Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

Forgetfulness: normal or not?

Many people worry about becoming forgetful as they age. They think it is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. But forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging.

forgetfullness

Attention area veterans! Did you know there’s a Veterans Mental Health Council? With monthly meetings at the VA Medical Center in Lebanon.

VA mental health council

Click on the graphic above to download the brochure for more information.

“Nursing homes and hospice providers face looming emergency preparedness deadline” – Modern Healthcare

by Steven Ross Johnson

“After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Amedisys decided it needed to upgrade its disaster plan. The national home healthcare and hospice provider began conducting risk analysis and factoring in local potential hazards to develop a plan to ensure staff and residents at its U.S. facilities could weather natural disasters. From this came several changes: greater coordination with first responders, regular drills and closer collaboration with other Medicare providers.

“The plan, which calls for sending disaster response teams to check in on patients at home and bringing them food, water and cleaning supplies, was implemented during last year’s floods in Louisiana. The plan helped keep Amedisys staff and residents safe.

“But now Amedisys and other providers like it are being asked to step up their efforts. Many of the nation’s healthcare providers are facing a deadline to implement new federal requirements that standardize how they handle natural disasters and terrorists’ threats.

“In September, the CMS finalized a rule requiring 17 types of healthcare providers to set new policies that result in better coordination with emergency personnel and frequent tests and adaptations of emergency plans.

“While most experts support the regulations, others worry that many facilities, … ”

Continue reading this article at Modern Healthcare, click here.

Friday Wrap-Up, May 26, 2017 | 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.

“Health Care Planning Following a Diagnosis of Dementia” – IKOR

healthcare planning

by Zach Nelson

“Progressive forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, allow the individual diagnosed with the disease to participate in the planning of their care. In this article, we turn our attention to the planning that should be carried out to ensure the individual’s health care needs are met, and their wishes are honored throughout the progression of the disease.

“Sound Financial Planning is the Foundation for Medical Planning

“The average life expectancy following the onset of dementia symptoms is between eight and ten years; however, … ”

To continue reading this article in its entirety at IKORGlobal.com, click here.

 

Governor Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro Announce Launch of Reentry Council

“All too often, returning citizens face enormous barriers that endure long after they have paid their debts to society – and with over 600,000 individuals released from federal and state prisons every year, societal choices about how we treat reentering individuals will have far-reaching implications for all of us. Without effective reentry policies, we risk perpetuating cycles of violence, victimization, incarceration and poverty in our neighborhoods. We risk wasting the potential of millions of Americans whose past mistakes continue to exclude them from the chance to contribute to their communities. That’s why the Reentry Council is dedicated to expanding access to the key building blocks of a stable life – employment, education, housing, healthcare, and civic participation – to give formerly incarcerated individuals a second chance and to create stronger and safer communities for all.” – S0URCE: “THE FEDERAL INTERAGENCY REENTRY COUNCIL : A Record of Progress and a Roadmap for the Future

Federal interagency reentry council

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with  members of the governor’s cabinet and legislators, announced (on May 15, 2017) the launch of the Pennsylvania Reentry Council (PRC), created to educate the public, members of law enforcement and criminal justice, and policymakers on why supporting prisoner reentry efforts is essential to reducing crime and violence. The council will provide a forum for the sharing of best practices on reentry and will help to identify barriers to successful reentry for persons with criminal records.

“In Pennsylvania, 90 percent of the prison population will return to their community,” Governor Wolf said. “And if we are not successful at getting them the services they need to make it home, then all of our work, all the rehabilitative programming, all the money we’ve spent to get them ready to return home is rendered useless. Pennsylvania has had a large but fragmented network of reentry services, but today with the announcement of the Reentry Council, we can unite the state’s multiple reentry partners into one statewide reentry council.”

“For too long, we’ve relied solely on incarceration to prevent crime and violence,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “By working collaboratively with law enforcement, state and local government and communities, we can create new strategies to expand opportunities and assist returning citizens as they reenter their communities, and make our commonwealth safer as a result.”

The Department of Correction (DOC), the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP), the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), 21 regional reentry coalitions, and numerous reentry services providers work regularly to improve the outcomes of reentrants and increase public safety—but often in silos and without clear direction.

Members of these state agencies and the departments of Human Services, Labor & Industry, Education, and Transportation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Victim Advocate, and the existing 21 regional coalitions will be part of the new PRC, which will be the center of reentry efforts for the commonwealth to establish common goals, promote evidence-based practices, and encourage collaboration and coordination across all stakeholder groups. PRC will build on the individual successes of reentry organizations and identify and eliminate weaknesses.

The PRC will work to promote collaboration between federal, state, local, and community reentry stakeholders and identify and implement successful evidence-based reentry programs.

“The reentry process begins upon an individual’s admission into the correctional system and continues through release and into their community,” Governor Wolf said. “To continue Pennsylvania’s historic inmate reduction – over 2,000 individuals since January 2015 – we must expand reentry services and build on the good work already being done by stakeholders. The new Reentry Council will do just that.”

“One of the most impactful ways to lower our recidivism rate is meaningful re-integrative services and removing the barriers to re-integration,” Representative Jordan Harris said on behalf of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “We applaud the governor and the Attorney General for their foresight to establish this council and look forward to working with the council for the betterment of our commonwealth.”

At the state level the Wolf Administration continues to implement policies and expand services to improve reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. Among those efforts, Governor Wolf introduced a ‘Ban the Box’ Fair-Chance hiring policy for state agencies that will remove the criminal conviction question from both civil and non-civil service employment applications for agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction. Ban the Box allows for reentry services in Pennsylvania to work by providing applicants a fair chance to be judged on their qualifications, not their criminal history.

Also, Governor Wolf signed Act 5 of 2016 into law, which removes barriers to employment by sealing minor criminal records for those who have been crime-free for 10 years. Farther reaching ‘clean slate’ legislation is anticipated later this year to provide for “automatic” sealing of non-violent misdemeanor records after 10 years.

Following the press conference, the first meeting of the Reentry Council was held at the Attorney General’s Office. (SOURCE: news release)

“How childhood trauma can affect mental and physical health into adulthood” – The Conversation

childhood traumaChildhood trauma can have an impact across generations. ambrozinio/Shutterstock

Editor’s Note: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This article is the first in a series exploring how research into adverse childhood experiences – or ACEs – is helping therapists, parents, educators and the medical community better understand the lasting effects of trauma on mental health.

“For millions of children in the U.S., poverty, neglect or abuse is a reality of everyday life, though these struggles are often hidden from view.

“Adult survivors often feel ashamed about and stigmatized for their childhood adversity. This makes it difficult to recognize that these events occur.

“While it’s easier to turn away than to face these issues, we can no longer afford to do so. Stress, mental illness and substance abuse – all health outcomes linked to childhood trauma – occur in the U.S. today at very high rates.

“In 1999, I joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an early investigator on a study to examine how childhood trauma can impact health decades later. Little did I know that I was about to begin both a professional and personal journey that would forever change my understanding of medicine, public health and the human capacity to heal.

“That seminal study provided insight into the lifelong health consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

 

 

Governor Wolf to Nominate Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller to be Inaugural Secretary of Health and Human Services

tmillerTeresa Miller has been nominated by Governor Tom Wolf to be the inaugural Secretary of the prospective unified Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf Yesterday announced his intention to nominate current Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller to serve as the inaugural Secretary of the prospective unified Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Miller has served as Insurance Commissioner since January 2015, where she has worked on a range of issues, including the administration’s top priorities – fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic and helping seniors.

“‘Teresa Miller has established herself quickly in Pennsylvania as a leader in her field, an advocate for consumers and the less fortunate, and an effective administrator whose department quickly found new success in a challenging national environment,’ Governor Wolf said. ‘Over the past two years, Commissioner Miller has fought to protect health care for seniors and kids, increased the department’s efforts for consumer protection and education, and made the department more transparent.’”

Continue reading the announcement here.

RELATED ARTICLES:

SEIU HCPA Applauds Nomination of Teresa Miller as Secretary of PA Dept of Health and Human Services

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“Extreme Heat Message and Precautions | Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Get Involved” – Administration for Community Living

go kit

Summer is almost here. While we prepare to enjoy the warm weather, it’s important to take precautions in case extreme heat strikes.

By evaluating your needs, you can plan for any heat related situation.

The following steps will prepare you to handle periods of extreme heat and the associated risks:

  • Consider how potential power outages during periods of extreme heat might affect you. Plan to be temporarily self-sufficient if the electricity goes out. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or a pharmacy.
  • Identify the resources you use on a daily basis and what you can do if they are limited or not available. Make provisions for medications that require refrigeration, and plan arrangements to get to a cooling center, if needed.
  • Think about what you need to maintain your health, safety, and independence. Build A Kit that includes any specialized items such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, and medication. Also include non-perishable food and water, items for service animals and pets, a cooler, and anything else you might need.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, especially those who spend much of their time alone, or are more likely to be affected by extreme heat.
  • Be watchful for signs of heat stroke and dehydration. These include shallow breathing, a lack of perspiration, dizziness, dry mouth, and headaches.

The HHS emPOWER Map 2.0 features the monthly total of Medicare beneficiaries with electricity-dependent equipment claims at the U.S. state, territory, county, and zip code level to identify the areas and populations that may be impacted and at risk for prolonged power outages.

For more information about extreme heat preparedness and tools, go to ready.gov/heat and cdc.gov.

SOURCE: Administration for Community Living

“‘I was panicked’: Deaf patients struggle to get interpreters in medical emergencies” – STATNews

deafJohn Paul Jebian communicates with his son Pierre, in Miami, Fla. – Scott McIntyre for STAT

by Leila Miller

“The chest pain was bad enough. Then John Paul Jebian asked staff at Baptist Hospital of Miami for an American Sign Language interpreter. They instead brought a video screen with an internet link to a remote interpreter to help him understand what the doctors and nurses were saying.

“Jebian, who is deaf, said a nurse struggled to set up the equipment as he anxiously wondered whether he was suffering a heart attack.

“‘I was panicked,’ said Jebian, 46, recalling that July 2012 day. ‘I didn’t know if I had to have surgery. Everything was going past me. I didn’t know what was happening, when it was happening.’

“With the minutes ticking by and staff still unable to operate the video interpreting service, the hospital turned to another option.”

Click here to continue reading this article at STATNews.com.