Social Services

Senior Monongalians is fortunate to have Deb Layman, MSW, our Social Services Coordinator and SHIP Counselor assist seniors and their families. Deb works with clients to understand & enroll in Medicare Part D, finding answers to Social Security questions, directing clients to utility assistance programs, senior housing options, and much more.

Important & Useful Links:

Medication Update

posted Apr 22, 2014, 5:08 AM by Senior Monongalians

A generic equivalent for the brand name medication Lunesta was approved for sale in the United States on April 15, 2014. If your current Part D plan covers Lunesta, it will more than likely cover the generic equivalent Eszopiclone in the near future. This could effect your coverage and could dramatically reduce your copayments. Please watch your mail for news from your Part D Supplier. If you have any questions about this medication or about your Medicare Part D, please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and assistance.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Warns Consumers to Avoid Fake Funeral Emails

posted Apr 10, 2014, 5:11 AM by Senior Monongalians

CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is alerting residents to a disturbing scam that’s been making its way around to inboxes across the country and region.

Scammers are sending fraudulent “funeral notice” e-mails to citizens with the hopes that the recipient will be curious or grief-stricken enough to blindly click on an embedded link in the hopes of getting information about their friend or relative’s “celebration of life” service. But instead of providing information on memorial services, the link enables the computer to be hijacked with malicious software.

“Scammers always seem to be looking for new ways to steal, but this really could be a new low,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Tricking people with fake death notices is really just despicable.”

Messages sent, which appear convincing, often contain the names, addresses and logos of local funeral homes, so the recipient of the email feels comfortable clicking through without much thought. However, once the reader clicks on the link, the computer becomes infected with malicious software that can steal personal and financial information and send it to other computers or send spam emails out on your behalf without your knowledge.

Should one of these messages appear in your inbox, don’t click through, click delete. If you want to verify information about a person’s death, you can call the funeral home directly to verify the information.

As a general reminder, it’s always a good idea to make sure your computer’s firewall and virus protection are up to date and always active; that you have a good pop-up advertisement blocker installed; and, that you don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t recognize.

If you have received one of these unsolicited email messages, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 to report it.


HHS announces important Medicare information for people in same-sex marriages

posted Apr 3, 2014, 10:37 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:06 AM ]

04/03/2014

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is now able to process requests for Medicare Part A and Part B Special Enrollment Periods, and reductions in Part B and premium Part A late enrollment penalties for certain eligible people in same-sex marriages. This is another step HHS is taking in response to the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Because of this ruling, Medicare is no longer prevented by DOMA from recognizing same-sex marriages for determining entitlement to, or eligibility, for Medicare.Read more about today's announcement. 

How the Silver Alert Program Works

posted Feb 6, 2014, 7:35 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:21 AM ]

Silver Alert is a program you hope you never need, but if you do, here’s what it is and how it works.  The Silver Alert Program allows law enforcement to issue alerts for adults with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders.  Silver Alert is similar to what most states

already have for children called Amber Alert. It is a system that uses the broadcast media to notify the general public and law enforcement when an adult with cognitive impairment (memory, thinking and reasoning problems) is missing.  The Alert will include a description of the person, anything you know about the circumstances of the person’s disappearance, and other information that the State Police may think is important and appropriate.  If a loved one with cognitive impairment wanders and becomes lost, call the State Police or local law enforcement to submit a missing person's report and ask them to activate Silver Alert.  (If the missing person’s report is filed with local law enforcement, ask them to forward the information to the State Police.  Silver Alert must be activated by the State Police.)

In addition to the broadcast media, the State Police will also notify the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and West Virginia Turnpike Commission.  If possible, through the use of their electronic signs, they can let motorists know that a Silver Alert is in progress.  They can provide information relating to the missing person and let motorists know how they may report any information they have to the State Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

For more information about Silver Alert or other tracking systems that help locate individuals with cognitive impairment, contact the Bureau of Senior Services, 1-877-987-3646.

Wandering Behavior – Preparing For & Preventing It

posted Jul 10, 2013, 10:33 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:05 AM ]

Alzheimer's disease causes millions of Americans to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. Six in ten people with Alzheimer's disease will wander. They may become disoriented and lost, even in their own neighborhoods. Although common, wandering behavior can be dangerous; if not found within 24 hours, up to half of those who wander risk serious injury or death.

 

Wandering is among the biggest challenges caregivers face.  Following are tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help you prepare for or prevent wandering behavior in loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia:

 

Who's at risk to wander?  Anyone who:

          Returns from a regular walk or drive later than usual.

          Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work.

          Tries to “go home” even when at home.

          Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements.

          Has difficulty locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom or dining room.

          Checks the whereabouts of familiar people.

          Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets done (e.g. moves around pots and dirt without planting anything).

          Feels lost in a new or changed environment.

 

Consider behavior

          Be aware of who is at risk for wandering.

          Identify the most likely times of day that wandering may occur; plan activities at that time.

          Provide opportunities for activities and exercise.

          When night wandering is a problem, make sure the person has restricted fluids two hours before bedtime and has gone to the bathroom just before bed. Limit daytime naps, if possible.

          Monitor reaction to medications. Consult a physician, if necessary.

          Use communication focused on validating feelings (not correcting) when the individual says that he or she wants to leave to go home or to work.

If wandering is in progress, use distraction to re-direct the individual's focus.

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