“State Department of Aging offers older Pennsylvanians new resources to arrange COVID-19 vaccinations” – WITF
“We need to foster these community-based solutions.”
SOURCE: WITF article
by Kiley Koscinski/WESA
“(Pittsburgh) – After weeks of criticism from older Pennsylvanians struggling to get COVID-19 vaccine appointments, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday two state agencies are stepping up to help people over the age of 65 book COVID-19 vaccine appointments over the phone.
“The state’s Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, is a low-cost prescription program for older adults; it has launched a dedicated unit at its Harrisburg-based call center to help its 275,000 cardholders arrange vaccination appointments. Operators will also be working with cardholders to arrange for transportation to vaccination sites; they’re also working with PACE’s pharmacy network members to vaccinate at a cardholder’s residence, if necessary. Enrollees can call 1-800-225-7223.
“For other older adults, PA Link is now taking calls from people who don’t have access to a computer. Operators will assess the caller’s situation, offer guidance and transfer to a scheduling team. For callers with transportation needs, PA Link will also be able to contact partners with their local Area Agency on Aging to assist with coordinating rides.”
“How to Age Successfully | Aging begins at birth. Therefore, focus on ‘success’ as soon as possible.” – Psychology Today
by Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D., and Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D.
“Aging is an inevitable process. People often lament growing older, except perhaps older aged children and adolescents who frequently want to be older because of the accompanying perks. The negative association adults have with aging may be due to their belief that the process carries debilitation and loss. It is important to recognize that there is a difference between ‘usual aging’ and ‘successful aging.’
“What is successful aging? Theorists developed many conceptualizations including the following: – Continue reading this article at Psychology Today magazine, click here.
“Glitchy websites, jammed phone lines and long lines outside clinics are commonplace as states expand who’s eligible to be vaccinated. The oldest Americans and those without caregivers and computer skills are at a distinct disadvantage.” (LYDIA ZURAW/KHN ILLUSTRATION; GETTY IMAGES)
by Will Stone
“The efforts to vaccinate people 65 and older have strained under the enormous demand that has overwhelmed cumbersome, inconsistent scheduling systems.
“The struggle represents a shift from the first wave of vaccinations — health care workers in health care settings — which went comparatively smoothly. Now, in most places, elderly people are pitted against one another, competing on an unstable technological playing field for limited shots.
“’You can’t have the vaccine distribution be a race between elderly people typing and younger people typing,’ said Jeremy Novich, a clinical psychologist in New York City who has begun a group to help people navigate the technology to get appointments. ‘That’s not a race. That’s just cruel.’
“While the demand is an encouraging sign of public trust in the vaccines, the challenges facing seniors also speak to the country’s fragmented approach, which has left many confused and enlisting family members to hunt down appointments.”
Continue reading this article at Kaiser Health Network, click here.
The Pennsylvania Council on Aging are looking for people all across the state to submit their ideas and programs for our upcoming virtual Directions for Connections – A Social Isolation Symposium on March 23 and March 24 of 2021. The information for them to submit their ideas and programs is listed on the above flyer and also can be found here.
“Lack of internet access shouldn’t be a barrier to getting vaccinated.”
by Susan Nash
“The federal government’s recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccine be made available to adults aged 65 and up is a welcome step in the effort to accelerate the distribution of these life-saving shots. Unfortunately, many of the older adults most at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 are the least likely to have online access to vaccine information and registration options. Other forms of outreach to this population are essential to an effective vaccination effort.
“In a recent Los Angeles Times story about this problem, Donna Spratt, 82, of Cerritos, Calif., explained that she couldn’t figure out how to use county’s online system for vaccination registration.”Once you’re retired, you kind of lose contact with these things,” Spratt said. She needed to get her daughter to arrange for the appointment and her son to drive her 20+ miles to get the shot.
“The digital divide between young and old has already emerged as a critical problem during the months of sheltering in place: older people without internet access have faced increased risks from social isolation without the ability to connect even via Zoom. Internet access is also crucial to accessing essential services like grocery delivery and telehealth video visits during the pandemic.”
Click here to continue reading this opinion column at next avenue.
“As scams against senior citizens increase in Pennsylvania, state forms task force to help” – Reading Eagle
by Mike Urban
“Brian Long is 77 and knows his age makes him a target for the increasing number of scammers who try to steal from senior citizens.
“They see the elderly as easy prey, he said, and are ruthless enough to come after them.
“Long has learned enough about financial abuse of the elderly that he not only recognizes emails, phone calls and text messages from people attempting to rip him off, but also leads seminars about these crimes on behalf of Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon LINK, an agency that helps the aging and disabled.
“Despite his attempts to help people avoid being victimized, Long has repeatedly heard from seniors who still fell prey to financial schemes, evidence of how devious those scammers can be, he said.
“Long and others who work with the elderly in Berks hope a new state task force can help protect seniors, improve reporting mechanisms and cut down on those crimes by coordinating efforts between agencies.”
Resources for seniors
If you’re a victim, call your local police department or your bank if you notice something wrong with your accounts.
Those with general questions about crimes against seniors can call the Berks County Area Office on Aging at 610-478-6500 or the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources at 800-753-8827.
Pennsylvania also has a statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-490-8505.
“All people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and participate fully in their communities. Every person should have the right to make choices and to control the decisions in and about their lives. This right to self-determination includes decisions about their homes and work, as well as all the other daily choices most adults make without a second thought.
Why Community Living?
“In survey after survey, when older adults and people with disabilities are asked where they would prefer to live, they say they want to live in their communities, not in institutions. People also are happier and healthier when they live in community settings.
“Inclusion of older adults and people with disabilities also offers many benefits to communities themselves. Communities miss out on valuable voices and perspectives when people with disabilities and older adults are left out. They are deprived of co-workers, volunteers, mentors, and friends who offer new ways of thinking about, and navigating, the world. When older adults are excluded, communities lose wisdom collected over many decades, and their connection to history.
“Community living also happens to be less expensive than other options for most people. Skilled nursing facilities can cost an average of $75,000 a year and public residential facilities for people with disabilities average $225,000 a year. In most cases, these costs are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
“Finally, a series of laws, court decisions, and administrative rules have established community living as a legal right. Most notably, in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that people with disabilities must receive services in the most integrated settings possible. This landmark decision has been a critical tool in protecting the rights of people with disabilities and older adults alike.”
There’s more here at the Administration for Community Living Website: https://acl.gov/about-community-living
The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources is an initiative of the Administration for Community Living.
by Sara Zeff Geber
“If you have bought into the idea that aging in place in the home you’ve maintained for 30+ years is the best answer to the question of where to live as you age, I can only conclude that you have decided it’s payback time for your children. Did your own parents live into their late 80s and 90s? Did they age in place? If so, how did that work out for you? Maybe you were one of the lucky ones whose parents lived happily on their own into their old age and then just died in their sleep one night, and now you are absolutely sure that is exactly what will happen to you. But what if it doesn’t?
“Moira knows first-hand what it’s like to have a parent who refuses to move out of their home of 50 years. Her mother, Pat, has a home is debt-free and there is enough money coming in from social security and a small pension to meet expenses every month. In addition to that, Moira’s parents saved a substantial amount of money over the course of their lives and were planning to leave Moira and her brother, Will, a nice inheritance. However, both Moira and Will are in good shape financially and would rather their mother used the money to ensure herself a comfortable and safe life as she gets older. They have toured several assisted living communities and eventually even persuaded Pat to come along on one of their visits. But it didn’t change her mind.
“No matter what Moira or Will said to Pat, she clung to the idea of aging in her two-story home. She claimed the stairs were good exercise and refused to even relocate her bedroom to the lower level.” Continue reading this article at Forbes, click here.
“A global pandemic doesn’t give us cause to treat the aged callously.”
by Shai Held, President, dean, and chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar
“Crises can elicit compassion, but they can also evoke callousness. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve witnessed communities coming together (even as they have sometimes been physically forced apart), and we’ve seen individuals engaging in simple acts of kindness to remind the sick and quarantined that they are not forgotten. Yet from some quarters, we’ve also seen a degree of cruelty that is truly staggering.
“Earlier today, a friend posted on Facebook about an experience he’d just had on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: ‘I heard a guy who looked to be in his 20s say that it’s not a big deal cause the elderly are gonna die anyway. Then he and his friend laughed … Maybe I’m lucky that I had awesome grandparents and maybe this guy didn’t but what is wrong with people???” Some have tried to dress up their heartlessness as generational retribution. As someone tweeted at me earlier today, “To be perfectly honest, and this is awful, but to the young, watching as the elderly over and over and over choose their own interests ahead of Climate policy kind of feels like they’re wishing us to a death they won’t have to experience. It’s a sad bit of fair play.’”
Click here to continue reading this opinion piece at The Atlantic.
“You missed your chance to be a prodigy, but there’s still growth left for grownups.” – The New Yorker
by Margaret Talbot
“Among the things I have not missed since entering middle age is the sensation of being an absolute beginner. It has been decades since I’ve sat in a classroom in a gathering cloud of incomprehension (Algebra 2, tenth grade) or sincerely tried, lesson after lesson, to acquire a skill that was clearly not destined to play a large role in my life (modern dance, twelfth grade). Learning to ride a bicycle in my early thirties was an exception—a little mortifying when my husband had to run alongside the bike, as you would with a child—but ultimately rewarding. Less so was the time when a group of Japanese schoolchildren tried to teach me origami at a public event where I was the guest of honor—I’ll never forget their sombre puzzlement as my clumsy fingers mutilated yet another paper crane.
“Like Tom Vanderbilt, a journalist and the author of “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” (Knopf), I learn new facts all the time but new skills seldom. Journalists regularly drop into unfamiliar subcultures and domains of expertise, learning enough at least to ask the right questions. The distinction he draws between his energetic stockpiling of declarative knowledge, or knowing that, and his scant attention to procedural knowledge, or knowing how, is familiar to me. The prospect of reinventing myself as, say, a late-blooming skier or ceramicist or marathon runner sparks only an idle interest, something like wondering what it might be like to live in some small town you pass on the highway.
“There is certainly a way to put a positive spin on that reluctance.”
Read this article in its entirety at The New Yorker, click here.