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Maritza Chatman
LTSC Supervisor CCA One Care
              GSSSI Presents "One Care"
There are millions of older adults and people with disabilities enrolled in both MassHealth and Medicare. As a result of this dual enrollment, enrollees face the challenge of utilizing two programs that operate under two different sets of rules and requirements that can result in divided and uncoordinated care. One Care is a program designed to combine MassHealth and Medicare benefits together to integrate the full spectrum of services by leveraging an Interdisciplinary Care Team that works with the enrollee and the enrollee’s primary care provider. OneCare works to develop a customized care plan that reflects the enrollee’s needs without the challenges presented with having two separate benefits plans.
Every One Care member receives a dedicated Care Partner assigned to help them navigate services and support their care plan. Members also have the option of having a Long Term Services & Support Coordinator (LTSC) assigned to them from an ASAP or independent living agency. GSSSI's LTSCs help coordinate long term services and community resources, and also help advocate for members seeking specific services. Depending on the needs of the enrollee, a One Care plan may also provide new ways to get services not available through fee-for-service, such as peer support, home care, wellness support, medical equipment repair, and recovery-based community mental health and substance abuse services.

Individuals who join One Care can expect:
  • The ability to enroll at anytime.
  • Coverage that can start on the first of any month.
  • A network of providers to select from or the choice to ask your current provider to join One Care.
  • After enrolling, One Care will cover current services while you and your Care Team are creating your Personal Care Plan.
  • No co-payments.
  • A dedicated One Care representative to coordinate your care and help you manage your physical health, mental health, substance use support, and community supports needs.
  • A personal care plan designed to address your care needs and preferences.
  • All prescriptions will be covered under your One Care plan including over-the-counter medications and products such as vitamins, allergy medications, nicotine patches and hydrocortisone cream.
  • Vision and dental services.
  • Additional One Care services including, but not limited to: Community support services, medical equipment, Non-medical transportation and behavioral health services.
If you know an older adult or an individual with a disability who may may benefit from this program, please contact GSSSI's Information & Referral department for further details at 413-781-8800.

Reading the Signs: How Will You Know If Your Older Parents Need Help?
By Brenda Labbe, GSSSI CareGiver Specialist
Original Article published in the HCN Senior Planning Guide August 2020

Many experience aging as a joyful time in their life, filled with retirement, travel, and spending more time with family. But for some, aging represents a series of losses — loss of employment, health and energy, friends, mobility, and independence.

As such, it is not uncommon for older adults to resist reaching out for help. To help start the conversation, we have listed some common signs that might indicate your loved one may need some extra support.

  1. Neglecting household responsibilities. Stacks of unopened mail, late-payment notices, unfilled prescriptions, and the lack of general upkeep of the house can all be signs that your loved one may need someone to assist with bill paying or homemaking. Lack of interest in eating or preparing nutritious food and/or lack of food in the home can be a sign that they may need help with grocery shopping or meal prep.
  2. Frequent falls. If your loved one experiences frequent falls or you have observed new bruises on their face or body, chances are they should be evaluated by their physician for illness, dehydration, or infections, or X-rayed for fractures. Other items that can increase the risk for falls include the lack of proper medication management and the lack of proper safety equipment in the home. You may want to consider having a safety evaluation of the home to look for any other factors that may be contributing to their falls.
  3. Unsafe driving. As our bodies slow down in the aging process, so too will our reflexes, which can make driving even more difficult. Observe your loved one’s car for new scrapes, scratches, dings, or missing mirrors. Avoiding driving or not being able to tolerate any changes in directions may indicate some cognitive changes which signal that now might be the time to consider transportation assistance.
  4. Listen for clues in conversation. Many seniors will state they do not want to burden their busy adult children with requests for help. They describe feeling foolish for not being able to keep up with cleaning, medications, or repairs. However, if you listen closely, you may hear repeated areas of concern. Your loved one’s close friends or neighbors may also have input to offer, if asked in confidence.

Finally, consider the old adage “it is all in how you wrap the gift.” In this case, the gift is the offer of help and support. Try asking the question in a manner that is non-threatening and neutral. For example: “gosh, I would be so overwhelmed if I got all this mail — how about I help you go through it?”

Unfortunately, many people will experience a traumatic event before realizing that they need assistance. One way to help better prepare for any emergencies is to monitor your loved one’s physical and mental abilities and start researching care options before you need them. Greater Springfield Senior Services is your local resource to find help, support, and care for your loved one.

Call our office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and ask to speak with one of our highly trained information and referral specialists to find out more. Knowledge is power, and we are here to help.

GSSSI Current Job Openings
(Click on the job title below for further details)

https://gsssi.applicantpro.com/jobs/

GSSSI wants to acknowledge and give thanks to the following individuals, businesses and community partners that have donated to our programs during this epidemic:

 

Maryann Munger


Through the generosity of donors, GSSSI is able to meet the increased needs being placed upon older adults and persons with disabilities during this pandemic. Donations have allowed us the opportunity to expand our capability for purchasing additional KN-95 masks for our Home Delivered Meal Drivers, purchasing additional food supplies for the community and acquiring technology to assist in remote services. 

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Greater Springfield Senior Services · 66 Industry Ave · Suite 9 · Springfield, MA 01104-3590 · USA