COSA - County of Delaware Office of Services for the Aging

Home Contact Us
Wednesday, September 20, 2017


National Suicide Prevention Week

The week of September 10th-16th is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week, with September 10th marking World Suicide Prevention Day.  This year’s theme is “Take a minute, change a life.” Suicide is a leading cause of death among the elderly population. Suicide rates for men rise with age, most significantly after 65. The rate of suicide in men 65 and older is five times that of females who are 65 and older. The suicide rates for women peak between the ages of 45-49 years old. About 60 percent of elderly patients who take their own lives see their primary care physician within a few months of their death. Of every 100,000 people ages 65 and older, 16.1 died by suicide in 2013. This figure is higher than the national average of 13 suicides per 100,000 people in the general population. Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death, most commonly a depressive disorder or substance abuse disorder. Every day, approximately 112 Americans take their own life, and 2,800 attempt to do so. (Resource:  American Association of Suicidality, National Institute of Mental Health, CDC)                                      

 Warning signs that someone may be considering suicide are:  

  • Talking about suicide, wanting to die, kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling worthless, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Suddenly happier and calmer, especially after a period of depression or sadness
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Getting affairs in order, making arrangements
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Acting anxiously or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Crisis Centers in Delaware County:  There are 2 walk-in crisis centers in Delaware County:

  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center - 610-447-7600
  • Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital – 610-237-4210
  • Delaware County Crisis Connection Team (DCCCT) 24 hours, 7 days a week mobile outreach crisis service – 1-855-889-7827


Here is more information about suicide prevention:

 Prevent Suicide PA

 Jana Marie Foundation

 Delaware County Suicide Prevention Awareness and Task Force

Posted 9/11/17

Scam Alert: Callers pose as Social Security Administration employees

Gale Stallworth Stone, the acting inspector general of Social Security, is warning citizens about a scheme which criminals try to defraud people out of their Social Security checks. The scheme goes something like this: Someone posing as a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee calls from a phone number with a 323 area code. In some cases, the swindler tells the victim they are due a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment increase in their Social Security benefits.

The impersonator asks the victim to verify all of his or her personal information, including name, date of birth, and Social Security Number, in order to receive the increase. If the impostor is able to acquire this data, the person can use it to contact the SSA and request changes to the victim's direct deposit, address and phone number.

According to the warning, the SSA will sometimes reach out to citizens by phone for customer service purposes, but the agency's reps will not ask for personal information this way. Anyone who receives a suspicious call is encouraged to report it to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at

The SSA also operates a toll-free customer service  number for anyone with questions or concerns (1-800-772-1213), which can be contacted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call Social Security at 1-800-325-0778.

Stone continues to warn citizens to be cautious and to avoid providing information such a SSN and bank account numbers to unknown individuals over the phone or the internet unless they are absolutely certain of who is receiving these personal details.

Posted 9/11/17

New Medicare cards are coming

To help protect your identity, Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that's unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help protect your identity.

Things to know about your new Medicare card:

  • You don't need to take any action to get your new Medicare card.
  • The new card won't change your Medicare coverage or benefits.
  • Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.
  • There's no charge for your new card.

Watch for scams!

Scam artists may try to get your current Medicare Number and other personal information by contacting you about your new Medicare card. They often claim to be from Medicare and use various scams to get your Medicare Number including:

  • Asking you to confirm your Medicare or Social Security Number so they can send you a new card.
  • Telling you there is a charge for your new card and they need to verify your personal information.
  • Threatening to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your Medicare Number or other personal information.

If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare Number or other personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

For additional information, go to

Posted 9/11/17

The Importance of Talking to Kids About Drugs

Everyone has a role in fighting the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that is having a devastating impact on our communities. As children are going back to school, the Delaware County Heroin Task Force urges grandparents to talk to kids about the dangers of drugs. Having candid and open discussions with kids is the key to prevention.

To view a message on how to talk to kids about drugs, visit

For information regarding the Delaware County Heroin Task Force, prevention, treatment, and recovery, visit


Posted September 1, 2017

Scam Alert involving Meals on Wheels

The Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies of Aging (P4A) has been made aware of a scam involving Meals on Wheels. The incident did not occur in Delaware County; however, we'd like consumers to be made aware of the scam and of the importance of not giving personal information out over the phone and to those you do not personally know.

In this case, a home-bound consumer received a phone call from someone saying they were from "Meals on Wheels" and began requesting personal information. The caller knew the individual's name, her son's name, and the name of the bank she dealt with. The caller asked several personal questions about home ownership, bank balances, etc. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THIS WAS NOT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MEALS ON WHEELS PROGRAM IN THAT COUNTY!

Again, this did not occur in Delaware County, but we are passing the information along as a precaution.

 If you experience a similar situation, do not hesitate to contact the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) at 610-490-1300.

Posted August 22, 2017


August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The purpose of National Immunization Awareness Month is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.

Vaccination is important because it protects the person receiving the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable to serious complications (such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acute respiratory infections, including pneumonia and influenza, are the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 56,000 deaths annually. On average, influenza leads to more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year.

Vaccinations can provide protection against the flu, pneumococcal bacteria, and shingles.

All adults should get vaccines to protect their health.  It is critical for individuals over the age of 65 to be current with their immunizations as their immune systems can be weaker especially if diagnosed with a chronic condition. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others.

Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor's office, pharmacy, or other visits with health care providers. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person's age, occupation, or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, or heart disease).

To learn about which vaccines are recommended for you, where to find vaccines, how to pay for vaccines, and other resources, visit

Locally, the State Health Center in Delaware County offers vaccines to adults who do not have insurance or whose insurance doesn't cover the cost of the vaccine.

Delaware County State Health Center

Suite 1   151 W. Fifth Street           Chester PA  19013-4415

610-447-3250                     Fax:  610-447-3008

Also, you may visit to  inquire about free or low-cost vaccinations. 

To view a "You're Never Too Old to Get Immunized" brochure in one of 8 different languages, click here.



Revised 8/22/17

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program extends deadline to apply to December 31, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced that more than 438,000 older homeowners, renters, and people with disabilities across Pennsylvania will be issued rebates totaling $207 million, starting July 3, 2017, through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Property tax and rent rebate checks will be mailed beginning Monday, July 3, 2017, and should arrive in the claimant's mail over the next several days. The 163,000 homeowners and renters who opted to have rebates directly deposited into bank accounts should receive theirs by July 5th. "The Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program helped nearly half-a-million older adults and other eligible Pennsylvanians acquire a rebate for their property taxes or rent paid last year," said Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell. "The department recently extended deadline to apply for a rebate to December 31, and is encouraging all of those eligible to apply."

Rebates will continue to be distributed as claims are approved through the rest of the year.

Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information online at or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190.

It costs nothing to apply for a rebate, and free filing help is available at hundreds of locations across the commonwealth. Application forms and assistance are available at no cost from Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior community centers, and state legislators' offices.

Claimants who already applied for rebates may check the status of claims onine at or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.


Posted July 19, 2017

Delaware County Heat Plan and Resources

County agencies want residents to know that there are resources available that can help them cope with a heat wave. Delaware County has a heat emergency plan which includes a 24/7 heat hotline that runs from June to September, extended hours at senior centers, and outreach to vulnerable seniors. There are also a limited number of fans available for seniors who may need one. To inquire about a fan, call COSA at 610-490-1300.

The county heat plan can be viewed here.

The following are tips to reduce your risk of heat related illness:

  • Avoid spending much time outdoors during the heat of the day and remain in an air conditioned location such as a senior center, the mall, or library.
  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic liquids, especially water, frequently unless otherwise advised by your physician.
  • Reschedule activities for cooler times of the day.
  • Wear appropriate sunscreen protection and were light-colored, lightweight clothing.
  • Keep windows open, especially when using a fan for cooling.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Eat small light meals more often.
  • Consult with your physician if taking regular medication. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
  • Stay in contact with someone daily, especially if you live alone. If you know someone who lives alone, set up a buddy system and check on each other during the day.

 Posted June 26, 2017

PA Department of Agriculture Produce Vouchers

PA Department of Agriculture Produce Vouchers

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 60 years of age or older by December 31, 2017
  • Resident of Delaware County
  • Income Limits: 

           1 person $22, 311                                                          

           2 people $30,044                         

           3 people $37,777                         

           4 people $45, 510

These guidelines are subject to change. The federal guidelines that are in place the day of distribution will be those that are used.

  • Must present photo ID with name, address, and birthdate to receive vouchers.
  • Vouchers must be used by November 30, 2017

Other important information:

  • Participants will receive $20 in vouchers yearly.
  • If you are receiving a voucher for someone else, you must have a signed Proxy Form that must be picked up at the Senior Center before the voucher can be given to you. No more than 4 proxys can be signed by one person.
  • Vouchers cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.

 To view distribution sites, days, and times, click here and here.

To view and print a Proxy Form, click here.

To view a list of farmers markets in Delaware County where the vouchers can be used, click here.


Posted June 1, 2017




Social Security Express Desktop Icon

We are excited to announce that the Social Security Express Desktop Icon has now been added to our website. You will see the icon at the bottom right of our pages.

By clicking onto this icon, users will able to access specific portions of the Social Security Administration's website to conduct business and obtain forms. This icon adheres to the Social Security Administration's Privacy Policy.

eServices available from the Social Security Express icon are:

  • Sign in or create a my Social Security account allows users to: 

                    *get Social Security statements

                    *change an address

                    *change or start direct deposit

                    *print a benefit verification letter

                    *create an account/enter an activation code

  • Estimate retirement benefits
  • Request a replacement Medicare Card
  • get a 1099/1042 tax form

Posted 2/19/16



Do You Have Questions about Medicare?

APPRISE is the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) that was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to assist Medicare beneficiaries of any age understand their health insurance options. The Pennsylvania Deparment of Aging created APPRISE to help Pennsylvanians with Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance questions and/or concerns.

APPRISE Volunteers/Counselors are specially trained to provide unbiased Medicare and Medicaid health insurance information and Part D prescription information options to help individuals make informed decisions related to their healthcare needs.

The APPRISE Program Education and Counseling Services are FREE.

The APPRISE Program offers Medicare 101 sessions which explain the basics of Medicare A, B, C, and D. Medicare Individual Counseling Sessions assist the Medicare recipients with Medicare questions, concerns, enrollment into Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D Prescription Plans, Medicare Cost-Savings Programs, and Supplemental Plans. (complete Medicare 2016 schedule coming soon)

To view locations where you may schedule an individual counseling session, click here.

To view dates, times, and locations for program presentations and opportunities for individual counseling sessions, click here.

Revised 5/4/17





Help Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or family.

9% of Delaware County high school seniors reported using prescription narcotic drugs.

80% of new heroin users started by using prescription narcotics.

Help prevent the abuse of prescription drugs. Know the 5 rules of safe prescription medication use. To view more, click here.

To help reduce these statistics, Delaware County has 40 drop box locations throughout the county where you can drop off unused medications.  To view the location sites, click here.

Revised 6/27/16

Do You Have Medicare? A & B?

Did you know there are programs that could help you save money?

The Medicare Savings Programs help lower-income seniors and persons with disabilites pay for their Medicare Part B premium. Some individuals may also qualify for help with their Medicare deductibles and coinsurance.

The Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (also called "LIS" or "Extra Help") helps Medicare consumers dramatically lower their prescription drug costs and can help individuals save thousands of dollars per year.

To read about eligibility and how to apply for a Medicare Savings Program, click here.

To read about eligibility and how to apply for the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy, click here.



Revised 7/10/17

Dom Care Providers Needed

Do you have an extra room in your home?

Would you like to provide care to others in need?

COSA is looking for caring and compassionate individuals who have extra room in their homes and in their hearts to be Dom Care providers.

Dom Care is a supervised living arrangement in a personalized home environment. Dom Care providers assist with meals, medication, laundry, scheduling medical appointments, and transportation.

Providers must complete a certification process and, if approved, will receive a monthly non-taxable stipend. Single level homes, homes with a bedroom on the first floor, or handicap accessible homes are preferred.

If interested in becoming a Dom Care provider, contact the Coordinator at (610) 490-1300.



Posted 8/22/14


Aging at Home-A Community Network







From left:  Senior Community Services Executive Director Arthur Weisfeld, Councilman Dave White,Aging at Home Director Christine Rae Helmandollar, COSA Director Denise Stewart and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.          

Helping Seniors Stay in Their Homes

Delaware County Councilman Dave White joined District Attorney Jack Whelan and the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) in welcoming Senior Community Service's "Aging at Home" program to Ridley Township on Nov 14.  Since 1977 Senior Community Service has served thousands of Delaware County residents. One of their key services is the Aging at Home program, which helps seniors with daily tasks such as cleaning, home repairs and transportation. Details on their services can be found at


Are you 60 years or older and living in the Greater Lansdowne or Ridley areas?

Is anything preventing you from, or concerning you about, remaining in your own home?

We can help you!

Aging at Home-ACommunity Network is a community program coordinated locally by Senior Community Services. Through this program, caring professionals work with committed volunteers to bring services and peace of mind to you so that you may remain living safely in the comfort of your own home. Aging at Home provides a wide variety of at-home services such as door-through-door transportation, vetted home repair referrals and volunteer chore services.

To learn more about this program, click here.

Revised 11/28/16


Fair Acres offers new website as a resource

Fair Acres, Delaware County's skilled care facility in Middletown, has a new website that provides an informative and user-friendly resource for families looking for a nursing care facility for a loved one. The new website at gives residents detailed information on the facility, admission procedures, available services, volunteer opportunities, employment opportunities and contact information to arrange for a meeting or tour.

 Fair Acres provides individualized care to over 900 residents who range in age from young adults to seniors in their 100s.

People can download the admissions packet from the website to assist in gathering the necessary medical and financial information needed to apply for admission.

Fair Acres accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and private pay.

The new website has information on employment opportunities, such as dietary aide, and free Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training.

Fair Acres also has many volunteer opportunities and a Friends of Fair Acres committee.

There is also a section for news and events. To read more, click here.

Revised 9/26/16

Social Security Changes

Social Security logo.jpg

*Social Security announces as a result of Congress' approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget, the agency will expand its hours nationwide and offices will be open to the public for an additional hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, effective March 16, 2015. A field office that is usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will remain open until 4:00 p.m. Offices will continue to close to the public at noon every Wednesday so employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs. (updated 1/23/15)

*You may be aware that in 2011, the Social Security Administration stopped mailing the yearly statement that was sent out three months before a person's birthday month. However, beginning this month, they are resuming periodic mailings to workers age 18 and older, but it will be on a five-year basis rather than every year. People can view and print their statements at any time if they create a secure my Social Security account at (update received 9/16/14)

* A recent update states that Social Security WILL continue to provide benefit verification letters in their field offices until further notice. Individuals who can do so, should still create a my Social Security account. (update received 7/18/14)

Based on feedback received from many stakeholders, the Social Security Administration  decided to delay the implementation of two changes to later in this year.

Beginning August 2014, Social Security Number printouts will no longer be issued in field offices. Individuals who need proof of their Social Security Number and cannot find their card will need to apply for a replacement card.

In addition, beginning October 2014, benefit verification letters will not be provided in field offices, except in emergency situations. Benefit verifications are still available online, and can be obtained anytime by registering for a my Social Security account located at, or requested through the national toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213.

As of January 7th, 2013, the Social Security Administration has expanded services available with the my Social Security portal. Those who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are now able to request, as well as receive, benefit verification letters online. Additionally, beneficiaries who receive SSI can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record.

At each stage of your life my Social Security is for you. Your personal online my Social Security account is a valuable source of information beginning in your working years and continuing throughout the time you receive Social Security benefits.

If you receive benefits, you can:

Use a my Social Security online account to:

  • Get your benefit verification letter;
  • Check your benefit and payment information and your earnings record;
  • Change your address and phone number; and
  • Start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.

If you do not receive benefits, you can:

Use a my Social Security online account to get your Social Security Statement, to review.

  • Estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
  • Your earnings record; and
  • The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you've paid.

How do I create a my Social Security online account?

To create an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself and give answers to some questions that only you are likely to know. Next, you create a username and password that you will use to access your online account. This process protects you and keeps your personal Social Security information private. Click here for more information.

Revised 9/17/14

Yellow Dot Program Packets Available at COSA

 yellow dot (3).jpg

Yellow Dot in case of an emergency


Caption : Denise Stewart, director of the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA), shares information on the PennDOT Yellow Dot program with Delaware County Council Vice Chairman Mario J. Civera Jr., Council’s liaison to COSA, and Rob Reeder, president of the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council and director of Crozer-Keystone’s EMS South Unit. Motorists can provide key medical information in a Yellow Dot folder and put it in their glove compartment to assist emergency responders in the event of an accident. For information about the Yellow Dot program visit

Residents interested in participating in Pennsylvania's Yellow Dot Program may pick up a program packet at the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA), 206 Eddystone Avenue, 2nd floor.

This program was created to assist individuals in the event of a traffic accident emergency when they may not be able to communicate vital information to first responders.

The program packet includes a yellow decal to be placed in the vehicle's rear windshield. This decal alerts first reponders that there is vital information in the vehicle.  The yellow program folder with a personal information form is then placed inside the vehicle's glove compartment. The sheet includes emergency contact information and medical history.

For more information on the program, or to request a packet, visit  or click here to read more.

Updated 1/6/14

Free Shingles Vaccine Available

The Delaware County State Health Center in Chester is offering a free Shingles vaccine for underinsured or uninsured adults age 60 or older. Please call for an appointment. Limited supply of vaccine available. 

Delaware County State Health Center
151 W. 5th Street
Chester, PA 19013

COSA's 4-Year Plan

Click Here for COSA’s 4-Year Plan

Click Here for Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) Four Year Plan for the Period July, 1 2016 – June 30, 2020.