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Altenheim’s Blog

Ann’s Blog Archive

Activities and Events - What's Out There?

Spring is upon us!  We didn't have a bad winter but it was enough that many of us took a hibernation break from getting out and doing things. I am quite ready to enjoy some summer weather! Keep in mind that taking time to do things you enjoy is healthy.  Self-care ...more

Seeking Guidance: Who can you turn to?

Caregiving affects us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  It can impact relationships with partners / spouses, family, and friends. So who can you turn to? What do you need?  Perhaps information should be first on your list.  Do you know what's available? Do you know where to find help?  Make a list ...more

Valentine's Day Scams

Love is in the air!  It's that time of year when we buy and receive cards, candy, and flowers.  For some people, it may be especially lonely and they may look for their special someone online.  Artificial intelligence has made it very easy for scammers to fool innocent and vulnerable ...more

Scams Everywhere

Beware!  The Clerk of Courts in Belmont County OH reports that a telephone scam is making its way around Belmont County with scammers posing as representatives of the court.  People are being told that they are being fined $1500 for not showing up for jury duty.  NOT TRUE. The Clerk goes ...more

Don't Get Scammed!

We are generous and especially so during the holiday season.  Scammers count on this. If you're shopping online, make sure you are shopping from a legitimate site and not a counterfeit website.  Look at the logo.  Check the URL.  Be careful about sharing your personal information. Buying gift cards for Christmas?  Beware ...more

Remembering Wheeling at Christmas

On Tuesday, December 12, Steve Novotney will take on a trip down Memory Lane as we look at the Christmas traditions of the Friendly City.  Do you remember The Talking Christmas Tree (photo courtesy of Steve Novotney)?  How about the Cooey Bentz Santa - as well as all the other ...more

Grateful for All We Have

November is a traditional month for being grateful.  Of course, we celebrate Thanksgiving and give thanks for family, friends, and our many blessings.  We are so grateful for all that we have. We observe Veterans Day on November 11.  This time is set forth to honor those who have served and those ...more

In Memory: Cat McConnell

There are those people we meet as we move along life's path who leave a lasting imprint on our hearts.  They are kind.  They are compassionate.  They are courageous defenders of those who are vulnerable or unable to fend for themselves.  They are the people we want to be like ...more

Food Insecurity

Many in our community don't have enough food.  People of all ages.  Our community is not alone in this social problem and it extends beyond our country's borders. Costs have gone up everywhere:  groceries, utilities, clothing, fuel.  Everywhere we look, prices are higher.  SNAP benefits were cut in February which has ...more

Have You Been Scammed? What Happened?

What has been your experience with scammers?  Have you gotten the call about a relative being in trouble?  Did someone approach you on social media?  Were you contacted about a computer virus? People may not realize how widespread scams are.  You may think that this doesn't happen here or that scammers ...more


Scams are everywhere.  No matter what we are doing, no matter where we are - scammers are out to get us.  The term now is "bad actors" although it's not a new term.  According to Merriam-Webster, the term is traced back to 1901 but an 1889 Sanskrit dictionary includes the ...more

Artificial Intelligence: A Tool for Scammers

 We're hearing a lot about artificial intelligence or AI.  With AI, voices can be replicated from a brief audio snippet.  Videos can be produced from pictures captured online.  The Grandparent Scam can be prepetrated by scammers using an artificially rendered voice and/or video clip. It sounds and looks like the ...more

Best Wishes to Roy Herzbach!

Roy Herzbach, the WV Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Director, retired at the end of April.  Roy came to the WV Legal Aid program by way of Atlanta, Georgia where he'd served as that state's ombudsman program director for 7 years.  Roy spent the next 30 years with the WV Ombudsman ...more

Visiting Wheeling Neighborhoods: Center Wheeling

Altenheim Resource Services and Family Service - Upper Ohio Valley (Ohio County Senior Center) are co-sponsoring another free program on the Wheeling area. Visiting Wheeling Neighborhoods:  Center Wheeling Through the Eyes of Steve Novotney. Thursday, May 25 at 12:00 noon Lunch will be provided.   Contact Paula at 204 233-2350 ext 105 to reserve your ...more

Medicare Vaccination Coverage

The Inflation Reduction Act passed last year included changes in Medicare benefits.  One of these additional benefits is the coverage of vaccinations under prescription drug coverage that some beneficiaries have as separate coverage (a Part D product) or as part of their Medicare Advantage coverage.  This includes the pneumonia vaccination, ...more

Have you heard of the check washing scam?

AARP's March 2023 Bulletin warns consumers of check-washing scams.  It's what it sounds like.  Your check is stolen from your mailbox or a USPS outdoor collection box and the document is '"washed".   It's easy enough to get your outgoing mail from your home mailbox.  Thieves use stolen keys or something sticky ...more

Happy Social Work Month!

March is National Social Work Month.  Here's to all of our social workers who work to improve the quality of life of those we serve!

Is that message really from Facebook?

One of the scams we're hearing about is the one saying that we have violated the community standards of Facebook and that our account will be closed if we don't respond.  There may be a deadline listed. Do not respond.  Do not click on the link in the email. Responding to the ...more

What's a flash drive? Watch out for this scam!

Did you receive something in the mail that looks like the picture?  These come in all colors, too, by the way.  Some are blue.  Some are silver.  Some have company logos.  Some are very small.  If you receive one of these - beware!  Consumers are being warned about flash drives they ...more

How do you take care of you?

Revised 01/01/2023 We use acronyms in all aspects of life.  ASAP is as soon as possible,   FYI is for your information.  LOL is laughing out loud. Not only do acronyms shorten phrases they can also serve to hel us remember something.  It's sort of like a shorthand note to yourself. Just thinking of ...more

What Are You Doing for the Holidays?

Deck the halls....jingle bells...White Christmas....cookies...Chex mix...Hallmark movies It's that time of year again!  We shop, we cook, we wrap (or bag), we bake, we decorate, we address cards...the list is endless. For those who are caregivers, the list may look a little different.  Caregivers may need to modify the Christmas traditions.   Caregiving is ...more

Holiday Delivery Scam & Porch Pirates

It's the holiday shopping season and a lot of people are shopping online.  Delivery trucks are everywhere! We see the brown UPS trucks and the white Fed Ex trucks in all neighborhoods at all times of the day. There are a few things to watch out for as we go through ...more

Is Caregiving Hard for You?

I was going through a stack of information that my colleague and friend Marty Cornett and I had gathered for a series of programs on the caregiver.  (Covid stopped that series pretty quickly.)  An article by Carol Bradley Bursack titled "Not Everyone is Cut Out to Be a Caregiver" caught ...more

What is Medicare Open Enrollment?

Medicare's Open Enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7.  This is the time of year that beneficiaries can make certain changes to Medicare coverage.  Although you can make as many changes as you need during Open Enrollment, the last change you make will take effect on January 1, 2023. The ...more


Join us TODAY, November 15, 2022, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at First Christian Church, 1343 National Road, Wheeling for an educational Medicare program that will help you explore your options. John Forsyth will be our presenter for this educational program. Open Enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7 allowing ...more

Bank Texting Scam

You get a text from what you think is your financial institution.  It may say something like "FRAUD ALERT:  Did you authorize a transaction for $2000.00?  Check YES or NO."  If you respond, the scammer knows that they have reached an active number and a person.   The scammer then calls you ...more

What do you need to know? Over the counter hearing aids

Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available directly to consumers without a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist. (See Blog Archives: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, August 19, 2022)  This option and lower prices will give more people access to hearing improvement.  There are things you need to know when looking into ...more

Do you want to hire privately for in home care?

Caring for someone is difficult.  Doing it alone or when you're working ups the 'degree of difficulty' scale. We have in-home non-medical agencies available to assist.  Costs range around $25 / hour and up. There are also programs through senior centers or aging offices which may offer limited amounts of time. ...more

What do we do with belongings after someone dies?

When we lose a loved one, we have to deal with the grief and at the same time, handle the funeral, settle the estate, take care of medical responsibilities, settle any insurance (life insurance, long-term care insurance, medical insurance), and liquidate possessions.  We may want to keep everything but that's ...more

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a rule to allow consumers access to hearing aids without the need for a medical exam, prescription, or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.   This new category of over-the-counter hearing aids will enable consumers with "perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to ...more

Habits That Lead to Happiness

I read an interesting article in Spirituality and Health, May / June 2021 on the 7 habits that can influence our happiness and the qualities that we associate with happiness.  The author, Victor M. Parachin, is a Protestant minister and Buddhist meditation teacher.  He identified the habits that can lead ...more

Reading Your Way Through Retirement by guest blogger - Jeanette Wojcik

We have a guest blogger!  Thanks to Jeanette Wojcik, retired Executive Director of Faith in Action Caregivers, Inc. ******************* So often these days we hear about people having a Bucket List of things they want to do or places they want to go.  I have a Bucket List, too.  However, my list ...more

Scam Updates

WVU Medicine posted on its Facebook page that consumers should be aware of calls from spoofed in-house numbers.  Consumers have reported receiving calls showing as WVU organization numbers (304 598-4000 and 304 598-6000) and "at times being subjected to aggressive and threatening language."  Ir you receive one of these calls, ...more

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15 has been declared World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  This observation calls attention to elder abuse across the globe.  Abuse comes in many forms  The abuser may use physical force on an older adult.  They may be emotionally abusive.  They may be exploiting the older adult financially.  There may be ...more

Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley

We have a new program that engages citizens to provide anonymous information about criminal activity in Upper Ohio Valley neighborhoods. The tipline is answered 24/7/365 by local law enforcement, and tips are confirmed and passed to proper authorities.  The program assists law enforcement in keeping Upper Ohio Valley citizens safe.  The Anonymous ...more


Medicare enrollment in the United States is over 64 million beneficiaries.  This includes those beneficiaries under 65 who qualify for Medicare based on disability. Medicare Fraud Prevention Week calls attention to fraud, abuse, and errors in Medicare which accounts for over $60 BILLION in losses. The loss may be due to a ...more

Military Romance Scams

Thank you to all who have served and are serving in our military to keep us free.  Thank you for fighting for our democracy! It is timely to remind people that there are scammers out there who will pose as a member of our military or a veteran.  They will tell ...more

May is Older Americans Month

The theme for Older Americans Month 2022 is Age My Way.   What does that mean?  Aging my way is getting older on my terms.  Or, as much as possible. I don't know many people who want to leave their home - whether it's a house, a condo, a townhouse, or an apartment.  We ...more

Have You Been Scammed?

Getting scammed calls up a lot of emotions and thoughts.  It's natural to be angry - with yourself and others.  You may get scared.  You're full of self-recrimination.  You feel like you're the only person to have fallen for a scam.  But you're not.  And you need to let others know. Your ...more

Scam Alert: You Have NOT Won a Prize

The latest scam we're hearing about is a text message saying that you've won a free prize. The text says something like "Your account is paid" or "We have received payment", then the text goes on to say that you are being rewarded.  All you have to do is click on ...more

March is National Social Work Month

I'd like to take a moment to give a shout out to my social worker colleagues! The Time is Right for Social Work.  This is the theme for the 2022 observance honoring social workers across all disciplines.  There are nearly 720,000 of us in the United States, and that number is ...more

Scams Involving Ukraine Assistance

Please be aware that the terrible situation in Ukraine has opened the door for scammers.  Local organizations and churches are collecting all types of items to be shipped to Ukraine and the countries that are helping.  There are many honest efforts to help in this humanitarian crisis.   BUT - Fake charities are ...more

Storm Clean Up Scams

This past week's freezing rain and sleet left trees covered in ice.  Standing on our back porch Thursday night was so eerie.  It was very quiet except for the sounds of branches cracking, and limbs hitting the earth as they fell from the weight of the ice.  When morning came, ...more

Beware of COVID DMV vaccine card scam

The WV Dept of Health and Human Resources has warned West Virginians about a spam message regarding their vaccine status and their drivers licenses.  The message asks people "to validate their driver's license through the state's Deparatment of Motor Vehicles in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and ...more

Happy New Year 2022

When we entered 2021, we were all hopeful that we would have achieved a new "normal" by the end of the year.  To a degree, we have.  It's not what we hoped for but we're moving forward. Many of us automatically stick a mask in our pocket and put it one ...more

Thank You for 130 Years

As we come to the end of 2021, the Altenheim Retirement Community family would like to say "thank you" for 130 years.   Anton Reymann established an endowment that allowed the purchase of the Mount Belleview Hotel which became Altenheim Home for Aged Women, officially opening in May, 1891.  Altenheim has continued, ...more

Home for the Holidays: How Are the Relatives Doing?

There's no place like home for the holidays.  No matter how old we get or where we live, most of us have a soft spot in our hearts about being home for the holidays.  Home may mean a place and it may mean being with those we love.  Last year ...more

3G is Going Away ~ What Does That Mean?

3G or the third generation of wireless is going away to make more room for 5G or the 5th generation of wireless.  Carriers are shutting down 3G networks to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G.   What does this mean? It means that many older cell phones will no longer ...more

Timely Resources is available

Check out the newsletter Timely Resources in the News section!

Slacker Siblings

I just read an article in the e-zine Next Avenue on Slacker Siblings.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard caregivers lament their aloneness in their caregiving role despite having brothers and sisters. Not all caregivers have "Slacker Siblings".  Some families share responsibilities and pull together for a loved ...more

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each year about 255,000 women women get breast cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease. Although it's rare, about 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the US is found in a man.  (A friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer ...more

Taking Care of Our Fur Babies

Many of us have pets, and know the joy and responsibility of having companion animals.  Pets offer support for seniors and also offer much needed companionship.  Caring for a pet offers a sense of purpose, and a sense of security. We have all read about the benefits of pet ownership:  lowered ...more

Life is a journey

What has your life journey been like?  We all have a different story to tell, and each of us experiences life's journey differently.  The roads we have traveled have no doubt been vastly influenced by our environment, our social and family lives, our birth order, and social media.  And - how ...more


For more vaccine information: For more information on OHIO vaccines For more information on WV vaccines    

Belmont County Adult Services Coalition meeting

The Thursday, September 2 meeting of the Belmont County Adult Services Coalition has been canceled.   

Food Giveaway at Wheeling Island Casino

August 25, 2021 - 11am - 1pm Wheeling Island Casino parking lots C & D WV Residents Only One box per car

Blessing Boxes

Have you seen a Blessing Box in your neighborhood? Blessing Boxes are large 'cabinets' where people can donate food, personal care, personal hygiene items or take food, personal care or personal hygiene items. The boxes are marked. How do we donate?  Just go to one of the Blessing Boxes and place your ...more

Local Farmer's Markets

We are so blessed to have several Farmer's Markets in our area.  We've been going to several, and have gotten sweet peas, tomatoes, strawberries, garlic and much more.  Check out some of the markets, and support our local growers.  It's good to have fresh fruits and veggies, and know that ...more

Timely Resources Posted

The July 27 edition of Timely Resources has been posted!  Check it out. There is news on workshops, a local colleague who is retiring, information on the new Alzheimer's drug and much more! Submit any news briefs to me at for consideration!  

Phone Scams

Robo calls and scam calls have been running rampant since the pandemic.  Many of us were home and our phones were critical to business and keeping in touch with our friends and family members. I can't tell you how many extended car warranty calls (robocalls) I have received.   The fake Social Security ...more

"Timely Resources" E-Notes Posted

Just finished Timely Resources last night and wanted to share the information!  Check out the News Section for the July 13 edition! I am trying to get a bit organized, and will be working on posting Timely Resources every two weeks. Open positions will be included once a month.  If you ...more

Great Gugledimoogledy! Is it HOT!!!

As I write this, the outside temperature is 89 degrees, the dew point is 72, and there is no breeze.  It is HOT! Check on your older neighbors and relatives.  As we age, our ability to respond to heat can become a problem.  Older adults are at increased risk for heat ...more

How Does Your Garden Grow?

There are many people who find gardening to be tedious, dirty, and work.  Not in a good way. Then there are those of us who find gardening to be tedious, dirty, and work. But in a very good way. It has given me great joy to see the seeds I planted sprouting ...more

I Need to Get Away! Where Do I Go?

2020 was like the lost year.  We missed music festivals. We missed football games.  We missed gatherings with friends.  We didn't go on vacation.  We all missed things that we'd come to look at as normal parts of life. But - do you know what my family did?  We took day ...more

Imposter Scams

We are warned by FEMA not to fall for imposter scams.  Imposter scams come in many forms.  The scammer may be impersonating a government worker, the police, the person of your dreams from social media, or any number of people that you may perceive as a trustworthy person. The Social Security representative ...more

Have you been vaccinated? Don't get scammed!

One of the scams making the rounds is the Covid vaccination scam.  You may be contacted by email or by text.  The logos look like Moderna or Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. They want you to complete a survey to get a prize or reward.   DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK. DON'T CALL THE ...more

Do you know about Medicare Savings Programs?

Medicare offers 4 programs to assist beneficiaries with out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not pay.  There are income and asset guidelines for each program. Program 1 or Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) pays Part A deductible, Part A coinsurance, Part B deductible, Part B coinsurance, and Part B monthly premiums.  Program 2 or ...more

How Can I Get Scammed Today?

Oh, there are so many flavors to choose from!  Here are a few scams highlighted in AARP's Bulletin April 2021 issue: Fake shopping sites have been around for awhile but like all other scams, they're getting more sophisticated.   The site may use pics from real businesses which makes it look legit.  However, ...more

What's the Popular Scam?

The WV Attorney General's Office warns us that the Social Security Scam is making its way around West Virginia.  These scammers may give a warning that your Social Security Number has been compromised in illegal activity in (some state). They may have the last 4 digits of your Social but do NOT ...more


So - how ARE you sleeping?   Quality sleep - note that QUALITY sleep - is such an important part of our overall health.  Remember that quantity does not mean quality!  This past year has played havoc with sleep patterns.  There have been so many reasons that we've stared at the ceiling ...more

How Can I Develop an Attitude of Gratitude Part 2

This is a two-part post of having an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.  It has been a difficult year.  Everyone has endured some type of loss.  Being able to see the good and express thanks can strengthen us mentally, spiritually, and physically!   * Appreciate people who annoy you. This is challenging!  But - ...more

How Can I Develop An Attitude of Gratitude? Part 1

An attitude of gratitude means that you operate from a place of abundance instead of a place of scarcity and fear. Researchers Stephen M. Yshimura and Kassandra Berzins explored the connection between expressing gratitude and psychological and physical well-being.  They concluded that "Gratitude consistently associates with many positive social, psychological, and ...more

How is Your Pandemic Health?

It's been a tough year.  Plus a few months. The pandemic, the losses, the worry, the economic concerns, the snow, the ice, the shoveling, more snow, more ice, more shoveling, working from home (trying to adjust to working from home), rethinking how to do our jobs when so much was ...more

We're in for nasty weather

We have had a LOT of snow this year.  I was getting a little spoiled with the milder winters.  This year, however, we've shoveled a lot of snow and used a lot of ice melt.  Tonight - February 15 - the weather gurus are predicting up to 1/2" of ice.  ...more


The hospice benefit was created for people with limited life expectancy (6 months or less).  Hospice care is a benefit of Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurances, and most cover the benefits at 100%.    Hospice services are geared toward care receivers as well as caregivers and their families. Hospice care includes ...more


Once again the topic is scams.  The information bears repeating.  Scammers have gotten more savvy, more sophisticated, and have had more fodder. This past year has offered ample opportunity for people who may be lacking in character, honesty and integrity to take advantage of us.  There are increases in the incidence ...more


I have spent most of my social work career working with people who are over 55, offering tools to help them through the aging journey.  Case management, resource information, workshops, community programs, and support groups - all provided to give older adults and caregivers information to help them with issues ...more

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We at Altenheim Retirment Community would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  May the light of the season be a source of strength, a source of peace, and a source of hope.  2020 was a challenging year.  We are continuing to face a pandemic like nothing most of us have ...more

Alzheimer's Blood Test Released

NBC News recently reported that C2N Diagnostics of St Louis, Missouri, has released a blood test for Alzheimer's Disease.  The product which is not FDA approved, is sold in all but a few states and was just cleared for sale in Europe. The test measures two types of amyloid particles plus ...more

Watch Out for Scams!

I post a lot about scams.  That's because they are everywhere.  That's also because people continue to fall prey to scams.  It's also because so many of the people in our area are vulnerable.  We have a lot of older folks.  There are a lot of people who have some memory ...more

Isolation Continues

As we see our COVID numbers rising exponentially across the country, strong recommendations are made for us to remain vigilant, remain isolated as much as possible (or remain socially distant), and continue to wear a mask.  Experts in the fields of immunology and infectious diseases support wearing masks and work ...more

Thank You to Our Veterans - Our Heroes!

Today is Veteran's Day.  This is the day we set aside to honor those who have served in the military and those who are serving.   They have served to protect our country.  They have served all over the world.  These men and women have served unselfishly so that we may live ...more


Caregiving is difficult.  Unless you are or have been a caregiver, you may not realize how every aspect of your life is affected by that role.   As we wind our way through this pandemic, many caregivers are sharing how much the isolation is impacting them.  In the best of times, providing ...more

Caring for Yourself as You are Caring for Others

When we're taking care of someone, it's difficult to think of caring for ourselves.  Here are some ideas to help you do a little self-care. Laugh about something every day.  Keep a humor file - something you can go to for a quick giggle. Talk with someone every day.  It's important to ...more

Should Your Loved One Live Alone?

Not long ago, I posted some signs that may indicate that your loved one needs help.  There are many other signs that may indicate that extra help is needed. Medication problems such as taking too many, taking too few, mixing up pills or using expired prescriptions Changes in weight Depeleted financial resources "New" friends ...more

Does Your Older Relative Need Help?

It has been difficult to monitor our loved ones during the pandemic.  We may not live close.  We may not be able to visit as frequently as we did not so long ago.  We may not be able to visit due to underlying health issues of our loved ones or ...more


We have had to make many adjustments to adapt to doing our jobs at home.  We have had to make sure we have supplies.  We have had to make sure we have access to the information we need to serve our consumers.  We have had to update our computers.  We've had ...more

Caregivers: Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Have you made an Emergency Plan for your care receiver?  We are coming on fall with an increased risk of storms, electrical outages, flash floods, and tornadoes.  Often, we can shelter in place but there are times that we need to evacuate or move to another place in the house ...more

Are you interested in the Altenheim cottages?

It's hard to believe that our first cottages were constructed in 2008!  Three more cottages were completed in 2012 and the last two were constructed in 2014.  The first three are an A-frame design with an oversize garage and no basement.  The dining room is adjacent to the kitchen, and just off ...more

Follow-up on Vaccination Blog

I was wondering what to post when my husband reminded me that I am now a senior citizen, and maybe I should post on my experiences as an older adult.  As an aside - It's difficult to really understand that I AM a senior!  I have my Golden Moutaineer card ...more

Are You Up to Date on Vaccinations?

We're all concerned about a vaccine for coronavirus / COVID-19 and hoping that our researchers find the answer sooner than later. While we are concerned about the current state of events, we can't forget our regular vaccinations!  We're coming on the "regular" flu season.  Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ...more

Isolation and Loneliness

Are you almost ready to answer your phone and chat with whoever is on the other end?   Staying home has been challenging for so many of us.  We aren't seeing our colleagues at meetings nor are we able to plan special events.  The evening dinners with friends have morphed into Zoom ...more

What Are You Doing?

Hey!  How are things going?  Are you working from home, going in part time, or are you back full time?  I am still working from home and have gotten into a rhythm.  People who need information have found me through this Web page, email or our alternate phone number.  It's ...more

Observing 25 years in a Pandemic

When I was hired by Altenheim as Resource Services Coordinator of their new division Altenheim Resource & Referral Services in March 1995, I didn't know where this new position would lead.  I knew that this position was a great opportunity to help older adults and their caregivers.  I had just ...more

What Do I Do With All My Stuff???

Do you look around your house and think "Where did all that stuff come from?!"  Our house is small, and I have no idea how I managed to cram so much in such a small space!  Since I've been working from home, I am constantly reminded of my need to ...more


Many of us are still working from home, socially distancing when we're out, and trying to stay at home as much as possible.  I'm going out for groceries and necessary items, and to walk our dog but am trying to stay in and away from people as much as possible. ...more


Tuesday, June 9 is Election Day for West Virginia.  Some of you may have taken advantage of mail-in ballots, and others may have voted through the Early Voting process.  For those of you who are voting in person - the day is coming up! Voting is a privilege.  People have fought ...more


We are still living an altered lifestyle.  Businesses and services are slowly reopening in West Virginia and Ohio, just as we observe Memorial Day - which usually signals summer (although it's still about 3 weeks early for the official start of summer).  We are so anxious to get out, to ...more

Have You Been Counted? The 2020 Census

It's CENSUS time!  Have you been counted?  You should have gotten your "invitation" to be counted, and you can respond online, by phone or by mail.  Some of us got short forms which were concise with questions.  Others received longer forms which requested more information. So - you might ask - ...more


Our social isolation continues.  Some of us are still working at home and seriously limiting any contact with others.  This is tough! Think about those people who have no one or those who have limited contact even when we are not facing a pandemic. These people are vulnerable and susceptible to being ...more


Scams are out there.  People are taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty, and offering cures (none exist), treatments (none exist) and vaccinations (none exist). These people will not 'play nice'.  They don't care that we are afraid, that we are worried, that we don't know what our 'new normal' will ...more


I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of social distancing (at LEAST 6' apart) and preferably social isolation.  Please keep in mind that going out puts you at risk as well as others.  We have learned that all ages are affected.  Babies have contracted the virus and died as have others ...more

Staying Connected

As we face this pandemic health crisis, please be attentive to those who live alone.  We must practice social distancing if not isolation so we must work extra hard to stay in touch.  This is a virulent virus, and we don't want anyone exposed unnecessarily especially our most vulnerable. It is ...more

Coronavirus - Another Consideration

As we are all focused on social distancing, avoiding contracting the virus, and keeping our family and friends safe, there is another consideration and that is being extra careful in other areas of our lives. This is not a time to have to seek emergency medical attention for accidents and issues ...more

Coronavirus - "Take this seriously!"

"Take this seriously.  Coronavirus is about to change your life for awhile" CNN on-line headed their article with the above tag line. In this article, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a warning during a White House briefing Tuesday.  "Americans everywhere need to change ...more


It is amazing to think that Altenheim Resource & Referral Services has been part of the Altenheim family and the Wheeling community for 25 years! Resource Services came about as a result of the philanthropy of Altenheim, and the research that showed a primary need of older adults and caregivers was ...more


Recently my husband, our dog and I escaped for a short respite away from the Big City. We needed a little time to stop, take a deep breath, enjoy our little "pack", and re-connect with the trees and the beauty that surrounds us.  How often do we do that? I've been ...more


WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning of a new twist on an old scam.  Callers are contacting consumers and impersonating representatives of the Attorney General's (AG) office.  They are intimidating callers with threats of suspension of Social Security numbers or benefits due to "fraudulent activity" or "illegal activity", saying that the ...more

Tis the Season - to Get Scammed

Steve Novotney (WKKX and LEDE news) and I serve on a task force to combat elder abuse.  We have discussed numerous scams that people try to perpetrate including the "You have won a lot of money" or "You can make a lot of money" scams, the fake delivery people scams, the ...more

National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month.  Caregiving is a hard job.  It is physically taxing, emotionally challenging, and can test our spiritual strength. Do you know a caregiver?  Ask how you can help.  We often say "Call me if you need anything" but often people won't reach out.  We can reach out ...more


We have had a beautiful fall with the yellow, gold and red trees!  The temperatures have been moderate and the skies have been that rich blue that only occurs in the autumn. But - this morning's weather predicts rain, cold and wind over the next few days.  They even said that ...more


In 2019, one million Medicare beneficiaries with the Low Income Subsidy (LIS or Extra Help) paid an average of approximately $24 / month for Part D premiums.  They could have saved money had they been enrolled in a 'benchmark' plan. People who qualify for the full Medicare Part D LIS do ...more

Do You Know What "Call Spoofing" Is?

Call spoofing is when a caller "poses" as a local business, person or agency.  This is a technique used by scammers to mimic a legitimate phone number.  Consumers believe that the call is from a legitimate recognizable business but that isn't the case.   Reports indicate those making the unsolicted calls will ...more

Stroke Information

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.  They occur when a blood vessel that carreis O2 and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures, both leading to reduction in O2 to the brain and ultimately brain cell death.  ...more

And A Few More Scams!

I just read on the Federal Trade Commission's web site about two more scams that are making the rounds! One of these targets people of faith pretending to be a pastor, priest, rabbi, imam or bishop.  They ask those (who are unfortuante enough to answer the phone) for gift card contributions ...more

Another Side of Scams

I have written about different scams that perpetrators use.  There are the Grandparent Scams, the Sweetheart Scams, the Contractor Scams, the Utility Scams, the Social Security Scams, the IRS scams.....the list goes on and on.   One area that I have not written about is Health Fraud Scams.  Health fraud scams refer to ...more

Staying Safe in the Summertime

We made it past the wind, cold, snow and ice, and now have the opportunity to enjoy the warm days of summer.  Of course, we have been dodging raindrops (7 out of the last 8 days according to Channel 9 WTOV) but we have still had ample time to get ...more

Websites of interest

Most of us spend a lot of time researching various topics on line.  There is information on anything and everything! But - we have to exercise caution.  If you are looking for medical information, ask your physician.  He/she can probably guide you to reputable and informative sites.  Be attentive to the website ...more

Apple Scam

We had a message on our answering machine with an automated voice saying there was a problem with our "Apple account".  Instructions were to press 1, 2 or 3 (if we'd answered) or call 718 307-1139.  Do NOT call the number. This is a scam.  If you answered the phone -  ...more

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today - June 17th - is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse comes in many forms:  physical, sexual, psychological, and financial.  There is also neglect where a vulnerable adult is denied medications, food, personal care and the option to make decisions. Risk factors include isolation, cognitive impairment or mental health challenges, ...more

Veteran and family health care: Camp Lejeune

In the 1980's, contaminants were found in several wells that provided water at Camp Lejeune North Carolina.  It is estimated that the contaminants were in the water supply from the mid-1950s until February 1985 when the wells were shut down. There are benefits for Camp Lejeune veterans and family members that include health ...more

Social Security Scam

REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU LIVE - BE AWARE OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM! WV Attorney General Patrick Morrissey is warning consumers of yet another scam aimed at stealing our personal information.  Con artists posing as Social Security Administration workers are contacting consumers claiming a compromised Social Security number or a frozen ...more

Do you have your advance directives completed?

April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day.  This is a day of education and awareness, a day to encourage more individuals to plan for health care decisions.  Slightly more than 1/3 of adults in the United States have any form of a written advance health care directive.  Your Medical ...more

What do you know about hospice?

Hospice is the care that people can receive when they have a life-limiting illness with a prognosis of six months or less.  Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach that includes medical care, pain management, emotional support, and spiritual support.  The family of the patient receives support as well.  Bereavement support ...more

Taking Care of Yourself!

Caregiving consumes more hours than there are in the day.  At least that's what it feels like.  Caregivers are managing their own lives (job, house, groceries, finances, kids/grandkids, and more) and they help their care receivers in varying degrees of time.  The tasks of caregiving may entail transportation, arranging services, ...more


It's almost time for the Older Adult Expo sponsored by the Belmont County Adult Services Coalition!  The event will be held at the Ohio Valley Mall on Tuesday, May 7 from 10am - 3pm.  There is no fee to exhibit although the Ohio Valley Mall requires exhibitors to provide a certificate ...more

Do you know about Project Lifesaver for wandering?

Project Lifesaver was founded in 1999 in Chesapeake VA by a local police captain, Gene Saunders.  The program is designed to help family members locate a loved one who wanders.  Project Lifesaver has helped those with dementia, autism and other cognitive disorders. The person who is enrolled receives a waterproof transmitter ...more


Today's Caregiver has an interesting article entitled "Fighting Caregiver Fatigue" which talks about....caregiver fatigue!  This is a very real, very impactful (mentally, physically and spiritually) condition that affects caregivers.  This physical and/or mental exhaustion takes a toll on caregivers whether they are providing care 24 hours a day or if ...more

Holiday Stress

We just finished a program on Supporting & Empowering the Caregiver, and as might be expected, a big piece of the program focused on self-care.  Providing care to a loved one tests the limits of our endurance.  We become physically tired, emotionally drained, and can challenge our spiritual strength.  The holidays ...more

What are irrational thoughts?

Dr. Albert Ellis, a prominent psychologist, developed the theory that if we control our emotions effectively and keep ourselves (as much as is possible!) from neurotic, self-defeating thoughts, we can lead a more fulfilled, happier life. These thoughts have been ingrained in us from childhood and have been reinforced from authority ...more

What is a hospitalist?

Some of our local hospitals are providing in-patient care by a hospitalist. Patients often do not understand how a hospitalist works in their continuum of care.  They are unsure of who is providing their care, and they think they are losing their primary care physician.  Let's start with: What IS a hospitalist?  This term was ...more

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

National Prostate Health Month is observed every September by health experts, health advocates, and individuals concerned with prosate health.    Designating a month for the issue serves to: Increase public awareneness of the importance of prostate health Provide easily accessible prostate health screenings Educate about risk factors and symptoms of prostate related diseases Advocate for ...more

Water, water everywhere!

We have had a LOT of rain in our area!  We were fortunate at my house - we only had about 4" of rain this past weekend.  A friend in Belmont county had 7" of rain.  Some areas got more, some less but we all received a lot of rain! Hurricane Florence ...more

Caregiver Hacks

Caregiving can be challenging, and sometimes it takes some ingenuity to solve the problems that we encounter!  But often, we can make an adaptation or a fix with easy-to find-items or items that we already have in our homes.  Here are some ideas for 'caregiving hacks' which are crafty ways to ...more

Challenging Behaviors and Dementia

Behaviors can be one of the most challenging aspects of caring for a loved one with dementia.  It is important to recognize that behaviors are a means of communication.  When verbal skills diminish and the care receiver can no longer express him/herself in more conventional means, they may do things ...more


New Medicare cards are being sent by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Social Security numbers are being removed to add a level of security and help protect Medicare beneficiaries from identity theft and fraud.  A new Medicare Beneficiary Idenfier (MBI) number will be assigned displaying a combination of 11 letters and numbers.  ...more

Older Adult Expo

The Belmont County Adult Services Coalition held the 20th annual event at the Ohio Valley Mall honoring the older adults in the community, caregivers and care receivers.  It was a great event! The event was formerly known as the Caregiver Support Fair.  We changed the name this year to reflect the ...more


The VDT is the VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOUR.  This FREE experience will be available at the Older Adult Expo at the Ohio Valley Mall on Tuesday, May 1.  Visit the Right at Home In Home Care and Assistance booth at the Expo to sign up.  This experience helps participants to get a feel for what our ...more

When is the Belmont County Older Adult Expo and where is it?

The Older Adult Expo (formerly the Caregiver Support Fair) will be held on May 1, 2018 at the Ohio Valley Mall from 10am - 3pm.  The event name was changed to represent our changing aging society.  We as older adults are caregivers.  We are employees.  We are retirees.  We travel.  We try ...more

Winter Wonderland?

We had snow for Christmas.  We've had frigid temperatures.  We've had winter winds.  Current temps are running below average according to our local weather men and women, and wind has made it worse, driving the single digit temps to below zero.  BRRRRRR!!!!!! Take the opportunity to check on older family and friends ...more

Should my relative continue to live alone?

Ah!  The holidays!  Time for visiting our families, enjoying conversation, baking and reminiscing.  And also a good time to assess how your relatives are doing by themselves. Here are some questions that can guide you. Has the use of the stove or other applicances become a safety issue? Are there potential safety concerns in the home ...more

Getting Rid of Our Stuff

I had the privilege of being a panelist at Oglebay Institute's Downsizing workshop this past weekend along with  Joshua Rogers, attorney, of Dinsmore & Shohl; Charlotte Pyle of Joe R. Pyle Auction & Realty Services; and, Greg Strahm of the TreasureQuest Group Appraisals.  Tim Luke also of TreasureQuest Group Appraisals ...more

New contact information for Altenheim's services

We have recently changed our communication provider and have new email addresses. You can reach Ann Koegler, Resource Services Coordinator, at  You can reach George Dakovic, Executive Director, at We have also kept our "old" email addresses! Our phone numbers remain the same.    

What is the Belmont County Caregiver Dinner?

Each year, the Area Agency on Aging Region 9 in Ohio hosts a dinner honoring caregivers in Belmont County, Ohio.  These people may care or have cared for a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend.  One caregiver is chosen to be recognized as the Caregiver of the Year.  This year's dinner ...more

I hear that Medicare cards are being changed.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working on a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft.  Teh new cards will use a randomly assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance ...more

Summer Heat - People & Animals

Summer weather is once again upon us!  For those of us who hate winter, we are extremely grateful!  To be safe in the summer heat, a few tips bear repeating: 1 - Check on your elderly family members and neighbors.  Be especially cautious if they don't have air conditioning. 2 - Older people are ...more

What does hospice for end of life care entail?

Hospice care is designed for patients who have an end of life diagnosis.  This means that the prognosis is for less than 6 months to live although some care receivers live beyond that.  When you or your care receiver is diagnosed with an end-stage illness, you may want to learn ...more

Are you lonely or are you just alone?

Many people live alone.  They may be single.  They may be widowed.  They may be divorced.  There are also people who are caring for loved ones or who are married who are lonely.  Some people do well on their own while others do not.  Those who are lonely feel solitary, isolated ...more

What is Older Americans Month?

May, 2017 is Older Americans Month!  Since 1963, Older Americans Month has been a time to celebrate older Americans, their stories and their contributions.  The annual observance offers a special opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation's older citizens.  The 2017 theme - Age Out Lound - emphasizes the ...more

I am concerned about falls and my elderly parents!

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for people 65 and over?  Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head trauma.  Falls can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active, and ...more

I just read about the A4 study for Alzheimer's. What is it?

The A4 (Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer's) Study is a clinical trial now enrolling volunteers.  The study is designed for people who have the earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease beginning in the brain but don't yet have any symptoms of the disease.  The study is enrolling healthy 65 - 85 year ...more

SSI vs SSDI - What's the Difference?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides minimum basic financial assistance to older adults and those with disabilites (regardless of age) with very limited income and resources.  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) supports individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history, either through their own employment or that of a family member ...more

Thinking about Estate Planning?

A friend sent me an article from a legal firm's blog on things that we forget to put in our estate plans, and I thought it would be worth sharing.  The blog encourages us to think about certain provisions that people often forget to put in a will that can ...more

Is Alzheimer's disease an inevitable part of aging?

NO!  We all forget things occasionally but not everyone develops Alzheimer's disease or a dementia that affects our thinking abilities.  Millions of people reach their 70s, 80s, and even their 90s with memories and cognition intact. According to an Alzheimer's Association survey, 59% of people surveyed believed that Alzheimer's is a ...more


The Belmont County Adult Services Coalition will host the 18th ANNUAL CAREGIVER SUPPORT FAIR at the Ohio Valley Mall on Tuesday, May 2 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.  Exhibitors from around the area will be available to help older adults and caregivers learn about services available to help them ...more

I've heard about a Caregiver Support Fair at the Ohio Valley Mall. How will it help me?

The 18th Annual Caregiver Support Fair will be held at the Ohio Valley Mall in St Clairsville OH on May 2, 2017 from 10am - 3pm.  Exhibitors from around the area bring their agency information to share so older adults,, caregivers and those with disabilities can learn about services that ...more

HUH? What did you say? Hearing loss and aging

Hearing loss can occur at any age and has many causes.  Long-term exposure to loud noises such as machinery can lead to hearing loss.  Some medications can cause or accelerate hearing loss.  Impacted ear wax, perforated membranes or otosclerosis (a disease of the middle and inner ear) can also cause ...more

I'm a caregiver and I am SO stressed!

It's so easy to get stressed when we are providing care to a loved one.  Quite often, we are still working.  We have our homes to maintain, bills to pay, shopping to do and many caregivers are raising families.  As caregivers, we may be doing the same things for our ...more

Dementia and communication

Communication is a critical component of our interactions with other people.  Think about the times you've been trying to get a message across to someone and how that message can get misdirected.  It might be the words we're using.  It might be the tone of our voice.  (Does our tone ...more

My loved one has dementia. How can I make it easier to take them on outings?

People in the eariler stages of dementia may still enjoy going to restaurants, the park, shopping or other outings.  If they are comfortable going out and if you're comfortable - keep going!  But put some thought into the outings and make some arrangements before you go. Schedule the outing for the ...more

My loved one has dementia and I need ideas for activities.

This is challenging for caregivers and it's important to remember a few things when exploring activities for a loved one with dementia.  First - remember that activities can be anything.  Activities are things that we do and can involve routine tasks like getting dressed or doing chores, as well as things such as ...more

Coping with dementia caregiving

Teepa Snow is a Caregiver Consultant and Dementia Care Education Specialist with a background in Occupational Therapy.  She has recommended 5 steps in working with a loved one with dementia. First, Ms. Snow says is to take a step back before you move forward.  Assess the situation.  What is going on?  What could ...more

How can I make the most of the time with my doctor?

So - now that we've explored how to best talk to our doctor, let's summarize and look at how we can make the most of our appointment time. Go in prepared.  Make a list of questions or concerns.  It's easy to forget a point you want to cover when you get ...more

What if I have a sensitive subject that needs discussed with my doctor?

In order to receive the best care possible, it is sometimes necessary to talk about topics that can be embarrassing or uncomfortable.  Most physicians know that problems or concerns may arise that are sensitive but in order to make the most of our partnership with our doctor, we need to ...more

Does my doctor need to know about other concerns?

As we continue to look at talking to our physicians, the issue of "non-medical concerns" arises. The more our physician knows about us, the better able he/she is to help make care decisions.  What might be included in this range of topics? What if a serious illness affects me?  Your question to ...more

How do I deal with special situations with my medical care?

We have been looking at different information to help our readers with their medical care.  This blog will help if there are special situations.  Your doctor may refer you to a specialist or you may request to see a specialist yourself.  Your insurance may require you to have a referral from ...more

What information does my doctor need?

Remember - we need to be health care partners.  This means talking to your doctor about how you feel physically, emotionally and mentally.  Share any symptoms.  This may include pain, fever, lumps, unexplained weight loss or gain, or sleeping changes.  Be clear and be concise.  Your description will help your doctor ...more

How do I get ready for my doctor's appointment?

Whether you're seeing a new physician or continuing with a doctor with whom you're established, it helps to prepare.  Make a list of what you need to discuss.  Do you need a flu shot / pneumonia vaccine / shingles vaccine?  Do you have new symtoms or concerns?  Prioritize your list.  If ...more

I'm thinking of changing doctors. What do I need to look for?

*Decide what you need in a physician.  Make a list of things that are important to you.  Do you prefer a male or female practitioner?  Do you need evening hours?  Is office location important?  Must they have an association with a specific hospital?  Is language important?  Do you want an ...more

I'm visiting for the holidays and have found that my loved one needs help! What do I do?

Families are starting to gather for the holidays and sometimes we find that our loved ones have declined.  Maybe you've not seen your family for a while and the change in them may be of concern.  Do they need help to remain independent or do you need to consider a ...more

What are the 10 Warning Signs of Dementia?

President Barack Obama declared November 2016 as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.  Millions of people are living with dementia and the numbers will increase as our population ages.  Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, and impacts the individual with dementia, their families, employers, and the health care system. Early detection ...more

What do I need to do to sign up for Medicare Part D coverage?

The window of opportunity for 2017 Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D products and Medicare Advantage plans is getting more narrow!  Open Enrollment runs through December 7 so you still have time to make evaluate your 2016 product and make changes for 2017. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has provided ...more

I'm looking for help caring for a loved one. What services might be available?

Long term care is not just care in a facility.  Long term care refers to a broad range of services that are coordinated to meet the needs of those with chronic illnesses and disabilities.  Services should be planned over a period of time because our loved one's needs and service ...more

Take Care to Give Care: National Family Caregivers Month

November 2016 has been designated as National Family Caregivers Month.  This year's theme - Take Care to Give Care - focuses on the rule of caring for others:  take care of yourself first.  Caregiving can be physically and emotionally draining.  The stress of caregiving leads to a higher risk of ...more

My loved one has been diagnosed with dementia. What do I need to be aware of?

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia there are several things to consider. You need to learn about the disease.  What can you expect?  We know that memory loss is a hallmark characteristic of many illnesses that cause dementia.  What other issues might arise? Learn about resources.  Where can you find ...more

What is dementia?

Caregivers often contact me about dementia.  They tell me that their care receiver has been diagnosed with dementia, and they are confused about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's disease.  Alzheimer's disease, other diseases, and brain injuries are causes of dementia. Dementia is an 'umbrella term' describing a group of brain ...more

I need help with my Part D coverage!

The Annual Enrollment for Part D and Medicare Advantage plans starts on October 15 and runs through December 7.  This is the time that you need to review the plan you had in 2016 and note any changes in the product's formulary, deductibles, co-payments and premiums.  Remember - you need ...more

When is Open Enrollment for Part D Medicare?

Part D Open Enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7.  This is the time you can enroll in Part D, change your exisiting Part D product or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.  You will want to review your existing drug coverage product.  What was covered in 2016 may be ...more

How do I reduce junk mail?

To eliminate some of your junk mail, contact the Direct Marketing Association at  It won't eliminate all of your junk mail, but it will reduce it.  The service is free if you register online or $1 if you register by mail. To reduce the number of catalogues, go to which ...more

What do I look for when my family member needs nursing home care?

According to William Grote, author of Helping Your Aging Parent, 40% of those 65 and over will spend some time in a nursing home.  The stay may be a short-term stay to recover from a fall or fracture, or it may be a long-term decision because your loved one needs more ...more

Medicare confuses me. What do those letters mean?

Medicare coverage can entail four parts and each is identified by a letter.  AARP's March Bulletin explained this very well! * PART A helps pay for stays in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, home health services and hospice care as long as certain criteria are met.  You don't pay for Part A Medicare ...more

Heat and seniors

We have been experiencing extremely hot weather this summer!  Although many of us prefer the warmth of summer to winter's chill, the temperatures can be dangerous to seniors.  Here are some hot weather tips:1.  Stay hydrated.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water. 2.  Wear appropriate clothing such as ...more

Does your loved one have trouble hearing phone calls?

Hearing impairment is a huge problem for many.  Closely linked to depression and dementia, hearing loss isolates our loved ones who are unable to hear the surrounding conversation or are unable to distinguish words.  Telephone conversations become especially difficult, and we may find that cell phones exacerbate the problem.  One option ...more

Have you thought about your digital legacy?

Have you given much thought to your digital connections....or those of your care receiver?  How many password-protected sites on different computers and your smart phone do you or your care receiver utilize?  Do you or your loved one do on-ine banking?  Do you KNOW what digital accounts your loved one has?  ...more

I'm taking care of my....

So many of us take care of a loved one.  Maybe we get groceries or help with paperwork or fold sheets...the list goes on.  Maybe it's more intensive care and we help with bathing, filling medication dispensers, prepare meals, and / or run interference with the medical community.  Any or ...more

HELP! I'm a long distance caregiver...part 2

My last post gave some hints for long distance caregivers.  As previously noted, caregiving is difficult when your loved one is close but adding distance to the mix, brings a whole new dimension to the task! These strategies are a continuation of the last post: 1.  Consider paying in home assistance for ...more

HELP! I'm a long distance caregiver...Part 1

Caregiving is challenging when you live close to your care receiver.  When you live at a distance, the challenge increases!  There are some things you can do to make the task a bit less daunting, and help prepare you if the road gets rough.  This is the first in a short ...more

Medicare Fraud

We are having a free program that is open to the public on April 28 at First Christian Church (1343 National Road, Wheeling) from 1 pm - 2:30 pm.  RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS PROGRAM!  Our speaker is Marcia Meeks, State Health Insurance Information Program Director for West Virginia and ...more

Caregiver Support Fair

It's almost that time again!  We will be holding the 17th Annual Event at the Ohio Valley Mall in St Clairsville on May 3 from 10 am- 3 pm.  What IS the Caregiver Support Fair?  The Fair is an event that offers information on aging and caregiving services and resources available ...more

Aging with Quality

It seems like just yesterday that I was energetic and YOUNG! For many of us - that train has left the station, as a friend of mine says.  We can order from our local restaurant's "55 & Over" menu.  We are eligible for our state's senior discount card.  Our bodies don't respond the way they ...more

My loved one has dementia and acts out. What can I do?

Communication is the way we exchange information.  It's how we interact, how we build and maintain relationships, how we connect to others.  As language abilities change with dementia, the ability to communicate changes also.  People with dementia may not be able to find the right words...or any words at all.  ...more

Wow! There are a lot of great programs scheduled! How do I sign up?

We DO have a lot of informative and interesting programs coming up for spring!  All you have to do is call us at 304 243-0996, email us at, submit a comment below or send us a message from the Altenheim Resource & Referral Services contact section of our web page.  ...more

Does the IRS keep calling you?

Most likely NOT.  Scams target people of all ages.  Scammers don't care if you have no money or if you are having difficulties.  They want your personal information.  They want you to send them money.  Do NOT fall for these gimmicks!  The IRS is not going to call you.  They ...more

What is the Caregiver Support Fair?

The Belmont County Adult Services Coalition sponsors this event which offers information to seniors and caregivers around the area on services, resources and programs that are available to help with the aging and caregiving journey.  The 2016 event will be our 17th Annual Fair. Just about 17 years ago, several of ...more

Baby, it's cold outside! Be very cautious!

When I left for work this morning, it was 6 degrees.  BRRR!  We all need to be cautious, but seniors are among our most vulnerable.  Keep these things in mind as the temperatures drop and the snow flies: *Watch for ice!  Falls are the leading cause of death for seniors and icy conditions make walking more ...more

Do I have to sign up for Part D Medicare?

The short answer is 'no' but the longer answer is - if you don't, you could see a penalty.  If you re eligible and don't enroll in a Part D product, a Medicare Advantage plan, or if you don't have creditable coverage for 63 days beyond the enrollment period, you could ...more

I need information on Medicare Part D!!

You have come to the right blog post!  We are hosting a FREE informational program MEDICARE:  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW on Thursday, November 19 from 1 pm - 3 pm at First Christian Church (the church with the Big Round Window), 1343 National Road, Wheeling WV.  Sign in starts ...more

What is respite care?

Respite care gives caregivers "time out".  Respite may be provided in the home setting with in home non-medical assistance or with friends and family.  Respite may be provided from an Adult Day Service program.  Respite may also be provided in a facility setting. What is your support system?  Do you have relatives or ...more

It's time for Medicare Open Enrollment! How can I help my care receiver?

Well, here we are!  Once again, it's that time of year when Medicare beneficiaries can change their Part D (prescription drug) product, enroll in or change a Medicare Advantage Plan, or change Medicare Supplement plans. Lots of choices!  Too much information or not enough information?  Where do you start?  Be aware that the ...more

Help! I need continuing education credit for my license!

One great opportunity for Continuing Education Credit is coming in November!  Bethany College's Fall Symposium will be held on November 5 and 6, 2015 at Mountainside Conference Center in Bethany.  Bethany's Fall Symposium offers diverse break-outs at a very reasonable fee. This year's theme is "New Beginnings in Health & Human Services" ...more

How can I get my parents to use technology?

There are several approaches to use. Take it easy!  Start with what your parents know.  Are they already familiar with a cell phone?  Explore texting and different functions of the phone. Choose the right device.  Perhaps a tablet or e-reader would be easier to use.  Consider arthritic fingers, problems with vision or ...more

Why can't I get my parents to take advantage of today's technology?

We have seen amazing advances in technology!  Research shows that you are not alone if you are having trouble getting your folks interested in technology!  A Pew Research Center survey showed that 41% of American adults over the age of 65 don't use the Internet in any way.  More than ...more

What IS Elder Law?

Rather than being defined by technical legal distinctions (divorce, deed, criminal), Elder Law is defined by the client to be served.  In other words, the lawyer who practices Elder Law may handle a range of issues but has a specific type of client - seniors. Elder Law attorneys focus on the ...more

What is observational status for someone in the hospital?

Observation services are hospital outpatient services given to help the doctor decide if the patient needs to be admitted as an inpatient or can be discharged.  Observation services may be given in the emergency department or another area of the hospital.  Your hospital status affects how much you pay for ...more

Seniors? Mature adults? Senior citizens?

As I achieved an aging milestone, I came to the realization that I really don't like "senior citizen", "mature adult", or many other tags that we are given.  But - what do I want to be called?  Our tsunami of Baby Boomers is rushing onward with Boomers coming of age by the ...more

Doesn't Medicare pay for my loved one's nursing home care?

Medicare will pay for skilled care in a facility if Medicare guidelines are met.  This is short-term care with a skilled service such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy or other certified skilled care service.  Beneficiaries have a limited number of days of skilled care available.  Medicare also covers hospice ...more

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare is a health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older, people who are under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with End Stage Renal Disease.  Part A Medicare is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals and skilled care in nursing ...more

Where can I find out what services are available?

There are many sources for information.  You can always contact us at Altenheim Resource & Referral Services for unbiased assistance in finding services.  You can also contact your local agency on aging or your state office on aging.  County senior centers and hospital discharge planners or social service offices may ...more

There is so much information on line. How do I make sure it's accurate?

Internet is a wonderful tool for all types of information.  But - let the searcher beware!  No one should assume that information found on line is always accurate.  Unfortunately, many people believe that because the information is "in print" that it must be accurate.  There are no guarantees!  Most likely, we have all been ...more

How do I find help? I don't know where to start!

You can contact us at Altenheim Resource & Referral Services.  There is no charge.  No matter where you are, we will try to point you in the right direction for getting information on resources for assistance.  We will help you determine what type of assistance may be most helpful, where to find assistance, ...more

How do I adapt to special occasions and holidays since I’ve become a caregiver?

You are creating a new normal.  Use the opportunity to establish new traditions that make your life less complicated.  *Shopping:  Although you love the personal touch of shopping for someone, you may not be able to get out to do this.  Try gift cards.  You can also order on-line if you ...more

Our loved one just moved to a facility. How can I help them adjust?

It's a difficult adjustment for caregivers and care receivers when a move takes place!  Keep in mind that you are NOT giving up caregiving but your role is changing.  You become the historian for your loved one.  You paint the picture of the person in the facility's care.  You become ...more

Can I hire someone privately?

The short answer is yes.  The longer answer is yes but be cautious.  Private duty caregivers are not affiliated with an agency so it is up to the person responsible - caregiver or care receiver - to find the private caregiver.  Hospital social service departments or discharge planners may keep private ...more

How do I pay for in home (non-medical) assistance?

In home (non-medical) assistance is NOT covered by Medicare nor is a physician's referral needed.  Most often, in- home assistance for sitting services, housekeeping assistance, and personal care assistance is paid for out-of-pocket.   Some states offer Waiver programs for those who qualify (financially and medically) although there are often waiting lists for ...more

What can I expect from an in home service agency?

In home (non-medical) services include a range of assistance options.  Your loved one may need someone to be with them for basic supervision and to make sure they are safe.  Perhaps they also need some light environmental services to assist with meal preparation or light housekeeping (dust, vacuum, laundry, taking ...more

How do I find in home help?

Today, one in four American families cares for an older relative, friend or neighbor with an estimated 25 - 40% of women caring for both older relatives and children.  Half of all caregivers also work outside the home.  A Rand study shows that informal (unpaid) caregiving is a primary source ...more

What is dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to the loss of mental functions such as thinking, memory, and reasoning that is severe enough to interfere  with a person's daily functioning.  Dementia is not a disease itself, but a group of symptoms that are caused by various diseases or conditions such ...more


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Contact Altenheim

1387 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003

Main Office:

(304) 281-8797 (cell)
(304) 242-3340 (phone)

Resource & Referral Services:
(304) 280-8701 (please leave a message)

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