News from the Reference Desk Category: Seniors

Getting Help to Stay in Your Home

Many individuals would like to stay in their homes as they grow older but need help to make this happen.  For people living in the Northwest Suburbs that help is now available.  North West Housing Partnership is administering the CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders) program.  The goal of this program is to help senior citizens remain in their homes as long as possible.  This is a pilot program modeled on one developed at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and is the first of its kind in the Chicago area. The program helps seniors who are cognitively intact and able to stand (with or without assistance) to overcome barriers to independent living.  CAPABLE includes the services of an occupational therapist, a registered nurse and a vetted and insured handyman.  Seniors in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Rolling Meadows are eligible to receive a limited number of at home visits and up to a day of repairs by the handyman.  These services occur over a four-month time frame.  The only costs are for the handyman work and materials.  To apply for the CAPABLE program, seniors or their caregivers must contact North West Housing Partnership by calling (847) 969-0561 or by emailing Robyn Sandys, the executive director of North West Housing Partnership, at robynsandys@nwhp.net.

Protecting Seniors from Scams in Assisted Living

Financial fraud and exploitation of seniors seems even more rampant than ever. This population, more vulnerable than others due to an uneasy relationship to rapidly changing technology in the internet age, is often targeted by those unscrupulous folk looking for an easily duped victim. While most of us undoubtedly do our best to protect our loved ones close to us, what happens when they’re no longer as much under our wing? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is here to help, with a handy manual designed to offer tips and strategies for caregivers and others responsible for the safety and well-being of those residing in assisted living facilities. Protecting residents from financial exploitation: A manual for assisted living and nursing facilities is published by the CFPB and provides practical advice on how to help protect seniors from falling victim to common scams or fraudulent schemes. Some of the most common include:

  • -The resident receives news about a prize or other windfall that requires payment of fees or taxes up front.
    -The resident is pressured to keep good news a secret until a transaction is complete or risk losing out on this one-time opportunity.
    -A caller constantly seeks more information and pressures the resident to comply.
    -A third party claims to be from a government agency, financial institution or other entity and asks for information that they should already have. A resident receives a lot of mail or email for sweepstakes, contests or other sources suggesting that he or she has already been scammed.

Review and download your copy today, and join the fight to protect our seniors!

Livability Index

In June 2018 AARP released its Livability Index which is a tool of the AARP Livable Communities program. This index rates every U. S. city, town and neighborhood in seven categories.  The categories include Health, Housing, Engagement, Opportunity, Environment, Neighborhoods and Transportation. The data used to compile the ratings comes from 50 sources. Mount Prospect’s rate is 53. The Livability Index is a great source for people who are moving, planning a retirement location or just for those curious about how neighboring communities compare.

Get Smart About Money in 2018!

Well, the holidays are over and it’s the start of another year–and another opportunity to reevaluate your financial life and practices, woo-hoo! The good news is that it just got a lot easier, thanks to all the wonderful resources and tools available at Smart About Money (SAM). Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. They offer tips, strategies and information on diverse topics like crisis and fraud, saving and investing, spending and borrowing, housing and transportation, taxes and more.

Click through and take a look at some of the tools like the Life Values Quiz, designed to help you better understand how and why you make financial decisions. Knowing your own habits and patterns is the first step to making positive changes in your financial life!

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Enrollment begins Sept 1

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistanced has announced that the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local adminstering agencies and additional information about the program, click here, or call the energy assistance toll-free hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.

Insurance Enrollment Assistance

It’s the time of year when many health insurance decisions must be made. If you need assistance in determining the best options, here’s some help:

Medicare Open Enrollment:

The Medicare Open Enrollment period began on Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7. The Illinois Dept. on Aging offers assistance through the department’s Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP.) Their counselors can explain the drug, health, and supplemental plans that are available. The nearest SHIP sites are at Arlington Heights Senior Center (847/253-5532) and Wheeling Township (847/259-7730.) For additional SHIP information, call 800/252-8966 or click here .

The Village of Mount Prospect Human Services Department also offers assistance for Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) enrollment. Call 847/870-5680 to set up an appointment.

Affordable Care Act Marketplace:

The enrollment period for uninsured people to sign up for coverage through the Illinois Marketplace runs from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. If you want your insurance coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2015, you must enroll by Dec. 15, 2014.

The Library is offering several programs to assist those using the Illinois Marketplace. Representatives from Get Covered Illinois will present an overview program,” Affordable Care Act Update,” on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The Library will also host two enrollment events with trained navigators from Get Covered Illinois to provide assistance in navigating the site and signing up for insurance. The enrollment events are on Dec. 13, 2014, and Jan. 31, 2015,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 847/392-8682 ext. 227. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Benefit Access Program (formerly Circuit Breaker)

The Circuit Breaker Property Tax Relief Grant and Illinos Cares Rx is no longer being funded, effective July 1, 2012. However, a few benefits are still being offered:

  • Seniors Free Transit Ride
  • The Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride
  • Secretary of State License Plate Discount

You must submit a Benefit Access Application online only. Paper applications are not available or accepted.

For more info, follow link to Illlinois Department on Aging or contact the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).

 

Senior Job Seekers

AARP has a new employment site. You can log into it through your LinkedIn ID. It lists job openings from organizations with a commitment to hire older workers.

On a related note, MPPL is hosting a session on Tuesday 11/20/12 at 1:30p:

What the Senior Candidate Has to Offer: Wisdom, loyalty, experience – are you making the most of your marketable qualities as a mature job seeker? Bob Podgorski of St. Hubert Job and Networking Ministry will offer tips for presenting your skills and experiences as a senior candidate to a potential employer. Please register online or by calling 847-253-5675.

Social Security Benefit Estimates Now Available Online

Because of budgetary constraints, in 2011 the Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped sending estimated Social Security benefit statements on paper. For a number of years these statements had been sent to all workers age 25 and older and not currently receiving Social Security benefits. In addition to listing a worker’s lifetime earnings record (the basis for Social Security benefits), the statements contained estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members.

This month (May, 2012), the SSA unveiled a program to provide the same information electronically, on the SSA website. Any individual who wishes to sign up must be at least age 18 and have a valid Social Security number, e-mail address, and United States mailing address. Create an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do

The new electronic version of the benefit estimate statement provides the same information as the paper statement, a worker’s lifetime earnings record and estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members. At the same time, the government has resumed mailing paper estimated benefit statements to workers age 60 and older who are not currently receiving Social Security benefits.