Saturday, July 25, 2009

TV Converter Box Coupon Application Deadline is July 31st

The deadline for applying for a digital TV converter box coupon is July 31, 2009 at midnight. This is also the deadline for appealing a denied coupon application. Applications can be submitted online here; by mail (P. O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000); by phone (1-888-388-2009, available 24 hours); or by fax (1-877-388-4632).

Mail applications can be downloaded here and must be postmarked no later than midnight, July 31st. It takes approximately nine days to process and mail the coupons out. You can check to see the status of your request online here. If you have received a coupon, it is good until its expiration date.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medicare Information for Older Adults and Caregivers

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for adults 65 and older, and for people under 65, who have disabilities. Medicare helps to pay medical and prescription drug costs. There is now a "Medicare Basics for Caregivers" web page hosted by the National Institutes of Health on its Senior Health website. MedlinePlus also has Medicare resources here.

In addition, Medicare has launched a website specifically for caregiver information called "Ask Medicare". This website has resources not only about how to navigate the Medicare system, but also resources for financial support, local geriatric care, and legal support for caregivers. also provides a list of search tools for finding a doctor, comparing hospitals, comparing health plans, and finding medical equipment suppliers in your area.

In addition, you can sign up for the "Ask Medicare" email newsletter or you can view the newsletter online on this page.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Free Eye Care Exam Program

The American Academy of Ophthalmology created a public service foundation called EyeCare America in 1985 to raise awareness about eye disease and to reduce avoidable blindness. EyeCare America has several programs which help people to afford eye care, including a Seniors EyeCare program.

The Seniors EyeCare Program has the following requirements:
  • must be age 65 or older
  • are US citizens or legal residents
  • have not seen an ophthalmologist for at least three years
  • do not belong to the VA or an HMO
You can call 1-800-222-3937 to determine if you qualify for this program or qualify for other eye care programs which they administer. The benefits of this program are "... a comprehensive, medical eye exam and up to one year of care - at no out of pocket cost - for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam." However, eyeglasses, prescription drugs, etc. are not included in this program.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Approximately 10% of the children in Florida are being raised by a relative, such as a grandparent. These full-time caregivers are called "kinship caregivers".The Florida Kinship Center, located on the University of South Florida campus, has many resources to support these caregivers. First of all, the Florida Kinship Center provides a phone information service for the entire state of Florida, which is called the Warmline. The Warmline number is 1-800-640-6444 and this service provides information about support groups, where to find legal help, and information about how to obtain financial help from various agencies, such as Medicaid.

The Florida Kinship Center also provides an online message board, chat, and mailing lists to discuss issues and find online support. In addition, the Florida Kinship Center has an online legal guide - the Kinship Care Legal Handbook - which can help caregivers to learn about legal issues, such as how to obtain custody. Other information available online from Florida Kinship Center includes:

The Area Agency of Aging of Pasco-Pinellas has a Grandparent Caregiver Program which offers legal assistance and a chore service. This agency has contracted with the Family Resources non-profit organization to provide grandparent caregiver support groups. You can call (727)550-4250 for information about these support groups and there is also a web page here.