“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s ‘monkey island.’ The surviving primates could help scientists learn about the psychological response to traumatizing events.”
“Glenna Gordon for The New York Times”
This is a longer read than normal; the article, though, is a journey through the trauma that Hurricane Maria visited on the inhabitants — human and others – of Puerto Rico and its islands.
by Luke Dittrich
“On Valentine’s Day, 2018, five months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, Daniel Phillips stood at the edge of a denuded forest on the eastern half of a 38-acre island known as Cayo Santiago, a clipboard in his hand, his eyes on the monkeys. The island sits about a half-mile off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, near a village called Punta Santiago. Phillips and his co-workers left the mainland shortly after dawn, and the monkeys had already begun to gather by the time they arrived, their screams and oddly birdlike chirps louder than the low rumble of the motorboat that ferried the humans.
“The monkeys were everywhere. Some were drinking from a large pool of stagnant rainwater; some were grooming each other, nit-picking; some were still gnawing on the plum-size pellets of chow that Phillips hurled into the crowd a half-hour before. Two sat on the naked branch of a tree, sporadically mating. They were all rhesus macaques, a species that grows to a maximum height of about two and a half feet and a weight of about 30 pounds. They have long, flexible tails; dark, expressive eyes; and fur ranging from blond to dark brown.”
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.
Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:
- Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
- Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
- Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.
We encourage you to connect, create, and contribute for stronger and more diverse communities this May, and throughout the year.
Yesterday, Lebanon County’s 50+ Festival was the place for the county’s seniors to visit scores of area resources providers including lots of Link to Aging and Disability Resources partners. Additionally, there were numerous opportunities for attendees to attend information workshops, health screenings and entertainment, too.
Here are some scenes from yesterday’s 50+ Festival:
May 10 | Building the Bridge | Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center mini-summit for veterans, caregivers, family members, community providers and VA providers | Register now.
FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019 – 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT
at Penn State Berks Campus, Tulpehocken Road, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610
“‘I like giving the gift of time’: Time banks build economies — and communities — without the almighty dollar” – The Washington Post
by Justin Wm. Moyer
“On a recent spring morning, Susan Alexander left her Maryland home, climbed into her Volkswagen Passat and drove about three miles to pick up two strangers. She battled rush-hour traffic on the Capital Beltway and George Washington Memorial Parkway before dropping them off curbside at Reagan National Airport.
“She didn’t earn a dime for her trouble, and that was the point.
“There and back, the trip took about 90 minutes — worth about $40 if Alexander, a retired government intelligence analyst, were an Uber driver. Instead, she’s a member of the Silver Spring Time Bank — one of more than 100 such exchanges around the world trying to build community by exchanging time credits for services instead of dollars and cents.
“‘I have time,’ she said. ‘I like giving the gift of time to other people.’”
Timebanking is a time-based currency. Give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit. You can use the credits in turn to receive services — or you can donate them to others.
An hour of service is always one time credit regardless of the nature of the service performed.
by Kathleen Cameron
“n many households, spring cleaning is an annual event, and anyone who takes medication should use the opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets. Whether they’re expired, your doctor told you to stop taking them, or ones you have not used and do not plan to use, medications lying around your home may lead to confusion about what to take.
“Unwanted medications are also a public safety issue! They increase the risk of accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose. Properly disposing of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications can save lives and protect our environment.
“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is held at thousands of convenient locations across the country.”
“Tomorrow, Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time
Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Unused prescriptions thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. The misuse and abuse of over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans.
Tomorrow, Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, businesses, medical offices, agencies, and first responders, will host events to collect and safely dispose of unwanted medications.
Removing unwanted or expired medications from the medicine cabinet is an easy and concrete step that everyone can take to make a difference in the opioid crisis. Make plans now to dispose of your unwanted medications during DEA National Rx Take Back Day.
Due to the Community HealthChoices (CHC) Phase 3 Provider Summits that will be occurring, we will be canceling the regularly scheduled Third Thursday Webinar for Thursday, May 16, 2019. We will resume this series of webinars in June, and hope to see you then.
Please make sure to register for the summits in your respective area at the following links below:
- May 13-15: Lehigh/Capital Region Provider Summits
- May 20-22: Northwest Region Provider Summits
- June 4-6: Northeast Region Provider Summits
Additionally, one day-long transportation summit will be held in each region. RSVP for this summit here.
If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, at 717-857-3280.
A listserv has been established for ongoing updates on the CHC program. It is titled OLTL-COMMUNITY-HEALTHCHOICES, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.
The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will be presenting webinars to provide service coordinators (SC) with information about how the implementation of Community HealthChoices (CHC) will impact Attendant Care and Independence Waiver participants who are under 21 years of age. All Phase 3 (Lehigh/Capital, Northwest and Northeast counties) SCs serving participants who are under 21 years of age should plan to attend this webinar.
The implementation of CHC will change the way Attendant Care and Independence Waiver participants who are under 21 years of age receive their Medicaid waiver services. All Attendant Care and Independence Waiver participants who live in Phase 3 and are not yet eligible for CHC because they are under 21 years of age will transition to the OBRA Waiver until they become eligible for CHC.
Please register for one of the following dates:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the OLTL Participant Helpline Monday through Friday at 800-757-5042 from 9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm or email RA-PWCHCWaiverProTra@pa.gov.
How many healthy years of life you have left? | This calculator may tell you how many healthy years of life you do have ahead before you become unhealthy.
“As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While death is inevitable, the quality of life you experience until death is often within an individual’s control.
“This is what our team at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research chose to focus on by developing a rigorous measure of quality of life. How many healthy years of life do you have ahead before you become unhealthy?
“Everyone understands the benefits of living a long healthy life, but this also has implications for industry and society. Medical costs, financial planning and health support services are directly related to the state of health of an individual or community.
“We call this measure of quality of life ‘healthy life expectancy’ and its complement ‘unhealthy life expectancy.’ We define entering an unhealthy state as a severe enough state of disablement that there is no recovery, so you remain unhealthy until death.
“It follows that life expectancy – a measure of the total future years an individual is expected to live – is simply the two added together.”
Want to know your own estimate of healthy years ahead? We developed a free online tool that lets you calculate healthy, unhealthy and total life expectancy. This is work in progress.