On June 4, VPAS Outreach Coordinator Debbie Branham and Outreach Specialist Kathryn Coit trained eight volunteers for the National Council on Aging (NCOA) grant-funded expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach at area food pantries.
These Individuals including a retired DSS eligibility worker, the chair of the Staunton Senior Center Local Council, meals on wheels volunteers and a VPAS staff member, are excited about beginning to educate individuals served by three Verona and Waynesboro food pantries who might benefit from the additional assistance of SNAP and referring them for application assistance by the VPAS Outreach Team.
When Sidney Grahame described why the Meals on Wheels program was important to him, his first words were not about food.
“All these people who deliver, they’re great individuals,” said Grahame, 76, of Waynesboro, “These people are good to me.”
Katy Miller likes to joke around with her father. “We just have a blast,” she said a few weeks ago. “I just try to joke with him, to a point. I know when he’s serious, and when he’s jokey.”
Miller’s father, Irvine Wade Hutchinson, was diagnosed with dementia several years ago. That means that he now needs round-the-clock care — something that Miller and her siblings, along with her boyfriend, Sheldon, provide.
A volunteer recently completed a telephone survey of approximately 10% of the individuals who received Medicare insurance counseling from one of the SAW Region Virginia Insurance Counseling Assistance Program (VICAP) counselors from July 1, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013. Approximately 40% of those surveyed reported this was their first time seeing a VICAP Counselor, making 60% repeat clients. However, 92.3% of those surveyed expect that they will consult with a VICAP Counselor in the future.
When asked about the results of the Counseling Session, 71% reported an improved understanding of Medicare, 60% reported a decrease in anxiety and frustration over not understanding Medicare, 86.5% reported an ability to make independent and informed decisions about Medicare, and 96% reported enrollment in a plan that best suits their needs for the best value. 98% reported the VICAP Counselor was knowledgeable about Medicare, 79% reported that the VICAP Counselor explained our need for donations.
All of those surveyed reported that they were either “very satisfied” (92%) or “satisfied” (8%) with the information received from the VICAP Counselor, the two highest best responses offered; and 100% said they would suggest thattheir family and friends see a VICAP Counselor. Respondents were offered the chance to offer additional comments which fell into three categories, praise for the individual VICAP Counselors, appreciation for the program, and commenting that we need to advertise more because there are many more people who need the service who don’t know about it.
Due to the inclement weather and Valley Program for Aging Services closure, the first Mobile Information Station (MIS) visit to the Middlebrook Station Library, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 22 had to be postponed. It has been rescheduled for next Thursday, Jan. 30, at 3 p.m., when the library opens.
Valley Program for Aging Services is very pleased to host AARP Tax Aide again this year in Waynesboro.
This program uses trained volunteers to provide free income tax preparation to low and moderate income individuals of all ages. The IRS provides yearly training, testing and certification for all the volunteer tax counselors.
This service will be provided at the Waynesboro Corporate Office location (325 Pine Ave., Waynesboro) from Feb. 3 through April 15 on:
- Mondays – 12:00 – 4:30 (afternoons)
- Tuesdays –8:30 – 12:00 (mornings)
- Wednesdays – 8:30 – 4:30 (all day)
Call (540) 941-3259 to set up an appointment.