Pennsylvania’s New Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card Design

The Pennsylvania EBT card is the way individuals access their food, medical and/or cash benefits. This email is to inform you that Pennsylvania will be utilizing a new design on the EBT card for new enrollments and lost, stolen or damaged cards. The new card will no treplace the existing cards that individuals already have.

Click on the graphic below to download the complete brochure for any questions you may have.

ebt card



Nurses: “the professionals Americans trust most”

Today is the beginning of National Nurses Week.

nurses“Clinical Nurse Elise Ross stands in front of the nurses station central monitor for patient vital signs in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit in MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC on June 25, 2013.”

“Nurses consistently rank at the top of the country’s most trusted professionals. And this week, America celebrates them.

“National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

“Here are some facts about the nurses that tend to you when you’re sick — and the week that celebrates them:” continue reading this article here.

nurses 2“A nursing class in 1942.” – LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Here’s another article that reinforces the trust that people have in nurses:

“Doctors need to regain patients’ trust. Nurses can help them do that”

“We Prosecute Murder Without the Victim’s Help. Why Not Domestic Violence? | For years, cases in which victims didn’t want to cooperate were simply tossed out. Then a dedicated group of prosecutors found a better way.” – New York Times OPINION

domestic abuseA portrait of Michelle Monson Mosure and her children, Kristy and Kyle, taken in the summer of 1999. It was given to Michelle’s family by the parents of her husband, Rocky Mosure, after he shot and killed all three.” – Creditvia The Billings Gazette

by Rachel Louise Snyder

“Domestic violence victims recant their testimony as much as 70 percent of the time, according to some estimates. People like Michelle do so to protect themselves against their abusers’ retaliation when they feel that authorities cannot or will not help.

“Once they recant, they’re often proved right. Authorities in many jurisdictions still believe that without victim cooperation, there’s no reason to prosecute. If a victim doesn’t care, the logic goes, why should anyone else?

“‘The criminal justice system,’ Ms. Tenney told me, ‘isn’t set up for uncooperative witnesses.’

“In the 1980s and ’90s, however, a group of dedicated prosecutors began to believe recanting didn’t have to be an impediment to legal action; after all, murder trials happened every day without victim cooperation.”

Read this opinion piece in its entirety at The New York Times.


announcing a Military Intership Program

military internship


AN OPINION: “Older adult finances and future senior housing options are out of sync” – Aging In Place Technology Watch

Rant on. A sad tale – reading the lament about the numbers of seniors who will not be able to afford assisted living in 10 years. The report is from NIC – the National Investment Center that provides research to the senior living industry. The upshot – 54% will be unable to pay the $60,000 average annual cost of assisted living (make that $93,000 in Washington DC), even if they sell their home. If one member of a couple is still living in the home, the number rises to 81%.  According to the study, 60% of the population aged 75+ will have mobility, cognitive impairment or chronic conditions that would characterize them as good candidates for assisted living services and settings – but will not have the savings to enable them to move in.

There are some problems with this study’s message to the industry.  First the affordability gap of assisted living and the population that could benefit. This has been a statistical fixture forever (move in age of 85 noted in 2012 and again in 2015). What has changed, if anything, is life expectancy. For those aged 65+, living into the late 80s or even the 90s is increasingly likely.  Looking at life expectancy lasting to mid-to-late 80s combined with average savings for those aged 75+ of $16,025 for a couple with no children, it is no wonder that the steady state penetration of assisted living remains stuck at 10% of the likely population, at least according to the industry. According to NCAL, seniros stay 22 months on average, before moving to skilled nursing. With assisted living occupancy at 85% being attributed to over-building, but one might also posit that price-plus-life expectancy keeps even the willing and interested at home.

Consider the operating margin of 34% and the real cost – can tech help?  This industry has been a real estate investment play from the very beginning. One executive interviewed for the NIC study observed, reluctantly, that margins could be compressed to create more affordable options, perhaps by building on less expensive land. Hopefully not from robbing the pay of CNAs who do the real hands-on labor – their average pay of $11-12/hour nationwide can’t be pushed down much further. Maybe high-end food choices could be trimmed, the lobby furniture more modest, or the long-shot on operational costs, noted in the Health Affairs the study: “Technology is already driving innovation. The implementation of an ever-expanding panoply of high-tech solutions such as artificial intelligence, voice technology, smart phone apps, smart sensors, and telehealth can help improve quality of life, and care, while reducing costs.” Right.

The margin question is about people — how to need fewer or boost pay to recruit. The staff-to-resident ratios may, in some states, already be too thin to handle assisted living memory care residents. For families of a resident, that means supplementing the $60K annual cost with the hidden cost of needed private duty home care aides (same hourly rate). For many, that additional cost may drive families elsewhere, to nursing homes or back home. But the real problem will limit expansion of assisted living is a shortage of available workers — for assisted living, skilled nursing and home care. Where to recruit this low-paid workforce in a high employment time, competing with wage levels of Walmart and McDonald’s? Finally, will we read the same lament in 10 years about the large population of now-aged boomers who cannot afford assisted living? Count on it.  Rant off.


May 10 | Building the Bridge | Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center mini-summit for veterans, caregivers, family members, community providers and VA providers | Register now.

building the bridge

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019 – 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT

at Penn State Berks Campus, Tulpehocken RoadReadingPennsylvania 19610


This is a comprehensive source of “anti-ageism” resources

anti ageism

Want to be part of the anti-ageism movement?  Go Old School

“Since its establishment last year, Old School, an online clearinghouse of anti-ageism resources,  is picking up steam and gaining partners (Senior Planet is one), tools and a growing following.  This comprehensive source of resources means to educate everyone about age discrimination:  what it is, where it is, how to recognize it, and what to do about it.  It’s the brainchild of anti-ageism activist Ashton Applewhite (author of the anti-ageism manifesto This Chair Rocks) and millennials Ryan Backer and Kyrie Carpenter, who happily describe themselves as ‘olders in training.’

“Ashton, a well-known advocate of fighting stereotypes and discrimination herself, launched the website last summer while she was finishing This Chair Rocks.  Following in the footsteps of Pulitzer Prize winning writer and gerontologist Dr. Robert Butler, who coined the words ‘ageism’ and ‘the longevity revolution,’ Applewhite set out to dispel the constant barrage of derogatory comments about getting older.  Like Backer and Carpenter, she kept seeing ageism everywhere from cheeky birthday cards about getting older, to advertising billboards and pop culture. (And it’s not just aimed at the old, they claim dubbing 20-somethings as ‘kids’ or being ’40 and irrelevant’ is equally offensive.)

“Old School aims to ‘make ageism as unacceptable as any other prejudice’ and wants the pro-aging community to join the battle. The sections offer Tools, Books, Blogs and papers, Campaigns, Speakers, Videos, Organizations and Podcasts for you to read, use and share.

“The most encouraging aspect of Old School is its outreach to you.  The website explains itself as ‘….an ongoing, interdisciplinary collaboration that will only reach its potential with help from the pro-aging community.’  It urges visitors to participate: ‘If you have an ageism-related resource to contribute to Old School – not about positive  aging or productive aging or healthy aging or conscious aging or creative aging, but explicitly focused on ageism’ they want to hear from you. Scroll down the main page to the “Submit” section.”

SOURCE: Senior Planet

“‘I like giving the gift of time’: Time banks build economies — and communities — without the almighty dollar” – The Washington Post

timebank logo

by Justin Wm. Moyer

“On a recent spring morning, Susan Alexander left her Maryland home, climbed into her Volkswagen Passat and drove about three miles to pick up two strangers. She battled rush-hour traffic on the Capital Beltway and George Washington Memorial Parkway before dropping them off curbside at Reagan National Airport.

“She didn’t earn a dime for her trouble, and that was the point.

“There and back, the trip took about 90 minutes — worth about $40 if Alexander, a retired government intelligence analyst, were an Uber driver. Instead, she’s a member of the Silver Spring Time Bank — one of more than 100 such exchanges around the world trying to build community by exchanging time credits for services instead of dollars and cents.

“‘I have time,’ she said. ‘I like giving the gift of time to other people.’”

Continue reading this Washington Post article in its entirety here.”

Timebanking Basics

Timebanking is a time-based currency. Give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit. You can use the credits in turn to receive services — or you can donate them to others.

An hour of service is always one time credit regardless of the nature of the service performed.

start a time bank

Here’s more information about “how to start a Timebank.”

There’s a Timebank in Phoenixville and one in Allentown and one in York.


“Ageism: A ‘Prevalent and Insidious’ Health Threat” – The New York Times

“The World Health Organization has begun four studies intended to define ageism and identify ways to combat it.”

ageismCredit: Lizzie Gill

by Paula Span

“It happened about a year ago. I stepped off the subway and spotted an ad on the station wall for a food delivery service. It read: ‘When you want a whole cake to yourself because you’re turning 30, which is basically 50, which is basically dead.’

“After a bunch of us squawked about the ad on social media, the company apologized for what it called attempted humor and what I’d call ageism.

“Maybe you recall another media campaign last fall intended to encourage young people’s participation in the midterm elections. In pursuit of this laudable goal, marketers invoked every negative stereotype of old people — selfish, addled, unconcerned about the future — to scare their juniors into voting.

“Adweek called it ‘comically savage.’ I’d drop the ‘comically.’

“And such jabs constitute mere microaggressions compared to the forms ageism often takes: pervasive employment discrimination, biased health care, media caricatures or invisibility. When internalized by older adults themselves, ageist views can lead to poorer mental and physical health.”

Continue reading this column at The New York Times.


“Spring cleaning is for medicine cabinets, too!” – National Council on Aging blog


by Kathleen Cameron

“n many households, spring cleaning is an annual event, and anyone who takes medication should use the opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets. Whether they’re expired, your doctor told you to stop taking them, or ones you have not used and do not plan to use, medications lying around your home may lead to confusion about what to take.

“Unwanted medications are also a public safety issue! They increase the risk of accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose. Properly disposing of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications can save lives and protect our environment.

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is held at thousands of convenient locations across the country.”

Continue reading this article, click here.

dea take back day

“Tomorrow, Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Unused prescriptions thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. The misuse and abuse of over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, businesses, medical offices, agencies, and first responders, will host events to collect and safely dispose of unwanted medications.

Removing unwanted or expired medications from the medicine cabinet is an easy and concrete step that everyone can take to make a difference in the opioid crisis. Make plans now to dispose of your unwanted medications during DEA National Rx Take Back Day.

Find a site near you here.