Wash. Co. Youth Foundation Awards Grants

 

Over $1,600.00 was awarded by the Washington County Youth Foundation for local nonprofits and youth directed community service this year.

$600.00 was awarded for the Happily Ever After Project which was initiated by the Youth Foundation several years ago to encourage our second and third grade students throughout the county to develop a love of reading.  The grant money will be used to purchase books for participating 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms at all three school systems.

Amanda Dixon and Violet Lumley’s shared classroom at East Washington Elementary School will receive up to $345.00 for student service projects.  Students will learn about different types of service and needs in Washington County and assist with meeting those needs.

The Youth Foundation also awarded the Washington County Food Bank and Domestic Violence Shelter $350.00 each for their ongoing needs to help the residents of our community.

The Washington County Youth Foundation is a group of students from our county committed to making Washington County a better place to live.  They have members from Eastern, Salem and West Washington and others who can be sophomores, juniors or seniors at any school or are home schooled, but live in Washington County.  They are involved in the community and wish to continue that involvement through their efforts in the Youth Foundation.

They learn about philanthropy by awarding grants to youth groups for community service projects.  They also raise money for their fund with the Foundation so this idea can go on forever, and they perform community service.  They are heavily involved in their early literacy project, the Happily Ever After Project and in between, they have a little fun!

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

End

Assistance Dogs Provide Help and Love

 

What can you tell me about assistance dogs for people with disabilities? My sister, who is 58 years old, has multiple sclerosis and I'm wondering if an assistance dog could help make her life a little easier.

For individuals with disabilities and medical conditions, assistance dogs can be a fantastic help. Assistance dogs also provide companionship and an invaluable sense of security. Here is what you and your sister should know.

While most people are familiar with guide dogs that help people who are blind or visually impaired, there are also other types of assistance dogs that are trained to help in a variety of ways. Assistance dogs—often Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds—can assist those who have physical disabilities, hearing loss and various medical conditions.

Unlike most pets, assistance dogs are highly trained canine specialists that know approximately 40 to 50 commands, are amazingly well-behaved and are permitted to accompany their owner anywhere the public is allowed. Here is a breakdown of the different types of assistance dogs and what they can help with.

Service dogs: These dogs are specially trained to help people with physical disabilities due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, chronic arthritis and many other disabling conditions. They help by performing tasks their owners cannot complete or have trouble doing, such as carrying or retrieving items, picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, assisting with dressing and undressing, helping with balance and assisting with household chores.

Guide dogs: For the blind and visually impaired, guide dogs help their owners get around safely by navigating around obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps and avoiding traffic.

Hearing dogs: For those who are deaf or hearing impaired, hearing dogs can alert their owners to specific sounds such as ringing telephones, doorbells, alarm clocks, microwave or oven timers, smoke alarms, approaching sirens, crying babies or when someone calls out the owner's name.

Seizure alert/response dogs: For people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, these dogs can recognize when their owners are about to have a seizure and provide them with advance warning so the owner can get to a safe place or take medication to prevent or lessen the severity of the seizure. These dogs are also trained to retrieve medications and use a pre-programmed phone to call for help. They can also be trained to help people with diabetes, panic attacks and various other conditions.

Finding a Dog


If your sister is interested in getting a service dog, contact some assistance dog training programs. To find them, Assistance Dogs International provides a listing of programs on their website that you can access at AssistanceDogsInternational.org.

After you locate a few programs, you'll need to either visit their website or call to find out the types of assistance dogs offered, the areas they serve, if they have a waiting list and what upfront costs will be involved. Some groups offer dogs for free, some ask for donations and others charge thousands of dollars.

To get an assistance dog, your sister will need to show proof of her disability, which her physician can provide. She will be asked to submit an application and complete an interview process. She will also need to stay at the training facility for a week or two so she can get to know her assistance dog and receive training on how to interact and communicate with her dog.

It is also important to understand that assistance dogs are not for everybody. They require time, money and care that your sister or other family members must be able and willing to provide.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published November 17, 2017

Social Security Options for Divorced Spouses

 

As a divorced woman, am I entitled to my ex-husband's Social Security benefits? I was married for 14 years and would like to know how this works.

Yes, you may be eligible for divorced spouse Social Security benefits if you meet certain criteria. Here is how it works.

As a divorced spouse, you may collect a Social Security retirement benefit on the earnings record of an ex-spouse if you are at least age 62, were married for a minimum of 10 years, are unmarried now and are not eligible for a higher benefit based on your own earnings.

In order to collect, your former spouse must also be at least 62 and eligible for Social Security benefits. Note, however, that your ex-spouse does not have to be receiving his Social Security benefits in order for you to collect your benefits, as long as you have been divorced for at least two years.

Even if your ex-spouse is married, it will not affect your right to divorcee benefits, nor will it affect your ex's retirement benefits or his current spouse's benefits.

Benefit Amount


Divorced spouses may receive up to 50% of their ex spouses' full Social Security benefits. This amount could be less than 50% if you choose to receive these benefits before reaching full retirement age, which is age 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954. To find out your full retirement age and see how much your benefits will be reduced by taking them early visit SSA.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html.

Keep in mind that if you qualify for benefits based on your own work history, you will receive the larger of the two benefits. You cannot receive benefits on both your record and your ex's work record.

To find out how much your retirement benefits will be, view your Social Security statement at SSA.gov/myaccount. To get an estimate of your ex's benefits, call Social Security at 800-772-1213. Note, in order to receive accurate information, you will be asked to provide your ex-spouse's Social Security Number.

Divorced Survivor


You also need to know, if your ex-spouse dies and you were married for 10 or more years, you become eligible for divorced survivor benefits. These benefits may be worth up to 100% of what your ex-spouse was entitled to receive.

Survivor's benefits are available to divorced spouses as early as age 60 (or age 50 if the surviving spouse is disabled). Be aware, if you remarry before age 60 then you become ineligible to receive survivor benefits unless the marriage ends. Remarrying after age 60 will not affect your eligibility.

Also, if you are receiving divorced spousal benefits when your ex-spouse dies, you will automatically be switched over to the higher paying survivor benefit.

Switching Strategies


If you are divorced and were born on or before January 1, 1954, you may be able to boost your benefits through a "switching strategy." If you worked and are eligible for Social Security benefits on your own earnings record, you can file a "restricted application" with Social Security at age 66 to collect a divorced spousal benefit. This benefit will be equal to half of what your ex receives. Then, once you reach age 70, you can elect to stop receiving the ex-spousal benefit and switch to your own benefit, which will be 32% higher than it would have been at your full retirement age.

Divorced widows (and widowers) also have switching options regardless of when they were born. If, for example, your ex-spouse passes away while you are collecting Social Security retirement benefits on your own record, you can switch to survivor's benefits if the payment is larger. Alternatively, if you are collecting survivor's benefits, you can switch to your own retirement benefits if it offers a larger payment and you are eligible to start receiving retirement benefits.

For more information visit SSA.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html or call 800-772-1213.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published November 10, 2017

How to Protect Yourself from Peripheral Artery Disease

 

For the last six months or so, I have been having problems with my hips and legs cramping when I walk, although they feel better once I stop. I thought it was just because I am getting older, until my friend told me about a leg disease called Peripheral Artery Disease. I am concerned that I may have it. What can you tell me about this condition?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a health condition that affects up to 12 million Americans. It develops when the arteries that carry blood to the legs and feet become narrowed or clogged over the years with fatty deposits or plaque, causing poor circulation.

You need to be aware that PAD is a systemic disease. As such, people who have PAD are also much more likely to have clogged arteries in other areas of the body like the heart, neck or brain, which greatly increase the risks of heart attack or stroke.

Few Symptoms


Unfortunately, PAD goes undiagnosed and untreated far too often because most people who have it experience few, if any, symptoms. The most common symptom is similar to what you are experiencing, which is pain and cramping in the hip, thigh or calf muscles. The pain often intensifies when walking or exercising, but usually subsides after resting for a few minutes.

Another reason PAD is under-diagnosed is because many people assume that aches and pains go along with aging and simply live with it instead of reporting it to their doctors.

Other possible symptoms to be aware of include leg numbness or weakness, coldness or changes in skin color in the lower legs and feet and ulcers or sores on the legs or feet that do not heal.

Are You at Risk?


Like many health conditions, the risk of developing PAD increases with age. Those most vulnerable are people over the age of 50 with a history of smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Also at risk, are those who are overweight or have a family history of PAD, heart attack or stroke. African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with PAD.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or if you are at increased risk of developing PAD, you should be tested by your doctor or vascular specialist. He or she may perform a quick and painless ankle-brachial index test, which is done by measuring the blood pressure in your ankle and your arm and comparing the two numbers.

With early detection, many cases of PAD can be treated with lifestyle modifications including an improved diet, increased physical activity and smoking cessation.

If lifestyle changes are not enough, your doctor may also prescribe medicine to prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and control pain and other symptoms. For severe PAD, the treatment options are angioplasty (inflating and then removing a tiny balloon in the artery to restore blood flow), the insertion of a stent to reopen the artery or a graft bypass to reroute blood around the blockage.

To learn more about PAD, visit the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/pad.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published November 3, 2017

Getting a Handle on Prescription Medications

 

I'm concerned that my 80-year-old mother is taking too many medications. She currently takes 10 different drugs prescribed by three different doctors. I think this may be causing some problems. She also struggles to keep up with all the drug costs. Any suggestions?

There is no doubt that older Americans are taking more prescription medications than ever before. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, around 40% of seniors, age 65 and older, take five or more medications. The more medications one takes, the higher the risk of drug-related problems and the more likely the individual is taking a medication that he or she does not need.

Brown Bag Review


To help you get a better handle on the medications your mom is taking, gather all of her pill bottles and put them in a bag to take to her primary doctor or pharmacist for a thorough drug checkup. You will want to include all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. This "brown bag review" will give you a chance to ask questions, check for duplicate meds, excessive doses and dangerous interactions.

Medicare Part B covers free yearly medication reviews with a doctor through its annual wellness visits. Additionally, many Medicare Part D plans cover medication reviews with a pharmacist, as well.

During your mom's review, you will want to make sure that you go over the basics for each medication or supplement so that you understand what the prescription is for, how long she should take it, what it costs and if there are any side effects or potential interactions. Also, ask if there are any meds that your mom can stop taking, if there are any nonprescription options that might be safer and whether she can switch to a lower dose.

To help your mom avoid future medication problems, make sure her primary doctor is aware of all the medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements she takes. You should also keep an updated list of everything she takes and share it with every doctor she sees. Be sure that your mom fills all of her prescriptions at the same pharmacy and informs her pharmacist of any over-the counter, herbal or mail-order prescriptions she is taking so that there is complete oversight of her medications.

How To Save


To help cut your mom's medication costs, there are a number of cost-saving ideas you can consider. Find out if there are any generic alternatives. Switching to generic medications can save anywhere between 20 and 90%.

You should ask your mom's prescribing doctors if any of the pills she takes could be cut in half. Pill splitting would allow her to receive two months' worth of medicine for the price of one month. Also, for the drugs she takes long-term, ask for a three-month prescription, which is usually cheaper than buying month-to-month.

Because drug prices can vary depending on where you buy them, another way to save is by shopping around (GoodRX.com will help you compare drug prices at U.S. pharmacies). You may also want to find out if your mom's drug insurance plan offers better prices through preferred pharmacies or mail-order services.

Finally, if your mom's income is limited, she may be eligible to get help through medication assistance programs offered through pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and charitable organizations. To find these types of programs use BenefitsCheckUp.org.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

How to Search for Forgotten 401(k) Money

 

How do I find an old 401(k) that I think I contributed money to at a former employer?

If you think you may have lost track of a 401(k) retirement account, you are not alone. As Americans jump from job to job, many leave portions of their company sponsored 401(k) plans behind, believing they will deal with it later but forget about it as time passes. To help you look for an old 401(k), here are some suggestions and some free resources that can help you in your search.

Contact Employer


The first way to locate a previous 401(k) account is to contact the prior employer's human resources department. Ask them to check their plan records to see if you ever participated in their 401(k) plan and, if so, how much the plan is worth. You will need to provide your Social Security number and your dates of employment.

Your prior employer should be able to either give you the necessary forms to roll over your retirement money to a different 401(k) or to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or provide you with contact information for the outside financial institution overseeing the plan on your employer's behalf. By following the appropriate instructions, you should be able to move your retirement money where you want.

If you do not have contact information for your previous employer, check your records to see if you kept an old 401(k) statement. Statements will typically have the information you need to get in contact with either your prior employer or a plan administrator.

If you need help tracking down your former employer because it may have moved, changed owners or merged with another company, free help is available from sources like the Labor Department (AskEBSA.dol.gov, 866-444-3272), the Pension Action Center and the Pension Rights Center (PensionRights.org/find-help).

These services can tap into public databases that list incorporations and bankruptcies and may be able to help you dig up a plan's most recently filed Form 5500, the annual report that must be filed with the IRS, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the Labor Department. The results contain the plan's contact information and the employer's identification number, which can be used to locate any plan that inherited the assets in a merger, acquisition or sale.

You can also find recently filed 5500s yourself at websites like FreeERISA.com.

Search Tools


Finding a lost 401(k) account can be trickier if it is worth less than $5,000, because your former employer can transfer the money to a default IRA without consent. Your cash may go into an interest-bearing, federally insured bank account or to your state's unclaimed property fund.

To search for a lost plan, use the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits at UnclaimedRetirementBenefits.com. This website matches former employers with past employees who have unclaimed retirement funds. This is a secure and free service, but you will need to provide your Social Security number to search.

It can also be challenging to track down a lost 401(k) account if your former employer goes bankrupt or abandons the plan. In this case, use the U.S. Department of Labor's Abandoned Plan Database at AskEBSA.dol.gov/abandonedplansearch.

Starting in 2018, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC.gov) will start accepting transfers of missing participants' accounts from terminating 401(k) plans. When the participants are found, PBGC will pay the participants their money plus interest. The agency also plans to launch a registry of terminated 401(k) plans that sent money elsewhere so that missing participants can more easily find their accounts.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published October 20, 2017

Donors Help Washington County Community Foundation Award Over $26K in Grants

Thanks to our generous donors and the Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow Funds, Washington County nonprofits will be receiving over $26,000 in grants.

Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana is the recipient of $2,500.00 for Junior Achievement Programs in Washington County School Systems.  The programming utilizes education focusing on economic and financial literacy.

A grant of $5,000.00 will be issued to the Washington County Senior Citizen Housing to replace apartment building roofs in MeadowDell Senior Housing Village.

CARE Pregnancy Center will be the recipient of a $1,050.00 grant to assist with the “I Decide for Me” program in East Washington and West Washington school systems.

A $7,262.00 grant from the Donnie Brough Fund and the Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow Funds will be granted to the Washington County Historical Society for the preservation of the Carriage House on the JHC Complex.

Dare to Care will receive a $6,000.00 grant for their Backpack Buddy Program.  The program ensures children receive proper nutrition on weekends.

The Northwest Washington Fire Department will be able to purchase new personal protective equipment for their volunteer firefighters with a $5,078.00 grant. 

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

 

Foundation Announces Mahuron Education Fund Grant Recipients

 

The Mahuron Education Fund was established at the Washington County Community Foundation to encourage educators and staff to teach in innovative ways.  This year, the fund has awarded several teachers in the county school corporations over $3400.00. 

Rosie Morehouse will be purchasing materials to utilize in group counseling sessions to prepare participants with an environment for positive learning at West Washington Jr/Sr High School.

Flexible seating will be a new addition next semester to Lesle Leis’ 3rd grade Bradie Shrum Elementary classroom.  The new seating allows students to be more focused and as a result become better learners.

New seating will also be a new addition to Miranda Bowling’s 4th grade classroom at Bradie Shrum Elementary to aid her students focus on their academic work.

Students in Lorie Campbell’s 3rd grade Bradie Shrum Elementary classroom will be learning Language Arts with a new LA Student Center.  The center provides students an opportunity to engage while learning during small group rotations to verbalize thinking in a group.

Brenda Boling’s 5th grade West Washington Elementary classroom will be learning “Why Do I Need to Learn That?” while they engage in activities that will improve their small motor skills and attention to detail with precision, practice, purpose, partners, and procedures.

3D Sculptures in Wool will be the focus of Michelle Chastain’s West Washington Jr/Sr High School art classes.  Students will demonstrate knowledge of anatomical form and use natural fibers to create an original fiber sculpture while learning how to make felts as well as dye and card wool.

Lesia Ellis’ 2nd grade East Washington Elementary School class will also be seeing a change in their seating style.  Ellis received a grant to provide students a flexible seating/presentation option in the classroom with “nugget” seating.

Students in Amy Rogers’ 4th grade East Washington Elementary School will be banging a drum.  A deep carved Djembe Bongo drum will create a culture of praise and positivity and help students focus and tune in to the lesson being delivered.

Tammy Clemons will be facilitating a musical production for 4th graders at East Washington Elementary.  She has received a grant to engage students in performing on-stage with the purchase of musical script, costumes, set design, and props.

Elementary school students at East Washington Elementary School will see Kate Jones promoting college and career education with a variety of different career costumes to introduce students to colleges and careers.

Erin Moore’s 3rd grade Bradie Shrum Elementary classroom will seeing what hatches as they monitor an egg incubator and explore the process for a group of chicks from egg to life.  Students will observe and record data for the project.

East Washington Elementary School might have the next “American Ninja Warrior” contestant thanks to a grant to Leah Starrett that will allow students to participate in monthly obstacle courses to work on balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

 

County Educators Promote STEM Education through Out-of-School Learning Opportunities

 

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) awarded Washington County Community Foundation a $25,000 grant for Out-of-School STEM Learning.  The purpose of the program is to partner with our local schools and organizations to create inspiring STEM learning environments for our youth. 

Dennis Tankersley, teacher at West Washington Jr/Sr High School, is the recipient of a $3,200.00 grant for the Skills USA After-School STEM Program.  The 12-student group will create two teams of six for the RoboRescue Challenge.  The robotics materials will be reused for future competitions and by integrating them into the Principles of Engineering class at West Washington Jr/Sr High School.  Tankersley will also receive  $300.00 for competition fees.

Anna Endris has received a $3,358.88 grant for a Coding Club at East Washington Middle School.  Students will participate in coding activities through Code.org, Scratch, and Sphero EDU while collaborating with peers as they work on project designed to challenge their minds and grow their interest in STEM fields.

Emily Johnson and Crystal Mikels will be expanding their STEM Club to include a BSE Circuit Breakers Robotics Club at Bradie Shrum Elementary School thanks to a grant of $7,559.40.  The new club is available to 3rd and 4th grade students and will be used as a stepping stone for STEM learning and to enhance a long love of STEM learning.  Johnson and Mikels will all receive  $300.00 to travel to competitions for the robotics club.

Greg McCurdy’s may add teacher at the “School of Rock” to his resume.  McCurdy’s Salem High School Guitar Club will be purchasing guitar building kits for members to use to build guitars.  The project borrows some of the procedures and knowledge included in STEM introduction and Advanced Manufacturing.  The $4,500.00 grant will allow each student to successfully finish and assemble an electric guitar.

John Calhoun, Salem High School Chemistry and Physics teacher, has been awarded a $4,500.00 grant for the creation of a MakerSpace at Salem High School.  He plans to transform an unused classroom into a MakerSpace and purchase equipment such as a 3D printer, among other items, for use in the space.

Each school corporation in Washington County will receive $430.00 to send educators to the HASTI conference for Science teachers.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever

End

Flu Shots for Seniors

 

What can you tell me about the flu shots for seniors? I became ill last winter after getting a standard flu shot and am wondering if there is a flu vaccine for older adults that would provide better protection this year.

There are actually two different types of flu shots designed specifically for people age 65 and older: the Fluzone High Dose and FLUAD. 

These FDA approved vaccines are designed to offer extra protection beyond a standard flu shot. This is important for older adults who have weaker immune defenses and greater risk of developing flu complications. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu puts more than 200,000 people in the hospital each year and kills approximately 24,000 people. Eighty percent of those who die from flu complications are seniors. 

While these senior-specific flu shots cannot guarantee that you may avoid the flu this season, they will lower your risk. Here is more information about these two vaccines:

Fluzone High-Dose: Approved for U.S. use in 2009, the Fluzone High-Dose (see Fluzone.com) is a high-potency vaccine that contains four times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot, which creates a stronger immune response for better protection. This vaccine, according to a 2013 clinical trial, was 24% more effective than the regular-dose shot at preventing flu in seniors.

FLUAD: Available in the U.S. since 2016, the FLUAD vaccine (FLUAD.com) contains an added ingredient called Adjuvant MF59 that also helps create a stronger immune response. In a 2012 Canadian observational study, FLUAD was 63% more effective than a regular flu shot.

The CDC, however, does not recommend one vaccination over the other and, to date, there have not been any studies that have compared the two vaccines.

You should also know that both the Fluzone High-Dose and FLUAD can increase the mild side effects that can occur with a standard-dose flu shot, such as pain or tenderness at the injection site, muscle aches, headache or fatigue. Neither vaccine is recommended for seniors who are allergic to chicken eggs or those who have had severe reactions to flu vaccines in the past. 

Both vaccines are covered 100% by Medicare Part B, as long as your doctor, health clinic or pharmacy agrees not to charge you more than Medicare pays. 

Pneumonia Vaccines


The other vaccinations the CDC recommends to seniors, especially this time of year, are the pneumococcal vaccines for pneumonia. Around 1 million Americans are hospitalized with pneumonia each year and about 50,000 people die from it.

The CDC is recommending that all seniors, age 65 or older, get two vaccinations: Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. Both vaccines, which are administered at different times, work in different ways to provide maximum protection. Medicare Part B covers both shots if they are taken at least one year apart.

If you have not received any pneumococcal vaccine you should get the Prevnar 13 first, followed by Pneumovax 23 six to 12 months later. However, if you have already received the Pneumovax 23 vaccine, wait at least one year before getting the Prevnar 13. 

To locate a vaccination site that offers any of these shots, visit Vaccines.gov and type in your ZIP code.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published October 13, 2017

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