Age Spots: One Incident Away

Monday, August 6, 2018

Isnít it funny how you can look at something every day and never really see it? That is the case with our One Incident Away buttons. I have one on my filing cabinet. I look at it almost every day, and recently have realized the truth in that one little statement.

The One Incident Away buttons are distributed by the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4). MA4 is comprised of the 10 area Agencies on Aging in Missouri, one of which is Aging Matters. MA4 provides statewide advocacy and resources to seniors. One of their most effective tools is the One Incident Away buttons. These are handed out at events to remind seniors, lawmakers, caregivers and others we can be just one incident away from personal disaster. The MA4 website,, has many stories I encourage you to read.

I have a few stories of my own I would like to share:

John (all names and locations have been changed) and his wife had lived a good life; they were in their early 70s. He owned his own business, and she was a stay-at-home mother and homemaker; they were comfortable. Then she got sick. John spent more time taking care of her and making sure she went to the doctor and took her medicines, while spending less time overseeing his business. Eventually, they had to sell the business to pay for her care.

When they came to visit me, they were concerned they would not have money to pay for her medicines and they would have to sell their home. I was able to help them apply for Extra Help to pay for her medicines and to help them get the Missouri Property Tax Credit they had never applied for. With just this help, they are able to live at home and have all their needs met.

Another example is Linda. Her husband passed away after they were together more than 50 years. She found that although her income was cut almost in half, she still had the same bills. She was afraid she would lose everything. She wasnít eating or taking her medication as she needed to be, and she had little interaction with others.

We were able to help her sign up for Medicaid and convince her to go to her local senior center for nutritious meals and some much-needed social interaction. Linda is now thriving. She is even considering starting a knitting group at her local senior center.

These are just a few of the stories we hear every day. Aging Matters and MA4 strive to help the seniors in Missouri be prepared and knowledgeable about programs available to help them. If you need assistance, Aging Matters has many programs to help with food, medication and other services.

All it takes is one incident to have a very dramatic impact on how you live your life. Many things in life are not predictable; we never know when we may get sick or have a life-altering injury. But there is comfort in knowing there are people willing to help, that there are those who can advocate and guide you if you ever find yourself needing help. One Incident Away from a life-changing issue, one call away from help and advocacy.

Aging Matters is here to help. Call us at (573) 335-3331 or (800) 392-8771.

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