Monthly Archives: March, 2019

“Why your chronological age doesn’t tell your doctor much about you” – The Washington Post

chronological age

by Gabriella Boston

“‘You look young for your age.’ Aside from being flattering, the sentence also highlights the fact that we can inhabit two ages at once: chronological age and biological age. Chronological age dictates the number of birthday candles we blow out every year, while biological age is a measure of our physiological state compared to other people with the same number of annual growth rings.

“‘It’s not all that helpful to talk about chronological age,’ says Laurie Archbald-Pannone, a physician who specializes in geriatrics at the University of Virginia Health System. ‘It doesn’t tell us how resilient the body is.’ To put it another way: Chronological age has very little to do with our actual physical well-being.

“For example, a 50-year-old smoker can have the lung capacity of an 80-year-old, says Todd Miller, associate professor in exercise and nutrition sciences at George Washington University. ‘In other words, the 50-year-old smoker has the lung age of an 80-year-old,’ Miller says.”

Click here to read this Washington Post article in its entirety.

“Study finds test of protein levels in the eye a potential predictor of (future) Alzheimer’s disease” – Science Daily

“Low levels of amyloid-beta and tau proteins, biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease, in eye fluid were significantly associated with low cognitive scores, according to a new study. These findings indicate that proteins in the eye may be a potential source for an accessible, cost-effective test to predict future Alzheimer’s disease.”

alzheimers - eye fluidsAlzheimer’s definition (stock image). – Credit: © Feng Yu / Fotolia

“Low levels of amyloid-β and tau proteins, biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in eye fluid were significantly associated with low cognitive scores, according to a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center, the study is the first to connect these known AD protein biomarkers in the eye to mental status. These findings indicate that proteins in the eye may be a potential source for an accessible, cost-effective test to predict future Alzheimer’s disease.

“Diagnosing and starting treatment for AD before symptoms begin is key to managing the disease, because by the time symptoms appear it is often too late for current treatments to have any meaningful effect. Abnormal amounts of amyloid-β and tau proteins are biomarkers of AD, and deposits of amyloid proteins in the brain begin many years prior to symptoms of the disease. Previous research has shown an association between low levels of amyloid-β and tau proteins found in the cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture tests and preclinical AD, when pathological changes of AD present in the brain, but before the onset of clinical symptoms. However, lumbar puncture tests are expensive and inconvenient for many patients to undergo.”

Read this article in full at Science Daily, click here.


FTC, States Continue Fight against Sham Charities; Shut Down Operations That Falsely Claimed to Help Disabled Police Officers and Veterans

Orders ban defendants from soliciting charitable contributions


The operators of two purported sham charities have agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorneys General of Missouri and Florida that they deceived donors with false claims that their organizations helped disabled police officers and military veterans. The operators of both schemes are permanently banned from charitable solicitations or otherwise working for charities.

The settlements with Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation, Inc. (DPSF), and American Veterans Foundation, Inc. (AVF), highlight the FTC’s ongoing efforts to stop sham charities from defrauding donors.

“The FTC and state agencies joined forces to stop illegitimate charities that lie to donors about how their generous contributions will be used,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “You can help—and make sure your donation counts—by checking out a charity before you give. Learn more at”

Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation, Inc.

DPSF (also doing business as The American Police and Sheriffs Association, and Police Officers Safety Association), and its founder and Executive Director David Kenik, are banned from soliciting charitable contributions under a settlement with the FTC and the state of Missouri, for falsely claiming that consumers’ donations would be used to help police officers and families of slain officers, provide life-saving equipment to law enforcement agencies, and provide advanced, specialized training for law enforcement officers and departments.

DPSF solicitations appealed to consumers’ desire to support the law enforcement officers who protect us all. For example, one solicitation explained that:

“We also provide . . . relief to families of officers killed in the line of duty. … Every day officers bravely go out to protect our streets knowing an officer is killed in the line of duty every other day in our country. They are truly real life heroes.” [emphasis in original];

Consumers responded to the calls for help and donated more than $9.9 million to the ostensible charity. In reality, DPSF spent almost nothing helping the families of officers slain in the line of duty, or assisting disabled police and sheriffs.

The defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act, the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, and Missouri state law.donate-wisely-avoid-scams_680px-infographic

Continue reading this Federal Trade Commission news release, click here.

Improving Residential Services for PA residents with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism

The Department of Human Services last week released a report highlighting the department’s commitment to maintaining high-quality services to assure the health and well-being of nearly 12,000 individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in community-based homes across the commonwealth. The report includes planned and on-going initiatives to improve the quality of care people receive in their communities.

The report is the result of an on-going strategic group comprised of stakeholders, advocates, providers, an individual living in a residential home, and family members of individuals who live in residential services.

quality of residential services

To view the Improving the Quality of Residential Services report, click here.

Governor Tom Wolf continues to expand access to community-based services for Pennsylvanians with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism. In partnership with the General Assembly, more than $381 million has been invested since 2015, allowing 7,500 more people to access services among their families and peers in their community.

The 2019-2020 state budget proposal continues this progress by investing $1.6 million in state funds for 30 new licensing staff for the Office of Developmental Programs. $15 million will also be invested to serve an additional 765 people in the Community Living Waiver and 100 people who may experience unanticipated emergencies in the Consolidated Waiver.

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services email


“Opioid Abuse and Seniors” –

by Judith A. Rucki

“If you think the opioid epidemic is only affecting younger folks, think again. According to a report in Psychiatric Times, while opioid use disorders are more common in younger patients, ‘prevalence among the elderly is growing, and misuse poses unique risks in the geriatric population.’

The informational web guide Addiction Center concurs. ‘Drug and alcohol abuse among the elderly is a rapidly growing health problem in the United States.’ Adding, ‘Seventeen percent of people in the United States over 65 years old have abused prescription medications, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.’

“The Center on Addiction states, ‘A growing number of older Americans are becoming addicted to prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. While drug-related deaths have increased dramatically in all age groups, the greatest percentage increase has been among adults ages fifty-five to sixty-four.’

“So, what can we do to protect our loved ones and ourselves from falling victim to this epidemic? We can start by acquainting ourselves with potential triggers for addiction in our senior population.” Click here to continue reading this article at 

Below is an extraction of a 2017 article at describing opioid addiction in a Pennsylvania County. The article reinforces the impact of opioid addiction on “more and more senior citizens.”

“Yet, it’s not just the county’s youngest who are most vulnerable to the secondary threats of the opioid crisis.

Opioids’ oldest victims

“More and more Butler County senior citizens are being robbed of their golden years, and the sinister secondary threats of the opioid crisis are increasingly to blame.

“So said the county’s Area Agency on Aging Director Beth Herold, speaking at a county-wide opioid coalition meeting this fall.

“The opioid epidemic’s threat to Butler County’s oldest residents comes in many forms.

“Above all, their lives are at stake.


“In area where prescription opioids remain abundant, older people remain at risk of accidentally overdosing on the very medication designed to ease their pain. Indeed, overdose deaths recorded here have touched virtually every demographic, including those 60 and up, the county coroner reported.

“Other threats to seniors from the opioid crisis are much more subtle, unsuspecting, even sinister. Continue reading →

“How to Create an LGBTQ-Friendly Neighborhood by HomeAdvisor”

LGBTQ community

“Members of the LGBTQ community and their allies have created safe places where they can feel comfortable, welcome, and free to be themselves, both in public areas and in the privacy of their own homes. The most LGBTQIAPK-friendly places in the United States have several things in common, many of which you can duplicate in your neighborhood.

“No matter your sexuality or gender, you can create a more LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood by duplicating some of these same features. Through simple demonstrations of solidarity, welcoming, and active support of LGBTQIAPK businesses and services, you and your neighbors can make it known that you support them and are invested in their happiness.

Paint the Town

“One of the easiest ways to express your support is to incorporate LGBTQ symbols and traditions into your neighborhood. From simple design elements on your property to neighborhood-wide events, these public displays of inclusion are a must for any LGBTQ-friendly block:”

You can read this article in its entirety, click here.

We often get content submissions from lots of local, regional and national sources, the above article comes from a submission from David Dixon of

In an email, he writes:  I hope these encourage your community members to lend a hand however they can. No act is too small for a person, animal, or even an organization in need, and volunteering is such a meaningful way to make a difference.”

Thank you, David.

Here is more from his email:

“One of our residents’ favorite activities during our annual neighborhood week is to find new ways to improve our community. While most of us volunteer in our free time at least a few times a month, we especially look forward to our Neighborhood Week when we all join forces to make a difference together.”

He continues by saying these articles “I hope will inspire Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Link site visitors to get active on behalf of their fellow man (and pets in need!). These offer some great ideas (I shared them recently in our neighborhood newsletter to get the juices flowing for our next neighborhood community improvement project):

How to Fit Volunteering into Your Packed Schedule

Student Activism: 4 Ways Your Child Can Help Feed the Hungry in Your Community

Helping Stray Pets

The Community Cat Survival Guide: How to Help Stray and Feral Cats

Here’s how you can help children separated from their parents at the U.S. border

Want to Volunteer Virtually? Here’s How

10 Ways To Make Your Small Business A Force For Good – That Take 1 Hour Or Less To Implement

Lebanon VAMC to recognize Vietnam Veterans at numerous South Central PA events on March 29

vietnam statue

LEBANON, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC) will honor Vietnam Veterans through a variety of public commemoration events on March 29 as part of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one lapel pin through the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration as a lasting memento of the nation’s thanks.

Vietnam Veterans can join Lebanon VAMC at the following March 29 public events to be pinned:

  • U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and the Liberty War Bird Association’s National Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. for the 11:15 a.m. ceremony at the Lancaster Airport Terminal, 500 Airport Rd., Lititz, Lancaster County
  • U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony starting at 3 p.m. at American Legion Post 217, 133 Centre Ave., Topton, Berks County
  • National Vietnam War Veterans Day Commemoration and Cake-cutting Ceremony at 2 p.m. at Lebanon VA Medical Center, 1700 South Lincoln Ave., Building 17 Canteen Dining Area, Lebanon, Lebanon County
  • MISSION BBQ locations in Harrisburg, Wyomissing and York from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. as part of MISSION BBQ’s daylong Vietnam Veterans appreciation event. Information on the various VA benefits including VA health care enrollment will also be available to Veterans.

Additionally, Veterans unable to attend one of the above public events that have not yet received a pin can also visit Lebanon VAMC’s Community Clinics located in Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pottsville, Wyomissing and York to be presented their pin on March 29 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is part of our nation’s ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Lebanon VAMC, along with more than 10,000 local, state, and national organizations, joins the Department of Defense as Commemorative Partners. More information on the commemoration is available at

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 28, 2017. The act designates every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. March 29, 1973, marks the day the last of our combat troops left Vietnam.

SOURCE: news release

Have you heard about “age-friendly places?”

age friendly world

How much do you know about the “age-friendly world?” Perhaps the place to begin is to get some background insight into the World Health Organization’s initiative.

“A key strategy to facilitate the inclusion of older persons is to make our world more age-friendly. An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.”

Towards an Age-friendly world [World Health Organization]

gnafcc-report-2018A new report on the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities reviews achievements since the founding of the Network in 2007, challenges and how to overcome them, and together with its Affiliate programs, outlines steps to guide action over the next decade. Eleven accompanying case studies from members of the Network around the world examine local age-friendly programmes in depth.”

What is an “age-friendly world?

The March 24, 2019 LNP – Always Lancaster carried a special newspaper supplement entitled Progress 2019. A story about The magazine-sized insert

age friendly lancasterScan of the article in LNP – Always Lancaster‘s Progress 2019 special insert. Click on the image to enlarge.


age friendly principles

The American Association of Retired Persons [AARP] also has its AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

In Pennsylvania, these are AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities:

  • Allegheny County: Joined: 2015 | Population: 925,521 | Survey | Action Plan
  • Lancaster: Joined: 2018
  • Lehigh County: Joined: 2018 | Population: 360,685
  • Northampton County: Joined: 2018 | Population: 299,791
  • Philadelphia: Joined: 2012* | Population: 1.58 million | Survey | Article
  • Pittsburgh: Joined: 2015 | Population: 305,700 | Interview | Survey | Action Plan
  • Swarthmore: Joined: 2017 | Population: 6,194
  • West Chester: Joined: 2016* | Population: 18,968 | Action Plan



“States Push For Caregiver Tax Credits” – Kaiser Health News

caregivertaxcredit“Gloria Brown is the primary caregiver for her husband, Arthur, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer\’s disease four years ago. (Emma Marie Chiang for California Healthline)

by Samantha Young

“Gloria Brown didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Her husband, Arthur Brown, 79, has Alzheimer’s disease and had spent most of the night pacing their bedroom, opening and closing drawers, and putting on and taking off his jacket.

“So Gloria, 73, asked a friend to take Arthur out for a few hours one recent afternoon so she could grab a much-needed nap. She was lucky that day because she didn’t need to call upon the home health aide who comes to their house twice a week.

“The price of paying for help isn’t cheap: The going rate in the San Francisco Bay Area ranges from $25 to $35 an hour. Gloria Brown estimates she has spent roughly $72,000 on caregivers, medications and supplies since her husband was diagnosed four years ago.

“‘The cost can be staggering,’ said state Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), author of a bill that would give family caregivers in California a tax credit of up to $5,000 annually to help offset their expenses.”

Click here to continue reading this Kaiser Health News article.

Constance: assures personalized, one-on-one conversational check in service for seniors.

Lancaster, PA – March, 2019 – Integrated Platform Services LLC today announced a new subscription check-in and reporting service for families of seniors who live independently. The service, named Constance™, targets the families of the 87% of Americans over the age of 65 who, according to AARP, would prefer to live on their own.


Constance™ provides daily human interaction with seniors to check on mood, meals, medications, appointments, and more. The check-ins are used to generate electronic updates for family members — typically members of the “sandwich generation” who find it increasingly difficult to balance support for their aging parents with managing their own busy lives. With a focus on overall wellbeing, Constance™ addresses the most important factors impacting healthcare outcomes: early detection of medical conditions, care plan adherence, and social engagement.

The service is delivered by carefully selected and trained team who call each senior for a personalized, one-on-one conversation. Unlike other personal care services, the reports are immediately available to family members via a smartphone app on iOS and Android devices.

Families using the service have confidence that the needs of their loved one will be identified and reported, allowing them to continue living independently. Constance subscriber Suzette Mullen commented, “My sister and I look forward to getting the reports every day. The daily updates have really connected us as we navigate (my mom’s) care from a distance.” Members also look forward to interacting with the Constance Family Coordinators. A senior using the service, Patricia Roberts, recently said, “It made me feel very safe to know you were calling me this morning.”

CEO and cofounder Henry Yaeger commented, “We started Constance because we want to apply business solutions to a huge and growing societal challenge. Demographic shifts and longer distances are leaving families unprepared for the demands of supporting their loved ones as they age. Our service allows seniors to continue to live independently, while giving their families the comfort of knowing they are always being looked after.”

news release


Constance is a service of Integrated Platform Services LLC, a company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Constance helps seniors maintain independence by facilitating communication between seniors, their family members, and others. The high-touch service is supported by a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform that enables the Constance team to efficiently provide services, while native mobile apps keep family members informed. Constance is a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner entity.