Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute

Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around the Hoosier state. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit Indiana. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity.

This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources.
  • Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

IAAAA is celebrating OAM by encouraging community members of all ages to take part in helping Indiana communities thrive. Communities that support and recognize older adults are stronger! Join us in strengthening our communities – this May and throughout the year. Visit the official OAM website for ideas and inspiration, and follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook. Post your ideas and actions using the hashtags #OAM2019 and #ConnectCreateContribute.

SMP’s Role in the Back Brace Bust

Did you see the recent news about Medicare’s bust of a $1.2 billion fraud scheme regarding orthopedic devices (e.g. back braces)?

Our collective efforts through Indiana’s Senior Medicare Patrol, including local Area Agency on Aging SMP staff and volunteers, have contributed to this take down. This has been a nationwide problem, involving many high-level stakeholders and other states’ SMPs. Indiana state and local SMP staff and volunteers have doggedly documented and reported an overwhelming number of “back brace” calls from concerned consumers over the past several years.

Our state SMP staff have worked with Indiana Attorney General and Secretary of State’s offices, advised the Office of Inspector General and Medicare Fraud Units at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, talked about the issue with our federal Congressional delegation, partnered with investigative reporters, provided public education on avoiding the scam, and shared information with the Senate Special Committee on Aging through former Senator Donnelly’s office. IAAAA even testified about SMP’s work at the statehouse on a telemarketing protections bill this year.

Read More