In an ABC Internet news story published Saturday, President Bush said “Unless we act, we will saddle our children and grandchildren with tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded obligations. They will face three bad options: huge tax increases, huge budget deficits or huge and immediate cuts in benefits.”
If you are 45 or older, you should have heard these as “fightin’ words.”
In 12 years Baby Boomers will be 56-74. The Medicare and Social Security System should be ramping up — not ramping down.
By age 60, many people begin to have health problems requiring medical intervention. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are common examples.
Health care plays a much larger role in quality of life for those 70 and older.
Proposed changes to Social Security Retirement Income will have consequences for those struggling to afford Medicare Part B and Part D and a Medicare SupplementalInsurance Plan.
The good news is we live in a place where citizens are free to take part in a dialogue with the decision-makers of government.
If the 45-and-older age group chooses to make its voices heard, there is an outlet. A conference called Senior Voice will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 26 at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.
The keynote speaker will be U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and workshop topics will be: medicare, health care and prescription drugs; Social Security and pensions; senior housing, Older Americans Act and caregiver support; community-based care, adult protective services and kinship care.
The conference will educate and inspire citizen action about aging issues. Information is power.
If you attend, you can use your knowledge to influence the new leaders in government.
Or you can do nothing. Remember the words of Edmund Burke, “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”
Middle-aged and older Ohio residents are invited to this free conference. Call 216-881-7200.
For transportation, call Erie County Senior Center’s Activity Director, Jeni Hammond, at 419-626-2560 or 800-701-3221 by Feb. 16.
Q: What suggestions do you have for cutting down on the cost of food/groceries?
A: The Erie County Senior Center (419-626-2560) serves lunch Monday-Friday at 620 E. Water St., Sandusky. The cost is an anonymous donation — $2.50 is suggested. If you have never been to lunch at the center, you really should give it a try. It’s a beautiful facility with really good food.
The Angel Food Ministries is another great cost-saver. This program allows anyone to purchase food at a significantly reduced cost. Twenty-five dollars will buy 25 pounds of a variety of beef, chicken and sausage, plus vegetables, rice, cereal, pie and eggs. Orders must be submitted by Sunday with the payment (no personal checks). Food stamps are accepted. Call Serving Our Seniors at 419-624-1856 or 800-564-1856 and ask us for a flier explaining the details. Or you can call the Bellevue Assembly of God Church at 419-483-5457 or e-mail them at BellevueAG@aol.com
Q: I am in my deductible period with my Medicare Part D. This means I have to pay the first $265 of medicine purchases out of my pocket. I can’t afford this. Can Serving Our Seniors help?
A: If you are willing to answer personal questions about your finances, we can see if you are eligible for help. If you can’t afford to fill your prescription, call our office. I think we can help you. Call us at 419-624-1856 or 800-564-1856
Q: I’m a senior citizen, and my husband used to file our tax return. He is no longer able to do this. Can anyone who isn’t too expensive help me?
A: There are two volunteer groups helping. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be at the Erie County Senior Center from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. AARP volunteers will provide assistance with filing your tax returns from 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday and Thursday. Both work on a first-come, first-served basis.