2021 MAC Bulletins
12/02/2021: MAC Update
On November 2, 2021, we held our quarter 1 meeting in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness! Health plan staff, members and their caregivers participated in an important discussion about Alzheimer’s. The Banner Alzheimer’s Institute facilitated a helpful and informative presentation and provided information about available resources. The resources discussed are available to everyone and can be found by clicking HERE.
We invite you to participate in upcoming MAC meetings! We want to hear your feedback on our services and provide you with access to helpful information and resources.
Contact your ALTCS Case Manager if you would like to participate in any of the meetings below:
Upcoming MAC Meetings
February 8, 2022
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
May 20, 2022
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
August 9, 2022
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
12/09/2021: The Holidays and Alzheimer's During COVID-19
The holidays are often filled with sharing, laughter, and memories. But they can also bring stress, disappointment, sadness — and due to the COVID-19 pandemic — heightened risk for spreading the virus, especially for older adults who tend to have underlying health conditions. A person living with Alzheimer’s may feel a special sense of loss during the holidays because of the changes he or she has experienced. At the same time, caregivers may feel overwhelmed by maintaining traditions while providing care and adhering to safety precautions.
The safest option is to avoid in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of your household, as there are other ways to stay socially connected. A holiday is still a holiday no matter where it is celebrated. To read about practical ways to follow the safety tips and ideas for engaging with family and friends during the holidays below, click HERE.
- Adjust expectations
- Celebrate while physical distancing
- Connect through technology
- Take extra precautions for in-person gatherings
- Familiarize others with the situation
- Involve the person living with dementia
- Adapt gift giving
Source: Alzheimer’s Association
12/16/2021: Coffee Lovers
Whether you MUST have your daily cup of joe or you enjoy one from time to time, you may want to continue reading to see what our friends at eatright have to say about the benefits of coffee!
Benefits of Coffee
Wake up and smell the … antioxidants?
If you think your morning cup of joe provides nothing more to your body than a jolt of caffeine, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your daily cup may provide some additional benefits as well. Drinking moderate amounts of coffee has been linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
And those antioxidants? Although researchers have yet to determine the exact mechanisms behind some of the disease-preventing effects, it is important to keep in mind that these compounds may be exerting other beneficial effects, such as acting as an anti-inflammatory. Coffee also contains small amounts of some nutrients, including potassium, niacin, and magnesium.
Making your coffee a vehicle for fat-free or low-fat milk is one way to increase your daily calcium and vitamin D intake. If your diet does not include dairy, a fortified soy beverage is a calcium-rich alternative. Just be mindful if adding sweetener since coffee drinks can be a source of added sugars.
So how much java is too much? Three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee provide about 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the most that is recommended per day for healthy adults. Certain groups, such as people with hypertension and the elderly, may be at a higher risk for negative side effects of caffeine and so should consider limiting their intake. Pregnant and breastfeeding women will also want to limit caffeine and should discuss their intake with a healthcare provider. Due to coffee being a stimulant, it is not recommended for children and adolescents.
12/23/2021: Happy Holidays
12/31/2021: Happy New Year
06/04/2021: What is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day?
The countdown has started for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)! What is WEAAD? WEAAD was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
Banner – University Health Plan case managers have teamed up with local Elder Abuse Coalitions to spread awareness and provide community resources to communities we serve.
Stay tuned for helpful information and resources!
06/10/2021: Signs of Elder Abuse
Emotional & Behavioral Signs
- Increased fear or anxiety
- Isolation from friends or family
- Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Dehydration or unusual weight loss
- Missing daily living aids (glasses, walker, or medication)
- Unexplained injuries, bruises, cuts, or sores
- Unsanitary living conditions and poor hygiene
- Unattended medical needs
- Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
- Sexually transmitted diseases without clear explanation
- Fraudulent signatures on financial documents
- Unpaid bills
- Unusual or sudden changes in spending patterns, will, or other financial documents
Resources and Support for Reporting Abuse:
Programs such as Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are here to help. Report suspected abuse in the community to the local Adult Protective Services agency and report suspected abuse in a long-term care facility to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. For serious and immediate emergencies, call 911.
To connect to a local or state reporting number, contact the Eldercare Locator at eldercare.acl.gov or at (800) 677-1116.
Source: National Center on Elder Abuse
06/24/2021 Prevent Elder Abuse
- Listen to older people and caregivers to understand their challenges and provide support
- Educate one another about the signs of abuse and how to get help
- Report suspected abuse or neglect as soon as possible
- Build a community that fosters social connections and supports
- Reach out to professional services for support where available
For More Information Visit:
05/05/2021: Cinco de Mayo
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May is also the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. It’s a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III.
It’s common to celebrate by eating and drinking traditional Mexican dishes and drinks. Here is a healthy spin on a traditional Mexican dish courtesy EatingWell. We hope you enjoy!
05/13/2021: Diabetic Foot Care
People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Even ordinary problems can get worse and lead to serious complications.
Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, so you can injure it and not know it. Poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes may also cause problems.
Take good care of your feet and see your doctor right away if you see any signs of foot problems.
Take Care of Your Feet
When you have diabetes, caring for your feet is very important in avoiding serious foot complications. Take care for your feet by doing the following:
- Wash your feet thoroughly everyday
- Dry them thoroughly, and don’t forget to dry between your toes
- Moisturize your feet, but avoid moisturizing between your toes
- Keep your toenails trim, and use an emery board to file down sharp edges
- Check your feet for sores, cuts, blisters, corns, or redness daily and let your doctor know if you find any of these
- Wear moisture wicking socks
- Before putting your shoes on, check for sharp objects (i.e., small rocks)
- Wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub your feet
While you’re at it, avoid these:
- Don’t walk around barefoot
- Don’t soak your feet
- Don’t smoke
Know the Basics
Although it can hurt, diabetic nerve damage can also lessen your ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Loss of feeling often means you may not feel a foot injury. You could have a tack or stone in your shoe and walk on it all day without knowing. You could get a blister and not feel it. You might not notice a foot injury until the skin breaks down and becomes infected.
Nerve damage can also lead to changes in the shape of your feet and toes. If your foot doesn’t fit comfortably in regular shoes, ask your doctor about special therapeutic shoes or inserts, rather than forcing your feet and toes into shoes that don’t fit and can cause more damage. Learn more about neuropathy.
Diabetes can cause changes in the skin of your foot. At times your foot may become very dry. The skin may peel and crack. This problem is caused by nerve damage that affects your body’s ability to control the oil and moisture in your foot.
After bathing, dry your feet and seal in the remaining moisture with a thin coat of plain petroleum jelly, an unscented hand cream, or other such products. Do not put oils or creams between your toes. The extra moisture can lead to infection. Also, don't soak your feet—that can dry your skin.
Calluses occur more often and build up faster on the feet of people with diabetes. This is because there are high-pressure areas under the foot. Too much callus may mean that you will need therapeutic shoes and inserts.
Calluses, if not trimmed, get very thick, break down, and turn into ulcers (open sores). Never try to cut calluses or corns yourself—this can lead to ulcers and infection. Let a health care professional on your diabetes care team cut your calluses. Also, do not try to remove calluses and corns with chemical agents. These products can burn your skin.
Using a pumice stone every day will help keep calluses under control. It is best to use the pumice stone on wet skin. Put on lotion right after you use the pumice stone.
Poor circulation (blood flow) can make your foot less able to fight infection and to heal. Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden. You can control some of the things that cause poor blood flow. Don't smoke; smoking makes arteries harden faster. Also, follow your diabetes care team's advice for keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
If your feet are cold, you may want to warm them. Keep aware that, unfortunately, if you have nerve damage, your feet may not be able feel heat properly and it is easy for you to burn them with hot water, hot water bottles, or heating pads. The best way to warm cold feet is to wear warm socks.
Some people feel pain in their calves when walking fast, up a hill, or on a hard surface. This condition is called intermittent claudication. Stopping to rest for a few moments should end the pain. If you have these symptoms, you must stop smoking. Work with your diabetes care team to get started on a walking program. Some people can also be helped with medication to improve circulation.
Exercise is good for poor circulation. It stimulates blood flow in the legs and feet. Walk in sturdy, well-fit, comfortable shoes, but don't walk when you have open sores on your feet.
Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes. Remember, even though some ulcers do not hurt, every ulcer should be seen by your doctor right away. Neglecting ulcers can result in infections, which in turn can lead to loss of a limb.
What your doctor will do varies with your ulcer. Your doctor may need to take x-rays of your foot to make sure the bone is not infected. The ulcer may also need to have any dead and infected tissue cleaned out. You may need to go into the hospital for this cleaning. Also, a culture of the wound may be used to find out what type of infection you have, and which antibiotic will work best.
Keeping off your feet is very important. Walking on an ulcer can make it get larger and force the infection deeper into your foot. Your doctor may put a special shoe, brace, or cast on your foot to protect it.
If your ulcer is not healing and your circulation is poor, you may be referred to a vascular surgeon. Managing diabetes is important since high blood sugar (blood glucose) levels make it hard to fight infection.
After a foot ulcer heals, treat your foot carefully. Scar tissue from the wound will break down easily. You may need to wear special shoes after the ulcer is healed to protect this area and to prevent the ulcer from returning.
People with diabetes are far more likely to have a foot or leg amputated than other people. The problem? Many people with diabetes have peripheral artery disease (PAD), which reduces blood flow to the feet. Also, many people with diabetes have neuropathy, which makes it so you can’t feel your feet. Together, these problems make it easy to get ulcers and infections that may lead to amputation. Most amputations are preventable by checking your feet daily, regular care and visits with your doctor, and proper footwear.
For these reasons, take good care of your feet and see your doctor right away if you see any signs of foot problems. Ask about prescription shoes that are covered by Medicare and other insurance. Always follow your doctor's advice when caring for ulcers or other foot problems.
One of the biggest threats to your feet is smoking. Smoking affects small blood vessels. It can cause decreased blood flow to the feet and make wounds heal slowly. A lot of people with diabetes who need amputations are smokers.
Source: American Diabetes Association
05/20/2021: Sun Safety
Sun safety has previously been a topic of discussion at our MAC meetings. As we make our way into the warmest time of the year, we would like to remind you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from the heat. Below is a helpful video from the Arizona Department of Health Services’ SunWise Program.
04/08/2021: Pollen and Your Health
Hello Spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. For some this means sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose or ears among other seasonal allergy symptoms related to pollen exposure. Let’s take a look at what the CDC has to say about pollen and your health.
What is pollen?
Pollen is the grains or tiny seeds of flowering plants, trees, and grasses. These seeds can be carried on the wind and can cause various symptoms, or none at all, in individuals who are exposed to them.
What health problems can pollen cause?
For people with hay fever, also known as “allergic rhinitis,” breathing in pollen can cause sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. Pollen exposure can also result in “allergic conjunctivitis” in some individuals, causing red, watery, or itchy eyes.
Pollen exposure can also cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and for whom pollen is an asthma trigger.
How can I protect myself against pollen?
If you are allergic to pollen, or if you have asthma, you can take steps to protect yourself:
- Check pollen forecasts on local news and online sources and plan to spend less time outdoors when pollen levels will be high.
- Take your allergy and/or asthma medications as prescribed by your health care provider.
- Don’t touch your eyes while you are outside and wash your hands when you go back inside (before you touch your eyes).
- Shower after being outside to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
- Change your clothes after being outdoors.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season.
- Use high-efficiency filters in your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Make sure your HVAC system can use high-efficiency filters and that they don’t violate the system’s warranty.
Click Here to read the full article.
04/15/2021: Sun Safety
Warm weather is here, and it will only get warmer! Check out the flyer below for some simple steps to protect yourself.
For more sun safety tips visit the SunWise program page on the Arizona Department of Health Services website by Clicking Here.
04/22/2021: Healthy Recipe
Looking for a healthy and delicious snack recipe? Hummus is a nutritious snack that you can enjoy in different ways – with corn chips, pita chips, fresh vegetables, or whole wheat bread.
Try out this Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus!
The recipe above can be found on the AZ Health Zone website along with many other healthy recipes. For more AZ Health Zone recipes Click Here.
04/29/2021: Community Resources
You may be eligible for farmers market coupons if you:
- Are 60 years of age or older
- Participate in Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
Find out more below.
03/26/2021: Advance Directives
Advanced Directives are your written treatment wishes. This is done when you are able to make decisions for yourself. We respect your right to accept or deny medical care. Your physicians will be able discuss your treatment choices. You will be in charge of preparing your Advanced Directive.
The two most common Advance Directives are the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney. The Living Will gives information about whether you want or don’t want life sustaining procedures if you have a condition that cannot be cured or improved. A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to name a person you trust to decide what type of treatment you will get if you are unable to decide for yourself.
These forms can be found at two (2) state approved websites:
Step by Step Advanced Care Planning
What do you need to do for Advance Care Planning?
- Visit your provider
- Talk about the care you want to get in case you get sick and can't speak for yourself
- Your family or friend can attend your visit
- At the visit your provider will explain your illness and what your options are
- Together you can decide to put your plan into writing to make sure your choices are known
- Plan how to share your choices with family, friends, and your other providers
- This optional advanced care planning visit is covered by your health plan
03/31/2021: Fall Prevention
Check for Safety
Each year, more than one in four older adults aged 65 and older will fall. Among older Americans, falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury. This represents 29 million falls, 3 million emergency department (ED) visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths.
If you haven’t already, check your home for possible safety risks. Use the helpful checklist below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
02/19/2021: Love of Reading Month
Do you like to read?
February is love of reading month! Did you know that the reading is linked to positive effects on overall health?
Research shows that regular reading:
- Improves brain connectivity
- Increases your vocabulary and comprehension
- Empowers you to empathize with other people
- Aids in sleep readiness
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
- Fights depression symptoms
- Prevents cognitive decline as you age
Need something to read? Checkout our newest member newsletter by clicking here!
What is the difference between normal sadness, grieving and depression?
Let’s see what the experts at the American Psychiatric Association have to say:
Here is a very simple way to tell the difference…
Everyone experiences a range of emotions over the course of days and weeks, typically varying based on events and circumstances.
- When disappointed, we usually feel sad
- When we suffer a loss, we grieve
Normally these feelings ebb and flow. They respond to input and changes.
By contrast, depression tends to feel heavy and constant. People who are depressed are less likely to be cheered, comforted, or consoled. People who recover from depression often welcome the ability to feel normal sadness again, to have a “bad day,” as opposed to a leaden weight on their minds and souls every single day.
Source: American Psychiatric Association
01/06/2021: Socks for Seniors
We’d like to take a moment to recognize our B – UFC/ALTCS Case Managers for their positive contribution to local communities! Every year, case managers hold a Sock Drive and drop donations to local assisted living facilities.
This year, a total of 727 pairs of socks where collected! To go along with the socks, case managers and their families got creative and made holiday greeting cards! We appreciate our case managers, their families and all who donated.
We would like to recognize some of our top donors:
- United Cerebral Palsy
- Adult Protective Services
- Blanca Arias
- Hospice Compassus
01/07/2021: Healthy Lifestyle Resources
Thinking about embarking on a healthy living journey? See below for a list of local resources that may be available to you at no cost!
- Diabetes Self-Management Training Center
Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center
- Produce on Wheels Without Waste (P.O.W.W.O.W.)
Chandler Regional Medical Center
- Center for Diabetes Management
- Diabetes Self-Management Education Program - Comprehensive
- Scottsdale Healthcare Diabetes Center / John C. Lincoln Deer Valley & North Valley
(480) 323-4800 Ext. 1
- Diabetes Education
Banner - University Medicine Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
- Diabetes Education
Carondelet Health Network Holy Cross Hospital
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
- Yuma County Wellness Program
- Eat Healthy Be Active Program
- Diabetes Self-Management Education
Yuma Regional Medical Center
01/14/2021: MAC Going Virtual
It’s been a long time since we have come together and although in-person meetings are cancelled, we can still come together virtually and hear what our members and communities have to say!
Meetings are open to B – UFC/ALTCS members, peers, family members, community agencies, providers, and other community representatives. MAC meetings dates are posted quarterly on the main MAC Page. Below is the quarterly schedule for 2021.
February 16, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams
May 18, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams
August 17, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams
Please contact your ALTCS Case Manger or our Customer Care Center at (833) 318-4146 if you would like to participate in the MAC virtual meetings. We look forward to hearing from you!
01/18/2021: MLK Day
Today we honor a dream. Today we celebrate the inalienable rights of all humanity to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
01/28/2021: How to File a Grievance
Call Customer Care if you have a specific grievance or dissatisfaction with any aspect of your care. Examples of grievances are service issues, transportation issues, quality of care issues and provider office issues. Interpretation services are available in any language at no cost to you. You may call Customer Care to file a grievance (complaint) or voice your compliant at the MAC meetings. You may also file your grievance in writing by mailing it to the address listed below. Your grievance will be reviewed, and a response will be provided no later than ninety (90) days from the date that you call us at (833) 318-4146.
Banner – University Health Plans
Attn: Grievance & Appeals Department
2701 E. Elvira Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Call the Customer Care Center (833) 318-4146, ask for Grievance & Appeals
If B – UFC/ALTCS denies a requested service, you will get a letter called the Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOABD). You can also file a complaint about the adequacy of the Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOABD111) letter, for a denial of service by B – UFC/ALTCS.
For more detailed information about grievances click here to go visit our Grievances & Appeals page.
08/24/2020: COVID-19 Update
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings have been placed on hold. We miss the interaction with our members, providers, and community representatives. We look forward to the time when we can safely gather again. Meanwhile, we have created a special MAC direct mail piece just for you! This is scheduled to be mailed by September 30, 2020.
9/28/2020: You've Got Mail
The MAC direct mail piece was sent September 21, 2020! We hope you find the information helpful. Please continue to check our website for future MAC Updates. The digital version is available below.
11/05/2020: MAC Memory
We miss you! Right around this time last year we kicked off our Quarter 1 MAC Meetings. Here are some pictures to look back on and reminisce the great times we had. We are hopeful to be able to gather again soon and capture new memories!
We want to hear from you and know how you are doing. Remember you can contact our Customer Care Center or your ALTCS Case Manager for assistance with your health care needs.
11/12/2020: B – UFC/ALTCS in the Community
Look at what our ALTCS Case Managers have been up to! Case Managers teamed up with local Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities in Yuma and had residents design, color and paint hands. The hands were used to decorate a Promise Garden for the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
11/18/2020: Prepare for the Flu
Prepare for The Flu
If we were still holding MAC meetings, we would certainly be having a discussion about Influenza (the Flu). Here are some points we have discussed at previous MAC meetings:
- Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus
- Influenza is spread mainly from person to person, through droplets made when people sneeze, cough, or talk
- Prevent spreading the virus by washing your hands often and covering coughs and sneezes
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces including doorknobs, phones, remotes, etc
- The single best way to prevent the Flu is to get a vaccine every year
- The Flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (contains killed virus) You cannot get the Flu from the vaccine
- About two weeks after receiving the vaccine, antibodies develop that protect you against the virus
Get your Flu Shot!
Checkout our 2020 Flu Resources and find out how you can qualify to earn a $10 Subway gift card just by getting your Flu shot!
- Go to the BannerUFC.com/ALTCS Home Page
- Scroll down to News & Events
- Click on Flu Resources
OR Click Here!
11/25/2020: Thanksgiving Tips
Weather it’s a virtual gathering, just immediate family or a party of one, we want to wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! In addition to COVID-19 precautions, there are some other safety tips to keep in mind. Click here to read about Top Tips for Safe Stuffing.
12/03/2020: Pyx Health™ Mobile App
During the holiday season it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the happenings and pressures. The added concerns around COVID-19, and the need to take precautions to stay safe, may add to your stress. Today we thought it would be nice to remind you as you to take care of yourself. Here are some tips from our friends at Pyx Health:
- Take care of yourself physically- this can improve your mental health
- Eat nutritious meals
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
- Get enough sleep- Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression
- Practice good coping skills- try one-minute stress strategies, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer
- Break up the routine- although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule
Last but not least… Download the Pyx App! - When you download the app, Pyxir – Pyx's intelligent robot will be with you at every step. Pyxir can help you:
- Laugh, feel less lonely and be a friend whenever you need it
- Connect with your family and friends to give you support
- Find a provider
- Connect you to local resources for food, housing, employment, and ﬁnancial assistance
12/10/2020: December Holidays Around the World
Although Christmas is the most celebrated Holliday in the US, let’s look at what other holidays are celebrated throughout the world in just December alone! You may celebrate some of these yourself or know someone who does.
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. Those who took part in the re-dedication witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued to burn for eight nights.
Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. From there, he combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to form the basis of Kwanzaa.
Boxing Day takes place on December 26. Only celebrated in a few countries, the holiday originated in the United Kingdom during the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were opened and their content distributed, a tradition that still happens in some areas. It was also the day servants were traditionally given the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families.
Ōmisoka, New Year’s Eve, is considered the second-most important day in Japanese tradition as it is the final day of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, the most important day of the year. Families gather on Ōmisoka for one last time in the old year to have a bowl of toshikoshi-soba or toshikoshi-udon, a tradition based on eating the long noodles to cross over from one year to the next.
12/18/2020: Area Agency on Aging
Are you familiar with your local Area Agency on Aging? Resources such as; 24 HR Senior Help Line, Adult Day Health Care, Ameri Corps, APS Care Coordination, Benefits Assistance, Congregate Meals, Family Care Giver Support Programs and many more are available to you! See below to find your local Area Agency on Aging Information:
Cochise, Graham, Greenlee & Santa Cruz Counties
Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO)
La Paz & Yuma Counties
Western Arizona Council of Governments (WACOG)
Area Agency on Aging, Region One
(888) 783-7500 or (602) 264-HELP (4357)
Pinal & Gila Counties
Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC)
Pima Council on Aging (PCOA)
This information is also found in your B – UFC/ALTCS Member Handbook, in the Additional Resources section, listed under Family Support Information and Community Resources.
12/22/2020: Prior Authorization Requests
12/23/2020: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.
- Check the COVID-19 infection rates in areas where attendees live on state, local, territorial, or tribal health department websites. Based on the current status of the pandemic, consider if it is safe to hold or attend the gathering on the proposed date.
- Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow people from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others not from their household.
- Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings as much as possible. Even outdoors, require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
- Avoid holding gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.
- Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather, or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
- For additional information on increasing ventilation, visit CDC’s information on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.
- Winter weather can be cold, wet, and unpredictable. Inclement weather makes it difficult to increase ventilation by opening windows or to hold an event outdoors.
- If setting up outdoor seating under a pop-up open air tent, ensure guests are still seated with physical distancing in mind. Enclosed 4-wall tents will have less air circulation than open air tents. If outdoor temperature or weather forces you to put up the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open or rolling up the bottom 12” of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a wind break.
- Require guests to wear masks. At gatherings that include persons of different households, everyone should always wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose, except when eating or drinking. It is also important to stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household at all times.
We may celebrate differently this year, but the spirit is the same. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!