by Allison Aubrey
Registered dietitian Anna Ziegler counsels Tom Shicowich, who has a Type 2 diabetes. Since enrolling in the Fresh Food Pharmacy program, Shicowich has lost about 45 pounds. His A1C level has dropped significantly. – Allison Aubrey/NPR
“The advice to eat a healthy diet is not new. Back around 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the Greek doctor, had this missive: Let food be thy medicine.
“But as a society, we’ve got a long way to go. About one out of every two deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. is linked to a poor diet. That’s about 1,000 deaths a day.
“There are lots of places to lay the blame. Calories are cheap, and indulgent foods full of salt, sugar and fat are usually within our reach 24/7.
“So, how best to turn this around? Consider Tom Shicowich’s story. It begins with a toe. His left pinky toe.”
Military Families face some unique challenges. In today’s Military culture, many Service members experience multiple deployments. This can leave them with health concerns, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), domestic violence issues and suicidal tendencies. Now more than ever, Military Families need our support.
Army OneSource can help. FREE online behavioral health continuing education courses are available (through August 26, 2017) to help inform health care providers, physicians and first responders about Military culture and the traumas of war. We want to help those who, in the course of their work, come into contact with a Service member, Family member or Veteran.
If you treat Service members, strengthen your knowledge – Take advantage of this FREE resource. Register and complete a continuing education course today.
Log in to the Army OneSource Member Sign-In Page and click “My Courses” to complete this important and timely training today.
To register for courses:
- After logging in, select “Bring Them the Rest of the Way Home,” from the navigational toolbar.
- Click “Army OneSource Online Training” and select “Add to Cart.”
- Select “Checkout,” then update your contact information when asked, and click “Submit Order.”
- Once you submit your order, you’ll be able to see the continuing education under “My Courses” and begin the online course.
Behavioral Health Continuing Education Courses help service providers better understand Military culture and the traumas of war. Thank you for your interest in caring for those who serve.
“New Home Alone Alliance Video Series Brings Together AARP and VA to Support Family Caregivers” | Videos are in English and Spanish
An email from the VA Caregiver Support program contained this important message that really is helpful for anyone who is a caregiver. The videos offer
“The New Home Alone Alliance Video Series Brings Together AARP and VA to Support Family Caregivers. AARP partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a Home Alone Alliance member, to release a video series instructing family caregivers how to perform mobility-related tasks.
“Please see the evidence-based video series (below) that include input from both practicing clinicians and family caregivers. We encouraged you to view the video series to enhance your Veteran’s care at home and/or share with other Caregivers that may benefit from the instructional series.”
FAMILY CAREGIVING VIDEO SERIES: MOBILITY
“With VA’s Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you’re in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed professionals who answer the support line can:
- Tell you about the assistance available from VA.
- Help you access services.
- Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.
- Just listen, if that’s what you need right now.
“If you’re just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line is a great first step to take to learn more about the support that’s available to you.”
“Harvard is launching a free online course designed to educate people about the opioid epidemic in the US. Instructors will cover the medical basics, such as how opioids are used to treat pain and how pathways in the brain can play a part in addiction. They’ll also touch on the epidemic’s legal aspects — including how law enforcement and public health experts are combatting overdose deaths — and social aspects, such as what the path to recovery might look like, as told by recovering addicts themselves.
“The class gets underway March 27; you can find more info here.”
The Medicare Website – https://www.medicare.gov/ – offers an enormous set of information resources. The Website is simple to navigate, well organized and loads quickly.
These “compare” links may be helpful for you.
- Physician Compare – learn what hospitals your physicians and other healthcare professionals are affiliated with
“Megan Lordos, a middle school teacher, says she was not allowed to use the word ‘dyslexia.’
“She’s not alone. Parents and teachers across the country have raised concerns about some schools hesitating, or completely refusing, to say the word.
“As the most common learning disability in the U.S., dyslexia affects somewhere between 5 and 17 percent of the population. That means millions of school children around the country struggle with it.
“Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools are required to provide special services to help these students — things like reading tutors and books on tape. But those special services can be expensive, and many schools don’t have the resources to provide these accommodations.”
Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés today reminded Pennsylvanians they can find comprehensive voting information at the Department of State’s website, votesPA.com.
“We want voters to be fully informed when they go to the polls on November 8,” Secretary Cortés said. “The votesPA website will help ensure that citizens are well prepared when they arrive at their precinct polling place.”
At votesPA.com, Pennsylvanians can:
· Confirm their voter registration status;
· Locate their polling place and get directions;
· Find contact information for each county election office;
· View a demonstration video of the voting system used in each county;
· File a complaint if they encounter any difficulty or questionable situation at the polling place.
Additionally, votesPA.com includes a direct link to the Department’s voter education toolkit Everyone.votesPA.com. Visitors to the site will find a 2016 Voter Guide and The Top 5 Things Every Pennsylvanian Should Know About 2016 Elections. Both publications are available to download and print.
On November 8, the polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM as registered Pennsylvanians cast their ballots for:
· President and Vice President of the United States
· One of Pennsylvania’s two U.S. Senators
· All of the state’s 18 members in the U.S. House of Representatives
· PA Attorney General
· PA Auditor General
· PA Treasurer
· Half of Pennsylvania’s state Senators (odd-numbered districts – 1st, 3rd…)
· All of the state House Representatives
Voters statewide will also see a referendum question involving a proposed amendment to the state Constitution. The amendment, if approved by a majority of voters, would require that Justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years.
In addition, Secretary Cortés reminded registered voters that they have the right to cast a provisional ballot at the polling place if they believe they are registered at the precinct but are not listed in the poll book. Provisional ballots will be reviewed by county officials within seven days after the election to determine whether the voter was eligible.
Voters appearing at a polling place for the first time will need to show proper identification, which may be either photo or non-photo ID. There is no identification requirement for voters returning to vote at a polling place for subsequent elections.
A voter is also entitled to have assistance at the voting booth if he or she is unable to enter the booth or use the balloting system. The voter can choose who will provide the assistance, except for the voter’s employer, an agent of the employer, an officer or agent of the voter’s union or the Judge of Elections.
For complete information about voting in Pennsylvania, visit votesPA.com or call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).
asource: news release
PA Developmental Disabilities Council [PADDC] offers grant opportunities “to bring about systemic changes to those formal and informal systems available for people with developmental disabilities and their families in Pennsylvania.”
At the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council‘s [PADDC] 2016 PA Community Alliance Summit held Monday, September 26, 2016, attendees were advised of the opportunities and potential for grant opportunities included in the 2016 Request for Proposals Guide.
“This book covers grants that will be issued in the first year of the PADDC’s State Plan for 2017 through 2021. Through these grant efforts, we hope to continue our work in establishing access to goods and services, furthering the empowerment of people with disabilities, in creating communities in which all members can be valued participants, in pursuing a cross- disability agenda and in changing negative societal attitudes toward people with disabilities.
“If you are interested in responding to a particular Request for Proposal (RFP), this book will provide all the instructions and materials needed to make an application to us. In these pages you will find:
- Specific instructions on how to prepare your
- Specific descriptions of all Requests for Proposals
“Of importance to the Council is its potential to bring about systemic changes to those formal and informal systems available for people with developmental disabilities and their families in Pennsylvania. This means that we direct most of our resources, both staff time and funding, toward projects that commit to systems change and that have planned carefully about how to connect their efforts with other efforts to be as successful as possible. As part of this system change focus, the Council has developed a model called Route to Success to provide guidance for all its system change work. This model is described in Appendix B of this book.”
Group of men discussing the benefits of the Apple iPhone 7 and its operating system.
Behold more startup efforts to help with care. You must admire this. The energy and entrepreneurial enthusiasm driving new entrants is astounding. And if at first, an idea does not take hold, note the founder of that one may appear in a new variant. You know that doctors can now bill for end-of-life conversations. And no surprise, a tool emerges that helps doctors with these conversations. One adds to the lengthy nationwide list of ‘telephone reassurance’ service providers. And there is even a directory. The offerings below are selected from recent press releases, startup finalists, and conversations. Note that the alphabetically-listed material is all drawn from the content provided by the companies:
Caregoals. “Caregoals gives you the confidence to have conversations that are relevant and meaningful to your patient’s life and care preferences. Measure, track and gain insight from patient data over time and predict future challenges that may face your patient. Caregoals provides you with the information to confidently initiate difficult conversations and give your patient a roadmap for successful outcomes.” Learn more at Caregoals.
CareZapp. “More than just an app, this holistic platform enhances in-home caregiving, allowing patients to communicate with, not only their doctors, but their families and other similar patients to provide social support. It also has a resource listing of local service providers, and can alert a patients’ contacts when the system recognizes they may need assistance or reminders.” Learn more at CareZapp.
Iamfine. “As the leading telephone reassurance service provider in the industry, Iamfine sees this growth as validation of an elder care market need and an optimistic sign for the future of aging in place services. The Iamfine service provides an easy way for people who are living alone to check in every day, letting their loved ones know they are all right. No technology is required other than a telephone. Each day, the service makes a call to the person living alone. By simply answering the phone and pressing “1”, the loved one informs members of a customizable “care circle” that things are fine. If no one answers, calls are repeated throughout the day, and care circle members are notified that someone may need to check on the loved one.” Learn more at Iamfine.
Sen.se ThermoPeanut. “Sen.se, an early pioneer of the Internet of Things industry, today announced the availability of ThermoPeanut™, an affordable, intuitive smart sensor that can monitor temperature in-and-around the home to provide alerts and trigger automated interventions in response to heat fluctuations. Already known for its Mother smart home platform, ThermoPeanut is the first product in a line of smart sensors called SensePeanut™ that are designed to drastically simplify various connected capabilities. Priced at just $29, each SensePeanut has its own set function, task or habit it can monitor allowing anyone with a smartphone or tablet to take advantage of the connected life revolution.” Learn more at ThermoPeanut.
Vitalitix. “Following a new phenomenon called ‘crowd-caring,’ the Vitalitix social-responsibility platform provides three-way communication between seniors, caregivers and community “social angels” as well as volunteers from existing networks. The idea is to reduce loneliness, improve safety and allow more freedom at home and out. The senior can access the app, now in beta, through any wearable device or smartphone.” Learn more at Vitalitix.
Five hearing tech announcements that could benefit older adults
Hearing technology advances — the hearing aid industry considers changing. It’s a positive when you see disruption of industries that have too tight a lock on the consumer, whether it is in categories of health insurance, telecom carriers or hearing aids. You spend time with people everywhere you go – those with significant hearing loss but no hearing aids; they have hearing aids, but hate to wear them.
According to a recent NY Times article, two-thirds of adults over 70 have hearing loss that warrants hearing aids, but only 15-30% of those wear them – and at $5000 a pair, no wonder.
In recent years, personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) that are not classified as hearing aids and thus do not require the audiologist role, though the FDA may change that. Just asking, if the device is called a ‘Wearable,’ does Silicon Valley find it more worthy of funding? But anyway.
In July, Consumer Reports published an explanatory guide that should be required reading for organizations that serve older adults. It would seem to be the wild west of innovation. Here is a sampling of five recent product announcements:
- ReSound. The firm “introduced a new model to the award-winning ReSound LiNX2™ family: the world’s only mini behind-the-ear (BTE) model to feature Made for iPhone. In addition, the mini BTE also features telecoil capabilities. ReSound LiNX2 is the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid, connecting to the internet to locate misplaced hearing aids. This new model enhances the award-winning ReSound Smart Hearing portfolio, giving users even more choices to meet individual preferences and hearing loss needs.” Learn more at Resound.
- Oticon. “Technological limitations of current hearing aids have led to the use of tunnel directionality: Speech coming from the front is clear, whereas the rest of the sound environment is suppressed. This results in a limited, narrowed and artificial listening experience. With new, groundbreaking technology, Oticon Opn™ is fast and precise enough to analyse and follow the soundscape and differentiate between sounds. Even in complex listening environments, this allows Oticon Opn™ to constantly open up and balance individual sounds to deliver a rich and meaningful soundscape, empowering the brain to choose on which sounds to focus.” Learn more at Oticon.
- Eargo. Silicon Valley based startup that “offers an entry-level rechargeable hearing aid (FDA class I medical device) that it sells directly to consumers. Eargo is a near-invisible in-the-canal device offering four volume settings. Developed by a French ENT, it features patented silicone “flexi-fibers” that enable the device to sit comfortably deep in the ear canal while letting air and natural sound flow freely to the eardrum. At $1,980 per pair, the Eargo hearing aids are more expensive than many of the new off-the shelf “hearables” (classified as personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs, by the FDA), but less expensive than the higher end hearing aids fitted by audiologists.” Learn more at HearingTracker.com.
- Cochlear. “Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announces today it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its newest innovative hearing loss solution, Kanso. The Kanso Sound Processor provides a distinct new way for cochlear implant users to hear. Unlike most hearing aids and current cochlear implant sound processors that are worn on the ear, Kanso is a small, off-the-ear hearing device that provides a more discreet hearing solution and delivers the same hearing experience as a behind-the-ear sound processor.” Learn more at Cochlear.
- iHearMedical. “iHear® Medical announced today the launch of the world’s first online hearing solutions platform. The company begins taking orders today for its flagship invisible iHEARHD® hearing aid, and the iHearTest™, which recently received landmark FDA approval as the first and only home hearing screener. Delivery of iHear products starts July 15, 2016. The company also plans to launch the iHEARMAX™, a mini behind-the-ear hearing device, on August 15, 2016. iHear’s products are currently being offered in the U.S., with plans to introduce them in China and other markets in 2017.” Learn more at iHearMedical.