Mashpee Police Department’s Tip Of The Month

With the month of February comes frigid and often stormy weather. Here are some winter safety tips for seniors and their caregivers:

Take caution when walking around. Flat footwear with rubber soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather-soled or high-heeled shoes. Use handrails where you can. Take small steps to keep your center of balance under you and avoid carrying lots of heavy shopping bags, especially on steps.

Dress for the weather. Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature drops below normal and stays low for a prolonged period of time. With advancing age, the body’s ability to endure long periods of exposure to cold is lowered.

Check your car. Make sure your car’s registration and inspection is up-to-date, check your tires and have an emergency kit with portable phone charger, flashlight, snacks, blanket, extra clothes and an ice scraper for your vehicle.

Fight wintertime depression. Stay active and involved in your community. If you are feeling depressed, call your primary physician immediately. Call or text The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands at 1-877-870-HOPE (4673).

Prepare for power outages. Have on hand bottled water, blankets and warm layers, supply of medications, canned foods and a portable charger.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home.

If you have any questions on how you can stay safe this winter, contact Special Officer and advocate Tara Carline at 508-539-1480, extension 7253.

“Shifting Hope,” A Hospice Presentation

If you’ve cared for a loved one with a complex illness, you know what an ordeal it can be. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect or prepare for, or perhaps the goals of the medical provider may be different from our goals and the goals of our loved ones. This talk will provide strategies to help families struggling with decisions such as of treatment, medical interventions and others. It will provide valuable tools for communicating with medical providers to understand what is important to you. This talk will also give you the opportunity to ask a nurse practitioner specializing in palliative care questions relating to any aspect of the hospice journey. Join us on Wednesday, February 19, at 11 AM for this presentation.

AARP Tax-Aide Income Tax Preparation Program

Mashpee Senior Center is a site for the AARP Tax-Aide Income Tax Preparation Program that assists low- to moderate-income taxpayers with filing their federal and state returns. The following is a message from the volunteers who conduct this program.

The program has begun at the senior center, with the last available appointment on Monday, April 13. Appointments will be available on Mondays between 9:15 AM and 2 PM and on Fridays between 9:15 AM and 2 PM.

Making Appointments: Call the senior center at 508-539-1440 to schedule your appointment. You will be given an appointment time; no special requests for a particular tax preparer will be taken. After making your appointment, be sure to stop by the senior center to pick up the income tax questionnaire. Fill out the questionnaire and bring it to your appointment. Appointments are limited. Book yours for as soon as you think you will have all of your tax documents.

What are you required to bring to your appointment? Your Social Security card and a photo ID, the completed questionnaire, a copy of your 2018 federal and state tax returns with schedules and supporting documents (very important as we may not be able to properly prepare your return without them) as well as all of your 2019 tax-related documents. If you wish your refund to be direct deposited (recommended), bring a check for the account to which you want the funds deposited.

About your appointment: You will be contacted by phone before your appointment to confirm your attendance. If you don’t confirm your attendance, we will not be able to guarantee your appointment. If you have any questions regarding this program, bring them to your appointment as the Mashpee Senior Center staff is not able to answer tax questions.

As appointments are limited, it is important that you have all documentation with you at the time of your appointment. There will be limited opportunity to reschedule.

Fit & Strong! For Men

Fit & Strong! is an evidence-based, multiple-component exercise program. This session will run from Thursday, February 27, through the end of May and is held at 2 PM on Mondays and Thursdays. The program combines flexibility, strength training and aerobic walking with health education for sustained behavior change among older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis. This men-only class is a 12-week program that improves lower extremity stiffness, lower extremity pain, lower extremity strength, aerobic capacity, participation in exercise and caloric expenditure, self-efficacy for exercise. The program is presented by the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod. Registration is required. Call Amy from VNA at 508-957-7423 to sign up. Please be aware that a physician release is required in advance before you can participate.

Regional SHINE Program

The Mashpee Council on Aging provides space to the regional SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) program for their counselors to meet with Mashpee seniors at the senior center. The counselors are here on a limited basis.

Medicare Savings Programs: Because of a new state law, Massachusetts is expanding several Medicare Savings Programs (also known as “MassHealth Buy-In” programs). These programs help older residents and people living with disabilities save money on their Medicare coverage. If you are a Massachusetts resident with limited income and assets who is eligible for Medicare, you may qualify for a Medicare Savings Program that will pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium, which is now deducted from your Social Security benefit.

The income and asset limits for the Medicare Savings Programs increased with the start of 2020. If you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you will also automatically qualify for Extra Help, a program that will help pay for your prescription drugs under Medicare. For more information, contact your local SHINE counselor at the senior center or the regional SHINE office at 508-375-6762. You can also contact MassHealth directly to request a MassHealth Buy-In application at 1-800-841-2900 or download one from https://tinyurl.com/MassMSP.

Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of Medicare and related health insurance programs. Call Mashpee Senior Center to schedule a SHINE appointment at 508-539-1440. Remember to bring your list of current medications to your appointment. For Mashpee residents, for more information on these programs or assistance with any Medicare issue, a Barnstable County SHINE counselor is placed once each week at the Mashpee senior center. If you are a resident of a town other than Mashpee, call your town for SHINE locations/appointments. If you need immediate help or have an urgent question, contact Barnstable County Regional SHINE at 508-375-6762; or 508-362-5885 TTY.

Parkinson Support Network Of Cape Cod

Join us at the senior center on Thursday, February 20, and on the second Thursday of each month at 10 AM for a support group for persons affected by Parkinson’s disease. All are welcome. Further information is available by contacting Jeanne Jackson at 508-367-4267.

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