Category Archives: Aging

“Gene indicates whose prostate cancer will spread” – Futurity.org

“Scientists have discovered a gene in cancerous prostate tumors that indicates when someone is at high risk of their cancer spreading.”

prostate male patient

“‘Currently, when a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, physicians can determine how advanced a tumor is but not whether the patients’ cancer will spread,’ says Antonina Mitrofanova, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions and a research member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

“‘If we can determine whether a patient’s cancer is likely to spread at the time of diagnosis, we can start them on a targeted treatment plan as soon as possible to decrease the likelihood of their cancer spreading.’

“The researchers identified the NSD2 gene using a computer algorithm developed to determine which cancer genes that spread in a mouse model are most relevant to humans. When they turned the gene off in mice tumor cells, it significantly reduced the cancer’s spread.”

Continue reading this article at Futurity.orgclick here.

“Hospitals Stopped Readmitting So Many Medicare Patients. Did That Cost Lives?” – The New York Times

“A new government program was supposed to prevent certain Medicare recipients from cycling in and out of hospitals. Now experts worry some older patients are being denied necessary care.”

readmitsCredit: Craig Frazier

by Paula Spahn

“It was a well-intended policy. Almost all parties agree on that much.

“A decade ago, when Medicare beneficiaries were discharged from hospitals, one in five returned within a month.

“Older people faced the risks of hospitalization all over again: infections, deconditioning, delirium, subsequent nursing home stays. And preventable readmissions were costing Medicare a bundle.

“So the Affordable Care Act incorporated something called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which focused on three serious ailments with high readmission rates: heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia.

“The A.C.A. penalized hospitals — withholding up to three percent of Medicare payments — when readmissions within 30 days exceeded national averages.”

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

“How Exercise May Help Keep Our Memory Sharp” – The New York Times

“Irisin, a hormone that is released during exercise, may improve brain health and lessen the damage that occurs during Alzheimer’s disease.”

exercise

by Gretchen Reynolds

“A hormone that is released during exercise may improve brain health and lessen the damage and memory loss that occur during dementia, a new study finds. The study, which was published this month in Nature Medicine, involved mice, but its findings could help to explain how, at a molecular level, exercise protects our brains and possibly preserves memory and thinking skills, even in people whose pasts are fading.

“Considerable scientific evidence already demonstrates that exercise remodels brains and affects thinking. Researchers have shown in rats and mice that running ramps up the creation of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain devoted to memory formation and storage. Exercise also can improve the health and function of the synapses between neurons there, allowing brain cells to better communicate.”

Click here to read this New York Times article in its entirety.

Get Moving With All of AARP’s Roadmaps | a six-part series features workbooks about housing, transportation, health services, community engagement and more.

aarp roadmaps to livabiity

“What it’s like living on a Greek island where people live longer than just about anywhere else” – The Washington Post

aging strongest man“Christos is 82 years old and is known locally as the strongest man in the village. He surveys his magnificent garden, which he built by himself. (Lily Bungay)”

Here’s a spectacular photographic “story” about the lives of people who live on the small island of Ikaria in the Mediterranean.

“Many of us hope to live long, fruitful and healthy lives. And some of us, in the end, are more successful at that pursuit than others. But there are several regions around the world that have been found to foster those kinds of lives more than others. At least, that’s what New York Times best-selling author and National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner determined after studying the work of two researchers. In a study published by the Journal of Experimental Gerontology, Gianni Pes and Michael Poulain identified Sardinia as the region with the highest concentration of male centenarians. Buettner, along with a team of researchers and demographers, found other regions where they determined that people lived longer, including Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, Calif.; and a small, out-of-the-way Greek island called Ikaria.”

Click here to view the photos and read the narratives in this Washington Post piece.

 

Friday Wrap-Up, January 18, 2019 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

This week, the new Secretary, Robert Torres, relates a bit from the Bgovernor’s Inauguration earlier this week. His message:

“Of the many accomplishments noted – accomplishments that he stressed are ours as a state, not his alone – he (the Governor) highlighted how state efforts have resulted in thousands of Pennsylvania  seniors receiving in-home care as opposed to being placed in a care facility.

“This has been a priority for the Department of Aging, as we know that a majority of seniors prefer the option to age in place. To know that the aging network’s efforts in providing alternatives for seniors has had such a large impact is exciting and makes me hopeful that we can continue to provide thousands more seniors with services and choices that will benefit them.”

Here’s one of the videos about care giving that Pennsylvanians will begin seeing:

And there’s quite a bit about Pennsylvania’s caregiver support program; for more details on Pennsylvania’s Caregiver Support Program, visit aging.pa.gov/caregiver.

Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

 

Pennsylvania Announces Plans to Maintain Food Security Programs Through February Despite Federal Government Shutdown

dhs logo

Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced that February benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will be dispersed on January 18, 2019, and will be available for use by January 19, 2019. The early payment follows an announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notifying states that benefits will be fully funded for the month of February, but benefits must be paid early.

“SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. Without it, 1.8 million Pennsylvanians would have greater trouble affording food for themselves and their families,” said Secretary Miller. “This early payment allows us to get SNAP recipients their benefits for February, but they will have to make this payment last for an undefined period as the shutdown continues.”

On January 8, 2019, DHS received notice from the USDA that February SNAP benefits will be fully funded, but that these benefits needed to be issued by January 20. DHS worked closely with its vendors and will be able to issue the February benefits to electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on January 18. This early payment is SNAP recipients’ February benefit and will be the only benefit payment SNAP recipients will receive for the month of February. Recipients will not receive a payment on their regularly scheduled February payment date. DHS is sending a letter and/or email to SNAP recipients to notify them of this change.

Payments beyond February will be determined based on the availability of USDA funds. DHS is awaiting information from the USDA on plans for March benefits should the partial federal government shutdown continue.

“The partial federal government shutdown has real implications for millions of people in Pennsylvania and around the country who use SNAP to keep food on the table,” said Secretary Miller. “Changes in the way people get their benefits and uncertainty regarding future benefits creates confusion and concern that should be avoidable. The federal government must come to a solution so people who already face food insecurity do not continue to be caught in the middle of a situation that they did not create.”

DHS will continue to process applications for all benefits during the shutdown. Recipients should continue to report changes and submit any semi-annual reviews or renewals they receive during this period to not risk an interruption of their benefits in the future.

Clients with questions about their benefits can contact their local County Assistance Office or can call the statewide customer service center at 1-877-395-8930. Clients who reside in Philadelphia should call 1-215-560-7226.

SOURCE: news release

“Pennsylvania criticized for how it handles elder abuse cases” – Penn Live

ig report

“An internal Pennsylvania state government watchdog agency is criticizing how county-level agencies investigate thousands of complaints they receive about elder abuse and how the state ensures complaints are investigated adequately.

“Among the shortcomings identified by the Office of State Inspector General were failures by some county-level agencies to properly investigate complaints under timelines required by state law and inadequate staffing of the state office that monitors those agencies.

“A six-page summary of the report released this week also said investigative practices aren’t standardized across counties and it criticized training requirements for caseworkers as far too weak, particularly compared to model states.

“Complaints can involve physical abuse, self-neglect or financial exploitation and Pennsylvania, like other states, is seeing a fast-growing number of complaints that has forced some counties to hire more caseworkers to keep up.”

Continue reading this Penn Live article, click here.

This opinion column, Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania’s elderly deserve protection from abuse and neglect, appears in The Morning Call.

Here is the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Statement on the Office of State Inspector General’s Report on Older Adults Protective Services: The Department of Aging is steadfast in its commitment to uphold its duties under the Older Americans.


“A number of news organizations, including the Reading Eagle in a Nov. 5 Right-to-Know request, had sought the report. After being denied the report in December, Wolf’s office said they intended to release a summary online.” – from a January 9, 2019 article in The Reading Eagle.

Friday Wrap-Up, January 11, 2019 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

This week, our new Secretary, Robert Torres, shares his views on his first Friday Wrap-Up.

message from the acting secretary

Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

 

“Coping with the Cost of Care: Often-Overlooked Tax Deductions and Tips for Seniors and Their Families” – taxact.com

aging caregiving taxes

“As you get older, you may find you face more and more medical bills. No matter how great your insurance coverage is or if you are on Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs due to medical needs can add up. And if you or a loved one have a serious medical condition or disability, your costs can quickly get overwhelming.

“The average medical care cost for seniors retiring today is around $280,000. The average cost of long-term care needs for seniors and disabled individuals is around $4,000-$7,000 per month. Clearly, these expenses add up quickly and can drain the resources of those who need care most. That’s why individuals and their caregivers need to understand all of the potential tax benefits they qualify for to ensure they are taking all possible deductions.

“Thankfully, there are many tax deductions you can take for medical bills or the medical bills of someone in your care. In fact, around 9 million Americans currently claim tax deductions to help them lower their tax liability and pay for their medical care. But almost just as many taxpayers fail to take those deductions because they are simply uninformed.

“This guide is designed to give you all of the information you need to claim the deductions you are due. Whether for yourself or for someone you love and care for, here is what you need to know about tax deductions for medical care.”

Keep reading this article at taxact.com, click here.