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Sagepoint’s Donors Provided Unprecedented Support in 2020

 

As a senior care nonprofit organization, Sagepoint has faced deep challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our financial needs have increased dramatically since the spring of 2020:

  • Increased equipment costs for supplies such as HEPA filtration, sanitation and technology needs
  • Regular purchasing of personal protective equipment supplies for staff and residents
  • Soaring costs of continued weekly testing for staff and residents
  • Additional staff education to keep up with extensive regulatory changes throughout the pandemic.

However, our gracious benefactors have helped the organization meet these challenges by increasing their generous donations over the past several months to help us counter the effects that COVID-19 has disproportionately had on seniors. For this, we are honored and immensely grateful. 

Please visit our website here to learn how your contributions can continue to help Sagepoint sustain the health and well-being of seniors in southern Maryland during these unique times. 

SAVE THE DATE!

Sagepoint’s Annual Golf Tournament is September 22, 2021.

We will continue to update you with more information.

Sagepoint Senior Services Foundation Welcomes Community Leaders to Foundation Board of Directors

 

As a respected nonprofit organization in service to the people of Southern Maryland, Sagepoint holds it in the highest importance for our top leadership to be pillars of the community who demonstrate our shared commitment to our fellow citizens on a daily basis. This is why we are particularly proud to welcome three new members to our Foundation Board of Directors. 

Charles County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Augustus “Gus” Proctor is a Charles County native who has shown his dedication to county residents throughout his career and personal life. Sgt. Proctor has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 29 years, and today serves as the Southern Region Coordinator and Administrative Sergeant for Districts 1 and 2. He volunteers with Lifestyles of Maryland, Special Olympics Maryland and also serves on the Board of the Spring Dell Center. He and his wife have three children and two grandchildren. 

Shirley Hancock retired from the Charles County Department of Health after 38 years as a nurse in several areas of public health, including maternity, pediatrics, communicable diseases and geriatric care. As part of her duties at the Health Department, she served as an Acting Director of Health Partners in Waldorf, and upon retirement was the Supervisor of the Colorectal and Prostate Cancer Programs. Nurse Hancock volunteered for over 15 years for the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors. She served many roles for the Foundation such as a term as the Board Chairperson, Chairperson for the gala event for many years and a member of the Capital Campaign Committee. Shirley lives in La Plata and is married with two children and two grandchildren. 

Ann Page brings a 44-year career in health care to her position with Sagepoint. Prior to her retirement in 2019, she served with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Quality and Outcomes Division in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. She has been a past Director of the Health Care Delivery and Management Administration of the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance. Her career has also included health policy leadership positions with the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, the Maryland Governor’s Office, the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the nationwide Institute for Health Policy Solutions in Washington, D.C. Ms. Page is the author of dozens of health care policy publications. 

These new Board members join Sagepoint’s already exemplary Board leadership. The Board of Directors for 2021 is as follows:

New 2021 Officers:

  • Christine Parker, Chair
  • Sue Greer, Chair Elect
  • Craig Renner, Secretary
  • Terry Weaver, Treasurer
  • Board Members:
  • Sally Jameson, Immediate Past Chair
  • Carolyn Core, SSLS Board Chair
  • Andrea Dwyer, President and CEO
  • Scot Ebron
  • Shirley Hancock
  • Evie Hungerford
  • Ann Page
  • Augustus “Gus” Proctor
  • Joyce Riggs, Foundation President

Multiple Awards of Excellence Show Sagepoint’s Commitment to Our Clients and Their Families


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in full in March 2020, countless segments of society have obviously felt its effects. One segment, in particular, is the senior community, as well as their families and the people who serve them. 

In our long-standing tradition of innovative commitment to the community, the staff and leadership of Sagepoint Senior Living Services have risen to this past year’s unique and unprecedented challenges, and we are proud to say that not only have our clients and their guardians recognized our efforts, so have third-party sources who annually evaluate standards for senior care in the United States. 

For the second year in a row, US News and World Report named Sagepoint a Best Nursing Home. This year it is especially noteworthy to again be included in this top tier, given the exceptional care requirements that the ongoing pandemic has brought to Sagepoint and our senior care peers across the country. 

Two respected publications also named Sagepoint as a Best Nursing Home for 2020, one regional and one national. The readership of Southern Maryland News voted to rate leading senior care providers in Southern Maryland, and Sagepoint won Readers’ Choice. Newsweek also surveyed its readers and subscribers, placing us in the Top 5 Best Nursing Homes for 2020 on a national level. 

Everyone at Sagepoint is honored to have these awards bestowed upon us, and we pledge to provide the same exemplary standards of service in 2021 and for years to come.

Tax-Free Charitable Giving From An IRA

Seniors age 70 ½ or older can make tax-free charitable donation from IRAs that count toward satisfying required minimum distribution and reduce taxable income.

What is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?

A QCD is a tax-free charitable distribution of funds directly from the IRA trustee (custodian) of an eligible IRA account payable to a qualified charitable organization that can receive a tax-deductible contribution. A tax-free QCD is defined in IRS Publication 17 – Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals on page 126.

Normal distribution from an IRA of deductible contributions and earning is included in income and taxed as ordinary income. The tax-free QCD removes the distribution from taxable income. QCDs are recorded on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return 2018 – the sum total QCD distribution is included on line 4 a – IRA distribution, and the abbreviation ‘QCD’ is written on line 4 b – taxable amount.

Who is Eligible to Make a tax-free QCD?

IRA account owners and beneficiaries age 70 ½ or older on the date the tax-free QCD is made to one or more qualified charitable organizations.
Taxpayers who now claim the standard deduction can still make tax-free QCDs.

What type of IRA accounts are eligible for a QCD?

Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, Inherited IRA accounts and non-active SEP and Simple IRA accounts are eligible for a tax free QCD. Active SEP or Simple IRA account currently receiving employee or employer contributions is not eligible.

Roth IRA accounts are eligible but a tax-free QCD will not lower income tax because distributions from Roth IRAs are already tax-free and not included in income.

What type of retirement savings accounts are ineligible for a QCD?

Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457(b)s are not eligible for tax-free QCD. A normal or tax-free QCD distribution to satisfy the IRA RMD requirement in a given tax year cannot count toward satisfying the RMD requirement for employer-sponsored requirement plans.

However, an employer-sponsored plan account owner may consider a direct transfer rollover to an IRA Rollover account that would then be eligible for tax-free QCDs. RMD calculations for tax-deferred IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans for the current tax year will be based upon the fair market value of the account at the close of business on December 31 of the prior year, factored by your age and life expectancy. Therefore, before implementing a rollover strategy the time and suitability should be taken into consideration.

What is the tax-free QCD distribution limit?

Seniors age 70 ½ or older may make tax-free charitable donations and exclude up to $100,000 from gross income per tax year by making tax-free QCD’s directly from an IRA. There is no carry-over from year to year. Your spouse may also make a tax-free charitable donation and exclude up to $100,000 from gross income per tax year for a combined total of $200,000.

Does a tax-free QCD distribution count towards Requirement Minimum Distribution (RMD)?

Yes. A tax-free QCD may be an appropriate strategy for individuals who are charitable inclined and do not need RMDs for living expenses. A tax-free QCD can potentially reduce income tax liability on RMDs to zero. A tax-free QCD can be counted toward satisfying your RMD requirements for IRA accounts.

Here is an example of a normal IRA distribution of $5,000 at ordinary income tax rates:
22% 24% 32% 35% 37%

22% 24% 32% 35% 37%
IRA Distribution $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Income tax 1,100 1,200 1,600 1,750 1,850
Net Distribution 3,900 3,800 3,400 3,250 3,150

 

Assume you are in the 24 percent income tax bracket – you make a tax-free QCD of $5,000 to count towards satisfying your RMD requirement, provide an income tax break of $1,200, lower taxable income, and help fulfil your philanthropic goals.

The annual RMD must be calculated by you or your custodian for each IRA account, but the sum RMD may be aggregated and distributed from one or more IRA accounts. Note – RMD for employer sponsored retirement accounts cannot be aggregated and distributed from IRAs.

The first distributions from an IRA are consider to satisfy the annual IRA RMD requirement. If you have already taken a portion of your RMD requirement earlier this year, you may consider a tax-free QCD for the remaining balance of the RMD requirement that needs to be distributed before the year-end deadline. The only exception to the year-end RMD requirement deadline is in the first year an IRA account owner turns age 70 ½.

What charities qualify to receive a tax-free QCD?

As defined by IRS Publication 590-B Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs,) a charity eligible to receive a QCD is a “qualified 501(c)(3) organization (a charitable organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.)” Donor advised funds and private foundations are not eligible to receive tax-free QCDs. Upon request a charity can provide you their IRS issued ‘Letter of Determination’ verifying tax-exempt status. Additionally, please find information about a tax-exempt organization’s federal tax filing status on the IRS web site at www.irs.gov.

How to set up direct payment to the charitable organization?

To make a tax-free QCD, there must be direct payment by the IRA trustee (custodian) on behalf of the IRA account owner to the charitable organization. You may call your IRA trustee (custodian) and request a check made payable to a charitable organization and delivered to you so that you may forward to the charity. (IRS Notice 2007-7, Q&A-41). Consider including a ‘Letter of Intent’ with the check to describe your wishes and purpose of the charitable gift. Check with you IRA trustee (custodian) for year-end processing deadlines for issuing checks. As normal, you will need to keep records to include written acknowledge from the charitable organization for your tax-exempt charitable donation.

What are key benefits of lowering taxable income, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for seniors?

A tax-free QCD can count towards satisfying your RMD requirement but does not add to your taxable income, AGI. You may benefit from lowering your taxable income to lower Medicare Part B premium and prescription drug premium for high income earners, lower taxable percentage of Social Security benefits, and larger deductions for medical expenses; among other benefits.

Medicare Premium for High Income Beneficiaries – Potential lower AGI to qualify for lower income threshold to lower income related monthly adjustment amounts for Medicare Part B and Prescription Drugs premiums. For more information, please view Social Security Administration publication – Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries.

Itemized Deduction for Medical Expense – Potential lower AGI to reduce threshold for claiming unreimbursed medical and dental expenses you paid. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) lowered the AGI threshold for medical expenses from 10 percent to 7.5 percent for 2017 and 2018 for all taxpayers and reverts back to 10 percent in 2019.

Percentage of Social Security Benefits to be Taxed – Potential lower ‘combined income’ to qualify for a lesser portion of your Social Security benefits to be taxed. For more information, please visit Social Security Administration web page – Benefits Planner | Income Taxes and Your Social Security Benefits.

Summary

Tax-free QCDs may be an effective strategy to fulfill your philanthropic goals and make a lasting charitable impact in your community. Before implementing any strategy, please consult your professional tax accountant, estate planning attorney and/or investment adviser.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. Any investments and strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. While every attempt is made to provide accurate information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of this content. Christine does not provide legal or tax advice.

Written by Christine Parker, CPF®, president of Parker Financial, LLC and member of Sagepoint Senior Services Foundation Board of Officers and Directors.

A Brief Guide to Medicare and Understanding Your Options

By Sharon Wagner, SeniorFriendly.info




Medicare is a blessing to many seniors, but navigating all of your options and deciding on a plan can be extremely overwhelming. How are you supposed to know which plan you need, which insurance companies to trust, and how to enroll? There are many things to consider when choosing your plan and nearly endless options when you look beyond the basic federal program. Hopefully, this guide can clear up a few things and point you in the right direction.

Finding Plans in Your Area

To start, it’s important to know what kinds of Medicare plans are available in your area. The government website Medicare.gov provides a handy search tool for finding Medicare Part C and Part D plans. This can help you narrow down your choices based on certain criteria, such as whether you need drug coverage and which pharmacies you would like included in your plan. Take a look at this useful step-by-step guide for help using the search tool.

Learning About Basic Medicare

Original Medicare, also called Medicare Part A and B, is the most basic coverage provided by the government for seniors 65 and older. Original Medicare covers things like hospital stays and outpatient doctor’s services. Most people will not have to pay anything for Part A, but everyone must pay a monthly premium for Part B. It’s also important to understand that Original Medicare will not pay for 100 percent of the services it covers; you will still have out-of-pocket costs from deductibles and copayments. This is why many people supplement their Medicare plans.

Understanding Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies and are similar to health insurance plans you may have signed up for in the past. In addition to everything covered by Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage for things like hearing, vision, and dental. These plans may also include daily living assistance and lifestyle support, such as transportation or meal delivery services. US News explains the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage based on different criteria you may have.

You’ll notice that many Medicare Advantage plans have no premiums. These can be a good option for people who are healthy and looking to save money while still being protected from large medical expenses. These zero-premium plans typically have high deductibles, meaning you’ll have to pay more for your services before your plan will cover the rest. Choosing a plan with a higher premium may be a better option if you have a chronic condition or some other reason to require regular medical care.

Medicare Part D for Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D, which is also offered by private insurance companies, covers prescription drugs. You can add Part D to your Original Medicare plan. However, the majority of Medicare Advantage plans include Part D. According to Investopedia, the costs associated with Medicare Part D are fairly similar to the premiums, deductibles, and copayments of any standard medical insurance plan. Before picking a plan, it’s important to consider the particular drugs you need to be covered since certain plans cover different drugs. Using the Medicare.gov search tool mentioned above can help you find Part D plans that will cover your prescriptions.

Considering Medigap

Finally, Medigap is yet another option for supplementary coverage offered by private insurance companies. Medigap specifically covers the gaps in Original Medicare. This can be beneficial for people who anticipate future chronic conditions and are worried about expensive healthcare needs. There are several Medigap plans to choose from, so think carefully about the kind of coverage you need most. Some plans have coverage for travel emergencies, whereas others are better for covering the deductibles and copayments from your Original Medicare plan.

Getting the most out of Medicare means taking the time to learn about your plans and coverage options. Continue to do your research and check out some of the resources mentioned here. Although it will take some serious planning to evaluate your choices, consider your criteria, and anticipate your future care needs, this will help you secure your health for the future.

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February 19: CNA/GNA/Home Health Aide Job Fair

Home Care Division Seeking CNAs/GNAs/Home Health Aides

Sagepoint Senior Living Services will be holding a job fair on Tuesday, February 19th from 11am-1pm and again from 4pm-6pm at our Prince Frederick location (301 Steeple Chase Drive, Suite 104, Prince Frederick, MD). We are in search of CNA/GNAs and Home Health Aides. Interested candidates should have an updated resume available for review. Interviews will be conducted on site. Registration encouraged- walkins welcome. We hope to see you there.

RSVP: Heather at 410-257-1900

It takes a special person to work for Sagepoint. Our management team and our caregivers care deeply about serving the needs of our seniors, our patients, and their families.

Our goal as an organization is to attract and retain highly qualified staff who share our philosophy.

Sagepoint is an Equal Opportunity Employer that respects and values:

  • Reliability, personal discipline, and accountability from each and every employee.
  • Compassion, a nurturing and respectful attitude.
  • Competency, critical thinking and improvement through professional development.
  • Friendliness and excellent people skills.

Sagepoint employs more than 350 people. We provide our employees with market-competitive wages, excellent benefits, education advancement, and recognition programs.

View our current open positions here.

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Sagepoint Launches Fourth Annual Photo Contest

We are excited to announce our fourth annual Images of Aging Photo Contest and hope you will enter! To enter, submit a photo of a senior(s) and their favorite pet. During the first week of March, you and everyone else can vote for your favorite entries. You can even share your uploaded photos with your friends to boost your votes. The winning photo recreation, as determined via Facebook/Instagram (likes), will receive $200 (USD) in the form of a gift card. Two additional winners, as determined via the Sagepoint Community and Sagepoint Staff, will each receive $50 (USD) in the form of a gift card. Entries must be submitted electronically via our submission form below. There is no entry fee, however individuals may only submit one (1) entry into the contest. The contest ends Wednesday, February 28, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST (U.S.).

Sagepoint Selected As 2019 Best of Senior Living Winner

Families’ Online Reviews Rank the Best of the Best of North American Senior Care

Sagepoint Senior Living Services was selected as a 2019 Best of Senior Living Award winner by SeniorAdvisor.com. The Best of 2019 Awards celebrate the communities and agencies that have consistently received outstanding feedback from families on the SeniorAdvisor.com website. Of the nearly 45,000 communities currently listed on SeniorAdvisor.com, just over 1,600 were recognized with this prestigious award. This exclusive designation places the winners in the top one percent of senior care providers according to those who matter most – their families.

President/CEO Andrea Dwyer remarks, “We are very honored to be recognized for our quality care. We certainly extend this recognition to all our wonderful employees who work hard each and every day to ensure that our residents receive the best service. As the only community recognized in Southern Maryland, we are very pleased by this acknowledgement.”

Winners of the SeniorAdvisor.com Best of 2019 Awards are located all over the country and represent the top tier of in-home care, assisted living, and other senior living providers in the country. The award places winners in the top one percent of senior care providers nationwide. Similar to over half of the winners, Sagepoint offers more than one type of care. Care options offered include: Home Care, Adult Day Services, Rehabilitation, Assisted Living, Long-term Care, and Memory Care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resident Adoption Tree Now Up

Help Us Make the Holidays Even Merrier For Our Residents

LA PLATA, MD (November 19, 2018)

Sagepoint Senior Living Services is excited to announce that our Resident Adoption Tree is now up! We strive to make all occasions extra special for our residents and the Adoption Tree is a simple way to spread joy among our facility this Holiday Season. The program helps us ensure that every single resident will have something for them under the Christmas tree. The wish lists were developed by the residents themselves or with their needs in mind. Adopt a resident today and help us brighten their holiday this season!

Activities Director Erin Johnson remarks, “Our adoption tree is a fun way for members of the community to help seniors in need. It is the generosity of the members of our community that allow us to grant each resident a wish during the holidays. If you are able, we ask that you consider adopting one of our residents this year from our Resident Adoption Tree. We promise, it’s a fun way to give back!”

If you are interested in adopting a resident for the holidays, come in and select a resident off the Resident Adoption Tree or email Erin Johnson, Activities Director, at ejohnson@sagepointcare.org. Upon adopting a resident, you will receive the Resident’s Wish List and we ask that you return gifts wrapped in gift bags by Friday, December 14, 2018. The gifts will be delivered during our Annual Christmas Party.

In addition to resident adoptions, supplemental donations are also needed to ensure equality among the gifts received by each resident. These include personal items, bathroom accessories, and comfort and room decor. A full list can be found below.



Core Receives State Recognition for Board Service

Sagepoint Board Chair Recognized for Significant Board Service and Contributions

La Plata, MD (October 23, 2018) – The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism hosted the 35th Annual Governor’s Service Awards on Tuesday, October 16th, to celebrate the outstanding volunteer contributions of Maryland residents and organizations. This year, 170 nominations were submitted. We are proud to announce that our very own board chair, Carolyn Core, was recognized for her significant contributions to our organization! Carolyn’s service to both Sagepoint and the community we serve has gone above and beyond her board commitment and we are so very appreciative of her continual selfless service.

Since her time as chair of the board, Carolyn has initiated Sagepoint’s Advisory Committee; started an annual review of the performance of the board; increased the board’s diversity; prepared for the transition of the organization’s CEO; and taken the lead in orchestrating contact between Sagepoint and The University of Maryland’s Charles Regional Medical Center to implement effective relationships so that each individual in Sagepoint’s care is ensured the highest quality of care. Carolyn also played a vital role in the development of Sagepoint’s new assisted living community, the expansion of its existing rehabilitation center, and the recent kick-off of a philanthropy program.

“We are overjoyed to see Carolyne Core recognized for her board service that goes far above and beyond what is expected of our board members,” remarked Andrea Dwyer, Sagepoint Senior Living Services President and CEO. “In fact, Sagepoint is fortunate to have a team of many supremely dedicated board members and we are very grateful for all of their service; they are truly invaluable assets to this organization!”

For more information on the Governor’s Service Awards, visit: www.gosv.maryland.gov/governors–service-awards-recipients-2018.