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Reading, PA 19605

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New Medicare Cards

New Medicare ID cards are coming, and people with Medicare in Pennsylvania will be among the first to receive them! The new cards will begin to be mailed in April 2018 and will have one major difference – a new Medicare ID number, which is not based on your Social Security number. To curtail identity theft and Medicare fraud, Social Security numbers will be replaced by a random, 11-digit number that is unique to you. The new cards will be automatically sent to you in the mail by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If you have moved, make sure to update your address with Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or online with Social Security at

Tips to Remember:

• In Pennsylvania, the new Medicare cards will be mailed starting in April 2018. Mailing everyone a new card will take some time so you may not receive your new card at the same time as your friends’ and neighbors’.

• You do not need to do anything! This change will be automatic. If someone calls you and says they need to confirm your identity, or your Medicare number, or that they need to “register” you for a new card, it’s a SCAM. Medicare and Social Security will not call you. Do not give out your personal information. If you get a call from someone and you’re just not sure, hang up and call Medicare.

• Your benefits will stay the same. The new Medicare cards will not change your coverage, and may be used upon receipt. When you receive your new card, please shred the old one.

• There is no charge for the new card. The card is free. No one should tell you there is a one-time fee, or that you will lose benefits if you don’t pay a fee or answer their questions.

If you have questions, or suspect Medicare fraud, please contact the Pennsylvania Senior Medicare Patrol (PA-SMP) at the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) at 1-800-356-3606 or visit CARIE’s services are always free and confidential. For more information about the new Medicare cards, please visit:


Berks Encore 2018 Senior Expo

Don't miss Reading and Berks County's largest senior and health fair!

The 2018 Berks Encore Senior Expo will be held on October 30, 2018 from 9 am to 3 pm at the DoubleTree Hotel By Hilton in Reading.
The DoubleTree Hotel provides a streamlined, convention-style space, boasting a state of the art amphitheater and breakout rooms, hotel restaurant with full menu, easy-access loading dock and ample vendor parking, and complimentary WiFi and electrical outlet access.

There is free parking available at the Reading Fightin Phils lot, FirstEnergy Stadium, 1900 Centre Ave, Reading, PA 19601. Shuttle buses will run continuously throughout the day. Parking will not be available at the DoubleTree, except for handicap and vendor placards. The event anticipates 140 vendors and approximately 3,500 people in attendance.

Get Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment

When’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7.


What’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.


What is a Geriatric Care Manager and How Can I Find One?

A geriatric care manager, usually a licensed nurse or social worker who specializes in geriatrics, is a sort of "professional relative" who can help you and your family to identify needs and find ways to meet your needs.

These specially trained professionals can help find resources to make your daily life easier. They will work with you to form a long-term care plan and find the services you need.

Geriatric care managers can be especially helpful when family members live far apart. If asked, they will check in with you from time to time to make sure your needs haven't changed.

What Do Geriatric Care Managers Do?Geriatric care managers:

  • Discuss difficult topics and complex issues
  • Make home visits and suggest needed services
  • Address emotional concerns
  • Make short- and long-term plans
  • Evaluate in-home care needs
  • Select care personnel
  • Coordinate medical services
  • Evaluate other living arrangements
  • Provide caregiver stress relief

The cost of an initial evaluation varies and may be expensive, but depending on your family circumstances, geriatric care managers might offer a useful service to help family members stay in touch. Geriatric care managers charge by the hour. Most insurance plans don't cover these costs, and Medicare does not pay for this service. You will probably have to pay for this service.


Watch What You Heat: 5 Kitchen Safety Tips

Watch What You Heat: 5 Kitchen Safety Tips

Cooking equipment is the top cause of home fires, and the second leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) people over the age of 65 have a 2.5 times greater risk of dying in a kitchen fire than the general population. Cooking is one of the leading causes of fire in the home, FEMA says, accounting for thousands of injuries and deaths each year.


4 Fears Surrounding End of Life Care and How to Overcome Them

about-a-dog-and-a-man-1376105Conversations about elder and end of life care can be difficult to approach. Often, they come up unintentionally, when attending a funeral, driving past a nursing home, or even watching a movie regarding the subject. Your loved one may drop a hint or two about his or her wishes for end of life care. It is important to start a conversation about this serious topic and encourage your loved one to put in writing what he or she envisions for end of life care.

Fears are common about this subject, but the earlier you start planning, the less daunting the prospect seems. If you haven’t yet had this conversation with your parents, keep the 40-70 Rule in mind: have an intentional conversation surrounding end of life care by the time you are 40 or your parent is 70. Even if the conversation seems frightening, it will bring you peace to know you are planning ahead. Below are some of the common concerns surrounding end of life care.

1.      Having feeding tubes and ventilators keeping him or her alive

Encourage your loved one to develop a living will, in which he or she can detail the type of treatment desired in the case that he or she is unable to make these decisions later. Consider involving a lawyer, as living will requirements vary from state to state.

2.      Spending the end of his or her life in a nursing home, hospital, or other institution

Talk about home care options with your loved one, and make sure he or she understands all the choices for end of life care. Take time to consider everyone’s wishes, budget, and comfort levels to be prepared for when the time comes.

3.      Mental impairments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s will affect their decision making

Have your parents designate a person who is trustworthy and who will look out for their best interests with Power of Attorney (POA). This person will act on their behalf in the case that they can no longer make decisions for themselves. Make sure this is a person that your parents trust to carry out their wishes regardless of their mental state.


The Commotion of Clutter in Seniors’ Homes and What to Do About It

garage-5-1534595 It is common for senior citizens to accumulate excess clutter over the years. If you are worried about Mom or Dad’s hoarding habits, Vicki Dellaquila, an expert professional organizer and author of Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash, gives 10 reasons why seniors do not want to give up their trinkets and gives tips on how you can help clear the clutter.

1. Sentimental attachment to items is normal and helps people retain both memories and feelings of the events. If your loved one wants to keep an old prom dress, for example, suggest keeping a piece of the dress in a quilt or in a shadow box. Clean out photo clutter by scrapbooking or storing photos electronically.

2. Elderly people may be reluctant to part with unused gifts from family and friends due to a sense of loyalty. Encourage regifting within the family to make proper use of the gifts.

3.  Many seniors today lived through difficult eras, such as World War II and the Great Depression. They feel a need to conserve, and this results in excess storage of necessities. Encourage them to give back to the needy in their community by donating excess food and clothing.

4. Eliminate electronic clutter with online bill paying and removing your senior from junk mail lists. Not only does this reduce electronic and mental clutter, but also reduces the risk of identity theft.

5.  A decline in health can prevent seniors from keeping up with regular housework and cleaning duties. Once your loved on is treated, he or she may want to consider a professional organizer or in-home caregiver.

6. Older adults often feel safe when keeping generations of documents, like medical records or bank statements. Help them reduce their fear of losing this information by working through the cleaning with logical thinking.

7. Many adults have a dream of losing enough weight to fit into dressers full of old clothes. Help them fill boxes with things they no longer wear, and agree to wait six months before giving them away.

8. Baby boomers often have enough money to spend on unnecessary shopping. Help them learn how to say no to items they already own to reduce the cycle of buying and rebuying.

9. Trinkets and keepsakes often represent history and memories. Encourage them to share the most beloved of these items with the younger generations or donate historical items to museums or historical societies, libraries, or churches and synagogues.

10. Loneliness can contribute to overaccumulation of stuff. Depression due to loneliness can also lead to seniors becoming disorganized. In contrast, getting organized can help fight depression. Consider hiring a professional organizer to get the ball rolling on feeling more organized and more happy.

About Sacred Heart Villa

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.  The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit or visit us at