GirLfriend Guide FREE Resources
Contact the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program by calling 800-722-4134 (toll-free) or visit the SHIBA website to find an office in your area. The state of Oregon SHIBA program offers free information to help you make your Medicare choices.
If you are turning 65 and have already applied for or already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you should get a Medicare card and packet in the mail about three months before your birthday.
If you have not applied for Social Security benefits, you need to contact Social Security to sign up for Medicare, even if you are still working. Online Medicare enrollment is available at socialsecurity.go; however, if one-on-one assistance is needed, SHIBA suggests visiting a Social Security field office in person. You can do this up to three months before your birthday month.
If you have questions about eligibility or enrollment in Medicare, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 (toll-free). Always keep a record of the date, time, and name of the service representative, and take careful notes. You may have to call ahead to set up an appointment with Social Security.
An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to share your wishes ahead of time with your healthcare team in the event you can't speak for yourself. ... A POLST form turns treatment wishes outlined in an advance directive into medical orders.
Information about wills in Oregon. ... Legal Issues for Older Adults ... Information from the Oregon Health Plan Client Handbook about your right to make health care decisions.
A durable power of attorney is useful when the person who authorized it later becomes unable to handle her or her own business affairs.
Science-based information on health, aging & Alzheimer's.
Center on HIV and Aging for prevention and care.
Old Lesbians Organizing for Change: a national network of Old Lesbians over age 60 working to confront ageism in our communities and our country. We use education and public discourse as our primary tools.
Health Care resources for those over 55
How to find a qualified health care provider:
The following information pertains to medical doctors, but the same general information is relevant when choosing any health care provider. All health care providers should be licensed in the state where they practice. You can check with the Oregon state licensing boards to make sure that your health care provider meets the minimum standard to practice in the state.
Check your insurance: Use your insurer’s directory or search on its website for doctors in your network. Because doctors often add or drop plans, call the office to verify that the doctor still accepts your insurance.
Consider hospital affiliation: Your choice of doctor can determine which hospital you go to, if needed, so find out where the doctor has admitting privileges.
Look for board certification: Being certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties means a doctor has earned a medical degree from a qualified medical school, completed three to seven years of accredited residency training, is licensed by a state medical board, and has passed one or more exams administered by a member of the ABMS. To maintain the certification, a doctor is expected to participate in continuing education. To see whether a doctor is certified, call toll-free ABMS Certification Service at 8-866-275-2267 or go to certificationmatters.org.
Watch out for red flags: They include malpractice claims and disciplinary actions.
Consider compatibility: More than half of Americans focus on personality and relationship when choosing a physician. Use your first visit as a litmus test. Some factors to consider: Does the doctor listen to you without interrupting? Does she fully answer your questions? Does she explain your diagnosis and treatment, and specify a date for a follow-up visit?
Ask about drug reps: Many doctors let representatives from pharmaceutical companies into their offices to pitch their drugs. That not only takes up a lot of the doctor’s time but also may inappropriately influence his choice of drugs.
Find out about office policies: Ask how long it takes to make an appointment for a routine visit (it should be less than a week), whether they offer same-day appointments, and how long patients are kept in the waiting room. Once you’re a patient, if the reality doesn’t meet your expectations, consider shopping around. That’s important not only to save you time but also for your health.
Scrutinize the staff: They are the people who will schedule your appointments, check you in and out, give the doctor your messages, and address insurance concerns. Look for a staff that’s friendly, efficient, and respectful.
Factor in technology: Electronic health records let your doctor track your medical history, share info with specialists, and monitor all of your drugs. Many doctors also have a patient portal, a secured website that gives you 24-hour access to your health information, allowing you to book and track doctor appointments, get lab results, request prescription refills, and e-mail questions to your doctor. The government requires that health information be protected with passwords, encryption, and other technical safeguards. Still, ask how your information will be safeguarded.
Acupuncturist are licensed in Oregon. To obtain a be eligible for an acupuncture license in Oregon, an applicant must have:
Graduated from an acupuncture program that satisfies the standards of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) or an equivalent accreditation body. Alternatively, the applicant may show adequate clinical acupuncture practice in the United States for five of the last seven years. (See Oregon Administrative Rule 847-070-0016.)
Current certification in acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (NCCAOM) www.nccaom.org
English language proficiency.
Medicare does not cover acupuncture. Some private insurance companies pay at least partial coverage for acupuncture treatment. Many acupuncturists request payment based on a sliding scale.
Alcohol & Drug
- Portland Area Intergroup:
- 503-223-8569 | www.pdxaa.org
- Alcoholics Anonymous:
- Portland Narcotics Anonymous:
- 503-345-9839 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Narcotics Anonymous:
- Drug & Alcohol Counselors:
Medicare does not cover routine dental care. Organizations like AARP offer supplemental dental insurance plans for their members.
Discount dental plans are another option that typically have a lower monthly fee than traditional dental insurance. You select a dentist within the plan network who has agreed to provide certain services for 10 to 60 percent less than the typical fee. You pay the reduced fee out-of-pocket, and there is no claim paperwork to fill out. You can search for a dental plan at the National Association of Dental Plans website. Many dentists offer no interest or low interest financing plans that may be a better option than paying for your dental work on a household credit card with a higher interest rate. If you have concerns about continuing your dental care due to a limited income, talk to your dentist. He or she may be able to offer solutions.
If you don’t currently have a dentist, you can search for one at ADA® Find-a-Dentist™. Simply put in your address for a list of ADA member dentists near your home.
Geriatric Dental Group is a local non-profit organization that provides first rate dental care for people 55 years and older – accommodating patients in wheel chairs, and visiting patients in institutions and at home, if necessary. Geriatric Dental Group has 3 locations:
6319 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97206
Columbia Tech Center
16500 SE 15th St. Suite 150
Vancouver, WA 98683
728 S 320th St. Suite A
Federal Way, WA 98003
Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. However, there are excellent options for lower cost hearing aids through organizations that refurbish and reprogram used hearing aids.
Hearing Assistance (ROAR!)
The ROAR! Hearing Aid Program provides high quality, rebuilt hearing aids through our Hearing Aid Bank, thanks to Lions volunteers and to partners like JRS Acoustics and used devices drop off sites state-wide. To access these programs, applicants must call the Lions in Service line at (971) 270-0203 phone or e-mail their contact information and request to email@example.com.
If you don’t qualify for the Lions Roar program, there are many more potential resources listed here:
Visit www.HowsYourHearing.org to ‘Find an Audiologist’ in your area.
American Bodywork and Massage Professionals:
Find a naturopathic physician at National University of Naturopathic Medicine:
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians:
American Podiatric Medical Association http://www.apma.org/learn/content.cfm?ItemNumber=992&navItemNumber=558
Sexually Transmitted Infection/Disease, HIV
Your Regular Health Care Provider: Talking about testing for a sexually transmitted infection might feel awkward, but try not to be embarrassed. Remember, doctors have and seen and heard it all. In fact, most people get an STI at least once in their lives, and getting tested is the responsible thing to do – it means you’re taking good care of your health.
Here are some suggestions for ways you can bring up STI testing with a nurse or doctor:
I’ve never been tested for STIs. Do I need to be?
Have you ever tested me for an STIs during my checkups?
What STIs should I watch out for? How will I know if I need to get tested?
NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Portland, OR 97212
14411 SE McLoughlin Blvd
Milwaukie, OR 97267
12220 SW First St. Ste 200
Beaverton, OR 97005
11516 SE Mill Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98684
Multnomah County Health Department
(STD – sexually transmitted disease)
American Optometric Association: https://www.aoa.org/
American Academy of Ophthalmology:
Lions - Through our network of MD-36 Lions Clubs (Oregon and Northern California Lions clubs) we will receive referrals for glasses. A person will get their prescription through a local doctor with Lions’ assistance or through a referral to Legacy. Then our lab will make the glasses and ship to their location.
To access this program, applicants must call the Lions in Service line at (971) 270-0203 phone or e-mail their contact information and request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lions volunteers will refer the above mentioned calls and e-mails to the appropriate club, who will then provide an application.
Death may be the most uncomfortable topic to discuss with family and friends. And, following a death, emotions and financial concerns may complicate decision making.
So, the more decisions you can make now, and communicate them to family and friends, the easier you will make that process for them when the time comes.