Monthly Archives: April, 2015

“As Cognition Slips, Financial Skills Are Often the First to Go” – The New York Times

Financial disconnect among seniors is harsh reality: National Endowment for Financial Education

cognitionFrancis, 84, with his daughter-in-law, Helen Clark. He has mild dementia, and his family says his former wife took advantage of him. Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

“WHEN Helen Clark brought her father-in-law, then 83, to the doctor last year, she knew his mind was slowing, but a mental status exam confirmed it. He knew the year, where he lived and the name of the president. But when the doctor asked him to count backward from 100, subtracting seven from each number — 100, 93, 86, 79 — a look of confusion washed over his face.

“Studies show that the ability to perform simple math problems, as well as handling financial matters, are typically one of the first set of skills to decline in diseases of the mind, like Alzheimer’s, and Ms. Clark’s father-in-law, who suffered from mild dementia, was no exception. Research has also shown that even cognitively normal people may reach a point where financial decision-making becomes more challenging.

“‘A person can appear to have their wherewithal cognitively, but not have the ability to understand money in the same way anymore,’ said Ms. Clark, a retired registered nurse and family therapist in Cottonwood, Calif.”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.

Deaf teens wanted for M-Uth theater!

m -uth theatre

Deaf area teens and young adults are invited to perform this summer as members of the M-Uth Theater Ensemble at Millersville University’s Ware Center.

This is a free program, and no experience is necessary.  All rehearsals and performances are ASL interpreted.   If you are a deaf middle, high school, and college age students PLEASE consider participating.  This is a mixed ability theater group open to all young people living with sensory, physical, cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities.

“Shane Burcaw: What’s the first thing I’d do if I could walk?” – The Morning Call

Shane Burcaw is a Bethlehem local using humor to change the world. His column about life and disability in the Lehigh Valley appears occasionally in The Morning Call. Contact him:

shane if i could walkShane Burcaw was a familiar sight around campus during his years at Moravian College. (DONNA FISHER, THE MORNING CALL)

“In early February, I gave a talk at Clearview Elementary School to a classroom full of fifth-graders. I was there with my dad, who is the author of an awesome children’s book called ‘The Sidecar Kings.’ We were visiting the class to discuss the book and share my real-life story of disability.

“Speaking to kids is always an interesting experience, as they are still innocent enough to speak their minds regarding my disability. When speaking to these young audiences, I always wear a metaphorical helmet to guard against their uncensored questions.

“And trust me, I’ve gotten some crazy ones.

“Why can’t you pee on your own?

“What’s wrong with you?

Click here to continue reading this Shane Burcaw column in The Morning Call.

RED NOSE DAY – May 21: join a national event to help lift children out of poverty.


Click on the graphic below to find out more.

red nose poverty

Department of Aging wrap-up for Friday, April 24, 2015

PA department of aging logo

Each week the Pennsylvania Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the April 24 newsletter.

Lancaster County Link Resource network adds five new partners!

newest partners

The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner list in Lancaster County continues to add partner resources to its partner network. Click here to see the complete list of resource partners partners.

The most recent partner resources include:

The agencies, entities and organizations that make up the Lancaster County partner network of resource providers of the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources agree to provide information and resources for persons aged 60 and over; persons with a disability; veterans; family members and caregivers.

If you would like more information about how to become a collaborative partner (there’s no cost) or to align with any county partners’ network in the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area, text or call the Lancaster County coordinator, 717.380.9714.

Or email

There is no charge to become a collaborative partner with the Lancaster County Partners of the Pennsylvania Link To Aging and Disability Resources.

Project Lifesaver® – Link partner – featured in Channel 27 news article about locating “people with autism; those with Down Syndrome, dementia, and other cognitive disorders.”

A long-time partner with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Lancaster County partners’ network, the Pilot Club of Lancaster | Project Lifesaver® was featured in this ABC Channel 27 news feature recently.

“The Project Lifesaver® program places personalized watch-like radio transmitter on the individuals who may wander away from the safety of their home. This transmitter assists caregivers and local emergency agencies in locating the individual. Local emergency teams respond to calls resulting in an average rescue time of less than 30 minutes

“Project Lifesaver® is staffed and operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

project lifesaver

“April is National Autism Awareness Month.  People with the disorder and other conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s have a tendency to wander off.  When that happens, there is a program that is proven to cut search times and save lives.  It is called Project Lifesaver and it is available to people in the Midstate.

“Debbie Hess of Elizabethtown has a 10-year-old son named Henry. He has autism and can sometimes wander.

“‘Started trying to get out of the windows and out of the doors, even when we were present and even when we were watching him.  He felt compelled to get out of the house,’ said Hess.  ‘Has run a mile, mile and a half away into the center of town.’

“Hess has several safeguards in place.

“‘Barrel locks. We have alarms. And most importantly, dead bolts,’ Hess said.

Read the article and watch the film clip at ABC Channel 27 news.

Looking Ahead: Pennsylvania Population Projections 2010 to 2040

This report prepared by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania identifies “The implications from these projections underscore the challenges of slow and somewhat uneven population growth and an aging population. They also highlight the opportunities of population growth through in-migration.”

“From 2010 to 2040, Pennsylvania is projected to gain 1.42 million people. Ninety percent of these new residents are projected to live in urban counties and 10 percent in rural counties. [NOTE: Each of the counties in Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13 – Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon – are urban counties.]

county growth

“While rural Pennsylvania is projected to have a 4 percent increase in population, urban counties are projected to have a 14 percent increase and the U.S. is projected to have a 23 percent increase.

“Rural Pennsylvania’s population will continue to grow slowly, and still somewhat unevenly, as 18 rural counties are projected to see population declines. However, 30 rural counties are projected to experience population increases.

“The bulk of the population gains in rural counties will be attributed to in-migration rather than natural change, as the projections indicate that rural Pennsylvania counties will have more deaths than births from 2010 to 2040. The main driver of the negative natural change is the rapid increase in the number of deaths. From 2010 to 2040, the number of deaths in rural Pennsylvania is expected to increase 25 percent, which far outpace the expected number of births, which are projected to increase only 5 percent.

“In-migration, on the other hand, is projected to trend upward. Rural counties are projected to see a 5 percent increase in in-migration. The majority of these new rural residents will come from overseas.

“Another continuing trend is the aging of rural Pennsylvania. This trend is being fueled, in part, by aging baby boomers (persons born between 1946 and 1964) and a slowly increasing birth rate. From 2010 to 2040, the number of rural senior citizens is projected to increase 54 percent while the number of youth is projected to decline 3 percent. Urban counties are projected to see a 5 percent increase in youth and a 72 percent increase in senior citizens.

To download the report, click here.

“This app could change everything for blind people” – Kim Komando

“A Lively Comment Discussion About Dementia and Sex” – The New York Times

“Elder sex. Nursing home dalliances. The erotic lives of dementia patients.

T”hose topics make many people squeamish. But many of the nearly 1,200 readers who responded to an article about a 78-year-old former Iowa state representative charged with sexual abuse after being accused of having intimate relations with his wife, an Alzheimer’s patient, in a nursing home discussed late-life sexuality in frank, often personal, and sometimes heartfelt terms.

“In the article, Pam Belluck described the case of Henry Rayhons, who had been told by nursing home administrators that his wife was too cognitively impaired to consent to sex. Mr. Rayhons pleaded not guilty to the charges and says that while he had sex with his wife when she had a private room, he did not have sex with her in the semiprivate room on the night in question.”

Click here to continue reading this New York Times article.