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Department of Aging 

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Gov. Wolf Awards $2 Million in Grants to Help Senior Community Centers and Satellite Centers

Governor Tom Wolf today announced $2 million in grants among 400 Area Agency on Aging-affiliated Senior Community Centers (SCCs) and 99 Satellite Centers associated with full-time SCCs for the fiscal year 2021-2022.

Gov. Wolf Celebrates Expansion of Senior Prescription Assistance Programs, Highlights Administration’s Efforts to Support Older Pennsylvanians

Governor Tom Wolf today was joined by state and local officials and older Pennsylvanians to celebrate recently signed legislation to expand eligibility in the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) and the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) programs.

Wolf Administration Highlights PA Senior Food Box Program Improvements, Encourages Seniors to Take Advantage this Winter

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Aging Secretary Robert Torres today highlighted the Wolf Administration’s successful rebrand of the PA Senior Food Box Program in 2021, formally known as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Since taking steps to improve access to and awareness of the program, more than 7,100 new seniors have enrolled.

Department of Aging: New Laws Maintain Enrollee Benefits and Expand Income Eligibility for PACE Enrollees

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) announced that two bills signed into law by Governor Wolf will renew the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) program and the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) cost-of-living moratorium, expand income eligibility and eliminate the PACENET premium “clawback.”

Wolf Administration Reminds Pennsylvanians of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Resources During the Holiday Season

The departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Health (DOH), Human Services (DHS), Aging (PDA), and the Governor’s Office of Advocacy and Reform joined to reinforce the Wolf Administration’s commitment to highlighting trauma-informed mental health and substance use disorder services and resources that are available year-round but often increasingly needed during the holiday season.

Pennsylvania Seniors Create Handmade Ornaments for the State Capitol Holiday Tree

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging announced that visitors to the State Capitol Main Rotunda during the holiday season can check out handmade ornaments hung on the holiday tree that were created by Pennsylvania seniors.

Reminder: Deadline for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is December 31

Older adults and people with disabilities have until Friday, December 31, 2021 to apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2020. The departments of Revenue and Aging are reminding Pennsylvanians that the rebates are available through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.

Department of Aging Announces That Penn State Harrisburg Joins Intergenerational Program to Enrich the Lives of College Students and Older Adults

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) was joined by students and faculty from Penn State Harrisburg along with older adults to announce the expansion of the department’s Intergenerational University Connections Program.

PDA: Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period Underway, Encourages Beneficiaries to Make Informed Decisions about Their Plan Options

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging reminds Medicare beneficiaries that the Annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period is now underway until December 7 and Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA MEDI, is here to help.

Department of Aging Expands Program to Enrich the Lives of Students and Older Adults

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) was joined by students and faculty from West Chester University (WCU) and Widener University along with older adults to announce the expansion of the department’s Intergenerational University Connections program.

Wolf Administration Reminds Older Adults about the Importance of Immunizations, COVID-19 Boosters

With a combined flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster clinic in Bucks County as the backdrop, the Pennsylvania Departments of Aging and Health today stressed the importance of older adults getting their immunizations, particularly with the cold and flu season approaching and the ongoing threat of COVID-19 variants – including the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Wolf Administration Hosts Forum on Early Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today hosted the 2021 Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) Forum, which attracted more than 200 stakeholders to participate virtually. This annual forum is convened to provide education and assess progress on issues related to ADRD, strengthen partnerships and community support, identify how healthcare systems can work collaboratively within their communities, and discuss opportunities to help advance Pennsylvania's State Plan on ADRD.

Wolf Administration Visits Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Encourages Participation in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Department of Aging, and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs&#39; (DMVA) Counterdrug Joint Task Force (CJTF) joined officials from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to encourage Pennsylvanians to take part in the Drug Enforcement Administration&#39;s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day initiative this Saturday, October 23. <br><br>&quot;Unused or unwanted medication left inside the home is a potential hazard that can lead to drug misuse, drug addiction or lethal overdose,&quot; said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. &quot;In an older person&#39;s home, these risks can be amplified. These medications can be stolen, sold, or abused by others for whom they were not prescribed. They can be accidentally ingested or abused by other family members including children. We encourage older adults, their family and caregivers to consider these risks and take proper action to discard unused or unwanted medications.&quot;

Department of Aging: Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Today, Free Insurance Counseling Available through PA MEDI

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) reminds consumers that the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries begins today, Friday, October 15, 2021 and ends on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Any new coverage selected or changes to existing benefits takes effect January 1, 2022.

Department of Aging Recognizes Volunteers for Helping Medicare Beneficiaries

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period Begins Friday

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) today hosted a news conference to acknowledge the Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI) volunteers, the known and trusted community resource for Medicare information for Pennsylvania&#39;s Medicare beneficiaries.

Department of Aging Participates in First-ever Falls Prevention Event in Berks County

Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres and Susan Neff, the department&#39;s representative for the National Falls Free Coalition, recently participated in the inaugural Falls Prevention Event hosted by the Berks County Falls Free Coalition. The event provided resources including health screenings and exercises, as well as information on nutrition, mental health and wellness to individuals age 55 and older on how they can prevent falls, trips and improve their balance.

Secretary Of Agriculture, Second Lady Announce Partnership With DoorDash To Deliver Meals To Seniors In Need

At the Westmoreland Food Bank today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Second Lady Gisele Fetterman joined Pennsylvania&#39;s anti-hunger organizations and food banks to announce a new partnership with DoorDash to have healthy, nutritious meals delivered to homebound seniors in need.<br><br>The initiative, unveiled during Hunger Action Month, is designed to remove barriers and increase enrollment in the underutilized Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program, which provides life-sustaining meal deliveries and nutrition services to eligible older Pennsylvanians.<br><br>Hunger-Free Pennsylvania also recently launched a pilot with PACE and PACENET, Pennsylvania&#39;s prescription assistance programs for older adults. Because eligibility requirements for prescription assistance and the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program mirror each other so closely, the organizations are able to capture people seeking low-cost prescription medication and bring them into the charitable food program. Since its launch this summer, the effort has already drawn more than 2,800 applications for food boxes provided by nine different regional food banks.<br>

Department of Health Encouraging More Nursing Home Staff Vaccinations to Protect Vulnerable Residents from COVID-19

Sets Expectation to Have 80 Percent of Nursing Home Staff Vaccinated by October

To help protect vulnerable residents, Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter today set the expectation for all of Pennsylvania&#39;s skilled nursing facilities (SNF), also referred to as nursing homes, to have at least 80 percent of staff vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 1, 2021. Currently in Pennsylvania, 12.5 percent of facilities have staff vaccinated at or above 80 percent, which is not enough from a public health perspective to prevent future outbreaks of the virus.<br><br>&quot;Nursing home residents have been disproportionately impacted by this virus,&quot; said Margaret Barajas, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. &quot;The commonwealth&#39;s leadership in prioritizing their safety through this focused effort to get more staff vaccinated is a critical next step to protecting our most vulnerable residents from a potentially deadly infectious disease. We have an ethical imperative to do this. They&#39;re counting on us.&quot;

Department of Aging Launches Campaign to Promote Shared Housing Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) has launched its first-ever marketing campaign to promote its Shared Housing and Resource Exchange Program, also known as SHARE. <br><br>SHARE is an affordable housing choice that brings together home hosts who have extra room in their home with home seekers who are looking for housing, in exchange for rent, help around the house, or a combination of both. Now in its fourth year, SHARE is currently available in Pike, Wayne, Monroe, Venango, Crawford, Adams, Union, and Snyder counties, with planning underway for expansion into additional counties.<br>

Wolf Administration Announces Proposed Nursing Home Regulations Focused on Increased Quality of Care for Residents and Workers

State takes progressive steps to continue protecting vulnerable nursing home residents

Wolf Administration officials today shared proposed nursing home regulations focused on increasing the quality of care received by residents by increasing the minimum direct care hours by 1.4 more hours each day. The current skilled nursing facility regulations have not been updated since 1999.

Department of Aging Launches Rebrand of Medicare Benefits Enrollment Counseling Program

Formerly Named APPRISE is now PA MEDI

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) announced that as of July 1, the PA State Health Insurance Assistance Program, formerly known as APPRISE, has now been renamed Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, or PA MEDI. Pennsylvania&#39;s Medicare beneficiaries will receive the same services under the same program, just under a new name.

Department of Aging: Elder Cottage Housing Program Receives $500,000 Expansion Grant

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A), announced that a $500,000 grant has been awarded to expand the Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) across the commonwealth.

Wolf Administration Works to Improve Senior Food Access, Hosts Listening Session with Older Pennsylvanians

First Lady Frances Wolf, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Aging Secretary Robert Torres joined a group of older Pennsylvanians at Crispus Attucks Active Living Center in York to hear their first-hand experiences with Pennsylvania&#39;s food assistance programs – they shared what they enjoy, what could be improved, their ideal program offerings, and barriers to knowledge of or access to programs.

Department of Aging: New Law Expands Much-Needed Support for Caregivers Caring for Loved Ones or Others Living with an Illness or Disability

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) announced a bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback and signed into law by Governor Wolf that will expand eligibility and allow flexibility in the administration of Pennsylvania&#39;s Caregiver Support Program (CSP). The program provides support to caregivers – including caregivers of older adults, grandparents raising grandchildren, and older caregivers of adults living with a disability – with the purpose of alleviating stress and promoting well-being to help sustain a healthy ongoing caregiving relationship.

Department of Aging, Public-Private Task Force Release Recommendations to Address Financial Exploitation of Older Adults

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA), joined by the Pennsylvania Attorney General&#39;s Office and other members of a public-private task force, held a media briefing to provide an overview of its work and announce a series of recommendations, focused on multi-disciplinary approaches, to help prevent financial exploitation of older adults and to effectively respond to incidents of financial exploitation.

Wolf Administration Encourages Pennsylvanians to Know Their Risk to Reduce Chance of Developing Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia

The Pennsylvania Departments of Aging and Health today encouraged all Pennsylvanians to educate themselves on the importance of brain health, and to learn about Alzheimer&#39;s disease and other types of dementia.

Wolf Administration: Farmers Market Nutrition Program Connects Hungry Seniors, Families with Pennsylvania Farmers

At the Open-Air Farmers Market at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg today, Wolf Administration officials reminded Pennsylvania&#39;s low-income seniors and WIC recipients to obtain and use their vouchers from the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) to purchase fresh, local fruits, vegetables, and herbs from FMNP-approved farmers at farmers markets and farm stands across the commonwealth.

Department of Aging Reminds Medicare Beneficiaries to Take Advantage of Their Preventive Benefits

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today encouraged Medicare beneficiaries to make the most of their preventive benefits that could help them save money and live healthier lives through preventive care. The department recently launched a five-week media campaign to promote awareness of these benefits.

Department of Aging Receives Grant to Expand Its Healthy IDEAS Program to Address Depression in Older Adults

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced it has received a three-year $270,295 grant from the Administration of Community Living to expand its Healthy IDEAS (Identify Depression and Empowering Activities for Seniors) Program within Pennsylvania&#39;s Area Agencies on Aging to better identify and address depression symptoms among older adults. <br><br>Pennsylvania is the first state to independently train and administer the Healthy IDEAS program, an evidence-based depression self-management program that brings together the aging network and the mental/behavioral health community to achieve significant benefits for older adults and their families who may be dealing with depression.<br>

DMVA Partners with Department of Aging to Protect Older Veterans

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs recently partnered with the Department of Aging on successful webinars geared toward educating veteran advocates on how to identify and properly report abuse, neglect or exploitation of older veterans.
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