by David Schaper
“The days of bringing your emotional support cat, pig or even a miniature horse on a plane may soon be coming to an end. The federal government is enacting a new rule restricting the types of service animals allowed on commercial airline flights, allowing only dogs that meet specific training criteria.
“The new Department of Transportation rule is in response to a growing backlash in recent years to airline passengers trying to bring all kinds of wild and outlandish pets onto planes, including the woman who tried to bring an “emotional support” peacock on board a United Airlines flight in 2018, and the “comfort” turkey that was actually allowed to fly on Delta Airlines back in 2016.
“‘It’s gotten really out of control,’ says Paul Hartshorn, Jr., a flight attendant for American Airlines and spokesperson for the flight attendants’ union there. ‘For years, our members have been dealing with untrained, sometimes wild animals in the aircraft cabin.
“‘For the most part, I will say it’s dogs that are not properly trained, but we’ve seen everything from pigs, to monkeys, to hamsters. You name it, we’ve seen it,’ Hartshorn added.
“The untrained animals can have behavioral issues, and some even relieve themselves on the plane.”
Continue reading this article at NPR; click here.
“Your input matters! The Department of Human Services and other stakeholders are working on suggestions to improve Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP). Whether you use the program now or are eligible to use the program to get to your medical appointments, we welcome your feedback.
We invite you to attend one of the following three online sessions. You will hear more about the suggestions and have the chance to ask questions and give us your thoughts.
- Option 1: Tuesday, November 17 from 6:00-7:30pm. (Register here)
- Option 2: Wednesday, November 18 from 1:00-2:30pm. (Register here)
- Option 3: Friday, November 20 from 10:00-11:30am. (Register here)
There are two ways to attend a session. You will receive more information closer to the date:
- Download and use the GoToWebinar software on your computer, tablet, or smart phone (video is not required).
- Call with a landline or cellphone (you can listen to the session, but not ask questions if calling directly from a landline or cellphone).
If you have questions about these sessions, please submit them here. Thank you for considering this opportunity to provide your opinion. We look forward to hearing from you.
“Medical Transport Company in Pennsylvania Offers Ride Service to General Public During COVID-19 Crisis”
Integrated Medical Transport, the largest provider of non-emergency medical transportation in Pennsylvania, will offer service to the general public beginning March 23 for those who rely on public transportation and are concerned about the spread of COVID-19.
Integrated Medical Transport’s vehicles are cleaned twice between transports, adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clinical cleaning protocol guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies. Vehicles are sanitized upon arrival at a client’s pickup location to create the cleanest possible environment prior to transport. This also provides clients with an opportunity to witness the sanitation procedure. Vehicles are then sanitized immediately after a client is dropped off at their destination to minimize the risk of carried contamination and exposure between clients.
Additionally, drivers undergo a body temperature check before the start of their shifts and each are trained in the use of Personal Protective Equipment to maximize infection control.
“While our country and our state continues to institute unprecedented measures to counter the spread of COVID-19, there are individuals who count on ride-hailing services and other public transportation options for essential travel,” said Integrated Medical Transport Chief Executive Officer Matt Rohman.
“These individuals will be rightfully concerned about the risk of exposure to the virus and community spread. This is why we have decided to put our premium medical transport fleet to work as an alternative to ride-hailing services, ride-sharing services and taxis.
Customers will not only have a comfortable ride but can take comfort knowing our vehicles are sanitized before and after each ride in accordance with EMS transportation standards.
”Transport service for the general public will be available within Integrated Medical Transport’s Pennsylvania service area (map) including the following regions and counties:
- Central Pennsylvania (counties of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York).
- Lehigh Valley (counties of Lehigh and Northampton)•Southeastern Pennsylvania (counties of Bucks, Chester and Montgomery)
- Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury(counties of Northumberland and Snyder)
- Berks County
- Carbon County
- Juniata County
- Monroe County
- Schuylkill County
To make a reservation for a ride, customers can call Integrated Medical Transport at (717) 590-8179, email email@example.com
Integrated Medical Transport has reduced its lowest medical transport rate for the purpose of general public rides. The general public ride base rate is $40.00 each way plus $2.50 per mile.
The company plans to offer transport services to the general public until the threat of COVID-19 has passed.
About Integrated Medical Transport Integrated Medical Transport, based in Mechanicsburg, PA, is the largest provider of non-emergency medical transportation in Pennsylvania. Founded in 2017, the company provides ambulance and paratransit services in 20 counties throughout the state, operating out of five offices with a team of more than 140 employees. Since its inception, Integrated Medical Transport has redefined medical transportation by providing a concierge-level service experience at a significant discount as compared to traditional ambulance and paratransit companies. Additionally, the company provides medical transportation and logistics services to hospitals and health systems, skilled nursing facilities and hospice providers.
For more information, visit www.integratedmedicaltransport.com.
SOURCE: news release
Here are three comprehensive reports about topics that are increasingly important as people age. To view or download each report click on on one of the graphics below.
Families Caring for an Aging America | Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our older adult population. They are also central to older adults’ access to and receipt of health care and community-based social services. Yet the need to recognize and support caregivers is among the least appreciated challenges facing the aging U.S. population.
The Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults | How do social isolation and loneliness affect health and quality of life in adults aged 50 and older? How can clinical settings of health care to help reduce the incidence and adverse health impacts of social isolation and loneliness?
Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action | For most Americans, staying “mentally sharp” as they age is a very high priority. Declines in memory and decision-making abilities may trigger fears of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, cognitive aging is a natural process that can have both positive and negative effects on cognitive function in older adults – effects that vary widely among individuals. At this point in time, when the older population is rapidly growing in the United States and across the globe, it is important to examine what is known about cognitive aging and to identify and promote actions that individuals, organizations, communities, and society can take to help older adults maintain and improve their cognitive health.
Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services has released its report on the potential impact on the state’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) being administered by regional brokers for all regions of the commonwealth. MATP provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers who do not otherwise have access to no-cost transportation. DHS oversees the entire MATP and the commonwealth offers and provides funding for MATP in all 67 counties.
“The Medical Assistance Transportation Program is a vital resource for people who would otherwise not be able to access transportation to their physician, pharmacy, dentist, or other necessary services,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We want to be sure we are choosing the correct path forward so we can guarantee MATP’s sustainability and consistency for years to come.
Act 40 of 2018, which amended the Human Service Code, required DHS to issue a solicitation for statewide or regional brokers where the broker is at full or partial‑risk to provide MATP services. The MATP currently operates differently across the 67 counties – a broker model in Philadelphia County and as in-house or county-administered models in the other counties.
DHS has completed an analysis created in collaboration with the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation and Aging as required by Act 19 of 2019 and has issued its report to the Legislature. The report focuses on the potential impact of the MATP being administered through a brokerage model in all areas of the commonwealth.
To read the full report,click here
- MATP consumers are a mix of low‑income, medically needy, and aged populations who are sensitive to disruption to care. It would be important to have measures in place to ensure a successful transition if the delivery model is changed.
- DHS could save money with a broker, but a potential for county transit budgets to suffer proportionally exists depending on how much brokers might disengage from other public transportation programs. The extent of any such disengagement is not known.
- Regardless of the model Pennsylvania uses, oversight and quality metrics are critical to MATP.
- The commonwealth currently has an efficient program. Even outside of metro areas, rural counties are keeping trip costs low, and regardless of the model, MATP is a cost‑saving benefit to the commonwealth.
“Transportation is critical to our quality of life, especially for medical care,” Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “We are continually looking at ways to efficiently provide services while also supporting and enhancing the tools that Pennsylvanians rely on.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to review our program and we are always looking for ways to improve our services for the people who use them,” said Secretary Miller. “Now that we have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of MATP, I’m confident that we will find solutions that will continue to best serve the commonwealth.”
DHS will work with entities involved in MATP discussions, including the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association, to explore options for the administration and service delivery of the MATP. While these options are being explored, DHS will not award a statewide brokerage contract.
SOURCE: news release
The next time you apply for or renew your Pennsylvania driver’s license or photo ID or renew your motor vehicle registration, you will have an opportunity to make a $3 tax-deductible contribution to the Veterans Trust Fund [VTF]. Since this additional $3 is not part of the renewal fee printed on your renewal application, you will need to add the donated amount to your payment. The same process would be followed if you renew online via PennDOT’s website.
The Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) was established in 2012 by Pennsylvania law (51 Pa. C. S. § 1721). The VTF is a special, non-lapsing fund of the Pennsylvania State Treasury. The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the Commonwealth.
“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!
A recent survey shows the “great need” to serve those who can’t drive or will no longer be able to.
by Lauri Maggi
“Older people want to stay in their homes as they age. But a recent survey finds that when it becomes time to stop driving, they just don’t know what their options are to keep getting around—if any exist.
“A survey by the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center found that 68 percent of adults 60 and older who they polled this fall said it would be hard to find alternative transportation options if they needed to stop driving. The poll also included younger disabled people, who said they would struggle even more, with 80 percent responding that it would be difficult to find other alternatives.
“Virginia Dize, co-director of the center, said the survey reveals the ‘great need’ to provide for both older people and those with disabilities.”
Read this article in its entirety, click here.
contributor: Richard Eisenberg, next avenue
“You’ve probably heard about age-friendly communities; maybe you even live in one of the 305 cities and towns with the AARP ‘Age-Friendly Community’ designation. But what you might not know — and what I learned attending the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) conference in Boston last week as a Journalist in Aging Fellow — is that a few states are now designated as age-friendly, too.
“So far, New York, Massachusetts and Colorado have been granted the age-friendly state designation by AARP, joining AARP’s new Network of Age-Friendly States. On November 14, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to ‘improve health and well-being of New Yorkers across the lifespan.’ Other states, such as New Hampshire, Rhode Island (which has the highest proportion of residents over 85), New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina and Oregon may follow.
Click here to find out “What It Takes to Be an Age-Friendly State” as you read the this article at Forbes in its entirety.
Read these related articles, too:
- “Lehigh, Northampton accepted into AARP Age Friendly Communities Nework”
- “Pennsylvania officials discuss shaping ‘age-friendly communities’ at hearing”
- “Healthy Communities in PA: Growing Older … | Growing Older — and Designing Smarter”
Here are Pennsylvania’s Age Friendly Communities:
- Allegheny County (September 2015) | Survey | Action Plan
- Lehigh County (June 2018)
- Northampton County (June 2018)
- Philadelphia (April 2012*) Survey | Article
- Pittsburgh (September 2015) Interview | Survey | Action Plan
- Swarthmore (September 2017)
- West Chester (May 2016*) Action Plan