“The more scientists learn about how we age, the more likely they are to recalibrate the clock. But that poses another question: Should they?”
Illustration by Liana Farmer
by Liz Stinson
“Humans are born with an expiration date. From the moment of conception, we’re assigned a shared fate — that someday, in some way, we all die. It used to come earlier. In ancient Roman times, people could expect to live 30 to 35 years. By the mid-20th century, life expectancy in the United States had risen to 65 for men and 71 for women. Today, the average American life span hovers around 78 years, though that’s far from the bounds of what is possible.
“Scientists believe that the capacity of the human body currently reaches its limits at around 115 years old. But most people fall short of that due to the ailments and vulnerabilities that accompany old age, a fact that has been tragically underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. But what if it was possible to reach that outer edge? Just think about that delta for a second: 80 versus 115. “That leaves 35 years to realize,” says Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of Age Later (St. Martin’s Press). Barzilai is part of a growing cadre of scientists studying longevity — why we age, how our bodies break down, how it affects our well-being and quality of life, and what we can do to slow the process. These scientists believe in a future where interventions will forestall our physiological wear and tear, effectively making us better resistant to age-related diseases and, yes, maybe even pandemics.
“Extending life span is rooted deep in the human psyche.” Keep reading this article at Allure, click here.
Fizikaflex Helps Seniors Stay Healthy and Active | Sign up for a free 3 month subscription to Fizikaflex.
This morning, Martha Harris, founder and CEO of Fizika Group was the cross-training presenter with the Lebanon County Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner network. In a Zoom meeting, she shared an important story about fitness, diet and healthy habits Click here to view it) that resonated with everyone.
Martha’s now got to meet partners in all three of the counties in Service Area 13 as she’s presented at cross-training meetings for each county.
She’s also making a very special offer to persons in Berks-Lancaster & Lebanon Counties; an offer of a free three month subscription to Fizikaflex.
Read the article below for a lot more information about Fizikaflex.
“Fizika Group, LLC, a social enterprise based in Lancaster, today announced the release of Fizikaflex™ a new digital health platform designed to help seniors stay healthy and active as they age.
“Fizikaflex is an attractive, secure web-based application that enables seniors to record their daily health inputs, such as exercise and nutrition, document progress in reaching personal health goals, and compare their results with peers. User preferences enable synchronization with FitBit™ for daily step count, and dietary preferences based on eating restrictions.
“‘The need for Fizikaflex is evident in the rapid growth of dementia and other forms of brain diseases worldwide. While there is no known cure, scientists know that lifestyle choices can influence the risk factors that contribute to brain disease,’ said Martha Harris, Founder and CEO of Fizika Group. ‘Our goal in creating Fizikaflex is to provide a simple, easy to use tool that can motivate and inform seniors and the communities in which they live, to make healthy habits habit forming.’
“Fizikaflex is designed for use by senior living communities and affordable housing complexes that want to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. No software installation is required.” Continue reading this article, click here.
“The formula for what makes a community livable isn’t particularly complex. For the most part, the features and needs are fairly simple.
“But living in a place that, say, requires having a car for every errand or outing can be a difficult place to live if you don’t have a car or can’t drive.
“Living in a place without access to outdoor spaces, good schools and healthy food isn’t very livable, especially for young families.
“Living in a community that isn’t safe, or offers few activities, can be isolating for people regardless of age.
“On the other hand, a community that includes all of the features pictured in our “In a Livable Community” handout can be great — for people of all ages!”
AND people with a disability!
This Time Magazine article begins, “Global life expectancy averages out to 71.4 years. That means, of course, that some parts of the world see much shorter life spans, while others enjoy far greater longevity.
“Five places, in particular, fall into the latter category. They’re known as Blue Zones —named for the blue circles researchers drew to identify the first one on a map — and they’re home to some of the oldest and healthiest people in the world. Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones and The Blue Zones Solution, told TIME why residents of these places live so long—and how you can steal their habits.”
Pennsylvania Announces Plans to Maintain Food Security Programs Through February Despite Federal Government Shutdown
Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced that February benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will be dispersed on January 18, 2019, and will be available for use by January 19, 2019. The early payment follows an announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notifying states that benefits will be fully funded for the month of February, but benefits must be paid early.
“SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. Without it, 1.8 million Pennsylvanians would have greater trouble affording food for themselves and their families,” said Secretary Miller. “This early payment allows us to get SNAP recipients their benefits for February, but they will have to make this payment last for an undefined period as the shutdown continues.”
On January 8, 2019, DHS received notice from the USDA that February SNAP benefits will be fully funded, but that these benefits needed to be issued by January 20. DHS worked closely with its vendors and will be able to issue the February benefits to electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on January 18. This early payment is SNAP recipients’ February benefit and will be the only benefit payment SNAP recipients will receive for the month of February. Recipients will not receive a payment on their regularly scheduled February payment date. DHS is sending a letter and/or email to SNAP recipients to notify them of this change.
Payments beyond February will be determined based on the availability of USDA funds. DHS is awaiting information from the USDA on plans for March benefits should the partial federal government shutdown continue.
“The partial federal government shutdown has real implications for millions of people in Pennsylvania and around the country who use SNAP to keep food on the table,” said Secretary Miller. “Changes in the way people get their benefits and uncertainty regarding future benefits creates confusion and concern that should be avoidable. The federal government must come to a solution so people who already face food insecurity do not continue to be caught in the middle of a situation that they did not create.”
DHS will continue to process applications for all benefits during the shutdown. Recipients should continue to report changes and submit any semi-annual reviews or renewals they receive during this period to not risk an interruption of their benefits in the future.
Clients with questions about their benefits can contact their local County Assistance Office or can call the statewide customer service center at 1-877-395-8930. Clients who reside in Philadelphia should call 1-215-560-7226.
SOURCE: news release
Farmers markets are bringing more fresh, local produce to the doorsteps of low-income neighborhoods by giving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients the power to purchase nutritious food with their EBT cards.
In 2017, 7,377 farmers and farmers markets accepted SNAP benefits across the United States, providing low-income consumers with access to fresh, healthy foods, while helping local farmers. Find a participating farmers market near you.
From June through November, the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs provide low-income seniors and eligible participants in the WIC program with vouchers to purchase Pennsylvania-grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut herbs from approved farm markets and farm stands across the commonwealth.
Read these related articles:
- State low-income nutrition program offers free farmers market produce
- Wolf Administration Recognizes Impact of Local, Healthy Foods During Produce Month
SOURCE: news release
Berks County Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt recently “unveiled a magnet that will be made available to county residents in an effort to make them aware of when it’s appropriate to call 911 and when they should dial 211.”
Read these articles, too, for more information.
by Erin Kee McGovern
“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest domestic hunger safety net program. SNAP is especially important in helping low-income older adults to achieve food security. But many myths abound–here we set the record straight with seven facts about seniors and SNAP.