Medicare information is provided by Peter Bauer, Region 9 SHOP Liaison, Office of the Regional Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Blood drive and Alzheimer’s web conference information is provided by CarenetLA.

Medicare Open Enrollment is offered Nov. 15 through Dec. 31 and it’s considered a good time to review your plan.

Every year, there are new prescription drug and health plan coverage choices available to people with Medicare. Open Enrollment is the time of year when current or newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries, including people with original Medicare, can review their current health or prescription drug plans, compare the plans to other options, and choose the plans that best meet their current needs.

This is a good time to check out Medicare coverage. With the new health care law, there are new benefits available to people with Medicare, including lower prescription costs, wellness checkups and preventive care.

The new law also provides improved ways to protect beneficiaries from fraud, making Medicare stronger for everyone and for future generations.

Take advantage of Open Enrollment – Nov. 15 through Dec. 31-and be sure to compare current plans with new plan offerings, as well as learn about the new benefits that are available. People with Medicare may find a way to save money, get better coverage, or both.

Medicare has several ways to ensure people get the information that they need to help in deciding what kind of coverage works best, including going online at www.medicare.gov, where you can get a personalized comparison of the costs and coverage of the plans available in your area.

Information, (800) MEDICARE (800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call (877) 486-2048.

Review the 2011 Medicare & You handbook. It is mailed to beneficiaries in October.

Get one-on-one help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Local SHIP contact information can be found online at: www.medicare.gov/contacts/organization-search-criteria.aspx.

Look on the back of your Medicare & You 2011 handbook or call Medicare at (800) MEDICARE (800-633-4227; TTY, 1-877-486-2048).

Medicare has a program to help pay for prescription drugs for those with a limited income. To find out if you qualify, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call (800) 772-1213 and ask about “Extra Help” program. More information is available at www.healthcare.gov, a new online portal made available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

FREE WEB CONFERENCE ON HOME CARE FOR ALZHEIMER’S SUFFERERS –

A free live and interactive web conference to provide families with answers about home care for Alzheimer’s sufferers, titled “Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s at Home” is scheduled at 8 p.m. eastern standard time (EST) on Tuesday, Nov. 16. It is being hosted by the nonprofit National Private Duty Association (NPDA)

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 11 million Americans are providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia without assistance.

According to the president of NPDA, Sheila Mackin, November is recognized as National Family Caregivers Month, and the organization is hosting the event to raise awareness of family caregiver issues during this month.

“Our goal is to provide education to families dealing with the special needs of Alzheimer’s patients. Keeping someone with Alzheimer’s at home can be challenging, but very positive,” said Mackin.

“Our experts will provide insight and education to support caregivers facing this situation. The web conference topics will address issues relating to patient assessment, care plans, caregiver education, safety, and other care issues related specifically to Alzheimer’s patients and the disease itself,” she said.

Pre-registration for the event is required. Sign up by visiting the registration link at:

www.privatedutyhomecare.org.

CARENETLA AND LAX COASTAL AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BLOOD DRIVE –

A blood drive is scheduled from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 at the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce conference room, second floor, 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester.

To make an appointment, www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code CareNetLA or contact Jeff Taylor at (310) 393-1282, or Rachel via e-mail at rachel-anne@laxcoastal.com.

Each blood donation can save up to three lives, said Taylor.

All presenting donors will receive two complimentary VIP tickets to the Laugh Factory (two drink minimum required) and will also be eligible to enter a regional $500 shopping spree drawing, he said. Identification is required.

CarenetLA is a family-owned, non-medical care-giving company that prides itself on providing high quality and affordable in-home assistance to seniors and others who need help with the activities of daily living, yet wish to stay in their own homes.

The CarenetLA management team has more than 25 years of combined experience and managers are on duty 24 hours, seven days a week.

CarenetLA is at 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite #114, Westchester.

Information, carenetla@aol.com.

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