Holiday Cheer: Yankee Swap and Ugly Sweater Contest

    Join us for a fun afternoon Wednesday, December 9th at 12:45pm (Snowdate: Thursday, December 10th at 12:45pm)
    for a Yankee Swap and Ugly Sweater Contest. Limited to 14 cars. Register early to ensure your spot. Each participant
    will drop off their wrapped gift (worth approx. $10.00) to the attendee and park their car in the designated spot. For safety, all cars will be 6 feet apart and all participants will be required to wear a mask. For those of you who are not familiar with a Yankee Swap, here is what you need to know to participate. Everyone wanting to participate brings a
    wrapped gift worth $10.00. If you would like to participate, but can’t afford a gift, please call (860)434-1605 ext. 240
    and let us know. Be creative, it should be a gift that others would like to own. When you bring your gift. you will pick a number. 1 through however many people. The more people that come the “funner” it is! The first person picks a gift and unwraps it. Then the second person picks a gift or takes the one that the first person picked. If the second person
    chooses the first person’s gift, the first person picks another gift and unwraps it. The game continues until the last
    person picks a gift.
    In addition, pictures will be taken of all members that wear an ugly sweater that day and will be posted for people to vote on which they like the most. If you can’t make the Yankee Swap, but still wish to enter the Ugly Sweater Contest, call us at (860)434-1605 ext. 240 to set up a time (before that day) to have your picture taken outside to be entered.
    The winner will be awarded a $50.00 Gift Certificate from Flanders’ Fish Market in East Lyme CT. A special thank you to
    Flanders’ Fish Market for sponsoring the Ugly Sweater Contest!!

    Be a Part of the System!! – Content by Judy


    We just had another election.

    Did your candidate win or lose? Are you happy with the results? Or are you disgusted…. with the results… the candidates… the road we are headed down?

    Earlier this year I wrote… “I recently was at a networking event and we were asked “What is important enough to you that you would protest for it?” That is a pretty deep question to answer when you don’t know those around you. My answer was “our basic rights”. The freedom of speech. The right to assemble. The right to bear arms and the right to vote.

    And this country was founded so we as individuals could not be suppressed. We have freedom of speech which enables us to voice our beliefs and we need to continue to exercise all these basic rights.”

    As we reflect on the results of this election, we need to look for better candidates at every level. Talk to your friends and family. Ask them and yourself which Office, Committee or Board needs help and what you can offer. Then reach out. Make the phone call. Write an email. Step up! All Towns and Cities have many positions that need to be filled every year. I can guarantee they will welcome your offer of help.

    When you see something you don’t agree with, don’t just complain and write an angry post or comment. Ask others what they think and how they feel about it. Learn them. Figure out how the situation or problem can be changed or fixed. Then work towards doing just that.

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  -Gandhi

    Don’t settle for status quo.

    We need to stand up and be a part of the system. We need to be a part of the process. We need to hear each other and be respectful. We need to bring our differences together.

    We cannot just complain and expect someone else to “fix” things!!

    Take some time and reflect. Decide what you believe in today. Challenge yourself.

    And as Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    Now go out and be a part of that change!

    Yearly Healthcare Coverage Checkup – Content by Judy

    Every year – usually in the fall it is time for all of us to do our annual check to see if our insurance will be meeting our needs for the next year. We all need to look at our Medicare, what we have for a supplemental and what our prescription policy covers.

    So, for Medicare – do you have Part A and Part B? A covers the hospital and B covers about 80% of all of the other approved services. Part A is covered when you apply for Social Security and if you select to have Part B it is taken monthly out of your Social Security.

    To cover the other 20% of Part B, you can choose a supplemental insurance and there are a lot of plans to pick from. Or you can choose to self-pay that 20%.

    If you choose to have a supplemental plan, then you should review that the plan you have is the best one for you for the next year.  Then pick the company that offers your plan at the lowest monthly rate. All plans at each level offer exactly the same coverage. They just charge different fees.

    For example, Plan G might be offered by 14 insurance companies. The prices can range from say $200.00 a month up to say $500.00 a month. The coverage is identical in all of the Plan Gs, so buy the $200.00 a month plan and you will save a lot of money.

    It’s very similar when you check for your prescription plan which is Part D. Buy the best deal for you. Deciding is a little more complicated as you want to check that the medicine you are taking is covered by the plan you buy. Visit and select “find health and drug plans” and plan on spending a half hour or more checking what you have, and which plan will be best for you next year. Be sure you are comparing drug coverage, deductibles and copays.

    Then there are Medicare Advantage Plans. These are very similar to an HMO or a PPO where you pick providers from the in-network list. Generally, there is no monthly premium for health coverage. You might need to change doctors but maybe not. And these savings sound very attractive but be sure you are prepared as you will have copays for visits to the doctor, fees if you go to PT and for other services. These out of pocket costs can be as high as say $5,000 up to $6,700 for in-network before your plan kicks in again. And remember this is per person.

    So if you are picking a Medicare Advantage Plan you might want to set up a separate bank account with $5,000+ in it so if you or your spouse falls ill you have the money to pay those out of pocket costs. No one needs to be worrying about money when dealing with an illness or accident.

    With all of this said, set aside at least an afternoon to review your coverage, your insurance plans, changes in your health and your prescriptions for the last year, then look into what coverage you want for next year.

    If this is overwhelming, reach out and ask an expert for help. Visit and call your Senior Center or Senior Resources. All of the phone numbers are there for you. And the sooner you do this the better. Open enrollment starts Oct 15 and ends December 7th. If you do nothing your coverage will stay the same as what you have now. So, start today looking at your coverage and deciding if you need help. Those professionals are waiting for you to call and best yet their help is FREE!

    Free Technology

    Are you 60 and over, socially isolated, and would you benefit from technology that gives you
    access to online programs, services, email services etc?  As part of the Cares Act funding, Stay
    Connected is offering free appropriate technology to those that qualify. Those that qualify
    for this program will also receive training on how to use these devises. Please call the Senior
    Center @ 860-434-1605 to request a screening.