Aging Well October 4th

The mornings are darker, the days wetter and sooner or later Oregon State will win a football game. So what time is it? Howdy Dowdy time? Miller time? No, it is Medicare open enrollment time! – the time to change your health plan or drug coverage. Open enrollment begins early this year on October 15th and ends December 7th. (The new timeline is to ensure Medicare has enough time to process any changes before coverage begins on Jan. 1.) But don’t panic. You have time and there is help to guide you through the annual renewal period for your Medicare benefits.

The go-to person in this area for free, unbiased, one-on-one assistance is Jean Hockman at the Area Agency on Aging. She and her bevy of volunteers will be providing help at the Center every Wednesday from 1:30 – 4:00 during the enrollment period, but you will need to call her at 541-298-4101 to make an appointment. (Or you can call the Center at 541-296-4788.) Jean and I have also tentatively scheduled SHIBA’s (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) training on the “A,B,C and Ds of Medicare” for Wednesday October 12th starting at 1:30 in the afternoon. This training was well attended last year and covers all the basics of Medicare and is particularly helpful for the “newbies” to Medicare.

But most importantly, SHIBA suggests you make sure you keep the “Annual Notice of Change” letter from your insurance company. This letter outlines any changes to your Medicare benefits or costs in 2012 and is critical in deciding whether to change plans. And next week for folks, who are considering changing plans, I will share additional suggestions provided by SHIBA.

Since it is Medicare time, the 11:00 Tuesday lecture on the 11th will be a live Webinar (a one way seminar on the web) describing the changes in the Medicare 2012 enrollment period including what’s new and how to be savvy consumers. The webinar is sponsored by the National Council on Aging and covers what you should know about this annual enrollment period for Medicare.

Folks have been calling to find out when the Center will be offering flu shots – and now we have a date. On Thursday October 6th from 11:30 until 2:00, Marcia Medler and her associates from Visiting Health Services will be giving “guaranteed-to-be-painless” flu shots for your health and well being – conveniently at the back of the dining room. Just bring your Medicare card or otherwise the cost is $20.

Your last reminder. Don’t forget to bring a friend to the Baby Back Rib Dinner – a fundraiser for both Meals-on-Wheels and the Senior Center – this Friday from 5:00- 7:30 at the Center. It is only $12 for adults and $5 for children. We’ll be waiting for you!

On Wednesday October 5th, the Fellowship of Churches is sponsoring a presentation about the Carter Center – founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter. Barry Nickelsberg will discuss the Carter Center and its mission of “Waging Peace, Fighting Disease and Building Hope” starting at 5:30. The event will be held at the 1st United Methodist Church at 305 E 11th.

Tuesday night music on the 11th will feature Martin and Friends playing down-home hoe-down music for your listening and dancing pleasure. And tonight the crowd pleasing Strawberry Mountain Band will be entertaining the masses starting at 7:00. Everyone is invited and donations are always appreciated.

And from last week’s brain rattler, the wise man told the Arab sheik’s two sons to – switch camels. The two brothers then raced to the city because they were riding the other brother’s camel and wanted that camel to finish first.

It was in the television series “The Fugitive” that Dr. Richard Kimble played by David Janssen was accused of murdering his wife Helen Regan Kimble. (And the winning name drawn was Mary Davis.) This week’s “Remember When” question jumps from murder to science. Before there was Bill Nye the Science Guy, this 1951 – 1965 educational children’s show starred Don Herbert as a science hobbyist who would demonstrate various science experiments for the neighbor boy Jimmy. Again for five quilt raffle tickets, what was the name of this Saturday morning children’s television show? Email your answers to the, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with a vacuum sealed container of dihydrogen monoxide.

Well it’s been another week wondering to myself “Have I said that before?” Until we meet again, there is no reason why the second time around can’t be better than the first.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden

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