State Senator Sean McCann| Seniors Newsletter

Dear Friend:

I hope this communication finds you and your loved ones in good health. This newsletter provides you with information about the upcoming general election in November, phone scams, Medicare programs, and other helpful tips regarding Meals on Wheels and food delivery services in Kalamazoo County.

This year has been trying for all of us. Please know that I am committed to doing all I can in Lansing and our communities to make sure you have the resources you need to continue living healthy lives. Please keep wearing masks and practicing safe social distancing to protect your health and the health of others.

If there is anything I can do to be of assistance to you, please let me know. You can reach me through email at SenSMcCann@senate.michigan.gov, by phone at (517) 373-5100, or toll-free at 1-855-347-8020. I would love to hear from you!


Senator Sean McCann
Senate District 20

Toll-free: (855) DIST020 or (855) 347-8020
Website: SenatorMcCann.com
Email: SenSMcCann@senate.michigan.gov


How to Avoid Phone Scams

In today’s hyper-connected world, people are finding it increasingly easier to take advantage of our most vulnerable populations, with one goal in mind: To trick you out of your hard-earned money.

Scams will always include one or more of the following tactics:

Protect yourselves and your loved ones by keeping your personal information private and secure.

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS: Michigan Attorney General
Website: Michigan.gov/AG
Phone: (517) 335-7622
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m


MEDICARE 101: MAKING SURE YOU’RE COVERED

Access to affordable and dependable health care is a fundamental issue for people of all ages. Fortunately, for older adults, Medicare is still a great plan that provides care for many Americans. Medicare is the federal government program that provides health care coverage (health insurance) if you are 65+, under 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a certain amount of time, or under 65 and with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Medicare offers multiple options for insurance coverage — including planning for hospital stays, medical costs, or prescription drugs. In addition, Medicare Advantage through private insurance is available to those who need, or want, additional health care coverage options.

You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 if you meet certain conditions. If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you can enroll online in just a few minutes. Simply fill out a Medicare application through the Social Security website at SSA.gov/Benefits/Medicare.

Although the open enrollment period for 2020 has passed, you may still visit medicare.gov or call (800) 633-4227 for more information on how you may qualify for coverage.

For further assistance locally, you can call Senior Services of Southwest Michigan’s toll-free number at 1-800-803-7174. Michigan Medicare Assistance Program counselors are available at no cost to present to local groups and organizations on the following topics:

To qualify for Meals on Wheels, an adult must be:

  • 60 years of age or older;
  • Homebound (e.g. unable to leave home without assistance and unable to drive);
  • Unable to cook for him/herself;
  • Have no one willing to prepare meals on a regular basis; and,
  • Able to feed him/herself.

COVID-19: SOLACE DURING SECLUSION

Anxiety. Depression. Stress. The isolation accompanying social distancing can heighten them all, particularly more for seniors, who are in a higher risk category for contracting COVID-19.

While it’s perfectly fine to take a walk in the neighborhood or sit on the front porch and chat with friends and family members, seniors should still take precautions when out and about. Wear a mask if you go to the doctor’s office or grocery store and maintain a social distance of six feet from the next nearest person. And continue to sanitize frequently used surfaces when necessary.

Here are some other coping strategies for weathering the pandemic:

Michigan COVID-19 Hotline
1-888-535-6136 Michigan.gov/Coronavirus
Michigan COVID-19 Mental Health Hotline
1-888-733-7753 Michigan.gov/StayWell

Meals On Wheels and Food For All

Some senior citizens live on fixed incomes and struggle to pay for nutritious food. Meals on Wheels can help those who are no longer able to cook for themselves or otherwise do not have the support systems in place to provide in-home meals.

This program provides five nutritious meals per week to homebound, older adults. Liquid nutrition is also available for those who are unable to eat solid food and who have a prescription from their physician.

Another option for those who may not qualify for Meals on Wheels is Food for All through the Senior Services of Southwest Michigan. Food for All provides a meal delivery service to anyone living in Kalamazoo County who would like, or needs, a healthy and delicious meal.

For more information on both these programs, call Senior Services of Southwest Michigan at (268) 382-0515 or visit seniorservices1.org.


Helpful Resources

Adult Home Help/Chore Services……………………………………………………………………………….(800) 292-2550
Adult Protective Services, for reports of suspected abuse and neglect …………………………(855) 444-3911
Attorney General – Consumer Protection Division, for cases of identity theft ……………….(877) 765-8388
Attorney General – Office of Elder Abuse …………………………………………………………………..(800) 242-2873 Bridge Card (EBT) – Customer Service ……………………………………………………………………….(888) 678-8914 Disability Ombudsman …………………………………………………………………………………………….(800) 288-5923 Domestic Violence Hotline ……………………………………………………………………………………….(800) 799-7233
Elder Law of Michigan, Inc. ……………………………………………………………………………………..(866) 400-9164 Eldercare services for the elderly, for help with transportation, meals, etc ………………….(800) 677-1116
Energy Assistance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………(844) 211-4994 Food Assistance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….(855) 275-6424 Fraud Reporting – Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, 24-hour hotline..(800) 222-8558
Home Heating Tax Credit Status ……………………………………………………………………………….(517) 636-4486
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program …………………………………………………………………….(866) 485-9393 Meals on Wheels of Ann Arbor …………………………………………………………………………………(734) 998-6686 Meals on Wheels-Ypsilanti ……………………………………………………………………………………….(734) 487-9669 Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Medicaid Beneficiary Support ……..(800) 642-3195
Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program ……………………………………………………..(800) 803-7174
Michigan Stroke Network …………………………………………………………………………………………(866) 522-8676 Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency …………………………………………………………………………….(800) 642-4838 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) ……………………………………………………………….(734) 994-6611
Nursing Home Complaints ……………………………………………………………………………………….(800) 882-6006
Relay Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing ……………………………………………………………………………..7-1-1
Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention …………………………………………………………………………….(517) 372-6666
Social Security Administration …………………………………………………………………………………(800) 772-1213
State SSI Supplement ……………………………………………………………………………………………….(855) 275-6424 Substance Abuse Hotline ………………………………………………………………………………………….(800) 662-4357
Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline ……………………………………………………………………………..(800) 273-8255
TAX statements for Adult Home Help ………………………………………………………………………..(800) 292-2550
THAW – The Heat and Warmth Fund ………………………………………………………………………..(800) 552-1183
Volunteers of America ……………………………………………………………………………………………..(248) 945-0101
Vulnerable Adult Helpline ……………………………………………………………………………………….(855) 444-3911
Washtenaw County Community Mental Health ………………………………………………………….(734) 544-3050
Washtenaw County Health Department …………………………………………………………………….(734) 544-6700
Washtenaw County Veterans Affairs …………………………………………………………………………(734) 973-4540


Important Election Dates

As it currently exists, Michigan law states the following as deadlines for this year’s November general election:

October 19
Last day to register in any manner, other than in-person, with the local clerk for the November general election.

October 20 through 8:00 p.m. November 3
In-person registration, with proof of residency, at the local clerk’s office.

November 3
Statewide general election.

Who is on the Ballot?
While the specific names of individuals — especially in the state House and local elections — vary by district, the following offices are up for election in 2020:


ELECTION 2020: Voting from Home Essentials

Many of us have seen the pictures of our fellow Americans heading to the polls during this pandemic, and, unfortunately, exposing themselves to the possibility of contracting COVID-19 while doing so. Here in Michigan, we continue to plan our next steps in ensuring we fulfill our constitutional right without putting ourselves — and others — at risk.

Fortunately, recent changes to Michigan’s election law mean you don’t even have to leave your home to vote, and if you do, poll workers will be wearing personal protective equipment and engaging in proper health protocols.

Additional information on Michigan.gov/Vote

Ways to complete your absent voter ballot application

BY MAIL
On Tuesday, May 19, 2020, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that all registered voters in Michigan will receive an application to vote by mail. By now, you should have received that application to vote absentee from either your local clerk or the Secretary of State. This form gives you the option to receive an absentee ballot in order to vote by mail. Once a voter signs their application, they can send it to their local clerk, whose contact information is included on the application. There is also an email option whereby you email a photo of your application to your clerk. The application is also available for download at Michigan.gov/Vote, where you can register and join the permanent absent voter list, so you always have the option to vote from home if you so choose.

ONLINE
On Friday, June 12, 2020, the Secretary of State’s office announced a new, online absentee voter application platform. By visiting Michigan.gov/Vote, you can:

• Check your voter registration status.

All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.

NEW! Complete and return an absent voter ballot application online. You can now fill out and return your absent voter ballot application online at Michigan.gov/Vote. To use the online application, you need to be registered to vote in Michigan and have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID.


Additional information on Michigan.gov/Vote

By visiting Michigan.gov/Vote, you can ensure you are informed and prepared to cast your ballot from the safety of your own home and review the following information:

Remember that, when voting in person, you are not required to have identification so long as you prepared to sign a legally binding affidavit attesting to your identity.

If you need assistance accessing any of this information, please call my office at 517-373-5100 and we will gladly assist you with any questions.

To date, of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state, about 1.3 million are on the permanent absent voter list, and their local election clerk mails them applications ahead of every election.


More news:

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