Lancaster, PA – March, 2019 – Integrated Platform Services LLC today announced a new subscription check-in and reporting service for families of seniors who live independently. The service, named Constance™, targets the families of the 87% of Americans over the age of 65 who, according to AARP, would prefer to live on their own.
Constance™ provides daily human interaction with seniors to check on mood, meals, medications, appointments, and more. The check-ins are used to generate electronic updates for family members — typically members of the “sandwich generation” who find it increasingly difficult to balance support for their aging parents with managing their own busy lives. With a focus on overall wellbeing, Constance™ addresses the most important factors impacting healthcare outcomes: early detection of medical conditions, care plan adherence, and social engagement.
The service is delivered by carefully selected and trained team who call each senior for a personalized, one-on-one conversation. Unlike other personal care services, the reports are immediately available to family members via a smartphone app on iOS and Android devices.
Families using the service have confidence that the needs of their loved one will be identified and reported, allowing them to continue living independently. Constance subscriber Suzette Mullen commented, “My sister and I look forward to getting the reports every day. The daily updates have really connected us as we navigate (my mom’s) care from a distance.” Members also look forward to interacting with the Constance Family Coordinators. A senior using the service, Patricia Roberts, recently said, “It made me feel very safe to know you were calling me this morning.”
CEO and cofounder Henry Yaeger commented, “We started Constance because we want to apply business solutions to a huge and growing societal challenge. Demographic shifts and longer distances are leaving families unprepared for the demands of supporting their loved ones as they age. Our service allows seniors to continue to live independently, while giving their families the comfort of knowing they are always being looked after.”
– news release
Constance is a service of Integrated Platform Services LLC, a company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Constance helps seniors maintain independence by facilitating communication between seniors, their family members, and others. The high-touch service is supported by a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform that enables the Constance team to efficiently provide services, while native mobile apps keep family members informed. Constance is a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner entity.
Exciting things are happening in Lebanon County; one of them is the establishment of a Veterans Court that began in January, 2019.
“With a goal of rehabilitating veterans and reducing the prison population to below 500, John Shott, The Honorable Judge John Tylwalk, and Director of Probation Sally Barry presented a $20,000 Veteran’s Court for start-up costs.
“To help make the Court sustainable, a $500 Administration fee will be paid by participants. Participants may receive House Arrest and avoid jail time. Incentives in the form of gift cards are one reward for successfully completing the program. Volunteer veterans are sought as mentors to help fellow veterans through the process. Training is provided. Judge Tylwalk will meet with each veteran.
“This 24-month proactive program is one more tool in the toolbox along with DUI Treatment Court, the Renaissance Crossroads Program, Day Reporting Center, and pretrial diversion components of the IP plan already in place. Participants will perform community service projects. Sanctions include writing essays, loss of privileges, demotion to a lower phase, additional fines, curfew restrictions, incarceration, and removal from the program. The presence of the VA Medical Center provides an extra layer of support that many other counties do not have. Starting with 10 participants, there is room to grow the program to 50 participants. A 90% completion/graduation rate is anticipated.” – Click on the above graphic to watch a December 2018 video explaining the Veterans Court process.
“Veterans Courts assist veterans charged with crimes who are struggling with addiction, mental illness or co-occurring disorders and come in contact with the criminal justice system.
“Utilizing the successful drug court model, participants come before judges on a regular basis, receive support and guidance from veteran mentors, are supervised by specialized probation officers and receive treatment and support from the Veterans Administration to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress disorders. Pennsylvania’s first veterans court opened in Lackawanna County in November 2009. With more than 800,000 veterans, Pennsylvania has the fourth largest population of veterans in the country.” – Source: The Unified JUDICIAL SYSTEM of PENNSYLVANIA Website
Click here to read a VFW Magazine article about Veterans Courts: “Ten Years of Second Chances | A decade ago, officials at a New York court were stunned at how veterans charged with non-violent crimes responded to an offer of help”
“Dave Stroman, a life member of VFW Post 7397 in Lenexa, Kan., speaks during Garrett Cleek’s graduation from the Johnson County (Kan.) Veterans Treatment Court in October 2017. Stroman, a Vietnam War veteran, serves as a mentor to Cleek, an Afghanistan War veteran and fellow Post member, as well as other veterans in the program. Photo by Beth Lipoff.” – VFW Magazine
Click here to read a December, 2018 Lebanon Daily News article about the establishment of the Veterans Court.
Lebanon VA Medical Center announces the first “Building the Bridge” event | other dates and venues announced, too.
The first session of the Building the Bridge Series is scheduled for March 8, 2019. Enrollment will be available and onsite throughout the event. This event will be held at the U.S. Army Heritage Education Center (Carlisle PA), where we look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders from the Veteran community pertaining to supports and resources in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties.
This year’s topics include:
- Transition from Uniformed Services to Civilian Life: The common challenges in the transition process for both the Veteran and the family.
- Substance Use & Abuse: Identifying when someone is using drugs &/or alcohol to cope, how to respond and where to turn for help.
- Suicide Prevention: When warning signs of suicide begin to emerge & how family can help. Discussion pertaining to supports & local initiatives.
- Serving the Whole Veteran from a Wrap Around Perspective: Connecting Veterans before, during and after VA care with community partnerships.
Please join us for education, collaborative discussion and round-table sessions to further develop, strengthen and sustain working relationships.
VA to implement appeals modernization in February | Act will simplify process for how Veterans make appeals
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, January 17, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on Jan. 18 regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process.
After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision.
Implementation will occur 30 days after the Secretary certifies, as required by law. Accordingly, the AMA will become effective Feb 19.
“VA has been preparing for full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act over the past 18 months,” Wilkie said. “Our staff has worked diligently, particularly in the last few weeks, to ensure the new, streamlined process is available to Veterans in February.
The AMA was signed into law Aug. 23, 2017. Under the act, Veterans will now have three options for claims and appeals: (1) supplemental claim; (2) higher-level review; or (3) direct appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. All decision reviews submitted after February 2019 will fall under the new system.
Once the Appeals Modernization Act is fully implemented, VA’s goal is to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews averaging 125 days. Decisions appealed to the Board under its direct docket will average 365 days. Under the legacy process, appeal resolutions averaged three to seven years.
SOURCE: news release
“A project for former service members could become a model for other cities in the United States.”
“In a community of tiny houses in Kansas City, Mo., Air Force veteran Leo Morris now calls #3 his own. (Christopher Smith/For The Washington Post)”
“KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 13 tiny houses sit in neat rows on the small plot of land in south Kansas City. There’s a comforting uniformity to the group, each structure a simple A-frame or slant roof, painted a rich hue: deep blue or dark maroon, slate gray or mustard yellow. An American flag flies outside most of the homes.
The lives inside also match. The men and women here have all served their country in uniform. And every one of them was homeless before arriving this year and being given their own address and key.
“’We build communities — communities that are the beginning of a journey for those who said yes to this country and need someone to say yes back to them,’ said Brandonn Mixon, an entrepreneur who helped to found the Veterans Community Project out of frustration with the usual efforts to get veterans off the streets.”
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting applications for the 2018-19 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grant cycle. Up to $800,000 in VTF grant funding will be competitively awarded for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. Grant applications must be received by 3 p.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.
“With the fourth largest veteran population in the country, Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans have sacrificed greatly to serve our country and preserve our freedom,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “The Veterans’ Trust Fund provides community organizations within the commonwealth the necessary resources to help veterans in many different aspects.”
Up to $150,000 is available to counties for new, innovative or expanded programs or services operated by county directors of veterans affairs or to the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. Applicants in this category may request up to $20,000 per county with a priority focus on veterans’ outreach and veterans’ court programs.
Up to $650,000 is available for veterans’ service organizations with 501(c)(19) status and non-profits with 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Code that have a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Applicants in this category may request up to $50,000 for programs focusing on veteran homelessness, behavioral health initiatives and veterans’ courts.