Category Archives: Housing

Is Lead Lurking in Your Home? | a program for Lancaster City and County residents

by Aimee Tyson, Program Manager, Community Services, Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority

Do you have children under the age of 6 in your home or do you have children under the age of 6 that spend more than 6 hour a week in your home?  If your home was built prior to 1978, you may be putting them at risk of lead poisoning.

Due to the news stories about the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan most people have heard about the detrimental effects of lead poisoning in children.  Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was added to paint and gasoline until 1978 and in rare cases is still used in consumer products. People are most commonly exposed to lead through paint, soil, and water.

Lead poisoning is bad for everyone but is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children under the age of 6. It is not possible to reverse the negative effects of lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning causes the following in children:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system, including lowered IQ scores
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems including ADD
  • Hearing and speech problems

Children with lead poisoning have a higher incidence of dropping out of school and higher likelihood of involvement with juvenile justice systems.

What Can You Do to Make Your Home Lead Safe?

You can make efforts to make your home lead safe using a licensed and certified lead contractor.  If you have a low household income and lack the financial means to make your home lead safe or if you are a renter with a low income, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority may be able to help.

In addition to the efforts undertaken by the Partnership for Public Health (see their website at https://www.partnershipforpublichealth.org, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority are helping low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters in Lancaster County through the provision of a grant to reduce or remove the lead based paint hazards in the home. Click on the graphic below to download a flyer explaining the details of the program for residents of Lancaster City and County.

lead lurking

 

“Aging in the Right Place” – National Council on Aging

by Amy Ford

woman-w-coffee -

“Marie shuffles cautiously across the kitchen floor, a small cup of black coffee shaking slightly in sore hands. She gently settles into her favorite chair at the table, and sets the coffee down on a placemat lined with photos of her 10 great-grandchildren.

“Marie lives alone in the home she and her husband bought at the beginning of their marriage. She’s sharp and still spends time with her great-grandkids and goes to church on Sundays, but physical limitations have caused her to slow down.

“Daily living has become more difficult, and she has had to give up taking friends to the doctor, volunteering at the local school, and driving at night. So it was no surprise to Marie when her family recently expressed how worried they are about her living alone. But sitting at the table, she can’t imagine leaving the house she has called home for more than 50 years.

“If you know someone like Marie, you know the decision to stay or go can feel overwhelming.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

“Baby boomers are downsizing — and the kids won’t take the family heirlooms” – The Boston Globe

For generations, adult children have agreed to take their aging parents’ possessions — whether they wanted them or not. But now, the anti-clutter movement has met the anti-brown furniture movement, and the combination is sending dining room sets, sterling silver flatware, and knick-knacks straight to thrift stores or the curb.

“And feelings are getting hurt, as adult children who are eager to minimize their own belongings — and who may live in small spaces, and entertain less formally than their parents did — are increasingly saying ‘no thanks’ to the family heirlooms.”

moving

By Beth Teitell | Globe Staff

“For 30 years, Pat Fryzel stored her children’s memorabilia, and her grandmother’s, too. But when she and her husband downsized, from a large Winchester home to a two-bedroom Boston townhouse, there was no room for the American Girl dolls or Nana’s cake plates. So Fryzel asked her grown kids to collect what they wanted.

“Fryzel, 64, a retired nurse practitioner, was not met with much enthusiasm. ‘They said, Take a picture and text it to us,’ she recalled.

“For generations, adult children have agreed to take their aging parents’ possessions — whether they wanted them or not. But now, the anti-clutter movement has met … ”

Continue reading this article at The Boston Globe, click here.

“America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation”

Pennsylvania ranks 26th in the country for senior citizens, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation.

Minnesota is the leading state for senior health in 2017, a title it also held in the first two years of the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report. Utah (second) reached its highest ranking in the report’s five-year history, after rising four spots this year. Hawaii (third), Colorado (fourth) and New Hampshire (fifth) round out the top five states.”

PA

 

“Homelessness in the US: Sleep Study and Accommodation Directory” – Tuck.com

fdsa

“It’s difficult to sleep if you don’t have a home. It’s especially difficult to sleep deeply when you have no way to secure your personal belongings and you’re worried about your personal safety.

“Unfortunately, this describes what sleeping is like for the homeless.”

This Website, Tuck.com, report may be a helpful resource. It is a portal to help increase awareness and help those affected by homelessness.

The portal contains a complete directory of all emergency shelters in the US, organized by state, with contact information (phone, web and address) as well as all of the services they offer plus a curated compilation of national and online resources for those affected by homelessness looking for help. Also included is overall study on homelessness in the US today.

Wolf Administration Extends Pennsylvania Home Heating Assistance Program Deadline

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvanians struggling to pay home heating bills will now have until April 7 to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The federally funded program was slated to end March 31, 2017, but the Wolf Administration decided that given the unpredictable weather this winter, Pennsylvania would extend the program, giving people extra time to apply for funding.

“Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable were able to heat their homes this winter because of LIHEAP,” said Governor Wolf. “By keeping the program open longer, we hope to provide additional assistance to those who are struggling to keep their family warm.”

LIHEAP offers assistance in the form of a cash grant sent directly to the utility company or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Some households are eligible for both types of assistance. Cash grants are based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or a statement from their fuel dealer verifying their customer status and the type of fuel used.

“Everyone deserves a safe, warm home. I encourage Pennsylvanians to apply today to ensure they have the necessary resources to stay warm as the climate continues to be unpredictable,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas.

Individuals can apply for a LIHEAP grant online at www.compass.state.pa.us or in person at their local county assistance office. They may also call the statewide toll-free hotline at 1-866-857-7095 with questions about the program.

For more information about LIHEAP, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

SOURCE: news release

No Wrong Door: Person- and Family-Centered Practices in Long-Term Services and Supports

This paper provides concrete examples of how seven No Wrong Door Systems—sometimes called Aging and Disability Resource Centers—are promoting person- and family-centered practice. No Wrong Door Systems involve an array of organizations including Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, and state agencies such as Medicaid agencies and state units on aging. Older adults, people with disabilities, and their families can access services through these agencies in a variety of ways including in person, by telephone, and online.

Individualization is at the heart of person- and family-centered practice. It is an essential component of No Wrong Door Systems, allowing people to have information about their options and facilitate decision making based on individual and family preferences, values, and financial resources. The paper includes a toolkit of resources and contacts for states to learn more and even replicate these practices. A checklist—specifically created for this project—provides a roadmap for states to ensure that No Wrong Door Systems operate in a person- and family-centered way.

nwd checklist

This paper is the first in a series of promising practices and emerging innovations reports. This series is a new feature of the upcoming, 3rd Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard. The LTSS Scorecard—written by the AARP Public Policy Institute and funded by The SCAN Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund—measures state-level performance of LTSS systems that assist older people, adults with disabilities, and their family caregivers.

Click here to download the long term scorecard.

Click here to download the complete report.

 

“Six charts that illustrate the divide between rural and urban America” – The Conversation

disability divideData reveal notable differences between rural and urban America. American Community Survey (ACAS) 2011-2015 5 year estimates, Table S1810, CC BY

This article from The Conversation identifies some of the data-driven views of the article’s authors (– Stephan Weiler, Professor of Economics, Colorado State University; Tessa Conroy and Steve Deller, Professors of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison) identify.

“Editor’s note: We’ve all heard of the great divide between life in rural and urban America. But what are the factors that contribute to these differences? We asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the divide from different angles. The data paint a richer and sometimes surprising picture of the U.S. today.”

Click here to read the article at The Conversation.

“A Housing Crisis for Seniors” – The New York Times

senior-housing-crisisSally Deng

by Allison Arieff

“Last fall, I had to take the car keys away from an elderly relative who lives alone. This intervention should have happened much earlier, but when the day came it was one of the more emotionally wrenching things I’ve ever done. ‘Don’t take my car away,’ he pleaded. ‘Without my car I don’t have a life.’

“The fear he expressed is one shared by many older Americans, who, overwhelmingly, live in places where car travel is a necessity. And that number is skyrocketing: The population aged 65 and over is expected to grow to 79 million from 48 million in the next 20 years, and by 2035, one in three American households will be headed by someone 65 or older (and 9.3 million of those will be one-person households like my relative’s). A report just out from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, “Projects and Implications for a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035 Housing,” reveals that this demographic shift will increase the need for affordable, safe housing that is well connected to services way beyond what current supply can meet.

“My now-car-free relative is not the sort to sign up for one of those 55-plus communities promising sunshine, gardens and golf.”

Click here to continue reading this column at The New York Times.

“How to make a home much more friendly to seniors using wheelchairs or walkers” – California Healthline

Home caregiver comforting senior man in wheelchairThe housing industry has failed to accommodate an aging population, experts say. (iStock)

by Judith Graham

“When Dan Bawden teaches contractors and builders about aging-in-place, he has them get into a wheelchair. See what it’s like to try to do things from this perspective, he tells them.

“That’s when previously unappreciated obstacles snap into focus.

“Bathroom doorways are too narrow to get through. Hallways don’t allow enough room to turn around. Light switches are too high and electrical outlets too low to reach easily. Cabinets beneath a kitchen sink prevent someone from rolling up close and doing the dishes.

“It’s an ‘aha moment’ for most of his students, who’ve never actually experienced these kinds of limitations or realized so keenly how home design can interfere with — or promote — an individual’s functioning.

“About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers.

“That number is set to swell with the aging population … ”

Continue reading this article at California Healthline, click here.