Services and Events
Are You OK Program
Are you OK? Provides safety and security for elders living alone. Each morning, 365 days a year, an officer from the Norfolk County Sheriffs Office places a call to check on the well-being of people who have signed up for the program. If they fail to answer or indicate they need emergency aid, the officer summons help immediately.
Sheriff Bellotti introduced the free of charge program into Norfolk County in 2001. Since then officers have registered over 70 saves by calling for help for seniors who suffered falls or a variety of other medical problems. People interested in learning more about “Are You OK? or signing up for the program can call the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office at 1-866-900-7865. Applications for this valuable program are also available at the Council on Aging Office.
Caregivers Support Group at the Council on Aging
The Caregivers Support Group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Council on Aging. Please call 781-828-1323 if you would like more information.
In care giving circles, we all hear a lot about the words support and help. Providing support and help is something that a caregiver knows a great deal about. The questions are: How often does someone lend you a helping hand? How do you get the help you need, and where do you find it? It is easy to lose your true self while being a caregiver. It can be both an emotionally and physically draining experience that often leaves the caregiver isolated and frustrated.
Please call 781-828-1323 for additional information on the Support Group.
THE ESCALATING FORECLOSURE CRISIS
More than 30,000 Massachusetts homes will face foreclosure in 2007, and approximately 10% are owned by seniors. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not seek advice or assistance until a foreclosure sale auction is imminent.
Solutions may be available however to salvage your home or to preserve valuable equity in your property. Seniors may be entitled to property tax abatements, fuel assistance, cash benefits, or health coverage that might then reduce your household expenses and free up income for mortgage payments. Mortgage lenders may be willing to restructure a loan or reduce an interest rate on an existing loan.
Bankruptcy protection may also provide a senior with an opportunity to stop an auction and in doing so gain time to possibly sell the property or arrive at a plan to pay the mortgage prearranged. More options may be available to the senior who seeks assistance early rather than waiting until an auction is scheduled.
Seek legal assistance if you are behind on your mortgage payments and if your mortgage payments are more than you can afford. South Middlesex Legal Assistance (1-800-696-1501) offers free legal assistance to seniors who are behind on their mortgages and at risk of foreclosure.
AN ACT REGARDING CHOICE OF LONG TERM CARE SETTING
A landmark bill was signed into law which will allow many more low-income seniors and disabled adults to be able to receive the state-funded home care services they need in their own homes or in the community rather than in nursing homes. Entitled “An Act Regarding Choice of Long Term Care Setting the bill provides for elders and disabled to receive a pre-admission counseling prior to long-term care placement about home care / community care options that are less restrictive such as home care, adult foster care, or day care.
Should these persons choose home care or community care options over nursing home placement, the funding that would have gone to reimburse the nursing home for the individual’s care can now instead be used to pay for home care / community care services.
In other words, the “dollars follow the person as his / her setting of care changes.
New state legislation also creates a work force registry to match consumers with caregivers, retains the right of persons with disabilities to have control (hiring / firing) over their personal attendants, creates a council to recruit and train caregivers, provides a network of backup / substitute caregivers, and allows attendants to join unions. This is key legislation as the turnover rates for caregivers is between 40% and 60% annually.