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.
The SAW Region has received numerous donations as a result of VICAP counseling sessions, which in and of itself shows that the donors found value in the service that VICAP Counselors are providing.
Every once in a while a donor puts that into words with their donation. This time a donor recognized the work of Amy Adkins with her $100 donation, saying, “She does a wonderful job. She is very knowledgeable, conscientious, and a pleasure to work with.”
We also received a very nice note that accompanied a donation from another individual expressing appreciation for David Taylor’s help in picking her Medicare Part D plan. She says David “was most helpful and most gracious with his time. And that we “should be proud of your representation.”
Many thanks to Amy and David for their excellent VICAP work with people from the community, and to Amy for leading VPAS’ overall VICAP program.
The Waynesboro Elks Lodge will be delivering food baskets to those in need in Waynesboro on Dec. 24.
They approached VPAS to get the names of 10 seniors to receive food baskets. After confirming that the baskets contained basic food staples rather than the ingredients for a large turkey holiday meal (which might overwhelm the homebound individuals we serve), Case Manager Effie Ward made contacts with eligible people to explain the program and, if the person was interested, to get permission to share their name and address with the Elks for delivery.
Many thanks to the Elks for their generosity.
Despite the threatening winter weather, approximately 100 individuals attended a Community Health Fair Saturday, Dec. 14 at Staunton’s Booker T. Washington Community Center.
Although the event featured a Toys for Tots distribution and naturally drew in many families with small children, it was surprising how many of those families had three generations in attendance. VPAS Outreach Specialist Kathryn Coit shared information about the Senior Centers, durable medical equipment, volunteer or employment opportunities and SNAP benefits to at least 15 of those in attendance.
Some were inquiring for themselves and others were interested for family members. The winner of the VPAS booth’s door prize shared how thrilled she was to receive the Christmas tree for her grandmother. Other participating agencies included Augusta Health, Staunton Parks and Recreation, Valley Community Service Board and SAW Habitat for Humanity.