Stay up to date on Spectrum Generations and the latest news on aging in place. For all media inquiries, please contact the Community Engagement Team at [email protected]
In December 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which contained a significant amount of COVID relief funding in addition to the FY2021 annual appropriations.
The law created a new program that subsidizes broadband internet access as well as devices for certain households. This program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is called the “Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.” This program could be extremely useful to individuals served by Aging and Disability programs.
Beginning May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the Program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Under the law, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org.
Is it a scam if someone directs you to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card? The answer is yes – in 100% of cases. But alarmingly, 1 in 4 people surveyed by AARP got this question wrong – at a time when we’re seeing an increase in the use of “payment by gift card” as a scam tactic.
Since 2018, gift cardshave been one of the most popular forms of payment requested by criminals according to the Federal Trade Commission. Gift cards are easy to access, virtually untraceable and less likely to raise red flags. As soon as the card numbers are shared with the scammer, the money – and the scammer – disappears.
AARP’s survey also found that one in three US adults have either been asked to pay for some obligation with a gift card or know someone who has, and one in ten have followed through with the request. Help spread the word. Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.
Northern Light HomeCare & Hospice and Southern Maine Agency on Aging have put together a few videos covering how to receive vaccination if an individual is homebound in the state of Maine.
We’re thrilled to report it has been recorded and is available in 5 languages!
Check out these videos that are now available on Northern Light’s Youtube channel.
After you get your COVID-19 vaccine, keep your vaccination card safe — scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your personal information.
Don't share a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card online or on social media. Scammers can use content you post, like your date of birth, health care details, or other personal information to steal your identity.
You should get a COVID-19 vaccination card at your first vaccine appointment. If you didn't, contact the provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how to get a card.
If someone contacts you to buy or sell a vaccination card, it's a scam.
If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477). TTY users can call 1-800-377-4950.
Older Americans Month: Communities of Strength
In tough times, communities find strength in people—and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we’ve seen this time and again in central and midcoast Maine, as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other.
In our community, older adults are a key source of this strength. Through their experiences, successes, and difficulties, they have built resilience that helps them to face new challenges. When communities tap into this, they become stronger too.
Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads the celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities.
Strength is built and shown not only by bold acts, but also small ones of day-to-day life—a conversation shared with a friend, working in the garden, trying a new recipe, or taking time for a cup of tea on a busy day. And when we share these activities with others—even virtually or by telling about the experience later—we help them build resilience too.
This year, [organization name] will celebrate OAM by encouraging community members to share their experiences. Together, we can find strength—and create a stronger future.
Here are some ways to share and connect:
- Look for joy in the everyday: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.
- Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a homecooked meal.
- Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone, even casually.
- Share your story: There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.
When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences—through action, story, or service—we help build strong communities. And that’s something to celebrate!
We have updated our Mission and Vision statements; both remain aligned with our organizational history and goals, representing our strategic path forward. The changes are truly in semantics and the essence of the work we are doing at Spectrum Generations remains supporting older and disabled adults in the communities we serve.
NEW MISSION STATEMENT
To promote and advance the well-being and independence of older and disabled adults, with the support of their care partners, to live in their community of choice.
NEW VISION STATEMENT
To be an important and influential community partner, serving older and disabled adults and their care partners, by providing full access to both information and a network of services and supports that addresses social needs, facilitates informed decision making, and enables their most meaningful participation in all aspects of life.