Category Archives: Disabilitiies

“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

“‘I was panicked’: Deaf patients struggle to get interpreters in medical emergencies” – STATNews

deafJohn Paul Jebian communicates with his son Pierre, in Miami, Fla. – Scott McIntyre for STAT

by Leila Miller

“The chest pain was bad enough. Then John Paul Jebian asked staff at Baptist Hospital of Miami for an American Sign Language interpreter. They instead brought a video screen with an internet link to a remote interpreter to help him understand what the doctors and nurses were saying.

“Jebian, who is deaf, said a nurse struggled to set up the equipment as he anxiously wondered whether he was suffering a heart attack.

“‘I was panicked,’ said Jebian, 46, recalling that July 2012 day. ‘I didn’t know if I had to have surgery. Everything was going past me. I didn’t know what was happening, when it was happening.’

“With the minutes ticking by and staff still unable to operate the video interpreting service, the hospital turned to another option.”

Click here to continue reading this article at STATNews.com.

Volunteer Actors Needed for Keystone 6 Exercise!

Volunteer Actors Needed for Keystone 6 Exercise!

Tuesday, August 15, 10am-1pm | Lunch provided

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is sponsoring an exercise and we need volunteers! This exercise is called Keystone 6 and is focused on mass care and sheltering during a large-scale disaster. The scenario is based on a large nuclear explosion in New Jersey that drives people to evacuate into Pennsylvania. We are testing our capabilities for opening state managed shelters at both Penn State University’s Harrisburg campus (Middletown) and Shippensburg University.

To see how we might accomplish this, we need people to serve as actors and go through the registration process at the shelter locations, as an evacuee might. We hope to have people with disabilities or other access and functional needs participate so we can practice how we would meet these needs in a real situation.

We promise you do not have to sleep on a cot! Lunch will be provided and you will also be provided information to assist you in forming your own emergency preparedness plan. No reimbursement is available for travel or time.

We need your help so we can best plan for the needs of all Pennsylvanians!

Interested individuals please contact Christine Heyser at cheyser@pa.gov  or 717-461-0389 with the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Preferred location: PSU Harrisburg or Shippensburg
  3. Special dietary needs for lunch, if any
  4. Optional: If you are a person with a disability or other access or functional need, would you be willing to briefly describe the need(s)?

“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.

“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.

“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.

Wolf Administration Launches Health and Human Services Unification Informational Website

Harrisburg, PA — On May 2, the Wolf Administration announced the launch of a website that details the proposed unification of the departments of Health, Human Services, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging into the new Department of Health and Human Services.

“Delivering public health, social, and human services to Pennsylvanians in the most efficient and effective way requires innovation, creative thinking, and practical solutions,” Governor Wolf said. “That’s why I proposed integrating the departments of Aging, Drug & Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services into a new, unified Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).”

Continue reading this news release, click here.

Click here to go to the HHS Unification Website: https://www.governor.pa.gov/health-and-human-services/

Announcing the Re-launch of ACL.gov

Tomorrow, May 4, ACL plans to launch our redesigned website.

This launch is really a first step in overhauling our site, and it accomplishes two primary things.  The first is behind-the-scenes. This site is built using software that will make it much easier for us to share information quickly. That software also includes dramatic improvements in search capabilities, which we hope will make it much easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

We also reorganized the content on our site to make it easier for people who are not familiar with ACL to find the information they need, and also to better illustrate the work we do.  We know we probably haven’t gotten the program category names quite right, and we’re looking for feedback there.  We also know we need to do a lot of content updating and reworking.

We added a page to the site that helps explain how the site is structured. Once the site is launched, you will be able to access that page at www.acl.gov/welcome

One thing that was absolutely critical as we built the site was accessibility and usability, and we believe the site can be used by everyone. We have tested it extensively with software, but more important, actual users have navigated through the site without difficulty. If you have a different experience, please let us know. We’ll get you the information you’re looking for and work to fix the issue.

Unfortunately, if you have bookmarked pages within our existing site, those links will no longer work.  If you cannot find what you’re looking for through the navigation menus or the search feature, please write to us at aclinfo@acl.hhs.gov and we’ll try to get you what you need.

We’re excited about this launch, but we know it is far from perfect.  It would be great to know what you like and what you don’t like, and anything we don’t have that you’d like to be able to find here. This will be a work in progress for some time, and your input will help us make it better.