“Pandemic job cuts have meant many people have no insurance to pay for dental work – and the poorest are hardest hit”
“Millions of Americans have no dental insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay out of pocket for extensive dental care needs.” Photograph: Megan Jelinger/Reuters
by Michael Sainato
“Maureen Haley, 66, lost her home in Florida in the wake of the 2008 recession. She now lives in a camper near Greensboro, North Carolina, relying on social security and Medicare to make ends meet and pay for healthcare.
“But Haley has problems with her teeth, and cannot afford to see a dentist to have them fixed.
“’My teeth problems are the biggest problem I have each day,’ said Haley. ‘I need root canals and implants. I have a tooth impaction. I have to massage the heck out of it to get the air out of my gums and cheek after chewing a meal. Painful is an understatement, and the worry of how this may affect my heart compounds it.’
‘She worries about remaining independent, and not ending up in a nursing home. On a limited income, her decisions revolve around what is most pressing, such as fixing her vehicle and drug prescriptions. The last time she was able to visit a dentist was three years ago, and she was given an estimate of over $8,500 for the work she needs.”
In September, 2019, PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area coordinator, Brian Long, appeared with others on a panel at a United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing entitled, “Promoting Healthy Aging: Living Your Best Life Long Into Your Golden Years.”
In his testimony, he reinforced “Partial and total tooth loss is something that a larger share of older persons deal with, particularly if they are from disadvantaged populations. We know that older seniors, women, persons of color, current smokers, and those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to have fewer or no remaining teeth. Missing teeth and gum disease are prevalent among many older people in those demographics. Earlier lifestyle choices and forgoing dental treatment, perhaps, have contributed to this, but we know that the absence of regular dental care and treatment can lead to disastrous health consequences.
“Again, affordability is a huge contributor. The issue of coverage for dental, vision and hearing services is about healthy
aging. Without access to these services, we know that older adults have a greater likelihood of:
- Experiencing social isolation or mental health issues
- Becoming the victim of a scam
- Having difficulty accessing transportation resources
- Struggling to adhere to their prescription medicines
- Encountering hazards in the home”
“Even with vaccines, many older people and their relatives are weighing how to manage at-home care for those who can no longer live independently.”
Credit … Kristian Thacker for The New York Times
by Reed Abelson
“At 86, Diane Nixon, living in an apartment at the back of a daughter’s house, no longer drives and has trouble getting around.
“When her health worsened last year before the coronavirus pandemic, she and all four of her daughters talked about whether a nursing home would be the next step. She worried that she had become a burden to her children.
“’She was very adamant about not wanting her daughters to be caregivers,’ said Jill Cooper, one of her daughters, who lives nearby in the Pittsburgh area.
“But as infections began to tear through nursing homes across the country, killing tens of thousands of residents last year, Ms. Nixon and her family realized a group home was no longer a viable choice. Especially after most of them barred visitors to help contain outbreaks.
“’Not to be able to see her was not an option for us,’ Ms. Cooper said, so the family contacted a local home health agency to hire someone to help her during the day.”
“Legal and financial moves to take care of yourself and your loved ones.”
by Anna Byrne
“Nothing quite prepares you for the dark and debilitating grief of losing a spouse or life partner. The beginning of every widow or widower’s journey is about picking up the pieces and finding the strength to keep going even when your ‘other half’ has passed.
“I know firsthand the kind of extreme sadness that can overwhelm you, as I became a widow after losing my husband when I was just 28.
“This life experience taught me that life is unpredictable, underscored the importance of planning for the future and has inspired me to help others plan and navigate such loss.
“The first year of being a widow or widower is about living in memory of a loved one, but the next chapter is about remembering to live your own life.”
“Should You Get Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card Laminated? | Tips for safeguarding the paper record of your coronavirus vaccination” – AARP
GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
by Katherine Skiba
“Congratulations, you’ve been inoculated against the coronavirus — and you have an official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to prove it.
“You should keep the card, which bears your name, date of birth, vaccine type and vaccination date, in a safe place. You may need it in the future. You should also take a photo of the card as a backup, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises.
“Here’s what you shouldn’t do with your vaccine card: Laminate it.”
Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). The theme for 2021 is “Communities of Strength.”
Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.
There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important—it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in that of our communities. From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, join us in promoting the ways we are connected and strong.
Carol Davies, Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging administrator, is featured in “The More You Know” Link interview series.
Carol Davies (above left), Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging administrator, elaborates on the array of services offered by that agency in this episode of “The More You Know.”
Margie Degler-Pizarro interviewed Carol and this interview is posted now here:
This interview is one of a series of YouTube interviews with Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Service Area 13 partner agencies. If your agency / entity / organization is a Link partner and you would like to be a “The More You Know” featured interview subject, call / text or email the Link coordinator: 717.380.9714 – email@example.com.