Monthly Archives: August, 2017

“Home Health Care: Shouldn’t It Be Work Worth Doing?” – The New York Times

“Changing the system of long-term care, to give more responsibilities to better-trained, higher-paid aides will not be easy.”

caregioverMarisol Rivera, left, a senior aide, demonstrating a Hoyer lift to two associate instructors, Maria Soto and Miguelina Sosa, at a lab at Cooperative Home Care Associates. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

by Eduardo Porter

“Do you know who is going to care for you when you are old and frail? By current standards, it’s likely to be a middle-aged immigrant woman, with maybe a high school education and little if any training, making $20,000 a year.

“And that’s if you are lucky. If you live in rural America, you may already have a hard time finding somebody to look after you. Paul Osterman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management calculates that if nothing is done to draw more workers into the field, there will be a shortage of at least 350,000 paid care providers by 2040.

“This, I’m sure you’ll agree, makes little sense.

“How to provide long-term care for a fast-aging population poses one of the more convoluted challenges of the American labor market. Care providers — home health aides, personal care attendants and certified nursing assistants, in the government’s classification — are expected to be among the nation’s fastest-growing occupations.”

Continue reading this New York Times article, click here.

“Self-reliant older baby boomers are now better-connected to goods, services and care” – American Society on Aging

self reliant senior

by Stephen W. Golant

“It is fair to surmise that the 100,000 young people in their late teens and twenties who converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to participate in the 1967 Summer of Love were not especially tuned in to how their grandparents were coping with getting old. It is even less likely that these young baby boomers thought much about their own old age. This socially rebellious group, which rejected middle-class values and parental controls, and who romanticized communal living, could hardly imagine that in their old age they would end up living in cul-de-sac suburbs and traveling in their cars to regional malls to buy furnishings for their single-family detached dwellings.

“With their anti-government sentiments, they could hardly have foreseen how important Social Security and Medicare would become for their future health and financial well-being. Yet perhaps they were well-advised not to look to their grandparents as exemplars on how to live in old age. If they had been aware in the late 1960s of the challenges of dealing with old age, they may well have carried signs calling for ‘no more nursing homes for the old.’

“Fast forward five decades, and these now aging baby boomers are still showing their independent spirits. They are opting to age in place for as long as possible, even as these residential decisions clash with the opinions of many experts who argue that the baby boomers’ current dwellings are designed for the young and are unequipped to accommodate those individuals who suffer from physical and activity limitations, chronic health problems, and social losses.”

Continue reading this article in its entirety here.

“This will never happen here.”

By now you’ve seen this image from the flooding in Texas.

nursing homeThe Galveston County Daily News article is here: “18 people rescued from flooded assisted living facility.”

You’ve also heard the phrase: Prepare for those events that are “never gonna’ happen.”

Flooding can happen along any body of water. “Flooding is the most frequent and damaging natural disaster that occurs throughout the Commonwealth. Many of Pennsylvania’s communities are located along waterways,” according to Pennsylvania’s Hazard Vulnerability Analysis.

Hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding can happen almost anywhere – but especially along the southern coasts of the country.

Several months ago, we posted this article here: “Nursing homes and hospice providers face looming emergency preparedness deadline” – Modern Healthcare

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid, increase patient safety during emergencies, and establish a more coordinated response to natural and human-caused disasters.

“This rule applies to 17 provider and supplier types as a condition of participation for CMS. The providers/suppliers are required to meet four core elements (with specific requirements adjusted based on the individual characteristics of each provider and supplier):

  1. Emergency plan — Develop an emergency plan based on a risk assessment and using an “all-hazards” approach, which will provide an integrated system for emergency planning that focuses on capacities and capabilities.
  2. Policies and procedures — Develop and implement policies and procedures based on the emergency plan and risk assessment that are reviewed and updated at least annually. For hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities, the policies and procedures must address the provision of subsistence needs, such as food, water and medical supplies, for staff and residents, whether they evacuate or shelter in place.
  3. Communication plan — Develop and maintain an emergency preparedness communication plan that complies with federal, state and local laws. Patient care must be coordinated within the facility, across healthcare providers, and with state and local public health departments and emergency management systems to protect patient health and safety in the event of a disaster.
  4. A training and testing program — Develop and maintain training and testing programs, including initial training in policies and procedures. Facility staff will have to demonstrate knowledge of emergency procedures and provide training at least annually. Facilities must conduct drills and exercises to test the emergency plan or participate in an actual incident that tests the plan.”

Click here to read the complete document: “CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule: Resources at Your Fingertips.”

Want more information about developing emergency preparedness planning postures for your facility or individual preparedness planning for persons you work with? Contact  the Link coordinator. Call / text 717.380.9714 or email

Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13 welcomes four new partner resources providers


Four more resources providers have aligned with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area in the past 30 days.

The new partner entities are:

To align with the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area as a partner entity costs nothing. The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources part of the national Aging and Disability Resources Center [ADRC) network.

For more information about how your agency, entity or organization can become a partner, text or call the Lead Link coordinator at 717.380.9714 or email

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are the first place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.


  • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
  • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
  • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
  • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community
There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.


“Dying At Home In An Opioid Crisis: Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds” – California Healthline


“Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why.

“They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain.

“The answer came when the woman’s daughter, who was taking care of her at home, showed up in the emergency room with a life-threatening overdose of morphine and oxycodone. It turned out she was high on her mother’s medications, stolen from the hospice-issued stash.

“Dr. Leslie Blackhall handled that case and two others at the University of Virginia’s palliative care clinic, and uncovered a wider problem: As more people die at home on hospice, some of the powerful, addictive drugs they are prescribed are ending up in the wrong hands.”

Continue reading this article in its entirety at California Healthline.

Friday Wrap-Up, August 25, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week 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 download the newsletter as a .pdf file.


“Older adults report frequently mishearing clinicians” – STATNews Morning Rounds

“Another effect of age-related hearing loss: problems understanding what your clinician is telling you.


“In a new survey of 100 older adults, 43 of them said they had misheard a physician, nurse, or both during either a primary care visit or hospital stay. The study did not look at whether any of these miscommunications caused medical errors, but the authors noted that the prevalence of errors goes up among older patients, and communication issues are considered to be a leading cause of errors.” – STATNews

“2017’s Best and Worst States to Grow Old” –

One can find “best / worst” rankings of all sorts of metrics – here’s the “2017 Best Worst States to Grow Old” report released by Pennsylvania’s among “neither the best nor the worst” according to the report which measures “senior care cost and quality of life.”

best worst

“Everyone has a unique vision of growing old. Often times that vision is inextricably linked to a specific city or state—and that’s because where we choose to spend our golden years is often times just as important as how we plan to spend them.

“But the decision about where to live in your later years can be daunting, especially if you’re planning to make a move from your home state. Seniors need to consider everything from affordability to quality healthcare access, long-term care options, a variety of senior care services, and overall quality of life.

“Based on a comprehensive study incorporating senior living community reviews, nursing home costs, elderly well-being assessments and more, has assembled its annual list of states that offer the best – and worst — mixture of senior services, affordability, and overall quality of care for seniors.”

See the state ranking and read the complete article at, click here.

Be part of the many events planned throughout September | Lebanon County Suicide Prevention Month

month long events

Download this graphic as a .pdf file for printing, sharing and enlarging – click here or on the graphic.


“Guide to Attending a Sporting Event for Disabled, Special Needs & Senior Citizens” –

sports and disabilities

“Showing up at the local stadium to support your favorite team and enjoy the atmosphere of a sporting event is one of the cornerstones of American life. In the past it was difficult for citizens needing special accommodations to attend but these days most facilities are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (often referred to as just ADA).

“Even with these advancements there are still strategies and tips that you’ll want to be aware of to get the most out of your experience. Here is our guide to having a great time at the ballgame as a disabled, special needs or senior citizen.”

Here are some excellent tips for enjoying sports events.