“A Day in the Life of Older Adults: Substance Use Facts” – SAMHSA

This Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report is important to read.

older adults drug use

“Illicit drug use generally declines as individuals move through young adulthood and into middle adulthood. Although the percentage of people with substance use disorder (SUD) reflects the decline in use as people age, more than 1 million individuals aged 65 or older (“older adults”) had an SUD in 2014, including 978,000 older adults with an alcohol use disorder and 161,000 with an illicit drug use disorder.

Research suggests that substance use is an emerging public health issue among the nation’s older adults. Illicit drug use among adults aged 50 or older is projected to increase from 2.2 percent to 3.1 percent between 2001 and 2020. For example, the number of older Americans with SUD is expected to rise from 2.8 million in 2002–2006 to 5.7 million by 2020. The emergence of SUD as a public health concern among older adults reflects, in part, the relatively higher drug use rates of the baby boom generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) compared with previous generations. Thus, there is a cohort of older adults who may experience the negative consequences of substance use, including physical and mental health issues, social and family problems, involvement with the criminal justice system, and death from drug overdose. Older adults are more likely than people in other age groups to have chronic health conditions and to take prescription medication, which may further complicate adverse effects of substance use.

Click here to continue reading this Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) Report.

May 31 – Town Hall Meeting at Veterans Affairs Medical Center [VAMC] – Lebanon

VA town hall

“The painful truth about teeth | You can work full time but not have the money to fix your teeth – visible reminders of the divide between rich and poor” – The Washington Post

teeth divideAn event center floor becomes a makeshift dental surgery area during the Mission of Mercy clinic in Salisbury on March 10. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

“SALISBURY, Md. — Two hours before sunrise, Dee Matello joined the line outside the Wicomico Civic Center, where hundreds of people in hoodies, heavy coats and wool blankets braced against a bitter wind.

“Inside, reclining dental chairs were arrayed in neat rows across the arena’s vast floor. Days later, the venue would host Disney on Ice. On this Friday morning, dentists arriving from five states were getting ready to fix the teeth of the first 1,000 people in line.

“Matello was No. 503. The small-business owner who supports President Trump had a cracked molar, no dental insurance and a nagging soreness that had forced her to chew on the right side of her mouth for years.

“‘It’s always bothering me,’ she said.”

Click here to continue reading this Washington Post article.

“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.”



read this new report: “Demonstrating the Value of Medicaid MLTSS Programs”

WASHINGTON, DC – the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Demonstrating the Value of Medicaid MLTSS Programs, developed in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). The report also marks the first in a series of publications from the MLTSS Institute, which was established in 2016 to drive improvements in key MLTSS policy areas, facilitate sharing and learning among states, and provide direct and intensive technical assistance to states and health plans.

In recognition of a lack of reliable and robust information on the value of state managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs nationally, the report aims to partially fill the gap with data and evidence from a survey of state agencies and a review of relevant outside research.  It is also intended to serve as a jumping off point for future study.

Martha Roherty, NASUAD Executive Director, believes this study is badly needed.  “As we are out providing technical assistance to states seeking to implement MLTSS, we are continually asked by stakeholders for evidence that MLTSS works.  We are so pleased that this study begins to answer those questions with hard state data.”

States identified the following issues as important outcomes to pursue when implementing an MLTSS program and to measure when demonstrating its value:

  • Rebalancing Medicaid LTSS spending from institutional care to home and community based services;
  • Improving member experience, quality of life, and health outcomes;
  • Reducing waiting lists for waiver services and increasing access; and
  • Increasing budget predictability and managing costs.

“As states collect and share more MLTSS program data–such as measures of consumers’ health status and other variables like cost and service utilization–they can demonstrate value and build stakeholder support for their programs,” said Stephen A. Somers, CHCS President and CEO.

NASUAD hopes that this report will generate a national dialogue on the value of MLTSS programs, stimulate thoughtful policy development and program design, and promote high performing state systems that provide care for older adults and persons with disabilities.

Read the report here.

“Effective Communication for Effective Care | Talking With Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook”

talkinw with your older patientClick on the graphic to download the handbook. 

“Good communication is an important part of the healing process. Effective doctor-patient communication has research-proven benefits: Patients are more likely to adhere to treatment and have better outcomes, they express greater satisfaction with their treatment, and they are less likely to file malpractice suits.

“Studies show that good communication is a teachable skill. Medical students who receive communication training improve dramatically in talking with, assessing, and building relationships with patients. Time management skills also improve.

“Interpersonal communication skills are considered so important that they are a core competency identified by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Medical Specialties.”

Continue reading this article at the National Institure on Aging Website, click here.


“Beware: AoA (Administration on Aging) Email Scam”

“This week, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) has heard from a number of people who have received emails falsely claiming they are from the Administration on Agting (AoA) and Edwin Walker requesting personal and financial information. These emails are a Phishing scam.

·  ACL will never ask for your social security number.

·  We will not ask you to send us a check in order to access a benefit.

·  You can always contact us at (202) 401-4634 to check to see if a message is valid.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, bank and other financial account, and credit card details (and, directly or indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication including email and text messages. For anyone, but particularly for older and vulnerable adults, phishing can be an opening to fraud and financial abuse.

How Do I Spot a Phishing Email?

Phishers include links in their email to lure you to fake sites that look like the legitimate ones to steal your login credentials or they could use the links to infect your computer with a virus. Phishers may also ask for you to respond to an email with sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) that would allow them access to bank or other financial accounts. Before you click a link or respond to an email, you should ask:

Do you recognize the sender’s company or email address?  Is the sender’s email address familiar?  Are you expecting something from the sender’s company or organization?

Are you named in the salutation?  This may not always prove that the email is legitimate due to the fact that your name may be in your email address, but it’s good to check.

You should always be suspicious of links in an email.  Always hover over links to verify the source URL code.  A URL is the address of a specific website or file on the Internet.  Before you click, verify that you recognize the linked URL.

Do you know the sender?  The sender should include a signature that provides contact information.

What to do if you think you have received a phishing email?

You have two choices: Delete the mail, or

Forward the email to an organization that can either study the email for evidence of who sent it, or can investigate the people responsible for sending it. Examples include an IT security group that supports you, or a law enforcement organization that deals with cybersecurity.

You also can report complaints to these agencies:

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internet Crime Compliant Center:


The Federal Trade Commission:

(877) 382-4357

U.S. Postal Service:


“How to Grandparent a Special Needs Child” – next avenue

by Kate Swenson

“I called you today, Mom and Dad. You knew today was the day. The day of the appointment. The appointment that would either relieve all our fears or change the future. You knew the doctors and teachers were throwing around words like ‘autistic’ and ‘developmentally delayed.’ You knew I refused to believe it. You refused, too (and I appreciate that more than you will ever know).

“Our Family Was Changed Forever

“”We told each other for a long time that he was fine. We reassured each other daily. He was definitely a late talker, possibly even a late bloomer. We found comfort in the fact that boys often develop slower than girls. We shared stories of other toddlers who flapped their arms and lined up toys (which often are early signs of autism) and turned out fine. But yet, our hopes were wavering. The doubt was building.

“We got the answer today.”

Click here to read this next avenue article in its entirety.

“Wills for Heroes” program announced for veterans, and spouses or partners, and emergency responders

The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and with sponsorship by Ballard Spahr LLP, are proud to bring the Wills for Heroes program to you.

Wills for Heroes is a free and easy service that provides Wills, Living Wills, Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney to veterans and their spouses/partners.

wills for heroes PA

To download the above graphic, as a .pdf format, for sharing, printing or enlarging, click here or on the graphic.

Please post and/or forward this email to anyone who is a veteran or first responder.  Plenty of appointments right now.

Click here for a .pdf file for a flyer w/ more general information on the Wills for Heroes program.

Click here to download a .pdf file of a questionnaire should be printed, completed and brought with you for the appointment you signed up for.

This is an opportunity for our Vets to have FREE estate planning services which includes Wills, Living Wills, Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney.

“A crisis in home health care: What can be done?” – MarketPlace

Subsidized Long-Term Care Supporters See Opportunity With Health Care BillWe hear from listeners about their experiences giving and receiving home health care. – Joe Raedle/Getty Images – SOURCE: MarketPlace


“Earlier this week, we asked you to tell us about your experiences in the home health care industry.

“The reason? There’s a severe lack of home health aides across the U.S., and the problem is likely to grow worse. According to a recent Washington Post article:

“‘The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that an additional 1.1 million workers of this kind will be needed by 2024 — a 26 percent increase over 2014.’”

Click here to read this report and listen to an audio report.