Monthly Archives: December, 2015

“Census Bureau Projects U.S. and World Populations on New Year’s Day”

population 010116

DEC. 30, 2015 — As our nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the United States population will be 322,762,018 on Jan. 1, 2016. This represents an increase of 2,472,745, or 0.77 percent, from New Year’s Day 2015. Since Census Day (April 1) 2010, the population has grown by 14,016,480, or 4.54 percent.

In 2016, the United States is expected to experience one birth every eight seconds and one death every ten seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person to the U.S. population every 29 seconds. The combination of births, deaths and net international migration increases the U.S. population by one person every 17 seconds.

The projected world population on Jan. 1 is 7,295,889,256, an increase of 77,918,825, or 1.08 percent, from New Year’s Day 2015. During January 2016, 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths are expected worldwide every second.

The Census Bureau’s U.S. and World Population Clock simulates real-time growth of the U.S. and world populations.

“Panel tells Congress to downsize VA” – VFW Magazine

The January 2016 issue of the VFW Magazine published the “Issues Up Front” feature entitled, “Panel Tells Congress to Downsize VA.”

“VFW magazine is the official publication of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States with a circulation of 1.5 million. VFW magazine has been the voice of the overseas veteran for more than a century. In November 1904, the first issue of the magazine’s predecessor publication appeared for members of a fledgling organization called the American Veterans of Foreign Service.”

vfw article on va study

Stars and Stripes carried this article in September, 2015 as well.

va graphic


In the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area, the nearly 75,000 veterans are well served with these nearby VA facilities:

“How PTSD Became a Problem Far Beyond the Battlefield” – Vanity Fair

“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) PTSD is a natural response to danger, it’s almost unavoidable in the short term and mostly self-correcting in the long term. Only about 20 percent of people exposed to trauma react with long-term (chronic) PTSD.

ptsd article

This May, 2015 Vanity Fair article by Sebastian Junger is an excellent look into the phenomenon that accompanies and follows traumatic events.

He writes:

I had classic short-term (acute) PTSD. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s exactly the response you want to have when your life is in danger: you want to be vigilant, you want to react to strange noises, you want to sleep lightly and wake easily, you want to have flashbacks that remind you of the danger, and you want to be, by turns, anxious and depressed. Anxiety keeps you ready to fight, and depression keeps you from being too active and putting yourself at greater risk. This is a universal human adaptation to danger that is common to other mammals as well. It may be unpleasant, but it’s preferable to getting eaten. (Because PTSD is so adaptive, many have begun leaving the word “disorder” out of the term to avoid stigmatizing a basically healthy reaction.)

Click here to read this Vanity Fair article in its entirety.

“As aging slows body clock, a new one starts ticking” –


“As a person ages, their circadian clock begins to slow down. But a study of nearly 150 human brains suggests that’s also when a new biological clock kicks in.

“A 24-hour circadian rhythm controls nearly all brain and body processes, such as the sleep/wake cycle, metabolism, alertness, and cognition. These daily activity patterns are regulated by certain genes that are found in almost all cells, but have rarely been studied in the human brain.

“‘Studies have reported that older adults tend to perform complex cognitive tasks better in the morning and get worse through the day,’ says Colleen McClung, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.”

Continue reading this article at

a Christmas wish

On Christmas, 2015, let there be peace for all across the world.

all language christmas message

“Projecting costs for the most burdened renters”

Housing4People-325x195San Francisco City Hall, May 21, 2008. Photo by Steve Rhodes – SOURCE: Journalist’s Resource

“In 2014, the number of renters in the United States hit a 20-year high. And, according to a 2015 report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, vacancy rates are at their lowest level in two decades as demand outpaces the number of rental properties under construction. While the number of renters continues to increase, the 10-year period beginning in 2005 saw the lowest level of rental construction since 1974.

“With an increase in renters comes a record number of households paying a higher share of their income than ever on rent. While projections for the U.S. economy forecast steady growth, the number of renters under the strain of severe cost burdens is only expected to increase. Researchers analyzed these trends in a 2015 report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University and Enterprise Community Partners Inc. For this report, researchers projected the future of rent costs in the U.S. by analyzing three scenarios–a baseline scenario, scenarios in which rent costs outpaced income growth, and scenarios in which income growth outpaced rent costs.

“The study’s findings include:

  • In a baseline scenario, in which rents and incomes grow in line with inflation, the number of renters paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent will grow 11 percent by 2025, from 11.8 million to 13.1 million people.
  • In a best-case scenario, the number of households paying more than half their income on rent will decrease by only 1.4 percent, or 169,000 households, by 2025.
  • In a worst-case scenario, the quantity of households paying more than half their income on rent will increase by 25 percent, or 3 million households, resulting in a total of 14.8 million households severely burdened by rent costs.
  • The more rents rise relative to income, the more that renters suffer. Each 0.25 percentage point gain in rent prices relative to income growth is associated with a 400,000 household increase in severely cost-burdened renters.
  • Racial and ethnic minorities, who have traditionally been disproportionately affected by rent costs, Millennials, and older populations are three rapidly growing groups in the U.S. who shoulder a greater share of the rent burden.

“The researchers conclude that their analysis represents “a fairly bleak picture of severe renter burdens across the U.S. for the coming decade.” They found that in almost all of the scenarios they modeled, “the renter affordability crisis will continue to worsen without intervention.” Policymakers must take steps, they argue, to increase the availability of affordable rental housing and prevent the worst-case or even baseline scenarios from occurring.

“Related research: Earlier in 2015, the Joint Center for Housing Studies published its annual report, finding that home ownership rates are continuing to drop and rental markets have substantially grown, leading to rising rents and greater cost burdens on low-income renters. A 2013 report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies analyzes renter demographics, the quantity and condition of the housing stock, construction trends, and renter policy challenges.

SOURCE: Journalist’s Resource

“‘check in’ to quietly assess elderly family members” | PA Secretary of Aging reminder

Teresa Osborne, the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging, has sent this message via a column in Pennsylvania newspapers reminding Pennsylvanians that the holiday season’s “family gatherings serve as the perfect time to ‘check in’ and quietly assess how elderly family members are faring and to determine if they may need some extra help.”

teresa-osborneTeresa Osborne, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Aging

In the column she highlights these five areas to assess:

  • Look around the house or apartment:  Do you see dark stairwells, loose rugs, clutter or fire hazards? 
  • Look in the refrigerator and assess nutritional status.
  • Look at medications and assess health & social status.
  • Look at their financial situation: Is mail left unopened? 
  • Look at their car.

Click here to read her column at in its entirety.

“How the system fails grandmothers raising kids” –

grandmothers“We often think of grandmothers as child care providers, but when they’re parenting children, they’re also child care consumers,” says LaShawnDa Pittman. “So how do they acquire child care for their grandchildren when they’re normally the people that parents leave the children with?” (Credit: iStockphoto)

“Increasing numbers of grandmothers across the United States are raising their grandchildren, many of them in poverty and grappling with a public assistance system not designed to meet their needs.

“For a new study, researchers interviewed 77 African-American grandmothers living in some of the poorest areas of south Chicago. The findings underscore the challenges these caregivers face, including dealing with divided loyalties between their grandchildren and their own children, navigating the complications of getting state resources they desperately need, and sacrificing their own well-being to take care of their grandchildren.”

“We often think of grandmothers as child care providers, but when they’re parenting children, they’re also child care consumers.”

To continue reading this article at, click here.

“Disabled people still dogged by confusion over service dogs” – The Morning Call


by Paul Muschick | Contact Reporter

“Kevin Teeple has used a service dog to help him with his epilepsy for four years. He’s never been challenged when bringing his dog into a public place, though he knew it could happen at any time.

“The time came a few weeks ago.

“Teeple said the driver of a Trans-Bridge Lines bus hassled him Dec. 7 as he tried to board in Easton with Molly, a German shepherd/border collie mix trained to predict when Teeple may have a seizure and break his fall should he collapse.

“He said the bus driver demanded to see his driver’s license, his medical information and the dog’s credentials. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not permit businesses to ask those questions.”

Read this Morning Call article in its entirety here.

Department of Aging wrap-up for Friday, December 18, 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 December 18 newsletter.