Local News, Recognition of Service
Feb 13, 2013
Local News, Medicare
Nov 7, 2012
2013 Recognition of Service Awards
The Heritage Area Agency on Aging is pleased to invite nominations of individuals, groups, programs, and partnerships whose excellent service to seniors is worthy of recognition. Qualified nominees must meet award criteria and be residents of, or organizations located in, Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn or Washington Counties in the state of Iowa.
Completed nominations are due at The Heritage Area Agency on Aging office by March 31, 2013. You are welcome to request more information and a nomination packet by contacting the Heritage office at 319-398-5559 or 800-332-5934 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Nominations are reviewed by the Community Relations Committee of the Advisory Council.
The awards will be presented to outstanding individuals and organizations at The Heritage Agency Annual Meeting & Advisory Council Awards Ceremony to be held on Thursday, May 23, 2013.
Nov 7, 2012
November, 2012 – Monthly News You Can Use from Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)
New Twist on Scam Calls Offering “New” Medicare Cards
Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from mid-October to early December; it is a time that people on Medicare may be seeking information, reviewing literature and talking to representatives of health plans, in order to decide whether to change their Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage plan for next year. This often means extra flyers arriving in your mail box or a series of phone calls while you gather information.
As previously reported, Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol has received numerous complaints about scam calls all across the state, offering new Medicare cards. Since the open enrollment period began, we learned that someone who recently made a change to a different Prescription Drug Plan, happened to receive one of these scam calls. Any other time of the year, she would have immediately known it was a suspicious call and hung up. But this time, since she’d recently been doing business with her Medicare plan, she wondered if it might be a legitimate call. Thankfully, she was suspicious so she told the caller she’d like to get back to him later – he hung up. Proof positive that a scam was in the works!
If you are doing business this fall and winter with new Medicare-related health plans, it is very unlikely that a plan would call you to ask for personal information AFTER you’d already given them this information during a personal visit or while enrolling by phone or internet. If you are expecting a new ID card, it would come by mail and no phone call would be involved.
If you enroll in a new plan this season, be certain to keep all materials that were given to you or print confirmation pages when enrolling on the internet. When your phone rings, remember these tips from Senior Medicare Patrol. If you receive a suspicious call, you are welcome to report it to SMP at 1-800-423-2449.
Suspicious Calls Warning of Computer Problems
A savvy northeast Iowa man knew something was up when he got a phone call about his computer. The caller said that “Windows” (the name of a computer operating system many people are familiar with) was having some problems and he wanted the man to go to his computer while on the phone, so the caller could help him fix it. This older Iowan was suspicious and hung up; he followed sound advice and just took a moment to wonder why anyone would be calling about a problem that we wasn’t having! Chalk that up in the “loss” column for that potential scammer!
News prepared by Deb Yankey, Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinator, Hawkeye Valley AAA, Waterloo, IA, email@example.com
Heritage, Local News
Aug 1, 2012
“Fill the Plate” Telethon to Help Feed the Elderly
The Heritage Area Agency on Aging is hoping the public dials in to help feed elderly residents in eastern Iowa. Heritage is hosting a telethon to bring greater support and awareness for its Senior Nutrition Home Delivered and Congregate Meal program.
The Fill the Plate telethon runs from 5-10 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, on KCRG 9.2. The event will raise money to help mitigate this year’s funding shortfall and increase awareness and local engagement for this critical program now and into the future.
Last year, in partnership with local providers, Heritage provided 490,000 home-delivered and congregate meals to low-income seniors in eastern Iowa. Funding for the program has not kept pace with increasing operating costs and the expanding needs of seniors, as that population continues to grow. Heritage expects to cut the number of meals it helps fund by 83,000 this year.
“We hope to raise money to serve those 83,000 meals that were cut,” said Tim Getty, the Nutrition and Healthy Living program coordinator for Heritage. “We know with an aging population and tight budgets, that we’ll need continued help from the public to
support seniors who rely on us for their daily meals.”
There are sponsorship and entertainment opportunities available to those interested in participating in the Fill The Plate telethon. For more information, contact The Heritage Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-332-3934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director's update, Features, Heritage, Local News, Recognition of Service
Jul 6, 2012
PUBLIC NOTICE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
The Heritage Area Agency on Aging/Kirkwood Community College is seeking applications from any non-profit agency or private organization to provide nutrition services through congregate and/or home delivered meals to individuals, age 60 and older, in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn and/or Washington counties. The agency will award two-year contracts. Applications are for the period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015.
More information including goals of the Regional Nutrition Program, critical dates in the application process, and descriptions of desired services will be announced in detail on the website, www.heritageaaa.org on August 1, 2012.
Local News, Security/Safety
Mar 19, 2012
The Heritage Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council held its Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center on the Kirkwood Community College campus in Cedar Rapids on May 24, 2012. This event provides updates from the agency and honors members of the community that are nominated for awards by their peers.
Outstanding Senior Volunteer award winners by county include:
- Linda Long of Belle Plaine
- Shirley Geadelmann of Clarence
- Richard Jacoby of Victor
- Marilyn and Richard Jensen of Coralville
- Jackie Vacek of Olin
- John McDonough of Cedar Rapids
- Leroy Powell of Wellman
Johnson County Livable Community for Successful Aging’s Communication Committee received the Program/Project: Service to Seniors award, Sheriff Robert Rotter of Iowa County received the award for Outstanding Public Official, the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Johnson County won the Outstanding Initiatives in Aging award, the Advocate of the Year award went to Robert Welsh of Iowa City and the Outstanding Senior Volunteer in Area ten was awarded to Richard Jacoby of Victor.
The Heritage Agency plans, coordinates and funds a variety of human services programs that serve the 70,000+ older adults who reside in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington Counties. For more information on the Heritage Agency call 1-800-332-5934.
Local News, Money
Feb 28, 2012
Starting in March, residents living in Benton and Linn Counties may be contacted by telephone to participate in an important all-hazards evacuation planning survey. The purpose of the survey is to gather data to be used by the County Emergency Management Agencies in improving evacuation plans for both man-made and natural disasters.
The telephone survey is being conducted by First Market Research, based in Boston, Mass. All calls made during weekdays will be conducted between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. On weekends, calls will be made between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Response to the survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete with the head of the household or spouse.
No personal questions will be asked in the survey. Survey questions seek information such as “How long does it take to you drive from work to home?” and “How many vehicles that are usually available to the household would your family use if an evacuation was necessary?” The responses to these questions provide important information for emergency planning purposes.
The survey results will provide the County Emergency Management Agencies with a better estimate of the number of people evacuating in a given area, the number of vehicles used to evacuate, and the amount of time needed to prepare for evacuation.
The collected survey data will also be used in a traffic engineering study to identify roadways and areas with significant traffic congestion during evacuation and to identify methods to reduce the travel delay caused by traffic congestion.
Additional information regarding the telephone survey and planning for emergencies can be obtained from:
Linn County Emergency Management Agency – (319) 892-6500
Benton County Emergency Management Agency- (319) 472-4519
Feb 21, 2012
By Attorney General Tom Miller
Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams
If you need help: Call the free Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline at 877-622-4866.
Scam-artists are trying to cheat Iowans who are caught up in the nationwide foreclosure crisis.
Mortgage foreclosure Arescue@ schemes ask you to pay thousands of dollars up-front for so-called assistance or Arescue@ from foreclosure but they just take your money and do little or nothing to help. The scam puts you in a deeper financial hole, does nothing to save your home, and diverts you from getting real help.
The Attorney General’s Office has received scores of complaints from families who were conned into paying $1000 to $1500 or more to companies that promised to help them obtain a loan modification and avoid foreclosure, but then the con-artists did little or nothing to help.
Warning signs of foreclosure Arescue@ scams:
! Beware of Internet ads promising loan modifications.
! Be wary of solicitations that come by phone, mail, or e-mail, or even might come to your door, because information about people facing foreclosure is included in public court records.
! Watch out for solicitations from out-of-state law firms. Most are foreclosure rescue scams in disguise.
! Beware if someone claims to have a Aspecial relationship@ with your lender or Aservicer@ (they don’t!) Beware if they tell you not to talk to your lender or servicer directly because that’s just what you should be doing.
! Beware if they ask for payment Aup-front.@ It’s illegal in Iowato charge any fee until all services under the contract are provided.
If you have been cheated by a Arescue scam,@contact the Iowa AG’s Office.
Get help you can trust, if you are facing foreclosure or having trouble making payments: Call the Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline at 877-622-4866.
The Hotline is sponsored by the AG’s Office and the Iowa Finance Authority. It offers free, confidential help from trained counselors. This free service could save your home.
Don’t delay. If you are facing difficulty making payments, or facing the threat of foreclosure, take steps now to save your home, but don’t fall for Amortgage rescue@ loan-modification schemes that will only make your situation worse! The earlier you get true assistance, and the earlier you are in contact with your lender, the more likely you can save your home. Call the free Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline at 877-622-4866.
For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. Call 515-281-5926, or toll-free at 888-777-4590.
The website is: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Local News, Security/Safety
Feb 2, 2012
Join Scott Shook, Program Director of Horizons Consumer Credit Counseling Services and Jan Beal, Financial Advisor at Winner Lynk Advisory Group for a FREE workshop to help you handle financial worry.
Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Farm Bureau Conference Center,1327 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha,IA 52233.
RSVP to Kathy at 319-730-7526.
Advocacy, Local News, Money
Jan 24, 2012
Ray Reynolds and Dan Wood from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Office of Deaf Services would like to announce to all Iowa Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens that the State Fire Marshal has received a $40,000.00 grant from State Farm Insurance to purchase sound/visual smoke alarms and install electric smoke alarms in the homes of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in Iowa. This grant is for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing in our community and not limited to those households with Deaf or Hard of Hearing children. They want to make sure your life is easier and will provide equipment that could save your life! They will provide Kidde equipment that have both sound and strobe lights to alert people to fire in their homes.
They cannot guarantee that everyone will receive a smoke detector, but encourage you not to wait in getting your name on the list of possible recipients. To put your name on the list, please contact Linda Scott, Office Deaf Services, (515) 281-3164 Voice/TTY or 1-888-221-3724 or e-mail Linda at Linda.Scott@iowa.gov . Be prepared to provide information on how many Deaf or Hard of Hearing people are in your household, the number of bedrooms in your home, and your contact information. When the State Fire Marshal’s office is ready to install the unit(s), you will be contacted to make arrangements to come to your home for installation.
AARP Response to Iowa Utilities Board Staff Memo Analysis of Amended HF 561
Des Moines — A recently released Iowa Utilities Board staff memo critically analyzes a proposed amended version of House File 561, a bill that would allow utilities to raise customers’ rates up front for a possible Iowa nuclear power plant before it is built. This memo confirms many of AARP’s and other ratepayer concerns and reasons for opposing the proposed legislation.
In the memo, the IUB staff notes the various ways an amended HF 561 not only fails to protect consumer interests, but that the proposed changes to Iowa law would actually create incentives for utilities to behave in a manner contrary to the public interest.
Even with the last minute amendment, the IUB staff writes (on page 3, section 3) HF 561 “would shift nearly all of the construction, licensing and permitting risk associated with one or more nuclear plants from the company to its customers.” The legislation does this by pre-approving spending and guaranteeing utilities can recover pre-approved prudent costs, “including a profit on capital investments.”
The memo also notes that “some of these provisions could create incentives for the company to engage in behavior that could be contrary to the public interest in certain situations.” Among those provisions is a section that would permit the full recovery of all pre-approved expenditures, including profits, even if the utility does not complete the project.
Continuing on page 3, the memo presents one example of “the way the bill shifts risk form the company to its customers and creates undesirable incentives.” For example, what happens if the utility company makes a multi-million dollar construction mistake a few years and $1 billion into the project? The changes HF 561 makes to Iowa law would “effectively create an incentive for the utility to walk away from the plant” because the utility is already guaranteed recovery and profit on all spending up to that point.
“This memo supports AARP concerns about shifting the high cost and risks to build an estimated multi-billion plant onto ratepayers before it is built,” said AARP State Director Kent Sovern. “Besides highlighting the ways this bill incentivizes behavior contrary to the public interest, the memo also details ways this legislation would tie the hands of the Utility Board from protecting and advancing the public interest.”
Sovern also praised the Iowa Senate, which did not pass HF 561 last year. “The Senate demonstrated its leadership and its concern for consumers in its refusal last year to pass this legislation. This memo,” Sovern said, “confirms many of the ways this legislation is a raw deal for Iowa consumers.”
AARP is concerned about keeping utility rates affordable and accessible, which is particularly an issue for aging Iowans. November 2011 data shows that despite the fact Iowa had a relatively mild winter, near record numbers of Iowans were still behind on their utility bills. Iowans can make their voices heard and contact their lawmakers on this issue by calling a statewide toll-free connection to the State Senate at 1-800-480-4075, or on line at www.action.aarp.org/ia.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.