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Blair Senior Services, Inc. Hosts June Volunteer In-Service

Blair Senior Services, Inc. Hosts June Volunteer In-Service

Blair Senior Services, Inc. held its monthly in-service for Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion volunteers on June 19, 2019. The in-service was hosted at the Hollidaysburg American Legion Post 516 Social Hall, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. During the in-service, volunteers received updates on specific programs, new volunteers were introduced and they gained beneficial information from several speakers throughout the in-service.

Volunteers received information and were able to learn more about the REAL ID Act from Matthew Becker from the PA Department of Transportation. Volunteers also had the opportunity to hear Donna Gibbs, RN, BSN, Rehabilitation Liaison from Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona, speak about how they can aid in getting their companions the help they need.

“Part of what I do is complete evaluations for patients who could benefit from an in-patient stay at Encompass Health,” Gibbs said. “One of the biggest things I wanted to get across is: if they see a decline in their companion, family member or friend, those are all things that are important and are considered a functional decline which needs to be evaluated.”

Gibbs’ also focuses on educating patients, caregivers and companions before they see a functional decline.

“Sometimes when older adults go to the doctors, they’re in and out so quickly they don’t understand the physician’s orders or their diagnosis. I’m happy to bring the education they need so they understand. Our goal is to educate patients so they can become advocates for themselves.”

Volunteers were able to mingle and take part in several drawings for prizes while enjoying lunch. The final speakers of the afternoon were Cris Fredrickson, Operations and Training Officer and Kate Rimbeck, Administration Assistant from the Blair County Emergency Management Agency and Blair County Department of Emergency Services, to speak about how to stay prepared during emergencies with Smart 911 technology.

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​Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced that older adults who will soon be turning 65 and are not yet enrolled in Medicare can attend a free virtual event to learn about their healthcare coverage options when enrolling for Medicare.


The "Welcome to Medicare" event on June 23, open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., will feature national presentations from the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs on Medicare eligibility, enrollment and coverage options. Representatives will be available to answer questions and assist older adults with information to enable them to make choices on Medicare coverage that best meets their needs and lowers their costs.


In Pennsylvania, this program is known as APPRISE. Throughout the national presentation, staff from APPRISE will host an exhibit for Pennsylvania and will respond to Medicare questions and provide information about the program. The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) – Pennsylvania's Senior Medicare Patrol – also will join APPRISE to discuss Medicare fraud prevention.


"We encourage anyone who is turning 65 soon to join our Virtual Welcome to Medicare Fair. Pennsylvania's Medicare Counseling Program is here to help older adults learn about signing up and navigating the complexities of Medicare, avoiding late enrollment penalties, and preventing fraud," said Susan Neff, APPRISE director. "We also invite those who attend to visit the Pennsylvania-specific virtual exhibit at any time during the event. The APPRISE and CARIE staff look forward to chatting with seniors about their Medicare enrollment concerns."


Older adults can register for this event here


The APPRISE Program has nearly 800 trained counselors in the commonwealth who provide free, confidential, objective, and easy-to-understand information about original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, and Medicare Supplement plans, and allows Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans and determine what best meets their needs and save them money.

To learn more about the APPRISE Program or becoming a volunteer, click here or call the APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067 .



Department Of Aging: June 23 Medicare Event Welcomes Future Beneficiaries With Information On Eligibility, Coverage Options