Monthly Archives: October, 2016

The most interesting reading … a website that shares “what it’s really like to get old” topics!


Seniors who’ve not yet discovered the “most interesting” reading we’ve found, might want to check out this exceptional Website authored by Ronni Bennett.

Time Goes By | What it’s really like to get old is exceptional in the breadth of topics that are highlighted. You just want to click through on the news snippets.

The topics in the graphic above are from the October 29 post.

From the wonderfully entertaining “Please re-elect Gerald” election ad that “features the wife of Gerald Daugherty who is running for Travis County Commissioner in Texas” to the quite serious pieces on Aleppo and the seniors and drugs “problems such as interactions between drugs, difficulty following directions, problems communicating with health-care providers, and problems getting all the information patients need,” the selections are relevant and topical.

For the past several years we’ve envisioned, as Ronni has (“I want this so bad I can taste it”), this technological advance. Here it is, the finger phone.

finger-phoneThe Website is so exhilarating; it’s got video and audio links and real-life scenarios that seniors will relate to. Take a look at Time Goes By.


How to find time to meditate at work

“Everyone gets stressed at work at one time or another.

“And hey, sometimes, that can be a good thing. When you’re under some pressure and your brain’s working hard, it can make you more efficient and productive in the end — and you may even find more satisfaction with your work when it is done.

“But whether the stress you’re feeling is in healthy doses or not, there are ways to make it more manageable. It turns out that 42% of Americans say they aren’t doing enough to manage their stress.

“One great way to relieve stress without having to take much time out of your day? Meditation.” – SOURCE: HubSpot


Friday Wrap-Up, October 28, 2016 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

friday wrap-up 03-11-16

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s 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 October 28  newsletter.

World Stroke Day is October 29th.

More than 75 percent of the 795,000 strokes suffered annually in the US occur in people over age 65 — 


The American Stroke Association is in the midst of an ambitious 10-year impact goal to reduce stroke mortality by 20 percent by 2020,” says Stephanie Mohl, vice president of the ASA.

“But Mohl says the aging population is a significant challenge to reducing stroke prevalence. Another obstacle: high rates of hypertension, Mohl says. As World Stroke Day approaches tomorrow, the American Stroke Association is also doubling down on its efforts to help the public recognize signs of a stroke as early as possible. They’ve come up with a simple acronym, FAST, to make that happen: If there’s face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty, it’s time to call 911.”

fast“Nothing is more important than a life. If you spot the warning signs of stroke, call 911 right away.”

“Responding quickly can be the difference between recovery and disability, or even death. Luckily, stroke is largely treatable when you know the signs and act fast. A few seconds could save a life, possibly your own.”

“Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability. Today, stroke is more treatable than ever, but time is critical. Share these resources with your friends and family. Together we can end stroke.™”

Find out more at the American Stroke Association Website.

ACL Grants Promote Inclusion and Cultural Competency Across Disability Programs

“Recently, a variety of ACL disability programs have awarded funding to enhance the cultural and linguistic competency of the disability network and ensure that all people with disabilities can access ACL-funded programs and services.

“The disability community is as diverse as the country itself. Yet many people with disabilities in underserved communities face unique barriers to accessing disability programs. A majority of ACL diversity programs are authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act. Both pieces of legislation discuss the need for programs to reach people with disabilities in underserved communities.

“Funding from the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) will establish a new community of practice on disability for states, commission a diversity gap analysis of the developmental disabilities network, and fund diversity fellowships at University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) across the country. AIDD will also be supporting four UCEDDs to establish partnerships with minority-serving Institutions and community colleges as well the Georgetown University UCEDD and partners to develop a diversity training curriculum for the DD network.

“The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) will fund research training for individuals with advanced degrees at minority-serving institutions to increase their capacity to conduct high-quality disability and rehabilitation research and development projects.

“The Independent Living Administration (ILA) will fund a demonstration project to increase cultural competence, outreach, and understanding of service needs of Native Americans with disabilities.

Click here to read about each of the grants.

“Failing the Frail” – Pennlive series on nursing homes in the Commonwealth

This three-part series of reports was published at

“Pennsylvania is aging.

“By 2030, the number of Pennsylvanians over 60 is predicted to reach four million – making up nearly a third of the state’s population.

nursing-homeillustration by

“And as Pennsylvania gets older, it’s expected to become more reliant on nursing homes: facilities tasked with taking care of the state’s frailest and most vulnerable citizens.

“But as a six-month investigation by PennLive reporters Daniel Simmons-Ritchie and David Wenner found, too many of the state’s 700 nursing homes are failing the state’s elderly. Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of bad nursing homes in the nation and dozens of people have died due to care-related mistakes in recent years.”

Bad care leads to dozens of avoidable deaths in Pa. nursing homes

Lawyers, families say regulators overlook avoidable deaths in Pa. nursing homes

Think your nursing home is understaffed? It’s probably worse than it looks

“How a Death Doula Can Help Patients and Families” – nextavenue

“As with childbirth, doulas can help in end-of-life transitions.”


by Linda Childers | nextavenue

“Meredith Lawida still remembers the myriad of emotions she and her family experienced four years ago when her father-in-law’s health declined. Consumed by fear, exhaustion and uncertainty, they were unsure how to best support him during his last days, while also navigating their own grieving process.

“‘He had been in and out of hospitals and then one day he was gone,’ Lawida says. ‘And while he received wonderful care, I felt there was a gap between the medical treatment he received and the emotional support our family so desperately needed.’

“As Lawida began to process the loss of her father-in-law, she realized that death, like birth, is a life transition. Yet when she welcomed her son into the world, she and her husband had received support from a birth doula that had not only guided Lawida through a difficult natural childbirth, but also stood by her side physically and emotionally.

“‘I thought, “Why can’t there be something like that for the dying and their families?’” Lawida says.

“It turns out there was.”

Read this article at in its entirety, click here.

Friday Wrap-Up, October 21, 2016 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

friday wrap-up 03-11-16

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s 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 October 21  newsletter.


Secretary Osborne Announces Approval of Pennsylvania’s State Plan on Aging

“Aging services in Pennsylvania are carried out through a robust network made up of Area Agencies on Aging, senior community centers, adult daily living centers, and the PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources. This network is vital to ensuring the effective provision of services so that older Pennsylvanians receive the support and services they need.”


“Pennsylvania’s Aging and Disability Resources Centers are known as PA Link. They are dedicated to improving access to long-term care supports, expanding the use of community-based solutions, promoting consumer-directed decision making through person-centered counseling, and improving the quality of services regardless of an individual’s age, physical or developmental disability, or ability to pay. PA Link functions are coordinated with other core Older Americans Act services and discretionary grants. Fifteen regional Links are made up of AAAs, Centers for Independent Living, county assistance offices, and other local partners.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2016-2020 State Plan on Aging was recently reviewed and approved by the United States Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) and is effective October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2020. The plan carries out the complementary objectives of the Older Americans Act (as amended and reauthorized in 2016), ACL, the commonwealth, and the department.

“With a growing population of over 2.9 million adults over age 60, Pennsylvania must be prepared to effectively serve diverse communities with varying needs,” said Secretary Osborne. “This plan recognizes the department’s responsibility to serve as an effective and visible advocate for older Pennsylvanians and to coordinate all state activities related to the purposes of the Older Americans Act, while solidifying the commonwealth’s continued commitment to provide and improve services in a way that enables older Pennsylvanians to age in place with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Development of the 2016-2020 State Plan on Aging began in the fall of 2015, when the department developed core principles to guide the operation of the organization over the course of the next four years. PDA then held seven community listening forums and three public hearings across the state to solicit input from a diverse spectrum of stakeholders.

“The department sought to create a document through an approach that is both responsive and responsible. A plan that considers the needs of the people we serve, and continues to incorporate their feedback,” said Secretary Osborne. “The combined diligence, experience, and hard-work of our staff and stakeholders has created a unified and goal oriented movement within our organization that will allow us to evaluate the progress of our efforts and recalibrate as the landscape of aging services in Pennsylvania evolves.”

There are four state plan goals:

  1. Promote existing services
  2. Improve access to services
  3. Enhance quality of services
  4. Empower the workforce

These goals are designed to encompass all initiatives that the department will undertake to improve aging services in Pennsylvania. As conditions change, the department may find it necessary to retool its approach to certain services. An objective may need to be reshaped, or some strategies may not work and will need to be replaced by new ones, but the goals are comprehensive and will provide a lasting way of thinking about the department’s initiatives.

“Within the state plan, a number of objectives and strategies address ways to maximize and leverage financial resources,” said Secretary Osborne. “These include developing a robust and diverse volunteer network across all program areas, promoting collaboration and communication throughout the aging network and among stakeholders, implementing evidence-based programs, securing sustainable grant funds, and eliminating redundancy in program administration through improved data, information collection and quality assurance protocols.”

PDA coordinates its comprehensive array of services through a network of 52 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). Like the Department of Aging, AAAs developed area plans to carry out the philosophy of the 2016-2020 State Plan on Aging.Over the next three weeks, Secretary Osborne will be holding five regional roundtable discussions with AAA directors and staff to discuss the implementation of area plans and the continuous improvement of aging services.

For more information or to view the 2016-2020 State Plan on Aging, visit .


“Administration for Community Living Releases New Brief on Importance of Oral Health”

Good oral health is critical for older adults and younger adults with disabilities. Poor oral health is largely preventable and linked to a person’s overall health and serious chronic diseases. Unfortunately, older adults and adults with disabilities are at high risk of having poor oral health due to inadequate access to services and certain disabilities that make oral hygiene tasks hard to complete and obtaining services even more difficult.

While Medicare does not cover most oral health services, states have a number of options for expanding oral health, as this policy brief describes.

Publicly-funded dental preventive and treatment services for adults are sparse because Medicare covers only a few medically-related dental procedures. Additionally, many state Medicaid programs have little dental coverage for adults. Some funding for oral health is available under the Public Health Service Act through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Community Health Centers Program. The 2016 Older Americans Act Reauthorization added oral health to the list of its disease prevention and health promotion services.

For more details on this issue and potential options for expanding access to oral health, read the full policy brief from ACL.