Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

What is “nursing home transition” and why does it matter?

cils nht

This morning, the Disability Empowerment Center (DEC) hosted an informational, interactive Webinar to familiarize people with its recently enhanced nursing home transition program and to introduce Deborah Stumpf, Nursing Home Transition Coordination Specialist.

Executive Director, Dan Stroup, opened the Webinar by telling Webinar attendees the purpose of Centers for Independent Living. He explained that DEC has been facilitating nursing home transition but by adding Deb Stumpf, the emphasis will be “beefed up.

Click here (or on the above graphic) to see a very short video about nursing home transition.

Pennsylvania’s  Nursing Home Transition (NHT) Program was developed to assist and empower consumers who want to move from a nursing facility back to a home of their choice in the community. NHT also helps the Commonwealth rebalance its long-term living systems. When given choice, an overwhelming number of people say they want to age in place in their homes rather than in institutions. Yet, in publicly funded programs, the bias has always been toward institutional care. NHT provides the opportunity for individuals and their families or caregivers to be fully informed of all long-term services and supports options, including the full range of available home and community-based services (HCBS). Through the NHT program, individuals can receive the guidance and support they need to make informed choices about their long-term services and supports. The program assists individuals in moving out of institutions and eliminates barriers in service systems so that individuals receive services and supports in settings of their choice.

Two Link Service Area-13 Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner agencies are Centers for Independent Living. DEC is the designated CIL for Lancaster and Lebanon Counties and Abilities In Motion is the designated CIL for Berks County.

For more information about nursing home transition call:

Berks County – Abilities In Motion: Toll Free: 1-888-376-0120

Lancaster County – Disability Empowerment Center: 717-394-1890

Lebanon County – Disability Empowerment Center:  717-769-2922


“Living with a disability is very expensive – even with government assistance” – The Conversation

disability epensive“People with disabilities may need larger cars or specially modified ones to be able to get themselves around.Maskot/DigitalVision via Getty Images”

by Zachary Morris, Nanette Goodman and Stephen McGarity

“Edward Mitchell is 34 years old and lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with a spinal cord injury caused by a hit-and-run accident that happened when he was 17. He has plenty of expenses that all Americans have, like groceries and utilities. But to maintain his independence, he also has to pay for home modifications to accommodate his wheelchair, personal nursing care, dictation tools to help him write and adjustments to his car so he can drive himself to work.

“He is just one of the 20 million working-age adults living with disabilities in the U.S., for whom it takes more money to make ends meet because of the additional expenses they face every day.

“In a recent working paper published with the National Disability Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to build a better financial future for people with disabilities and their families, we estimated the amount of extra costs associated with living with a disability for Americans ages 18 to 69 years old.”

Continue reading this article at The Conversation, click here.

“Fast Forward: Take control of the rest of your life” |

next avenue has an extremely helpful Webpage that’s got templates that help organize important stages of a life – your life. Three easy to manage and free separate courses (1) Assemble your team; (2) Share your plan and (3) Complete an advance directive lead the organized path. And there’s a downloadable Master Plan Checklist with fillable ,pdf templates that culminates with an Advance Care Directive.

“One of the hardest parts about aging is preparing for it. That’s why most of us haven’t.

“If you were to ask around, one out of three of us don’t even know who would take care of us should we need it — or have any sort of advance directive.

“It’s understandable. These tasks can be difficult, daunting and emotional. Many of us put it off until it’s too late.

“Still, every day is a new opportunity to change that, and that’s why we’re here. We’ve put together step-by-step instructions to get that plan in place for the coming years and decades of your life.

“The first step: Sign up for our email course, Assemble Your Team. For seven days, we’ll break down the task of preparing for aging into smaller, more manageable parts. And once that’s done, we’ve got even more to help you.

“Ready to get started? Let’s go!?

next avenue plans

“Planning for our lives as older adults can dramatically increase our well-being.”

“Roads Are Getting Deadlier For Pedestrians; Fatality Rates Are Worse For Minorities” – NPR

pedestrian deathsLast summer, Lucy Le was killed on a street near her Virginia home by a neighbor backing out of her driveway. Her daughter, Laura Pho, now draws a new memorial to her mother every day on the pavement where she died. “It’s my meditation,” she says. “It’s my way of honoring her.” – Courtesy of Laura Pho

by Camila Domonsoke

“Every day, Laura Pho walks outside her home and creates a new memorial — a chalk drawing, usually of a heart — on the patch of pavement where her mother died last summer.

“‘I can see it from my office window,’ Pho says. ‘It’s nice to be able to see just these bright, beautiful drawings that remind me of my mother, who was also bright and beautiful.’

‘Pho’s mom, Lucy Le, was out for her daily meditative walk when a neighbor backing her SUV out of her driveway struck and killed her. Pho ran out immediately to the scene, and her life ‘shattered into a million pieces,’ she says.

“Lucy Le’s death was part of a tragic trend. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration, which tracks pedestrian fatalities, America’s roads are getting deadlier.”

Click here to read this article at NPR in its entirety.

With May just around the corner, Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to announce that our highly anticipated May is Mental Health Month toolkit is FINALLY HERE!

mental health month

Download The 2021 Mental Health Month Toolkit

Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have observed May is Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. We invite other organizations to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.

In 2021, we will continue with our theme of Tools 2 Thrive, providing practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.

Our toolkit includes sample materials for communications and social media as well as printable handouts on the following topics:

  • Adapting after trauma and stress
  • Dealing with anger and frustration
  • Getting out of thinking traps
  • Processing big changes
  • Taking time for yourself
  • Radical acceptance

The Penn State Harrisburg Smart Home Research Initiative (SHRI) Committee invites you to attend a Virtual Symposium on The Future of Aging.

psu harrisburg

The Future of Aging: Smart Home Technology, Healthcare, Research, and Practice

The Penn State Harrisburg Smart Home Research Initiative (SHRI) Committee invites you to attend a Virtual Symposium on The Future of Aging on April 9, 2021, 11:30-2:30 pm.  

A major goal of the symposium is to bring together public and private entities that share interests in advancing innovations that improve the quality of life for older adults and individuals with disabilities. The program includes several Guest Speakers, Research Presentations, and a Panel Discussion.  Breakout rooms are designed to give participants an active role in discussing symposium topics.  A complete program is available on the registration page.

To register, please click here:  Registration is open until midnight on April 6, 2021.

“Why is sleep important? We ask neuroscientists, doctors, and NASA” – TopTenReviews

Sleep is important(Image credit: Getty)

by Claire Davies

“Sleep. We all do it, and some of us do it better and for longer than others. But why do we sleep and why is sleep important? These may seem like obvious or basic questions, but the answers are neither obvious nor basic, as a lot of human sleep remains uncharted territory. Science now knows more about it compared to even ten years ago, but most sleep experts agree there are still many riches to discover.

“Type the word ‘sleep’ into Google, as many people are during Sleep Week, and you’ll be met by a sea of articles discussing why sleep is important – and why it can sometimes be so difficult to fall asleep. Regular questions include, ‘How many hours of sleep do you need?’ and ‘How can I sleep instantly?’ As a species, we seem obsessed with slumber numbers: how much, how fast, and also what does our age have to do with it? And it isn’t just Google being asked why sleep is important – doctors are regularly quizzed, usually by folk who are at their wits’ end over poor sleep.

“For some, good sleep is an elusive beast, and cruelly it seems like the more a person struggles to sleep, and the more effort they put into trying, the more they struggle. And on it goes. But understanding the importance of sleep and how to let it happen (because we can’t make it happen), the sooner you’ll return to what feels like healthy, happy snoozing for you. It’s also worth remembering – as neuroscientists and sleep doctors are now reminding us – one size does not fit all when it comes to getting some decent shut-eye.”

Read this article at TopTenReviews in its entirety, click here.

“Explainer: How do payday loans work?” – MoneySense

“Payday loans are short-term, high-interest-rate loans that you generally need to pay back within the typical two-week payday cycle. Are these lenders filling a need, or are they preying on Canadians (and Americans) who aren’t able to borrow money from conventional sources?”

payday-loans-900x550Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

NOTE: Though this is a Canadian based article, it applies for Americans as well. “The average American payday loan charges an APR of nearly 400%. You can do better.” Learn more at this US News & World Report article.

by Alexandra MacQueen

Captain Cash, Mr. Payday, Speedy Cash and Cash 4 You—payday loan companies market themselves as an informal, cheery alternative to the conventional banking system, one that provides easy access to funds you might need to smooth out small financial emergencies.  

But are payday lenders helping meet a vital need for Canadians/Americans who are left behind by the mainstream financial services industry, or are they exploitative businesses taking advantage of people with few borrowing alternatives?

“What is a payday loan?

“Despite their name, “payday loans” are not actually loans against a future paycheque. Instead, they’re short-term, high-interest-rate loans from a third party (not your employer) with terms designed to coincide with a typical two-week pay cycle. In Canada, payday loans are regulated by the provinces. 

“Usually, you can borrow up to 50% of the take-home pay expected on your next paycheque. The full amount of the loan—principal plus interest—is then normally due in two weeks.”

Click here to read this article at MoneySense in its entirety. 


“Fully Vaccinated and Time to Party: If You Are 70” – The New York Times

“Older Americans still make up a majority of those who have been inoculated, and many are taking advantage and venturing out.”

older people are back“Marcia Bosseler, 85, is back to playing Ping-Pong — and beating all the men, she says — at her apartment complex in Coral Gables, Fla.” Credit. … Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

by Jennifer Steinhauer

“Bobby Stuckey flipped through receipts this month, surprised to see a huge increase in cocktail sales, the highest in the 17-year history of his restaurant, even though the bar section has been closed. The septuagenarians are back.

“’Every night we are seeing another couple or a pair of couples in the dining room, and they feel so much relief,’ said Mr. Stuckey, the owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo. ‘Covid was hard on everybody, but you can’t even think of the emotional toll in this group. They haven’t gone out. They want to have the complete experience. It is just joyful to see them again.’

“Older people, who represent the vast majority of Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, are emerging this spring with the daffodils, tilting their faces to the sunlight outdoors. They are filling restaurants, hugging grandchildren and booking flights.

“Marcia Bosseler is back to playing Ping-Pong — and beating all the men, she says — at her apartment complex in Coral Gables, Fla.”

Read this article at The New York Times in its entirety, click here.

ADvancing States Publishes Social Isolation Resource

On January 14, 2021 ADvancing States sent out a call for information about how states are rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine to people receiving home and community-based services and/or Older Americans Act services. Information about logistics plans, schedules, partnerships, and communications strategies were all welcomed. This resource (below) reflects the information states sent in response to the call and will be periodically updated as we receive more information.

social isolation

Click on the above graphic to download the entire document to see so many ideas that have been developed to combat social isolation.