Any age is the right age to give and receive. The need for organ donations is real. If you think you are too old to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, think again. Due to living longer, healthier lives than ever before, more of us can be organ, eye and tissue donors and recipients into our 50s, 60s, 70s and even into our 80s and 90s. In 2011, 60 percent of all individuals who received organ transplants were over 50, yet only 32 percent of all organ donors were over the age of 50.
More than 99 million individuals in the U.S. are 50 years of age and over. If the majority of people in this age group signed up to be organ donors, imagine how many more lives could be saved! And people over 50 can be transplant recipients as well.
Here are a few statistics and facts:
• Your age doesn’t make you ineligible to sign up, nor do you have to be in perfect health. Your ability to donate is determined at the time of death.
• Organ and tissue transplants are needed by people in every corner of America. People of all ages, infants to grandparents are on the national transplant waiting list.
• Two thirds of the individuals waiting for an organ transplant in 2011 were 50 years old or older; 2,242 deceased donors were between 50-64 years of age; 595 deceased donors were 65 or older.
• In 2011, 59.9 percent (17,089 of the 28,535) of the people transplanted were 50 plus.
• 20.13 percent of people over 65 years of age mistakenly think they are too old to donate an organ while 11.73 percent believe they are too old to receive one.
• As of April 13, 2012, according to OPTN, there are 51,718 people between 50-64 years old on the national waiting list and 21,172 people over 65 years old on the national waiting list.
As the Medicare open enrollment period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2012) is being addressed, many new telemarketing scams involving Medicare Advantage and the Prescripiton Drug Benefit Program (Part D) are expected to emerge.
Random callers have telephoned seniors claiming Medicare is sending all seniors new cards. The callers have asked these seniors to verify their name and address and then asked for their bank’s name, and in some cases, more detailed banking information. This is a scam. It is important to remember:
• The only time you need a new Medicare card is when you have misplaced an old one or enroll in a new plan.
• “Never” give your financial information or social security number over the phone.
• “Never” give your Medicare plan number to someone you do not know.
• Immediately end any phone conversation with anyone who asks for this information over the phone.
• Take the time to report this “scam” to your health plan, as you might help the next senior they try to take advantage of. Call (800) MEDICARE (633-42273) to make your report.
Recently attending a meeting we got on the topic of where to go to turn in old prescription drugs or unwanted medications. By now you know you are not to flush them down the toilet. The drop off site for Schoolcraft County is Putvin Healthmart, located at 211 S. Cedar Street in Manistique.
If you are starting to struggle with the upcoming holidays due to losing someone special, you’re welcome to join a small group which is attending sessions on “Grief Recovery.” This group meets every Tuesday evening from 5:30-7 p.m. Don’t feel like you are alone. I don’t think there is one of us who can’t say we feel better having someone to talk to at times. If you need more information, call the Center at 341-5923 and I would be happy to update you on the sessions.
For those who live in the Germfask and surrounding areas, I want to share a little of what is going on in your community.
Every now and then there comes a time when we need that “little extra help”. In the Germfask area there is such a thing as “The Heavenly Pantry.” Christ’s Fellowship Ministries and The Germfask United Methodist Women have partnered to offer a Food and Non-Food Pantry. Grocery items as well as paper products, personal hygiene items, laundry and various other items for those in need in the Germfask area. This pantry is located at Christ’s Fellowship Ministries, which is the former VFW and is open on Monday’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their coffee is always on! After hours call 586-3703 or 586-6219.
There is also the Germfask Community Food Pantry, which is located in the Community Center. It is open during Center business hours. They can be reached at 586- 9697.
Let’s have some fun! Christ’s Fellowship Ministry Center, which is located at 8065 Cornell (old VFW Hall) is holding a “grocery bingo” the first Saturday of every month from 3-5 p.m. The cost is $0.25 per single game sheet. Proceeds go to their Building Fund. Refreshments and snacks are available.
The ghosts and goblins are stored and the Center is now decorated for “Fall”. A great big thank you goes out to Len and Mary LaFleur for decorating the Center so nice.
A military package donation was received from Jean Anthony. (We are glad you are on the mend.) Beverly Blaurrelt gave a miscellaneous donation and Clarice Becks dropped off prizes for our upcoming events. Thanks girls!
Val Carroll donated greeting cards and Heman and Nancy Strasler donated a conventional oven.
Monetary donations have been received at the Center in memory of:
• Darlene Welch from Patricia Hewitt, Jim and Cathy Creighton, and Russ and Peggy Ruggles
A Maintenance and Support donation was received from Wendy Parnell.