Page 15 - Senior Times South Central Michigan November 2020 - 27-11
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      Three Tips for Informed Medication Management
By: Karen Courtney, MMAP Counselor, PATH Facilitator, CareWell Services SW
My Medicare Matters Make Your Benefits Counseling Appointment Today!
By: Karen Courtney, Regional MMAP Coordinator, CareWell Services SW
Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plan Open Enrollment phone appointments are available at local MMAP Offices:
• CareWell Services SW – 800-803-7174, for Battle Creek area
• Calhoun County Office of Senior Services – (269) 781- 0846 for Marshall area
• Forks Senior Center – (517) 629-3842 for Albion and surrounding area.
• Albion Healthcare Alliance – (517) 629-5080 in Albion.
• Barry Commission on Aging – (269) 948-4856 in Hastings for Barry County residents.
Senior Times - November 2020
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   Medication management can be a challenge at any age. There are tools and resources available to help.
Your pharmacist can be your
best help for managing dosing schedules, as most pharmacies now offer some type of blister- pack medication packaging.
They can sort prescriptions and vitamins/minerals into easy-open labelled packets for morning, midday, dinner time, and bedtime. Some pharmacies charge extra
or heart medication. Medicare covers this service for most beneficiaries.
Be your own Advocate!
 Be a Savvy Shopper (Know Your Insurance)! Medicare beneficiaries can call their local State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP), which is
As a consumer, you need to know what you are taking and why.
Be your own advocate when prescribed a new medication. Ask your doctor what the medicine is supposed to do. Will it cure my medical condition? Will it slow down progression of a chronic condition? How will I know it is working? Will I feel different, or will we do lab tests to monitor if
it is working? How long will it take for the medication to begin working? Some medicines can take a month or more! Is there a generic form of this medication? Is there a cost-assistance program from the manufacturer? If I cannot afford
  called MMAP in Michigan. The Acronym stands for Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program. MMAP counselors will use the website to help
you discover which prescription programs will include your unique combination of medications.
for this service, you need to ask if there is a cost. Your pharmacy can also print out your complete medication list to carry with you. Keep a copy at home for caregivers, too!
 The website compares prices on medications, pharmacy networks, and more, so you don’t overpay.
If blister packaging isn’t for you, pill sorters and medication reminder phone alarm apps are also useful.
Connect with MMAP by calling 800-803-7174 in Battle Creek, (269) 781-0846 in Marshall, or (517) 529-3842 in Albion. The 800 number serves the entire state, geo-routing calls to the nearest MMAP regional office.
Your pharmacist can also provide medication therapy management. They will review all the meds and over the counters you are on, and guide you on
how to time taking those meds
so that they are best absorbed
and used by your body. The pharmacist can contact your doctors if any medications have been inadvertently doubled. For example, if your general doctor and your heart specialist each prescribed a similar blood pressure
it, what different medicine might I be able to use for this same health condition? These are all great questions to ask, even if you are already taking some medications. Medication management can
Partner with your Pharmacist. Another aspect
of Medication Management is scheduling. What do you take, and when? Should you take your medication with food or without?
Make Time for Self-Care During Quarantine
By: Paulette Porter, Program Manager, Special Initiatives, CareWell Services SW
It is easy to get lost in the noise of television, social media, and everything going on around us. You are not alone in this.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, remember that taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally plays a big part in your overall health. Ongoing stress makes us more susceptible to mental health problems and chronic diseases, and it can make pre-existing issues even worse. Even short periods of quarantine can be linked with PTSD, depression, confusion, and anger. It is common and totally normal to feel afraid and stressed during
a pandemic. But taking time to focus on yourself can help ease those feelings. Managing your stress, fear, and anxiety, are of utmost importance.
Call today to set your appointment. Open enrollment runs through December 7, 2020, for coverage beginning January 1, 2021.
 be a challenge, but comparison shopping for your insurance, partnering with your pharmacist, and being your own advocate will empower you to take control!
Knowing your gross income and assets will allow MMAP to screen you for money-saving programs, which can reduce your costs for premiums and copays.
  Here are some things you can do to take care of yourself during
Eat well. Eating healthy meals and savoring each bite is an
Remember you are not alone! Call CareWell Services, we are here to help! (269) 441-0930.
this time:
Move! Walking, either indoors
important part of self-care. Making space on your plate for colorful fruit and vegetables means you
are making space for vitamins and nutrients! A nutritious diet reduces the risk of chronic diseases and helps our bodies and brains function at their best level.
Information you’ll need for your appointment:
• Your Medicare Card (Red, White & Blue Card) and any other insurance cards you use.
• A print out of your CURRENT prescription medications or actual bottles. Include prescribed eyedrops, inhalers, skin creams, and injectables. The dosage is needed for each medicine.
• If you have set up your own username and password at, counselors will need that information to help you. If MMAP created your account last season, they can look it up, or can create one with your authorization.
Alternate ways to do comparisons include going online at, or phoning 1-800-Medicare.
or out, can boost your immune system. If walking is difficult, even moving your arms and tapping your toes will help! If your doctor approves, there are many low impact exercises
that you can find on the internet for free.
Practice gratefulness. Start each day making a list of everything you are grateful for. Connect with an old friend by phone or email, or better yet, write them a letter. Finding a connection with family, friends, neighbors, and even pets can help all of us feel less isolated in quarantine and in normal, daily life. FaceTime, Skype, phone, or text can give you the connection you are craving without risking community spread.
Have fun! Make time for projects that make you happy: reading, writing, knitting, crafts, cooking, listening to or playing music. Having a creative outlet can build well-being and help us manage our emotions.
 Meditate. Meditation or mindfulness are just fancy
words for breathing. Just five minutes each day of focused deep breathing can slow your heart rate, clear your mind, and buffer stress. You can also take a bath or read a book to help relax.
If you do go out, always remember your mask and wash your hands often!

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