From the COO...
“Summer – Beginning a New Year”
My mother often refers to the hottest part of the summer as the “dog days.” I had never considered the origin of the saying, until writing this article for publication around the time these “dog days” will be upon us. After some research explanations as far back as 762 B.C. can be found in reference to a star called Sirius (known as the dog star) which was present during the hottest times of the year. Many people also think of the “dog days” as a time of year when the heat is so intense that laying in the shade is a far more appealing prospect than being in the sun.
Despite the hot weather and the “dog days” of summer Clearfield County AAA is hard at work providing our already existing services to the community, and strategizing ways to provide new and innovative services as we are beginning a new fiscal year. A service that I would like to see grow in the next year is through the Caregiver Support Program, which provides support to caregivers of older adults and to grandparents who are primary caregivers to their grandchildren. In collaboration with other organizations in the community, it is apparent that there is a great need for this service, especially as a result of the ongoing opioid epidemic. In addition to our outreach to community Agencies I appeal to you, the reader of this article, to reach out to those you know who may benefit from this program and encourage them to call our Agency to learn more about the Caregiver Support Program.
Another exciting area that we plan to grow in the next year is in improving access to dental hygiene products to those who may be isolated or have limited access to them. Our plan to achieve this will utilize our already existing home delivered meal routes to deliver tooth brushes, tooth paste and other oral hygiene products to home delivered meal recipients. Ongoing research has pointed to the importance of practicing oral hygiene not only to improve physical health, but also as a means to increase self-esteem and self-image.
Our Village of Hope project also continues to progress through the planning and development stage. Our Village of Hope represents a new way of thinking about caring for those living with dementia and other care needs which will provide freedom, autonomy, socialization and support. Please visit our website at www.ourvillageofhope.com to learn more about the concept and progress. Also, Our Village of Hope is active on Facebook, where you can stay tuned for updates as the project progresses.
Also, as referenced in the last Lifespan: Community Health Choices continues to be planned for implementation effective January 1st in 2020. Managed Care Organizations will be responsible for the coordination of Medicaid managed long term services and supports for Aging Waiver consumers. Information sessions will be hosted throughout the implementation area where consumers will learn more about the launch. Additional information on Community Health Choices can be found at www.healthchoices.pa.gov.
In closing I appreciate the opportunity to write to you and share some of the plans for our “new year.” If the Agency or I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
WARNING: Scam Calls Targeting Recipients of Property Tax & Rent Rebates
Harrisburg, PA — The Department of Revenue on recently issued a warning to Pennsylvanians to be cautious of a scam targeting seniors and people with disabilities who receive rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
The department has received information this week that the scam consists of unsolicited telephone calls from a person claiming to work for the Department of Revenue. The caller starts the call by saying the recipient’s application for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been approved. The caller then asks if the recipient would like the rebate directly deposited into a bank account. That’s followed by a request for the recipient’s banking information.
“We want the public to be aware of this scam and know that the Department of Revenue does not make unsolicited calls requesting banking information,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “We know that criminals are always looking for new ways to take advantage of Pennsylvanians, which is why it is critical for everyone to protect their financial information and be extremely cautious when they receive unsolicited phone calls.”
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is a program that annually provides property tax and rent relief to income-eligible seniors and people with disabilities. Last year nearly 572,000 people received more than $253 million through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Since the program’s inception in 1971, older and disabled adults have received more than $6.9 billion in property tax and rent relief.
Here is some additional information on the program and tips to safeguard against this scam:
The Department of Revenue does not collect applicants' banking information over the phone. Applicants are required to submit their bank account information on their application forms in order to receive their rebates through direct deposit.
The Department of Revenue does contact applicants via automated calls to confirm their information has been received and approved. If the department needs more information about an individual’s application, it sends a letter through the mail.
Do not give out personal information over the phone to unsolicited callers, even if the caller claims to be from the Department of Revenue, the IRS or your bank.
Do not trust the number you see on your caller ID, even if it appears to be coming from the Department of Revenue or the IRS. Scam artists increasingly use a technique known as spoofing to trick caller ID.
Legitimate businesses and government agencies will not contact you to verify your account information, so ask for a call back number. Ask why your personal information is needed, how it will be used, how it will be protected, and what happens if you do not share it. Contact your bank or credit card company to confirm the call.
If you received one of these scam calls and provided your banking information or other personal information, immediately call your bank to report this potential fraud.
About the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program:
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.
As specified by law, rebate distributions cannot begin until July 1. After the initial distribution of rebates in early July, rebates will be distributed as claims are received and processed.
Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information on the Department of Revenue’s website or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190. The application deadline for rebates on rent or property taxes paid in 2018 has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019.
Join the CCAAA Crusaders!
In 2018, 280,000 Pennsylvanians age 65+, were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and that number is expected to increase by 14.3% by 2025, according to data provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. To do our part in ending this terrible disease, the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging will take part in the DuBois Tri-County Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 6, 2019. Our Agency’s Team, the “CCAAA Crusaders,” is looking for team members, either to walk with the Team or make a cash donation for this cause. Please contact the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging at 814-765-2696 today! Together we can make a difference!
Congratulations and thanks for a great job go out to all our regular and casual center managers!
The Clearfield Center for Active Living was the recipient of a Congressional Record from the office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey following his recent visit to the Center. The plaque was presented to the Clearfield County Centers for Active Living by Alice Pollock, APPRISE & CAL Coordinator, during their monthly staff meeting where all Center Mangers and Casual Managers were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the seniors of Clearfield County.
The Congressional Record read:
“Mr. President. I recently visited two senior centers in Pennsylvania, the Emporium Senior Center in Cameron County and the Clearfield Senior Center in Clearfield County, to discuss issues on the minds of older Pennsylvanians and those who serve them. We spoke about the need to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security: the importance of bringing down the high cost of prescription drugs; and how to prevent con artists from scamming older adults out of their hard-earned savings.
We must continue to support senior centers and other gathering places for older adults. For many, senior centers are a hub for services and a place where older Americans find a sense of community and belonging. They are a place where seniors gather with friends to socialize, look for help with everyday challenges, and learn about timely topics. I am pleased that the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, of which I am the ranking member, has examined ways to enhance the services and supports that senior centers provide. I’d like to commend the Emporium Senior Center and Clearfield Senior Center for the excellent services that they provide seniors and important role they play in the community.”
The plaque is on display at the Clearfield Center for Active Living located at 116 South Second Street, Clearfield.
Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Administers Caregiver Support Program to Assist Primary Caregivers of Disabled Adults and Dependent Children
Family members or informal supports provide 80% of the care received by older adults in the U.S. today. Additionally, according to 2016 data, over 860,000 adults, over the age of 60 nationwide, are caring for an adult child with developmental disabilities. Likewise, with the drug epidemic hitting disastrous proportions, Pennsylvania is home to over 196,000 children who are being raised by their grandparents due to the parents’ addiction(s). According to statistics, 88,726 grandparents in Pennsylvania are raising these children; of that figure, 20.2% are in poverty and 25.3% are disabled.
However, there is hope and support available in Clearfield County. The Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Program, administered in Clearfield County by the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., provides support to caregivers through respite care, reimbursement for caregiving related expenses, education, training, and counseling. The purpose of this Program is to alleviate the stress often associated with caregiving, and its goal is to improve the well-being of eligible caregivers. Participants in this Program would be assigned a care manager, who will work with the caregiver by completing a comprehensive assessment of the caregiver’s needs, provide support and partner with the caregiver to develop a person-centered care plan.
To be eligible for this program, both the caregiver and the care receiver must be a resident of Pennsylvania and must be willing to participate in the needs assessment conducted by the assigned case manager. The caregiver must also be an adult who is primarily responsible for providing care on a regular basis.
Three categories exist under the PA Caregiver Support Program. The first applies to any caregiver age 18 or older, who cares for an individual age 60 and older with functional deficits, or, an individual ages 18-59 with Alzheimer’s, other chronic dementia, or, an individual under the age of 18 with chronic dementia. For this category, the caregiver and care receiver are not required to be related or live in the same residence. The second category applies to any caregiver who is age 55 or older and who is providing care to a dependent child under the age of 18. In this category, the caregiver and the care receiver must be related by blood, marriage or adoption and must live within the same residence. The final category applies to any caregiver who is age 55 or older, who is providing care to an individual age 18-59 with a disability (non-dementia related.) Under this category, the caregiver and care receiver must also be related by blood, marriage or adoption and live in the same residence.
There are no financial eligibility requirements for the PA Caregiver Support Program. However, the amount of expense reimbursement is based on income and household size of the care receiver. The percentage of reimbursement is determined using a sliding scale base on the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines and allows care receiver incomes up to 380% of the FPL. Those whose income is 200% or lower than the FPL will receive 100% reimbursement. The percentage of reimbursement is calculated by a participant’s case manager, according to these guidelines, based on the care receiver’s proof of income statement.
To receive more information on this Program or to apply, please contact the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., at (814) 765-2696.
CCAAA Cash Awards Calendar
The Agency is currently selling Cash Awards Calendars good for the month of September 2019 only!
These calendars are only $20 and would make great gifts.
Based on the three-digit, evening (7:00 PM), Pennsylvania Lottery Daily Number, there are up to eight different winners each day varying in prize amounts from $20 to $400! You win if your number is straight, +1, -1, or boxed based on the daily number. For example, if your number is 123, and 123 is the evening daily number, you would win $100 on weekdays, $200 on weekends, and $400 on the last day of the month! This is called straight. If your number is 122 or 124 (+1 or -1), you would win $40. And finally, you would win $20 if your number was 132, 213, 231, 312 or 321. This is called boxed – any combination of the three digits drawn.
Call the Agency today or stop in to pick up your lucky Cash Awards Calendar!
All proceeds benefit the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc.
Everyday seniors call our office upset because they received a call from someone saying they have a mistake in their Social Security or Medicare and they need to make a payment or legal action will be taken and they will lose their Social Security or Medicare.
Gail Ennis the Inspector General of Social Security is warning citizens about caller ID “spoofing” schemes. Callers are so clever that the Inspectors Generals Fraud Hotline number or your local social security number will appear on your caller ID. Play it safe and Do not engage in these calls or provide personal information. This is a scam.
SSA and Medicare do not contact citizens by telephone for official purposes and they do not threaten you for information or promise any type of official action in exchange for personal information or payment.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA or Medicare you should report that information to the Office of Inspector General at 800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
Memorial & Honorarium Fund
FUN AT THE CENTER FOR ACTIVE LIVING
The Clearfield County Centers for Active Living welcomed the Galaxy Arts Program to their centers this spring. Galaxy, established in 1976 as part of Central Intermediate Unit #10 (CIU #10), is the oldest program of its kind in Pennsylvania. It is one of several programs selected to work in a groundbreaking partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to improve the quality of arts in education across the Commonwealth