Get Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs-Social Security

Get Extra help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs-Social Security.

Apply online for Extra Help with your prescription drug costs: It’s so Easy!

http://www.socialsecurity.gov

https://www.ssa.gov/

What is Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs?

Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with limited resources and income also are eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs-monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments-related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don’t even know it.

To qualify for Extra Help:

* You must reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.

*Your resources must be limited to $12,640 for an individual or $25,260 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. We do not count your home, car and any life insurance policy as resources.

*Your annual income must be limited to $16,335 for an individual or $22,065 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher are if you or your spouse:

*Support other family members who live with you.

*Have earnings from work or

*Live in Alaska or Hawaii

How do I apply for Extra Help?

It is easy to apply for Extra Help. Just complete Social Security’s Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Here’s how:

*You can apply online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp.

*Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to apply over the phone or to request an application or

*Apply at your local Social Security office.

https://www.ssa.gov/

After you apply, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify for the Extra Help. Once you qualify for the Extra Help. Once you qualify, you can choose a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will do it for you. The sooner you join a plan the sooner you begin receiving benefits.

Why should I apply online for Extra Help?

Our online application is secure and offers several advantages. It takes you through the process step by step with a series of self-help screens. The screens will tell you what information you need to complete the application and will guide you in answering the questions fully. You can apply from any computer at your own pace. You can start and stop at any time during the process, so you can leave the application and go back later to update or complete any of the required information. We are careful to protect your personal information.

Can state agencies help with my Medicare costs?

When you file your application for Extra Help, you also can start your application process for the Medicare Savings Programs-State programs that provide help with other Medicare costs. Social Security will send information to your State unless you tell us not to on the Extra Help application. Your State will contact you to help you apply for a Medicare Savings Program.

These Medicare Savings Programs help people with limited resources and income pay for their Medicare expenses. The Medicare Savings Programs help pay for your Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premiums. For some people, the Medicare Savings Programs also may pay for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) premiums, if any and Part A and B deductibles and co-payments.

How can I get more information?

For more information about getting Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs, visit https://www.ssa.gov/ and http://www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Social Security representatives are available to help you complete your application.

If you need information about Medicare Savings Programs, Medicare prescription drug plans, how to enroll in a plan or to request a copy of the Medicare & You handbook, please visit http://www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY, 1-877-486-2048). When you call, you also can request information about how to contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). In addition, you can find your local SHIP contact information on the back of your Medicare handbook or obtain the information online at http://www.medicare.gov/contacts/organization-search-criteria.aspx.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Social Security Administration pamphlet on getting Extra Help for Prescription Drug costs and I give them full credit for the information. Please call or email the above resources for more information.

Posted in Drug Assistance Programming, Federal Caregiver programs, Health and Life Support Services, Medicare/Medicaid Programming, Men's Programming, Prescription Drug Programs, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Financial Planning, Senior Saving Programs, Senior Services, Social Security Programs, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Endoscopic Ultrasound: Understanding your Health

Endoscopic Ultrasound: Understanding your Heath

EUS allows a physician to get a clear picture of organs and tissues using a tool that combines an endoscope with a tiny ultrasound unit. Ultrasound projects sound waves into body tissues and then “listens” as the sound waves “echo” back to a sensor. The sensor creates a visual image on a screen that can be evaluated by the physician.

In EUS, the ultrasound probe is built onto the end of an endoscope-a lighted, flexible rube that can be fed through the mouth and into the esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach) or through the rectum, depending on what part of the digestive tract the physician wants to investigate. With standard endoscopy, the physician can directly view the inside surface of the digestive tract. With EUS, the ultrasound creates an image of the underlying area, giving the physician a view of the tissues and organs beneath the intestinal surface.

Preparing for the EUS Exam:

Patients should inform their physician of all medications they are taking and check with the physician before stopping any medications. When EUS is done through the esophagus, the patient should not eat or drink anything for about eight hours before the exam. When EUS is done through the rectum, the colon (large intestine) must be cleansed. Normally, the patient uses a liquid diet along with laxatives or enemas to cleanse the colon. If biopsies are anticipated, the physician advises the patient about any blood thinning medications, which are usually stopped up to five days before the exam. These medications may increase the risk of excessive bleeding from a biopsy.

During the EUS Exam:

EUS is usually performed as an outpatient exam in a hospital. The patient is given a sedative to produce a drowsy, sleepy state. The EUS scope is then inserted through the mouth or rectum and eased through to the area to be examined. An EUS scope is flexible and can be easily moved around the various bends in the digestive tract.

When the scope is in position, the ultrasound mechanism produces the images needed for the examination. These images are carried electronically to a computer system that displays them on a video screen for the physician to view. If needed, small tissue samples can be taken from the digestive tract for analysis..

Still photographs of the video images are made to verify what has been found and to use for later study and comparison. In general, it takes 20 to 40 minutes to complete the exam. The patient is then taken to a recovery area for observation until sedation wears off. While most of the needed information is available to the physician immediately, tissue analysis will require several days. A follow up appointment is then necessary to review the results.

Side Effects and Risks:

During the procedure, patients are routinely monitored to be sure that there are no complications from medications. Following the procedure, the patient may have a mild sore throat for a few hours. Because of the sedation, patients should not drive, operate heavy machinery or make important decisions following the procedure. Therefore, someone should be available to drive the patient home.

This ability of EUS to get so close to the area to be examined makes this test reliable and preferable to more invasive techniques. In general, EUS is a very safe procedure. There is a very slight risk of the endoscope tearing the intestinal tract, which would require surgery. Rarely, excessive bleeding may occur with a biopsy.

Purpose of EUS:

The digestive system, also called the gastrointestinal or GI tract, includes the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines and rectum. Other organs like the gallbladder and pancreas, which contribute to the digestion of foods are also part of the digestive system. When a patient is having discomfort and symptoms that suggest a problem in the GI system, the physician will order tests to help with the diagnosis.

Stomach ulcers and intestinal polpys are examples of conditions that can be easily seen on the inside lining of the intestine. In these cases a standard endoscopy is all that is needed. However, sometimes the physician wants to see deeper into the underlying tissues or the surrounding area and in these cases an EUS can help. EUS is especially useful for evaluating certain tumors of the GI Tract. EUS may be used to evaluate a wide range of conditions including:

*Tumors and lymph nodes that lie beneath the intestial wall.

*Issues with blood vessels supporting the GI Tract.

*Gallstones within the bile duct.

*Abnormalities of the pancreas.

*Abnormalities of the rectum.

*Growth of tumors

*Tumor removal or recurrence.

*Follow-up of benign-appearing tumors.

*Biopsy of tumors or sampling of fluid collections.

Summary:

EUS is an effective way of examining the digestive tract and the related tissues and organs that lie outside it. This exam may be used with other studies to give a comprehensive picture of conditions in the GI tract. Serious complications are very uncommon. EUS allows the physician a high degree of accuracy in making a diagnosis, so that an effective form of therapy can usually be provided.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from a Meducate by GI Supply pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please consult with your doctor before having any procedures.

Posted in Cancer Programming, Health and Life Support Services, Men's Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cirrhosis: Understanding your Health

Cirrhosis: Understanding your Health

Anatomy & Function of the Liver

The liver is a large organ that sits in the right upper abdomen, just under the right lung. It performs many different functions at the same time. The liver makes proteins, eliminates waste material from the body, produces cholesterol, stores and releases glucose energy and metabolizes many drugs used in medicine. It also produces bile that flows into the intestine to help digest food. This remarkable organ also had the ability to repair and regenerate itself if it is injured or partially removed. The liver receives blood from two different sources-the heart and the intestine. All of this blood flows through the liver and returns to the heart. It is no wonder that the ancient Chinese viewed the liver, not the heart as the center of the body.

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Many types of chronic injury to the liver can cause scar tissue to form. This scarring changes the normal structure and disrupts the regrowth of liver cells. Eventually, the scar tissue blocks blood flow through the liver and prevents the liver from accomplishing its important jobs.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Cirrhosis takes years to develop. During this time, there are usually no symptoms, although fatigue, weakness and decreased appetite may occur and worsen with time. When cirrhosis has fully developed a number of signs may be present:

*Fluid retention in the legs and abdomen: the liver produces a protein, called albumin, that holds fluid in blood vessels. When the blood level of albumin decreases, fluid seeps out of the tissues into the legs and abdomen, causing edema (fluid accumulation) and swelling.

*Jaundice: the liver produces bile that normally flows into the intestine. In advanced cirrhosis, bile can back up in to the blood, causing the skin and eyes to turn yellow and the urine to darken.

Intense itching: certain types of cirrhosis, such as chronic bile duct blockage can produce troublesome itching.

Coagulation (clotting) defects: the liver makes certain proteins that help clot blood. When these proteins are deficient, bleeding can be excessive or prolonged.

Mental function change: the liver processes and filters toxins. When these toxins escape into the bloodstream in severe cases of cirrhosis, they can travel to the brain and affect mental function.

Esophageal vein bleeding: in advanced cirrhosis, intestinal blood bypasses the liver and flows up and around the esophagus (connects the throat to the stomach) to the heart. The veins in the esophagus expand and may rupture, causing significant bleeding.

Diagnosis and Liver Biopsy:

The physician may suspect cirrhosis from the patient’s medical history and physical examination. In addition, certain blood tests or ultrasound can provide helpful information. To make a definite diagnosis, however, a liver biopsy (tissue sample) may be necessary. This is performed by anesthetizing the skin and inserting a thin needle into the liver. A specimen of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope.

What is the Course of Cirrhosis?

When cirrhosis is diagnosed, the patient and physician begin a plan of action designed to preserve the remaining liver cells and correct the complications mentioned above. By following this plan, many patients can lead long, productive lives.

Treatment:

Often, the only required treatment for cirrhosis is removing the offending cause:

*Alcoholic patients must permanently stop consuming alcohol.

*Diabetics should work closely with their physicians to control their blood sugar

*When iron is being retained in the body, having blood drawn frequently can eliminate large amounts of iron.

*Medicines that modulate the immune system can treat autoimmune hepatitis and prevent potential complications such as cirrhosis.

*Restricting salt ad using fluid pills (diuretics) reduce

*Toxins and drugs that damages the liver must be avoided.

*Using certain laxatives or antibiotics can improve changes in mental function.

*Bleeding veins in the esophagus can be closed with small rubber bands.

*Ursodiol (Actigall) and other drugs may be helpful in treating primary biliary cirrhosis.

What causes Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis can be caused by many things including:

*Alcohol: excess alcohol use is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis.

*Fatty liver disease: this is often associated with diabetes but can develop in people without diabetes as well.

*Chronic viral hepatitis: Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and perhaps other viruses can infect and damage the liver, eventually causing cirrhosis.

*Chronic bile duct blockage: this condition can occur at birth or develop later in life and the causes remain unknown. The two most common blockages are primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Primary sclerosing cholangitis is often associated with Ulcerative Colitis, a chronic ulcerative condition of the colon.

*Abnormal storage of copper (Wilson’s Disease) or iron (Hemochromatosis): these metals are present in all body cells. When abnormal amounts of them accumulate in the liver, scarring and cirrhosis may develop.

*Drugs and Toxins: prolonged exposure to certain chemicals or drugs can scar the liver.

*Autoimmune Hepatitis: this chronic inflammation occurs when the body’s protective antibodies and white cells don’t recognize the liver as part of the body’s own tissue. The antibodies and cells attack the liver cells as though they were foreign cells.

*Cystic Fibrosis: thicken mucus secretions in patients with this inherited disorder can block the bile ducts, leading to swelling, inflammation and eventually scarring.

*Alpha 1 antitypsin deficiency: an inherited absence of a specific enzyme in the liver.

Liver Transplant:

Liver transplantation may be an option for certain patients with severe cirrhosis.

Prevention:

Most cirrhosis is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, fatty liver disease or hepatitis viruses. To reduce the risk of cirrhosis, limit alcohol consumption to no more than 1 or 2 drinks per day. There is a vaccine against Hepatitis B recommended for children and certain high-risk groups such as: health care professionals, persons traveling to Third World countries, homosexual men, intravenous drug users and prosititues.

Summary:

Cirrhosis of the liver is a common disorder that has many causes. With early diagnosis, much can be done to prevent serious complications. Treatments depend on the cause of the liver injury and what complications are present. Ongoing medical research could provide advances in treating cirrhosis in the future.

Disclaimer: This information was taken a pamphlet from GI Supply and I give them full credit for this information. Please check out their website http://www.gi-supply.com for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Medical-Equipment-Supplier/GI-Supply-1379329435507660/

Posted in Cancer Programming, Diabetes Programming, Disability Programming, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs, Health and Life Support Services, Men's Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Services, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Being a Fire Fighter and a Caregiver: Fire Fighter Justin Watrel writes Blog “BergenCountyCaregiver.com” to help those in need.

Dedicated to my father, Warren George Watrel

Dad and I
Posted in AARP Programming, Alliance for Positive Change Programming, Alzheimer's and Parkinson Disease Programs, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Treatment, Apicha Health Community Center Programming, Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc. Projects, Bergen County NJ Programs, Cancer Programming, Career Programming for people with disabilities, Center for Food Action Programming, Child Program Services, Clean Water Programming, Corporate Programming for the public, COVID-19 Information, Dental issues, Depression Programming, Diabetes Programming, Disability Programming, Disaster and Terrorism Training Programs, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs, Drug Assistance Programming, Drunk Driving Programming, Estate Planning Programming, Federal Caregiver programs, Federal Nutrition Programs, Fire Fighting/First Responder Programming, Food and Nutrition Programming, Fraud Programming, Gambling Abusive Programming, Health and Life Support Services, HIV Programming, Home Care Programs, Home Improvement & Care Programs, Homeless Service Programs, Housing Programs, Immigrant Programming, Legal Assistance Programs, LineLine Protection, Medicare/Medicaid Programming, Men's Programming, My walk in Manhattan Blog, New Jersey Children's Programs, New Jersey Senior Programming, New Jersey Senior Transportation Programming, New Jersey State Program, New York Children's Program, New York City Caregiver Programming, New York City Senior Programming, NJ Library Programming, Obesity Programs, Paid Sick Leave, Pet & Animal Programming, Prescription Drug Programs, Programs Preventing Mind-Hacking, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Driving Programs, Senior Financial Planning, Senior Grooming Programs, Senior Rehabilitation Programming, Senior Sanitation Programs, Senior Services, Senior Transportation Programming, Senior Travel Programs, Senior Volunteerism, Sexual Assault and Violence Help Programming, Skin Cancer and Treatment Programs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PSE&G: Your home is your family’s Haven

PSE&G: Your home is your family’s Haven

Keep it safe by storing flammables properly.

Natural gas is a clean burning and safe fuel for appliances like your heater, stove, hot water heater, gas dryer and more. Be sure to maintain this equipment so it operates safely. And remember, don’t store flammables like trash, paint, paper products or gasoline near them because they could ignite and start a fire. Watch and share our flammables safety video at pseg.com/GasSafety.

Protect the ones you love. Learn more at pseg.com/GasSafety.

*PSE&G is committed to your safety.

*Be sure to properly store flammables.

Disclaimer: This information taken directly from the PSE&G pamphlet and I give them full credit for it.

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Home Care Programs, Home Improvement & Care Programs, Housing Programs, Senior Services, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PSE&G: Protect the ones you love. Important Natural Gas Safety information.

PSE&G: Protect the ones you love. Important Natural Gas Safety Information.

Educate your family about Natural Gas Leaks.

Natural gas is a clean and efficient fuel source used safely in millions of American homes and businesses. But as with any flammable material, leaks that do occur can be dangerous. PSE&G wants you to be fully aware of how to detect a gas leak and what to do if you suspect a leak in or around your home.

What to do in case of a leak:

Smell:

Don’t take any chances. If you think you smell a gas leak or see other signs, assume it is a leak.

Leave:

Leave you home immediately and get as far away as you can. If you notice the odor outside, leave the area where you suspect the leak is coming from.

Call:

Once you are in a safe environment-at least 350 feet away from the suspected gas leak area-call 911 or PSE&G at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734).

Protect Your Family Against Carbon Monoxide

What is Carbon Monoxide?

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide (CO). Small amounts of CO are in the air whenever fuel (such as oil, gas or coal) is burned. These amounts are usually not harmful. However, when fuel-burning appliances and equipment are not working properly, too much CO can build up in the air and cause CO poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning:

Symptoms can occur immediately or gradually after long-term exposure.

Headache, Dizziness, Weakness, Nausea, Vomiting and Confusion

What to do:

*If you think high levels of CO are in your home, go outside.

*If there is a medical emergency, such as someone falling unconscious, take the person outside to fresh air and call 911.

*Then call PSE&G emergency service line at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734). Wait outside until help arrives.

How to prevent CO Poisoning:

*Install Carbon Monoxide detectors as protection in every area of your house. Regularly check the batteries.

*Make sure that all fuel-burning appliances are maintained and are operating properly.

*Do not allow vehicles or any gasoline-powered engine to idle in a garage or enclosed space. CO can drift inside and create a hazardous situation.

How to know if there is a leak:

Because natural gas is odorless and colorless, a distinctive odor, like rotten eggs is added to it to help in the detection of leaks. Make sure everyone in your home is familiar with this odor.

There are reliable ways to detect a gas leak:

*Hearing a hissing sound

*Seeing bubbling in puddles

*Smelling the odor of rotten eggs

PSE&G: A Commitment to Safety:

PSE&G is deeply committed to the safety of our customers, our employees and the communities we serve. As your natural gas provider, we want to make sure you are prepared in the event of a gas emergency.

Share this brochure with everyone in your household. And keep it in a handy place to refer to quickly if you suspect a problem.

*Proper storage of flammables

*Safe digging around your home

*Gas Heater & Appliance safety

https://nj.pseg.com/outageandgasleaks/ismellgas#:~:text=If%20you%20accidentally%20damage%20gas,880%2D7734%20(PSEG).

https://nj.pseg.com/safetyandreliability/gassafety

https://www.pseg.com/safety

Disclaimer: I received this information in the mail from a PSE&G pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please call PSE&G for more information and if you smell gas in the house call 911!

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Home Care Programs, Housing Programs, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Services, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

AARP New Jersey: Expanded Leave Insurance Program

AARP New Jersey: Expanded Leave Insurance Program

Caring for a sick loved one shouldn’t mean losing your pay. Do you care for a parent, spouse, sibling, child, in law, grandparent, grandchild, blood relative or someone with whom you have a family like relationship?

Here is what you need you need to know about New Jersey’s newly expanded Family Leave Insurance Program:

  1. Working family caregivers can apply for wage replacement benefits during unpaid time off from work to care for a loved one with a serious health condition.
  2. The maximum wage replacement has increased from $650.00 to $881.00 per week.
  3. The period to receive benefits while caring for a loved one has doubled to 12 weeks.
  4. Job protection is now provided for workers at businesses with 30 or more employers.
  5. Caring for a loved one who has been exposed or diagnosed with a communicable disease, including COVID-19 is now covered.

I love caregivers!

Learn more at aarp.org/njcaregiving

Apply online at myleavebenefits.nj.gov or call (609) 292-7060.

AARP New Jersey

303 George Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/

https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/caregiving-advocacy/

Posted in AARP Programming, Bergen County NJ Programs, Child Program Services, Federal Caregiver programs, Health and Life Support Services, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, New Jersey State Program, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Services, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keep Your Cool

Keep your Cool:

Through the summer, many of us take to the outdoors to get fresh air and exercise while maintaining social-distancing rules. But as the summer temperatures rise, so too does the danger of heat exhaustion when working out outdoors.

The Heat of the Moment:

Heat exhaustion happens when your body overheats. Common symptoms include:

Headache, Dizziness/Fainting, Cold, pale and clammy skin, body aches or muscle cramps, Rapid, weak pulse, tiredness/weakness, nausea or vomiting

The Safe Outdoors:

When staying active outdoors this summer, remember these seven tips to stay safe:

  1. Stay hydrated: drink plenty of fluids to maintain a normal body temperature.
  2. Stay indoors during peak sun hours: between 10:00am-4:00pm. If possible, schedule your outdoor activities in the early morning or evening.
  3. Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing: dark tight-fitting clothing traps heat; keeping your body from cooling properly.
  4. Always use sunscreen: sunburn can dehydrate you and keep your body from cooling down. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen of SPF 30 minutes before going out. Then reapply according to directions on the package. Products labeled or UVA/UVB work best.
  5. Understand your individual risk: certain medications (beta blockers, diuretics and antihistamines for example) increase the risk of heat exhaustion. In addition, frequently check on those at highest risk for heat-related death, such as elderly, disabled people or homebound people. Check on children and pets frequently as they can’t always communicate when something is wrong.
  6. Stay informed: check local news for extreme heat warnings. Avoid outdoor activities during these times.
  7. Safely wear a mask: when wearing a mask outdoors in high temperatures, choose a breathable material like light-colored cotton, for your face covering. Also have multiple face coverings on hand, in case your first becomes damp from sweat.

Turn it down:

If you experience any symptoms of heat exhaustion, stop what you’re doing and move to a cooler place. If symptoms persist, it’s time to call your doctor. When not treated promptly, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition that happens when the core body temperature rise above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more tips for working out safely at HMHforU.org/Exercise.

Disclaimer: this article comes from the June 2020 issue of AARP and I give the publication full credit for the information. Please be careful when going outside and cover up.

Posted in Cancer Programming, Health and Life Support Services, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Services, Skin Cancer and Treatment Programs, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When the Kids Aren’t Alright

*Please note this article comes from the June 2020 issue of AARP and I give them full credit for the information.

When the Kids Aren’t Alright

For adults, the COVID-19 crisis and social-distancing measures have taken a toll mental and emotional health. But the crisis also has been difficult to process for kids and teens.

Recognizing that your child is experiencing anxiety, stress or depression isn’t always straightforward. Not every anxious child is a tense ball of nerves and not every depressed child cries often. How, then, do parents know when their kids are struggling with emotions and how do they talk to them about it?

Signs of a Mental Health Issue:

The first sign that a child may be contending with a mental health issue is a sudden change in behavior that is outside the developmental norm for the child’s age, says Lauren Kaczka-Weiss D.O., a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

“For example, if your teen is suddenly avoiding texting or video chatting with friends or has dropped a favorite activity without explanation, that could be a sign that something is amiss,” Dr. Kaczka-Weiss says.

In younger children, depression, anxiety and stress may show up as complaints about headaches and stomachaches. However, don’t assume that your child’s headache or stomachache is being caused by a mental health issue. Dr. Kaczka-Weiss says. It could very well be a physical ailment. She recommends checking in with your child’s pediatrician to talk about what you’re seeing and what your next steps should be.

How to talk your child about Mental Health:

“When talking to children about anxiety, stress or depression, it’s best to be honest and straightforward and to communication with your child at an age-appropriate level,” Dr. Kaczka-Weiss says.

*For children under 6 years: Use drawings of smiley or sad faces to try to tease out what they are feeling.

*For children between 6 and 12 years: You can talk about feelings, Dr. Kaczka-Weiss says children at this age can understand the difference between frustration and anger. They can communicate “I’m just really frustrated, Mom.”

*For Teens: Assessing what’s going on with your teen may be more of a challenge but being honest-telling your teen how nervous you’re feeling about broaching the conversation-may help you both ease into a frank conversation.

What it’s always appropriate to seek professional help. Dr. Kaczka-Weiss suggests these coping techniques.

*Deep breathing: when your child feels overwhelmed, encourage them to inhale through the nose, like they are deeply smelling a flower and exhale through the mouth, like they are slowly blowing out birthday candles.

*Counteracting negative self-talk: when you hear your child say something negative about themselves, return it with a positive trait that your love about them and tell them to repeat after you.

*Exercise: a quick walk or a game of catch are great ways to get out of the house and spend quality time with the family.

*Meditation: mediation helps kids slow down thoughts, focus on breathing and visualize themselves in a positive light.

Go online to learn more about caring for your mental well-being or your children’s at HMHforU.org/MentalHealth.

Disclaimer: This article was taken from a recent of AARP June 2020 magazine and I give them full credit for the article.

Posted in AARP Programming, Alliance for Positive Change Programming, Bergen County NJ Programs, Child Program Services, COVID-19 Information, Depression Programming, Federal Caregiver programs, Health and Life Support Services, Men's Programming, New Jersey Children's Programs, New Jersey State Program, Senior Caregiver Programs, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Psychological Tricks of COVID-19 Scammers

The Psychological Tricks of COVID-19 Scammers

By Author Sari Harrar

*Note: I found this in a recent issue of AARP Magazine and credit the author with this article.

With million isolated by the virus, more people are vulnerable to deception.

Scan artists will stop at nothing to exploit the fear, social isolation and uncertainty fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. “People are more vulnerable emotionally than ever,” says psychologist Stacey Wood, a professor at Scripps College in California. “That makes it easier to fall for the increasing number of scams out there.”

According to AARP’s Fraud Watch Network, criminals are preying on this new vulnerability with everything from fake work-at-home jobs and fraudulent charities to money-seeking romance schemers lurking on dating sites. Other scammers include government impostors who are targeting your stimulus check. How do they do it? Here are six psychological tactics scammers don’t want you to know about.

A friendly voice:

Before the coronavirus, 1 in 4 older adults were socially isolated; today that number is far higher. “When you’re lonely, a friendly voice on the phone or a friendly message on social media seems like a real bright spot,” says Emily Allen, a senior vice president for programs at AARP Foundation. Scammers use information they’ve gleaned about you online to strengthen the bond. They shower you with compliments and get you to like them in order to make you more willing to believe their lies.

Official sounding sources:

“In uncertain times, we rely more than ever on what other people tell us. Scammers may falsely identify themselves as being from the IRS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” says Robert Ciadini, regents emeritus professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University. “This misquote or make up advice from expects. And they creative fake organizations that sound impressive, to fool you.”

Using your intelligence against you:

“Some people get drawn in when scammers compliment their intelligence and ability to understand a so-called opportunity,” Cialdini says. “Others think they’re smarter than a scammer and can spot a phony. Research shows that, among older adults, those who think they’re the most invulnerable to persuasion are most likely to fall for scam artists.”

Helping in hard times:

Schemes involving fake charities, online romantic partners in need and grandchildren marooned away from home without cash are nothing new. But they’re heating up as people yearn for ways to help others and as job losses and travel restrictions make scammers’ stories sound more believable than ever, Wood says.

Relieving your new anxieties:

Job loss, stock market tumbles, scary virus risks…scammers are manipulating your fears in these uncertain times with your fears in these uncertain times with too good to be true “opportunities” like fake work at home offers, bogus investment schemes and phony, chances to buy face masks, hand sanitizer, coronavirus tests and fake remedies.

You gotta act now!:

Goading you to either make a fast decision or miss out on scarce supplies or a new job plays on today’s anxieties, Wood says. “When you’re fearful or stressed, you’re more likely to make impulsive decisions,” she says. “Scammers know this.”

Four ways to turn the tables:

*Cut them off: toss, delete or hand up on unsolicited offers. Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the caller ID. Don’t click on links or provide personal info requested in an email.

*End suspicious online friendships: this is not the time to trust strangers no matter how nice they seem, in fact, scammers are professionals at being ‘nice’. Put on your toughest filters and cut off contact the moment someone you don’t know well asks for info or financial help.

*Cultivate your real friendship: be in frequent touch with family, friends and neighbors who can be sounding boards on unusual offers. Visit connect2affect.org to assess how much social isolation and distancing are affecting your mental and physical health. AARP’s Allen says.

*Do your homework: if someone claims they’re from the IRS or your bank, call to verify. Visit aarp.org/scams to learn about the latest coronavirus scams.

Disclaimer: This article came from the June 2020 issue of AARP by author Sari Harrar and I give the author full credit for the article and it subject matter. Please be careful in these uncertain times.

Posted in AARP Programming, COVID-19 Information, Fraud Programming, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, New Jersey State Program, Programs Preventing Mind-Hacking, Senior Services, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment