Shelton Delegation Hosts Senior Fair, Medicare Presentation

September 25, 2014
Sen. Kelly speaks with representatives from Masonicare.

Sen. Kelly speaks with representatives from Masonicare.

Shelton – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) and State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) hosted a Senior Health and Wellness Fair on Tuesday, September 23. Well over 100 people visited the fair, held at the Shelton Senior Center at 81 Wheeler Street. Local health care organizations, hospitals, non-profits, state agencies and community resource representatives provided information, screenings and other services.

The fair also featured a special Medicare presentation, titled “Medicare for You and Your Loved One,” led by speakers Judith Stein, the Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and Nancy Shaffer, the Connecticut State Long Term Care Ombudsman.

From left to right, Rep. Perillo, Rep. McGorty and Sen. Kelly hosting the Shelton Senior Fair.
From left to right, Rep. Perillo, Rep. McGorty and Sen. Kelly hosting the Shelton Senior Fair.
Sen. Kelly speaks with a participant at the fair.Sen. Kelly speaks with a participant at the fair.
A representative from the Office of the Connecticut Banking Commissioner speaks with a group of seniors at the fair.A representative from the Office of the Connecticut Banking Commissioner speaks with a group of seniors at the fair.

“The Shelton Senior Fair is a wonderful opportunity to bring important information directly to the community,” said Senator Kelly. “A one-stop-shop for health screenings, senior services and educational materials – the fair makes it easy for seniors and their family members to access the care and information they need to make the most out of community resources, state and federal aid. I want to thank the amazing staff at the Shelton Senior Center for hosting such a great event, as well as all the community leaders and organizations that participated in the fair.”

“I am pleased that we could once again bring this great opportunity to the seniors of Shelton,” said Representative Perillo. “There are so many services available to seniors, and this was a helpful way to showcase that information in one convenient location with helpful and knowledgeable staff. The Shelton Senior Center were fantastic hosts, and it was great to see so many seniors learn about what options they have for everything from health care to financial planning.”

“It was a great day that really laid out the possibilities and options for our local seniors in a fun and informative format,” said Representative McGorty. “I am certain that many seniors left the fair today with a greater understanding of programs and services that they have available to them, and I hope they take full advantage. The Senior Center and their staff deserve a great deal of credit for making this a successful day.”

Fair Participants

Many local health care providers and community resource representatives attended the fair. Some provided flu shots and medical screenings, while others shared information about legal services, home care aid and consumer protection.

Participants included: Alzheimer’s Association, Apple Rehab-Shelton Lakes, Area Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, BH Care, Benchmark Senior Living at Split Rock, Comfort Keepers, Comfort Caregivers of CT, CT-In Home Assistance, LLC, Department of Banking, Department of Consumer Protection, End Hunger CT!, Energize Connecticut, Gardner Heights Health Care Center, Griffin Hospital, Griswold Home Care, Homecare Providers, Home Instead Senior Care, Masonicare, Naugatuck Valley Health District, New Haven Legal Assistance, Northbridge Health Care Center, Shady Knoll, Shelton Library System, Shelton Police Department, Shelton Probate Court, St. Luke’s Community Services, Sunset Shores Adult Day Care, TEAM Inc., Visiting Nurses, Wesley Village-United Methodist Homes, WellCare Health Plans, Valley Transit District.

Medicare Presentation

The Medicare presentation was led by Judith Stein, Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy and member of the Federal Commission on Long Term Care, and the Connecticut State Long Term Care Ombudsman Nancy Shaffer. Topics discussed included Medicare basics as well as more complex issues, such as the impact of the Jimmo v. Sebelius court case and an explanation of what “Observation Status” means.

“Medicare and health insurance in general is complicated,” said Nancy Shaffer. “Ms. Stein’s presentation informs Medicare beneficiaries about the benefits they are eligible for and how to access help to ensure they receive those benefits. The seniors were so engaged in the presentation and asked great questions. One gentleman announced at the end of the program, ‘We know you have our backs Ms. Stein!’”

The Jimmo v. Sebelius court case settlement agreement clarifies how skilled-care is covered by Medicare. In the past, Medicare contractors sometimes denied people coverage for skilled care if they saw no improvement in the person being treated. The Jimmo v. Sebelius settlement clarifies that coverage cannot be denied just because there is no potential for improvement in a patient’s condition.

Observation status is a designation used by hospitals to bill Medicare. When a person with Medicare coverage goes into a hospital, if they are admitted for a qualified stay, they can stay in the hospital for 3 days and, upon discharge, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing home. On the other hand, if a person stays in the hospital under an “observation status” they are not qualified for any care in a nursing home. This year the Connecticut legislature approved a new law that requires hospitals to provide patients with notice if they are placed in observation status. The hope is that if patients know about their rights, they or their family members can advocate for admission for a qualified stay, instead of observation status, if they believe extended care will be needed.

For more information about these and other Medicare issues, visit or the Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman’s website