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Aging Services and Supports

TCare-Much Needed Help for Caregivers

Do you provide unpaid care to a family member, friend, or neighbor who has an illness, disability, memory loss, injury, or special need? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a caregiver! Are you feeling overwhelmed, constantly worried, tired, sad, easily irritated, and/or extremely stressed? You are not alone and there is support available. If you would like to learn more about resources, tools, and supports available for caregivers, please answer the following questions to get connected to the right starting place.

  1. Are you over the age of 18 and caring for an older adult (age 60+)?

  1. Are you over the age of 18 caring for an individual (any age) with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder (e.g., dementia, traumatic brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, chronic traumatic encephalopathy)?

  1. Are you over the age of 55 and living with and caring for a child (not biological) under the age of 18?

  1. Are you over the age of 55 and living with and caring for an adult (can be a biological child) aged 18-59 with a disability?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are eligible for the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). If you would like to learn more about how this program can assist you, please visit:https://caregiver.tcare.ai/screener/app/lewiscounty/gPT4pMWNiIyyMRjkWPiSQ for an initial assessment of your wellbeing, and a Program Specialist will reach out to discuss the results. The evidence-based screener asks you to reflect on your experiences and respond to a series of statements based on identified rating scales in each section. This screener is used to help you and the Program Specialist better understand your situation and define an individualized plan to meet your unique caregiving needs.

If you answered no to all the questions above, or you are not interested in taking the evidence-based screen, there is still help available to you through the Any Care Counts – New York (ACC-NY) Campaign which recognizes and supports the millions of unpaid caregivers across the state! Through ACC-NY you can discover your caregiver intensity score by taking the ARCHANGELS Caregiver Intensity Index (CII). It takes just 2 minutes to complete. You will find out whether you are “in the red,” “yellow” or “green,” and be connected to trusted resources.  

Do you prefer to search resources on your own? Visit the NY Connects Resource Directory. NY Connects links individuals of all ages and their caregivers to long term services and supports and provides one stop access to free, objective, comprehensive information and assistance.

Transportation

The Lewis County Office for the Aging partners with the Volunteer Transportation Center (VTC) in Watertown, NY. This service assists eligible people 60 years of age and older with transportation to medical appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and one grocery shopping trip a month. For further information or to register for the program, please call the OFA office at 376-5313. 

Public Transportation is also available through Lewis County.  For more information on how you can ride the bus, call 376-6508 and/or visit the County website 

Legal Services

An attorney is available for certain legal matters for those who are unable to cover the cost of counsel. While the attorney does not draw up wills or contracts, they provide counsel in areas such as power of attorney, consumer fraud, insurance claims, Medicare appeals, Medicaid hearings, and landlord/tenant disputes. Download Flyer

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)

This is a medical alert system that can help older adults have the confidence to continue living in their own homes. These devices are worn as a necklace or bracelet and alert others when the alert button is pressed.

The Lewis County Office for the Aging provides PERS units for people over the age 60. The program has no financial eligibility requirement; however, it is intended for those older adults who would otherwise be unable to afford a PERS unit. Call the Office for the Aging at 315-376-5313.

Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP)

The Lewis County Office for the Aging provides free, confidential, and unbiased health insurance counseling services to all Medicare beneficiaries and their families as part of their Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP).  Please call the Lewis County Office for the Aging at 315-376-5313 for more information on health insurance counseling. HIICAP is a federally-funded program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). HIICAP is administered by the New York State Office for the Aging. The services provided by HIICAP are both free and unbiased.

Extra Help (also called the “low-income subsidy” or LIS) is available to help people with Medicare who have limited income and resources pay for Medicare prescription drug coverage. Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

If you qualify for Extra Help, you will receive assistance in paying for costs such as monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. Many people qualify and don’t know it. It is estimated that more than 1.8 million Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for “Extra Help” but are not enrolled.

Qualifications for Full Extra Help:

  • You must reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
  • Your resources must be limited to $8,780 for an individual or $13,930 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. Your house and car do not count as resources.
  • Your monthly income must be less than $1,324 for an individual or $1,792 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to receive partial extra help.

If you think you may qualify for full or partial Extra Help with your prescription drug costs, you can apply at any time of the year by contacting Social Security, or certified insurance health insurance counselors at the Lewis County Office for the Aging can assist you in applying.

Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)

The Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (opens in a new window)  program is a New York State Program administered by the Department of Health. It provides seniors with co-payment assistance for Medicare Part D covered prescription drugs after any Part D deductible is met. EPIC also covers many Medicare Part D excluded drugs.

Fee Plan member pay an annual fee to EPIC based on their income. The EPIC co-payments range from $3-$20 based on the cost of the drug. Those with Full Extra Help from Medicare have their EPIC fee waived.
Deductible Plan members must meet an annual out-of-pocket deductible based on their income before paying EPIC co-payments for drugs. EPIC also pays the Medicare Part D plan premiums, up to the amount of a basic plan, for members with annual income below $23,000 if single or $29,000 if married.

Who can join?
  • A resident of New York State 65 or older with annual income of less then $75,000 if single or $100,000 if married.
  • An eligible senior with a Medicaid spend down not receiving full Medicaid benefits.
  • Must have a Part D in order to receive EPIC benefits.

How to Apply

Click here for an application (opens in a new window).

For more information about EPIC please call Lewis County Office for the Aging at 315-376-5313, you can also learn more by visiting the EPIC website (opens in a new window).

Medicaid

How do I know if I qualify for Medicaid (opens in a new window)?

         You may qualify if you have medical expenses, if you meet certain income, resource, age, or disability requirements, or you need nursing-home care.

2.How is Medicaid paid for?

          If your income is less than the Medicaid limit (opens in a new window), there is no cost for Medicaid. If your income is greater than the income limit, you may still be eligible for Medicaid under certain circumstances.

3. What can Medicaid cover?

         Medicaid can cover:

  • Doctors, dentists, and eye-care providers
  • Hospital stays
  • Laboratory and x-rays
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Nursing home care aides
  • Prescription drugs
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Home Care Services

4.How do I apply for Medicaid? (opens in a new window)

      To apply, call Lewis County Department of Social Services at 315-376-5400. If you need help with the application process, call the Office for the Aging & NY Connects at 315-376-5432

Health Promotion & Wellness

The health and quality of life of Lewis County older adults is a top priority at the Lewis County Office for the Aging. If you or a loved one in your household is living with a long-term health condition you can get support staying healthy through a variety of offerings each year. Health promotion and wellness program participants often say that they feel better and are able to be more active in general. Download Flyer

Aquatics

The Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (opens in a new window) is a community-based, group program that uses a variety of water-based exercises to increase physical activity among adults with arthritis. The Lewis County Office for the Aging offers this program through Double Play Community Center (opens in a new window) at three pools throughout the county. A list of interested participants is maintained and interested parties are encouraged to placed their names on the list. Call the Lewis County Office for the Aging at 315-376-5313 for more information about upcoming classes. 

Tai Chi for Arthritis 

This program is recommended by the CDC and has strong scientific evidence to support it’s benefits. The CDC recommends the Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention as evidenced based to effective at preventing falls. Tai Chi An is an art embracing the mind, body and spirit – originating in China, tai chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits. For many, it continues as a lifetime journey.  The Lewis County Office for the Aging offers this program through Double Play Community Center (opens in a new window).

Walking Group

Walk With Ease (opens in a new window) combines self-paced walks with information about health-related topics. It is an individual program that allows participants to work on their own at their own pace to increase their physical activity. WWE group sessions meet three times per week for 6 weeks.  Groups meet at different locations around the county throughout the year. Trained group exercise leaders begin each session with a pre-walk discussion covering a specified topic related to exercise and arthritis, followed by a 10- to 40-minute walk that includes a warm-up and a cool-down.

Walk with Ease Online Tool (opens in a new window)