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GeorgiaCares plans to train volunteers

POSTED: March 22, 2010 12:44 p.m.
GeorgiaCares, a program administered by the Coastal Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging, will have training for volunteers at the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, March 25. Lunch will be provided.
The event includes an orientation to GeorgiaCares and an overview of Medicare and related assistance programs. Participants will learn about the roles of counselors and educator volunteers, as well as other opportunities to serve seniors, adults with disabilities and their families. The class introduces new volunteers to the organization’s research, information and assistance services, according to Amanda Carter, coordinator for GeorgiaCares’ nine-county coastal region.
“Every state in the nation has a SHIP, or state health insurance assistance program. GeorgiaCares is our official statewide agency,” Carter said. “GeorgiaCares is powered by volunteers and offers many opportunities to make significant improvements in the lives of seniors. GeorgiaCares provides free, unbiased, factual information and research on Medicare, prescription drug plans and other health-insurance issues. Since we do not sell insurance, for example, we have no sales incentive to recommend one plan over another. Our only goal would be to help seniors, their families and caregivers find plans that best address each person’s individual needs. We don’t make the decisions, but we help find the information that people need to make their own decisions.”
“GeorgiaCares provides a crucial service to Georgians 65 and over,” said Monica Couch, elder rights manager for the Area Agency on Aging. “With the increasing incidence of Medicare fraud and the complexity of the system, our volunteers are on the forefront of preserving resources for older Americans. The training prepares volunteers to help beneficiaries and their families understand their rights and benefits.”
Jill Jackson-Ledford, director of the Coastal Georgia Area Agency on Aging, added, “In tough economic times, it’s more important than ever for seniors to be informed consumers of health care dollars. Choosing the right prescription drug plan can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually on medications. There are also many Coastal Georgians who qualify for additional assistance with Medicare and other health-insurance costs. GeorgiaCares volunteers offer an invaluable service by locating these programs and assisting with applications.”
The session will be in classroom two at the Hoskins Center at Memorial Health University Medical Center, 4700 Waters Ave., Savannah. Anyone who wants to attend must RSVP to Amanda Carter at (912) 262-2866 or at 1-800-669-8387, or e-mail acarter@crc.ga.gov.
 

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