Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - December 2017 - 24-12
P. 14

Page 14
Senior Times - December 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 sessions.
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 relationships, decrease isolation and provide a safe place to vent. Support groups build on collective energy, creativity, and the talents of all group members. The next meeting is:
December 7, 2017, 9-3pm.
It will be our Annual Blanket Making Meeting and an RSVP by 11/30/17 is required-space is limited, so call early! Consider visiting a support group. You won’t regret it!
• On Monday, December 18, Jane Wolf will discuss “Parenting the High Needs Child” at the Family Enrichment Center from 6:30 until 8:30pm.
• There will be no “Saturday Parenting Series” training during the month of December.
• Our Brown Bag Lunch is sched- uled for December 14, 2017, from 12-1pm, at the Family Enrichment Center as well.
• We also provide respite for our Kinship families when it all becomes too much to handle!
Our Fostering Community Holiday Party will be on December 20 at the Kool Family Center. Call (269) 660- 0448 by 12/15/17 to pre-register
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 bbrinks@ 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!
My Medicare Matters - Open Enrollment Wrap-Up and Medigaps
By Karen Manney, Regional Coordinator, MMAP
The MMAP office is wrap- ping up counseling sessions for the annual Part D and Medicare Advantage Plan Open Enrollment period, which ends December 7. Persons with “Extra Help” can change their Part D or Medicare Advantage plans at any time dur- ing the year.
This is the time of year we
also get many questions about Supplemental, or Medigap policies. These policies can be bought or switched at any time
of year. However, if you want to leave “original Medicare” and
go to a Medicare Advantage plan instead, than you must make the change during open enrollment.
Medigap policies can help
pay what’s left over after Medicare pays its 80% of your Medical costs. See page 80 of your Medicare and You 2018 Handbook for the chart indicat- ing what is paid by each type of Medigap plan. MMAP can give you contact information for the Medigap/Supplement insurance companies, and price ranges for each type of plan. It is up to you to call the various plans and com- pare their prices, or see an insur- ance broker to do this. Medigap companies can refuse to insure you, based on pre-existing condi- tions, once you are beyond your initial 6-month “guarantee issue” period. You may need to apply to several.
The Michigan Medigap Subsidy may be available to help pay premium costs. To get the subsidy of $40-$125 per month, you need to: Be a Michigan resi- dent and have an annual house- hold income of $26,730 or less for one person ($2227.50/month), or $36,045 or less for two people ($3003.75/month). You must have a policy with one of the four participating insurers: Blue Care Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Priority Health, or United Healthcare AARP. Apply online at or by calling 1-866-824-9772.
Local MMAP offices are at
the Kool Family Center in Battle Creek, Forks Senior Center in Albion, Calhoun County Office of Senior Services at the County Building in Marshall, or the Barry County Commission on Aging in Hastings. Reach MMAP at 1-800-803-7174.
Keep the Season Joy-Full, Not Joy-Less
By: Stacy Wines, Program Manager, CareWell Services SW
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of celebration when we see those we know the best, give generously to those we do not know, and immerse ourselves in extravagance of sites and sounds. But for many people, especially older adults, it can be
a stressful time. No matter how much you would like to hibernate until Mr. Groundhog sees his shadow, consider some ways
to reduce anxiety and make the season more manageable for you or those in your care.
All the things that make this time of year “The Season” are
the same things that cause us to want to pull those covers over
our heads each day. Shopping, traveling, FOOD – with some modifications and planning ahead it will help us recall what this time of year really means for each of us:
Shopping: Shop ‘til you drop isn’t the best choice to manage stress. Consider alternatives to fighting crowds and traveling on winter roads. Catalog or online shopping is a great way purchase gifts. If you are unfamiliar with the internet, ask grandkids or a neighborhood teenager to help you. It can make for a great
time with a younger person and help ease the strain of holiday shopping. If finances are tight, talk with those with whom you exchange gifts. Consider drawing names or scaling down your purchases.
Traveling: The most important stress reducer related to traveling is to take your time. Allow extra time for your journey. Consider arriving earlier than the main celebration or event to allow
time for recovery from the travel. This can be especially helpful
if you travel a long distance. It may also give you an opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones and participate in the preparations. You may consider asking family members to pick you up if you are concerned about driving this winter season.
Food, food, and more food:
With so much going on, it is hard to focus on eating right. Plus, who can live without
those wonderful Christmas nougats and brightly decorated Christmas cookies? Plan ahead and make wiser choices before the celebration. For instance, eat a light breakfast the day of the celebration. Eat those treats that you just can’t live without and
pass by the others. Also, ensure you are hydrating yourself well. Dehydration is a major trigger for what we call hunger pangs.
The time when you get together with family can provide opportunity to talk to your older relatives about how they are doing. It can also be a time to watch for signals that they may need additional assistance. Some signs to watch for include:
• Changes in eating habits – including weight gain/loss or change in appetite.
• Neglected personal hygiene including nails, teeth and bathing. These can be signs of depression or that the older person may need assistance in their home because of illness or limited mobility.
• Lack of/or decrease of home maintenance. If Grandma’s house doesn’t seem quite as neat as you remember, see if she may need some help.
• Mobility difficulty, general weakness or forgetfulness. These can sometimes be signs of having had a stroke or being at risk for a stroke, as well as other conditions.
• Unopened mail, missed appointments, mishandled finances, unusual purchases, or a significant change in where things are kept in the home. This can be a sign of the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
You may notice your older loved one having declined since your last visit or having unmet needs; perhaps the primary caregiver is stressed and could use support. Our Resource Specialists are available to help you assess what programs your loved ones may qualify for and help navigate the caregiving journey. Call us, we’re here to help!
Learning to weed through the blitz of activity and concentrating on those things that are most meaningful, the holidays don’t have to leave you stressed.
This time in December has significance to each of us for different reasons. For some it’s the gathering with loved ones, for others it’s the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, for others to recall the importance of events long past, or for some giving to those less fortunate. Know the meaning of the season to you. With some planning and changes in expectations, it can remain a time filled with joy.

   12   13   14   15   16