Fall Has Arrived. Time To Prevent Falls


Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Slips and falls now rank as the leading cause of injury deaths among people 65 and older, and Missouri’s rate of injuries related to falling is 31% higher than the national average.1 Falls are the number one cause of injuries to seniors. 2

Falls are not a normal part of aging, and you can take actions to prevent falls.

The risk of falling — and fall-related problems — rises as people age. If you fall and break a bone it could lead to more serious problems, such as a hospital visit, injury, or disability. However, taking care of your overall health may lower your risk of falling. Here are a few tips to help you avoid falls and broken bones:

  • Stay physically active. Plan an exercise program that is right for you; regular exercise can help strengthen muscles.
  • Have your eyes and ears tested. Changes in vision and hearing may cause you to fall. If you receive new eyewear or hearing aids, take time to get used to them.

Make sure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can make you susceptible to falls.

Tell your doctor if you have fallen. A fall can alert your doctor to a possible problem and help the doctor provide you with steps to prevent future accidents.

Because the aging process can affect vision, strength and balance, adults 65 and older are at elevated risk for falls. However, falls are not a natural part of aging and can be prevented. You can identify simple steps that can make a big difference to keep safe in your home and the community.

MA4 has created a kit that includes an easy to read brochure, posters for your workplace, senior center or even home bulletin board, and an infographic that gives you a few statistics relating to injuries related to falls in the United States. Download the free materials below from our Steady As You Go campaign.

1 https://health.mo.gov/seniors/showmefallsfreemissouri/index.php

2 American Council on Aging

STEADY AS YOU GO POSTERS

MORE RESOURCES

SHOW ME FALLS FREE MISSOURI COALITION:

https://preventmofalls.wixsite.com/preventmofalls

MY MOBILITY PLAN RESOURCE FROM THE CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/older_adult_drivers/CDC-AdultMobilityTool-12.12Customizable508c.pdf

MORE INFORMATION FROM THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL

https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/older-adult-falls

LONG TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN-HELP NEEDED


Friday, September 11th, 2020

LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN

Improving the quality of life for residents of long-term care through advocacy, education, and empowerment.

The Missouri ombudsman program Long Term Care Ombudsmen are volunteers serving residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities to provide assistance with problems or complaints. Ombudsmen help when residents or family members have concerns about the rights of older consumers receiving long-term care; quality of care or treatment from a long-term care service provider; appeals regarding transfers, discharges, discontinuance or changes in services; and billing and charges, including those covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are trained volunteers assigned to specific long-term care facilities, where they spend quality time getting to know the needs of residents. Ombudsmen form bonds with residents and work to resolve concerns about care before they become crises.

These valuable volunteers champion resident rights and act as liaisons between facility staff and residents. They also provide a vital link between residents and the outside world.

Even during our current health crisis, local Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteers are available to assist you.

Would you like to be a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult and lonely time for older adults in long-term care facilities. Now, more than ever, they need someone checking on their well-being and speaking up on their behalf. If you’re interested in becoming a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, we provide online training that will teach you how to safely visit a care facility and advocate for older adults. 

Ombudsmen learn many things — communication skills, state and federal regulations, ethics, complaint handling, mediation, problem-solving and observation skills.

Be The Voice — speak for those who can’t. Be a Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to arrange help:

Seniors in Missouri…The Aging Evolution


Monday, July 27th, 2020

Seniors in Missouri have increased more consistently and proportionately than any age group. Persons age 65 and over represented 10% of the population in 1950.

By 2000, their ranks had risen to 13% of the total population and it is estimated that by 2030 this group will represent more than one-fifth of Missourians (21%). *

Between 1950 and 2000, the 65-and-over population grew by 85% to 755,000. This group is projected to grow by an additional 87% between 2000 and 2030 when their numbers are projected to swell to 1.4 million as the baby-boom generation progresses into this age category.*

In Missouri, the 85-and-over age group has grown, and will continue to grow, even more rapidly. In 1950, this group represented roughly one-half of one percent of the total population and measured 21,000. By 2000, the group had increased to 99,000 an increase of 78,000 persons. The group is expected to increase by another 78,000 by 2030 when they will number 176,000.*

The increases in Missouri’s elderly population, caused by increased longevity of the elderly and the baby-boom generation progressing into this age classification, likely will have the greatest impact on Missouri of any changes seen among the various age groupings. *

* Source: https://oa.mo.gov/budget-planning/demographic-information/population-projections/population-trends

Due to changing demographics in all age groups, those turning 65 now are concerned about quality of life, continuing or encore careers, and physical activity. The concerns of the oldest seniors’ often relate to healthcare, social isolation, and assistance with daily living tasks. Everyone shares a concern about economic stability.**

Missouri’s senior population, defined as those age 65 and older, has been steadily increasing over the last decade. The first Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) reached 65 years old in 2011. Since then, there’s been a rapid increase 65-and-older population across the U.S., which grew by over a third since 2010 according to the Census Bureau. No other age group saw such a fast increase. The number of seniors in Missouri will continue to increase dramatically over the next several years, reaching over 20% by 2030. **

This means that by 2030, approximately one in five neighbors, friends, family members will be senior citizens.**

** Source: http://www.missouriseniorreport.org/

Our rapidly growing population of aging Missourians presents both challenges and opportunities for state and local government. Many of the issues facing state legislators will have an impact on — or be impacted by — the demographic shifts that all of our communities are experiencing. 

What will this demographic shift mean for the state of Missouri? What can local, state, and federal legislatures do to prepare for growing numbers of older adults and unprecedented longevity? At ma4 and the ten AAA’s around the state, we focus on local, state, and federal issues that will impact aging Missourians. Stay tuned…more to come!

To find your Missouri House Representative:

LINK TO MISSOURI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

For Missouri State aging issues, you can visit:

Official Missouri State Website

2021 Summit On Aging & Health Postponed


Saturday, July 4th, 2020

The Annual Show Me Summit on Aging & Health will not be held this again this year (2021) due to scheduling and health concerns related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Plans are in the works for the 2022 Summit, which will be held at the Intercontinental- Kansas City Hotel At The Plaza.

Stay tuned for more info!

This continues to be a difficult and challenging time for seniors, particularly as it relates to healthcare and funding for important support programs. Cancelling this annual conference is a great disappointment, but we believe this safeguards the best interests of the people we represent.

Thank you to the vendors, site hosts, sponsors and staff members who continue to help us work through this challenge. The regular work of MA4 and our Area Agencies on Aging will continue throughout the year – and in 2022 we will be back with an all new Summit on Aging and Health that will be bigger and better than ever before.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Silver Haired Legislature


Saturday, June 20th, 2020

The Silver Hair legislature was created in 1973 by a small group of seniors whose specific purpose was the advocate for senior issues, and the Missouri group was the first organization of its type in the United States. Some of the earliest proposals passed into law include Exploitation of the Elderly, the MO Senior RX Program, implementation of elder abuse laws, and the deletion of sales tax on pharmaceuticals.

The Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) group is composed of citizens, age 60 or older, who volunteer their time to advocate on behalf of Missouri’s older adults. Delegates are elected from each of Missouri’s ten Area Agencies on Aging, and all legislators meet annually for a model legislative session at the State Capitol to deliver five priority proposals.

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging if you are interested in becoming a member of SHL.

The SHL conducted their 2021 Senior Advocacy Week, February 23 – 26, 2021, using virtual methods to conduct meetings with their MO Legislators. This is a recording of the virtual ‘kick-off’ event that marked the start of Advocacy Week.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15


Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Virtually all countries are expected to see substantial growth in the number of older persons between 2015 and 2030, and that growth will be faster in developing regions. Because the numbers of older persons are growing, the amount of elder abuse can be expected to grow with it. While the taboo topic of elder abuse has started to gain visibility across the world, it remains one of the least investigated types of violence in national surveys, and one of the least addressed in national action plans.

Elder abuse is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community.

The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations.

Here are some facts you should know:

  • Around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide.
  • Rates of abuse may be higher for older people living in institutions than in the community.
  • Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
  • Elder abuse is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
  • The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.

Police Warn Of Scams Targeting Seniors


Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

“American seniors are being targeted by online con artists in record numbers, according to the FBI. In 2020, people ages 50 and older lost a dizzying $1.8 billion to online fraud. And those numbers are probably underreported, as the FBI believes many seniors are ashamed to reveal they’ve been scammed.” *

BEWARE OF MEDICARE SCAMS

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D begins Oct. 15. That means that people with Medicare and their caregivers should give their Medicare prescription plans a fresh look to determine whether the plan they have is still the best one to suit their needs.  It’s also a good time for you to know the rules the Medicare Advantage and Part D plans must follow.

Medicare insurance salespeople CANNOT call you or come to your door without your invitation. They CANNOT ask for your Medicare, Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers over the phone unless it’s needed to verify membership, determine enrollment eligibility, or process an enrollment request. Again, be very careful of giving this information to anyone you don’t know.

They CANNOT offer you money, gifts, or free meals to listen to a sales pitch.

Plans are not allowed to require payment over the phone for a health or drug plan. The plan must mail you a bill.

If you have made an appointment to discuss a Medicare plan, agents are not allowed to market other products, like an annuity or life insurance policy.

For unbiased help in comparing plan options, CLAIM counselors can help. To find one near you, call 800-390-3330.

PROTECT YOUR MEDICARE NUMBER LIKE A CREDIT CARD

If someone calls and asks for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits, hang up and call us 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY: 1-877-486-2048.

Only give personal information, like your Medicare Number, to health care providers, your insurance companies or health plans (and their licensed agents or brokers), or people you trust that work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).


Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information. Report suspected health care fraud or abuse to the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at (888) 515-6565.

* Yahoo News

MORE TIPS


• Do not provide any personal or financial information over the phone, simply hang up. Scammers may call and tell you they need your banking information to deposit stimulus checks, but you should never provide that information over the phone. For information relating directly to the stimulus checks, please visit irs.gov/coronavirus.
• Scammers create fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses claiming to sell medical supplies currently in high demand. These may include items such as surgical masks. When consumers attempt to purchase supplies through these channels, fraudsters pocket the money and never provide the promised supplies.
• Do research before donating contributions to ensure that it is a valid organization or group collecting donations.
• Be wary of phishing emails such as those claiming to have information about the virus. Oftentimes, they direct the reader to click a link, which can be a form of a Trojan virus and would allow the scammer to have full access to the information on your computer.

As we continue to battle this pandemic, COVID-19 scams may come in many forms which can include unsolicited phone calls, phishing emails, door-to-door sales, individuals offering cures, tests, safety equipment or vaccinations. Here are some tips that can help prevent you from falling victim to a COVID-19 scam.


Be cautious when dealing with any unsolicited offers, and keep in mind if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can report online and email scams to the Federal Trade Commission at 877.382.4357. For more details related to COVID-19 visit consumer.ftc.gov.

May Is Older Americans Month


Friday, May 1st, 2020

When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.

Whether it is by providing volunteer opportunities, social engagement activities, fitness classes, wellness sessions or by adapting programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, MA4 members support the ability of older adults to make a mark on their communities.
 
For additional information and materials your agency can use to participate in Older Americans Month, visit www.acl.gov/oam.

South Central Pension Rights Project Helps Missourians


Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

The South Central Pension Rights Project is a service designed to help individuals understand and exercise their pension rights. They provide services free of charge to workers and retirees or their family members who currently live or work in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. ​

These services are free of charge, regardless of age, income, or the amount of the benefit sought. Attorneys and paralegals provide services over the telephone and through the mail.

The South Central Pension Rights Project (SCPRP) is overseen by Texas Legal Services with assistance from the Missouri Area Agencies on Aging. Since teaming with Missouri Area Agencies on Aging in 2010, SCPRP has recovered more than $4.3 million in benefits for Missourians and has assisted more than 550 Missourians with retirement benefit issues. SCPRP is funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging to assist individuals who have any kind of issue with their retirement benefits.  It operates in cooperation with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. SCPRP provides attorneys and legal assistants that offer basic advice about pension laws and rights, help people locate their pension plan’s administrator, advocate for people who believe they have been unjustly denied their benefits, and provide referrals to other services as needed.  SCPRP helps all individuals regardless of age or income, and all of SCPRP’s services are completely free.

To contact SCPRP call: 800-443-2528.

Social Security Recipients Eligible For Economic Stimulus Payments


Monday, April 13th, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 virus emergency, the federal government announced that they will send $1,200 Economic Stimulus Payments to all adults in the United States who earn less than $75,000 annually. This includes Social Security recipients.

If you receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability beneficiaries and do not have qualifying children under age 17 whom you claim as dependents, you do not need to take any action with the IRS.  You will automatically receive your $1,200 economic impact payment directly from the IRS as long as you received an SSA-1099 for 2019.

If you DO have children under 17 who may qualify for an additional payment, you should visit the IRS’s Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info page at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments and provide information about yourself and your qualifying children.

Additionally, any new beneficiaries since January 1, 2020, of either Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, will also need to go to the IRS’s Non-Filers website to enter their information.

Please note that the IRS will NOT consider Economic Impact Payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

The eligibility requirements and other information about the Economic Impact Payments can be found here: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center.  In addition, please continue to visit the IRS at www.irs.gov/coronavirus for the latest information.