Senior Gazette

Fall 2003
By Carol Schmitkons, Amherst Township Senior Service (ATTSO) Director


Golden Acres Nursing Home will be our meal provider for 2004.  The meals will contain hot, home cooked food, fruit or dessert, and milk or fruit juice.  The price will be $4.00 per day.  Please contact the office at 988-5822 if you would like to begin receiving meals from the new provider beginning in January.  Don’t let the cost scare you away.  If you are having trouble making ends meet, we will work with you.  Our goal is to make sure that all township seniors over 60 get at least one nutritious, hot meal each day.


It’s time to start thinking about what we can do to make the long winter months go by faster for you.  If you have some ideas about what you would like to see us do, or if you would like to volunteer to help make the plans, please call the office.

Possible ideas would be a monthly health clinic, a book club, a fishing club, a card or game club, a computer class, or a monthly potluck with a speaker talking about issues of importance to seniors such as cooking on a limited budget, estate planning, Medicare/Medicaid, or long-term care.


If you would be willing to plow driveways for seniors who live alone or who are not able to plow due to health problems, please call the Senior Service office at 988-5822.  I will try to match people interested in plowing with people who live in their area of the township.


A special thanks to our volunteers:

Meals:  Ray and Dottie Roth
Jennifer DeWitt
Helen Moore
Kathy Blahay

Transportation:  Dottie Roth
Kathy Blahay


Absentee voter forms for the November 2003 election are available at the Senior Service office or may be requested from the Board of Elections at 244-3186.  Remember, your vote does count!


Now there is a way to find out very quickly whether you might be able to get help with paying for prescription drugs, health care, utilities, food and other essential items and services.

If you are a senior, you can find this information on the Internet at  This website contains two national computer programs.  One is called “Benefits Check Up” and the other is “Benefits Check Up Rx”.  Both of these computer programs are free and confidential screening tools launched by the National Council on Aging.  They both cover Federal, State, and County programs and are available to people aged 55 and over.

Members of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) also offer 48 different prescription assistance programs.  To locate discount programs, patients can use their new web site at  Here you will find information about the programs, eligibility guidelines, and how to apply.

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can go to your local library and ask for help getting a personal screening.  You may also call the Senior Service office to make an appointment to have the necessary information collected from you either at the office or in your home.


The Ohio Consumer’s Council puts out lots of helpful information that anyone can use.  Particular points of interest to senior adults are:

  • Energy supplier choice information
  • Unwelcome caller information
  • Telephone connection and payment assistance programs for low income consumers



Last year, identity theft topped the list of fraud complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission.

Identity thieves rob their victims of their names and personal information in order to charge goods on victims’ credit cards, to open new accounts in victim’s names, and even to drain victim’s bank accounts.  The victims seldom know anything has happened until the damage has been done.

There are a number of things that might happen to tip you off that your identity has been stolen.

  • Charges on accounts you don’t recognize or you know you did not make
  • Bad credit rating because of unpaid bills from an account you never opened, but that was opened in your name
  • Less money in a bank account than you know should be there
How does it happen?
  • Stolen wallet or purse
  • Careless disposal of credit card statements or bills, such as throwing them in the trash without shredding them
  • Personal information given to telephone callers (such as people claiming to be doing a survey, or someone posing as a bank employee)
  • Dishonest business or restaurant employees that you may deal with
  • Computer hackers gaining access to websites that contain credit card numbers

Here are some things to keep in mind to avoid becoming a victim yourself:

IMMEDIATELY notify police, your bank, the credit card company, and anyone else involved if your wallet, purse, credit card, checkbook, driver’s license or other critical documents are stolen.

AVOID carrying around your Social Security Card and other identifying information.  Keep them in a safe place at home.

CARRY a credit card only when necessary.

DON’T have your social security number printed on your driver’s license or on your checks.

DISPOSE of old credit card bill or other documents by shredding or tearing into small pieces before putting them in your trash.

DON’T give your social security or bank account numbers to any person or company you do not know.  Also don’t give out your birth date or your mother’s maiden name.

BEFORE disclosing any personal information, make sure you know why it is required and how it will be used.

Guard your mail from theft by removing incoming mail promptly and by placing outgoing mail in the mailbox shortly before the scheduled daily pick-up or in a post office collection box.

Get your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting firms at least once yearly.  Those reports may tell you if there are overdue accounts that you never opened.  A fee may be charge for the reports.  To order call:  

Equifax at 1-800-685-1111
Experian at 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union at 1-800-888-4213

(Taken from May-June 2003 of “The Alert”, the newsletter of the Older Persons Law Office of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.)

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