Senior Gazette

Winter 2007
by Carol Schmitkons,
Amherst Township Senior Service Director

Home-Delivered Meal Program

Many older adults find it difficult to safely get to the grocery store in the winter. With higher heating and electric bills, they also find it harder to stretch their monthly income. Add to this, unexpected health problems and we find many older adults’ ability to remain independent is severely threatened during the winter months.

Home-delivered meal programs are designed to keep seniors healthy and safe, especially during the winter months. If you have a neighbor, family member, or friend who could use our help, do them a favor and call our office at 988-5822. A “Home-Delivery Program” brochure that explains our program will be mailed to the address you provide. We can help them stretch their budgets because our meals are available on a sliding fee basis. This means that those with the least amount of income pay the lowest price for the food.

New Meal Provider
Announced for 2008

We are pleased to announce that as a service to our community, Nordson Corporation and their food service provider, AVI, have agreed to provide the meals for our home-delivered meal program for 2008. We will no longer be catering to special dietary needs. At press time, final details of the new program are still being worked out. If you are interested in joining our program please call 988-5822 for more details.

Prescription Assistance

“Ohio’s Best RX” is an additional tool that Ohio residents have to use in the battle against high prescription drug costs. It is a blessing for Ohioans who are entering the Part D coverage gap. This prescription discount card discounts almost all generic and brand name drugs for an average savings of 34%.

The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Aging and is available to adults over 60 along with the Golden Buckeye Card, no matter what their income level is. Those under 60 may also qualify for the card but their eligibility is based on income and family size.

In general, people can use the card if they do not have other drug coverage, but Medicare Part D beneficiaries may use it when they are in the “donut hole”. However, it is wise to check with your Part D plan to make sure that “Best Rx” can be used along with the card for drugs that are purchased during the coverage gap period.

There are 2,300 pharmacies that participate in the “Best Rx” program. Mail order is also available. To find a participating pharmacy, call “Ohio’s Best Rx” at 1-866-923-7879 or visit their website at and click on “Pharmacy Locator” from the menu on the left side of the home page.

To apply for “Ohio’s Best Rx” a simple, one-page application must be completed. There is no fee.

2008 Medicare Plan

During October, Medicare and Social Security “health plans” and “drug plans” should have notified you of any changes for 2008. As of October 11th, you could compare your current drug coverage with 2008 plans at

owever, changes could not be made until the 2008 “Open Enrollment” period.. his “Open Enrollment” period started November 15th & runs until December 31st..

n 2008 there will be “58” Medicare prescription drug plans. his is down from last year’s “61” plans. Several plans have been discontinued and several new plans have been added..

  • here are “2” plans that still have premiums under $20. hese plans are the best choices for people not currently taking a lot of medication..
  • here are “34” plans that have no deductibles..
  • here are “29” plans that are offering enhanced benefits or services..
  • here are “15” plans that will not charge a premium to those who qualify for extra help with their prescription drug costs..

f you are still struggling to pay for your medications, why not call and set up an appointment to see if you might qualify for the additional assistance. e have been told that 4–6% of those who are eligible for prescription drug assistance in Lorain County are currently not taking advantage of this help..

he good news is that Medicare has told us that 88% of those who are currently enrolled in a “Part D” plan could switch to a plan with lower premiums in 2008. It pays to compare prices every year. all now (988-5822) for an appointment.

Is It Time for a Medical Alert?

Recently, I picked up this helpful fact sheet distributed by “Philips Lifeline”, a service from several of the greater Cleveland area hospitals. It states that a medical alert service can help older adults & individuals with chronic medical conditions feel more confident about living in the one place that they feel most comfortable – in their own home. To find out if it’s time to consider an alert answer these 9 questions:

  • Are you alone for several hours each day or night? (2 points)
  • In the past year, have you fallen, been anxious about falling, or otherwise been at risk for falling in your home? (3 points)
  • Have you been hospitalized or gone to the emergency room in the past year? (2 points)
  • Do you have at least one of these chronic ailments: heart disease, stroke, COPD, osteoporosis, diabetes, or arthritis? (2 points)
  • Do you use a cane, walker, wheelchair, stair climber, or other assistive-type device to help with balance or walking? (3 points)
  • Are you required to take several daily medications? (3 points)
  • Do you require assistance with at least one of the following activities: bathing, toileting, dressing, meal prep, etc.? (3 points)
  • Would a medical alert service provide peace of mind for your loved one? (1 point)
  • Is it important to you to continue to live independently? (1 point)

A score of 15-20 points shows there’s an urgent need for this service; 8-14 points shows an elevated need; 4-7 shows moderate need; and 0-3 shows limited need.

Many thanks to our Amherst Township Senior Service Volunteer Meal-Delivery Drivers:
(pictured from left to right) Dave Rosso, Keith Rumpler, Sue Rumpler, Ray Roth, Dottie Roth, and Senior Service Director Carol Schmitkons.

We would like to extend our sympathy to Jake Nekich, whose wife Phyllis passed away in November of this year. Over the past 4-years, Jake and Phyllis volunteered their time 2 days each week delivering meals and visiting homebound seniors in Amherst Township.

As Jake and Phyllis provided comfort and support to our older adults, we hope Jake will find comfort while mourning the loss of his beloved wife Phyllis. Please keep Jake in your prayers.

Helpful Community Services

LEAP’S Low Vision Program goal is to allow maximum independence and safety in the home through technology and adaptive skills. Anyone who is experiencing visual difficulties that are not correctable by medical treatment, surgery, or glasses is a good candidate for rehabilitation services and education. For more information call them at: 324-3444.

Community Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing also provides service to help maintain independence. They help those with hearing problems interact more effectively and break the communication barrier. They may be reached at 277-4602 (voice/TTY).

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