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Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15

Medicare and You Booklet

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) occurs from October 15–December 7, 2018.

Medicare beneficiaries (enrolled in Part A, Part B or both) may join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage (MA) Part C HMO or Part D plan. Medicare Advantage members may go back to Original Medicare, but adding a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) without having to answer medical questions will depend on the MA Plan they intend to drop—starting your research early may provide you flexibility.

Attend a free, educational presentation provided by Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP). Call Sourcewise HICAP at (408) 350-3200 option 2 or visit www.mysourcewise.com to view our counseling sites and scheduled presentations.

Sourcewise HICAP helps Medicare beneficiaries by providing unbiased and objective information. HICAP Counselors complete rigorous, ongoing training and are registered with the California Department of Aging.

When Medicare AEP concludes, other enrollment periods begin: January 1, 2019–March 31, 2019 for both the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP) and the General Enrollment Period (GEP).

For MAOEP: MA Plan members may switch to a different MA plan or drop an MA plan and revert to Original Medicare with a drug plan. Guaranteed enrollment in a Medigap plan, which minimizes Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs, will depend on which MA plan is dropped. Still, a Medigap may be issued if someone has none of the medical conditions listed in the application.

For GEP: Enroll in Medicare Part B or Premium Part A if you missed your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period and Special Enrollment Period.

HICAP also guides those at the federal poverty level who cannot afford Premium Part A; ask about the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program.

Sourcewise HICAP counseling is free and available to eligible Santa Clara County residents. Contact the Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program: (408) 350-3200, option 2.

Local Residents and Organizations Recognized for Outstanding Achievements

By 2022, older adults are projected to make up 35% of the civilian labor force.

“Sourcewise celebrates the generational diversity, experience, and skills seniors possess,” said Henri Villalovoz, Director of Senior Employment Services and Meals on Wheels for Sourcewise.

On September 26, 2018, Sourcewise recognized five Santa Clara County residents and employers for outstanding achievements at the annual National Employ Older Workers Week luncheon.

The National Employ Older Worker’s Week is observed the last week of September and is a nationwide effort to highlight contributions made by the 55 and older workforce.

Expanding economic opportunities for older workers in Santa Clara County, Sourcewise provides Senior Employment Services; one of the nation’s first programs to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ to find employment through personalized career counseling, on-the-job training, and transition to unsubsidized employment.

For the past 19 years, Villalovoz has developed one of the most successful programs in California, which he attributes to the strong, mutually-beneficial collaborations with community based organizations and local employers.

Villalovoz said, “Our effective partner organizations and dedicated staff make us successful in meeting annual goals to provide older adults with training and on-the-job experience, which is invaluable in today’s quickly changing environment.”

The following individuals exemplified dedication, commitment, and excellence to the elder workforce in Santa Clara County. This year’s honorees include:

Employee of the Year

Samar Quasto, Administrative Operations for Catholic Charities. Now working full-time as an Administrative Assistant for Catholic Charities

Supervisor Award

Pai Venegas, Director of Programs of Silicon Valley Independent Living Center

Nelson Leonor, Employment Program Manager for EDD Workforce—America’s Job Center

Host Training Agency of the Year Award

Work2future Foundation, accepted by Casandra Nash, Facility Manager

Employer of the Year Award

Eila Phailibus Latif, Deputy Director Economic Development Services, Catholic Charities

Learn more about Sourcewise Senior Employment Services: (408) 350-3200, option 5.

Reduce Your Risk for Diabetes

Graphic depicting those who are at higher risk for prediabetes and diabetes

Diabetes can be prevented or delayed. Your best chance for preventing Type 2 Diabetes is to choose lifestyle changes that work for you long term.

According to the 2016—2020 Sourcewise Area Plan, older adults are 18% more likely than younger adults (8%) to contract chronic conditions like diabetes and 16% of older adults are at risk for prediabetes versus only 10% of younger adults.

Depending on your age, weight, and other factors, you may be at higher risk of developing prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. Making healthy lifestyle changes can greatly lower your risk.

To prevent Type 2 Diabetes and/or prediabetes:

  • Watch your weight
  • Make healthy food choices
  • Increase your physical activity
  • Lower your stress level
  • Talk with your doctor about healthy cholesterol levels
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure

Resources and services dedicated to preventing the onset of diabetes in our local community are available. The Centers for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Prevention Program has created a partnership with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to provide education for individuals who are at risk for prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. The program encourages healthy lifestyle choices through close interactions with other program members. For more information, visit https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/collab/dpi/Pages/dpi.aspx.

Connect with your local American Diabetes Association to learn if you are at risk for developing prediabetes: http://www.stopdiabetes.com/get-the-facts/risk-test.html.

Get involved: November is recognized as Diabetes Awareness month. Wear the color blue on November 14 and show your support for World Diabetes Day to raise global awareness of diabetes.

Learn more about diabetes and diabetes prevention. Speak with a Community Resource Specialist at (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Strong Social Ties Increase Happiness and Lifespan

Older adults who have an active social life have been linked to a stronger sense of wellbeing and a longer life span. According to the AARP Foundation’s “Isolation Framework Project” of 2012, an estimated one in five adults over age 50—at least eight million—are affected by isolation.

The average American’s circle of confidants declined by one-third between 1985 and 2006 according to an American Sociological Association study. The negative health consequences of chronic isolation are harmful for all adults.

“On average, people with strong social ties live more than four years longer than others, with social relationships predicting longevity better than factors such as alcoholism, high blood pressure or obesity," stated Timothy B. Smith, a professor of counseling psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, as reported by Tim Appelo in an AARP article published July 10, 2018.

Strengthen your social network:

  • Schedule a time each day to call or visit someone special to you.
  • Invite family or friends over for tea or coffee.
  • Use social media like Meetups to find local groups of others with similar interests.
  • Stay in touch with long-distance friends with phone calls or write an old-fashioned letter.
  • Visit your local community or senior center, to access a variety of programs.
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors.
  • Be physically active by joining a walking club.

San Jose’s Happy Hollow Park & Zoo helps adults ages 50 and over to improve their health by providing the Senior Safari Walkabout program. The park opens on select Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for older adults who benefit from free admission and parking to enjoy animal meet-and-greets, other fun activities, and giveaways.

For more information, visit www.HHPZ.org or call (408) 794-6400.

Caregivers Provide Estate Assistance

Seventy-two percent of a senior’s net worth is tied up in their home equity, according to the U.S. Census. Today’s caregivers—80% to be exact—often inherit the responsibility of managing and settling their loved one’s estate after they have passed away.

“Settling an estate is a rough job,” explains Matt Paxton, extreme cleaning expert and Legacy Navigator founder. “Imagine trying to empty out a house that your parents have lived in for 40 years, full of photographs, papers, outdated furniture and old china. You have to figure out what to do with all this stuff, and you have to do it when you’re overwhelmed by grief.”

Responses from a 2017 National Care Survey by Legacy Navigator found a significant amount of caregivers reported the responsibility of managing their loved one’s finances, the sale of the estate, and organizing all their belongings to be an especially difficult part of the grieving process.

In Santa Clara County, one in four residents will be over age 65 by 2060, as stated in the Sourcewise Area Plan on Aging 2016-2020. As the aging population rises, support resources for caregivers should follow. In fact, opportunities exist for families, employers, aging seniors, and caregivers to create much needed supportive networks.

Family members can offer assistance with caregiver responsibilities; employers can look at existing benefits and make changes to support the caregiver role; care recipients can start downsizing and bestowing assets while still living, and caregivers can build and incorporate self-care strategies.

Learn more about caregiver resources. Contact a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Sourcewise awards local residents and organizations for outstanding achievements

San Jose, October 1, 2018: Sourcewise presented five awards during its annual National Employ Older Workers Week luncheon, held to recognize the value of ta Clara County’s mature workforce. The National Employ Older Worker’s Week, is observed the last week of September, and is a nationwide effort to highlight the contributions made by the 55 and older workforce — projected to make up 25% of the civilian labor force in the next three years; increasing to 35% by 2022.

“Sourcewise celebrates the generational diversity, experience, and skill seniors possess. As older workers are opting to stay active or re-enter the workforce, Santa Clara County employers have the opportunity to rely on older workers to fill talent gaps, explains Henri Villalovoz, Director of Senior Employment Services and Meals on Wheels programs of Sourcewise.”

To expand economic opportunities for older workers in Santa Clara County, Sourcewise provides Senior Employment Services; one of the nation’s first programs to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ to find employment through personalized career counseling, on-the-job training, and transition to unsubsidized employment. For the past 19 years, Henri Villalovoz, Director of the Senior Employment Services and Meals on Wheels has developed one of the most successful programs in California, which he attributes to the strong, mutual beneficial collaborations with community based organizations and local employers.

“The partnership [with Sourcewise] is a win/win for all. The program provides the opportunity to assist participants with upgrading their current skills as they all bring their own skills and experiences to the program,” said Maria Lucero, Employment Program Manager for the Workforce Services Job Center of the Employment Development Department in San Jose.

The following individuals exemplify dedication, commitment, and excellence to the elder workforce in Santa Clara County. This year’s honorees include:

Employee Of The Year

Samar Quasto, Administrative Operations for Catholic Charities and now working full-time as an Administrative Assistant for Catholic Charities

Supervisor Awards

Pai Venegas, Director of Programs of Silicon Valley Independent Living Center

Nelson Leonor, Employment Program Manager for  EDD Workforce—America’s Job Center

Host Training Agency of the Year Award

Work2future Foundation,  accepted by Casandra Nash, Facility Manager

Employer of the Year Award

Eila Phailibus Latif, Deputy Director Economic Development Services, Catholic Charities

To learn more about the Sourcewise Senior Employment Services Program please call (408) 350-3200, option 5.

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Contact Info: Aneliza Del Pinal
Director, Public Relations
(408) 557-4701
adelpinal@mysourcewise.com

We welcome the re-use, republication, and distribution of Sourcewise content. Please credit us with the following information: Used with the permission of http://www.mysourcewise.com.

Sourcewise unveils Community Education Series for 2019 Medicare changes to all Santa Clara County residents

San Jose, October 1, 2018: As the first to pilot the nationwide network of insurance assistance programs, the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy program is a leader in delivering objective information and assistance to those persons who have questions about Medicare.

Beginning October 12, 2018, the Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy program (HICAP) launches its 2019 Annual Enrollment Period Educational Series. The program helps Santa Clara County Medicare enrollees identify any changes to their plans, the options available, and how to execute their plan choices.

Prior to and during the Annual Enrollment Period of October 15 to December 7, beneficiaries should be aware of:

  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs and formulary changes for 2019
  • Medicare Advantage Plan costs and benefits for 2019
  • Enrollment timing and rights to change plans, including the reinstated Medicare
  • Advantage Open Enrollment from January through March each year beginning in 2019

“In Santa Clara County there are 25 HMO plans offered by 10 health care plans. It can be confusing for folks to navigate, especially since plans, benefits, and costs change yearly” explains Marcelo Espiritu, Product Analyst for the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program.

Learn about Medicare Options for 2019 at convenient locations in Santa Clara County:

Sourcewise presentations on 2019 Medicare changes

“Thank you again for your generosity of time and your kindness of spirit in helping me to decide on Medicare supplemental plans in September. I so appreciated both your health insurance wisdom and your thoughtful follow-up research,” shared a Santa Clara resident about her experience with one of the program’s counselors.

Through personalized counseling sessions and community education, counselors help their clients make informed decisions about their health benefits. HICAP counselors are available year around to assist with comparison charts, insurance plan benefits, claim or benefit denials, and other health insurance related billing questions .

The Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program does not sell, endorse, nor represent any insurance company. Sourcewise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with 45 years of experience serving the residents of Santa Clara County.

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Contact Info: Aneliza Del Pinal
 Director, Public Relations
(408) 557-4701
adelpinal@mysourcewise.com

We welcome the re-use, republication, and distribution of Sourcewise content. Please credit us with the following information: Used with the permission of http://www.mysourcewise.com.

Sourcewise dominates State service program, seniors connected to local farmers markets

San Jose, August 21, 2018: The Sourcewise Seniors Farmers’ Market Program had the highest redemption rate in California for 2017, nearly 90%, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This makes the Sourcewise program the most successful in the state. While the results for the 2018 delivery are not in yet, Sourcewise anticipates once again being equally successful.

The focus of the Senior Farmers’ Market Program is to provide access to free, nutritious options for low-income seniors, ages 60 years and older. A 2014 report by the Santa Clara County Public Health department revealed that only 22% of older adults (65+) report eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

“Seniors are having difficulty acquiring adequate supply to meet their nutritional needs. Our program empowers individuals to make healthy choices while also supporting local farmers,” explains Henri Villalovoz, who leads this effort on behalf of Sourcewise.

In addition to the vouchers, participants receive nutritional education: how to eat more vegetables, how to prepare and store vegetables, and how to shop at farmers’ markets to get the most from a limited budget.

To deliver vouchers to residents with limited resources, Sourcewise strategically chose central distribution points with nearby access to public transportation. Distribution points were also located near farmers’ markets. A total of twenty-four farmers markets are certified for voucher redemption within Santa Clara County.

2018 Voucher Distribution Sites

Wednesday, June 6

9—11 a.m.

Barbara Lee Senior Center

40 N. Milpitas Blvd. Milpitas, CA 95035

Tuesday, June 12

9—11 a.m.

Mayfair Community Center

2039 Kammerer Avenue San Jose, CA 95116

Wednesday, June 13

9—11 a.m.

Southside Community Center

5585 Cottle Road San Jose, CA 95123

Thursday, June 14

9—11 a.m.

Morgan Hill Library

660 W. Main St. Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Tuesday, June 19

9—11 a.m.

Gilroy Senior Center

7371 Hanna St. Gilroy, CA 95020

Wednesday, June 20

9—11 a.m.

Berryessa Community Center

3050 Berryessa Rd. San Jose, CA 95132

 “This program is a blessing! Thank you for being here. The staff is very kind and approachable. It is very difficult to put on a large event…you were even able to accommodate for multiple languages,” shared Sally W., a 2018 voucher recipient.

Sourcewise, in partnership with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, distributed 500 voucher booklets to qualifying seniors in Santa Clara County. Through the Seniors Farmers’ Market Program, individuals received vouchers worth $20.00, redeemable for fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut herbs throughout the harvest season, June through November 2018.

To learn more about the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program or how you can support Sourcewise with a donation, please visit www.mysourcewise.com. Sourcewise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with over 40 years of experience serving Santa Clara County residents.

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Contact Info:
Aneliza Del Pinal
Director, Public Relations
(408) 557-4701
adelpinal@mysourcewise.com

We welcome the re-use, republication, and distribution of Sourcewise content. Please credit us with the following information: Used with the permission of http://www.mysourcewise.com.

Prepare for Medicare Changes in 2019

When are you turning 65? Providing unbiased health insurance counseling is what Sourcewise Health Insurance Counselors do best: helping older adults and their companions to understand Medicare.

In anticipation of the national Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)—October 15–December 7, 2018—the Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) will provide education throughout Santa Clara County (SCC) regarding 2019 Medicare plan changes and updates.

During the AEP, existing Medicare beneficiaries (already enrolled in Part A, Part B or both) may enroll in, switch, or drop a Medicare Part C or Part D plan. Medicare Advantage Part C members may possibly switch to a Medigap plan without underwriting.

The 2016–2020 Sourcewise Area Plan identifies a clear need for Spanish-speaking counselors. Sourcewise provides counseling in Spanish—and eight other languages—on the phone and in person.

Sourcewise prioritizes increasing awareness of underserved populations in SCC and has partnered with SCC’s Binational Health Week Initiative since 2014. Created in 2001, the Initiative raises awareness of and responds to unique health care challenges of Latinos. Sourcewise proudly continues this long-time partnership in 2018.

For SCC Latinos, improved health outcomes are visible over the last decade. However, Latinos continue to experience disparities with health and social indicators when compared to other populations.

Maritza Rodriguez of the SCC Public Health Department said, “In an effort to address these disparities, we have been committed to providing free services to the Latino population and to all residents here in Santa Clara County each October.”

Providing access to resources for Santa Clara County residents is among the highest priorities for Sourcewise. Beginning in mid-August, visit www.mysourcewise.com for information regarding community presentations and resource tables. Workshops are available for Medicare beneficiaries and their trusted companions.

Connect with a Sourcewise Health Insurance Counselor: (408) 350-3200, option 2 or email community@mysourcewise.com.

Handle the Summer Heat

Older adults may be adversely affected when temperatures climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, especially when combined with age-related health conditions and medications.

“Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, especially when you don’t feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty that means you are already dehydrated,” explains Rosie Jimenez, Director of South County Services. “As we get older, we tend to not drink as much water or only drink when we feel thirsty. This can be very dangerous especially in hot weather since severe dehydration can lead to hospitalization.”

Heat related illnesses can result in headaches, dizziness, confusion, and fainting.

Learn to identify and address each:

  • Dehydration is a loss of water and electrolytes in the body; symptoms include weakness, muscle cramps, and confusion, and fainting.
  • Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating or no sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, paleness, cold or clammy skin, nausea/vomiting, and a fast, weak pulse.
  • Heat stroke (caused by the above two) is a dangerous rise in body temperature. A normal body temperature is around 98.6°, and with heat stroke a person’s temperature may rise up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Call 911 if you or a loved one is experiencing the above symptoms. When caring for someone suffering heat stroke, only give them liquids if they are awake and able to swallow.

To treat these heat-related conditions, sip water or sports drinks with electrolytes which play a key role in regulating heartbeat.

Move to a cool, shady location and remove or loosen clothing. Apply cool water or moist cloths on wrists, ankles, armpits, and neck to lower body temperature.

Community Resource Specialists of Sourcewise can offer more information: (408) 350-3200, option 1.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

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