Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

“December 2017 Report: Drug Interactions – How to Avoid Them” – National Poll on Healthy Aging

Hispanic man examining prescription bottle in kitchen

“Most older Americans take multiple medicines every day. But a new poll suggests they don’t get – or seek – enough help to make sure those medicines actually mix safely.”

“Most older Americans take multiple medicines every day. But a new poll suggests they don’t get – or seek – enough help to make sure those medicines actually mix safely.

“That lack of communication could be putting older adults at risk of health problems from interactions between their drugs, and between their prescription drugs and other substances such as over-the-counter medicines, supplements, food and alcohol.

“The new results, from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, show that only about one in three older Americans who take at least one prescription drug have talked to anyone about possible drug interactions in the past two years.


“Even among those taking six or more different medicines, only 44 percent had talked to someone about possible drug interactions.”

Click here to continue reading this article and to download the full report.

“A new blood test can detect eight different cancers in their early stages” – The Conversation

blood test for cancer“A liquid biopsy is far less invasive than a standard biopsy, where a needle is put into a solid tumour to confirm a cancer diagnosis. from”

“Researchers have developed a blood test that can detect the presence of eight common cancers. Called CancerSEEK, the blood test detects tiny amounts of DNA and proteins released into the blood stream from cancer cells. This can then indicate the presence of ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, oesophageal, bowel, lung or breast cancers.

“Known as a liquid biopsy, the test is distinctly different to a standard biopsy, where a needle is put into a solid tumour to confirm a cancer diagnosis. CancerSEEK, is also far less invasive. It can be performed without even knowing a cancer is present, and therefore allow for early diagnosis and more chance of a cure.”

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

Better Hearing and Speech Month Award


hamilton relay letter

Hamilton Relay, contracted service provider for Pennsylvania, is currently seeking nominations for the 2018 Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award.

Nominations are due April 2nd. Please read the above nomination information letter and click here to download the scholarship application.

Nominations are sought for individuals who are hard of hearing, late-deafened or have difficulty speaking and who have been a positive influence in Pennsylvania, demonstrating commitment to volunteerism, leadership, advocacy and enhancing the lives of those around them.

The award will be presented during Better Hearing and Speech Month in May.

Friday Wrap-Up, January 12, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

This week the Secretary writes about the 2018 Direct Care Worker (DCW) of the Year Award Nomination Extension.

The DCW of the Year Award was established to recognize the outstanding work of home-care aides who bring care home to thousands of older Pennsylvanians every day so they can remain in their homes

  • Demonstrate the commonwealth’s commitment to elevating the profession of direct-care workers
  • Spotlight the value and rewards of serving as a professional caregiver

The nomination deadline for this year has been extended to Friday, January 26, 2018.

Please click here to submit your nomination.

“What would nursing homes do with more money?” – Journalist’s Resource

nursing home

by Chloe Reichel

“As Medicaid reimbursement rates increase, nursing homes add more licensed staff per resident, improving quality of care, a new model suggests.

“he issue: As baby boomers age, they are bound to put more strain on nursing homes. A report to Congress prepared by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that over 91 percent of nursing homes are staffed below the level that is minimally necessary to provide all needed care.

“The challenge of staffing is linked to economic and regulatory barriers. Nursing care is a costly national expense–in 2016, total expenditures stood at $163 billion, with Medicaid contributing $50 billion to this sum, according to data from CMS. States determine their own rates for nursing home reimbursements under Medicaid, balancing desires to achieve particular outcomes related to quality of and access to care with the need to meet budgetary requirements. New research produced by Martin Hackmann, an economist at UCLA, looks at how small changes in Medicaid reimbursements might improve quality of care.

“An academic study worth reading:Incentivizing Better Quality of Care: The Role of Medicaid and Competition in the Nursing Home Industry.”

This study found “Combining detailed industry data from Pennsylvania with a model of demand and supply, … that low Medicaid reimbursement rates are a key contributor to quality shortfalls in this industry.”

“Take The ACE Quiz — And Learn What It Does And Doesn’t Mean” – NPR


by Laura Starecheski 

“An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later health problems.

Click here to continue reading this article and you can take the test by clicking here.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight stealing disease. – Vision Resource Center of Berks County

Glaucoma… The Leading Cause of Preventable Blindness”

glaucoma eye

“Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent.

“As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.Over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma.

“Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.”

Click here to continue reading this important article at the Vision Resource Center of Berks County Website.

Six new agencies added to Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources for Service Area 13

jan new partners

We’re proud to announce these recently added partner agencies to the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area.

Click on the links below to see the complete listing of partner resources in each of the counties of Service Area 13.

Berks County partners’ network

Lancaster County partners’ network

Lebanon County partners’ network

To align with the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area as a partner entity costs nothing. The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources is part of the national Aging and Disability Resources Center [ADRC) network.

For more information about how your agency, entity or organization can become a partner, text or call the Lead Link coordinator at 717.380.9714 or email

PA link logo 2

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are the first place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.


  • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
  • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
  • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
  • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community
There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.



“The part of aging that people don’t talk about — and 5 ways to deal with it” – The Lebanon Daily News

by Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News

“For years before her death at age 96, Nancy Lundebjerg’s mother underwent a long, slow decline.

“Arthritis made it hard for Margaret Lundebjerg to get around. After two hip surgeries, she needed a walker when she was out and about.

“Incontinence was a source of discomfort, as was the need to rely on aides to help her perform daily chores.”

aging“When families avoid talking about an aging parent’s frailty or serious illness, the person with the condition can become isolated and family relationships can become strained.”

“Little by little, Margaret became frail and isolated. “There was a sadness to seeing my mother’s circle of life become diminished,” said Nancy Lundebjerg, 58, CEO of the American Geriatrics Society, who wrote about her experiences in the organization’s journal.

“The anguish accompanying aging isn’t openly discussed very often, nor is its companion: grief. Instead, these emotions are typically acknowledged only after a loved one’s death, when formal rituals recognizing a person’s passing —the wake, the funeral, the shiva — begin.

“But frailty and serious illness can involve significant losses over an extended period of time, giving rise to sadness and grief for years.”

Continue reading this article at the Lebanon Daily News Website.


Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

A few days ago, a caller left a voice message asking for clarification on medical marijuana. Here is the information about Pennsylvania’s program according to the Website:

“The Pennsylvania Department of Health is in the process of implementing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, signed into law on April 17, 2016. When fully implemented, the Medical Marijuana Program will provide access to medical marijuana for patients with a serious medical condition through a safe and effective method of delivery that balances patient need for access to the latest treatments with patient care and safety. This guide will connect you with medical marijuana resources and information for patients and caregivers, growers and processors, dispensaries, physicians, and laboratories.”