Monthly Archives: November, 2018

Friday Wrap-Up, November 30, 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.

“Stepping back from the edge | My mom’s suicide changed everything. Here’s how I found hope again.” – USA Today

“trigger warning: This story explores suicide, including the details of how the author’s mother took her own life. If you are at risk, please stop here and contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support. 800-273-8255″


by Laura Trujillo

stood and looked down into the canyon, at a spot where, millions of years ago, a river cut through. Everything about that view is impossible, a landscape that seems to defy both physics and description. It is a place that magnifies the questions in your mind and keeps the answers to itself.

“Visitors always ask how the canyon was formed. Rangers often give the same unsatisfying answer: Wind. Water. Time.

“It was April 26, 2016 – four years since my mother died. Four years to the day since she stood in this same spot and looked out at this same view. I still catch my breath here, and feel dizzy and need to remind myself to breathe in through my nose out through my mouth, slower, and again. I can say it out loud now: She killed herself. She jumped from the edge of the Grand Canyon. From the edge of the earth.”

“I went back to the spot because I wanted to know everything.”

Click here to read this USA Today long read in its entirety.

COMMUNITY HEALTHCHOICES | Get ready, Southeastern PA!

Community HealthChoices, or CHC, rolled out starting in Southwestern Pennsylvania 11 months ago. Now, it’s getting ready to come to the southeastern part of the state.

chc rolloutCHC launches in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties on January 1, 2019. 

CHC is for Pennsylvanians who are both eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, and for eligible individuals 21 and older who have physical disabilities that require long-term services and supports in a nursing facility or in their home.

Southeastern Pennsylvanians who are eligible for CHC were notified by mail and asked to select their managed care organization (MCO). Participants who did not make a plan selection have automatically been enrolled in one of three MCOs (Keystone First Community HealthChoices, PA Health & Wellness, or UPMC Community HealthChoices). All participants are able to change their managed care organization at any time, and have until December 21 to make a change if they want it to be in place by Jan. 1, 2019.

“Pennsylvanians who are eligible for Community HealthChoices are able to choose the plan that allows them to live and age comfortably in their community, best meets their health needs, and allows them to see their current health care providers,” Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller said. “I strongly encourage participants to consider all plans available, ask questions, and make sure they are enrolled in a plan they are confident will meet their individual needs.”

The Wolf Administration successfully launched CHC in the southwest region in January 2018. Approximately 80,000 participants now have an active voice when choosing how and where they receive their services and supports.

The rollout in the southeast will include about 131,000 individuals. When fully implemented across the state, CHC will include 420,000 Pennsylvanians.

For more information on plan selection, call 1-844-824-3655 (TTY 1-833-254-0690) or visit the enrollment website


“How Salvation Army’s red kettles became a Christmas tradition” – The Converstion

salvation army red kettle

by Diane Winston

“Tinseled trees and snowy landscapes are not the only signs of the upcoming holiday season. Red kettles, staffed by men and women in street clothes, Santa suits and Salvation Army uniforms also telegraph Christmastime.

“The Army is among America’s top-grossing charities. In 2015, its 25,000 bell-ringers helped raise an all-time high of US$149.6 million. That was part of the year’s almost $3 billion revenue from bequests, grants, sales, in-kind donations and investments as well as direct contributions.

“William Booth, an English evangelist, founded the Salvation Army in 1878 as a religious outreach to London’s poor. How a British evangelical church became an American icon is an ongoing interest of mine.

Continue reading this article at The Conversation, click here.

“Preparing for a Baby While Living with a Disability: Tips for New Parents”

babyPhoto via Pixabay by Pexels

“Living with a disability comes with many challenges — physical, mental, and emotional. For individuals who are also expecting a new baby, however, there are so many things to consider, from how you’ll manage daily chores and activities while caring for your child to figuring out the easiest ways to stay safe and comfortable. For instance, you may find that it’s difficult to bathe a baby in the bathtub, or certain mobility issues may create hazards for you when walking through the house while holding your infant.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare your home and life for a new baby. From making some changes around the house to ensure safety to garnering support from friends and family so they can help out at home, there are many ways you can get ready for parenting with your disability. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish so that you can stay organized, and don’t forget to practice self-care as often as possible.

Keep reading for tips on how to prepare for a baby when you’re living with a disability.

Find the Best Products

While some parents would rather keep the nursery simple, those who are living with disabilities might find that having products which make their daily lives easier is hugely beneficial when it comes to parenting a new baby. Safety gates, strollers with built-in car seat attachments, and cribs with slats that raise and lower are all great places to start. Just make sure that when you’re shopping online, you read the reviews before making a purchase.

Check for Safety Issues in the Bathroom

The bathroom is an area of the home where accidents often occur, mostly because of slippery surfaces. Adding rubber-backed mats to the tub and floor can help prevent falls, whereas investing in a sturdy infant tub will allow you to bathe your child easily. You can also place a soft rubber cover over the faucet so that if you or your child slip, the hard faucet won’t cause an injury. As far as baby-proofing, it’s important to keep cabinets with soap and cleaning products locked up. Child locks are widely available and are easy for adults to operate.

Practice Self-Care

It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, both before and after your child arrives. Reduce stress as much as possible by taking time out for an activity you enjoy, staying organized, and making sure you have everything in place to create the perfect nursery. Often called “nesting,” preparing your home for the new baby is part of the parenting process and helps you form a connection with your child before he or she arrives.

Think About a Feeding Plan

If you plan on breastfeeding your child, it’s important to think about how you’ll accomplish it from day to day. For instance, when you need a break, you can have your partner or spouse bottle-feed. However, this requires pumping and planning, so it’s a good idea to figure out how you’ll do it before the time actually comes. Talk to your doctor about any concerns, or ask for a breastfeeding specialist who can come and help you with latching and the proper hold.

Preparing your life, home, and finances for a new child can be stressful, so it’s important to start with a good plan so you won’t feel overwhelmed. Talk to your friends and family about how they can help out — for instance, someone may be able to come over and assist with housework in the first few weeks so you can rest — and look for safety hazards to ensure your comfort. With a little preparation, you can enjoy your new baby without any worries.

SOURCE:  Submitted by Ashley Taylor,


Alzheimers’ Community Forum | November 29

alz community forum

Click here to register.

December 03 – FREE movie screening: Taking Chance

12-2 taking chance

“Home health care: Research behind the high-demand, low-pay occupation” – Journalist’s Resource

home care(Pixabay)

By Chloe Reichel

“As baby boomers age, the demands placed on the country’s health care system are increasing. That includes the home health care industry, which is undergoing changes to accommodate a growing senior population.

“Home health care services allow people who require extra care to remain in their homes, reducing the burden otherwise shouldered by health care facilities, assisted living centers and nursing homes. The services also can be less expensive than these other facilities.

“According to the most recently available data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.9 million adult patients received home health care at some point in 2013. Federal data indicate that number is expected to grow in the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of home health aides and personal care aides to grow 41 percent from 2016 to 2026, outpacing average growth for other occupations.

“Home health aides are distinct from visiting registered nurses or licensed practical nurses in that they are not required to have specialized education beyond a high school degree, are not licensed as nurses, and in many cases do not provide assistance with medical tasks.”

Continue reading this article at Journalist’s Resources, click here.

“Age has nothing to do with it’: how it feels to transition later in life” – The Guardian

“Ruth transitioned at 81, Ramses in his late 40s, and Bethan, at 57, is about to have surgery. Meet the trans baby boomers.”

transition Ruth Rose: ‘I was living a life of pretence.’ Photograph: Fabio De Paola for the Guardian

“Early in October, Ruth Rose went on holiday to Corfu with a group of female friends she had known for years. They swam in the sea every day, making the most of the late summer sunshine. On the last morning before flying home to England, the women took one last swim and skinny-dipped so as not to have to pack their costumes away wet.

“Such adventures would once have been unthinkable for Rose. But the surgery she underwent at the age of 81 has opened doors she would never have thought possible. ‘In some ways it’s like having new hips after being told you would be condemned to arthritis for the rest of your life,’ she says. ‘You do it, and life begins again. And that’s what happened to me. Age has nothing to do with it.’

“California fire: If you stay, you’re dead. – How a Paradise nursing home evacuated” The Los Angeles Times

“How do you evacuate a nursing home when the deadliest wildfire in California history is bearing down and you have 91 men and women to get to safety? Most can’t power themselves, some have dementia, a few weigh more than 300 pounds. The fire is coming. If you stay, you are dead. An unbelievable tale from Paradise.”

nursing home fire CA“The ruins of the Cypress Meadows Post-Accute skilled nursing facility. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)”

“How do you evacuate a nursing home when the deadliest wildfire in California history is bearing down and there are 91 men and women to move to safety — patients in need of walkers or wheelchairs or confined to hospital beds, suffering from dementia, recovering from strokes?

“The fire is coming fast. Help is not.”

Continue reading this Los Angeles Times article, click here.

“The death toll from the Camp fire has risen to more than 70, with more than 1,000 people unaccounted for. The relentless rise in the number of dead and missing continues.