Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - January 2016 - 23-01
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Page 14
Senior Times - January 2016
Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450
200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102, Battle Creek, MI 49017
My Medicare Matters
By Jolene English, Site Manager, MMAP
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: January 1- February 14.
During this period, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare and to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form. During this period, you CANNOT Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan
to another, switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug
Plan to another, or join, switch, or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.
Part A and Part B General Enrollment Period: January 1–March 31.
If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B (for which
you must pay premiums) when you were first eligible, and you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can
sign up during the General Enrollment Period. Your cover- age will start July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part A and/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B.
MMAP can help with General Enrollment or with Advantage Plan Disenrollment. Contact your local MMAP office at 1-800-803-7174 for an appointment.
Helping Your Loved One
Deal with Change
By: Stacy L. Wines, Office Administrator & Planner 3B Area Agency on Aging
Kinship Korner
Calhoun county Kinship Care Services advocates for and provides supportive services to families rais- ing related children. If you are raising a related child (ages 0-18), you are eligible for Kinship Care Services through the Family Enrichment Center. Support groups, helpful workshops and trainings are available as well as inter-generational family activities. Please call (269) 660-0448 for more information.
Upcoming Events
• Join us monthly on the first
Tuesday of each month from 12:30-2:30pm for the Battle Creek Kinship Support Group. We meet in the All Purpose room at the Westlake Presbyterian Church. Our December meeting will be from 9am-3pm on the first. We will be making fleece tie blankets. Support groups nurture relationships, decrease isolation and provide a safe place to vent. Support groups build on collective energy, creativ- ity, and the talents of all group members. The next meeting is on January 5. Consider visiting a sup- port group. You won’t regret it!
• On Monday, January 11, from 6:30-8:30pm, the Foster and Adopt Support Group will be discussing issues related to parenting Foster and Adopted Children.
• On Monday, January 18, Jane Wolf will discuss “Parenting the High Needs Child” at the Family Enrichment Center from 6:30- 8:30pm.
• The next “Saturday Parenting Series” training is scheduled for January 16, from 9am-12pm. The topic is “Bullying.” Please call Susan at (269) 788-0923 or Beckie at (269) 788-0922 to register. Free child care is available on a limited basis for trainings only. Advanced registration is required.
• We are interested in hearing your opinion on how we can better serve the Kinship community. Please give Beckie a call or e-mail her
at Your input will be appreciated.
We have the means to help provide necessities and enrichment activities for the children in your care. We also have the experience and knowledge to advocate for you and give advice on how to navigate through issues as they develop. Spread the word.
“Time Marches On” is a country song by Tracy Lawrence. It contains one
of my favorite quotes, “The only thing that
stays the same is everything changes.” As I age, I have discovered this to be gospel.
In my 20’s, my life was all planned out. I knew I would
be a paralegal until retirement, when I was going to get married, and how many children I would have. I even knew where I was going to live forever to raise my family. Up until my late 20’s,
all was going according to plan. Then I received devastating
news - my 55 year old mother had inoperable lung cancer. Change was everywhere during her illness and long after her death. At every turn, change was there to kick me in the gut. I had a choice to be miserable while resisting the change or embrace the fact that time marches on and if I don’t follow in line, I will be left behind.
When we are young, change can be an adventure. If the change isn’t going as planned, we can put on the brakes and take a different course. No harm, no foul. Many times, however, much of the change is out of our control. As hard as we try, we cannot avoid it.
For the aging population, change can be especially burdensome. Here you’re finally at a point in life where the pace has slowed down; you’ve raised your family and did the career thing. You are now enjoying a simpler pace. Then your health or that of your spouse declines. You have to consider assisted living. Just the act of aging into retirement brings on a huge catalyst for change. Any of these changes confirms, “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes.”
To say everyone, especially the aging population, is resistant to change would be wrong. There are a few who thrive on it. The majority does not like to change and will dig their heels in to avoid it. Some reasons are:
• Feeling isolated.
• Fear of losing independence. • Fear of losing control.
• Fear of the unknown.
• Fear of not honoring their
deceased spouse’s wishes.
I think it is safe to all agree these are valid concerns, but how do we help loved ones handle change?
One of the most important ways to deal with resistance to change is to listen. Let them explain why they don’t want
to change. For example, it is inevitable mom must move out of the home she and dad built when they were newlyweds. Mom doesn’t want to because it reminds her of dad who passed away many years ago. They made a vow they would die before they moved out. Valid reason? Certainly. Don’t ever dismiss what they are feeling. Think of how you would feel if you were in their shoes. It will give you a different perspective. While you think you know what is best for your loved one, they are certain they know what is best. A listening ear and gentle persuasion will be crucial on your part.
Make sure you frequently
have open conversations. Again, put yourself in their shoes. What if your son never spoke to you about anything other than the weather and the Detroit Tiger’s season? Then, out of nowhere, he tells you it is not safe for you to live alone and you are going to look at assisted living facilities next week. I would be like,
“No way buddy!” There should have been several conversations discussing the impending change. If you only talk when a problem arises, the less likely you’ll have success. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open. This will enable you to have a better understanding of how your loved one will respond to the proposed change.
Unfortunately, life happens and changes may need to be made immediately. If you find yourself having difficulties maneuvering through all the changes, we have resources available to help you and your loved ones. Contact the Area Agency on Aging at (269) 441-0973. Call Us. We’re here to help!
Family Enrichment Center
415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160

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