“A New Prescription For Depression: Join A Team And Get Sweaty” – NPR

depression cureMaria Fabrizio for NPR

by Sasa Woodruff

“Ryan ‘China’ McCarney has played sports his entire life, but sometimes he has to force himself to show up on the field to play pick-up soccer with his friends.

“‘I’m dreading and I’m anticipating the worst. But I do it anyway. And then, it’s a euphoric sensation when you’re done with it because you end up having a great time,’ says McCarney.

“McCarney was just 22 when he had his first panic attack. As a college and professional baseball player, he says getting help was stigmatized. It took him six years to get professional support. He still struggles with depression and social anxiety, but says exercising helps him — especially when it’s with his teammates.”

Click here to continue reading this article at NPR.

“Signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s: When not to worry, and when to see a doctor” – The New York Times

alz.jpg“Forgetting where you parked is not reason for concern. ‘The problem is when you start forgetting that you drove your car to work that day.’”

by Elizabeth Gehrman

It’s one of our biggest fears — being gripped by a disease that slowly steals the very essence of who we are. And early-onset Alzheimer’s, defined as striking before age 65, seems even more cruel, coming as it does at what is often the height of career success, perhaps as grown children are embarking on their own exciting paths. Stories like Tom Keane’s remembrance of his late wife Laurie Farrell, who was diagnosed with the disease at just 56, resonate on a visceral level.

“It’s important to remember, however, that Alzheimer’s usually affects much older people. ‘At 56, Alzheimer’s is extremely uncommon,’ says Harvard neurology professor Reisa Sperling, director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. While about 1 in 9 Americans will get Alzheimer’s disease, age is the greatest risk factor: 81 percent of patients are 75 or older, while only 3 percent — around 200,000 people in the US — are under 65. Still, it’s good to know what to watch out for, especially since, as Sperling says, Alzheimer’s ‘may go unrecognized in younger people or be misdiagnosed.’”

Continue reading this article at The New York Times, click here.

January 16 – FREE WEBINAR | Housing 101: addressing a housing crisis

housing 101

To register, click on the above graphic.

Volunteers sought for autism research study

autism study

Here is information about an opportunity to participate in a research project through Penn State Health/Penn State College of Medicine Hershey that may be beneficial to you or someone you know. The project is called PARSEC, which stands for PArticipation in Rural Settings to Engage in Communities. PARSEC is a research project; it is voluntary and certain criteria for eligibility may apply.

PARSEC is a program for young adults (ages 18 – 25) diagnosed with ASD, and is a one-year program designed to see if participating in a telehealth intervention compared to receiving no intervention results in young adults with ASD doing more in their community. The young adult with ASD will be required to have an individual that knows them well (typically a parent, guardian, family member) that we call the natural supporter. The natural supporter will also be asked to fill out surveys about the young adult with ASD, as well as surveys about themselves. PARSEC is a randomized controlled trial. This means that not everyone who signs up for PARSEC will be entered into the intervention.

50% of people who enroll will be randomly assigned to receive the intervention. These individuals will participate in 15-minute, weekly phone calls or online meetings with a coach. Both the young adult with ASD and the natural supporter would need to be available for weekly phone calls/meetings. In addition to the phone calls, there will be videos on a PARSEC channel online for viewing and missions you will be asked to complete weekly.

50% of people who enroll will be assigned to receive treatment as usual, which will include monthly emails individualized for you with information on things you can do in your community.

If you or someone you know may be interested in participating in PARSEC, please contact the Psychiatry Department Research Assistants at 531 – 0003, x285543 or email Jayde Nagle at jnagle2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu. They are happy to answer any questions you may have about participating.

“How could my wife have Alzheimer’s? She was only 56.” – The Boston Globe Magazine

early alz 2

early alzTom Keane and Laurie Farrell in 1984, not long before they married. FROM TOM KEANE”

by Tom Keane

“It’s a Sunday morning and my wife and I are arguing about the previous night’s dinner party.

“”No one would let me talk,’ Laurie says.

“‘What do you mean? Of course they let you talk.’

“‘No. They’re all just talking constantly and I never get a chance to say anything.’

“‘But Laurie, that’s what happens at dinner parties. You’ve got eight people fueled by a lot of alcohol and they all are clamoring for the floor. That’s just the way it is.’

‘I didn’t get to speak. I hated it. Why won’t they let me speak?’

I’m puzzled. Laurie was always the life of any get-together: raucous, loud, leading the room from one topic to the next. What was going on?

Continue reading this article at The Boston Globe Magazine, click here.


“One man turned nursing home design on its head when he created this stunning facility.” – upworthy.com

This is a 2016 article posted here because it makes sense and is often being used.

old idea

by Brian Porter

“92-year-old Norma had a strange and heartbreaking routine.

“Every night around 5:30 p.m., she stood up and told the staff at her Ohio nursing home that she needed to leave. When they asked why, she said she needed to go home to take care of her mother. Her mom, of course, had long since passed away.

“Behavior like Norma’s is quite common for older folks suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Walter, another man in the same assisted living facility, demanded breakfast from the staff every night around 7:30.

“Jean Makesh, CEO of Lantern assisted living facilities, says he meets folks with stories like these every day. It’s their stories that inspired him to make some changes at Lantern.

“‘I thought I knew a lot about elderly care. The more and more time I was spending with my clients, that’s when I realized, “Oh my god, I have no clue.”’

“Confusion is common in Alzheimer’s patients, but Makesh knew there had to be some way to minimize these conflicts.”

Continue reading this article, click here.


“Tackling Inflammation to Fight Age-Related Ailments” – The New York Times

Body-wide inflammation is tied to most chronic diseases, limiting people’s health and longevity.

inflammationGracia Lam

by Jane E. Brody

“The quest for a fountain of youth is many centuries old and marred by many false starts and unfulfilled promises. But modern medical science is now gradually closing in on what might realistically enable people to live longer, healthier lives — if they are willing to sacrifice some popular hedonistic pleasures.

“Specialists in the biology of aging have identified a rarely recognized yet universal condition that is a major contributor to a wide range of common health-robbing ailments, from heart disease, diabetes and cancer to arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. That condition is chronic inflammation, a kind of low-grade irritant that can undermine the well-being of virtually every bodily system.

“Chronic inflammation occurs to varying degrees with advancing age in all mammals independent of any existing infection.”

Click here to continue reading this article at The New York Times.

“Department of Human Services Releases Report on Medical Assistance Transportation Program”

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

Happy New Year! Welcome 2020.

happy new year2

If you are a senior driver, take an online defensive driving course – AAA


safe driver

Take an Online Defensive Driving Course

AAA’s Roadwise™,  a senior defensive driving program is an online course designed to positively affect driving behavior and help you learn about and adjust to age-related physical changes. It can be taken online in the comfort of your home or wherever you have an Internet connection. The course covers topics like:

  • Extending Your Safe Driving Career
  • Distractions, Drowsiness, Aggressive Driving & Road Rage
  • Managing Visibility, Time & Space
  • Alcohol & Medications
  • Comfort & Safety Tips

AAA members, check with your local club for special benefits or discounts on the course. Automobile insurance discounts also may apply upon course completion, check with your insurance provider for details.

Educational offerings are not available in all areas. Contact your local AAA club for more information.


“Medications have both intended and unintended effects on your body, and these effects change based on the other medications that you’re taking and the foods that you eat. Not only does that affect how you feel, many of these effects can also impact your ability to safely drive.

Roadwise Rx is a tool designed to help you learn more about your medications and how they may affect your driving.

“Any information that you enter in this tool is completely confidential and cannot be viewed by any other party.”