County senior testifies at Senate hearing on the impact of falls prevention programs

Ellen Williams, Health and Wellness Program Manager of the County of Delaware Services for the Aging, and hearing witness, Virginia Demby, of Chester PA pose with Senator Bob Casey in hearing room.

 

During a recent hearing, the Aging Committee released a recent report outlining the health and economic impact of falls.  Virginia Demby, an 84 year-old retired nurse from Chester, explained how she is working to help spread the word about falls prevention classes. Ms. Demby is not only a participant in these classes, she is working to spread the word on the benefits of these classes and the impact they have had on her life.

To learn more about COSA's Health and Wellness Program and programs offered, click on the Community Services box on the COSA homepage and then click on Health and Wellness.

 

Posted 10/25/19


Phone Scam Alert

Delaware County Park Police has received reports regarding scam phone calls originating from unknown phone numbers, or possibly a "spoofed" number, appearing to be from the Sheriff's Office.

The scammers may represent themselves as a County employee. In the most recent case, the caller used the name of a Park Police Officer. The scammers tell the target that there is a warrant for their arrest, or they are subject to arrest for failing to appear for jury duty.

Typically, the scammers will request payment of some type, often MoneyPak, GreenDot, or some other type of prepaid money, or gift card as payment to avoid arrest. They may also ask for personal information including a social security number and/or bank account information.

Residents who receive this type of call are advised to hang up and not give any personal information, account information, or purchase any type of money card, or gift card if requested to do so over the telephone.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office or Jury Services will never contact anyone by telephone and ask for personal account information, or payment of any kind to avoid jury duty or arrest.

If you receive a call, please contact your local police.

 

Posted 10/17/19


Residents requested to complete survey on health-related needs in Delaware County

Survey is expected to be available from October 15, 2019-January 31, 2020.

Please type the link in your browser to access survey.


Ways to Make the World a Better Place for Seniors

By 2050, the senior population (adults age 65 and older) will be more than double that of the world's youngest citizens and the number of people living beyond age 80 is expected to triple over the next 30 years.

As the aging population increases, some 11.3 million seniors are living alone, according to the Institute on Aging.

Without proper support, seniors may face a wide range of issues including limited mobility, chronic conditions, improper nutrition and feelings of loneliness.

While anyone can benefit from a kind gesture, seniors are some of the most-in-need members in many communities.

Small gestures, like simple acts of kindness, can go a long way toward improving a senior's day.

To read the full article titled Ways to Make the World a Better Place for Seniors, click here.

Posted 9/30/19


A New Wave of Caregivers: Men

Did you know that of the 40 million family caregivers in America, nearly half of them are men?

According to Jean Accius of AARP, they are husbands taking care of spouses or partners, sons taking care of Mom or Dad, friends taking care of neighbors.

Also, According to PHI, a national research and advocacy organization that promotes quality care for older adults and people with disabilities, the home care work force has already doubled in size over the past 10 years, and the demand is only going to grow. But, there aren't enough workers to meet the need.

Making the profession more attractive to men is one way to fill the gap.

To read more of this article, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/opinion/male-care-giver.html

Posted 9/26/19


APPRISE available to assist during Medicare Open Enrollment October 15-December 7

The annual Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on October 15 and continues until December 7. For 2020 coverage, open enrollment will run from October 15, 2019 to December 7, 2019.

During the annual enrollment period (AEP), you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage. It is important to review your coverage for the upcoming year as there may be changes with premiums, copays, medications covered, and providers in network. Be sure to review the "Annual Notice of Change" sent to you by your insurance provider.

During Medicare Open Enrollment:

  • You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa.
  • You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
  • And if you didn't enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during general open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.

APPRISE is a free, trusted resource to assist you in enrolling in the most comprehensive coverage available. APPRISE services are available to individuals 65 and over and those under 65 who are disabled and receiving Medicare.

APPRISE counselors and volunteers are specially trained by representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

To view a list of dates, times, and locations for Medicare Individual Counseling sessions, Medicare Update Presentations, Medicare Advantage Health Plan and Part D Prescription Plan Comparisons, and upcoming Health Fairs where APPRISE representatives will be present, click here.

 

Posted 9/25/19


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 www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults

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 http://www.chespenn.com/ 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.

To view an "Adults 65 and Older Need a Flu Shot" fact sheet, click here

To view fun, animated videos about different diseases and the shots that protect you from them, click below.

Pneumococcal vaccines

Whooping Cough vaccines

Shingles vaccines

Revised 8/16/19


Athletes "Compete, Connect, Conquer" at the 2019 Senior Games

The 29th annual Delaware County Senior Games, held June 10-21 at 12 separate venues across the county, were an overwhelming success with 680 participants ages 50 and older. The games featured ten days of competitive events, medal presentations, and inspiring performances from the participants, who perseveringly competed despite some hot, humid, and threatening weather.

The Delaware County Senior Games are sponsored by Delaware County Council, the Department of Parks and Recreation, Destination Delco, and the County of Delaware Services for the Aging. The games are held yearly at the start of the summer and all residents aged 50 and older are encouraged to participate.

This year's theme for the games was "Compete, Connect, Conquer."

Darts made a return this year and Cornhole was introduced as an exhibition.

The most popular events were Singles and Doubles Bowling with 130-134 bowlers competing at Sproul Lanes in Springfield, Miniature Golf at Putt-Putt Fun Center in Clifton Heights with 121 golfers, and Track and Field at Garnet Valley High School with 142 participants. Of the 680 participants, 1 was 103 years old, 20 were in their 90's, 123 were in their 80's, and 254 were in their 70's. Participants included 374 men and 306 women.

To view photos of the games and a list of medalists visit www.delcoseniorgames.org.

Thank you to RADNOR STUDIO 21, INC for coming out to the games and producing a video highlighting the 2019 Delaware County Senior Games.

To view the video, click on the link below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv6uItHj7v0

 

posted 7/9/19


Scam Calls Targeting Recipients of Property Tax & Rent Rebates

 The Department of Revenue issued a warning to Pennsylvanians to be cautious of a scam targeting seniors and people with disabilities who receive rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The department received information this week that the scam consists of unsolicited telephone calls from a person claiming to work for the Department of Revenue. The caller starts the call by saying the recipient's application for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been approved. The called then asks if the recipient would like the rebate deposited directly into a bank account. That is followed by a request for the recipient's banking information.

 Revenue Secretary, Dan Hassell, wants the public to be aware of this scam and to know that the Department of Revenue does not make unsolicited calls requesting banking information. 

Here is some additional information and tips to safeguard against this scam.

  • The Department of Revenue DOES NOT collect applicants' banking information over the phone. Applicants are required to submit their account information on their application forms in order to receive their rebates through direct deposit.
  • The Department of Revenue DOES contact applicants via automated calls to confirm their information has been received and approved. If the department needs more information about an individual's application, it sends a letter through the mail. 
  • Do NOT give out personal information over the phone to unsolicited callers, even if the caller claims to be from the Department of Revenue, the IRS, or your bank.
  • Do not trust the number you see on your caller ID, even if it appears to be coming from the Department of Revenue or the IRS. Scam artists increasingly use a technique known as spoofing to trick caller ID.
  • Legitimate businesses and government agencies will not contact you to verify your account information, so ask for a call back number. Ask why your personal information is needed, how it will be used, how it will be protected, and what happens if you do not share it. Contact your bank or credit card company to verify the call.
  • If you received one of these scam calls and provided your banking information or other personal information, immediately call your bank to report this potential fraud. 

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is a program that annually provides property tax and rent relief to income-eligible seniors and people with disabilities. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.  The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. 

Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information on the Department of Revenue's website or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190. The application deadline for rebates on rent or property taxes paid in 2018 has been extended to December 31, 2019.

 

 

Posted 6/25/19


Social Security Scam Alert

The Federal Trade Commission is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money.

In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social Security number is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. He will ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

In other variations, he says that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. He also might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that he’ll tell you how to keep it safe. 

All of these are scams. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The SSA will never call and ask for your Social Security number. It will not ask you to pay anything. It won’t call to threaten your benefits.
  • Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213), but that’s not the real SSA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. You cannot trust what you see there.
  • Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you in this way. Do not confirm the last 4 digits. Do not give a bank account or credit card number – ever – to anybody who contacts you by phone asking for it.
  • Remember that anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash is always a scammer no matter who they say they are.

If you’re worried about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, get off the phone. Then call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

If you have spotted a scam, then tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

To learn more, you can go to Fake Calls about your SSN.

Posted 2/6/19


Senate Aging Committee has released its 2018 Fraud Book

The Senate Aging Committee has released its 2018 Fraud Book. The book includes tips on how to avoid scams, lists the top ten scams targeting our nation's seniors, and lists fraud resources.

To view the book, visit https://www.aging.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018%20Fraud%20Book.pdf

Posted 3/20/18


Annual Plan and Budget Summary 2018-2019

County of Delaware Services for the Aging

Annual Plan and Budget Summary

2018-2019

click here

Posted 10/11/18


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.

Revised 10/4/17


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


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 www.fairacres.org 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 socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. (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 www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, 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


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.