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Winter clothing drive, educational presentations at EPOCH

Winter Clothing DriveAs a reminder, we will be collecting winter items throughout October for families in need. If you’d like to contribute, please drop off winter items in the lobby of EPOCH Senior Healthcare on Blackstone Boulevard or EPOCH Senior Healthcare at Melrose. More details below.

This week, we will also host three, informative presentations. You’ll have the opportunity to learn: safe driving tips for older drivers from an AARP instructor; all about estate planning from experienced attorneys; and the most important things you need to know about Medicare. Keep reading to learn more.

Seniors share their views on Medicare and Social Security

While politicians in Washington are looking to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to reduce the deficit, many older Americans are worried about what that means for them. AARP’s You’ve Earned a Say campaign aims to give a voice to older Americans who have spent a lifetime paying into these programs. The campaign has created a national conversation on how to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security.

More than 65 million Americans aged 50 and older responded to surveys to share their views on these programs. They reported that the strength of Medicare and Social Security is important because they promote good health and financial stability, which seniors want not just for themselves, but also for their kids and grandkids. Rather than making cuts to these programs, many older American want sensible solutions that improve care, reduce health care costs and create savings for taxpayers.

Are high health care costs a good thing?

We should be celebrating high health care spending. Wait a minute, what? That’s what Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, recently wrote in the Huffington Post.

Hodin says that while many Americans believe our health care system is failing and the costs are too high, the opposite is actually the case – the high costs are a testament to our health care’s success. Health care in America has provided us with groundbreaking medicine and treatments that are keeping us alive longer than previous generations. And because Americans are now living longer than ever before, health care has become a widely sought-after commodity. Being in such high demand, health care costs have of course gone up.

Although Hodin believes our health care system is successful, that doesn’t mean he’s against reform; our current health care budget is simply unsustainable for our government. But rather than simply “slashing spending,” we need to reassess how the money is spent. This way, we can put money into research and programs that will save on health care costs in the future.

Issues concerning seniors this election

With the 2012 presidential election just around the corner, it’s worth hearing what issues matter most to seniors. The Good Samaritan Society recently posted a video online, in which its director of public affairs, Jeff Singley, discussed what topics seniors are particularly concerned with.

Medicare enrollment deadline is just around the corner

The deadline for Medicare health and drug plan enrollment is Dec. 7. With the deadline quickly approaching, here’s a brief overview of Medicare and the different plans available.  

As you probably know, Medicare health insurance is offered by the federal government and is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or older. If you’re under the age of 65, you may still qualify for Medicare if you have certain disabilities.

There are four kinds of Medicare available to you: