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.
As a next-generation veterans empowerment organization, IAVA is proud of our long record of standing with our LGBT brothers and sisters in arms. For many years, our courageous LGBT members and allies have led the charge for equality within VA, the Department of Defense and beyond.
IAVA stepped forward to back repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to fight against DOMA, and to vigorously oppose the transgender ban in the military. We will always be proud of these moments in IAVA’s history when we stood, often alone, on the right side of history. When every other national veterans group was silent, IAVA was a lone voice of leadership, reason and courage.
And IAVA is continuing the fight to ensure LGBT service members veterans and families are treated with the same dignity and respect afforded to all members of the military.
Equality for all is an essential American value. And key to a stronger, modern military.
Click here to listen to The Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty-four” while you read this article.
by Sharon Jayson
“A gnawing sense of irrelevancy and invisibility suddenly hits many aging adults, as their life roles shift from hands-on parent to empty nester or from workaholic to retiree. Self-worth and identity may suffer as that feeling that you matter starts to fade. Older adults see it in the workplace when younger colleagues seem uninterested in their feedback. Those who just retired might feel a bit unproductive.
New research suggests this perception of becoming irrelevant is very real. And that’s why some seniors are determined to stay social, remain relevant and avert the loneliness often linked with aging.
“As people get older, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to feel like they make a difference and matter … ”
“There’s nothing more important than an older loved one’s safety. And when someone you care about is still driving, it’s crucial to pay close attention to their habits and, possibly, talk with them about planning for a life without driving.
Of course, it’s never easy to know the right time for them to “’hang up the keys,’ but these discussions can be easier. To help you, AARP Driver Safety has created an easy-to-complete program called We Need To Talk.
This FREE online seminar offers practical tips and advice in three interactive sessions:
- The Meaning of Driving – Find out what driving means to older adults and the emotions they may face when they have to give it up.
- Observing Driving Skills – Learn to notice and assess your loved ones’ driving skills objectively and talk about alternatives to driving.
- Planning Conversations – Discover ways to have “the talk” while encouraging independence. It’s a difficult conversation to initiate, but with the right tools, you can really make a difference in the life of an older driver.
“AARP Driver Safety offers many valuable educational programs. Click here to find out more.”
Dr. Atul Gawande. – Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
by Liz Kowalczyk – Boston Globe staff
“They’ve made a big splash, but three powerful business leaders who want to reinvent health care have been short on details about their venture. They took a notable step forward on Wednesday, recruiting Boston surgeon and prolific author Dr. Atul Gawande to head their new, still-mysterious company.
“Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and JPMorgan Chase chairman Jamie Dimon aim to improve medical care and lower its cost for their employees, and become a national model. But exactly how they envision doing that is unclear — especially in a field with no shortage of ambitious plans and ideas.
“‘The lack of details makes it a little bit of a shot in the dark,’’’ … Continue reading this Boston Globe article, click here.
“ABC’s backers are: A is for Amazon, B is for Berkshire, and C is for Chase. ABC is a not-for-profit joint venture that those companies’ CEOs—Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon—have created to reinvent the way they provide and pay for health care for their employees.”
“Atul Gawande, CEO? | The New Yorker writer and surgeon is an unconventional choice to lead the Bezos-Buffett health care startup, and a good one.” – Slate.com
Download the questionnaire to nominate an individual, click here.
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) receives $25,000 grant to help more people with disabilities achieve independence
King of Prussia, PA – The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) at 1004 Ninth Avenue in King of Prussia, PA has received a $25,000 grant from the House of Rest Endowment Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation to expand its financial products into southeast Pennsylvania. Announcement of the grant was made by Pedro A. Ramos, President and CEO of the Foundation.
Susan Tachau, Executive Director of PATF, said the funds would be used to increase the number of people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians in southeast Pennsylvania who will be able to finance the assistive technology they need in order to lead more independent lives. “Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities,” said Tachau. Adapted AT devices may include such items as:
- Adapted Vehicles;
- Computers, iPads, and tablet software and hardware;
- Smart home technology such as (but not limited to) the Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, Ring, etc.;
- Adapted sports equipment;
- Hearing aids and other devices for people who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing;
- Home modifications (ramps, showers, counter tops);
- Scooters and wheelchairs;
- Seat lift chairs; and
- Safety and security devices.
Through loans valued at more than $37 million and with over 14,000 Pennsylvanians helped since its founding in 1998, PATF is considered one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensiveAlternative Financing Programs (AFP). To learn more about PATF’s loan products, financial education curriculum, and development services, please visit www.patf.us.
Pain of the sick: ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ by Sir Charles Bell, 1806. Wellcome Collection
“‘I have had little or no sleep, owing to the tooth ache or rather stump ache,’Elizabeth Drinker wrote in her diary one night in 1796. ‘One of my Eye teeth very sore, my face much swelled and painful.’
“Drinker, a white woman from a prominent family in Philadelphia, filled her diary with comments like this. Disease was rampant in those days, and injuries often didn’t heal properly. Food was frequently spoiled, leading to painful stomach problems. Cavities and severe gum disease were common. These and other problems meant that pain – severe, intractable pain – was an ordinary part of daily life.
“Of course, many people suffered far more than Elizabeth Drinker. Slaves, in particular, were forced to perform long hours of grueling work, and their injuries and illnesses were often left untreated. They also suffered from brutal physical punishment.”
Click here to continue reading this article at The Conversation.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is now accepting applications for $930 million in State Opioid Response Grants. SAMHSA will distribute funds to states and territories in support of their ongoing efforts to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services to individuals with opioid use disorder.
The State Opioid Response Grants aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment, reducing unmet treatment need and reducing opioid-related overdose deaths. “This large new grant program reflects President Trump’s deep commitment to fighting the opioid crisis, and will provide extra support for the hardest-hit states,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “It demonstrates the emphasis we place on expanding access to treatment that works, especially medication-assisted treatment with appropriate social supports.”
The grants will be awarded to the states and territories using a formula specified in the funding announcement. Fifteen percent of the total funds will be set aside to provide extra support to states that have been hardest hit by the crisis. States and territories will use the grants to design plans and conduct activities across the spectrum of prevention, treatment, and recovery.
These prevention, treatment, and recovery activities represent a comprehensive response to the opioid crisis and include action at the federal, state and local levels. “The State Opioid Response Grants were designed to meet the specific needs of communities within each state and territory,” explained Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz. “The grants will expand capacity to provide much needed evidence-based care to people who haven’t yet been reached.”
Under President Trump, in April 2017, HHS unveiled a new five-point Opioid Strategy. The Strategy prioritizes efforts in five areas: 1) Improving access to prevention, treatment and recovery support services, including medication-assisted treatment; 2) Promoting the targeted availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs; 3) Strengthening public health data reporting and collection; 4) Supporting cutting-edge research on addiction and pain and 5) Advancing the practice of pain management. Over fiscal years 2017 and 2018, HHS will invest over $4 billion in opioid-specific funding, including funds to state and local governments as well as tribal, public, and nonprofit organizations to support treatment and recovery services, target availability of overdose-reversing drugs, train first responders and more.
For more information on how to apply, see https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/ti-18-015.
“Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, but most falls can be prevented. This resource highlights fall risk factors and ways that caregivers can work with loved ones to develop a falls prevention action plan.
“The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) has partnered with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to create this resource highlighting fall risk factors and ways that caregivers can work with loved ones to develop a falls prevention action plan. This resource provides a guide for starting conversations about falls with loved ones. It also outlines specific falls prevention action steps and highlights additional resources which may helpful.”