Contact Phone Number
If you call the Outreach office (838-7117) and get an answering machine, press 220 and you will immediately get to a place where you can leave a message. All staff has access to that phone “mailbox”, so you will get a quicker response to your message.
Outreach is in the process of evaluating our past programming practices and activities. In an effort to provide some consistency for participants, we will attempt to plan for a special program each month on the third Thursday. We hope this will be helpful as people make plans. As always, we welcome suggestions that would have general appeal to retirees.
Driver Escort Coordinator Needed
The Senior Outreach Department is searching for a volunteer who would be willing to take on the responsibilities of a coordinator for the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteers Program) Driver Escort program. Duties include taking requests from seniors for rides to medical appointments, and matching that request with a volunteer driver. (A list of willing volunteer drivers is provided to the coordinator.) At the end of each month, a list of ride requests and drivers assigned are turned into Outreach. The coordinator should have an answering machine to receive requests when s/he is not home. Outreach will be a back-up when the coordinator is on vacation. The ideal coordinator would have good people and telephone skills, is reliable and patient. Interested persons should contact Outreach at 838-7117.
Meal Cost Updates
The Dane County meal program for seniors is funded through the Older Americans Act. That money is distributed to various counties in Wisconsin to off-set costs for senior nutrition sites. When calculating the actual cost of the meal, it takes into consideration the food, salaries of employees, transportation expenses, and other overhead costs of operating a kitchen. In 2013, funding and meal donations did not keep up with the full meal costs. Thus, you’ll notice that the meal prices and preferred donation amounts have increased.
The nutrition program and Outreach activities will be cancelled on days McFarland schools are closed due to inclement weather.
People participating in the nutrition program should have food on hand to eat when the meal site is closed.
On Wednesday, December 11th at 10 a.m., a coordinator of extended trips will be in McFarland to review trip opportunities for 2014 . Destinations include Hawaii, Texas, Scandinavia, the Pacific coast, and Panama. She will inform us about the details of each trip, scheduled dates and costs. For better planning, we ask interested persons to let us know by Dec. 9th if you will attend the meeting.
Join us for lunch at Esquire’s and a free tour of the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday, December 12th. If you’ve never been to the mansion, this is a wonderful way to see it with its splendid holiday decorations. Transportation by car-pooling will leave the Municipal Center at 10:45 a.m. Reservation must be made to Outreach by December 9th. Please let us know if you are willing to drive.
Holiday Meal and Music
A holiday meal of ham, augratin potatoes, glazed carrots and a Christmas cookie will be served on December 20th (Friday), at 11:45 a.m. Following the lunch, a program of holiday music will be performed by local musician John Duggleby, starting at12:30 p.m. This entertainment is partially supported by Dane Arts. Reservations should be made to Outreach by December 11th. Get into the spirit of the season by joining us.
The Marketplace - Is It For You?
NO – If you are covered by Medicare (people age 65 and older), Medicaid (disability), the VA health program or you are covered by good and affordable insurance through you or your spouse’s job, you do not have to enroll in the Marketplace.
YES – If you have no insurance, you are losing your insurance, or you are not eligible to be covered under an affordable quality employer plan.
The Marketplace is a website where you can see and sign up for one of the health insurance plans offered in Dane County. There is also a phone line to help you. When you enroll, you will be able to find out if you are eligible for federal financial assistance.
Website: www.healthcare.gov Phone: 1-800-318-2596
All of the insurance plans provided by the local insurance companies through the Marketplace must cover the same full range of services, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescriptions and more. You cannot be turned down because of health problems. Financial assistance will be calculated when you sign up, to see if your monthly costs can be reduced.
Enrollment Assistance can be found at the following locations:
Stoughton Library: 304 S. Fourth St. Nov. 26 (Tues.) from 4 – 7 pm
Goodman South Madison: 2220 S. Park St. Nov. 15 (Friday) from 10 am – 1 pm
Pinney Branch Library: 204 Cottage Grove Rd. Nov. 5 (Tues.) from 2 – 5 pm
Dane County Job Center: 1819 Aberg Ave. Monday-Friday 8 am – 4 pm priority.
Free Personalized eBook and eReader Training Sessions
Learn to use the library's free eBook service, Wisconsin's Digital Library, at a personalized eBook training. The free sessions through McFarland Senior Outreach are available for all levels of eReader users. We’ll cover everything from setting up and registering your new device, to searching the eBook collection and downloading free books to your eReader or tablet. The 45 minute one-on-one sessions, will be conducted by helpful (and very patient!) staff from Dane County Library Service. Interested? Contact Outreach at 838-7117.
Yoga classes are offered on both Mondays and Thursdays. Sessions will be held from 9–10 a.m. Cost is $8 per class and must be paid in advance. Participants can come to either or both of the days yoga is offered. Drop-in fees are $10 for occasional participants. The first class is free for people wanting to check it out.
Yoga benefits every body, regardless of fitness level, age or size. It promotes relaxation and focus, and improves physical strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.
Have a computer question? Call or stop into the E.D. Locke Public Library to arrange a session (up to 30 minutes) to sit down with a librarian and get some help with a specific computer/digital device question. Contact them by stopping in, calling 608-838-9030 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Singles Over Seventy
The SOS gathering will be held at 5:00 p.m. on December 14th at Toby’s Supper Club, 3717 Dutch Mill Rd., Madison. Call Bea at 838-3060 by Dec. 13th for reservations.
JULIETs (Just us Ladies Is Eatin’ Together) Breakfast at Green Lantern on Tuesday, December 17th at 9:00 a.m. (Note date change) Fellowship for retired women. Newcomers are welcome. No reservations are needed.
ROMEOs (Retired Older Men Eating Out) will get together for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 18th, at the Green Lantern. Newcomers are always welcome. No reservations are needed.
This is a reminder that transportation for a variety of reasons is available for seniors. On page two of this month's newsletter is a summary of options and fees. Of particular note is the once a month “taxi bus”, which takes seniors to destinations of their choice in McFarland between 9:30 a.m. – noon, the second Thursday of each month. The other options include rides to the daily nutrition site, twice a month rides to Pick 'n Save and monthly shopping trips to Madison. Call Outreach to sign up for these rides. Rides to medical appointments can be scheduled through the Outreach during normal business hours. Cost for those rides is on a donation basis. We encourage seniors to take advantage of these offerings.
RSVP Ride Policy
The RSVP Driver Escort Program is a Dane County service which is coordinated by many local volunteers throughout the county. The county screens potential drivers for driver safety records and funds the mileage for those authorized to drive seniors to medical appointments. RSVP’s policy for all rides is that they are a last resort. Family, friends, and public transportation are expected to be the first means of getting a ride.
Because of a shortage of resources (a tight budget and a low number of drivers), riders are limited to a maximum average of one ride per week for their medical appointments. Although this may be a hardship for some riders, RSVP is providing a valuable service under challenging circumstances. In 2010, RSVP provided over 6,600 rides for the county, which covered 338,000 miles of driving. This cost $169,000 for mileage reimbursement. We are grateful that this program exists for seniors. For any transportation concerns, call Outreach.
Senior Nutrition Program
Are you over age 60 and are tired of eating alone or fixing meals for one to two people? Are your menus the same ones over and over again? Then perhaps you would like to consider another option.
McFarland offers a meal site and home delivered meals for people over age 60. Meals are available Mondays through Fridays for the noon meal. Outreach encourages more seniors to use the site, located in the Community Room at the Municipal Center. The meal program is for every senior, no matter what the income. The meals are prepared by a caterer and brought to McFarland for consumption. It is a well balanced meal. Typically, seniors who live alone eat meals which tend to be those of convenience – cereal, soup, sandwiches – rather than meals balanced with fruits, vegetables, food rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, and omega-3.
Dane County, ever mindful of the impact of sequestration and tight budgets, is carefully looking at meal site attendance. McFarland needs to demonstrate a need and support for this program. Strong attendance will benefit its continuation. Will you join us?
Shared Table Free Community Meal
A community sponsored free meal is offered each Thursday evening at McFarland Lutheran Church (corner of Marsh Road and Hwy MN). Doors open at 5 p.m., with meals served from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. The benefits of the community meals include: supplying meals for those in financial need, building community and relationships, and providing fellowship. These meals are especially appealing to those who have a hard time making ends meet financially, food pantry clients, the elderly, those wanting companionship, and families who need a respite from making a meal. No reservations are needed. Simply show up at the designated time.
Medicine Drop-Off Box
There is a MedDrop Box in the McFarland Municipal Center for people to discard their unused medications. Patrons should pour pills into a zip-lock bag before discarding. It is important to clean out your cupboards of unwanted medications to prevent others having access to them. To protect the environment, the MedDrop Box is the best way to dispose of medications. (Do not flush them down the toilet or put them in your trash, since that could pollute area land and water.)
The Board on Aging and Long Term Care has launched its Medigap Part D and Prescription Drug Helpline. Counselors are available to assist callers age 60 and over who have questions related to prescription drug insurance, including Medicare Part D and SeniorCare. Counselors will also aid callers in exploring other coverage options for prescription drugs.
Medigap Part D and Prescription Drug helpline can be reached at 1-855-677-2783
For other questions about Medicare and other insurance, call 1-800-242-1060.
The Helpline is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Drivers for RSVP Driver Escort Program
Responsible drivers are needed to take older adults to medical appointments in McFarland, Stoughton, and Madison. Schedules for driving are flexible, so volunteers can designate which days and times they are willing to drive. Mileage is reimbursed for this program. Many seniors rely solely on this form of transportation to get to vital appointments. Call 838-7117, if interested.
Senior Newsletter Subscription
Activities and services for seniors are included in the Senior Outreach Department’s monthly “McFarland Area Senior News”. Free copies can be picked up at the Municipal Center, library, doctors’ offices, and other McFarland locations. It can also be emailed for free by adding your email address on Outreach’s group mailing list through email@example.com. Subscriptions for receiving the newsletter by mail cost $8 annually. A check made out to “McFarland Senior Outreach” for $8 may be mailed to Senior Outreach at PO Box 110, McFarland, WI 53558.
Vegetarian options are now available at the McFarland meal site. Please refer to “VO” listed in the menu for substitutes to the main entrée.
Thursday Salad Options
Salad options at the meal site will take place on Thursdays. Each Thursday, diners at the nutrition site may choose to order a salad instead of the main entrée. All salads are served with the dessert of the day. Check with the Outreach Office (838-7117) for "salads" of the month schedule.
Homebound Library Service
Do you have an ongoing physical condition that prevents you from going to the library? Do you live in Dane County outside of the Madison City limits? If so, then you qualify for the homebound library service. This is how it works:
1. Call 608-266-4419.
2. Tell them what types of books interest you.
3. They select books for you according to your criteria.
4. They mail them to you in postage-free packages as you request them.
5. You return your finished books in the postage-free mailers.
6. They can also reserve specific books and materials for you at your request.
The library also has talking books, books with large print and CD’s. Feel free to ask about them.