Category Archives: Health

“The painful truth about teeth | You can work full time but not have the money to fix your teeth – visible reminders of the divide between rich and poor” – The Washington Post

teeth divideAn event center floor becomes a makeshift dental surgery area during the Mission of Mercy clinic in Salisbury on March 10. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

“SALISBURY, Md. — Two hours before sunrise, Dee Matello joined the line outside the Wicomico Civic Center, where hundreds of people in hoodies, heavy coats and wool blankets braced against a bitter wind.

“Inside, reclining dental chairs were arrayed in neat rows across the arena’s vast floor. Days later, the venue would host Disney on Ice. On this Friday morning, dentists arriving from five states were getting ready to fix the teeth of the first 1,000 people in line.

“Matello was No. 503. The small-business owner who supports President Trump had a cracked molar, no dental insurance and a nagging soreness that had forced her to chew on the right side of her mouth for years.

“‘It’s always bothering me,’ she said.”

Click here to continue reading this Washington Post article.

“Effective Communication for Effective Care | Talking With Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook”

talkinw with your older patientClick on the graphic to download the handbook. 

“Good communication is an important part of the healing process. Effective doctor-patient communication has research-proven benefits: Patients are more likely to adhere to treatment and have better outcomes, they express greater satisfaction with their treatment, and they are less likely to file malpractice suits.

“Studies show that good communication is a teachable skill. Medical students who receive communication training improve dramatically in talking with, assessing, and building relationships with patients. Time management skills also improve.

“Interpersonal communication skills are considered so important that they are a core competency identified by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Medical Specialties.”

Continue reading this article at the National Institure on Aging Website, click here.


“Fresh Food By Prescription: This Health Care Firm Is Trimming Costs — And Waistlines” – NPR

by Allison Aubrey

trimming waistlinesRegistered 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.”

Continue reading this NPR article, click here.

HHS Unification – a website explaining the particulars.

Earlier today, the Governor’s Office launched its website for all stakeholders to learn more about Governor Wolf’s initiative to create a unified Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  On this site, you can review the draft legislation, dive deep into the HHS draft organizational charts, and hear from the prime sponsors in the House and Senate. The website also includes a way for all stakeholders to provide feedback.

HHS Unification Website

“7 Foot Problems That Can Be Serious” –

These seemingly harmless conditions can signal real health issues.

by Jessica Dysart

foot problems“If you want to know the state of your health, try looking down. ‘There’s no question it’s extremely important that people pay attention to their feet,’ says Terry Philbin, D.O., spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) and a foot and ankle specialist at the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center in Westerville, Ohio. The condition of your feet can give you clues to a host of medical issues, such as diabetes, arthritis, and even heart disease. Read on to find out what to look for and what it may mean.”

Continue reading this article at and find out what the seven foot problems are, click here.



Disability Helper | explore a helpful Website

Here’s a website that can be quite helpful for persons with a disability or caretakers of a someone with a disability.

disability helper

“ is a place for those with friends or family members who are disabled to get together and share ideas, suggestions and learnings about the challenges and joys of life. Having someone in your life with different abilities offers a unique perspective on things that may seem mundane to others, and we hope that through this collaborative effort we are able to help others see the beauty in the everyday in a new way.

“Many social barriers have already been removed from those with disability, but there is much work yet to be done to allow everyone to be as independent as possible to live, learn and love within their community. Our goal is to provide information for caretakers of those with a disability about healthy living, school, safety, transitions, finding support and independent living.”

And here (thank you, Linda J. for sharing) are some really useful links you may find useful:


“Adverse Drug Reactions | How serious Is the problem and how often and why does it occur?” –


“Although some adverse drug reactions (ADR) are not very serious, others cause the death, hospitalization, or serious injury of more than 2 million people in the United States each year, including more than 100,000 fatalities. In fact, adverse drug reactions are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Most of the time, these dangerous events could and should have been avoided. Even the less drastic reactions, such as change in mood, loss of appetite, and nausea, may seriously diminish the quality of life.

“Despite the fact that more adverse reactions occur in patients 60 or older, the odds of suffering an adverse drug reaction really begin to increase even before age 50. Almost half (49.5%) of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports of deaths from adverse drug reactions and 61% of hospitalizations from adverse drug reactions were in people younger than 60. Many physical changes that affect the way the body can handle drugs actually begin in people in their thirties, but the increased prescribing of drugs does not begin for most people until they enter their fifties. By then, the amount of prescription drug use starts increasing significantly, and therefore the odds of having an adverse drug reaction also increase. The risk of an adverse drug reaction is about 33% higher in people aged 50 to 59 than it is in people aged 40 to 49.

“Adverse Reactions to Drugs Cause Hospitalization of 1.5 Million Americans Each Year

Read this Worst article in its entirety here.

“The brains of ‘super-agers'” – STATNews Morning Rounds

brain of super agerthe cortex of a superager. (northwestern)

“Scientists have discovered a new trait unique to a special group of octogenarians that they’ve dubbed super-agers — older adults who retain a much sharper memory than their peers. Here’s what study author Emily Rogalski of Northwestern told me about the work, published in JAMA.

“Who counts as a super-ager?

“When you think about normal aging, memory performance starts to decline in our late 20s and 30s. But when you look at individual data points, there’s a lot of variability in decline in our later years. There are people who seem to avoid this decline in memory performance. For our purposes, they have to be over age 80, and they have to have memory performance better than individuals in their 50s and 60s. It took us a couple years just to develop a cohort to start to study. We screened well over 1,000 people who thought they had outstanding memory. And of those people, under 5 percent qualified for the research.

“What did you discover about how their brains age?

“We already knew their brains are bigger than their peers. But we wanted to know if it was because they were born with bigger brains, or if it was more because they’re on a truly different aging trajectory and aren’t losing brain mass at the same rate as an average ager. We used MRI to measure the thickness of their cortex [the outer layer of the cerebrum] and compared those to average agers. Compared over an 18-month period, the average agers are atrophying at more than twice the rate than that of the super-agers. They seem to be resistant in some way to the atrophy process that’s common in average aging. The next natural question is how you get on the slow-atrophy train. And that’s certainly an important next step.” – SOURCE: STATNews Morning Rounds article

Just released Field Guide to Managed Care – American Society on Aging

Click here to read The Field Guide to Managed Care: A Primer – a 74 page new field guide that features articles from numerous experts and explores the landscape of managed care. This resource explains what managed care is, why it is necessary, and how community-based organizations (CBOs) and healthcare entities are establishing partnerships and creating new opportunities. The Field Guide to Managed Care also includes case studies that detail lessons CBOs have learned in their experiences through managed care.

managed care field guide

Veterans … Re-discover the National Resource Directory!

NRD womensPhoto by Micaiah Anthony / U.S. Air Force

Though March is Women’s History Month, the National Resource Directory celebrates the contributions women in service and as caregivers have made every day. This country has been enriched by the hard work and dedication of women, and because they have provided so much, the NRD is there for them.

Whether it’s health care or child care programs, financial services or G.I. Bill benefits, the National Resource Directory can help. There are pages of information tailored specifically for women, and they can be found by clicking here.

Caregivers impact lives, too, making a difference for their veteran or wounded, injured, or ill spouse or family member. The National Resource Directory has nearly 250 pages of resources catered to caregivers that can provide assistance. These resources can be national programs or service-specific, ranging from counseling and support groups to family recreation, or education programs to employment. Find the resources that will help you.”