Monthly Archives: October, 2018

Special Town Hall Meeting on November 9 | Find out more about programs and services for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking to communicate over the phone.

town hall 11-9

Click here for more information.

“Could this curious roommate pairing be the solution to the housing crisis?” – The Boston Globe

Here’s an intriguing concept that can be one small solution to a housing crunch. Tight housing markets present real quandaries for many. Yet this “curious roommate pairing” — or shared housing concept — may be worth looking at … for lots of reasons.

shared housing“Dean Kaplan and Sarah Heintz chatted in the apartment they share in Cambridge.” – JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF

“After living with more than a dozen different roommates in his young life, most of them strangers, Dean Kaplan is well-versed in the particulars of those first meetings — the short introductions, the perfunctory pleasantries, and then the quick getting on with life.

“‘After you move enough times,’ said the 25-year-old Baltimore native, there is ‘definitely a high degree of nonchalance.’

“In late August, though, as he stood on the front porch of a sizable multistory house in Cambridge ready to meet his newest roommate, he found himself uncharacteristically nervous and eager to make a good first impression.”

“Of all the roommates he’d had in the previous few years, Sarah Heintz would be the first septuagenarian.”

Read this Boston Globe article in its entirety here.

complications

Can there be complications? Sure, but …

As the National Shared Housing Resource Center points out:

Home Sharing is a simple idea: a homeowner offers accommodation to a homesharer in exchange for an agreed level of support in the form of financial exchange, assistance with household tasks, or both.

“The community is also a beneficiary of Home Sharing. Shared living makes efficient use of existing housing stock, helps preserve the fabric of the neighborhood and, in certain cases, helps to lessen the need for costly chore/care services and long term institutional care.

“A home sharer might be a senior citizen, a person with disabilities, a working professional, someone at-risk of homelessness, a single parent, or simply a person wishing to share his or her life and home with others. For these people, shared housing offers companionship, affordable housing, security, mutual support and much more.

“Home Sharing programs can offer a more secure alternative to other roommate options. Many programs have staff who are trained to carefully screen each program applicant through interviewing, background checking, and personal references.”

Earlier this month a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources WEBINAR introduced a pilot program that’s operating in northeast Pennsylvania.

SHAREYou can see the slides from the PowerPoint about this program — in Pike, Wayne, and Monroe Counties — here.

 

Berks County Link partners’ network collaborates in 1st Annual Scams Against Seniors Symposium

comb

Pennsylvania’s senior population grew by 13.5 percent from 2010 to 2016, according to a recent research report from the Pennsylvania State Data Center, which analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s total population rose just 0.6 percent over that span.

Reports about scammers and con artists targeting persons age 6o and over are increasing. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, “senior citizens especially should be aware of fraud schemes for the following reasons:

  • Senior citizens are most likely to have a “nest egg,” to own their home, and/or to have excellent credit—all of which make them attractive to con artists.
  • People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say “no” or just hang up the telephone.
  • Older Americans are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been scammed. Elderly victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.
  • When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims’ realization that they have been swindled may take weeks—or more likely, months—after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events.
  • Senior citizens are more interested in and susceptible to products promising increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties, and so on. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given every American hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the con artists’ products can do what they claim.”

Today over 100 persons attended the Scams Against Seniors Symposium — A Michael Meitzler Award Event at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 430 S 7th Ave, Reading, PA 19611.  Today’s event featured information tables with local and state resources, speakers, including Rev. Dr. Ronald W. Costen, PhD. & Attorney at Law-Elder Justice Specialist and Mary Bach from AARP’s Consumer Task Force and workshops on frauds, scams and identity theft from the PA Office of Attorney General & The PA Crime Prevention Officers’ Association.

programClick on the graphic above to download the program as a .pdf file.

 

fighting fraud

Other resources include:

The Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers’ Association

Pennsylvania Attorney General

Berks County Area Agency on Aging

Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resource


More about Michael Meitzler

“Berks man’s legacy helps keep senior citizens safe from scams” Reading Eagle

“Berks Co. man’s remains found in home nearly 3 years after death” – WFMZ-TV69


Seniors are in denial about their vulnerability | “It’s estimated that one in five Americans over the age of 65 are victims of financial abuse—and the average loss is a staggering $120,300. Financial abuse can the the form of a scam, or it can also be perpetrated by family or friends who syphon off money from older loved ones. Nearly half of older Americans surveyed recently by Wells Fargo reported they know someone who had been a victim of a scam.” – Money Magazine

 

 

Friday Wrap-Up, October 19, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

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 download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

 

 

Job Announcement for Compeer Executive Director

compeer logo

Compeer of Lebanon County, a 501c3 non-profit agency serving residents of Lebanon County who live with mental illness, is searching for a passionate, energetic, organized and articulate person for the position of Executive Director. Compeer has been dedicated to changing lives and making a positive impact to the Lebanon community by supporting individuals on their path to mental wellness since 1999.  Benefits include paid sick leave and a liberal personal leave policy.

Interested applicants should have the following solid skills:

  • Passion for working with those living with mental illnesses
  • Recruitment of volunteers to carry out the agency’s mission
  • Organization for all facets of the direction of the agency
  • Energy and charisma used for alerting community stakeholders to our mission
  • Excellent verbal and written expression skills
  • Education and experience in working in human services fields
  • Ability to serve as an emphatic advocate for the mission of Compeer, and for the greater advancement of mental health awareness and wellness within our communities
  • Ability to educate those who want to know more about our mission and the challenges for those living with mental illness
  • Ability to offer support to those seeking assistance with mental illness related challenges; and support to agency volunteers and clients
  • Flexibility to meet the needs of the agency and its mission beyond the normal workday
  • The highest ethical standards
  • Skills and foresight used when administering fiscal resources of the agency
  • Strong time management skills
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with limited supervision
  • Ability to lift at least 25 pounds
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed

Main duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Work in collaboration with Compeer’s Board of Directors
  • Partner with local community groups (United Way, MH/ID/EI, etc.)
  • Grant writing
  • Administration of the agency’s finances
  • Recruitment, training, and on-going support of the volunteers of Compeer and CORPS
  • Support of Compeer’s clients
  • Supervision of additional agency staff
  • Community outreach and mental health advocacy

Education and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in human services or related field
  • Prior experience (3-5 years) working in non-profit agency and/or in mental health field
  • Bilingual a plus

Please email your resume, including references, along with a letter of interest to:  director@compeer-lebanon.org by 10/31/18.  Compeer is an equal opportunity employer.

American Bar Association | Advance Directives Counseling Guide for Lawyers (and healthcare professionals)

counseling guide

The American Bar Association has released this guide specifically for lawyers and health care professionals to align the practice of advance care planning in legal offices with the realities of implementation in health settings entitled, “Advance Directives: Counseling Guide for Lawyers.” 

Financial Planning When you Have a Disability (or Love Someone Who Does)

disability articleImage via Pixabay

by Ed Carter

There are almost as many types of disabilities as there are individuals. Disabilities can range from a physical impairment, such as severe scoliosis, to issues relating to cognitive decline. An individual may be born with a disability, or it may be due to an accident as is the case with many veterans injured in action. One thing remains the same, however, regardless of the disability or reason behind it: an uncertain financial future.

Medicare a Good Start

When you reach 65, regardless of your disability status, you become eligible for Medicare. This government-run program offers seniors access to quality medical care and provides a collection of health tests and wellness visits with no out-of-pocket costs. Depending on whether you currently receive Social Security benefits, you will either be automatically enrolled or must manually enroll. Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15 until December 7.

If you have yet to reach Medicare age, you may be eligible for Social Security disability or supplemental security income, the latter of which is only available for low-income individuals.

Veterans and Caregivers

If you are a veteran, you’ll have special access to benefits through the VA that can help you select and pay for home and community-based care. You are also entitled to care provided in a skilled nursing facility if and when you are no longer able to remain at home. The VA offers help with advanced care planning and programs that promote well-being regardless of your age or disability. The VA’s guide to long-term services and support offers extensive information on how to stay healthy and locate necessary services to accommodate your physical condition.

In some instances, you may be eligible for veteran directed home and community-based services programs, which provide provisions to compensate home caregivers. Your local Veterans Affairs office can help you and your caregivers determine your eligibility. This is an invaluable program for caregivers who wish to play a hands-on role in your care but cannot afford to completely lose their income to do so.

Saving for the Future

No matter your age, it’s never too late to start saving and planning for the future. Caregivers may have the option of setting up a family special needs trust or a pooled trust. According to FreeAdvice.com, a pooled trust must be established by a registered non-profit agency but comes with the benefit of allowing friends, family, and the beneficiary to contribute.

Investments are also an option and, when done responsibly, can provide a high rate of return to help you or your disabled loved one pay for comfort and care now and down the road. Investments range from low-risk savings bonds and money market accounts to more high-risk options, including aggressive stocks. Many lending experts advocate low- to medium-risk investments, including peer-to-peer lending and treasury inflation-protected securities.

Perhaps one of the best financial plans, however, is purchasing real estate for personal use. Real estate tends to appreciate, meaning a home purchased today will likely be worth significantly more 10 years from now. In order to reap the most financial benefits, pay the least interest and ensure available equity is to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible.

Having a disability makes the future feel uncertain. However, through federal and community programs, smart investing, and utilizing your current assets, you or your loved one can enjoy financial stability, medical care, and all the comforts that go along with both.

SOURCE: submitted


Author: Over the years, Ed Carter has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities. Regardless of their nature or how long they’ve affected someone, physical and mental disabilities often cause stress and confusion when it comes to financial planning. Many people are unaware of just how many options they have when it comes to financial assistance and planning, so Ed created AbleFutures.org to help people with disabilities prepare for a secure and stable financial future.

 

“Identifying the Unique Challenges of Solo Agers | The Elder Orphan Facebook group finds that many without families lack support” – next avenue

solo agingCredit: Adobe Stock

by Carol Marak

“Over 30 years ago, researchers and geriatricians identified an ‘elder orphan’ (sometimes called a ‘solo ager’) as a person aging alone with little support. But when my Elder Orphan Facebook group targeting this population launched over 2 1/2 years ago, little was known about them. Even then, few realized that the hardships faced by older people with no nearby family members could be any different from those of others aging at home.

“Health care professionals and companies tend to lump the older population into four segments: ages 55 to 64, 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older. It’s assumed that people in these age brackets deal with, or eventually could deal with, similar concerns relating to health, housing, transportation, caregiving and safety. But those concerns are further magnified for those who do not have a support system, and that number may be higher than you imagine. For example, in Dallas, where I live, 30 percent of people 65 and older live alone.

“Thankfully, through the dedicated service of social workers, gerontologists and geriatricians, the unique challenges of the solo ager have been identified.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

“Welcome to the Elder Orphan Facebook Group”

 

SAVE THE DATE | 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease & related diseases forum

alzheimers forum

Governor Wolf Announces Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Opportunities

wolf veterans

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting applications for the 2018-19 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grant cycle. Up to $800,000 in VTF grant funding will be competitively awarded for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. Grant applications must be received by 3 p.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

“With the fourth largest veteran population in the country, Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans have sacrificed greatly to serve our country and preserve our freedom,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “The Veterans’ Trust Fund provides community organizations within the commonwealth the necessary resources to help veterans in many different aspects.”

Up to $150,000 is available to counties for new, innovative or expanded programs or services operated by county directors of veterans affairs or to the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. Applicants in this category may request up to $20,000 per county with a priority focus on veterans’ outreach and veterans’ court programs.

Up to $650,000 is available for veterans’ service organizations with 501(c)(19) status and non-profits with 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Code that have a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Applicants in this category may request up to $50,000 for programs focusing on veteran homelessness, behavioral health initiatives and veterans’ courts.

Click here to continue reading this important news release.