SENIOR INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE/O3A: We look forward to serving you from our offices located at 2700 Simpson Ave., Aberdeen. You supply the questions and we supply the information. We are an information resource for seniors 60 and older. You may stop by for assistance and/or a Senior Resource Directory for Grays Harbor or Pacific County, or call our office at (360) 532-0520 or 1-800-801-0060 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may access additional information by visiting our web site, http://www.o3a.org/. Thank you for your support.
GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP: Harbors Home Health and Hospice invites you to join them in one of their free grief support groups in Grays Harbor County. If you are grieving, and having feelings of sorrow, remorse, depression or just do not know what you are feeling after a loss, then please join the group discussion at one of the following locations: Hoquiam Library, 420 7th St., 3-4 p.m., Tuesdays; Peninsula Church Center, 5000 N. Place, Seaview, 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays. If you have questions, please call 1-800-772-1319.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2013, the Social Security Administration recently announced. The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits received in Jan. 2013. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries began on Dec. 31, 2012. In addition, the Medicare Part B premium will go up $5 per month to $104.90 for most Medicare recipients. To find out more about Social Security changes, please visit - http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/factsheets/colafacts2013.htm
GRAYS HARBOR REGIONAL SUPPORT NETWORK (GHRSN) OMBUDS: GHRSN has a mental health ombuds (consumer advocate). Theresa C. Mahar works to ensure that older adults have access to quality, publicly-funded mental health services. She advocates for people who have been denied services, or who have had their services reduced, suspended or terminated; or who have complaints about the mental health services they receive. Ombuds services are free. She is available to advocate for individuals, or to speak about mental health ombuds services throughout Grays Harbor or Pacific Counties. Call Theresa toll-free at 1-866-439-3064.
NORTH BEACH SENIOR RESOURCE CENTER: The North Beach Senior Resource Center is offering a clearing house of information for seniors, advising what services are available for their use and how to get access to them. They are available to family members and caregivers of those seniors who need help finding resources, including information on Veteran affairs. The center has arranged to provide information by personal visit or call (360) 289-3352 and leave a message for the volunteers. The center is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ocean Shores United Methodist Church, 557 Pt. Brown Ave. NW. Also, volunteers from SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) will be available on the first, second and third Thursdays of the month from noon to 2 p.m. to assist you with your Medicare and other Health Insurance related questions.
SENIOR LEGAL ADVICE CLINICS PACIFIC COUNTY: Senior Legal Advice Clinics are now available in Raymond and Long Beach I & A offices. This is a free service to elders 60+ who want/need to meet with an attorney face-to-face for some guidance. The sessions are generally 30 minutes and can cover a variety of topics ranging from wills, Powers of Attorney, tenant rights, estate questions and so on. And it’s easy access; just contact our offices, Raymond (360) 942-2177/Long Beach (360) 642-3634 and request an appointment.
LEGAL SERVICES: The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is a not-for-profit statewide organization providing free civil legal services to eligible low-income people and seniors. For information on services, check out www.nwjustice.org. NJP operates a toll-free intake and referral system called CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education Advice and Referral) at 1-888-201-1014 (or 1-888-387-7111 for seniors 60 and over). NJP provides free legal help, including advice, brief legal service, and, where available, a referral for further representation. Intake hours are weekdays, 9:10 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. You can also apply for services online any time at nwjustice.org/clear-online. NJP maintains an extensive library of legal resources and self-help materials at www.washingtonlawhelp.org and videos at www.youtube.com/user/NWJusticeProject/videos. If you have a collection, eviction or education case, please call our local Aberdeen office at 360-533-2282 to see if a local intake is appropriate. All other cases will be referred to CLEAR.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: If you’re in your sixties, you probably know that the age to receive full retirement benefits has changed. However, it’s important to remember that the age to begin receiving Medicare has not; it is still 65. Even if you have decided to wait until after you are age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should start getting Medicare coverage at age 65. This is especially true, if you don’t have insurance from your current employment situation. If you would like to begin your Medicare coverage when you first become eligible, we suggest that you apply within three months of reaching age 65. You can apply online in as little as 10 minutes at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly. Why go online to apply for Medicare? Because it’s fast, easy, and secure. You don’t need an appointment and you can avoid waiting in traffic or in line. As long as you have ten minutes to spare, you have time to complete and submit your online Medicare application. People who started receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits before age 65 do not need to apply; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. There is no additional charge for Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) since you already paid for it by working and paying Medicare tax. However, there is a monthly premium for medical insurance (Part B), for most; $104.90 in 2013. If you already have other health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare, you should consider whether you want to apply for Medicare Parts A, B, and D. To learn more about Medicare and some options for choosing coverage, read the online publication, Medicare, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html or visit www.Medicare.gov.
CITIZEN SAFETY CALL-IN PROGRAM: There are many people in Ocean Shores who are living alone. Of these people, many are in need of someone to check in with them on a regular basis to be sure that they are safe. Pastor Alice Hedges of the Ocean Shores United Methodist Church has put together a program with the assistance of the Ministerial Association and the Visitor Information Center to establish a “call program” where vulnerable adults can call in on a daily basis to let someone know they are doing as well as can be expected. People who live alone may not be able to get to the phone to call out if they fall or are ill. That could mean they are unable to get help when help is needed and could possibly be left for several days until someone from the outside might check on the them. To qualify for this program an individual must be a resident of Ocean Shores; be able to provide at least two emergency/family contacts that are willing to be called if necessary; and be willing and able to call in between 10 a.m. and noon daily. If you would like to participate or have any questions please call (360) 289-0201.
ADULT ABUSE HOTLINE/ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES: If there is any questionable abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to call toll free at 1-877-734-6277.
Source: Olympic Area Agency on Aging and Senior Information & Assistance. Please visit our website at http://www.o3a.org/