Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

“Survey shows staying socially connected is a top need for aging adults during COVID-19” – National Council on Aging

covid and social isolation

“Across the nation, community-based organizations that provide vital services to enable older adults to stay in their own homes are struggling to continue supporting their clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April and July 2020, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) surveyed 890+ organizations to understand this impact. As part of the nation’s aging network, these organizations provide services such as meals, senior centers, healthy aging programs, benefits enrollment, caregiver support, transportation, and more.”

In April of this year, the PA Council on Aging Released Findings from Survey of Older Adults During Pandemic.

You’re Invited: 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Forum

alz forum


This webinar is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging

“Sedentary behavior is not always bad for the brain” –

sedentary behavior

by Chrissy Sexton

“A growing collection of studies has linked sedentary behavior to chronic health issues and accelerated signs of aging, such as cognitive decline. But a new study from Colorado State University shows that not all sedentary behavior is bad for the brain, especially when it is balanced by the right amount of physical activity.

“The research, led by Professor Aga Burzynska in the CSU Department of Human Development and Family Studies, was designed to examine the association between physical activity and cognitive performance. The study was focused on 228 healthy older adults between the ages of 60 and 80.

“As expected, participants who engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous activity had better speed, memory, and reasoning skills. On the other hand, the data also showed that adults who engaged in more sedentary behavior performed better on vocabulary and reading tasks.

“The findings may come as a relief to people who have sedentary jobs or spend a significant amount of time sitting. Professor Burzynska said that while the association between increased physical activity and improved cardiovascular and metabolic health is well documented, the link between different intensities of daily physical activity and cognitive health is less understood, particularly in older adults.”

Read this article in its entirety at

Healthy habits at bedtime – National Institute on Aging

“Getting a good night’s sleep helps you stay healthy, alert, and feeling your best. Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults — seven to nine hours each night. There are steps you can take to help you get a good night’s sleep, including:

Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Find more information about sleep and older adults, such as sleep disorders, on the National Institute on Aging’s website in English and Spanish. Check out the Getting a Good Night’s Sleep infographic also available in English and Spanish.

“To jumpstart relief program, Wolf gives landlords more flexibility to collect unpaid rent” – Spotlight PA

rental assistance

Spotlight PA reports:

With the legislature not scheduled to return to Harrisburg until next week, Gov. Tom Wolf took matters into his own hands and made a significant change to the state’s troubled rental assistance program.

“Previously, each tenant who applied was eligible for up to $750 a month in assistance, and landlords were required to waive any additional rent owed. This requirement is a major reason why many landlords haven’t signed up for the state’s program, a previous Spotlight PA report found.

Now, the new guidance will allow landlords to enter into payment agreements with their tenants for the remaining balance owed.

The Context: While the state’s eviction moratorium has expired, a ban instituted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in place until the end of the year. Still, advocates say such a moratorium is only a temporary fix for tenants who will soon find themselves deep in debt.

And while the state’s rental assistance program was meant to provide a solution, it has been hampered by a number of issues, including a lengthy application process that requires tenants to submit extensive paperwork to prove they are eligible. Many landlords say the $750 a month cap is too low.

By the end of September, the state had paid out only $9.6 million of the $150 million available, raising concerns that the program could end with money leftover despite the urgent need.

Despite knowing about these issues since the summer, the legislature has failed to act. A House lawmaker’s COVID-19 diagnosis further delayed action. Wolf is still calling on the legislature to make more changes. “These are positive steps, but we still need a larger solution,” he said in a statement.

“How many organs are in the human body?” – Live Science

organs“How many organs can you see in this human model?” (Image: © Shutterstock)

by Dani Leviss – Live Science Contributor

“Since ancient times, humankind has sought to understand the guts inside us. Ancient Egyptians handled human organs as they removed them for embalming. Medical manuscripts found in an ancient Chinese tomb may be the earliest-known anatomical writing about the human body. Thousands of years later, do we know how many organs are in the human body?

Organs are collections of tissues that work together for a common goal, explained Lisa M.J. Lee, an associate professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. ‘Every organ provides a function for human performance or survival,’ she old Live Science.

“But not every organ is necessary for survival. Only five organs — the brain, heart, liver, at least one kidney, and at least one lung are absolutely essential for living. Losing total function of any one of these vital organs spells death.”

Read this article at LiveScience in its entirety, click here.



“‘I just want to hold her and kiss while she can still appreciate my presence’: One man’s fight to visit his wife” – The Boston Globe

“Strict COVID guidelines intended to keep Alzheimer’s and dementia patients safe are causing deadly isolation”

hold her handNat Weiner is no longer able to care for his wife, Donna. The two live in separate units at Brooksby Village in Peabody.” ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF

by Beth Teitell

The fenced-in outdoor visiting area at the memory care facility — spare except for a few plants — was in the shade, and his wife was cold, the 87-year-old man said. Almost from the moment she was wheeled out, the listless woman draped in blankets, a surgical mask slipping from her face, wanted to be somewhere else.

“’Take me home,’ she pleaded.

“And then, in 30 minutes, the visit he had so eagerly awaited was over, 15 minutes early. An aide wheeled her back inside. He exited through a gate in the fence, crying, his dream of connection once again swallowed by the chill and by the distance between them.

‘The visitor must remain 6+ feet away from the resident,’ the rules in effect during the mid-September visit read, ‘and must wear a face covering or mask at all times. Physical contact is not permitted by DPH mandate.’

“When it comes to the extra dose of suffering the pandemic has inflicted on Alzheimer’s patients and those who love them, there is no shortage of tragic stories.”

Continue reading this Boston Globe article; click here.

“‘The med student daughter is asking so many questions.’ I shouldn’t have needed to do that to help my dad.” – STATNews

Everybody needs an advocate.advocateADOBE

By Orly Nadell Farber

“On the day I was supposed to start my intensive care unit rotation as a fourth-year medical student, I walked into an ICU 3,000 miles away as a visitor.

“My dad, who has been living with cancer since my first year of medical school, was recovering from emergency surgery for an infection. Awake but unable to speak because of a plastic tube in his airway, he grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled, ‘Glad you’re here.’ Unable to find my own voice, I nodded in agreement.

“In the weeks that followed, I was reintroduced to the health care system I thought I already knew. Despite knowing how much compassionate and endless effort doctors, nurses, and other clinicians put into patient care, I was humbled by seeing my father and family struggle to understand the care he needed, and by how much effort it took on our part to ensure he received it.”

Continue reading this article at STATNews.

Know a person age 60 and over or a person with a disability who wants to borrow an iPad, a computer & more? | Read this.

tech owl


TechOWL can assist with an iPad, computer, and more for older adults and people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. Please see the above flyer and this listing of TechOWL’s Assistive Technology Resource Centers and contact list.  If you know of anyone that can benefit from this technology, please refer them to the appropriate TechOwl Resource Center from the attached contact list.


The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council wants your help: “please take this survey”



Hello, Pennsylvanians! The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council (PADDC) is developing our Five Year Strategic Plan and we need your help. We want to know what you think are the most important issues facing people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. The survey may take you about 10-15 minutes to complete.

First, we ask you for some basic demographic information. Then we will ask for your feedback in specific areas. You can answer the survey anonymously or provide your name if you wish. Your input is very important to us. This is your chance to be a part of the DD Council’s planning for the next five years.

Please note that we are specifically seeking the input of individuals with a disability and their families. We ask that you complete the survey by October 21, 2020. Thank you for your help!

Click here to begin the survey: