It’s Time To Receive An Annual Flu Shot Before You’re Sick
By John Toscano
Winter will soon be upon us so its time to start thinking about dealing with cold, sometimes freezing temperatures and taking precautions to protect against the flu.
Queens Borough President Claire Shulman got her annual flu shot last week as a way of protecting herself, of course, but also as a reminder to all Queens seniors to do likewise. Shulman said, "Health officials have predicted an earlier than usual flu season in New York. Older New Yorkers and other individuals at high risk of pneumonia and other complications from influenza are urged to get flu and pneumonia shots as soon as possible.
The Health Department, in conjunction with the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, is giving the immunization shots to older New Yorkers at senior centers throughout the city from October to December. To get more information about this service, call (212) 676-2273. The Health Department is also offering the flu shots at walk-in clinics throughout Queens. So don’t hesitate. Make the call today or check in at your senior center. Do it today.
NEW OUTREACH PROGRAM: Assemblymember Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) is starting a new program designed to reach seniors who live alone and don’t get out of their homes very often. Its called "Home Visits for the Elderly" and, as the name suggests, the lawmaker will send a staff member to visit any senior age 70 or over who enrolls. During the visit, the staff member will not only check out the seniors living conditions but also educate him or her about services and benefits which are available to meet any of the seniors particular needs. Carrozza’s district office is located at 33-17 Francis Lewis Blvd. and her telephone number is (718) 321-1525.
RX ALERT:President Clinton has proposed covering the cost of prescription drugs as part of Medicare, but some Republicans are resisting that plan, hurting its chances of being enacted. In an effort to help convince opponents of the president’s plan to get behind the program, Congressmember Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn (Queens) is urging seniors to send him copies of their prescription drug bills so he can present them to Republican leaders in Congress to encourage them to support coverage for seniors’ drug costs.
Weiner says, "This Congress has a responsibility to act to ensure that no older American will have to choose between food and medicine, between paying rent or their drugstore bill."
Weiner, whose district includes Forest Hills and Middle Village, recently did a study of prescription drug prices and found that seniors who purchase their own prescriptions are charged "twice as much as drug companies’ favored customers," such as the federal government and large health insurance companies.
"Brooklyn and Queens seniors are paying upwards of 120 percent more for their prescription drugs than these favored customers," Weiner charged.
In encouraging seniors to send him their drug bills, Weiner said he was hopeful it would help Republicans to change their stance against covering the cost of prescription drugs.
Weiner said seniors should send their drug bills to Geoffrey Hockert in the Congressman’s office at 501 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515.
NEED VOLS FOR TAX HELP:If you’re good with numbers, over 55, proficient in English and want to do a good deed, the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Community Service Society would appreciate your volunteering for their Tax Counseling for the Elderly program.
In this no cost program, the service is free and volunteers receive 40 hours of free training and are certified by the Internal Revenue Service to assist in making out state and federal income tax returns. A one-week training period is held in January and volunteers are expected to serve at least four hours a week through Apr. 15th (the end of the tax-filing period) You’ll be assigned to a senior center, library or other community facility near your home and you will receive partial reimbursement for travelling to and from your assigned site.
If you’re interested in volunteering in Queens, call (212) 614-5558 or (718) 624-2853 for the Far Rockaway program.
MEETING:AARP Chapter 2889 meets next Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, at 12:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, 54-05 Seabury St., Elmhurst. Vocalist Andrea Singer will entertain.
MEETING:AARP Chapter 991 in Jackson Heights will hear a talk from Rosemarie Cola, from AARP’s New York State office at the chapter’s meeting next Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, at 12:45 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church, 81-10 35th Ave., Jackson Heights.
GETAWAYS:The Rego Park Senior center at 93-29 Queens Blvd., Rego Park, is offering an overnight trip Tuesday to Wednesday, Nov. 9th and 10th, to the Amish country in Pennsylvania. The price per person, $174 double occupancy, covers round-trip transportation lodging, four buffet meals, guided tour and two shows. For reservations, call Sandra Epelman at (718) 896-8511.
The center will also sponsor a day trip on Monday, Nov. 22nd, to the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in New Jersey for $53 per person, which includes lunch along with a Christmas show and musical extravaganza. Call Epelman for reservations.
COMPUTER CLASSES:After months of planning, the Middle Village Adult Center, 69-10 75th St., is set to offer computer classes beginning Tuesday, Nov. 9th from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Each week, two classes of 16 students each, will be given the course—Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Participation requires a $25 fee. Telephone 894-3441 for information.
OCT. SKED:Next Thursday, Nov. 4th, at 11 a.m., the Selfhelp Austin Street Senior Center, 106-04 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, will offer a "Musical Tribute to Veteran’s Day." The following Thursday, also at 11 a.m., there will be a talk on crime prevention given by a JASA representative. On Sunday and Monday, Nov. 14th and 15th, there will be a flea market at the center.