Frequently Asked Questions

Straight From CMS/Alabama Medicaid

image23

When is Medicare's Open Enrollment Period?

Every year, October 15 - December 7. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or www.medicare.gov to compare plans. 


Questions about Medicare Advantage Programs? 

Click this link:

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/MedicareAdvantageFAQSheet.pdf


Who can tell me if I am eligible for Medicaid?

Since Medicaid is administered by the Medicaid agency in your state, eligibility may vary from one state to another. Contact your state Medicaid Agency with questions, or see if you qualify by applying . CMS is the federal agency that works with state Medicaid agencies to make sure they comply with federal laws and regulations.


How can I get help to pay for

 Nursing Home care?

 Approximately three of every four nursing home patients in Alabama are covered by the Alabama Medicaid Agency. In order to qualify for nursing home care, patients must meet medical, financial and other requirements. Click here to apply for Medicaid in the nursing home. A Long Term Care Ombudsman program is available to assist patients and families in resolving problems or concerns with a particular nursing facility. 


What is the Alabama Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program? 

This program is designed to provide services to allow elderly and/or disabled individuals who would otherwise require care in a nursing facility to live in the community. This waiver is operated by the Alabama Department of Senior Services

High Blood Pressure

image24

What Is a normal Blood Pressure?: 

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. If you’re an adult and your systolic pressure is 120 to 129, and your diastolic pressure is less than 80, you have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure is a pressure of 130 systolic or higher, or 80 diastolic or higher, that stays high over time.

Always talk with your Healthcare Provider to get their recommendations for the Blood Pressure numbers best for you. 


You can take several steps to maintain normal blood pressure levels: 

 1. Get your blood pressure checked regularly.

 2. Take your blood pressure medication exactly as prescribed.

 3. Eat a healthy diet. Eat less fat and salt (sodium).

 4. Manage stressors and pain

 5. Maintain recommended weight

 6. Talk with your Healthcare provider about steps you can take specific to your current health conditions. 


How does sodium affect my heart health? 

When there’s extra sodium in your bloodstream, it pulls water into your blood vessels, increasing the total amount (volume) of blood inside your blood vessels. With more blood flowing through your blood vessels, blood pressure increases. This puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. In some people, this may lead to or raise high blood pressure. Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Depression

image25

 What Is Depression?

Depression is not just feeling blue from time to time. Instead, the warning signs of depression are characterized by overwhelming daily feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness and emptiness. A person who experiences depression often cannot see a future for themselves — they may feel like the world is closing in around them.

Depression Warning Signs

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every warning sign — some people will experience a few signs, while others, many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time. These signs are usually pretty clear to those around the person suffering — the pers 

on doesn’t seem at all like their normal self. The changes in the person’s mood are (usually) evident to friends and family.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

In order for depression to be diagnosed, the person must experience these symptoms every day, for at least 2 weeks.

Senior Safety

image26

What are some tips for Senior Home Safety?


1. Secure scatter rug, and cords 

so you won't trip

2. Handrails on stairs and in the bathroom

3. Properly label and store all medications

4. Bright lights in all rooms, entryways

5. Have a Medical Alert Systems

6.  Family, friends and neighbors do frequent regular calls/visits


Call Amazing Grace Health Ministries to ask about their Home Safety Program.

Medications

image27

How can I lower the cost of my medications?


1. Consider switching to generics

2. Choose a plan that offers additional coverage during "the gap"

3. Seek out Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs

4. Find out if you qualify for "Low Income Subsidy"

5. Locate community-based charitable programs that can help with drug costs... including Amazing Grace Health Ministries

Local Services

image28

Where can I find help?


Start with:

1. AL Dept of Senior Services: 

1-800-243-5463

2. Montgomery Council on Aging: 

334-263-0532

3. Amazing Grace Health Ministries: 

334-590-2812