Monthly Archives: November, 2017

VA Announces Rollout and Application Process for New Veterans ID Card

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced yesterday that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans — yet another action honoring their service.

This has been mandated through legislation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise.

Only those Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.

“The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With the card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around their paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran discounts and other services.”

The VIC provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in service, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, and who have a discharge of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) can request a VIC.

To request a VIC, Veterans must visit, click on “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card” on the bottom left of the page and sign in or create an account.

Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at A digital version of the VIC will be available online by mid-December.

“For older LGBT adults, equality is not a piece of cake” – The Hill

older lgbtThe Hill – © Getty Images

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

“When Jack Phillips told a young gay couple that that he would not sell them a wedding cake because he has a religious objection to same-sex marriage, he set in motion a chain of events that has led to a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear the case on Dec. 5. While some people are calling this the “cake case,” much more is at stake than whether bakers can refuse to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples.

“The Court’s decision could seriously impair the ability of LGBT older adults to access the services and supports that they need.

“How did we get here? ”

Keep reading this opinion column here at The Hill.


Wolf Administration Celebrates Living Independence For the Elderly’s 20th Anniversary in the Commonwealth

Harrisburg, PAHarrisburg, PA – Last week, the Department of Human Services recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Living Independence For the Elderly (LIFE) program in the commonwealth. LIFE provides services to more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians in 41 counties across the state.

“The Wolf Administration is committed to serving people in the community, and LIFE is an option that allows older Pennsylvanians to live independently while receiving services and supports that meet the health and personal needs of the individual,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “Today, we celebrate this program for its 20 years of contributing to the quality of life of the seniors in our commonwealth.”

LIFE is a managed care program that provides a comprehensive all-inclusive package of medical and supportive services. The program was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and is known nationally as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

All of the PACE providers in Pennsylvania have ‘LIFE’ in their name. The first LIFE program agreements were signed in 1997 with services implemented in Pennsylvania in 1998.

“While we prepare to launch Community HealthChoices in the southwest region of Pennsylvania, it’s critical that folks know that LIFE is also an option,” said Miller. “We want our older Pennsylvanians to be aware that there are choices available.”

To be eligible for LIFE, you must:

  • Be age 55 or older
  • Meet the level of care needs for a skilled nursing facility or a special rehabilitation facility
  • Meet the financial requirements as determined by your local County Assistance Office or be able to privately pay
  • Reside in an area served by a LIFE provider
  • Be able to be safely served in the community as determined by a LIFE provider

Some of the many services available under the LIFE program include dental, meals, medical and non-medical transportation, LIFE Center services, nursing care, personal care, social services, recreational activities, and more. LIFE also fully integrates Medicare and Medicaid services for individuals eligible for both programs.

To locate a LIFE provider in your area click here, or call the toll-free CHC Helpline at 1-844-824-3655 (TTY 1-833-254-0690).

November is Living Independence for the Elderly month and Governor Wolf issued a proclamation declaring it as such.

For more information on LIFE, visit

Living Independence For the Elderly (LIFE), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in November, provides services to more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians in 41 counties across the state.

LIFE provides an innovative, community-based approach to integrated health care, as well as social and family support services. The program is designed to help seniors remain in their homes and communities instead of receiving care in a nursing facility.

Here’s more from the Pennsylvania Life Provider Alliance.

“Our brains ‘blink’ when we shift focus” – Futurity


“When you shift your attention from one thing to another, your brain ‘blinks’ between focusing on the two things, researchers report.

“The blinks are short unconscious gaps in visual perception and came as a surprise to the team of psychologists who discovered the phenomenon while studying the benefits of attention.

“‘Attention is beneficial because it increases our ability to detect visual signals even when we are looking in a different direction,’ says Alex Maier, assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, who directed the study.

“‘The ‘mind’s eye blinks’ that occur every time your attention shifts are the sensory processing costs that we pay for this capability.’”

Keep reading this article at

“10 things to know for open enrollment 2018”

10 things open enrollment

Click on the above to download as a .pdf format.

“Jane Addams: the activist who set the foundation for modern social work” – The Guardian

jane addams

“Jane Addams lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but her life’s work still resonates in a big way today. Social worker, suffragette and activist are just some of the titles that apply to her. In 1889, Jane founded a social settlement called Hull House, which supported thousands of people each week – mainly immigrants, the poor and the dispossessed. It became a model for similar communities in the future.

“Jane studied medicine as a young adult but decided that wasn’t her calling. She was inspired during a trip to London when she  visited the world’s first settlement house, Toynbee Hall. Within months, she opened the doors to a similar facility in her hometown of Chicago.

“Originally conceived to give immigrants and the poor access to the arts, Hull house evolved … ”

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

Beware – the scammers are out there


The Federal Trade Commission knows it!

AARP and others know it.

This it the time of year that brings out the scammers.

A 2015 AARP article stated: “More than two-thirds (70%) of American holiday shoppers who donated to a charity or fundraiser in the past 12 months did so without asking what percentage of their donation went to the fundraiser versus to the charity itself.”

So, be careful! Be vigilant!  and …

Please Report Scams

If you spot a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Report scams online or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261.

Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify bad business practices and scam artists, and stop a friend from over-paying. It really makes a difference.


“What’s the Medicare Part B premium in 2018?” – Just Care

medicare upby Diane Archer

“The 2018 standard monthly Medicare Part B premium, which covers medical and outpatient care, remains at $134.00, the same as in 2017, for people with incomes of $85,000 or less. But, only about three in ten people with Medicare have been paying that standard premium. Now, millions of other people who have been paying a lower monthly Medicare Part B premium will see a large increase in their premium because their Social Security benefits are increasing 2 percent.

“If you are among the 70 percent or so of people with Medicare who has been paying a premium of $109 (far lower than the standard premium), you may see a $25 a month Medicare premium increase to $134.”
Click here to continue reading this article in its entirety at Just Care.

Technology | Meet the grandPad

“Technology has become fully integrated into our daily lives; smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices connect us to the world at large and allow us to share in the lives of our close friends and family. Seniors across the globe have tried with varying success to embrace technology to stay in touch with loved ones and perform basic functions at home.

“Tablet devices, with their array of options, menus, and applications, can prove too difficult for most seniors to effectively use. As such, many companies have developed tablets designed specifically for seniors as a way to boost revenue and reach this key demographic. But are these tablets really worth the investment? This infographic from grandPad helps highlight key features of the grandPad tablet, other senior tablets, and the standard tablets on the market.

We’re sharing this link and infographic received in an email from next avenue. This is not an endorsement but is shared in the interest of information sharing.

“Not only do Next Avenue readers get a special discount, but for every grandPad sold using the code nextave, grandPad will make a contribution to Next Avenue that helps support our non-profit journalism.”

The Annual Plan (regularly $65.50)$49 /month – billed upfront annually.

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving message