Monthly Archives: December, 2018

“After I broke my neck, I couldn’t walk. But I could still lead.” – OZY

“Because the most talented person in the room might have a disability.”

broke my back

“While on vacation, I broke my neck bodysurfing. I was 25 years old and until then considered myself the best thing since sliced bread. But that life-altering accident changed the focus on everything. I was convinced I was done, that my career was over.

“But IBM thought differently. I had already been working for them, and they assured me they wanted me back after my 18-month recovery. I took up a job in technical publications and, 39 years later, in 2015, I retired as corporate director of marketing communications. At IBM, I met many people who had a lot of heart. When someone offered me a helping hand, I took it in the spirit in which it was given. But I worked my behind off. I wanted to prove something to myself: that I could be an equal or at least competitive.”

Continue reading this article at OZY.com, click here.

“Study Raises Questions About Oversight Of Facilities That House Foster Youth In PA” – WESA-FM radio

Foster Care Group HomesJose Osario sits in the living room of a cottage at the Children’s Village campus in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. A new report says similar residential facilities for foster children in Pennsylvania do not face enough oversight following reports of abuse. – SETH WENIG / AP

by An-Li Herring

“Foster children who live in residential facilities in Pennsylvania suffered physical and verbal abuse in hundreds of documented cases between 2010 and 2018, according to a new report. The study found that at some facilities, which include group homes and larger institutions, violations continued to occur even after state inspectors recorded earlier instances of abuse.

“Report co-author Elissa Glucksman Hyne considers the repeated violations “really alarming” because, she said, they show that children in foster care are ‘being maltreated by [facility] staff, and it seems nothing is done about it … It’s just business as usual, and nothing seems to happen.’

“‘No child should ever be removed from their home and then harmed in the places that they are supposed to be placed to be safe.’”

Continue reading this Public Radio report, click here.

“Am I ‘Old’? | As with beauty, the meaning of ‘old’ depends on the person you ask.” – The New York Times

am I oldCreditStuart Bradford

by Steven Petrow

“A few years ago at a college reunion, I listened transfixed as the silver-haired philanthropist David Rubenstein urged us “to accelerate” as we entered the last chapters of our lives. Pick up the pace? So many of my contemporaries were stopping — if not stooping — to smell the roses.

“With his admonition in mind, I recently spoke with Mr. Rubenstein, now 69, and asked him if he considers himself old. ‘Sixty-nine seems like a teenager to me,’ he replied. Coincidentally, just a few days earlier, a 68-year-old poet I know, in between surgeries to help her mend after a fall, told me point blank, ‘I am an old lady now.’

“What makes one sexagenarian identify as old when another doesn’t? And what is ‘old,’ anyway?”

Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times.

Friday Wrap-Up, December 14, 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.

 

“Long-term study shows most prostate cancer patients don’t need aggressive treatment” -STATnews

prostate“A doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center performs a robotic prostatectomy.” M. SPENCER GREEN/AP

by Karen Weintraub

Nearly 30 years after it began, a study of prostate cancer patients shows both that the disease will not cause harm to the majority of men who have it, and that aggressive treatment is warranted for men with an intermediate risk of spread.

“The nuanced results come from a new update to a landmark study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, that has followed 695 Swedish men since they were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between October 1989 and February 1999.

“The study’s duration and insights into one of the most common forms of cancer make it ‘arguably one of the most important publications of the year,’ said Dr. Adam Kibel, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and chief of urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who is not involved in the research.”

Click here to read this STATnews article in its entirety.

NEW | The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP)

Writing note showing  Healthcare Benefits. Business photo showcasing it is insurance that covers the medical expenses Papers beautiful colours messages feelings card birthday valentine.

“The Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts C & D is over, but persons with Medicare Advantage soon get another chance to switch coverage. Learn about the new MA Open Enrollment Period in this fact sheet developed by the Medicare Rights Center.” (SOURCE: National Council on Aging email)

“Beginning in 2019, there will be a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA
OEP) from January 1 through March 31 each year. During this time, MA-eligible
beneficiaries will be able to change their MA Plan or elect Original Medicare and
coverage under Part D. Changes are effective the first of the following month.” Read more here. 

Just released | The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council’s 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP) book

paddc proposals

The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council has released its NEW 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP) book.  Several funding objectives are featured including the promotion of cross disability efforts, employment, and technology.  The Council invites interested groups and organizations to review our RFP and requirements, and to attend one or more of our preproposal conferences (available live or via webinar) to ask questions and learn more about our ideas.

Download the RFP Book, additional forms, and access more information through this link: http://www.paddc.org/grant-funding-opportunities/rfp-book/.

“With Few Online Resources, Disabled Home Buyers Rely on Agents, Targeted Websites”

by Ed Carter

stairs

PHOTO: Courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Fewer than 5 percent of all homes in the United States are accessible to individuals with disabilities; less than 1 percent are wheelchair accessible; and just one-third are capable of being modified to accommodate a disabled owner. That’s according to no less an authority than the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

It’s a distressing situation for disabled homeowners, because it means that many have to settle for properties that aren’t suitable for them from the standpoint of safety. Depending on the size of the market, that could mean having to try to modify a home that doesn’t meet the minimum standard of disabled accessibility: a stairless entry, and a bathroom and bedroom on the first floor.

That’s a sobering situation for a disabled person entering the housing market. So, where can you turn for help, and what resources are available to a handicapped individual? In most cases, your real estate agent is your best asset, even though many lack experience working with disabled buyers. Consequently, there’s a knowledge gap among realtors when it comes to knowing where and how to look for suitable housing.

Nevertheless, your agent will know the area well and have familiarity with what’s available, valuable knowledge for someone needing to find a property that can be adapted to their needs (such as a single-story house, a home with widened hallways, and specific safety features). With many disabled individuals having to modify houses, it’s important to know where to look for alternate sources of funding, such as through the VA, Red Cross, Americorps, the US Office of Housing, and HUD.

Search aids

Real estate search engines are generally fairly limited in terms of search options. Terms like “handicapped accessible” and “universal design” may yield some results, but there are few other filters available that can produce the kind of results you need. General real estate search engines may prove disappointing, but there are a couple of national websites that are worth keeping an eye on as you work through your search.

Better sites

Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for disabled homebuyers looking for online assistance. Barrier Free Home is virtually unique in its focus on barrier-free, wheelchair-accessible, universally-designed, ADA-compliant homes and apartments. Theirs is the most extensive database catering to disabled homebuyers. Barrier Free Home’s property entries contain an exhaustive amount of information, including number of bedrooms and baths, as well as handicapped-specific features, like roll-in shower or tub, roll-under sink, level entry and whether the property is VA approved.

Easy Living Homes falls into much the same category. It’s America’s first voluntary program encouraging the inclusion of features that make a property more accessible and efficient. An exhaustive list of features includes the type of lighting available, the kinds of material used in construction, and disability-accessible features. AMS Vans is a useful online resource for wheelchair-bound individuals seeking accessible housing.

HUD lists an online inventory of housing for elderly and disabled persons seeking multi-family homes. HUD’s subsidized apartment search offers disabled persons a robust listing of qualified units with information concerning suitability and accessibility for individuals with mobility restrictions and other special needs. A state-by-state search function provides an extensive listing of units in your area with physical features, contact information and whether each unit is specific to the needs of the disabled or elderly.

Finding a property that’s accessible to disabled buyers isn’t as easy as it is for people conducting searches on standard real estate websites. It takes some patience, flexibility, and knowing where to look. In the long run, your own persistence and the assistance of your real estate agent are your most valuable assets. As you search, bear in mind that some properties can be modified to meet your needs, which may help widen the parameters of your search.

SOURCE: news release

“‘I’m Petitioning … for the Return of My Life’” | An issue of guardianship – The New York Times

“When Phyllis Funke hit bottom, the court appointed a guardian to prop her up. The remedy is like prison, she said. But ‘at least in prison you have rights.’”

guardianshipFor Ms. Funke, every item in her apartment has a purpose or a story. But when the building called it hoarding, it started her on the road to guardianship. Now she can’t get out. – CreditCredit: Lily Landes for The New York Times

By John Leland

“The last weeks that Phyllis Funke could legally make decisions for herself, she climbed into bed, planning to stay there for a while. It was the end of 2016 and she felt disillusioned with the election and wounded by her brother’s recent move to Texas.

“She wasn’t considering suicide, she said. She just needed to go under the covers until she could figure out how to deal with the rest of her life, so totally alone.

“She had credit cards, a car, friends and financial advisers in Maine and New York.

“When a caseworker from Adult Protective Services and a city psychiatrist entered her apartment on March 3, 2017, clipping the security chain because she did not answer the door, she was unraveling emotionally and physically, at risk of becoming homeless or worse. She had no idea what price she would pay for the intervention.”

Click here to continue reading this article in its entirety at The New York Times.

Friday Wrap-Up, December 7, 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.