutions that can help make a caregiver’s journey a little bit easier. Visit aarp.org/caregiving to find out more.

National Village Gathering Call for Proposals EXTENDED!

This year, we are excited to hold our 10th Annual National Village Gathering! This year's conference will be held in San Diego, CA on October 8-10 and we hope that you can join us.

Each year, we fill in our agenda with sessions presented by Villages and supporters of the Village Movement. The NVG is the premier event to gather, share stories, learn best practices and make lasting connections. Do you have a promising practice or innovative practice that you'd like to share with other Villages? Submit a proposal to speak at the NVG today! Submissions are being accepted until Monday, April 23.

Click the button below to learn more about this year's conference and to register.

Check the NVG page often as we will update with more information as the conference gets closer.

Village Anniversaries!

Get Ready for New Medicare Cards

Between April, 2018 and April, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare. The new cards will have a new unique Medicare Number instead of a Social Security Number. Medicare will automatically mail the new cards to the beneficiary address on file with the Social Security Administration.

CMS will mail the new cards in waves. Starting in April 2018, people with Medicare will be able to check the status of card mailings in their area on Medicare .gov. The first wave of cards will be mailed between April and June to people with Medicare in the following states and territories:

  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • California
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

After receiving a new card, people with Medicare are advised to take 3 steps to make it harder for someone to steal their information and identity:

  1. Destroy your old Medicare card.
  2. Use your new card right away. Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing the old cards and are ready to accept the new cards.
  3. Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare Number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card. If you think someone is trying to steal your identity or otherwise commit fraud related to the new Medicare cards, you can report them to your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP).

Information and resources for partners and providers related to the roll-out of the new cards is available from CMS.gov.

Women Connecting In Group Promoted Through Cameron Commons Village

In the Spring of 2017, Cameron Commons Village of Raleigh, North Carolina assessed needs and assets in their neighborhood through a survey administered by two graduate social work students from North Carolina State University. The survey showed that 62% of their responses came from women. When asked about isolation and social interactions, a theme was observed in responses:

  • “The hardest part is getting over the hermitness…the female hermitness, where you essentially stay inside.”
  • “There are a lot of people who are willing to go do something but aren’t willing to take the extra effort [to plan].”
  • “You need conversation starters. I love stories, I love listening to stories.”

These findings lead to “Women’s Gathering” as a focus for the coming year. The fall village newsletter proposed a Women’s Gathering to be held at the neighborhood YMCA for six weekly sessions. Women from the neighborhood and nearby were invited, and with a group facilitator, those in attendance answered questions from a boxed set, with the goal of their getting to know each other and of developing connections. Some questions were lighthearted, “What would happen if you came home and your husband cleaned the whole house?” while others were philosophical, “What would society be like if God were a woman?” At the end of the six sessions, the participants were asked to complete a four-question survey to provide feedback to the group facilitator and the Cameron Commons steering committee. Once findings were collected and analyzed, the results were very promising.

Question one asked if the women felt less isolated after participating in the Women’s Gathering. Of the nine returned surveys, all indicated that they felt less isolated and more connected. Question two invited input on what they enjoyed in the group. Seven of the nine participants said they enjoyed the openness of the women who attended. Half the group noted that meeting new people and the humor or enjoyment of the group was something they valued (See chart below). The third question asked if the women would attend another six-week Women’s Gathering sessions. Eight of the nine women responded that they would return. Finally, the fourth question asked for honest feedback of how to improve the Women’s Gathering if it returned in Fall of 2018.

Since the formal conclusion of the six Women’s Gathering sessions, several of the women continue to meet in group members’ homes monthly. Reduction in feelings of isolation, development of friendships, and increased connections have been achieved by this experiment in community building initiated by a member of Cameron Commons. Another Women’s Gathering is expected next fall.

Most attendees responded that they enjoyed everyone's openness.

-Lacey Cottingham, Master Social Work Intern

-Martha Lamb, LCSW Social Work Supervisor

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

FREE Reverse Mortgage Webinars Next Week

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association is hosting a series of free informational webinars next week for older homeowners, their loved ones, and the professionals who serve them, to explain how home equity can be used to supplement retirement savings and support aging in place.

The webinars are free to attend, but you must sign up online and register in advance to participate. These webinars are for homeowners aged 62+ and their loved ones.

A Q&A on Using Home Equity to Support Aging in Place

Tuesday, April 24, 3:00 PM ETREGISTER

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association and Next Avenue, the public media website for America’s booming older population, are proud to host a free webinar Q&A with financial and home equity experts. Speakers from Blue Ocean Global Wealth, Magnify Money, the National Council on Aging, and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, will answer consumer questions about using home equity to supplement retirement savings and support aging in place. Experts will explain housing wealth and what the term home equity means, how it can be tapped, and situations when it may make sense to incorporate home equity into a retirement financial plan.

Speakers: Richard Eisenberg, Next Avenue; Peter Bell, NRMLA; Nick Clements, Magnify Money; Amy Ford, National Council on Aging; Rita Cheng, Blue Ocean Global Wealth; Dan Hultquist, CRMP, Co-Chair NRMLA Education Committee

Free Registration: http://bit.ly/2tGLPbo

Paying for Caregiving: Strategies for Managing the Costs of In-Home Care

Wednesday, April 25, 3:00 PM ETREGISTER

Most aging adults would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, even when they require daily assistance. But finding the resources to pay for that in-home care can be a challenge. This webinar is for older adults, their children and loved ones, who are searching for financial solutions to manage the costs of home care. Experts from the Long Island Aging in Place Council, Square Care, and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association will explain options and resources including: Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, private insurance, state and local programs, and the equity older adults have built up in their homes.

Speakers: Laura Giunta, CSA, President of Long Island Aging in Place Council; Kelli Vasquez, LCSW, Executive Director and Chief Population Health Officer of Square Care; Patty Wills, CRMP, NRMLA Education Committee

Free Registration: http://bit.ly/2IkbQAl

Learn more about NRMLA’s webinars for home care professionals, Realtors, and financial planners on NRMLA’s website: www.reversemortgage.org/edweek

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