Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

“Landlords Say Tenants Are Not Tapping Rent Relief” – Stateline


by Kristian Hernández

“FORT WORTH, Texas — On the morning of April 8, landlord Margarita Palacios went before a Tarrant County, Texas, judge via Zoom and tried to explain why she wanted to evict a tenant who owed $4,350 in back rent.

“Palacios, representing The Palace apartments, began to explain, “We sent her links to rental assistance programs and offered to help fill out the applications in our office, but—”

“’I don’t really need to know,’ said Justice of the Peace Mary Tom Curnutt, interrupting Palacios midsentence. ‘I don’t really have a dog in the fight, I will just tell you that if there’s still any chance of you getting your money then don’t take the judgment, but if you want to get them out of there, let’s get them out of there.’

“Even as states and the federal government have allocated billions of dollars in assistance, a year into the coronavirus pandemic, more than 14.5 million Americans don’t know whether they can pay their rent, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau survey.”

Click here to continue reading this article at Stateline.

“These common scams have something in common: gift cards” – AARP

gift card scam III

AARP (The American Association of Retired Persons) reminds everyone: “In 2020 alone, American consumers lost at least $124 million to scammers asking to be paid in gift cards.* And no wonder—gift cards are commonplace, untraceable, and can easily be converted to cash. You can avoid many scams if you keep this in mind: requests to pay with gift cards are a sign of fraud. (*FTC Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2020)”

Payment by gift card? It’s a scam!

“John Oliver’s Deep Dive into the Long-Term Care Industry” – ADvancing States

Eoliver long term care
“The April 11th episode of John Oliver’s program, Last Week Tonight, spent almost half an hour on the state of long-term services and supports (LTSS), nursing facility and assisted living facility regulation, and home and community-based services (HCBS). The segment highlighted the difficulties of family caregiving as well as some of the challenges care facilities have faced during the pandemic. Overall, the program painted a fairly grim picture of facility care and emphasized the need for a more comprehensive and connected LTSS support system.
“One highlight of the program was discussion around the state of Washington for their rebalancing efforts and percent of budget spent on HCBS. ADvancing States would like to recognize the efforts and leadership of Bea Rector, Director of the Home & Community Services Division at Washington’s Aging and Long-Term Support Administration and Board Member At Large. We are grateful for your vision and dedication to HCBS!” – SOURCE: ADvancing States, April 16 Friday Update

Click here to watch the segment.

Note: Use of strong language throughout

“What And When Is National Healthcare Decisions Day 2021?” – Cake


by Kimberly Charleson

“There’s a day for everything under the sun. You’ll find some bizarre ones, like National Chopsticks Day and National Cherry Pie Day. But National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is one of the most important, and it’s celebrated each year to shed light on the importance of advanced care planning.

Advanced care planning involves documenting and deciding your wishes in case you become too sick or unable to make your wishes known in the future.

“Healthcare decisions are not easy to talk about and can range from palliative care and hospice to the type of funeral you’d like. The best way to be prepared is to start end-of-life planning early.

“Each year, National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) falls on the same day in April — April 16.”

Read more here.

“Women and Younger Adults Hit Hardest by Mental Health Impacts Due to COVID-19” – Kaiser Family Foundation

TWITTER - Mental Health Pandemic_1-1

“By mid-2020 about half (53%) of adults reported that worry and pandemic-related stress had negatively impacted their mental health. Now with millions of U.S. residents getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the latest analysis from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds 47% of adults continue to report negative mental health impacts, and about a third of this group (or 15% of adults overall) report unmet needs for mental health care. The new report highlights recent data on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across gender, age, race, and income. Key findings include:

  • Women, including mothers with children under 18, younger adults, and those in middle income groups are most likely to report their mental health has been negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic, compared to those 65 and older and men, including fathers with children under 18, who are least likely to report any mental health impact from the pandemic.
  • The groups most likely to be worried that they or a family member may get sick from COVID-19 are women, Black and Hispanic adults, and younger adults. Among those expressing this worry, nearly six in ten say it has negatively impacted their mental health, showing a direct link between worry and negative mental health impact.
  • Among mothers who say their mental health had been negatively impacted by the pandemic, nearly half (46%) report they did not get the mental health services or medications they needed, representing about one in four (27%) mothers overall.
  • Among adults who did not get the mental health care they may have needed in the past year, some of the biggest reasons include not being able to find a provider (24%), inability to afford the cost (23%), or being too busy or unable to take off work in order to seek treatment (18%).”

“Falls prevention still key to healthy aging” – National Council on Aging

older adults falls

See national statistics associated with burden associated with falls, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


PA Link Service Area 13 YouTube series interview: Pat Lally

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13 launched its YouTube channel.

One facet of the initiative was to highlight and introduce Service Area 13 partner entities to educate viewers to the array of services and programs available for persons in Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.

“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.

“How can the Link assist you and/or your family?

    • 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.”

Pat Lally

The first partner interview was conducted yesterday. Link project interviewer, Margie Pizarro, chatted with Pat Lally, Program Manager of the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources about the Aging and Disability Resource Center. Click here to see that interview.

If you are a Link partner agency/organization and would like to be a featured interview in this series, let us know.

Call or text: 717.380.9714 or email to get on the schedule.

Pennsylvania Relay is excited to announce the launch of our desktop Real-Time Text Trial. We are looking for testers in Pennsylvania.

pa relay

Register to attend here.

FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Reimbursement Program Opens Today

fema covid funeral assistance

Watch this video (Providing Financial Assistance for COVID-19-Related Funeral Expenses) click here:

Has someone in your family died from COVID-19? Or do you know someone that is in this position? FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Reimbursement program opens for applications today. Click here to get more information on how to apply and be sure to share it with your networks to make sure everyone entitled to reimbursement has the information.

“Gov. Wolf and COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Announce that All Adults in Pennsylvania are Eligible Tomorrow to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments”


Governor Tom Wolf and the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force announced that effective tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13, all Pennsylvania adults will be eligible to schedule an appointment for the COVID -19 vaccine.

“We need to maintain acceleration of the vaccine rollout, especially as case counts and hospitalization rates have increased,” Gov. Wolf said. “Therefore, just as President Biden has brought forward universal adult access to vaccines from May 1 to April 19, we are moving Pennsylvania’s timeline of universal adult access to April 13.”

The Department of Health noted that there is ongoing appointment availability in many parts of the state even as Phase 1A and B continue and 1C begins today. With the change in eligibility, those in Phase 2 will become eligible, opening up vaccines to all. Our ongoing initiative with the Area Agencies on Aging to provide assistance to vulnerable seniors for accessing vaccine will continue, as will our other equity initiatives.

“Everyone needs and should be afforded the opportunity to access the vaccine as soon as possible,” Acting Sec. of Health Alison Beam said. “And, this change provides earlier access for many, including college students increasing the likelihood of completion of two-dose regimens prior to leaving campus for the summer. It also means simpler, streamlined operations for vaccine providers that no longer need to check eligibility of people making appointments.”

To date, Pennsylvania providers have administered more than 6 million vaccines and the state is ranked among the top 20 states for first-dose vaccinations. More than 2.4 million Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated.

Pennsylvanians can find providers on the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Map here.

“Please get vaccinated,” said Sen. Art Haywood.

“It is precisely the bipartisan cooperation of this Joint Task Force coupled with the tremendous work of our provider network that has allowed our Commonwealth to make rapid progress in our vaccine rollout, now expanding eligibility so that every Pennsylvanian who wants to be vaccinated has the opportunity to do so immediately,” said Sen. Ryan Aument. “Because we have maintained our commitment to residents within phases 1A and 1B, we can now further accelerate the rollout and protect our communities, particularly by ensuring that college students can be vaccinated before returning home to their families for the summer.”

“The administration, our task force, and all of our local providers have collaborated together to achieve the goal put forth by President Biden,” said Rep. Bridget Kosierowski. “With the number of COVID-19 positive cases continuing to rise some areas of our state, it is imperative that everyone who wants to schedule an appointment for a vaccine can have that opportunity to do so.“

“I’m pleased we are able to speed up eligibility so that all Pennsylvanians who want a vaccine can schedule one,” Rep. Tim O’Neal said. “Western Pennsylvania has hosted a number of vaccine clinics in recent days where supply has outstripped demand. We were able to get approval to expand eligibility at one of these clinics, but it only makes sense to open vaccinations to all. The work of the task force has shown when all parties work in a collaborative fashion, we can accomplish a lot in a short timeframe.”

“This further-accelerated plan will move us much closer to the goal of vaccinating Pennsylvanians as quickly and equitably as possible,” Gov. Wolf said.

SOURCE: news release