Monthly Archives: January, 2016

Register for no cost Psychological First Aid course

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach that is built on the concept of human resilience. PFA aims to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis.

Click here or on the graphic below to download the complete brochure on this NO CHARGE program: Psychological First Aid.

psychological first aid

“Woof! Dogs really can tell how their owners are feeling, new study shows” – The Conversation

dogs - humansBests friends for a reason. Shutterstock

“Can dogs tell when we are happy, sad or angry? As a dog owner, I feel confident not only that I can tell what kind of emotional state my pets are in, but also that they respond to my emotions. Yet as a hard-headed scientist, I try to take a more rational and pragmatic view. These personal observations seem more likely to result from my desire for a good relationship with my dogs.

“The problem is that studying emotional interpretations and responses across two interacting species is very difficult. For one thing, you can’t ask a dog how it’s feeling. So while many people can describe how their dogs respond to their emotional states – typically in ways we humans consider appropriate and perhaps even desirable – scientific evidence and explanation for this ability has mostly been elusive.

“However, a new study, … ”

Click here to read this article at The Conversation in its entirety.

Women over age 50 – employment obstacles increase!

So the recent jobs report showed that “The U.S. economy added 252,000 jobs in December, as the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent,” according to this Huffington Post article.

job bias“People who had retired voluntarily — it turned out it wasn’t so voluntary. They felt they had been pushed out.”DailyWork.org

Yet the news in today’s Reading Eagle reports, “President Barack Obama will include a new wage insurance program in his budget next month that would provide supplements to workers who lose their jobs and end up taking new jobs at lower salaries.”

What is hidden in the jobs report is that too many people who lost employment following the economic disaster in 2008 have not recovered … their employment status; their net income levels of their employment security.

Who is counted as unemployed?

People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in he prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.

Among many demographic groups, unemployment remains quite disparate.

“For older women, a dismal job outlook” according to The New York Times, shows “More than six years after the recession ended, many women over 50 are struggling to find a secure footing in the workplace, slowing their generation-long economic advance.” Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | By The New York Times

This PBS Newshour report, “Women over 50? Help not wanted” repeats many of the findings of the above article and is followed by numerous comments.

Heroin: What is it?

Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. Not only are people using heroin, they are also abusing multiple other substances, especially cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths.

“Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal drug. It is used by millions of addicts around the world who are unable to overcome the urge to continue taking this drug every day of their lives—knowing that if they stop, they will face the horror of withdrawal.

“Heroin (like opium and morphine) is made from the resin of poppy plants. Milky, sap-like opium is first removed from the pod of the poppy flower. This opium is refined to make morphine, then further refined into different forms of heroin.

“Most heroin is injected, creating additional risks for the user, who faces the danger of AIDS or other infection on top of the pain of addiction.” – DrugFreeWorld.org

heroin_booklet

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Heroin use is part of a larger substance abuse problem.

Nearly all people who used heroin also used at least 1 other drug. Most used at least 3 other drugs.

Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug with a high risk of overdose and death for users.

People who are addicted to…

Alcohol are 2 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.

Marijuana are 3 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.

Cocaine are 15 times more likely to become addicted to heroin..

Prescription opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2011-2013.

heroin-graph_1185px

Heroin use has increased among most demographic groups.

Caron Foundation offers Veterans Healing Through Connection – registration opens February 1

caron veterans healing

Department of Aging wrap-up for Friday, January 15, 2016

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 January 15 newsletter.

“Brisk Powerball Sales Greatly Benefit Older Pennsylvanians”

MIDDLETOWN, Pa., /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

“Ticket sales for (last night’s) world record Powerball® drawing are generating tens of millions of dollars for programs that benefit older adults, the Pennsylvania Lottery said today.  The jackpot for tonight’s Powerball drawing has a $1.5 billion annuity value or a $930 million cash prize.

“‘Tickets will be available until 9:59 p.m. Wednesday and we urge all players to please play responsibly,’ said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. ‘This world-record jackpot has been great for Powerball players and winners, as well as for the older Pennsylvanians who benefit from Lottery proceeds.’

“As of Wednesday afternoon, the Pennsylvania Lottery had sold more than $155.6 million in Powerball tickets since the historic jackpot run began in November, which translates into nearly $62.2 million in new funding to support benefits for older Pennsylvanians – a number that will rise as sales continue. Last year, the Pennsylvania Lottery generated over $1 billion to support programs that benefit older adults.

“At 1:30 p.m. the Pennsylvania Lottery was selling approximately 16,000 Powerball tickets per minute, statewide.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

There were multiple winners in the record-breaking more than 1.5 billion dollar Powerball jackpot.

Here’s how Pennsylvania’s senior citizens benefit from lottery revenues.

Come to a FAMILY-FRIENDLY Performance on January 29 at Millersville University’s Winter Center | features ASL interpretation, audio-description, and wheelchair seating

nai-ni dance

More about Millersville University’s Disability Arts Programming:

“With the establishment of a multidisciplinary Disability Studies program at Millersville University in 2013-14, new attention is being directed towards Disability Arts. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters & MetLife Foundation, and the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Millersville has instituted tripartite Disability Arts programming.

“We are currently and will continue to introduce the campus and community to the work of professional artists from across the disability spectrum through performances, exhibitions, master classes, and workshops. We offer accessible presentations featuring ASL interpretation, open-captioning, audio-description, large-print and Braille programs, wheelchair seating at our ADA compliant venues, and now select sensory friendly performances for children on the autism spectrum. We also provide arts-learning and performance opportunities for area individuals of all ages living with sensory, physical, or cognitive disabilities. Contact Barry Kornhauser for more information.  The university also hosts an annual Disability Film series.”

“I was so awed to see that many people involved in trying to enhance the quality of life for deaf people. It made me feel more hopeful.” – Deaf Patron

“Explainer: Why can’t anyone tell me how much this surgery will cost?” – The Conversation

hosp costsWhy is it so hard to figure out what medical care costs? Bill image via shutterstock.

“Thanks to rising annual deductibles and a push toward consumer-driven health care, people are increasingly encouraged to shop around for medical care. Many states or state hospital associations have price transparency initiatives, and there are a number of private companies that also purport to help consumers find value for their health care dollar.

“But the search for the best price is often stymied, not necessarily by a lack of information, but by a lack of relevant information.

“Price in health care is a squishy concept. Different words relating to cost – charge, price and out-of-pocket cost – all have different meanings and there is no standard among consumer transparency websites about which of these prices to report. So, while the price variation between hospitals is well-recognized, less often discussed is that when consumers search for price, the variation in information reported means they may see wide variation within the same hospital for the same procedure. The lack of standards in this respect can leave consumers confused and means some price transparency efforts may be doing more harm than good.”

Click here to read this article at The Conversation in its entirety.

“Rising health care costs are stifling economic growth, consuming increasing portions of the nation’s gross domestic product, and putting added burdens on businesses, the public sector, individuals, and families. In spite of heightened concerns about the harmful impacts of US health care spending, information about what is driving spending is incomplete.

“To that end, the Health Care Cost Institute was established in 2011 as a non-profit, independent, non-partisan research institute dedicated to creating the United States’ most comprehensive source of information on health care activity and promoting research on the drivers of escalating health care costs.”

“United Airlines fined $2.75 million over treatment of disabled fliers and tarmac delays” – The Los Angeles Times

united-airlines-fined

“Holiday travelers check in at the United Airlines ticket counter at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in December 2013. The airline has been fined $2.75 million for violating rules regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities and keeping passengers stranded on delayed flights more than three hours. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)”

“The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined United Airlines $2.75 million over the carrier’s treatment of disabled passengers and for stranding passengers on delayed flights for more than three hours.

“The federal agency said an investigation of United Airlines’ treatment of disabled passengers was sparked by ‘a significant increase in the number of disability-related complaints.’

“‘A review of these disability-related complaints revealed that United failed to provide passengers with disabilities prompt and adequate assistance with enplaning and deplaning aircraft,’ the  Transportation Department said in a statement.”

Click here to read this Los Angeles Times article in its entirety.

Related information:

  • The US Department of Transportation Guide: Air Travelers with Developmental Disabilities states: “Airlines must provide accurate information about what accommodations they can  provide you. Calling an airline ahead of time to learn about the types of assistance it can and cannot provide is important. Airlines must provide accurate information about any aircraft-related, service-related or other limitations on the ability to accommodate passengers with a disability on request. Additionally, by calling ahead, you are giving the airline time to make any reasonable modifications to its policies in order to accommodate you.”