Resources

    Gift Giving Alternatives – Content by Judy

    It’s that time of year when we are thinking about what to buy or make for gifts. What’s the right thing? What do they want? What will they use??

    For some folks you know exactly what to get but then for others you have no idea!! Some people seem to have everything they want and never ask for anything – even when you ask them what they want. So, then you are searching and wondering and worrying as what to get.

    Oft times there are not so obvious gifts we can give….

    Fuel oil – wouldn’t it be so cool to get 150 gallons! Who would say no to that!!

    Newspaper – if they read it every day or just on Sundays, they’ll be thinking of you as they are reading

    Amazon Prime membership – yup that’s my gift!! I use it all of the time!!

    Trash removal

    AAA membership

    Birdseed

    Pet food

    Vet visit

    Hairdresser/barber shop

    Stamps

    Cable TV

    Netflix

    Something to do with their hobby

    Quilter – fabric store gift card

    Woodworker – Home Depot card

    Senior Center membership or put it on their trip account – give them a stack of $1 bills to use for their lunches

    These are just a few ideas and then you could make coupons they can redeem for things like….

    A ride – anywhere they want – maybe to go leaf peeping or a visit down memory lane

    Go to church with them

    Invite them over – have dinner – watch a movie – play a game

    Include them in your family outing – take them to the little league game, the scout meeting, the school play

    You don’t have to spent much to make someone’s day!! Often, it’s free to make them happy!!

    Scams and getting taken advantage of – Content by Judy

    As the holidays approach it becomes almost prime season for the scams to pop up. There is the feeling of good will and sharing. There is the end of year giving for tax purposes.

    And there are the schemes out there looking to catch you in your weak moment. We have all heard of the lady getting taken advantage of for thousands of dollars. She goes to the bank and transfers her savings to the love of her life overseas.

    Well that guy who convinced her to send her savings is trying to convince dozens of other ladies to send him money as well. And he laughs all the way to the bank!!

    Now you wonder. How do I not fall victim to these scams? How do I keep my guard up?

    One big way is to not answer the phone when someone you don’t know calls you. When your phone rings and it’s a number or name you don’t know – let the phone continue to ring and have your answering machine answer. All of those unwanted calls do not leave messages.

    Now you can block those numbers from calling your again and again. If you don’t know how to block numbers, ask a family member or friend to help you.

    Otherwise just let it ring every time they call you. Do not answer!!

    Also, you can register for free with the National Do Not Call Registry. This can be done online at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-866-290-4236. Registrations do not expire. If you have previously registered your number, there is no need to register again. You can also check to see if your number is already on the Registry at donotcall.gov

    Then there is Junk mail. Don’t even open it. Shred it!! Remember it’s called junk mail for a very good reason!!

    Do not send anyone money. Don’t send money to those organizations that are out there doing mass mailings and asking for your hard-earned dollars. If you think it’s an organization you want to help, research how much of every dollar they get goes to help the people they are asking you to help. Lots of times it’s pennies. The rest goes to the campaign to raise the money.

    And if you want to help those less fortunate than you consider giving locally. There are many different groups in your area doing marvelous work and can always find a great way to use your dollars. Often, it’s much more meaningful for us when we see how that agency, we gave money to is helping those in our neighborhood, our town or our area.

    Energy Assistance Program

    If you are having difficulty paying your utility bill, especially during the winter heating season, please note that the Senior Affairs Office does assist Preston residents in completing the application.  The first day for fuel deliveries that can be paid by the program is November 13, 2019.  If you are unsure as to whether you qualify for the program, please call the Senior Affairs Office at 860-887-5581 ext. 6 with your questions or to set-up an appointment.

    What to know about Primary Care Provider- CONTENT BY JUDY

    Once upon a time the doctor we went to for everything was our family doctor but now they are called our PCP or Primary Care Providers. They can be MDs, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner.   We go to them for a yearly exam, a cold, and other common medical problems. If you don’t have a PCP it can become very hard to get any other health care.

    We need a Primary Care Provider who fits into our insurance plan, will be available for the majority of our health issues and who we have trust in. Someone we feel comfortable talking to.

    The problem often is when our trusted doctor retires or moves. Our insurance no longer covers our doctor. And now we need to find someone new.

    Generally, we will ask our family and friends who they use. What they like and dislike about that provider and their practice. Then is the provider covered by our insurance. Are they part of that network? Are they taking new patients?

    You also can ask other doctors for recommendations. You can ask your dentist or pharmacist as well.

    Then the next step is… Are the Primary Care Providers you’re considering easy to get to? Do their office hours work for you? Again, double check that they are part of the network of health care you are in.

    Once you have narrowed it done to one, two or three Primary Care Providers, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Go for a visit and see if you like them. Did they take enough time with you? Did they seem interested in you as a person? Did they answer your questions? Was the office staff helpful and friendly?

    If the answer is yes to the questions that are important to you then you’re all set. Otherwise keep looking!

    Don’t settle. This is an important decision. Perhaps one of the most important decisions you make.

    Remember not everyone likes the same people or the same professionals. That’s why there are so many to choose from.

    Find the Doctor and the practice that fits you so that you are comfortable when you are the sickest knowing you are getting the best health care available.

    -Judy

    Your Veterans Benefits – CONTENT BY JUDY

    If you served in the military and have an honorable discharge your level of VA benefits varies according to a whole lot of factors. When you served. Where you served. How long you were in. Plus, other details.

    But the good news is there is someone out there waiting to help you figure out which benefits you are entitled to.

    And I used the word “entitled” because they are your benefits. You earned them by serving and you deserve them.

    And remember things are always changing. So, if you asked about your VA benefits when you first got out or five years ago. Even last year. Ask again because lots of factors have changed.

    I mentioned having an honorable discharge and even that has been relooked at.

    Also depending on your service, you might be entitled to things someone else doesn’t get. Or they get something you can’t get.

    And regardless there is help out there for all veterans.

    Depending on where you live is where you need to go. A great starting point is the VA website and it’s super easy to find. VA.gov. Go to the website and poke around. Its jam packed with information for you.

    Check with your Senior Center and Town Hall. They can point you in the right direction. Call your Senator and Representative they can help as well.

    Here in Connecticut each town has a Veteran Representative trained to help all veterans. There are VA clinics and VA hospitals. Plus, a growing number of Veterans Coffeehouses.

    Ask for guidance. Stop in talk with the folks. Share your story.

    Remember to visit VA.gov for the website.

    Make some phone calls!

    They are waiting to help you!!