The M&B Weekly     
May 6, 2013  
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Jane Dobisz
In this issue...
Bill Would Validate Personal Care Contracts
Attorney Christina T. Vidoli to Present on Special Needs Planning
Glenn Close Brings Fight Against Mental Illness Stigma to Massachusetts
RESOURCE: CJP Senior Direct Hotline
(617) 267-9700


Quick Links

Bill Would Validate Personal Care Contracts


Many family members provide heroic care to loved ones who due to illness or dementia can no longer live on their own. Often a frail elder will pay the family member for this care. This may be what permits the caregiver to give up work outside the home or during this recession it simply helps the caregiver to keep food on the table and a roof over his or her family's heads.  


Unfortunately, MassHealth looks askance at these arrangements, usually deeming the payments to be a gift to the caregiver causing up to five years of ineligibility for MassHealth nursing home coverage. Often such denials are overturned on appeal, but the process can be long, uncertain, expensive and stressful.


Now, Rep. Kay Kahn and Sen. Mark Montigny have introduced a bill to require MassHealth to honor these arrangements. (H.B. 544; S.B. 299)  It includes a provision permitting lump sum advance payments for future caregiver services under certain circumstances.



To support this bill, call your state senator or representative. Click  here for a list of members and their contact information. 

Attorney Vidoli to Present on Special Needs Planning
On Wednesday, Attorney Christina T. Vidoli will 
be leading a training workshop on Special Needs
Planning at Riverside Community Care in Woburn,
  • Preserving eligibility for public benefits.
  • Setting up a structure for financial and legal management for the child with special needs.
  • Special needs trust funding.
  • Choice of trustees.

This event will take place on Wednesday, May 8th, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Family Support Center located on 300 West Cummings Park, Woburn.


The event is free of charge but seating is limited so please register by contacting Jackie Forte at (781) 686-4527, or by e-mail


Glenn Close Brings Fight Against Mental Illness Stigma to Massachusetts


At a NAMIMass fundraiser last week, actress

Glenn Close spoke about her own family's history

with mental illness and the organization she founded, Bring Change 2 Mind, to fight the stigma associated with the disease.  As Close said, those with mental illness and their families have to fight both the disease and the stigma, making their lives doubly difficult. 


Mental health treatment is improving and as mental illness is increasingly understood as a biological disorder, the stigma is falling away. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.   

Click here  to learn more about the event.  

RESOURCE: CJP Senior Direct Hotline    

Have you ever wondered where to go for answers to questions about locating adult day care, contacting social service organizations, or qualifying for benefits? Has the search been difficult because there's no single place to get the answers?  Probably everyone dealing with elder care issues has faced the challenge of getting answers to these questions. 


Now, there's a hotline to get answers to your questions, CJP SeniorDirect, provided by Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Jewish Family & Children's Service. (You don't need to be Jewish to use this service.) All you need to do is call




The hotline is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  You can get information at their website at

Green News
Billions of takeout coffee cups are thrown away each year and unfortunately, these cups are clogging up our landfills.  That shiny substance that your takeout coffee cups are lined with is what keeps them from being recyclable.  Here are a few ways you can upcycle your cups:
1. Shred some of your coffee cups and add them to your compost. Compost needs a certain amount of dry material.
2.  Use it as a scoop for pet food or garden dirt.
3.  Use it for arts and crafts to store pencils, markers, crayons.