“Affectionate touches tap into the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, reducing the release of stress hormones, bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves linked with relaxation.”
by Ashley Yeager
“It had been seven weeks since I’d touched another human being. Arms outstretched, I walked quickly toward my dad, craving his embrace. In the instant before we touched, we paused, our minds probably running quick, last-minute calculations on the risk of physical contact. But, after turning our faces away from each other and awkwardly shuffling closer, we finally connected. Wrapped in my dad’s bear hug, I momentarily forgot we were in the midst of the worst global crisis I have ever experienced.
“’Touch is the most powerful safety signal of togetherness,’ says Steve Cole, a psychiatrist and biobehavioral scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Like more than 35 million other Americans, I live alone, and with the guidelines of physical distancing set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I hadn’t been getting close to anyone to avoid being infected with (or potentially spreading) SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. I’d been working, thankfully, at home and staying connected with friends and family through Zoom and Skype, but those virtual interactions were no replacement for being with loved ones in person.”
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.
“1 in 7 adults would avoid seeking care because of an inability to pay, new poll says” – STAT: Morning Rounds news letter
“One out of every seven, or 14%, U.S. adults would avoid seeking health care for a fever and a dry cough for themselves or a member of their household over concerns about their ability to pay. And 9% report that costs would still prompt them to avoid care even if they may have been infected by Covid-19, according to a new poll by Gallup and West Health, the research and policy organization.
“Those most likely to avoid seeking care are adults under 30 years old, non-white individuals, those with a high school education or less, and those in households with incomes under $40,000 per year. Among those avoiding care due to cost concerns, 6% of respondents reported they or a family member had been denied care due to heavy patient volume caused by the pandemic. However, this may have reflected state policies that canceled selective surgeries and related appointments. The survey queried 1,107 U.S. adults between April 1 and April 14.
“Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.”
“Long-term care is provided in different places by different caregivers, depending on a person’s needs. Most long-term care is provided at home by unpaid family members and friends. It can also be given in a facility such as a nursing home or in the community, for example, in an adult day care center.
“The most common type of long-term care is personal care—help with everyday activities, also called “activities of daily living.” These activities include bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, eating, and moving around—for example, getting out of bed and into a chair.
“Long-term care also includes community services such as meals, adult day care, and transportation services. These services may be provided free or for a fee.”
“More than 10,000 People in Long-Term Care Facilities Have Died Due to COVID-19” – Kaiser Family Foundation
“KFF Data Note Presents State-Level Cases and Deaths in Such Facilities”
More than 10,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the U.S. have died from COVID-19 infections, according to a KFF analysis of state data. That number is an undercount since not all states are currently reporting such data.
Among those reporting data, the largest death tolls as of April 23 were in several Northeastern states, including New York (3,505 deaths), New Jersey (2,050), Massachusetts (1,205) and Pennsylvania (845). The data also show that there have been nearly 51,000 infections with COVID-19 at more than 4,000 long-term care facilities in the 36 states reporting such data. New Jersey reported the highest number of cases (11,608) and North Dakota the least (61).
Residents of long-term care facilities are among the most vulnerable to infection and serious illness from COVID-19, given the population density in such facilities and residents’ underlying health conditions. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of nursing homes in the U.S. had infection control deficiencies in 2017, a problem that may contribute to high numbers of cases and deaths.
Long-term care facilities account for a notable share of all COVID-19 cases and deaths in many states. In six states – Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah – such deaths account for over 50 percent of all COVID-19 deaths. Overall, cases in long-term care facilities make up 11 percent of all coronavirus cases in the 29 states that report cases. Deaths in long-term care facilities account for 27 percent of all deaths in the 23 states that report deaths.
“The situation in many nursing homes is an emergency. It may be time to consider sending military health response teams to nursing homes and temporarily moving nursing home residents who are able to community and rural hospitals where there is room,” said Drew Altman, KFF’s President and CEO.
Until recently, there was no federal requirement for nursing homes to report coronavirus outbreaks and COVID deaths, leading to an information gap for families, residents, and policymakers. On April 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released guidance that would require nursing homes to report cases of coronavirus directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This data is not yet available.
KFF is gathering data obtainable through state COVID reporting or state press releases. We include all available long-term care facility data reported by state, including cases among both residents and staff, where available. Definition of long-term care facility differs by state, but data reflects a combination of nursing facilities, residential care communities, adult care centers, intermediate care facilities, and/or other congregate settings.
For more on methodology, as well as the full data note and other KFF analyses related to COVID-19, visit kff.org.
Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.
“As the pandemic forces doctors to turn to online solutions, many healthcare providers say they now see their advantages.”
“Caitlin Powers sits in the living room of her Brooklyn apartment in New York, and has a telemedicine video conference with her physician, Dr Deborah Mulligan.” – [Mark Lennihan/AP Photo]
by Christine Nguyen
“When Dr Mythili Krishnamurthy, an obstetrician/gynaecologist in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, got her patient’s message on WhatsApp about breast pain and a fever, she was confined to her home, like the rest of India, which had been on lockdown since March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the lockdown did not stop her from managing the patient’s care.
“Doctors, like Krishnamurthy, are doing ‘house calls’ again – but now, they are in the form of telemedicine visits. Telemedicine refers to remote care, including real-time video and app-based visits. Because of the public health crisis, a profession wary of accepting telemedicine has turned to it overnight.
“Media touts telemedicine’s value as a way to triage suspected COVID-19 patients, but telemedicine is not just a useful temporary stopgap, healthcare professionals say. It allows doctors to see patients with a range of problems and can improve patient care. Once doctors and patients use it, it is unlikely they will stop.”
The Lancaster County Link partners’ cross-training meeting is about telemedicine at Veterans Affairs.
“May 21 – VIRTUAL ZOOM CROSS-TRAINING meeting – Jessica Lehman, Veteran Affairs Medical Center- Lebanon, VA’s Health Initiative – Telehealth
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Website has a page with numerous Translated Materials and Resources
Fact Sheets (as the one above) in Multiple languages available at the PA Department of Health as well as these fact sheets from the CDC. All are available on the Dept. of Health Website.
- What You Need to Know (CDC)
- Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC)
- What to Do If Sick (CDC)
- Stop the Spread of Germs (CDC)
- Wash Your Hands (CDC)
Looking for local information about coronvirus?
Each of the Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13’s hospital systems have helpful information at their Websites. Service Area 13 includes Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.
BE SURE TO GET YOUR INFORMATION FROM RELIABLE SOURCES!
“The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, and the National Council on Aging is taking proactive steps to share the best information we have to protect the public’s health, especially among older adults. Now is the time to stay informed and follow basic tips to protect yourself and those around you.
“Older Adults at Higher Risk
“The CDC has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. According to the CDC, early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.
“This is likely because as people age, their immune systems change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection, and because many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. Age increases the risk that the respiratory system or lungs will shut down when an older person has COVID-19 disease.