Lebanon VAMC to recognize Vietnam Veterans at numerous South Central PA events on March 29

vietnam statue

LEBANON, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC) will honor Vietnam Veterans through a variety of public commemoration events on March 29 as part of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one lapel pin through the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration as a lasting memento of the nation’s thanks.

Vietnam Veterans can join Lebanon VAMC at the following March 29 public events to be pinned:

  • U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and the Liberty War Bird Association’s National Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. for the 11:15 a.m. ceremony at the Lancaster Airport Terminal, 500 Airport Rd., Lititz, Lancaster County
  • U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony starting at 3 p.m. at American Legion Post 217, 133 Centre Ave., Topton, Berks County
  • National Vietnam War Veterans Day Commemoration and Cake-cutting Ceremony at 2 p.m. at Lebanon VA Medical Center, 1700 South Lincoln Ave., Building 17 Canteen Dining Area, Lebanon, Lebanon County
  • MISSION BBQ locations in Harrisburg, Wyomissing and York from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. as part of MISSION BBQ’s daylong Vietnam Veterans appreciation event. Information on the various VA benefits including VA health care enrollment will also be available to Veterans.

Additionally, Veterans unable to attend one of the above public events that have not yet received a pin can also visit Lebanon VAMC’s Community Clinics located in Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pottsville, Wyomissing and York to be presented their pin on March 29 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is part of our nation’s ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Lebanon VAMC, along with more than 10,000 local, state, and national organizations, joins the Department of Defense as Commemorative Partners. More information on the commemoration is available at www.vietnamwar50th.com.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 28, 2017. The act designates every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. March 29, 1973, marks the day the last of our combat troops left Vietnam.

SOURCE: news release

Have you heard about “age-friendly places?”

age friendly world

How much do you know about the “age-friendly world?” Perhaps the place to begin is to get some background insight into the World Health Organization’s initiative.

“A key strategy to facilitate the inclusion of older persons is to make our world more age-friendly. An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.”

Towards an Age-friendly world [World Health Organization]

gnafcc-report-2018A new report on the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities reviews achievements since the founding of the Network in 2007, challenges and how to overcome them, and together with its Affiliate programs, outlines steps to guide action over the next decade. Eleven accompanying case studies from members of the Network around the world examine local age-friendly programmes in depth.”

What is an “age-friendly world?

The March 24, 2019 LNP – Always Lancaster carried a special newspaper supplement entitled Progress 2019. A story about The magazine-sized insert

age friendly lancasterScan of the article in LNP – Always Lancaster‘s Progress 2019 special insert. Click on the image to enlarge.


age friendly principles

The American Association of Retired Persons [AARP] also has its AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

In Pennsylvania, these are AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities:

  • Allegheny County: Joined: 2015 | Population: 925,521 | Survey | Action Plan
  • Lancaster: Joined: 2018
  • Lehigh County: Joined: 2018 | Population: 360,685
  • Northampton County: Joined: 2018 | Population: 299,791
  • Philadelphia: Joined: 2012* | Population: 1.58 million | Survey | Article
  • Pittsburgh: Joined: 2015 | Population: 305,700 | Interview | Survey | Action Plan
  • Swarthmore: Joined: 2017 | Population: 6,194
  • West Chester: Joined: 2016* | Population: 18,968 | Action Plan



“States Push For Caregiver Tax Credits” – Kaiser Health News

caregivertaxcredit“Gloria Brown is the primary caregiver for her husband, Arthur, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer\’s disease four years ago. (Emma Marie Chiang for California Healthline)

by Samantha Young

“Gloria Brown didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Her husband, Arthur Brown, 79, has Alzheimer’s disease and had spent most of the night pacing their bedroom, opening and closing drawers, and putting on and taking off his jacket.

“So Gloria, 73, asked a friend to take Arthur out for a few hours one recent afternoon so she could grab a much-needed nap. She was lucky that day because she didn’t need to call upon the home health aide who comes to their house twice a week.

“The price of paying for help isn’t cheap: The going rate in the San Francisco Bay Area ranges from $25 to $35 an hour. Gloria Brown estimates she has spent roughly $72,000 on caregivers, medications and supplies since her husband was diagnosed four years ago.

“‘The cost can be staggering,’ said state Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), author of a bill that would give family caregivers in California a tax credit of up to $5,000 annually to help offset their expenses.”

Click here to continue reading this Kaiser Health News article.

Constance: assures personalized, one-on-one conversational check in service for seniors.

Lancaster, PA – March, 2019 – Integrated Platform Services LLC today announced a new subscription check-in and reporting service for families of seniors who live independently. The service, named Constance™, targets the families of the 87% of Americans over the age of 65 who, according to AARP, would prefer to live on their own.


Constance™ provides daily human interaction with seniors to check on mood, meals, medications, appointments, and more. The check-ins are used to generate electronic updates for family members — typically members of the “sandwich generation” who find it increasingly difficult to balance support for their aging parents with managing their own busy lives. With a focus on overall wellbeing, Constance™ addresses the most important factors impacting healthcare outcomes: early detection of medical conditions, care plan adherence, and social engagement.

The service is delivered by carefully selected and trained team who call each senior for a personalized, one-on-one conversation. Unlike other personal care services, the reports are immediately available to family members via a smartphone app on iOS and Android devices.

Families using the service have confidence that the needs of their loved one will be identified and reported, allowing them to continue living independently. Constance subscriber Suzette Mullen commented, “My sister and I look forward to getting the reports every day. The daily updates have really connected us as we navigate (my mom’s) care from a distance.” Members also look forward to interacting with the Constance Family Coordinators. A senior using the service, Patricia Roberts, recently said, “It made me feel very safe to know you were calling me this morning.”

CEO and cofounder Henry Yaeger commented, “We started Constance because we want to apply business solutions to a huge and growing societal challenge. Demographic shifts and longer distances are leaving families unprepared for the demands of supporting their loved ones as they age. Our service allows seniors to continue to live independently, while giving their families the comfort of knowing they are always being looked after.”

news release


Constance is a service of Integrated Platform Services LLC, a company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Constance helps seniors maintain independence by facilitating communication between seniors, their family members, and others. The high-touch service is supported by a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform that enables the Constance team to efficiently provide services, while native mobile apps keep family members informed. Constance is a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner entity.

Register for this Webinar meeting.

5-17 Special needs

Calling all PARENTS AND PROVIDERS – TO make sure we are reaching as many people as possible, and discussing/presenting relevant topics, we invite you to complete a 30 second survey!  This will help us bring to you the information you and/or those you work with need.  Please click here.

April 17 – Presentation | Thinking About: Managed Care and Other Systems – Possibilities and Challenged

4-17 managed care

“Do People With Disabilities Earn Equal Pay? | America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers” – US Census Bureau

Overall, workers with a disability earn less than workers who do not have a disability. Yet, depending on the types of work they do, much of the difference in median earnings disappear.

persons with a disability 2

Today, a record 9 million people with a disability work. While these workers, age 16 and older, are spread throughout the labor force, workers with a disability tend to concentrate in certain jobs depending on their age and particular disability.

Among people working similar jobs and schedules, the median earnings for workers with a disability are either very close to, or not different from, earnings for workers with no disability.

The most common occupation for people with a disability is janitors and building cleaners, where about 300,000 workers with disabilities find employment. They make up 11 percent of workers in this occupation.

Other large occupations for workers with disabilities are:

  • Drivers/sales workers/truck drivers.
  • Cashiers.
  • Retail salespersons.
  • Laborers and freight, stock and material movers.

Continue reading this US Census Bureau article, click here.

“Obituary Writing 101 | Tips for creating a meaningful farewell for someone, or for yourself” – next avenue


by Deborah Quilter

“Have you ever read a friend’s obituary and had any of these reactions?: You cannot reconcile the person described with what was written about him or her; the events summarized did not constitute what your loved one considered important in life and instead of capturing the essence of the deceased’s colorful personality, it painted a beige picture with tired platitudes that the departed would have loathed.

“Or have you ever been charged with writing an obituary for someone and realized with rising panic that you have absolutely no idea where he went to school, when he lived in certain cities or what he would consider important to include? Imagine doing this under deadline and the stress of mourning.

Come to a FREE LUNCH & LEARN “Let’s write my Obituary” on Friday, April 5 (details below – click on the image to enlarge.

obituary workshop

“Many boomers decide to spare friends this experience and take matters into their own hands. With a little guidance, you can come up with a summing-up you can be proud of. Even if you don’t want to write a full-fledged obit, you can make that task less onerous for someone else by leaving valuable leads.”

Read this article in its entirety at next avenue.

April 10 Webinar: Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program: Overview and How to Apply 


Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program: Overview and How to Apply 

This webinar will provide a brief overview of the PA Department of Revenue’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, eligibility requirements, and information on how to fill out and submit forms for the program.


Chantel Hardaway, PHR, Chief of Outreach and Education, Customer Experience Center, PA Department of Revenue

Donald Bianchi, CPA Director of the Customer Experience Center, Department of Revenue


When: Wednesday, April 10th | 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Register here!

“The healthiest county in each US state” – Becker’s Hospital Review

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its 2019 County Health Rankings March 19.

The rankings use state and national data to compare U.S. counties on more than 30 measures across four areas: health behaviors, clinical care, physical environment, and social and environmental factors. Measures include access to care, income, and alcohol or drug use. The list ranks counties in all 50 states based on their performance on these health measures relative to the health of other counties in each state.

County Health rankingsClick on the graphic to view a comparative of Berks, Lancaster & Lebanon County’s Health Rankings as a .pdf file.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in Madison, has shared updated County Health Rankings annually since 2010.

Below is a list of the county with the best health outcomes in each state. Take a deep dive into county health outcomes per state by clicking here.

SOURCE: Becker’s Hospital Review