September 16 - 23, 1998

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The Legislature recently passed and provided $150,000 for respite care for family members who are caring for Alzheimers patients. The income levels are $35,000 yearly income, liquid assets $80,000 with a $3,500 grant for each application. It would be advisable to make application for future needs now, as this amount of money will not last long. For instance present care includes a family member who needs to return home. This will mean more work for you and less hands to help. The date of return may not be settled yet, but is imminent.

The care can be that extra pair of hands every day until new programs can be devised, or it just might be a day each week over a stated time so you can get some rest, do some shopping that only you can do, Or it might cover two or three days while you visited relatives or good friends.

Call 956-9560 and ask for Joyce. Tell her your problem and ask how you can solve it.

You have all heard about the problems of two HMOs pulling out of Windham, Tolland and New London Counties. While this is not totally unexpected, there could well be other companies cutting benefits, lowering payments, adding on premiums. All this is very depressing for seniors who have given up a Medigap policy for which they struggled to pay premiums and now have used that monthly payment to ease some of the other pressures in their life. Not only would it be difficult to pay for such a change back, it will not be possible if the policy is not now available.

There have been many indications that HMOs are not on sound financial grounds, but also that the services they provide do not answer all the problems of seniors. Options for change do include picking up a new HMO (and keeping your fingers crossed that it will hold up) but that means picking new doctors and other places to get prescriptions, blood tests, etc.,etc. It would not be a bad idea To start looking now for the possibility that your HMO might let you down.

Hartford is coming alive for the fall. Of interest might be a series of A City Celebrates, with a variety of different programs put on by Trinity College,Charter Oak Cultural Center and others.

For a complete list of events, location and prices, please call The Charter Oak, Cultural Center 249-1207 at 249-12 for music, dates, times and kinds of events.

The program starts September 3 to Sunday September l3. and there is something for everyone.

If you just like to stand around and watch the world go by you'll have your chance at the Connecticut African-American Parade on September 23, and the Thomas Hooker Day Parade on Saturday, October 3. Put the dates in your book now and don't put away your folding chairs... pick a good spot and enjoy. Free.

Grandparents will be honored on National Grandparents Day, Sunday, September l3 where Storyteller Gertrude Banks will be awarded a placque commemorating all grandparents. Carmen Rivera will talk about the rewards of raising her children, her foster children and now enjoying time with her grandchildren.

Bring the grandchildren and children, enjoy Magic Ralph, the Magician, free ice cream and other entertainment. From lpm to 3 pm. on the scenic grounds of the Village for Families and Children, Inc., l680 Albany Ave. Hartford. For more information call 236-4511 or 297-0512 during working hours.

A notice from Hartford Stage of interest to seniors was for Pay-What-You-Can tickets for Streetcar Named Desire. Unfortunately the dates did not jibe with the printing of this weekly, so I called to find out if there will be more during the season and was told there would be. Only two tickets can be picked up at any one time and a suggested donation is $5 each, but this could be a very good way for those of you who like live theater, but have lower incomes, to indulge yourselves. Please call the box office at 527-5151 to find out when the next offering will be made.

In response to a growing number of questions from women about establishing, maintaining and repairing credit, the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund has issued a booklet designed to aid women in protecting themselves against discrimination and to offer tips on how to successfully manage credit in and increasingly credit focused society.

To request a booklet, which is free, call 524-0601 from 9am to 1pm Monday through Friday.

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