Gianaris Holding 'Bingo Day' At Local Senior Centers
In his annual observance of Senior Appreciation Week, Assemblymember Michael Gianaris and AmeriGroup Community Care will host "Mike Gianaris Bingo Day" throughout next week at senior centers in Astoria.
On Monday, October 15, Gianaris (D- Astoria) will open the week at the DellaMonica Senior Center at Broadway and Crescent Street, Astoria at 10:30 a.m.
On Tuesday, October 16, Gianaris will visit two centers- HANAC Lindsay Senior Center at 9:30 a.m., followed by a drop-in at Raices Senior Center at 1:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, October 17, Gianaris will be at the HANAC Archbishop Iakovos Senior Center at 1 p.m., and on Friday October 19, he will be at the Steinway Senior Center at 12:30 p.m.
The lawmaker is looking forward to lots of fund and excitement at each center. Prizes will be awarded to all the lucky bingo winners.
FLU SEASON STARTING: AARP, the advocate organization for seniors, is reminding everyone 50 and over that flu season is here and to get a flu shot to protect against possible serious illness this coming winter. It's expected that about 200,000 Americans will wind up in the hospital with the flu this year, but flu can be prevented easily by getting a free or inexpensive flu vaccination.
There's plenty of flu vaccine available this year, so there's no reason for anyone to skip getting a shot. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a record-setting vaccine supply for the 2007- 2008 flu season, allowing all Americans at high risk of complications from the flu to get the necessary shot.
Although flu shots are still effective if you get one as late as January, those at risk (and that includes seniors) are urged to get their shots now to prevent the virus before it strikes.
Dr. Byron Thames, a member of the AARP Board of Directors, points out that there is a critical need for caregivers, those watching over a senior, to get a flu shot also.
"Many Baby Boomers are caring for their children, their grandchildren and even their parents, so getting a flu shot not only protects you, but also helps to protect those you are caring for," Thames said.
Thames also has a word of caution for older African Americans and Hispanics because not enough seniors in these groups are getting the flu shot to protect themselves. He said a study done in June by the AARP Public Policy Institute showed that while 67 percent of white adults 65 and over reported getting a flu shot, only 45 percent of older African Americans and 55 percent of older Hispanics reported being vaccinated.
"That little pinch in the arm can help save 36,000 lives this year," Thames said. He added that neighborhood pharmacies probably have literature available about the benefits of getting a flu shot and seniors can probably get one free or at little cost thorough Medicare. Be sure to get vaccinated now to protect yourself from the flu this winter.
A CHANCE TO CHANGE PART D COVERAGE: Anyone covered by a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan who is not satisfied with the coverage can switch to another carrier between November 15 and December 31.
To make a change, call Medicare and ask how to do it. Ask also for a list of other plans and information about them. Start working on this now so by January 1 you'll be enrolled in a new plan of your choice.