“Pennsylvania criticized for how it handles elder abuse cases” – Penn Live

ig report

“An internal Pennsylvania state government watchdog agency is criticizing how county-level agencies investigate thousands of complaints they receive about elder abuse and how the state ensures complaints are investigated adequately.

“Among the shortcomings identified by the Office of State Inspector General were failures by some county-level agencies to properly investigate complaints under timelines required by state law and inadequate staffing of the state office that monitors those agencies.

“A six-page summary of the report released this week also said investigative practices aren’t standardized across counties and it criticized training requirements for caseworkers as far too weak, particularly compared to model states.

“Complaints can involve physical abuse, self-neglect or financial exploitation and Pennsylvania, like other states, is seeing a fast-growing number of complaints that has forced some counties to hire more caseworkers to keep up.”

Continue reading this Penn Live article, click here.

This opinion column, Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania’s elderly deserve protection from abuse and neglect, appears in The Morning Call.

Here is the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Statement on the Office of State Inspector General’s Report on Older Adults Protective Services: The Department of Aging is steadfast in its commitment to uphold its duties under the Older Americans.

“A number of news organizations, including the Reading Eagle in a Nov. 5 Right-to-Know request, had sought the report. After being denied the report in December, Wolf’s office said they intended to release a summary online.” – from a January 9, 2019 article in The Reading Eagle.

Overdose deaths are soaring among women over 30

drug overdoses

“Drug overdose deaths among women ages 30 to 64 are soaring, according to a new CDC analysis of data from 1999 to 2017. Here’s a look at the findings:

  • The drug data: The rate of drug overdose deaths involving any opioid rose 492 percent during that time. Deaths involving heroin rose 915 percent; benzodiazepines 830 percent; cocaine 285 percent; and antidepressants 176 percent.
  • The age breakdown: Overdose deaths climbed most dramatically — nearly 500 percent — among women ages 55 to 64. In 2017, overdose deaths rates were highest among women ages 50 to 54.
  • The takeaway: “Overdose deaths continue to be unacceptably high, and targeted efforts are needed to reduce the number of deaths in this evolving epidemic, including those among middle-aged women,” the authors write.

SOURCE: STAT | Morning Rounds

Drug Overdose Deaths Among Women Aged 30–64 Years — United States, 1999–2017

Friday Wrap-Up, January 11, 2019 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

This week, our new Secretary, Robert Torres, shares his views on his first Friday Wrap-Up.

message from the acting secretary

Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.


“Coping with the Cost of Care: Often-Overlooked Tax Deductions and Tips for Seniors and Their Families” – taxact.com

aging caregiving taxes

“As you get older, you may find you face more and more medical bills. No matter how great your insurance coverage is or if you are on Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs due to medical needs can add up. And if you or a loved one have a serious medical condition or disability, your costs can quickly get overwhelming.

“The average medical care cost for seniors retiring today is around $280,000. The average cost of long-term care needs for seniors and disabled individuals is around $4,000-$7,000 per month. Clearly, these expenses add up quickly and can drain the resources of those who need care most. That’s why individuals and their caregivers need to understand all of the potential tax benefits they qualify for to ensure they are taking all possible deductions.

“Thankfully, there are many tax deductions you can take for medical bills or the medical bills of someone in your care. In fact, around 9 million Americans currently claim tax deductions to help them lower their tax liability and pay for their medical care. But almost just as many taxpayers fail to take those deductions because they are simply uninformed.

“This guide is designed to give you all of the information you need to claim the deductions you are due. Whether for yourself or for someone you love and care for, here is what you need to know about tax deductions for medical care.”

Keep reading this article at taxact.com, click here.

“Shopping With Terminal Cancer”


We have been a follower of this blogsite (Time Goes By | What’s it really like to grow old –  https://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/) for a fairly long time. Author Ronnie Bennett delights her reader with an eclectic menu of just interesting items ranging from art to animals to music and more.

A little over a year ago, she announced she learned she’d developed pancreatic cancer and she’s written several pieces about the disease, the treatments and her outlook on life since as she deals with this.

In this latest post, Shopping With Terminal Cancer, she writes about cleaning out. Her observations are poignant and pertinent for everyone.

“What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?” – The Conversation

addictive“There seems be an attractive quality to things that are ostensibly unhealthy or dangerous.” Alisusha/Shutterstock.com

“Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

“And how many times have we learned of someone – a celebrity, a friend or a loved one – who committed some self-destructive act that seemed to defy explanation? Think of the criminal who leaves a trail of evidence, perhaps with the hope of getting caught, or the politician who wins an election, only to start sexting someone likely to expose him.

“Why do they do it?”

Click here to continue reading this Conversation article about the nature of destructive behaviors.


Friday Wrap-Up, January 4, 2019 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

This week, Secretary Osborne has a few comments about what should be the next phase of her career. She also makes this announcement:

“Governor Wolf has nominated Robert Torres to serve as the 11th Secretary of the Department of Aging. Most recently, he has served as the Acting Secretary of State. He has an extensive background in healthcare that includes working at the Department of Health across two administrations, and in the private sector for several health insurance companies. As our transition efforts began this past week and will continue through the January 15 inauguration, and subsequent submission of my name to the Senate for their confirmation, please join me in welcoming Acting Secretary Torres to the Department of Aging.”

Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

“The Future of Retirement” – AgeWave

Age Wave conducted nine recent study reports in collaboration with Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the future of retirement. These reports were created by reviewing thousands of papers and datasets, conducting over 140 expert interviews and 43 focus groups, and surveying 50,000+ respondents. The nine reports cover a variety of topics regarding retirement, including family, health, leisure, and finances. All nine reports are followed by sample media coverage.

future of retirement

Click here to read this insightful and intriguing report.


Lessons about aging – articles worth reading

Aging may not be the way many think it is. These articles tell different stories.

agingJonas Mekas, now 96, lived through another eventful year. – Credit: Edu Bayer for The New York Times”

These 4 New Yorkers Are Experts in Living. What Do They Know That We Don’t? In 2015, we began following six people over age 85. Last year the four remaining showed that old age is not what you think.”The New York Times

How to Get Stronger in the New YearSix ways to build muscle, even if you don’t have much time to work out.” The New York Times

“Age against the machine: the secret to enjoying a long life” – The Guardian

“Fake calls about your Social Security Number? – Federal Trade Commission

spam call

by Jennifer Leach, Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

The FTC is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money. In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. And he will ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

In other variations, he says that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. Or he might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that he’ll tell you how to keep it safe.

But all of these are scams. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The SSA will never (ever) call and ask for your Social Security number. It won’t ask you to pay anything. And it won’t call to threaten your benefits.
  • Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213), but that’s not the real SSA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. You can’t trust what you see there.
  • Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last 4 digits. And don’t give a bank account or credit card number – ever – to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
  • Remember that anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash is a scammer. Always. No matter who they say they are.

If you’re worried about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, get off the phone. Then call the realSSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). If you’ve spotted a scam, then tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

“Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213), but that’s not the real SSA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. You can’t trust what you see there.” A commenter following this FTC article.