Lest you think this cannot happen here in the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Counties area, do not be deluded. Romance scams do happen here and we have evidence that some people have lost lots of money in the pursuit of companionship. The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns about “Romance Scams | Online Imposters Break Hearts and Bank Accounts.”
“On the internet, you can become anyone you want to – at least for a while. And though deception doesn’t fit well with lasting romance, people lie all the time: Fewer than a third of people in one survey claimed they were always honest in online interactions, and nearly nobody expected others to be truthful. Much of the time, lies are meant to make the person telling them seem better somehow – more attractive, more engaging or otherwise worth getting to know.
“‘Catfishing’ is a more advanced effort of digital deception. Named in a 2010 movie that later expanded into an MTV reality series, a catfish is a person who sets up an intentionally fake profile on one or more social network sites, often with the purpose of defrauding or deceiving other users.
“It happens more than people might think – and to more people than might believe it. Many times in my own personal life when I was seeking to meet people online, I found that someone was being deceptive. In one case, I did a Google image search and found a man’s profile picture featured on a site called ‘Romance Scams.’ ”
You can read this article in its entirety at The Conversation, click here.
“Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Ageism is widespread and an insidious practice which has harmful effects on the health of older adults. For older people, ageism is an everyday challenge. Overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media, ageism marginalizes and excludes older people in their communities.
“Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially ‘normalized’ of any prejudice, and is not widely countered – like racism or sexism. These attitudes lead to the marginalization of older people within our communities and have negative impacts on their health and well-being.” – SOURCE: World Health Organization
Watch this 11 1/2 minute TEDTalk and for a look at ageism in this country.
“Take the Ageing Attitudes Quiz as a first step in your Stand Against Ageism. Check your attitudes against these commonly held views of ageing and older persons and find out how much you know about ageing and older people.”
“What you need to know about sleep medications, their side effects and other issues” – The Washington Post
(Zach Meyer for The Washington Post)
by Jill U. Adams
“A lot of people out there don’t get enough sleep — more than 1 in 3 American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If you’re one of them, you probably know there are two main treatments for improving sleep: behavioral methods and medications.
“When you’re desperate for a good night’s sleep, medications sure do sound appealing. But there are caveats with them all — the prescription pills, the over-the-counter products and the herbal supplements.
“Before describing the medications in detail, I’ll remind you that the prevailing wisdom is that cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves changing habits and bedtime rituals, is the first-line treatment for insomnia. Sleep experts say CBT is more effective and longer lasting than medication for most people — but maybe you’re not most people.”
Click here to read this Washington Post article in its entirety.
by Maria Castellucci
“About 30% of emergency department visits among patients with common chronic conditions are potentially unnecessary, leading to $8.3 billion in additional costs for the industry, according to a new analysis.
“The report, released Thursday by Premier, found that six common chronic conditions accounted for 60% of 24 million ED visits in 2017; out of that 60%, about a third of those visits—or 4.3 million—were likely preventable and could be treated in a less expensive outpatient setting.
“The frequency of unnecessary ED visits from the chronically ill is unsurprising given the fee-for-service payment environment the majority of providers remain in, said Joe Damore, senior vice president of population health consulting at Premier. On average, only 10% of providers’ payment models are tied to value-based models, he said, so providers don’t have an incentive to effectively manage patients to prevent disease progression and promote wellness.”
“Spending on pharmaceuticals is on the rise worldwide. And it well should be. Today, we are able to cure some diseases like hepatitis C that were virtual death sentences just a few years ago. This progress required significant investments by governments and private companies alike. Unquestionably, the world is better off for it.
“Unfortunately, as President Trump pointed out in the State of the Union address, the United States has borne a significant amount of the negative effects associated with this development. For one, its regulatory apparatus has focused largely on drug safety, yet regulators have failed to emphasize cost-effectiveness when it comes to both new and existing drugs.
“At the same time, the United States also pays significantly higher prices than the rest of the developed world when it comes to prescription drugs, due primarily to limited competition among drug companies.”
Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.
Read this related article: “Paying for Prescription Drugs Around the World: Why Is the U.S. an Outlier?” – The Commonwealth Fund
“This reader-friendly guide covers 25 common nursing home problems encountered by residents and their families. These problems occur in nursing homes across the country. Even the supposedly “good” nursing homes often follow procedures that violate federal laws and harm residents. Knowing your rights and having the tools to force or push nursing home staff and management to follow the law can make all the difference.
“Whether you are a nursing home resident, a family member, or a supportive friend, this guide gives you the tools you need to identify and then resolve the problems that residents most frequently face. Your determined advocacy can be the difference between going-through-the-motions nursing home care, and the high quality, person-centered care that residents are promised by federal law.”
by Tanya Fritz
“Words like trauma-informed and resiliency get thrown around a lot these days. And for many, the visions they call up are a bit too glossy. You see resiliency and trauma-informed aren’t always pretty. Resiliency can look like closing the bathroom door and collapsing in tears… but then washing your face and going back into the world, carrying the belief that you can survive and the hope that things will get better.
“It looks like begrudgingly going on that walk with a friend, when the little voice inside is yelling at you to just grab a bag of chips and curl up on the couch with Netflix. Heck, you might even go back to the couch after the walk. It means saying the wrong thing, then being brave enough to go back and apologize. Resiliency doesn’t mean that life doesn’t get you down, that you don’t still stumble, or that you don’t sometimes still make the wrong choice.
“Resiliency means that all of that happens, and through support and self-regulation, you are able to continue to keep moving forward. Even if every day isn’t always better than the last, your overall trajectory is still forward. Resiliency is a journey full of twists and turns. We make get off track, but we ultimately know where we are headed.”
The following is a guest post from Minakshi Raj (@MinaRaj91), 4th year PhD candidate at the University of Michigan in Health Management and Policy and Theodore Suh, MD, PhD, MHS, Clinical Associate Professor in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at the University of Michigan and Medical Director of the Ann Arbor Geriatrics Clinic.
“In my parents’ home, one of our many photo albums is inaugurated by a photograph of me, in diapers, standing by my grandfather as he holds my hand. If panoramic photography had been available in the 1990s, we’d likely see my grandmother warning him not to let go as I might fall onto the wooden floor and develop a fear of taking my next step. In another, much thicker photo album, I’m taller and a decade older with my arm circled around my grandmother’s elbow as she leans against a walker supported by tennis balls to help her glide gracefully across the floor. As she clutches the walker, I can recall her saying, ‘Take the picture quickly; I can’t stand much longer’.’
“My paternal grandparents, married for over 65 years, had drastically different personalities, but both similarly desired engaging with friends, relatives, and even strangers.”
This month, the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks County partners’ network will collaborate with the Wyomissing Public Library and Phoebe Berks to host Death Cafes in Berks County. Death Cafes are always FREE to attend and there is never a set agenda or selling allowed.
The Wyomissing Public Library Death Cafe will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.
The Phoebe Berks Death Cafe will be held on Thursday, February 22 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.
At each Death Cafe, a FREE screening of a film follows the Death Cafe at 4:00 pm
This Wired article begins:
“WE SAT IN a circle, clutching paper cups full of steaming coffee and tea. First, I said my name. ‘Hi, I’m Lexi.’ What came next wasn’t an admission of addiction, but a statement about what I feared most about death. ‘I fear the unknown,’ I began, but paused. That didn’t quite sum it up. My voice tight from nerves, I added, ‘Nothingness. Losing everything I’ve ever known. The whole thing, really.’
“This is life at Death Café, an event where strangers gather to snack and chat about shuffling off this mortal coil. It sounds (literally) morbid, but in this Age of Anxiety, as people grapple with climate change, threats of violence, and political and economic instability, death lingers on many people’s minds. A fear of dying is at the root of all those stressful issues and, as Sheldon Solomon put it when speaking to The Atlantic in 2015, those things are ‘all malignant manifestations of death anxiety running amok.’ It’s cyclical: Anxiety spiral, fear of death, bad decisions, rinse, repeat. Despite this, people rarely talk about their own mortality. Death Cafés strive to break that taboo.” Click here to read the Wired article in its entirety.
Cake — accompanied with coffee, tea and conversation — is a integral part of the more than 7,600 Death Cafes around the world. The above photo collage is from a January Death Cafe at the Long Community at Highland in Lancaster.
The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area has collaborated with facilities — libraries, churches, retirement communities, funeral homes and other sites — in the three county area to facilitate more than 32 Death Cafes since the first in 2015.
We’ve had two Death Cafes at an Irish pub, Tellus360: an exciting concept located in the heart of downtown Lancaster, PA where live music, farm-fresh food, and heaps of fun all come together; have a beer and catch up with each other – all under one green roof. We are productive, storytelling, life-living, loving, creative, and happy people who believe in a simple, community-driven life where everyone is equal, where anything is possible, and where life is good for all at the expense of none. We are learning constantly, questioning always, and are actively pursuing better ways of doing things in a continuous quest to find the simplest way of doing everything we do.”
And there’s a Death Cafe facebook group that was suggested by people who’ve attended some of these previous Death Cafes; click here to go to that page.