Category Archives: Health

“A new blood test can detect eight different cancers in their early stages” – The Conversation

blood test for cancer“A liquid biopsy is far less invasive than a standard biopsy, where a needle is put into a solid tumour to confirm a cancer diagnosis. from shutterstock.com”

“Researchers have developed a blood test that can detect the presence of eight common cancers. Called CancerSEEK, the blood test detects tiny amounts of DNA and proteins released into the blood stream from cancer cells. This can then indicate the presence of ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, oesophageal, bowel, lung or breast cancers.

“Known as a liquid biopsy, the test is distinctly different to a standard biopsy, where a needle is put into a solid tumour to confirm a cancer diagnosis. CancerSEEK, is also far less invasive. It can be performed without even knowing a cancer is present, and therefore allow for early diagnosis and more chance of a cure.”

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight stealing disease. – Vision Resource Center of Berks County

Glaucoma… The Leading Cause of Preventable Blindness”

glaucoma eye

“Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent.

“As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.Over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma.

“Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.”

Click here to continue reading this important article at the Vision Resource Center of Berks County Website.

“Winterize to Prevent Falls” – National Council on Aging

Winter weather can lead to devastating slips, trips, and falls. Below are five simple steps that YOU can take this winter to reduce falls among older adults and adults with disabilities in your community.

Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls are costly—in dollars and in quality of life. However, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially.

winter falls prevention

Download the above information sheet as a .pdf file for sharing, printing or enlarging, click on the graphic above or here

The Slippery Slope of Opioid Use

slippery slopeThe Slippery Slope of Opioid UsePowToon

An opioid-like botanic | “As Kratom Use Surges, Some States Enact Bans” – STATELINE

kratumRobert Roskind is the owner of the Oasis cafe in Carrboro, North Carolina, where a typical serving of kratom is a heaping teaspoon of powder in a mug of hot water, orange juice or chocolate almond milk. As consumption of the opioid-like botanic grows, some cities and states are banning its use. – Christine Vestal, The Pew Charitable Trusts

“CARRBORO, N.C. — On a sunny November afternoon in this quiet college community, a steady stream of customers walks through the doors of a local cafe called Oasis for a cup of an increasingly popular herbal beverage. The menu offers coffee, black tea, beer, wine and pastries, but nearly everyone opts for a $5 mug of kratom (pronounced KRAY-dum).

“A powder ground from the leaves of an indigenous Southeast Asian tree related to the coffee plant, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) offers pain relief and mood enhancement, similar to prescription painkillers.

“Advocates say the substance, which does not depress the respiratory system and therefore presents little to no overdose risk, could help reduce the nation’s reliance on highly addictive and often deadly prescription painkillers. Some addiction experts also argue the plant could be used as an alternative to methadone, buprenorphine and Vivitrol in medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction.

“Used for centuries to fight fatigue, pain and anxiety in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and Thailand, kratom was rarely taken in the United States until recently.”

Continue reading this STATELINE article, click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – “Developing Solutions for Social Isolation in the United States: Learning From the World”

We’re providing a total of $2.5 million in funding, looking for the best ideas from around the world that can address social isolation in the United States.

SOCIAL ISOLATION

by Maryjoan Ladden

I remember reading the story of a dying patient who, when asked who to call as his life was ending, he replied, ‘no one.’ He had absolutely no immediate family or close friends. Dr. Druv Khullar who wrote the piece noted ‘the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude. I wondered whether his isolation was a driving force of his premature death, not just an unhappy circumstance.’

“This profoundly sad story struck me to my core.

“Not everyone has a social network to call on when they need people by their side. Many people feel disconnected from society and from life, and that contributes to a host of physical, mental and emotional health problems. In fact, according to experts, social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol.”

Click here to continue reading.

 

If you have an idea from abroad that just might work in America, see our new Call for Proposals!

 

See full Call for Proposals for more information.

 

“Cataract Surgery May Prolong Your Life” – The New York Times

“After 72 very nearsighted years, 55 of them spent wearing Coke-bottle glasses, Jane Quinn of Brooklyn, N.Y., is thrilled with how well she can see since having her cataracts removed last year.

cataractsPaul Rogers

by Jane E. Brody

“‘It’s very liberating to be able to see without glasses,’ Ms. Quinn told me. ‘My vision is terrific. I can even drive at night. I can’t wait to go snorkeling.’

“And I was thrilled to be able to tell her that the surgery very likely did more than improve her poor vision. According to the results of a huge new study, it may also prolong her life.

“The 20-year study, conducted among 74,044 women aged 65 and older, all of whom had cataracts, found a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,735 women who had their cataracts removed.” – Continue reading this New York Times article, click here.

Medicare Spends More on Socially Isolated Older Adults

Previous studies have demonstrated that socially isolated older adults are at greater risk for poor health and death than their well-connected counterparts. The AARP Public Policy Institute has released a new report that examines whether social isolation also affects health care spending among older adults, and finds that a lack of social contacts among older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending annually.” Click on the graphic below to download the report. 

medicare socially isolated

Wolf Administration Celebrates Living Independence For the Elderly’s 20th Anniversary in the Commonwealth

Harrisburg, PAHarrisburg, PA – Last week, the Department of Human Services recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Living Independence For the Elderly (LIFE) program in the commonwealth. LIFE provides services to more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians in 41 counties across the state.

“The Wolf Administration is committed to serving people in the community, and LIFE is an option that allows older Pennsylvanians to live independently while receiving services and supports that meet the health and personal needs of the individual,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “Today, we celebrate this program for its 20 years of contributing to the quality of life of the seniors in our commonwealth.”

LIFE is a managed care program that provides a comprehensive all-inclusive package of medical and supportive services. The program was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and is known nationally as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

All of the PACE providers in Pennsylvania have ‘LIFE’ in their name. The first LIFE program agreements were signed in 1997 with services implemented in Pennsylvania in 1998.

“While we prepare to launch Community HealthChoices in the southwest region of Pennsylvania, it’s critical that folks know that LIFE is also an option,” said Miller. “We want our older Pennsylvanians to be aware that there are choices available.”

To be eligible for LIFE, you must:

  • Be age 55 or older
  • Meet the level of care needs for a skilled nursing facility or a special rehabilitation facility
  • Meet the financial requirements as determined by your local County Assistance Office or be able to privately pay
  • Reside in an area served by a LIFE provider
  • Be able to be safely served in the community as determined by a LIFE provider

Some of the many services available under the LIFE program include dental, meals, medical and non-medical transportation, LIFE Center services, nursing care, personal care, social services, recreational activities, and more. LIFE also fully integrates Medicare and Medicaid services for individuals eligible for both programs.

To locate a LIFE provider in your area click here, or call the toll-free CHC Helpline at 1-844-824-3655 (TTY 1-833-254-0690).

November is Living Independence for the Elderly month and Governor Wolf issued a proclamation declaring it as such.

For more information on LIFE, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

Living Independence For the Elderly (LIFE), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in November, provides services to more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians in 41 counties across the state.

LIFE provides an innovative, community-based approach to integrated health care, as well as social and family support services. The program is designed to help seniors remain in their homes and communities instead of receiving care in a nursing facility.

Here’s more from the Pennsylvania Life Provider Alliance.

“The Necessity of Exercise: Physical Activity and Aging” – University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

As the aging population keeps increasing, more and more older people are recognizing a growing need for exercise in their lives. Maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for sustaining health and happiness. Exercise can help older adults achieve a higher quality of life, and it can help them live longer as well.

USC-MAGMASM-The-Necessity-of-Exercise-Gerontology-Infographic

Read more here.