Category Archives: Aging

“Extreme Heat Message and Precautions | Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Get Involved” – Administration for Community Living

go kit

Summer is almost here. While we prepare to enjoy the warm weather, it’s important to take precautions in case extreme heat strikes.

By evaluating your needs, you can plan for any heat related situation.

The following steps will prepare you to handle periods of extreme heat and the associated risks:

  • Consider how potential power outages during periods of extreme heat might affect you. Plan to be temporarily self-sufficient if the electricity goes out. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or a pharmacy.
  • Identify the resources you use on a daily basis and what you can do if they are limited or not available. Make provisions for medications that require refrigeration, and plan arrangements to get to a cooling center, if needed.
  • Think about what you need to maintain your health, safety, and independence. Build A Kit that includes any specialized items such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, and medication. Also include non-perishable food and water, items for service animals and pets, a cooler, and anything else you might need.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, especially those who spend much of their time alone, or are more likely to be affected by extreme heat.
  • Be watchful for signs of heat stroke and dehydration. These include shallow breathing, a lack of perspiration, dizziness, dry mouth, and headaches.

The HHS emPOWER Map 2.0 features the monthly total of Medicare beneficiaries with electricity-dependent equipment claims at the U.S. state, territory, county, and zip code level to identify the areas and populations that may be impacted and at risk for prolonged power outages.

For more information about extreme heat preparedness and tools, go to ready.gov/heat and cdc.gov.

SOURCE: Administration for Community Living

“Planning to Age in Place? Find a Contractor Now” – The New York Times

by Paula Spahnaging in placePHOTO – Joyce Hesselberth | The New York Times

“‘All the carpets are coming up, so they won’t be a trip hazard,’ said Ernie MacNeill, walking through the split-level house in Fair Lawn, N.J., that he is remodeling for a client who struggles to walk.

“Mr. MacNeill also plans to widen a bathroom door to provide better access for a wheelchair or walker.

“‘We’ll knock this closet back,’ he added. The home’s owner, Elliot Goldberg, 71, currently has to transfer from one stair lift to another to reach his third-level bedroom and bath. Moving the second-floor closet will make space for a new lift that can turn the corner and proceed upstairs, a far safer configuration.

“Mr. Goldberg, a Vietnam veteran with multiple health problems, has lived on this quiet suburban street for 30 years. His wife died four years ago, but he shares the house with their daughter and grandson.”

Continue reading this New York Times article, click here.

 

Friday Wrap-Up, May 19, 2017 | 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.

NOTE: See this notice in the newsletter about a “seed grant of $15,000 and ongoing technical assistance to create or expand support services to grandparents and other relatives raising children. Any not-for-profit organization can apply for the program, including aging service providers, county agencies, and health care providers. June 15 application due date.”

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

“Who Voted for Harmful Health Care Bill? – AARP is holding supporters of the ‘age tax’ accountable”

who voted which way

“The U.S. House of Representatives on May 4 passed the American Health Care Act by a razor-thin margin: 217 to 213.

It includes an “age tax” that would add up to $13,000 to the cost of insurance for those 50 to 64 and would discriminate against people with preexisting health conditions such as cancer and diabetes. What’s more, it would cause millions of Americans to lose coverage and put Medicare in worse financial shape. That’s just a partial list of what’s wrong with the legislation, which is now under Senate consideration. AARP promised to hold Members of Congress accountable if they voted for this harmful bill. Here they are.

Call 1-844-259-9351 and urge your Senators to vote NO on this high-cost, high-risk health care bill.

Click here to see the lists.

“Severe Shortage Of Home Health Workers Robs Thousands Of Proper Care” – Kaiser Health News

caregiver shortageRenzo Viscardi (center), pictured with his parents, Anthony Viscardi and Cheryl Dougan, relies on round-the-clock care from home health aides. (Courtesy of Cheryl Dougan)

by Judith Graham

“Acute shortages of home health aides and nursing assistants are cropping up across the country, threatening care for people with serious disabilities and vulnerable older adults.

“In Minnesota and Wisconsin, nursing homes have denied admission to thousands of patients over the past year because they lack essential staff, according to local long-term care associations.

“In New York, patients living in rural areas have been injured, soiled themselves and gone without meals because paid caregivers aren’t available, according to testimony provided to the state Assembly’s health committee in February.

“In Illinois, the independence of people with severe developmental disabilities is being compromised … ”

Click here to read this Kaiser Health News article in its entirety.

Vicki Hoak, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association reinforced the issues in this article in her presentation at the May 18 Lancaster County 50+ EXPO. She is the cross-training presenter at the Lebanon County Link partners’ cross-training meeting on June 2.

  • 02 June 2017 – Pennsylvania Homecare Association, Vicki Hoak and Ames Home Services, Bill Ames – This meeting will be held at Ames Home Services, 240 Hinkle Road, Annville, PA 17003.

“A Day in the Life of Older Adults: Substance Use Facts” – SAMHSA

This Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report is important to read.

older adults drug use

“Illicit drug use generally declines as individuals move through young adulthood and into middle adulthood. Although the percentage of people with substance use disorder (SUD) reflects the decline in use as people age, more than 1 million individuals aged 65 or older (“older adults”) had an SUD in 2014, including 978,000 older adults with an alcohol use disorder and 161,000 with an illicit drug use disorder.

Research suggests that substance use is an emerging public health issue among the nation’s older adults. Illicit drug use among adults aged 50 or older is projected to increase from 2.2 percent to 3.1 percent between 2001 and 2020. For example, the number of older Americans with SUD is expected to rise from 2.8 million in 2002–2006 to 5.7 million by 2020. The emergence of SUD as a public health concern among older adults reflects, in part, the relatively higher drug use rates of the baby boom generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) compared with previous generations. Thus, there is a cohort of older adults who may experience the negative consequences of substance use, including physical and mental health issues, social and family problems, involvement with the criminal justice system, and death from drug overdose. Older adults are more likely than people in other age groups to have chronic health conditions and to take prescription medication, which may further complicate adverse effects of substance use.

Click here to continue reading this Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) Report.

“America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation”

Pennsylvania ranks 26th in the country for senior citizens, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation.

Minnesota is the leading state for senior health in 2017, a title it also held in the first two years of the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report. Utah (second) reached its highest ranking in the report’s five-year history, after rising four spots this year. Hawaii (third), Colorado (fourth) and New Hampshire (fifth) round out the top five states.”

PA

 

“Effective Communication for Effective Care | Talking With Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook”

talkinw with your older patientClick on the graphic to download the handbook. 

“Good communication is an important part of the healing process. Effective doctor-patient communication has research-proven benefits: Patients are more likely to adhere to treatment and have better outcomes, they express greater satisfaction with their treatment, and they are less likely to file malpractice suits.

“Studies show that good communication is a teachable skill. Medical students who receive communication training improve dramatically in talking with, assessing, and building relationships with patients. Time management skills also improve.

“Interpersonal communication skills are considered so important that they are a core competency identified by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Medical Specialties.”

Continue reading this article at the National Institure on Aging Website, click here.

 

“How to Grandparent a Special Needs Child” – next avenue

by Kate Swenson

“I called you today, Mom and Dad. You knew today was the day. The day of the appointment. The appointment that would either relieve all our fears or change the future. You knew the doctors and teachers were throwing around words like ‘autistic’ and ‘developmentally delayed.’ You knew I refused to believe it. You refused, too (and I appreciate that more than you will ever know).

“Our Family Was Changed Forever

“”We told each other for a long time that he was fine. We reassured each other daily. He was definitely a late talker, possibly even a late bloomer. We found comfort in the fact that boys often develop slower than girls. We shared stories of other toddlers who flapped their arms and lined up toys (which often are early signs of autism) and turned out fine. But yet, our hopes were wavering. The doubt was building.

“We got the answer today.”

Click here to read this next avenue article in its entirety.

Patrick (Pat) Lally is the new Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources

Patrick (Pat) Lally is the new Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources.

Pat has 25 years of experience in managing Medicare Part B billing reviews and claims processing activities. Most recently, he worked for ten years as an Operations Manager with National Government Services, where he managed a staff that reviewed Part B medical billings. Early in his career, Patrick was a Human Resources Analyst performing training activities in the Office of Administration’s Executive Offices. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Bloomsburg University.

Contact information for him is c-plally@pa.gov – 717-783-4502.