Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

Opinion: “Creating New Intergenerational Conversations” – Age Equity Alliance

“Intergenerational care for older adults had always been second nature to me. Despite my grandparents living an ocean’s length away in the Philippines, I found myself spending time with older residents at my mom’s workplace. I’d beeline straight to her office after school and spend time chatting with staff and residents alike. I’d later find myself in the middle of college applications and stumbled upon a gerontology program just down the street. Since then, I have not looked back.”


by Lois Angelo – “Lois Angelo is an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California studying Human Development and Aging.”

My name is Lois Angelo. I’m an undergraduate at the Leonard Davis School at the University of Southern California majoring in Human Development and Aging. At USC, my involvements are mainly with the gerontology school’s research labs, student organizations, and communications efforts. 

“I learned about Age Equity Alliance and support its mission as an advocate for intergenerational discussion. With the pandemic in full swing, the challenges that older adults faced such as social isolation and ageist attitudes began to grow higher and higher. Research from the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago points to poorer cognitive function among older adults experiencing social isolation or loneliness. The workplace quickly found itself having to adapt to such changes. Unfortunately, this resulted in a growing age-related disparity targeted primarily against older adults. Sadly, the media and other pieces of social consumables have fueled the flames of intergenerational warfare, pitting cohorts against each other for brand revenue and attention.

Stereotypes of older adults failing to understand technology are another clear example of ageism that hinders them from thriving and succeeding. We rarely see images of older people surfing the web or scrolling through social media. Those patterns translate into misconstrued stereotypes illustrating older adults as incapable or even apprehensive towards technology altogether. 

“The pandemic in lieu of the digital age, however, has not been all doom and gloom. It’s easier to facilitate open conversations that may have not been accessible at first in person. Moreover, intergenerational discussions and cooperation serve to bring people together after being apart for so long. The present mistakes encourage us to reflect back on the past and what we can do.

Success in the workplace means adaptability to new environments and technology. This is a stark and new outlook compared to the workplaces which valued experience and wisdom above all. This shift does not mean that older adults should be left out of the picture. Clearly, an intergenerational workplace model helps to reconcile and recognize past mistakes while planning for a stronger, more inclusive future.”

“Growing Power Outages Pose Grave Threat To People Who Need Medical Equipment To Live” – NPR

power outage

“David Taylor, who has muscular dystrophy, relies on a ventilator to live. During the power outages across Texas in February, he had to be transported to a hospital before his ventilator’s backup battery ran out.” – Rodger Mallison/Undark Magazine

by Charlotte Huff

“For four decades, David Taylor has relied on a ventilator to breathe, the whoosh, whoosh of the machine part of the background metronome of daily life. Then, on the night of Feb. 14, an Arctic blast began to overwhelm the Texas power grid. The next morning, the electricity flickered out in the Fort Worth home that the 65-year-old shares with his mother.

“David’s ventilator switched over at some point to a backup battery and kept running. A family member brought over a generator and spent several hours trying, unsuccessfully, to get it working in the sub-freezing air. By nightfall, the one-story house had gone around 12 hours without power, other than an hour or so when the lights briefly turned on, recalled David’s 89-year-old mother, Dorothy Taylor. The temperature inside had dropped to the low 50s. David, who has muscular dystrophy, remained in bed beneath a pile of blankets. Dorothy kept one eye on the clock, unsure how much longer her son’s backup battery would hold out. “I couldn’t wait ’til the last minute,” she says. “He would die within minutes.”

“Across Texas, other families were facing similar dilemmas. The ambulance provider MedStar, which serves the greater Fort Worth area, fielded more than 50 calls — including Dorothy’s — from Feb. 15 to Feb. 17 involving patients with life-sustaining medical devices and no power. A San Antonio emergency room doctor, Ralph Riviello, tells Undark that around 18 to 24 people showed up at his hospital during the crisis, desperate to recharge medical equipment. Near Houston, a 75-year-old man froze to death in his truck; his family believes he ventured out to get a spare oxygen tank from the vehicle after losing electricity at his home.

“These are not just one-off tragedies. Some experts warn that complex home-based medical care is on a collision course with climate change, as severe weather events become more frequent nationwide.”

Continue reading this article at NPR, click here:

The cost of dying in the US approaches $20,000

According to this report at dying is not an inexpensive state in the US.

“We know that death and finances is not a topic people want to discuss, but it is something people should be aware of. Funerals, cremations, and medical costs are expensive and can be a surprisingly large bill.

“We wanted to analyze the true cost of dying in each state based on official data to find out just how much people are having to spend at an incredibly difficult time for many.”


“The national average cost of dying for all states is $19,565.80, this is based on a calculation that is proportional to the average number of cremations and burials as well as the average end-of-life medical costs.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

“American Jobs Act proposes big dollars for caregiving — here’s the bigger vision it lacks” – The Hill

“It’s about time we as a nation acknowledged the critical importance of caring for adults in their fragile years to both the economy and the fabric of our society.”

home care

by Amy Cameron O’Rourke, opinion contributor

“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan includes a provision to invest $400 billion in “caregiving infrastructure,” including to create jobs and raise wages and benefits for workers who care for the elderly.

“Having built a 40-year career as a care manager to older adults, my first reaction to this news was sheer jubilation. It’s about time we as a nation acknowledged the critical importance of caring for adults in their fragile years to both the economy and the fabric of our society. Once I’d come back down to earth, I began to wonder: In what other ways might a $400 billion investment be used to jumpstart the sort of fundamental change our eldercare system so desperately needs?

“As everyone knows, the coronavirus hit nursing homes and other long-term care facilities the hardest. Their residents constitute less than 1 percent of the U.S. population yet accounted for at least 32 percent of all COVID-19 deaths. To date,182,000 COVID fatalities occurred in long-term care facilities, residents and staff combined. What seemed minor by comparison was the emotional blow for families unable to visit their loved ones in nursing homes.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of the nursing home dilemma … ”

Continue reading this article in its entirety at The Hill, click here.

Wolf Administration Encourages Pennsylvanians to Apply for Assistance with Internet Bills, Electronic Devices


Harrisburg, PA – The departments of Human Services, Labor & Industry, and Education today announced the availability of the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a program that will assist eligible households in paying for internet service and certain electronic devices.

The EBB, which is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is a temporary program that provides a discount of up to $50 per month off a qualifying household’s internet bill and associated equipment rental. Additionally, eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 towards a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, provided that the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The EBB is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household, and the discount will be provided by the FCC directly to the service provider.

“The past year has shown us just how essential internet access is in order to connect with our loved ones, our workplaces and schools, and even to basic needs like telehealth and grocery delivery. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many to keep up with bills and expenses, so we are glad that the FCC is providing this benefit to people who need it,” said Acting DHS Secretary Meg Snead. “Assistance programs like this exist to help get you through tough times. I encourage anybody who has struggled to pay their internet bills to apply for this benefit.”

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating internet provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program; or,
  • Qualifies for the FCC’s Lifeline program.
    • Households qualify for the federal Lifeline program if their income is less than 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or if they or their child participate in programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), or other federal programs. Eligible participants can receive Lifeline and EBB at the same time.
    • DHS has partnered with the FCC to provide a real time data exchange that verifies whether an individual is already receiving SNAP, Medicaid or SSI so that individuals receiving these programs will be able to more easily qualify for this new benefit as well as Lifeline.

“Strong, reliable access to the internet is a necessity for workers because today’s job search and hiring process is conducted almost exclusively online,” said L&I Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “The Emergency Broadband Benefit will help struggling Pennsylvanians apply for jobs, communicate with hiring managers, and engage in online training programs that will help lift them out of poverty.”

“Access to the internet could be considered a school supply; a critical resource that supports learning beyond classroom walls,” said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “The Emergency Broadband Benefit serves as another means to bridge the digital divide and create digital equity for students and families across the state.”

Applications for this program open today and will end once the funds are exhausted or six months after the federal Department of Health and Human Services declares the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Service providers will be required to give notice on the last date when the EBB program will end.

To apply for the EBB program, contact your participating broadband service provider, or visit to apply online or print a paper application to mail in.

More information on the EBB can be found here.  For more information on other public assistance programs, visit

SOURCE: news release

“A Son Turned His Mother’s Story Of Workplace Ageism Into A Heart-Warming Documentary With A Message” – Forbes

biggest adventure“Despite struggling for three years to find work, Rebecca Danigelis is learning to enjoy life–thanks to her filmmaker son.” –  SIAN-PIERRE REGIS

by Sheila Callaham

“Sian-Pierre Regis’ documentary Duty Free chronicles the story of his mother, Rebecca Danigelis, who was fired without cause at age 75 from her job as a hotel housekeeper.

“Danigelis had spent her life working in hospitality and prided herself on perfection. While she admits to having seen other people pushed out of the workplace as they got older, she was determined it would never happen to her.

“Until it did.

“On the day she was fired, the first person she called was Regis. She’d cashed out most of her 401(k) to pay for his college education, and when he asked how much money she had saved, the answer was frightening–only $600.

“Danigelis needed another job and fast.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety at Forbes Magazine.

Pennsylvanians Having Trouble Paying Rent – Apply for Assistance Today!

trouble paying rent

“Youth-Led Group Builds Tiny Home Village to Fight California’s Homelessness Crisis” – The Imprint

“The Oakland, California project will nearly double Alameda county’s capacity to serve homeless youth.”

tiny homes

by Sara Tiano

Ayear ago, the spot on Hegenberger Road in Oakland’s industrial district was but a barren parking lot. Today, it is an art-drenched neighborhood of ‘tiny homes’ created by a local nonprofit, the latest effort to address California’s youth homelessness crisis.

The 26 tiny homes, each measuring 8 feet by 10 feet, feature skylights, heated floors and custom Murphy beds that, when folded up, transform into a table.  Each miniature house designed for one is painted in an array of bright colors and adorned with two full-wall murals draping the exterior, depicting everything from a serene moonlit mermaid scene to a bustling cityscape dotted with protest signs — all painted by local youth artists.

There are shared bathrooms and two community yurts: one filled with couches and armchairs like the common room of a college dorm, and the other a kitchen and dining space. Lines of colorful planter boxes snaking across the lot bear flowers, vegetables and fruit trees.

‘This village is a metaphor for everyone realizing their vision for a cohesive, copacetic environment for people to grow,’ said 20-year-old Sean McCreary, who developed the tiny home village project along with his peers at the nonprofit Youth Spirit Artworks.”

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

“Why does ‘motional pain’ hurt?: ‘Hurt feelings’ is more than a metaphor.” – LiveScience

emotional pain

by Isobel Whitcomb

“When rock band R.E.M. belted out “Everybody hurts sometimes,” they weren’t singing about backaches or sprained ankles. They were, of course, referring to the intense pain our emotions can cause — like the pang of losing a cherished friend or the heaviness in your chest after a breakup. So why do we experience rejection and loss as literal heartache?

“The short answer: It helps us survive.

“Pain is a danger signal, said Geoff MacDonald, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. When you place your hand on a hot stove, for example, a network of neurons in your brain activates to send a message: Something is very wrong. ‘If you stub your toe, for a brief moment, your entire world is that toe,’ MacDonald told Live Science. ‘Pain is really good at disrupting attention and getting you singularly focused on making the bad thing stop.’

“From an evolutionary perspective, rejection is a really bad thing. For human ancestors, survival required a close social network, MacDonald said. ‘By cooperating, you can collect food better; you can protect against predators better,’ he said. ‘And obviously, if you’re not connected to other people, you’re going to have a hard time finding somebody to reproduce with.'”

Continue reading this article at LiveScience, click here.

“‘Ever Forward’ — Leeza Gibbons Talks About Caregiving” – next avenue

“How her organization is responding to burdens caregivers have been feeling, and the lessons she learned from her late mom who had Alzheimer’s”

leeza gibbons – caregiving videos

by Rosanne Corcoran

“I had the pleasure of meeting Leeza Gibbons through a journaling program for caregivers coordinated by Leeza’s Care Connection, her organization which offers programs, resources, strategies and support for those caring for a loved one with a chronic illness or Alzheimer’s disease. Her work has become her passion and mission.

“Leeza Gibbons might be someone you may feel like you know from her Emmy-award winning television career, her New York Times bestselling books or even from winning “The Celebrity Apprentice.” But that wasn’t the Leeza Gibbons I met. 

“The one I met was a caregiver who understood the sadness, the grief and the longing I feel in the midst of my caring for my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, because Gibbons lost her mother in the same way. Her positivity and compassion have the ability to just make you feel better, even virtually through Zoom, as I think you’ll see in my interview with her below (it has been edited for length and clarity):”

Click here to continue reading this next avenue article.