News

    Be Ready for the Recovery – Content by Judy

    Marketing trends have been heading in new directions for a while but the COVID19 is really pushing that envelope into horizons we cannot even imagine. We currently are living, working, and shopping in ways we never dreamed of. And these new ways too will change quickly as we readjust to a whole new “normal” as we come out of this lockdown.

    We will mourn the loss of many things, as we start consuming services and goods in different ways. We will be discovering what companies and businesses have survived. What new businesses have emerged.

    Stopping for a coffee can be a good example. How many of us stopped daily for that great cup of Joe? Couldn’t live without it…. Until….. Our lives changed. The habit got broken because we were no longer leaving the house every day. The question becomes how many cups of coffee will that business sell as we all come out of this pandemic? Will the local shops even reopen?

     

    Companies must adjust quickly if they plan to survive and be profitable over the next 5 years. Marketing trends have been heading in new directions for a while but the COVID19 is really pushing that envelope into horizons we cannot even imagine.

    Trends show we will continue to hold virtual meetings which will become a more efficient use of time. We will socialize in every different ways. We have found we do not like social distancing so much. Clubs will pop up and memberships will increase. Facebook groups will evolve and start gathering in person. Established groups such as VFWs, The Elks, The Moose will attract new members. Senior Centers, the Y, Park n Rec and similar organizations will experience a surge in activity as people discover their new routines.

    The public will spend months perhaps years looking for and discovering their new day to day habits. And when creating this new life, they will select the parts they liked and discard what they will not do again, and businesses need to be where the consumer can find them such as SeniorCenterCt.org. This collective site is trusted and contains trusted information. This cutting-edge resource is that place where users find what they are looking for, mark their calendars with activities and though clickable ads find services and products they are looking for. Plus, then can relay all this information to their family and friends.

    Businesses need to:

    • Be that trusted advisor/service/site/provider
    • Strengthen existing customer relationships
    • Identify real opportunities and shift accordingly
    • pinpoint key priorities
    • determine their brand and do extensive brand building so their company is easy to recognize
    • Be ready for the recovery

    And all businesses need to be very aware of the senior population. As a group they will be for the most part the least affected by all of this. For the most part their income will continue to be very stable. And they still will be purchasing and consuming at the rate they were.

    Resources like SeniorCenterCt.org will grow in popularity as the senior population, their friends and families are looking to establish and get back their “new” ordinary lives.

    ECTC Transportation program

    This year, the ECTC (Eastern Connecticut Transportation Consortium)
    medical transportation program has undergone some important changes. We will
    no longer be assessing a membership fee for the year and the one-way trips have
    increased to 24 per year, per person. Individuals who are not already registered
    for the program must register. Please contact the Senior Affairs Office at 860-
    887-5581 ext. 6 for additional information. For those individuals utilizing only the
    Caregiver Mileage Reimbursement mileage portion of the program, it remains
    unchanged.
    The Caregiver Mileage Reimbursement and Medical Transportation
    program is for adults 60+ and persons with disabilities who are unable to drive
    and need transportation to a medical appointment that is occurring outside of the
    hours or area that the town funded transportation services operate.
    This service is funded through a state grant. Rides and
    reimbursements are contingent upon the availability of grant funds. When funds
    run out, the provision of rides will be stopped until such time as funds become
    available again.

    Elderly and Totally Disabled Tax Relief Program

    The application filing period for the Elderly and totally Disabled Tax Relief Program is from February 1 thru May 15, 2021.

    Please be aware that the IRS has issued specific guidance about the 2020 stimulus payments and have stated that these payments are not categorized as income, therefore, any economic stimulus payments received during calendar year 2020 WILL NOT count as income for these tax relief programs.

    Qualifying income guidelines for the Elderly and Totally Disabled Tax Relief Program are $37,600 for unmarried individuals and $45,800.00 for married persons.

    If you are currently participating in the Homeowner Program and need to reapply, you will receive notice from the Preston Assessor’s Office advising you of that requirement.

    Proof of all sources of income including but not limited to Social Security, pensions, interest statements, employment, etc. are required. If you filed Income Tax, a copy of the signed and dated document is necessary to provide as well. It is extremely important that you provide all necessary documentation for the application to be completed.

    Due to the COVIC-19 pandemic, the application process will change this year. I will be asking you to drop-off your paperwork in the blue Drop Box located at the front entrance to the Preston Town Hall. I will review your information and contact you by telephone to complete your application. I will arrange a time that is mutually acceptable to have you return to the Preston Town Hall to sign the application(s). At which time, I will return any/all original documents which you have provided.

    Please call the office at 860-887-5581 ext. 6 informing me that you dropped off your information at the Town Hall. (if leaving a phone message, please include your name and telephone number. The application process does not begin until February 1st.

    AARP Tax Assistance Program

    Regrettably, the Preston Senior Center will not host the AARP Tax
    Assistance Program during this tax season. The COVID-19 pandemic is the
    primary reason. BUT existing clients will be encouraged to contact the Rose City Senior Center, 8 Mahan Drive, Norwich to receive assistance with their income tax preparation. NO NEW CLIENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Beginning during January, you are encouraged to contact the Rose City Senior Center at 860-889-5960 to schedule an appointment.

    For those individuals who are existing clients only:
    New to the process is that you will have to go to the Rose City Senior
    Center at least 48 hours prior to your appointment to pick-up a booklet to be completed. (This is the same type of information that you would routinely complete at our center). You will need to complete the paperwork and include it with your income tax information. (Do not place your information in a plastic bag as the virus can live longer in that environment). It is suggested that you place your documents in a secure location within your locked vehicle trunk until the time of your appointment.

    Drive-thru service will remain the same as last year. You drive up, staff will
    take your paperwork out of the trunk of your car, they work on it and give you a call on your cell phone when they have questions or when your income tax is completed. Appointments will be available on Tuesday and Thursday only.

    You will also need a cell phone available so that you can be contacted when
    the AARP tax preparer completes your document.

    March 3, 2021 at 5:00pm- Presentation: Medicare Savings Program and Low Income Subsidy Program

    A free presentation will be provided by a Certified CHOICES Counselor from Senior Resources Agency on Aging. (No insurance will be sold)
    The session includes: *Overview of Medicare Premiums *Overview of the Low Income Subsidy *Overview of the Medicare Savings Program *How it helps to reduce the cost of medications *How it helps you pay Medicare Health Premiums *Medicare Preventive Services.

    Sessions are available on March 3, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m., April 7, 2021 @ 10:00 a.m., May 5, 2021 @ 2:00 p.m. and June 2, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED! Visit www.seniorrresourcesec.org.