<b>Need Help with
By Debbie Ludington/Long Term Care Coordinator, City of Alexandria</b>
The new Medicare Prescription benefit is here, and if you get Medicare, there's a lot you need to know. As part of its ongoing outreach efforts, the Department of Human Services, Office of Aging and Adult Services, will be offering several opportunities to get information and assistance regarding this very complicated new plan offered by the Federal Government.
Plans are underway to provide information and one-to-one counseling for any Alexandria resident that wants to learn more about this complicated program. If you have just a few questions, or want to talk with a trained staff or volunteer about your particular situation, the opportunity is just around the corner.
Stay tuned for a feature article coming soon that will list many dates and times when you can get answers to your questions and personal assistance. If you can't wait, please call the Office of Aging and Adult Services to get a listing of the dates once they are finalized. The main number is 703-838-0920, or TTY 703-836-1493.
<b>Emergency Meals Available
By Barbara Ravenell/Nutritionist</b>
The recent hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, left thousands of people without food, water and power. What would you do this fall or winter if you didn't have power, or the streets are snow covered and driving to the grocery store is difficult? Now is the time to think ahead and prepare for the unexpected.
The Alexandria Office of Aging and Adult Services has an emergency meal program offering seniors age 60 and over the opportunity to purchase meals to have on hand for emergencies such as bad weather or power outages.
The meals come packaged with five meals in each box, and will be delivered right to your door. All foods are shelf stable, which means they will last for at least a year and don't need refrigeration. None of the food needs to be heated or cooked, so the only thing needed is a manual can opener and utensils.
The meals can be ordered each month, or order several to keep on hand. Experts suggest having food and water on hand for at least three days. The five-meal pack can be purchased for $20, which includes delivery to your door.
To order emergency meals, or for more information, please call the Office of Aging and Adult Services at 703-838-0920, or TTY at 703-836-1493.
<b>TURNING STRANGERS INTO FRIENDS</b>
As the elderly become frail and infirm, it is often necessary to engage live-in caregivers for them. Often, the arrangement starts out as part time. Later, a live-in caretaker may be needed. Live-in caregivers attend to the needs of their clients in many ways. Not all frailty and infirmity is physical. Some is mental. The incidence of reported dementia in aged persons is increasing. As family members see their loved one "die a little bit" each day, the resulting stress can sometimes be overwhelming. This is an area where a live-in caretaker can help.
These caregivers provide family members respite from the energy draining work of caring for those with dementia, who often lose the ability to perform activities of daily living. A live-in caregiver can step in to help the person to dress, eat, bathe, groom, toilet and remain secure. Some live-in caregivers prepare meals and help to organize and manage the many details of keeping a home. And they can make sure the person takes their medications, grocery shop for them, be there to help them avoid falls, and provide companionship.
Senior Services of Alexandria's In-Home Care service can refer a caregiver to a family usually within a day or two of receiving request. Family members, or the person who needs the help, can then interview each prospective caregiver and make a selection.
A call to the In-Home Care Program at 703-894-0311 begins the process.
<b>A DAY OF FUN
By Kim Taylor-Davis</b>
On Aug. 4, the participants, staff and volunteers of the Alexandria Adult Day Services Center (ADSC) traveled to Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Md. to watch the Bowie Baysox play against the Norwich Navigators. The ASDC participants shared a skybox with residents of Prince George's County's Brighton Gardens Assisted Living and Sunrise. They had a wonderful buffet lunch, shared stories and played Bingo with newfound friends. They even met a man who once lived and worked here in the Del Ray area. They all shared a common connection, the love of baseball. Many participants could not remember the last time they had been to a baseball game and there were some who had never been at all. Everyone had a great time and many are looking forward to the next time they might have a chance to come out and cheer on their favorite baseball team.
The Alexandria Adult Day Services Center's mission is to provide a safe environment and to maintain or improve the physical health, mental functioning, and daily living skills of Alexandria residents 55 and older who need supportive services during the day. Meals, medical supervision and enriching activities are only some of the services provided. The program also gives caregivers a chance to enjoy some well-deserved time of their own. If you or someone you know are in need of these services, please give The Adult Day Services Center a call at 703-838-4224. Limited space is now available for new participants. Program fees area extremely affordable so don't hesitate.