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Currently the top action item for both LeadingAge and NaCCRA is working to keep the deduction for medical expenses. Thanks to LeadingAge it is very easy to let your congressperson hear from you by phone or by email. Use either of the links below, provide your address, and Leading Age will put you in touch. No need for you to look up your congressperson’s phone number or email address, Leading Age takes care of that for you.
The LeadingAge alert succinctly states the important of taking action:
“Losing this important deduction would hurt many older adults. Elders living in some life plan communities deduct a portion of their fees as pre-paid medical expenses in case they need nursing home care. They would lose this important deduction—as would many older adults living in other care settings. Others with high medical bills would be similarly affected. This radical proposal would disproportionately affect older adults, many of whom have higher than average medical costs. Congress needs to hear from you today. Tell your lawmakers to protect the medical expense deduction. Tell them older adults need this important deduction. Tell them protecting it is the right thing to do.”
The other links below go to the NaCCRA alert and to the power point presentations of the two speakers at yesterday’s ORANJ Plenary Meeting. On the day when the future of the bipartisan Lamar/Alenxander healthcare deal was becoming increasing unclear, Marcia. Greenfield, VP for Health Legislation, provided us a with a review of this year’s happenings (or non-happenings) concerning the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and the possible effect of Tax Reform on medical deductions.
A personal note: I’m usually uncomfortable making phone calls to lawmakers, but I did it this morning (I’m in MacArthur’s district), I dialed the LeadingAge number (844-802-8508) and in no time I was on the phone with someone in Tom MacArthur’s office. I said my piece and he said okay. They I asked him if he didn’t want my name and he agreed and asked me what town I was in. I told him and then I said goodbye. Easy. By the way, to my surprise Ms. Greenfield told us yesterday that email is better than snail mail which goes off somewhere to be tested for Anthrax. So don’t use snail mail.
This information has also been added to https://www.oranjccrc.org/legislation/#advocacy
Eugenia Wilson, thank you so much for your comment on the previous post. I’m repeating it here for all the subscribers. Eugenia wrote, “I totally agree. When we were new we had the same problems. People already were into their own groups and as a newcomer, it made you feel like the new kid on the block in school. Also to make it even harder, my husband has Parkinson’s and although people are friendly, that can present other problems. Yes, people are living longer but most are healthier than a generation ago. All in all though I am healthy and my husband’s caregiver , at this stage of our lives, this is the best place for us. I’d be happy to talk to someone about living in a CCRC community, especially since I am the President of our Residents Association.”
The Inquirer article is at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/health-news/navigating-a-world-of-mean-girls-and-new-friends-at-a-retirement-community-20170529.html. The headline is extreme, but that’s what headline writers do.
The April 2017 issue of The ORANJ Tree has a two-page article on “Orientation and Welcome — a Common Concern” I’m currently working on the July issue. Eugenia, may I use your comment in the newsletter? Is there anyone else who’d like to comment on this problem? We’ve not had “Letters to the Editor” in the newsletter. I would love to be able to use the blog to make the newsletter more interactive.
Maggie Heineman, ORANJ Communications Chair – 609.518.8906
The Sunday, May 28 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a story, starting on page 1, about “Adapting to Independent Living.” It concerns a University of the Sciences class project which paired 14 independent living residents at The Quandrangle, a CCRC in Haverford with 14 graduate level Occupational Therapy students. Interestingly you wouldn’t know from reading the article that the Quandrangle is a CCRC, but it is. https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/communities/the-quadrangle/overview.aspx
The thrust of the article is that it takes a long time to feel at home, that it’s a challenge to find dinner companions. The article also makes the point that people tend to wait to long to leave home. They should do it when they’re young enough to invest energy in new friendships and activities. I have not yet found the article online. It’s by Stacey Burling. I’ll try again tomorrow to get a link.
Here is a link to the.article on entry fee refunds printed in the NJ Star Ledger 2/20/17. It begins, “This is a tale of someone who believes he was wronged. He couldn’t do anything to help himself, but he’s on an admirable mission to help others. His goal is to protect those who pay fees to Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs, which include assisted living facilities, independent living communities and long-term care units.”
Readers of The ORANJ Tree may be familiar with Paul Basham through his articles in our newsletter. He’ll be speaking at Medford Leas at 11 am on February 25. You are invited!
Paul is a retired minister and motivational speaker who combines humor and words of wisdom in a program he calls “Using Stories to Communicate.” Paul’s message conveys ideas to demonstrate how stories can build confidence and open lines of communication among different people.
The latest issue NaCCRA Lifeline has a nice mention of the ORANJ website. It’s referred to as the “most comprehensive state website of any in the US, maintained by their gifted Webmaster, Ann Campbell.” This makes me smile 🙂 Unfortunately the url given is wrong. We are oranjccrc.org. The link in Lifeline goes to the Oncology Registrars Association of New Jersey, which makes me sad 🙁
The latest issue of NaCCRA Lifeline is interesting. It’s at
Maggie Heineman, ORANJ Communications Chair
On November 16 the Philadelphia Inquirer had an article abut the S-Uber training program at Lions Gate and other facilities. It includes two photographs of Frances Pliskin who took the training at a Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill. The story starts, “Frances Pliskin had to stop driving over the summer.” and goes on to tell about her use of S-Uber (Senior Uber) to get to the hairdresser. At Lions Gate more than 100 residents got instruction on how to use download the app,enter payment information, call for a ride, and recognize the car and driver that picks them up.
Links to: Dr. Mary Swiger’s handout, Jeremy Vickers’ slides, and a photo essay the Medford Leas Singers.
At least three New Jersey CCRCs have honey bee hives. This week one CCRC began releasing tagged butterflies. More about these butterflies and bees in the next issue of The ORANJ Tree. If your CCRC is doing things you’d like to share, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Gansberg has accepted the position of ORANJ Secretary. In a past life Wendy was the New Jersey State Director of the National Association of Insurance Women, representing the state all over the country. After moving to Meadow Lakes in 2014 she quickly became active as a writer and lecturer. Wendy’s short bio, and photo, is on our website at oranjccrc.org/about-oranj/leaders/wendy-gansberg/