Category Archives: Disabilitiies

“‘Your mouth becomes a minefield’: the Americans who can’t afford the dentist” – The Guardian

“Pandemic job cuts have meant many people have no insurance to pay for dental work – and the poorest are hardest hit”

older persons dentistryMillions of Americans have no dental insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay out of pocket for extensive dental care needs.” Photograph: Megan Jelinger/Reuters

by Michael Sainato

“Maureen Haley, 66, lost her home in Florida in the wake of the 2008 recession. She now lives in a camper near Greensboro, North Carolina, relying on social security and Medicare to make ends meet and pay for healthcare.

“But Haley has problems with her teeth, and cannot afford to see a dentist to have them fixed.

“’My teeth problems are the biggest problem I have each day,’ said Haley. ‘I need root canals and implants. I have a tooth impaction. I have to massage the heck out of it to get the air out of my gums and cheek after chewing a meal. Painful is an understatement, and the worry of how this may affect my heart compounds it.’

‘She worries about remaining independent, and not ending up in a nursing home. On a limited income, her decisions revolve around what is most pressing, such as fixing her vehicle and drug prescriptions. The last time she was able to visit a dentist was three years ago, and she was given an estimate of over $8,500 for the work she needs.”

Continue reading this article at The Guardian, click here.


In September, 2019, PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area coordinator, Brian Long, appeared with others on a panel at a United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing entitled, “Promoting Healthy Aging: Living Your Best Life Long Into Your Golden Years.” 

In his testimony, he reinforced “Partial and total tooth loss is something that a larger share of older persons deal with, particularly if they are from disadvantaged populations. We know that older seniors, women, persons of color, current smokers, and those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to have fewer or no remaining teeth. Missing teeth and gum disease are prevalent among many older people in those demographics. Earlier lifestyle choices and forgoing dental treatment, perhaps, have contributed to this, but we know that the absence of regular dental care and treatment can lead to disastrous health consequences.

“Again, affordability is a huge contributor. The issue of coverage for dental, vision and hearing services is about healthy
aging. Without access to these services, we know that older adults have a greater likelihood of:

  • Experiencing social isolation or mental health issues
  • Becoming the victim of a scam
  • Having difficulty accessing transportation resources
  • Struggling to adhere to their prescription medicines
  • Encountering hazards in the home”

“Many Older Adults Lack Even Simple, Helpful Equipment” – The New York Times

“Railings, grab bars, shower chairs and other inexpensive devices can make it easier to continue living at home, but not enough older people acquire them.”

assistiive devicesCredit…Rosem Morton for The New York Times

by Paula Spahn

“In 2019, John Hancock had become so disabled after a hospitalization that he went close to a year without being able to take a bath or a shower. Using a walker, he could, with difficulty, move around the townhouse in Baltimore where he lived with his daughter and grandson. But because he felt too unsteady to climb into the tub, one of them had to help him with sponge baths.

“Then a program at Johns Hopkins called CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place — Advancing Better Living for Elders) sent a nurse, an occupational therapist and a repair person to provide some inexpensive assistive devices. ‘It made a tremendous difference in my life,’ Mr. Hancock, a retired school cook, said.

“Over several visits, the team asked about his needs and priorities and supplied a shower chair and a rubber bath mat. The repair person installed grab bars around the tub, attached a hand-held shower nozzle and added a railing next to the toilet. Mr. Hancock learned how to use it all.

“’I feel safe and I feel secure,’ he said recently. ‘I don’t have to call somebody to help me. I feel independent, and I’ve been independent all my life.’ Recovering well from a recent stroke, Mr. Hancock, now 64, can not only bathe on his own but can also cook for himself, manage stairs and go to church.”

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


Be sure to register for this Link-sponsored Webinar:

May 6, 2021 @ 11:00 am – “Is Assistive Technology just a device?” | Shelly Houser, presenter (Register in advance for this webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VwCzY-5-SN2j6GtFNokISA. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.)

This is a FREE webinar you’ll not want to miss: register now, you’ll gain a whole new perspective on independence and inclusion.

S

When: May 6, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: WEBINAR: Is Assistive Technology just a device?

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VwCzY-5-SN2j6GtFNokISA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

“2 women are ‘boommates,’ educating others about sharing homes later in life” – Arizona Daily Star

boom mates“Deb Knox, left, shows Sharon Kha her choices as she prepares their lunch, April 6, 2021. The two came together four years ago when Kha needed help living in her home and Knox needed to get out of mortgage.” – Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

by Carmen Duarte

“Five years ago, Sharon Kha knew her living situation needed to change.

“She needed help because her Parkinson’s disease was advancing. She was diagnosed in 2003 with the brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness and difficulty with walking, balance and coordination.

“’I knew that I could no longer live alone, but I wasn’t ready to move into assisted living,’ recalled Kha, 77.

“’I needed someone to cook my evening meal and someone to live in my house who could respond if I fell,’ said the former broadcast journalist and retired associate vice president for University of Arizona Communications who also served as assistant to the UA president. She retired in 2005.

“A friend mentioned Deb Knox, 76, a self-employed businesswoman who is a writing coach for those interested in writing memoirs and autobiographies. Knox moved from New England to Tucson 20 years ago. She wanted to downsize and sell her midtown condo to get out from under a mortgage.

“Kha and Knox talked on the phone about five times, and their personalities clicked, said Kha.”

Read this article in its entirety at the Arizona Daily Star, click here.

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 blllink@mail.com to get on the schedule.

Link Service Area 13 partners launch YouTube channel.

youtube channelWe’ve been announcing this project for several months at the separate Link cross-training meetings — now the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Service Area 13 YouTube channel has launched.

You can access it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZwmzU3Q5WW8SZK4COihQMA

Margie Pizarro will be interviewing Service Area 13 Link partner agencies to learn more about their services and programs in 15 minute ZOOM interviews. Those interviews will be posted at the Link Service Area 13 YouTube channel for everyone to view and share.

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 blllink@mail.com to get on the schedule.

“Woman With Developmental Disability Among Victims In Boulder Shooting” – Disability Scoop

victim-composite-10

(Top row, from left) Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Denny Stong, 20; Jody Waters, 65; Teri Leiker, 51; (Bottom row, from left) Officer Eric Talley, 51; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Rikki Olds, 25; Lynn Murray, 62; Neven Stanisic, 23. (Photos courtesy of friends and family)

by Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post

DENVER — “The University of Colorado’s Golden Buffalo Marching Band gathers every Friday night before home football games to rally fan support in the heart of Boulder.

“Nobody loved the Pearl Street Stampede quite so much as Teri Leiker.

“’She was there even before we started gathering, which is half-an-hour before the stampede started,’ CU marching band director Matt Dockendorf said. ‘She was just a staple. She was kind of a personal cheerleader for the band.’

“Leiker, 51, was a longtime King Soopers employee who was shot and killed along with 9 others Monday at the Table Mesa Drive location in Boulder. She was also a member of Boulder’s ‘intellectual and developmental disabilities community,’ according to a statement from Special Olympics Colorado.”

Read the entire article at Disability Scoop, click here.


“Boulder shooting victims: Identifying the 10 lives lost” The Denver Post

What is “nursing home transition” and why does it matter?

cils nht

This morning, the Disability Empowerment Center (DEC) hosted an informational, interactive Webinar to familiarize people with its recently enhanced nursing home transition program and to introduce Deborah Stumpf, Nursing Home Transition Coordination Specialist.

Executive Director, Dan Stroup, opened the Webinar by telling Webinar attendees the purpose of Centers for Independent Living. He explained that DEC has been facilitating nursing home transition but by adding Deb Stumpf, the emphasis will be “beefed up.

Click here (or on the above graphic) to see a very short video about nursing home transition.

Pennsylvania’s  Nursing Home Transition (NHT) Program was developed to assist and empower consumers who want to move from a nursing facility back to a home of their choice in the community. NHT also helps the Commonwealth rebalance its long-term living systems. When given choice, an overwhelming number of people say they want to age in place in their homes rather than in institutions. Yet, in publicly funded programs, the bias has always been toward institutional care. NHT provides the opportunity for individuals and their families or caregivers to be fully informed of all long-term services and supports options, including the full range of available home and community-based services (HCBS). Through the NHT program, individuals can receive the guidance and support they need to make informed choices about their long-term services and supports. The program assists individuals in moving out of institutions and eliminates barriers in service systems so that individuals receive services and supports in settings of their choice.


Two Link Service Area-13 Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner agencies are Centers for Independent Living. DEC is the designated CIL for Lancaster and Lebanon Counties and Abilities In Motion is the designated CIL for Berks County.

For more information about nursing home transition call:

Berks County – Abilities In Motion: Toll Free: 1-888-376-0120

Lancaster County – Disability Empowerment Center: 717-394-1890

Lebanon County – Disability Empowerment Center:  717-769-2922

 

“Living with a disability is very expensive – even with government assistance” – The Conversation

disability epensive“People with disabilities may need larger cars or specially modified ones to be able to get themselves around.Maskot/DigitalVision via Getty Images”

by Zachary Morris, Nanette Goodman and Stephen McGarity

“Edward Mitchell is 34 years old and lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with a spinal cord injury caused by a hit-and-run accident that happened when he was 17. He has plenty of expenses that all Americans have, like groceries and utilities. But to maintain his independence, he also has to pay for home modifications to accommodate his wheelchair, personal nursing care, dictation tools to help him write and adjustments to his car so he can drive himself to work.

“He is just one of the 20 million working-age adults living with disabilities in the U.S., for whom it takes more money to make ends meet because of the additional expenses they face every day.

“In a recent working paper published with the National Disability Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to build a better financial future for people with disabilities and their families, we estimated the amount of extra costs associated with living with a disability for Americans ages 18 to 69 years old.”

Continue reading this article at The Conversation, click here.

Saturday webinars | Link Service Area 13 kicks off “Let’s get Tech Savvy” webinar series designed to help you get connected.

baby steps

“In the USA, only 59% of people over the age of 65 use the Internet daily, as opposed to 86% of all adults under 65.”

That’s the entire reason the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area  scheduled the Saturday morning (March 6) webinar. This was the first in a series of planned webinars that are designed to erase and lessen the fears that many people may have about using digital technology.

It’s tough trying to deliver taking training about how to use a smart phone, a tablet or a computer to persons who may not have the technology, the experience or the connectivity. It’s also tough to not have internet access and technological skills needed to find a Covid vaccination site. Or to file an online unemployment claim. Or to schedule a medical appointment.

But the intent of this series of webinars is to lessen the trepidation and the uncertainty of the technology in small bite-sized blocks of 30 to 40 minute online webinars. The Link coordinator hopes that caregivers, family members and agency resources who interact with persons with low or no digital savvy will share the webinar information with them.

For instance, here’s a video recording of Saturday’s “Baby Steps” Webinar: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Agtzmyc10ssBgxni4YdAzYOFpFiO?e=Sdb3wR

The next Webinar will be in two weeks and will be announced at the Link Website and hopefully in local media. For more information about upcoming Webinars, send an email to blllink@mail.com or call / text: 717.308.9714.


Those who’ve ventured into owning a smart phone know “how many times a day your phone, computer, tablet, watch and other gadgets buzz or ding. It gets annoying and distracting.”

Upcoming webinars will deal with smart phone questions, but here’s a Kim Kommando column that’s especially topical: “How to stop junk text messages and spam for good.”