It’s not only in this state | “Many of state’s elderly residents struggle to pay their bills” – The Boston Globe
by Katie Johnson
“Judi Gorsuch has a degree in literature from Michigan State University. She worked as a flight attendant for 19 years, earning up to $40,000 a year, and spent a decade at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, making $12 an hour before her part-time position was cut.
“Now Gorsuch, 74, lives in public housing near the Prudential Center and relies on her monthly $1,460 Social Security check and $400-a-month pension. Between rent and groceries and medical costs, Gorsuch says she’s lucky if she has any money left at the end of the month. When a new prescription for a bladder condition upped her expenses by $55 a month, she stopped filling it.
“‘I just decided to use Depends,’ she said.”
“Gorsuch, who never married and has no children, is among nearly 300,000 Massachusetts residents age 65 and above whose incomes aren’t enough to cover basic necessities, according to the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard Index developed at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
“New estimates from the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard Index™ suggest that half of older adults living alone, and one out of four older adults living in two-elder households, lack the financial resources required to pay for basic needs.”
New Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services Grant Opportunity to Promote the Quality and Effectiveness of Nutrition Service Programs
The Administration on Aging (AoA), part of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), announces a new grant opportunity to increase the evidenced based knowledge base of nutrition providers, drive improved health outcomes for program recipients by promoting higher service quality, and increase program efficiency through innovative nutrition service delivery models.
This funding opportunity is to support innovative and promising practices that move the aging network towards evidenced based practices that enhance the quality, effectiveness of nutrition services programs or outcomes within the aging services network. Innovation can include service products that appeal to caregivers (such as web-based ordering systems and carryout food products), increased involvement of volunteers (such as retired chefs), consideration of eating habits and choice (such as variable meal times, salad bars, or more fresh fruits and vegetables), new service models (testing variations and hybrid strategies) and other innovations to better serve a generation of consumers whose needs and preferences are different.
Please visit the link here for more details about the grant opportunity and application process. This grant opportunity closes on August 7, 2017.
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.”
Debbie Case, CEO of the Meals on Wheels San Diego County, delivers lunch and dinner to 75-year-old David Kelly. Kelly lost his sight about two years ago and reluctantly gave up cooking. – Photo: Meals on Wheels lifeline
by Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News
“Debbie Case held an insulated bag with two packaged meals — a sandwich wrap and fruit for lunch, a burrito and cauliflower for dinner.
“You’re going to eat well today,” Case told 75-year-old Dave Kelly as she handed him the meals. Kelly lost his sight about two years ago and reluctantly gave up cooking.
“After putting the food away, Kelly chatted with Case about his experience as a folk musician. As they talked in his living room, Case, CEO of San Diego County’s Meals on Wheels program, glanced around for hazards that could cause Kelly to fall.
“Kelly said the homemade meals keep him from eating too much frozen food or take-out. But more than that, he said he appreciates someone coming by to check on him every day.
“‘Anything could happen,’ Kelly said, adding that he worries about falling. ‘I wouldn’t want to lay around and suffer for days.’
“Meals on Wheels is undergoing a dramatic overhaul as government and philanthropic funding fails to keep pace with a rapidly growing elderly population. The increased demand has resulted in lengthy waitlists and a need to find other sources of funding. And at the same time, for-profit companies such as Mom’s Meals are creating more competition.”
Two articles from justcareusa.org make a lot of sense for everyone.
“Many of us want to help our parents or other people we love as they age. But, we have no idea how to help. For sure, engaging them in conversation is already a big help. If you want to talk to your loved ones about their health, here are five tips for beginning the conversation.”
“How to lower your blood pressure: DASH | The Centers for Disease Control offers advice on how to lower your blood pressure to avoid hypertension. DASH, the dietary approach to stop hypertension (high blood pressure), is an eating program that’s easy to implement. The goal is to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day.”
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.Click here to read the September 23 newsletter.
Highlighted in this newsletter are:
- The Governor’s food security plan – Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA
- The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger has launched What A Waste University (WAWU). WAWU is a center for learning – dedicated to education about Nutrition, Waste and Sustainability
- Information about a Human Diversity and Cultural Competency Online Course.
- Events – PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources.
At the Cultural Diversity Workshops held at Lebanon Valley College today, the closing keynote featured Dr.Ayesha S. Ahmad, M.D., F.A.C.P. who presented this Keynote Topic: The Greying of America. Dr. Ahmad touched on several of the emerging trends below in her comments today.
The World Health Organization states, “Most developed world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of ‘elderly’ or older person, but like many westernized concepts, this does not adapt well to the situation in Africa. While this definition is somewhat arbitrary, it is many times associated with the age at which one can begin to receive pension benefits. At the moment, there is no United Nations standard numerical criterion, but the UN agreed cutoff is 60+ years to refer to the older population.
“Although there are commonly used definitions of old age, there is no general agreement on the age at which a person becomes old. The common use of a calendar age to mark the threshold of old age assumes equivalence with biological age, yet at the same time, it is generally accepted that these two are not necessarily synonymous.”
Misconceptions of aging and health: Some of the most important barriers to developing good public policy on ageing are pervasive misconceptions, negative attitudes and assumptions about older people. Although there is substantial evidence about the many contributions that older people make to their societies, they are frequently stereotyped as dependent, frail, out of touch, or a burden. These ageist attitudes limit older people’s freedom to live the lives they choose and our capacity to capitalise on the great human capacity that older people represent.
“There are now more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight, a major study has suggested.
“The research, led by scientists from Imperial College London and published in The Lancet, compared body mass index (BMI) among almost 20 million adult men and women from 1975 to 2014.
“It found obesity in men has tripled and more than doubled in women.
“Lead author Prof Majid Ezzat said it was an ‘epidemic of severe obesity’ and urged governments to act.
“The study, which pooled data from adults in 186 countries, found that the number of obese people worldwide had risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014.
“Meanwhile the number of underweight people had risen from 330 million to 462 million over the same period.”
“Here’s another reason to eat your fruits and veggies: You may reduce your risk of vision loss from cataracts.
“Cataracts that cloud the lenses of the eye develop naturally with age, but a new study is one of the first to suggest that diet may play a greater role than genetics in their progression.
“Researchers had about 1,000 pairs of female twins in Britain fill out detailed food questionnaires that tracked their nutrient intake. Their mean age was just over 60.
“The study participants underwent digital imaging of the eye to measure the progression of cataracts. The researchers found that women who consumed diets rich in vitamin C and who ate about two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables a day had a 20 percent lower risk of cataracts than those who ate a less nutrient-rich diet.”
Changes in SNAP : Effective March 1, 2016, Work Requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS)
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, “Beginning on March 1, 2016, SNAP recipients that are known as able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) will see a change in their benefits and requirements. An ABAWD is a benefit recipient, ages 18 through 49 with no dependents, who must work or participate in a work program to maintain eligibility for SNAP.”
“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the new name for the Food Stamp program. These benefits are used to buy food and help eligible low-income households in Pennsylvania obtain more nutritious diets by increasing their food purchasing power at grocery stores and supermarkets. If you are eligible, you will receive a Pennsylvania Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card which is used to make food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets.”