Monthly Archives: November, 2019

WEBINAR SERIES: Supporting Transgender Clients


Please RSVP via Eventbrite:

Webinar login information will be shared prior to the training date

“Six Ways to Deal With Sentimental Items When Decluttering” – next avenue

“Start slowly, create categories and seek help if you need it”


“Sentimental clutter is the hardest clutter to part with.”

by Rachel Hartman

“Organizing. and getting rid of, extra belongings can make it easier to downsize, clean a home and entertain guests.

“But what should be done with a stack of boxes containing memorabilia stashed in a closet? Or a basement filled with items that represent the past 30 years?

“‘Clutter is real, and stuff follows us to the end,’ says Felice Cohen, author and professional organizer based in New York City who teaches online organization classes to older adults.

“Sorting through last week’s coupons can be much easier than tackling a bin filled with memories from the past.”

Read this article at next avenue in its entirety, click here.

Several partner agencies and organizations with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources |Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area can help your decluttering decisions.

What’s all the buzz about “service and emotional support animals?”

service animal.jpg

“Since 2011, the number of service and emotional support animals in the National Service Animal Registry has exploded to nearly 200,000 from 2,400. (It costs between $54 and $154 to register an animal with NSAR.)

And as the number of therapy animals has grown, so has the range of species and the roles they’re taking on. The New York Times reported this week that 20 therapy llamas and alpacas are now registered with Pet Partners, a nonprofit that trains human-animal teams to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder, patients recovering from illness and young and elderly people with intellectual disabilities.

At San Francisco International airport, you can seek comfort from the “world’s first airport therapy pig,” Lilou. Miniature horses visit nursing homes, alpacas greet guests at one Portland, Oregon, hotel, and last week a small army of therapy dogs helped Capitol Hill lawmakers and staffers to decompress after the first day of impeachment hearings.

SOURCE: MarketPlace “Make Me Smart” newsletter

Lancaster County and Lebanon County Link partners will recall that Charlie Daniels came to cross-training meetings in 2017 to meet with the residents at Legend Senior Living at Lititz and Juniper Village at Lebanon and Link partners. Charlie and his human mom, Chris Hainley AKA Crazy Pig Lady, live at Fairy Tail Acres.

charlie daniels

Charlie is quite the dashing, accomplished, talented ladies man. He is an artist (he paints); a musician (he plays piano) and athlete (he is expert on the teeter board). He’s always got a “pigkiss” for ladies and some gentlemen and he does it all for Cheerios and applause.

“The Startlingly High Cost Of The ‘Free’ Flu Shot” – California HealthLine

California Flu Deaths Rise Sharply In JanuaryAlthough many consumers pay nothing out of pocket for flu shots, insurers foot the bill. And those prices vary dramatically. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

by Phil Galewitz

“In the Byzantine world of health care pricing, most people wouldn’t expect that the ubiquitous flu shot could be a prime example of how the system’s lack of transparency can lead to disparate costs.

“The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to cover all federally recommended vaccines at no charge to patients, including flu immunizations. Although people with insurance pay nothing when they get their shot, many don’t realize that their insurers foot the bill — and that those companies will recoup their costs eventually.

“In just one small sample from one insurer, Kaiser Health News found dramatic differences among the costs for its own employees. At a Sacramento, Calif., facility, the insurer paid $85, but just a little more than half that at a clinic in Long Beach. A drugstore in Washington, D.C., was paid $32.”

Click here to read this article at California HealthLine in its entirety.

What is the Veterans’ Trust Fund?

The next time you apply for or renew your Pennsylvania driver’s license or  photo ID or renew your motor vehicle registration, you will have an opportunity to make a $3 tax-deductible contribution to the Veterans Trust Fund [VTF]. Since this additional $3 is not part of the renewal fee printed on your renewal application, you will need to add the donated amount to your payment. The same process would be followed if you renew online via PennDOT’s website.

veterans trust fund

The Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) was established in 2012 by Pennsylvania law (51 Pa. C. S. § 1721). The VTF is a special, non-lapsing fund of the Pennsylvania State Treasury. The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania to Request Delay in Implementation of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).

On November 13, 2019, Pennsylvania announced it will formally request a Good Faith Effort Exemption from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the implementation of the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) mandate to allow for necessary time for providers of Personal Care Services to fully prepare for EVV. The state is seeking an extension to allow additional time for providers using Alternate EVV systems to go through the necessary testing and become integrated to feed EVV data to the DHS Aggregator. If approved by CMS, the extension will allow the Department of Human Services (DHS) to extend the soft launch period and implement a tiered compliance structure before the denial of payments. If the Good Faith Effort Exemption is denied, EVV will be mandated as of January 1, 2020. DHS will update stakeholders on the Good Faith Effort Exemption request response from CMS.

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)


“What Medicare Parts A & B cost in 2020” – National Council on Aging

Monthly Part B premiums will rise by just over $9 in the coming year, with most beneficiaries paying $144.60 for coverage. Get all of the 2020 costs for Medicare Parts A and B in our updated chart.2020 medicare premiums


“For millennial caregivers, becoming the ‘parent for a parent’ with Alzheimer’s comes with agonizing challenges” – STAT news

The daily stresses, challenges and situations a caregiver attending to her mother with early onset Alzheimers faces are shown in this video.

alz caregivers

by Megan Thielking

WEYMOUTH, Mass. — Kamaria Moore-Hollis hadn’t even turned 30 when her mother, Mary, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She hadn’t yet started her job in social services for the state, or gotten married, or bought her house — all milestones she would mark after she became a caregiver.

“‘I grieved her loss probably five years ago,’” Moore-Hollis, now 34, said. ‘I don’t have an adult relationship with my mother. I can’t talk about frustrations at work or marriage or you know, just things that happen when you grow up.’”

Click here to read this article and to watch the nearly five minute video.

Essay on “survivor guilt” and generations of PTSD

“I grew up thinking of my grandfather as a drunk. His spiral into self-destruction left a legacy of bitterness and addiction that will haunt our family for generations to come. But only recently have I begun to realize how much of that legacy is rooted in the war.” – Adam Linehan

PTSD NYTIMESPhoto illustration by Jesse Draxler

by Adam Linehan

“My friend Paul Critchlow fought in Vietnam, earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with valor. Then he returned home to Omaha, Neb., and nobody wanted to talk about it. So he did what many combat vets did after the war: He kept his head down and drove on, built a career, raised a family, avoided anything that reminded him of Vietnam, compartmentalized the trauma, drank heavily and abused drugs. He did as his old coach once advised after he broke his leg playing college football: “You’ve got to play above the pain, Critchlow.” It was a productive approach.

“He eventually landed on Wall Street and rose to become head of communications for Merrill Lynch. But then one morning in 1994, he woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t find the will to move. The doctors told him he had clinical depression. In Critchlow’s mind, however, it was much more specific than that: a hill in the Central Highlands of Vietnam that the Army numbered 102. Many of his close comrades died there during the battle in which he was wounded. He blamed himself.

“There were fewer than 200 American soldiers on Hill 102 when it came under siege by the entire Second North Vietnamese Army Division on the afternoon of Aug. 19, 1969. Critchlow was a 23-year-old forward observer for Charlie Company, responsible for calling in airstrikes and artillery barrages. As the Vietnamese troops advanced farther up the hill, the grunts dug in along the perimeter shouted over the radio to Critchlow for more and more bombs. The battle raged through the evening, and once it got dark, Critchlow lay on his back in a roofless French plantation house and used a strobe light to guide an AC-47 Spooky gunship to its targets. Just before midnight, a lone figure appeared in Critchlow’s periphery. He was armed with a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, and Critchlow knew he was an NVA soldier by the shape of his helmet. The explosion lifted Critchlow off the ground, and suddenly he was immersed in brilliant white light, spinning slowly through the air, certain he was dead. Five hours later, he was tossed onto a helicopter packed with bodies, and bullets pierced the fuselage as the bird lifted off the ground. Critchlow begged God not to let him die after all he had just survived. He prayed to go home. But as soon as he got there, he wanted to turn back around. He felt as if he had abandoned his men. ‘By putting myself in harm’s way, I left them behind,’ he recalled thinking after waking up in a hospital in Danang.”

This New York Times Magazine long read (below) is so important to gain insight into what warriors grapple with after returning from hostile actions in other nations.


I was convinced the deaths of my friends in combat were my fault. It took me years to realize this feeling had a name: survivor guilt.

Grant Opportunities: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is pleased to announce the opening of its fiscal year 2019-20 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grant cycle.


A combined total of $800,000 in grant funding is available for the 2019-20 grant cycle.

$650,000 in funding is available for grants of up to $50,000 for the following types of eligible applicants:

  • veterans’ service organizations (VSOs) with 501(c)(19) status under the Internal Revenue Code; and
  • non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans granted 501(c)(3) status under the the Internal Revenue Code.

$150,000 in funding is available for the following types of eligible applicants:

  • individual eligible counties may receive up to the maximum of $20,000 per grant cycle;
  • the State Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs may receive up to the maximum of $150,000 per grant cycle.

The notice of funding announcement, grant guidelines, and grant application are combined in one document and can be found here.

SOURCE: Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program