Twenty years ago a small festival called the Centre Street Fair morphed into Summerfest which eventually gave way to what is now know as the New Bedford Folk Festival. This year the folk festival begins on Saturday, July 4th at 11:00am and ends on Sunday, July 5th at 9:00am. The festival brings together over 70 renowned and emerging folk performers and 90 talented and unique arts and crafts vendors. All this is set in New Bedford's picturesque and authentic historic district. This family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11am to 9pm on seven stages throughout the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and in the beautiful 1200 seat Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. And don't worry there will be plenty of food around, too! The historic downton area will be dotted with food cart vendors and is also home to several first-class restaurants. Best part of the festival is that this year it falls right on the 4th of July, so you will be so close to the fireworks that it will feel like you can reach out and touch them! For more information, please be sure to "like" them on Facebook by clicking here!
We are all know a Senior- they are our mothers, fathers, grandparents, neighbors or ourselves! Thanks to advances in medical science, we are living longer than ever and staying active is key to that! While some elders may never require the service or programs at a Council on Aging (COA), some seniors eventually rely on some type of help. Every COA is different but all COAs are multipurpose and are there to help the seniors in their communities. COAs can have transportation for medical appoinments or to the center, flu and blood pressure clinics, a nutrition program, various activities like chair yoga or classes like painting, day trips, assistance in tax and legal issues. Some COAs even have a Social Day Program, outreach, friendly visits, a food pantry and SHINE Counselors. The list of what each and every COA provides is extensive. Most inportantly, the senior is in a safe and caring enviroment doing fun things and getting out and meeting new people. To get involved, just visit the COA in person for a tour and pick up the newsletter to see the activities. For your convenience, we have provided a list of local COAs and their telephone numbers in the Greater New Bedford area.
Located at 396 County Street in Downtown New Bedford, the Rotch-Duff-Jones house is a Greek Revival mansion built in 1834 within a nineteenth-century residential area that is now the County Street National Register District. The property is situated on a full city block of gardens which include a rose garden, a boxwood garden, a woodland garden and a cutting garden. It is the only whaling mansion open to the public in New England that retains its original configuration of grounds and outbuildings. Today this beautiful home offers self guided 30 minute house tours, cultural programs and changing exhibits. You can see this iconic mansion for yourself, Monday - Saturday from 10am - 4pm and Sunday (from April - December) from 12pm - 4pm. Cost is $6 for adults, $5 for Seniors, AAA members, and students. Cost for children under 12, is only $3. To learn more about this jewel in the crown of historic Downtown New Bedford, please be sure to visit them on the web at www.rjdmuseum.org or call them at 508-997-1401. And don't forget to stop and smell the roses in the garden!
For many of us, it doesn't seem like a big deal to run out and buy a bulky or heavy item item such as paper towels or laundry detergent. You just buy it, throw it into the car and pull into the garage, right? Now imagine if you were a homebound individual who was sick, elderly or disabled. Or, what if you lived in a metropolitan area and you only had public transport and lived in the 5th floor with no elevator? Not so simple anymore. I found this great website called soap.com that is perfect for those situations. You simply order your products online and they are delivered to your front door by the US Postal Service! No more lugging this up the stairs, no more worrying about the weather and no more making several trips to the store! Two day delivery is free on orders over $35 and orders on their other sites go towards meeting that! If under $35, the shipping is a flat 4.95. Another one of their other sites that I like to order is from "Wag". I am not sure if you have ever tried picking up a bag of dog food, but it is awkward! If you want more information or to see what products that they carry be sure to look them up at www.soap.com and be sure to checkout their other websites as well!
There is a great deal of confusion regarding the spend down of assets for Medicaid qualification.
For a single person, who can only keep $2,000 in countable assets in Massachusetts, that individual may find him or herself wondering what the money can be spent on without causing any Medicaid disqualification.
Similarly, for a married couple, the rules are even more complex. The community spouse, (i.e., the at-home spouse) may generally keep roughly one-half of the couples assets up to a maximum of $119,220 (in 2015). Depending upon their resources, again the couple may have a substantial amount of money, which needs to be spent before the nursing home spouse qualifies for Medicaid.
That is often where the confusion begins because there is so much information about the kinds of things the money can be spent for. For that reason have put together the the following checklist to help people better understand the law...and where you money can be legally spent.
For someone who is pursuing Medicaid eligibility, the following are the types of spend-down items, in no particular order, which should be considered:
Purchase irrevocable,pre-paid funeral plans. The rules regarding funeral plans are complex so you should only deal with a funeral home that is knowledgeable in this type of planning.
Purchase a new car. It is perfectly acceptable to purchase a new car. The community spouse may even do this and have the entire purchase price come out of the nursing home's spend-down.
Payment of nursing home expenses. Of course, nursing home expenses and other healthcare costs can be paid as part of a spend-down.
Purchase of a new home. Since the home is an exempt asset, in some instances purchases of a new home make sense from a Medicaid planning standpoint.
Make home improvements. Home improvements are often an excellent use of funds in a Medicaid spend-down. For instance, the community spouse might fix the roof, get a new air-conditioning system, new carpeting, new furniture, etc. The intention here is to fix the house up so that, hopefully, no other repairs will be needed to be done during the lifetime of either spouse. That is especially important since, in many cases, the community spouse will have to spend down one-half of his or her assets to the maximum of $119,220 (in 2015) and may no longer have the resources necessary for large lump sum expenditures which may occur.
Buy household goodsor personal effects. Once again, the intention is to have the community spouse purchase these types of things which are needed to keep the household running without major expenditures down the road.
Debt repayment. The key here is to make sure that the debts are repaid only after the Medicaid snapshot has been established. In other words, it would be disastrous to pay down a large amount of debt before there has been a snapshot. Once the snapshot is in force, then the entire debt repayment can count against the assets of the nursing home spouse. If done too soon, however, the debt repayment would only one-half against the assets of the nursing home spouse and one-half against the the assets of the community spouse.
Vacation. This can be a good idea for the community spouse at a time when there has been a long struggle to keep a loved one at home. The community spouse may be exhausted and a well-deserved vacation can come out of the nursing home spouse's spend-down.