Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - April 2017 - 24-04
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Page 14
Senior Times - April 2017
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
Kinship Korner
Family Enrichment Center
415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Beckie Brinks, Kinship Coordinator Email:
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
Calhoun County Kinship Care Services advocates for and provides supportive services to families rais- ing related children. If you are rais- ing a related child (ages 0-18 years), you may be eligible for Kinship
Care Services through the Family Enrichment Center. Kinship Care Services offers support groups, inter- generational family activities, helpful classes and specialized training ses- sions.
Do Yourself a Favor by Attending One of Our Support Groups!
• 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. Support groups nurture relation- ships, decrease isolation and pro- vide a safe place to vent. Support groups build on collective energy, creativity, and the talents of all group members. The next meet- ing is April 4th from 12:30-2pm. Consider visiting a support group. You won’t regret it!
• On Monday, April 17, Jane Wolf will discuss “Parenting the High Needs Child” at the Family Enrichment Center from 6:30- 8:30pm.
• Our “Saturday Parenting Series” training is scheduled for April 15, 2017, (also at the Family Enrichment Center) from 9am- 12pm.
• Our Brown Bag Lunch is sched- uled for April 13 from 12-1pm, at the Family Enrichment Center as well.
Happy Spring!
• 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 thechildren 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!
My Medicare Matters - Saving Money on Medicare Coverages
By Karen Manney, Regional Coordinator, MMAP
Be aware of programs that may be available to help you control Medicare insurance costs.
The “Extra Help” Program is
a low Income Subsidy, which helps some Medicare beneficia- ries pay for their monthly pre- scription premiums, co-pays and/ or their annual deductibles relat- ed to a Medicare Prescription Drug program. The 2017 eligi- bility limits are below.
Income limit is $1,528 for
an individual or $2050 for a married couple per month.
This is GROSS income, before any premiums, taxes or other expenses are taken out. Asset or Resource limit is $13,820/yr for an individual or $27,600/yr for a married couple. Assets include: CD’s, IRA, Investments, sav- ings, bank accounts. In some instances, these limits may be higher.
The Medicare Saving Program helps beneficiaries pay for their Medicare Part B premiums, co- pays and/or deductibles. The income limit is adjusted each year; those figures are usually released early in April (they weren’t released before press time). Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to call their
local MMAP site to be screened against the new income and asset numbers.
CALL 1-800-803-7174 to reach your nearest MMAP office. Other sites in our area are: Forks Senior Center in Albion (517-629-38420); Calhoun County Office of Senior Services, at 315 West Green Street in Marshall, (269-781- 0846), and Barry Commission on Aging in Hastings (269- 948-4856). Administered by Carewell Services Southwest
in Calhoun and Barry County. MMAP is funded in part by Calhoun County Senior Millage.
Become a MMAP Volunteer! Training takes place May 23, 24, and 25, and applicants must have orientation, background checks, and online portion of training prior to the May training. Call Karen at (269) 441-0931 for a volunteer application packet!
A Simple Conversation Can Help Combat Loneliness
By: Stacy Wines, Program Manager
You may wonder where I’m going with this opening, but stick with me. Bathroom breaks. When I finally take that needed break, it’s at record speed. If I do run into someone, we may exchange quick pleasantries before I hurriedly return to work. Today was different; let me tell you why.
When I went into the restroom, the handicap stall was occupied.
I heard someone rifling through a bag or purse. This continued until
I finished washing my hands at which time out strolled a petite, nicely dressed older woman. Before making a beeline to the door, I smiled and told her hello. She proceeded to tell me her makeup spilled and got all over the inside of her purse and its contents. I felt drawn to her; not sure why. She explained in detail how she had to take items out, wipe them off and wipe the inside her purse before returning everything to its proper place. I told her I would have waited until later when I
had more time to clean it up. She laughed and acknowledged it would have made a bigger mess. With a big smile she said, “Plus,
I have time. I’m retired.” We
spoke about how that does make
a difference. She told me what keeps her busy in retirement. After we wrapped up our conversation she said, “Nice talking with you. Thank you.” The last two words resonated with me all day, “Thank you.”
Thank you? What had I done? As I pondered this, I concluded she was lonely. Not many people take the time to actually have
a conversation with complete strangers, especially in the bathroom.
AARP and the National Association of Area Agencies
on Aging recently joined forces
to address social isolation
and loneliness in older adults. According to the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, it is estimated that one in five adults over age 50 are affected by isolation, a problem that has been associated with higher rates of chronic disease, depression, dementia and death.
Living alone is a top risk factor - with 29% of people age 65+ living alone and almost 50% of women age 75+ living alone, millions of older adults could be affected.
We all need social connections to thrive, regardless of our age. The above statistics indicate chronic isolation and loneliness may be especially harmful for older adults. Knowing this, we can all open our worlds to start conversations with older adults. Who knows, those few minutes of conversation may be all the interaction that person has for the day.
If you are an older adult are concerned about the socialization of a loved one, here are some actions you may consider taking to become more connected:
• Nurture existing relationships by inviting people over for coffee or to go see a movie.
• Schedule a time each day to call or visit a friend.
• Write an old-fashioned letter or use social media to stay connected with long-distance friends and family.
• Join a book club or a group that participates in an enjoyable hobby.
• Enroll in one our evidence based programs to help improve your health while meeting new people.
• Get involved in a cause at your local community center or place of worship.
If we all make the effort, we
can help combat isolation and loneliness in our aging community. I don’t know for sure if the lady
in the bathroom suffers from either. The way she thanked me so sincerely with her warm smile gave me that sense. What I do know is
I received a bigger blessing than I gave.
If you or a loved one would like more information on combating isolation and loneliness, give
us a call at (269) 966-2450 or 1-800-626-6719. We can let you know of available programs in
our community to become more engaged with your peers. Call us, we’re here to help!

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