Monthly Archives: January, 2019

SNAP benefits for February released early


“It’s cold! A physiologist explains how to keep your body feeling warm” – The Conversation

coldoutside“It’s all about holding on to the heat you have. Jason Rosewel/Unsplash, CC BY”

by John Eric Smith

“Whether waiting for a bus, playing outside or walking the dog – during the colder winter season, everyone is looking for ways to stay warm. Luckily, the process your body uses to break down foods serves as an internal heater.

“But when the weather is cold, some defensive strategies are also necessary to prevent your body from losing its heat to the surrounding environment. As the temperature difference between your warm body and its frigid surroundings increases, heat is lost more quickly. It becomes more of a challenge to maintain a normal body temperature.

And two people with the same exact body temperature in the same exact environment may have very different perceptions. One may feel frozen while the other is completely comfortable.”

Read this article in its entirety at The Conversation.

“The Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Specialty Drugs in Medicare Part D in 2019” – Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

“Medicare Part D has helped to make prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare, yet many beneficiaries continue to face high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. Specialty tier drugs—defined by Medicare as drugs that cost more than $670 per month in 2019—are a particular concern for Part D enrollees in this context. Part D plans are allowed to charge between 25 percent and 33 percent coinsurance for specialty tier drugs before enrollees reach the coverage gap, where they pay 25 percent for all brands, followed by 5 percent coinsurance when total out-of-pocket spending exceeds an annual threshold ($5,100 in 2019). While specialty tier drugs are taken by a relatively small share of enrollees, spending on these drugs has increased over time and now accounts for over 20 percent of total Part D spending, up from about 6 to 7 percent before 2010.”

medicare part d

“Figure 1: Medicare Part D beneficiaries can pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for specialty tier drugs, with the majority of costs for many drugs above the catastrophic threshold.”

Continue reading this article, click here.


“Following Prince Philip’s car crash, how many elderly drivers are on the road?” – The Guardian

“The 97-year-old duke’s driving skills have received scrutiny after his recent crash – but how many people around his age have licenses in the US and UK?”

drivers by age“In the US, there are more women than men who have licenses in each age group the Department of Transportation collects data on. Illustration: Mona Chalabi

by Mona Chalabi

Two women were left injured after a car crash with the Duke of Edinburgh earlier this month. The baby that was traveling with the women escaped injury, as did the 97-year-old prince.

“One of the women, who broke her wrist in the collision, said she had hoped for an apology from the royal family but instead received a message from a police family liaison officer that said: ‘The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you.’

“Two days later, Prince Philip was seen driving without a seatbelt.”

Read this article at The Guardian in its entirety.

“Pennsylvania has over 1.9 million licensed drivers aged 65 and older who make up 21 percent of the driving population.” – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Annual Report, 2016

mv_deaths_per_100_per_by_age_16“Motor Vehicle Deaths Per 100,000 Persons By Age, 2016” – Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Background on | Older drivers”– Insurance Information Institute



“The unrealistic expectations of retirement behavior” – BBC

“Many people believe they have a plan for retirement – but there is a big gap between expectation and reality.”

retirement savings

by Brian O’Connor

“How much do I need for retirement?

“For many, it’s a question that ranks far down the list of more urgent priorities, like buying groceries, paying rent or student loans. But chances are, it’s more than you’d think – due to a number of reasons that reveal how our expectations of our later years don’t match up with the realities of living on a fixed income.

“Outsize expectations

“Take the US, for example.

“Fewer than half of American baby boomers have more than $100,000 in retirement funds, even though one estimate puts healthcare costs in retirement for the average couple at $280,000. One Merrill Lynch report suggests that one in five Americans don’t know how much money they’ll need in retirement and that most under-save by nearly 20%.”

Read this article in its entirety at the BBC, click here.


Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know

sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact by one person upon another. It may happen as the result of deceiving, manipulating, or forcing the resident into sexual contact. Sexual abuse is a form of elder abuse that frequently goes underreported, under-investigated, and unnoticed. In 2016, Ombudsman programs investigated 819 complaints regarding sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse can take on many forms and includes:

  • Unwanted intimate touching of any kind, especially to breasts or genital area;
  • Rape, oral or anal sex;
  • Forced nudity;
  • Forced observation of masturbation and/or pornography; and
  • Taking sexually explicit photographs or audio/video recordings of a resident and distributing them online or in-person. This includes pictures or recordings of residents that are not fully clothed while they are being cared for (bathing, dressing, etc.).

“Unfortunately, the sexual abuse of elders is poorly understood and under-researched. The elderly victims of sexual abuse often have medical problems that result in difficulties communicating, confusion, or memory loss — all of which interfere with the ability of the elder to report the abuse.”

“Elder sexual abuse is defined as an action against an elder that is unwanted and sexual in origin. It usually involves those older than 60 years of age.” – SOURCE: Nursing Home Abuse Center

Friday Wrap-Up, January 25, 2019 | 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 to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

Protecting Rights and Preventing Abuse | Increased Investment to Strengthen Adult Protective Services


The Administration for Community Living has announced an approximately $3 million investment in the development of tools and infrastructure to support states in building Adult Protective Services (APS). The investment is the result of a partnership between ACL’s Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services and ACL’s Office of Performance and Evaluation. ACL plans to undertake the following tasks:

  • Update the National Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State Adult Protective Services Systems, create a dissemination plan for the guidelines, and produce a research agenda for evidence-based best practices;
  • Design and implement an APS client outcomes study evaluating how various micro-, mezzo-, and macro- system components impact APS client outcomes; and
  • Create an inventory of screening and assessment tools used by APS and others to screen for elder abuse, and assess each tool’s level of validity.

All people have the right to live their lives with dignity and respect, free from abuse of any kind. Unfortunately, far too many older adults and people with disabilities are abused, neglected or exploited. ACL is committed to developing systems and programs that prevent abuse from happening, protecting people from abusive situations, and supporting people who have experienced abuse to help them recover.

Read more.

“Gene indicates whose prostate cancer will spread” –

“Scientists have discovered a gene in cancerous prostate tumors that indicates when someone is at high risk of their cancer spreading.”

prostate male patient

“‘Currently, when a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, physicians can determine how advanced a tumor is but not whether the patients’ cancer will spread,’ says Antonina Mitrofanova, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions and a research member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

“‘If we can determine whether a patient’s cancer is likely to spread at the time of diagnosis, we can start them on a targeted treatment plan as soon as possible to decrease the likelihood of their cancer spreading.’

“The researchers identified the NSD2 gene using a computer algorithm developed to determine which cancer genes that spread in a mouse model are most relevant to humans. When they turned the gene off in mice tumor cells, it significantly reduced the cancer’s spread.”

Continue reading this article at Futurity.orgclick here.

“Hospitals Stopped Readmitting So Many Medicare Patients. Did That Cost Lives?” – The New York Times

“A new government program was supposed to prevent certain Medicare recipients from cycling in and out of hospitals. Now experts worry some older patients are being denied necessary care.”

readmitsCredit: Craig Frazier

by Paula Span

“It was a well-intended policy. Almost all parties agree on that much.

“A decade ago, when Medicare beneficiaries were discharged from hospitals, one in five returned within a month.

“Older people faced the risks of hospitalization all over again: infections, deconditioning, delirium, subsequent nursing home stays. And preventable readmissions were costing Medicare a bundle.

“So the Affordable Care Act incorporated something called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which focused on three serious ailments with high readmission rates: heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia.

“The A.C.A. penalized hospitals — withholding up to three percent of Medicare payments — when readmissions within 30 days exceeded national averages.”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.