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News

Upcoming Events at the Peabody Institute Library

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Little Yogis returns this winter to the South Branch of Peabody Institute Library

The popular toddler program Little Yogis returns for a winter session! The South Branch of the Peabody Institute Library is pleased to offer this special program for children ages three tofive and their caregivers. During Little Yogis, Ms. Betsy combines yoga, music and stories for an enjoyable bonding experience that builds as the weeks progress.

This is a four-week program that runs Mondays – January 9 & 30, February 6 & 13 – from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. at the South Branch of the Peabody Institute Library, which is located at 78 Lynn St. in Peabody. The program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. Signing up for the first week registers your child for the entire four-week program. Caregivers are expected to attend, but please only register the attending children.

For more information and to reserve your child’s free spot, please go to www.peabodylibrary.org, call 978-531-3380 or stop by in person.

Friendship Yoga returns for a winter session at South Branch of Peabody Institute Library

The South Branch of the Peabody Institute Library is pleased to offer Friendship Yoga once again this winter, an empowering experience for girls ages six to 10. For four Thursdays after school, girls can learn yoga poses and listen to music and poetry that strengthen self-esteem, teach mindfulness and build bonds of friendship. Girls can sign up for themselves or join with a friend.

This is a four-week program that runs Thursdays – January 12 & 19, February 2 & 9 – at the South Branch, which is located at 78 Lynn St. in Peabody. The program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. Signing up for the first week registers you for the entire four-week session.

For more information and to reserve your child’s free spot, please go to www.peabodylibrary.org or call 978-531-3380.

Music at Eden’s Edge Presents “The Musician’s Journey” at the Peabody Institute Library

The Peabody Institute Library is pleased to announce The Musician’s Journey, a combined lecture and performance series presented by Music at Eden’s Edge (MEE).  The first event of the series will be held on Monday, January 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, located at 82 Main St. in Peabody.

In the program “Growing into Greatness,” renowned violinist Daniel Stepner, with flutist Orlando Cela and violinist Maria Benotti, will explore the ciaccona, a Baroque dance form, from its origins, with some instrumental examples, to its culmination in Stepner’s performance of the monumental Bach Chaconne for solo violin.

Part of the Music at Eden’s Edge “Close Encounters with Music” program, The Musician’s Journey is a four-part lecture/performance series that will present music with varied topical connections selected by the players. Performers’ insights will offer an interpretive entrée into listening:  figuratively, spiritually, and factually.  Questions and discussion will be encouraged to include listeners in the process of bringing music to life in performance.

This program is generously sponsored by the Peabody Institute Library Foundation.

For more information and to reserve your seat, please call 978-531-0100 ext. 10, or register online at http://www.peabodylibrary.org.

 

The Advocate HOROSCOPE

 

Aries (March 21st-April 20th): With Mercury going retrograde at the beginning of the week it is important that you do not make any big legal commitments or financial investments for the next 3 weeks. Focus on having fun and enjoying company!

 

Taurus (April 21st-May 20th): Mercury retrograde may cause some annoying miscommunications about plans and timing with family this weekend. However, it is likely that you are responsible for most of the details and therefore everything should turn out well in the end!

 

Gemini (May 21st-June20th): The 25th is looking like a very good day for you this year- what a nice way to end 2016! Enjoy your good mood and happy company around you. Next week the planet Mars will have you determined for positive changes in 2017- stay focused on your goals!

 

Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd): This week’s advice is the opposite of last week’s! Mercury has gone retrograde for 3 weeks now- and you should avoid buying any new technology or making changes on your phone/computer. This bad luck with electronics will pass by the 8th.

 

Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): Don’t let stress and small miscommunications get the best of you this weekend! Go with the flow and everything will run smoothly in the end. You have more time and help than you realize!

 

Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): As the new year approaches and the planets are in your favor to review your finances, put some time aside this upcoming week to analyze all of your spending in 2016. This will help you feel much more ready for saving in 2017- which looks like a great year for you financially!

 

Libra (September 23th-October 22rd): This week probably went by very quickly for you Libra. Whether you have a busy weekend or a low key one planned- your energy levels are likely to be low. Don’t push yourself too much, do what you can, and get some good sleep!

 

Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): As Jupiter and Venus align on the 25th- the planets of love and luck- you are in for a very fun weekend! Time with family and friends is likely to be full of good surprises and additional celebrations. Enjoy, you’ll feel the influence into next week!

 

Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): Although you may not be feeling super energetic this weekend and next week, time spent at home won’t be wasted. Focus on cleaning out old stuff, and finishing up creative projects for the new year!

 

Capricorn (December22nd- January 19th): Happy official birthday season Capricorn! With the sun traveling through your sign for the next month, you should be feeling your most passionate and positive. Expect lots of gifts this year too, you’ve been very good!

 

Aquarius (January 20th- February 19th): Most of next week you may find yourself starting to see lots of possibilities for career growth 2017. Start really thinking about it and doing your research. Getting things in motion now will greatly benefit in a couple weeks!

 

Pisces (February 20th- March 20th): Be sure to double check timing for any plans you have this weekend and next week. The planetary alignment is causing the likeliness for miscommunication, but should pass shortly! Just a couple extra texts or calls should prevent issues.

Francesca Piazza is a Lynnfield native available for astrology consultations, tarot readings/parties, crystal healing, custom jewelry, and reiki. Please like Sister Fran Designs and Readings on Facebook for more info, or contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Ideas for entertainment during school vacations or when you have out-of-town visitors

The Peabody Institute Library offers free or discounted admissions to local cultural, educational and recreational organizations through its Museum Pass Program. Passes are loaned for one day. One pass per day per family is allowed, and all passes must be picked up at the Main Library. Each museum sets the terms of usage for its pass program; the Peabody Institute Library is obliged to comply with the terms of each museum.

To use a museum pass, patrons start by making a reservation using their library card. For program details and to reserve a pass, call the library at 978.531.0100 or go to www.peabodylibrary/org and click on the Museum Passes link.

For more information, call the library at 978.531.0100.

   

How to protect pets during this week’s bitter cold

WALTHAM – Snow and bitter cold sent shivers across the nation in recent days, and experts from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are urging all dog and cat owners to protect their pets from the freezing temperatures.

Pets can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia just as humans can, say BluePearl veterinarians who treat dogs and cats all winter long for winter-related injuries.

“If it feels cold to you, it’s probably cold to your indoor cat or dog,” said Dr. Will Fischbach, a senior clinician in emergency medicine for BluePearl.

That’s why BluePearl veterinarians have prepared a list of ways to protect pets from hazards such as frostbite, as well as other hazards such as de-icers and highly toxic antifreeze. And these tips will remain important later this week, even in areas where temperatures are expected to rise above freezing. Paws that sink into slush can still feel mighty cold.

Most BluePearl hospitals offer emergency service around the clock, with veterinarians always on duty, including during holidays. Here are some tips those veterinarians offer for keeping pets safe throughout the winter:

• The most common-sense tip is, don’t leave your pets in the cold for too long. Fur coats won’t protect them from prolonged exposure. Monitor your pets and bring them inside if they start to shiver or if you see redness in their tails or ears (which could be frostbite). Once inside, help them get the ice out from between their toes.

• If you spread a de-icer on your driveway or sidewalks, find one that’s pet-friendly.  Various toxins and even salt can cause problems for pets, who tend to lick the substances off their paws.

• Don’t leave your pet alone in a car while you go into the store. It’s a bad idea in the heat and it’s a bad idea in the cold.

• Pets sometimes spend more time in garages and basements in winter, so make sure to clear these spaces free of antifreeze and rat poison, both highly toxic. And remember, cats love to crawl into anything warm, including a nice cozy car engine. If Fluffy spends the night in the garage, make sure to locate her before starting the car.

• Winter can make it hard for pets to find their way back home because ice and snow mask familiar scents and paths. Keep pets on leashes so they don’t get confused and lost. Be sure your dogs and cats are wearing identification tags. And don’t forget to have pets microchipped.

• Your dog will never tell you, “Oh, my arthritis acts up in the cold.” And yet, it does. If your pet struggles when getting up and moving around the house, make a trip to the veterinarian. Also, make sure your pets have soft, warm bedding.

• Consider getting your dog a sweater or coat, especially if they are short-haired. “This type of dog clothing is actually functional,” Fischbach said.

We hope these tips help you and your pets enjoy a warm and happy holiday season. And speaking of the holidays, read our tipsheet on holiday pet safety and enjoy our list of nine ways to include your pet in the holiday fun.

 

How to Spot and Fix Medical Billing Mistakes

Dear Savvy Senior,

After a recent hospital stay, I have a stack of confusing medical bills at home I need to decipher. I’ve heard these bills frequently contain mistakes. How do I spot them to ensure I’m not paying more than I need to be?

Cautious Carol

Dear Carol,

Medical billing errors and overcharging is not uncommon. According to the American Medical Association, 7 percent of medical bills in 2013 had errors, and other groups estimate that figure to be much higher. Unfortunately, untangling those mistakes is almost always up to you. Here are some tips and tools that can help.

Check For Errors

To help you get a grip on your medical bills and check for errors, you need to familiarize yourself with what your insurance does and doesn’t cover. Then you need to carefully review the explanation of benefits from your insurer, and the invoices you receive from your doctor, hospital and/or outpatient facility providers.

These invoices need to be itemized bills detailing the charges for every procedure, test, service and supply you received. If you didn’t receive an itemized invoice, request it from your health care providers. And if the invoices contain any confusing billing codes or abbreviations that you don’t understand, ask them for an explanation. You can also look up most medical billing codes online by going to any online search engine and typing in “CPT” followed by the code number.

Once you receive and decode the invoices, keep your eyes peeled for these mistakes:

Typos: Incorrect billing codes, a misspelled name or a wrong policy number.

Double billing: Being charged twice for the same services, drugs, or supplies.

Canceled work: Charging for a test your doctor ordered, then canceled.

Phantom services: Being charged for services, test or treatments that were never received.

Up-coding: Inflated charges for medications and supplies.

Incorrect length of stay: Most hospitals will charge for the admission day, but not for day of discharge. Be sure you’re not paying for both.

Incorrect room charges: Being charged for a private room, even if you stayed in a semi-private room.

Inflated operating room fees: Being billed for more time than was actually used.  Compare the charge with your anesthesiologist’s records.

To make sure the charges on your bill are reasonably priced, your insurance provider may offer an online price transparency tool, or use the Healthcare Blue Book (healthcarebluebook.com) or Guroo (guroo.com). These are free resources that let you look up the going rate of many procedures, tests or services in your area.

Make Corrections

If you find errors or have questions about charges, contact your insurer and your health care provider’s billing office. When you call, be sure you write down the date, time and name of the person you speak to and a summary of the conversation, in case you need to refer back to it at a later time.

If there’s a billing code error or some other mistake that’s easily correctable, ask your health care provider to resubmit a corrected claim to your insurance company.

Get Help

If you aren’t able to resolve the dispute on your own, you may want to consider hiring a medical billing advocate to work on your behalf. To find someone, try sites like billadvocates.com or claims.org. Most advocates charge an hourly fee – somewhere between $50 and $200 per hour – for their services, or they may work on a contingency basis, earning a commission of 25 percent to 35 percent of the amount they save you.

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, another resource is your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). They provide free counseling and can help you understand your medical bills and Medicare coverage. To find a local SHIP counselor visit shiptacenter.org, or call 800-633-4227.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

by Jim Miller

   

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