Monthly Archives: June, 2017

“How one Islamic community center found tranquility during Ramadan” – WITF

ann wengerAnn Wenger greets worshippers at the Islamic Center of Lancaster during Ramadan. (Emily Previti/WITF)

by Emily Previti, WITF

“When I arrived at the Islamic Center of Lancaster on a balmy Sunday night, I was greeted by a white, middle-aged woman. I was there for iftar, the meal Muslims eat after sundown each night of Ramadan to break the daily fasts required of healthy adults during the month-long Islamic holiday.

“On this particular evening, the community iftar included a group from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church whose pastor had invited me to observe the interfaith activity.

“Ann Wenger informed me she wasn’t with the church, nor is she Muslim.

“‘I am with Tranquility Force,’ Wenger explained. ‘We’ve just been hanging out in the parking lot during iftar and prayers during Ramadan. Just to keep watch.’

“When we first met, Wenger was alone.

“But she said she’s usually joined … ”

Read this WITF article in full; click here.


“Caregiver stress can shorten dementia patients’ lives” –


“People with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are experiencing mental stress, research shows.

“Researchers tracked the mortality of 176 patients with neurodegenerative diseases that are corrosive to brain function from 2007 to 2016. They also measured the mental health of the family members who took care of them.

“The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that patients tended by caregivers with depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of mental illness typically died about 14 months sooner than those being looked after by caregivers in good mental health.”

Read this article in its entitety at, click here.

Is Lead Lurking in Your Home? | a program for Lancaster City and County residents

by Aimee Tyson, Program Manager, Community Services, Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority

Do you have children under the age of 6 in your home or do you have children under the age of 6 that spend more than 6 hour a week in your home?  If your home was built prior to 1978, you may be putting them at risk of lead poisoning.

Due to the news stories about the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan most people have heard about the detrimental effects of lead poisoning in children.  Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was added to paint and gasoline until 1978 and in rare cases is still used in consumer products. People are most commonly exposed to lead through paint, soil, and water.

Lead poisoning is bad for everyone but is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children under the age of 6. It is not possible to reverse the negative effects of lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning causes the following in children:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system, including lowered IQ scores
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems including ADD
  • Hearing and speech problems

Children with lead poisoning have a higher incidence of dropping out of school and higher likelihood of involvement with juvenile justice systems.

What Can You Do to Make Your Home Lead Safe?

You can make efforts to make your home lead safe using a licensed and certified lead contractor.  If you have a low household income and lack the financial means to make your home lead safe or if you are a renter with a low income, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority may be able to help.

In addition to the efforts undertaken by the Partnership for Public Health (see their website at, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority are helping low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters in Lancaster County through the provision of a grant to reduce or remove the lead based paint hazards in the home. Click on the graphic below to download a flyer explaining the details of the program for residents of Lancaster City and County.

lead lurking


“Aging in the Right Place” – National Council on Aging

by Amy Ford

woman-w-coffee -

“Marie shuffles cautiously across the kitchen floor, a small cup of black coffee shaking slightly in sore hands. She gently settles into her favorite chair at the table, and sets the coffee down on a placemat lined with photos of her 10 great-grandchildren.

“Marie lives alone in the home she and her husband bought at the beginning of their marriage. She’s sharp and still spends time with her great-grandkids and goes to church on Sundays, but physical limitations have caused her to slow down.

“Daily living has become more difficult, and she has had to give up taking friends to the doctor, volunteering at the local school, and driving at night. So it was no surprise to Marie when her family recently expressed how worried they are about her living alone. But sitting at the table, she can’t imagine leaving the house she has called home for more than 50 years.

“If you know someone like Marie, you know the decision to stay or go can feel overwhelming.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

See how the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) impacts you | interactive map “compares county-level projections of premiums and tax credits for marketplace enrollees”

This Kaiser Family Foundation article contains an iteractive “map (which) compares county-level projections of premiums and tax credits for marketplace enrollees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2020 with estimates for the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) as unveiled June 22 by Senate Republicans. Our maps comparing premiums and tax credits under the ACA and the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed through the House are here.

“This map includes premium and tax credit estimates by county for current ACA marketplace enrollees at age 27, 40, or 60 with an annual income of $20,000, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, $60,000, $75,000, $100,000, or 351% of the federal poverty level (which is just above the cutoff for tax credits under the BCRA). The map includes estimates for premiums, tax credits, and premiums after tax credits for bronze and silver plans in each county in 2020.

Most current enrollees have lower incomes:

  • About 66% of enrollees have incomes at or below 250% of poverty (approximately $31,250 for a single individual in 2020), with the bulk (44% of all enrollees) having incomes at or below 150% of poverty (approximately $18,750 in 2020).
  • About 36% of enrollees are under age 35, 37% are age 35 to 54, and 27% are 55 or older.”

To read the Kaiser Family Foundation article in its entirety, click here.


“More Than Memory: Coping With The Other Ills Of Alzheimer’s” – NPR

“many of the symptoms he experiences have clear links to the disease — things like rage, paranoia, depression and incontinence.”

alzheimers changesGreg O’Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Both say the disease has changed their marriage. – Amanda Kowalski for NPR

by Rebecca Hersher

“The first problem with the airplane bathroom was its location.

“It was March. Greg O’Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, were flying back to Boston from Los Angeles, sitting in economy seats in the middle of the plane. ‘We’re halfway, probably over Chicago,’ Greg remembers, “and Mary Catherine said, “Go to the bathroom.”’

‘It just sounded like my mother,’ Greg says. So I said ‘no.’

“Mary Catherine persisted, urging her husband of 40 years to use the restroom. People started looking at them. ‘It was kind of funny,’ says Greg.

“Mary Catherine was more alarmed than amused.”

Read this NPR article in its entirety here.

“Leaving Hospital, Older Patients Resist Home Help At Their Peril” – California Healthline


by Judith Graham

“The 84-year-old man who had suffered a mini-stroke was insistent as he spoke to a social worker about being discharged from the hospital: He didn’t want anyone coming into his home, and he didn’t think he needed any help.

“So the social worker canceled an order for home health care services. And the patient went back to his apartment without plans for follow-up care in place.

“When his daughter, Lisa Winstel, found out what had happened she was furious. She’d spent a lot of time trying to convince her father that a few weeks of help at home was a good idea. And she’d asked the social worker to be in touch if there were any problems.

“Similar scenarios occur surprisingly often: As many as 28 percent of patients offered home health care when they’re being discharged from a hospital — mostly older adults — say “no” to those services, according to a new report.”

Read this California Healthline article in its entirety here.

Aging … new thoughts and updated data

old yet

“New measures of population aging are useful because tomorrow’s older people will not be like today’s. They may well have longer life expectancies, better cognition, better education, and fewer severe disabilities . In most OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, the labor force participation of people 65+ years old is increasing  as are the ages at which people can receive a normal national pension . Since changes in the characteristics of people are ignored in the conventional measures of aging,

In an article at, a study suggests “Aging should be based on the number of years people are likely to live in a given country in the 21st century, say researchers. By that logic, 70 may be the new 60.

Click here to read the article: “Are you ‘old’ yet? The cut-off has shifted.”

aging america

In a news release from the United States Census Bureau, “The Nation’s Older Population Is Still Growing, Census Bureau Reports” that “The nation’s population has a distinctly older age profile than it did 16 years ago, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today.

“New detailed estimates show the nation’s median age — the age where half of the population is younger and the other half older — rose from 35.3 years on April 1, 2000, to 37.9 years on July 1, 2016.

“‘The baby-boom generation is largely responsible for this trend,’ said Peter Borsella, a demographer in the Population Division. ‘Baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and will continue to do so for many years to come.’

“Residents age 65 and over grew from 35.0 million in 2000, to 49.2 million in 2016, accounting for 12.4 percent and 15.2 percent of the total population, respectively.”

Click here to continue reading this United States Census Bureau news release.

Here’s your introduction to the “Pennsylvania Network of Care for Service Members, Veterans & Their Families”

The launch of the Pennsylvania Network of Care for Service Members, Veterans & Their Families continues to gain praise and support. This creative use of the Internet to reach out to veterans and their families has been extremely well-received in communities throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Network of Care’s one-stop “virtual community” brings together all relevant information on services, programs, support, crisis intervention, and news throughout the country and combines it with highly customized information on all local resources, county by county. This process makes it far easier for veterans to find everything available to them and, thus, connects them with the right resource at the right time.

Here are examples of the local coverage and promotion of the Pennsylvania Network of Care for Vets:

The Network of Care debuted in California and Maryland and now is easily replicated to any state or local jurisdiction in the nation.

Here is a short YouTube demo on the Network of Care for Service Members, Veterans & Their Families.

SOURCE: news release The Network of Care for Veterans, Service Members & Their Families

“Emily’s 18th Birthday”

by Melissa Ortiz, Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities

“Eighteen years ago today, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the case Olmstead v. L.C. The court ruled that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities cannot be unnecessarily segregated and must receive services in the most integrated setting possible.

“In other words, if someone is able to live in the community with appropriate services and supports, they should have the choice to do so.

“The ruling acknowledged the existence of resource limitations, but it also said states should take “reasonable steps” to provide community-based alternatives to institutions. That has increased the availability and quality of services in the community for people with disabilities.

“It also has changed government spending. In 1999, Medicaid spent nearly three times more on long-term services and supports provided in institutions like nursing homes than it did on services in the community. By 2013, a majority of that funding was going toward services and supports in the community.

“To illustrate what that has meant for people with disabilities, let’s imagine a baby born with cerebral palsy on the day of the ruling, June 22, 1999.”

Continue reading this article at the Administration for Community Living Website.