PURPOSEFUL HEALTH - Seniors and Aging Well

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PURPOSEFUL HEALTH Senior and Aging Well


News & Events LLC

Big Apple Health News & Events LLC

Issue 2 November 2019 Publisher Shanie Persaud-Adeen shanie@bigapplehealthne.com Senior Reporter Judith Balfe bigapplehealthne@gmail.com CONTACT Phone: 347-210-9832 bigapplehealthne@gmail.com, events@bigapplehealthne.com

In This Issue A Senior Crisis

Are we doing enough?

Alzheimer and Dementia Caregivers

The unpaid value to America

Resources for Seniors Seniors Volunteering Open Enrollment Pancreatic Cancer Lung Cancer

www.bigapplehealthne.com Distribution of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of information, products or services. Big Apple Health News and Events LLC reserves the right to reject any advertisement or listing that is not in keeping with the publication’s standards. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. bigapplehealthne.com November 2019

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e are living in a world where we sometimes find it uncomfortable to share any illness that we may have contracted or believe we may be experiencing, with loved ones, friends or neighbors. A lot of that may be a result of shame; as a society we often try to conceal our issues and illnesses because we feel that we will be judged. While many illnesses are physical and can be obvious to others, illnesses of the mind are perhaps the most terrifying of all. I am talking about mental illness. There are several types of mental illnesses that can often lead to depression due to fear, which may result if the person is left untreated. The other reason mental illness is not discussed is often because of pride and denial, the belief that we are incapable of developing such illnesses either because of family history or possibly because one is physically strong. Or of course, the last reason, and a flat out myth – THAT IF WE PRAY TO GOD, HE WILL TAKE AWAY SUCH ILLNESSES. NONSENSE. There is no shame in being ill, physically or mentally. We have to get to a place in today’s society where we can be confident in the belief that as humans we do become ill, and that we can be confident and empowered when we are ill. We have to realize that it is okay to seek help, and to share with others who can help us to get well. Not getting diagnosed early and trying to hide the illness from others can and will prevent us from living a full, happy and truly meaningful life. There is another side to this - the family factor. Those who may individually realize something is not right, but says nothing, or those who find out about official medical diagnosis but dismiss it because they are too ashamed to face or accept this new reality. It can be met with comments such as, “You are too young to have this,” ”We don’t have a family history of that,” or worse, “It’s the environment that you’re living in that might be creating it,” and then yes, the most ridiculous of all, “It’s all in your mind, nothing is wrong with you!” In some of the pages ahead you will find two key illnesses that fall under the umbrella of mental illness. We have taken the time to explain each of them in simple terms and share what symptoms you should be aware of are, and what to look for. We encourage you to read, share and act if you believe that you or a loved one might be experiencing or exhibiting some or all of these symptoms. And remember – THERE IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT! There is good, and that can only come from seeking help! You are not alone in this battle. In fact, as of 2017, 46.6 million American adults were living with some form of mental illness. That is nearly one in five Americans. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people in the workplace will be affected by mental illness or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide. There are so many people whom we admire, including celebrities, whom we believe to be confident, well put together and free from mental illness. Yet some of them experience some of these illnesses of the mind. From our own Brooklynite Lady Gaga, to Prince Harry, of Britain, mental disorders affect them in many forms, including depression. Mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, and gender, economic and academic status. We laud the brave people such as these, who are helping to bring this problem to the public, and show the public that there are avenues for help. bigapplehealthne.com November 2019 pg. 3



ging is not something most of us want to do. It is inevitable, of course, and most people make plans for retirement. We take care of our health, save our money, and after that we just hope for the best. Once upon a time in America, getting old was much simpler. Doctors were affordable, one might even barter for their services; medicines were limited, but affordable. For a great part of our history, we were an agricultural society, so food was not usually a problem, and extended families were very common. Sometimes three generations lived together in one dwelling, and there were always people around to help out when needed. People didn’t move around as much; many died within a few miles of where they were born. Getting old wasn’t something to look forward to, but it was an accepted part of life, and not particularly frightening. Things have changed over the years and not for the better. Many of today’s seniors face the prospect of old age with fear and trepidation. People work far past the retirement age in some cases, not because they want to, but they find they have no choice. Seniors have the same basic needs that everyone hopes for; safe housing, health care, food, and peace of mind. Simple basic needs, so why do they find attaining them so difficult? First, let’s look at the larger cities, for instance, New York City. Housing costs are exorbitant, both renting and buying. Many neighborhoods are no longer considered safe, especially for the elderly. There is also the problem of proximity to transportation, health care and shopping. Areas in Brooklyn, for instance, and Harlem, have become “gentrified”, and have driven the long-time residents out. Housing

projects are notorious for poor maintenance and high crime statistics. People in suburban areas may not fare better, because housing is expensive, rents are out of control. It is not always easy to get help from programs such as Section Eight, and in many of the more desirable Senior Citizen Complexes there is a long waiting list. When renting, there may be restrictions on how many people live in the dwelling, so sharing with family members isn’t always possible. Even renting a furnished room is costly and may provide only the bare necessities for cooking and bathing. Which brings us to one of the other basic needs, food. Why is food a problem for seniors? Well, there’s sometimes the proximity of places to shop; the carrying of the goods, and the actual physical condition of the shopper. Next, and just as important, is paying for the food. Food prices are high, especially for healthier food, such as good produce, chicken and fish. Lean cuts of beef and pork are also high, and dairy isn’t inexpensive. Told to “eat healthy”, how does one do that with little money and no outlet to healthy choices? Most recipients of Social Security pay something out of that check for Medicare, Parts A and B. What’s left needs to cover, in most cases, food, rent, medical insurance, car, home, renters or life. In order to qualify for Section Eight, food, medicine, utilities, transportation; some people have health care supplement, and food stamps or extra help with medical costs, such as Medicaid, one must have an unbelievably low income. Those who own their own homes may also have mortgage payments, and taxes general

ly go up, not down. For them there is also the cost of maintaining the home, and many seniors can no longer perform many of the tasks that they once were able to do. Finally, there is the healthcare situation. Medicare provides about 80% of the costs of healthcare services, but given how expensive those services are, even the co-pays, and the remaining 20% of costs, can totally wipe out any savings, and can certainly land one in deep debt. For instance, take a diabetic patient; one should go to their primary care or specialist once every three months, as well as the ophthalmologist and podiatrist. That’s sixteen copays right there. One senior goes to the podiatrist, is tested for neuropathy, has her toe nails cut; about a 15 minutes procedure, but her health care center charges her insurance provider $415 for the service each time; her co-pay is $15. Co-pays for medicine can vary, and using generic brands can help keep costs down, but the overall price of medicines in this country are exorbitant, with no help in sight. Old age brings on a variety of disease and health needs; at a time when our funds are limited we are most needful of health services and medicines, when we can least afford them. We all know people who have to skip either a medicine or a few meals from time to time due to lack of funds. A very important part of health for the aging population has to do with mental health. There are age-related illnesses that are mostly connected to the aging mind, but depression also plays a big part in maintaining good health.

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When given the problems we are confronted with as we age, is it any wonder why they can easily become depressed? When there are limited funds, there are limited recreational choices. Traveling, entertainment, even pets, all may be out of question, which often causes the senior to feel isolated, bored, and mentally fatigued. While many of these problems would seem to focus on large cities, the same problems are inherent throughout the country, regardless of the geographical location. Solutions vary a bit, however the main problem is the lack of apparent solutions we have.

What are the possibilities for curing these age-related problems? There are government programs, religious based programs, and foundations to help almost every imaginable obstacle to achieving peace. and happiness in old age. But who are they, where are they, and how do we discover who and what they are? How do we know which programs will help us, and which solutions may be scams?

Aging is a natural process; it’snot pleasant, but we should be able to approach it with at least a hope of positive experiences, a respite after a long life of hard work and often stress and troubles. To have to fear even entering into aging, to have to face all that lies before us, provides no shelter from what we face. However, there are avenues that may offer the respite we seek, and we hope to provide that to you here.

We hope to be able to address some of these aspects of being seniors in today’s world, not to solve each problem, but to offer advice, and possibly paths to the solutions.

They count on you, Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plans $0 or Low Cost Plan Premiums Health plan options for those with Medicare and those with both Medicare and Medicaid

So count on us to keep you going.

Call for eligibility and enrollment


718-696-0206 TTY/TDD 800-662-1220

AgeWell New York, LLC is a HMO plan with a Medicare and Medicaid contract. Enrollment in AgeWell New York, LLC depends on contract renewal. ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-237-3210 (TTY/TDD: 1-800-662-1220). Hours are 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Note: From April 1 to September 30, we may use alternate technologies on Weekends and Federal holidays. Assistance services for other languages are also available free of charge at the number above. AgeWell New York complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of races, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. AgeWell New York cumple con las leyes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo. AgeWell New York 遵守適用的聯邦民 權法律規定,不因種族、膚色、民族血統、年齡、殘障或性別而歧視任何人。 H4922_Count4002_M Accepted 09082019 bigapplehealthne.com November 2019

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NYS Current and Future

Support for Senior Citizens A

bout 1.1 million adults over 65, about 13 percent of the city’s total population, call the five boroughs home, and according to a recent NYC Comptroller report, this is projected to rise to over 1.4 million by 2040. Alot need to be done to help our senior citizens attain the best possible lives. We reached out to Governor Andrew Cumo’s office to provide a list of current and future plans on allowances that have made available and intend to make in the future budgets that will assist our seniors. Governor Cuomo has worked hard and diligently to help New Yorkers to lead better lives in their senior years. In 2017, New York was designated the first age-friendly state in America, named by the Word Health Organization and AARP. Through his policy planning, much is being done to alleviate some of the problems associated with aging. Here are some facts to understand what is being done: *By 2021 more than 100,000 units of affordable housing will be created and preserved throughout the state.

* Funding provided for outreach to eligible older adults to help them sign up and receive Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption benefits. * Piloting a program in a shared home plan scenario. *Partnering with the New York Bar Association to provide pro bono services and advice through an online program. * Piloting the use of tablets with isolated older adults to allow them the capability of reaching out and staying in touch with others. * Funding for training in elder abuse; assisting with technology to help provide tools to identify and intervene in cases of elder abuse. Also ongoing, the state serves 23 million meals annually to more than 243,000 older adults all across the state, spending $5.3 million ore on meals in homes or in community centers than in any other state. * The maintenance of the statewide mobile app created in 2017 to connect 3.7 million older adults with easily accessible information about benefits, programs and services, as well as health, housing and transportation options. There are many facets to our state government; they help to assist with safe streets and neighborhoods; they assist in finding quality health care in home and in facilities, including providing programs that can help financially. The state provides services to the elderly, as do the county and local municipalities, because they deserve it. The services given are in gratitude for the services that the seniors provided throughout their lives. Governor Cuomo has stated, “For far too long the aging population has been portrayed as one that contributes less and takes more. But here we know that the social, economic and intellectual capital that older adults contribute to their communities and to our state is unmistakable.

*As part of a $10 billion dollar House NY 2020 commitment, 8,659 affordable housing units have already been created for older adults by New York State Homes and Community development renewal. By the end of 2020, this plan aims to establish and preserve over 100,000 units of affordable housing throughout the state. *The governor has reduced income and property taxes and has kept state and county spending at or below 2%. This has had a positive impact on older citizens, allowing them, if they choose, to remain in their own homes, or in their community or the state.

We encourage you to share with us anything else you would like to see, or see more of, concerning our state and city offices.

bigapplehealthne.com November 2019 pg. 6

IMPORTANT SENIOR RESOURCES AND NUMBERS TO CALL Whether you live at home or with family, quick access to important resources and numbers is critical as you never know when emergency will strike. Falls, burns, and poisonings are among the most common accidents involving older people. Older adults who live alone may also become the victims of criminals who target older people. If you’re an older adult living on your own, or care for an older person living alone, here’s what you need to do to stay safe. Keep emergency numbers handy. Always keep a list of emergency numbers by each phone. Write this information in large enough print that you can read it easily if you are in a hurry or frightened. Be sure to list numbers for: 911, Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222, Family member or friend to call in case of emergency and your Healthcare provider’s office

In addition, we have provided some local information for access to important services that you may contact to seek assistance. Help line for NYC Senior - 1-800-342-9871 It provides statewide toll-free access to anyone seeking information about programs and services for the elderly in New York State. The Help Line is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If all representatives are busy, callers will hear a recorded message advising them leave a message and staff will return their calls Adult Protective Services 212-630-1853 The Adult Protective Services Program (APS) provides services for physically and/or mentally impaired adults. APS works to help at-risk clients live safely in their homes. APS clients can be referred by anyone. If an individual is eligible, a home visit will be made in three business days or in 24 hours if the situation is life-threatening. APS offices in your borough: Brooklyn - 718-722-4830 | 718-722-4812 Bronx - 929-252-8500 Manhattan North -212-971-2727 Manhattan South - 212-279-5794 Queens Borough Office: 718-883-8254 Staten Island - 718-556-5846

Long Term Care Advocate. New York State Ombudsman - Claudette Royal 1-855-582-6769 The Ombudsman Program is an effective advocate and resource for older adults and persons with disabilities who live in nursing homes, assisted living and other licensed adult care homes. Ombudsmen help residents understand and exercise their rights to good care in an environment that promotes and protects their dignity and quality of life. They assist in investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents; promoting the development of resident and family councils; and informing government agencies, providers and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facilities. Utility Assistance Program (UAP) 212-331-3150. Do you have trouble paying your utilities bill? Then call the UAP. This program assists families or individuals who are elderly, blind, disabled, mentally impaired or those residing in a neglected or hazardous environment who require financial assistance for their energy bills. For Medicaid Renewal: HRA Medicaid Helpline at 888-692-6116. .

Emergency Assistance contacts: For urgent food and hunger needs, call the Emergency Food Line at 1-866888-8777. For temporary housing assistance and shelter call 3-1-1 or visit a location. Mental health or substance abuse help, call 800-543-3638. Domestic violence services, call the Hotline at 800-621-4673 Supplemental Nutritional Program / SNAP: Call the Human Resources Administration (HRA) Infoline at 718-557-1399. To reschedule an initial application interview, call 718-923-6044. For recertification interview, call 718-722-4924. You may also visit a local SNAP center in your office and access same by calling 311 Parking and transportation Disability Parking City permits are issued to people with a permanent disability that so severely affects their ability to walk that they require the use of a private automobile. The New York City parking permit is not valid outside of NYC. For more information or to obtain an application for a NYC permit, call (718) 433-3100 or visit the NYC Department of Transportation’s website. Access-A-Ride (AAR) - Call 877-337-2017 or 718-393-4999 for more information. AAR Paratransit Service provides public transportation for eligible customers with disabilities or health conditions that prevent them from using the public buses and subways for some or all of their trips. AAR operates 24/7/365.

City Meals On Wheels - (212) 687-1234 If you would like to have meals deliver to you may call this number to find out if you qualify. Food Pantries For those who may need additional nutritional meals, New York City’s food pantries, which provide groceries you can cook at home, and community kitchens, which provide hot meals. Food pantries and community kitchens are located throughout the five boroughs. You can call 311 for a list of pantries within your area. We have provided a list here from across the city.


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You can call 311 for a list of other pantries within your area. St. Luke’s Food Pantry 623 East 138th St Bronx, NY 10454

The Child Center of New York 163-18 Jamaica Ave 4th Fl Queens, NY 11432

Emmaus SDA Church 1144 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11226

First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica 89-60 164th St Queens, NY 11432

Church of St. Frances of Rome 4307 Barnes Ave Bronx, NY 10466

Church Avenue Merchants Block Assoc., Inc./Camba Food Pantry 21 Snyder Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11226

Christ Church United Methodist 520 Park Avenue @ 60th St New York, NY 10065

St. Ann’s Church of Morrisania 295 St. Ann’s Ave Bronx, NY 10454

The Salvation Army Bushwick Corps 1151 Bushwick Ave Brooklyn, NY 11221

Mount Sinai SDA Church 217-10 93rd Avenue Queens Queens, NY 11428

St Mary’s Star of the Sea 1920 New Haven Ave, Far Rockaway, NY 11691 (718) 327-1133

Woodside On the Move 51-23 Queens Blvd, Woodside, NY 11377 718) 476-8449

First Presbyterian Church 896 Central Ave, Far Rockaway, NY 11691 (718) 327-2440

Council of Jewish Organizations of SI 382 Jersey St, Staten Island, NY 10301 (718) 720-4047 Stapleton UAME Church 49 Tompkins Ave #2628, Staten Island, NY 10304 (718) 273-2857

Elohim Community Development & Outreach Inc. 87-47 111th St, Richmond Hills Queens, NY 11418

Jewish Institute of Queens 60-05 Woodhaven Blvd (Elmhurst) Queens, NY 11373

Our Lady of Angels Human Services 336 73rd St Brooklyn, NY 11209

Coatition for the Homeless 108 East 51st St New York, NY 10022 MCCNY Charities 446 West 36th St New York, NY 10018




Short Term Rehabilitation | Long Term Care | Social Adult Day Care | Home Health Care Hospice | Palliative Care | Inpatient And Outpatient Dialysis | Medical House Calls Medical Transportation | Managed Long Term Care | Medicare Advantage Plan 271-11 76th Avenue

New Hyde Park, NY 11040 | 877-727-5373 | parkerinstitute.org

bigapplehealthne.com November 2019

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The New York Memory Center (NYMC)

Originally established in 1983 under the name Park Slope Geriatric Day Center, New York Memory Center is a freestanding, nonprofit, community-based non-profit agency providing services to adults who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Programs include The Lotus Club, daytime and evening wellness programs and peer support for adults with early-stage memory loss; Memory Life Services for people with middle to later stages of dementia; support groups and services for caregivers; advocacy for people with dementia; and more.

The group photo where everyone is holding up an owl paining was from our “Painting With Friends” program on Nov. 1. It was cosponsored by PSS Circle of Care and New York Memory Center.

The outdoor yoga photo was taken 9/14/19 at our Memory Arts Café. On a cloudy but nice fall day we met at the Pier 44 Waterfront Garden in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with a terrific view of the Statue of Liberty and NY harbor.

718-499-7701 or visit us at www.nymemorycenter.org Upcoming events. Memory Life Services and Lotus Club programs ongoing, daily M-F at NYMC. Caregiver support group meets at 6:30 pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at NYMC. Next Memory Arts Café will also be a holiday party on December 11 from 6 to 8 pm at NYMC. December 12, we will have a legal seminar about Medicaid for family caregivers at NYMC from 5 to 6:30 pm (flyer pending).

Robert Couche Senior Center 13757 Farmers Boulevard Queens, NY 11434 (844) 692-4692


HANAC Harmony JVL Innovative Senior Center 27-40 Hoyt Ave S Astoria, NY 11102 (718) 396-5002 Boulevard Adult Day Care 42-34 Saull St Queens, NY 11355 Downtown Flushing (718) 887-9944

Castle Hill Senior Center 625 Castle Hill Ave Bronx, NY 10473 (718) 824-8910 RAIN Parkchester Neighborhood Senior Center 1380 Metropolitan Ave

Pomonok Neighborhood Center 6709 Kissena Blvd Flushing, NY 11367 (718) 591-6060 Wakefield Senior Center 13545 Lefferts Blvd South Ozone Park, NY 11420 (718) 641-0454 Castle Hill Senior Center 625 Castle Hill Ave Bronx, NY 10473 (718) 824-8910

Chinese-American Planning Council 150 Elizabeth St. New York, NY 10012 Fort Green Crown Heights Senior Center 196 Albany Ave Brooklyn, NY 11213 718) 221-9258

RAIN Parkchester Neighborhood Senior Center 1380 Metropolitan Ave Bronx, NY 10462 (718) 597-9220

Bayside Neighborhood Senior Center 221-15 HORACE HARDING EXPRESSWAY FLUSHING, NY 11364 (718) -225-1144

Nexus Adult Day Care ,LLC 83-47 258th St Queens, NY 11004 Bellerose (718) 255-8800

Hillcrest Jewish Center 183-02 Union Turnpike Flushing, NY 11366 (718) 380-4145

Rego Park Adult Day Care Adult day care center Flushing, NY (718) 463-4455 Queensboro Adult Day Care Flushing, NY (347) 732-0907 Conduit Social Adult Day Care Centre Springfield Gardens, NY (718) 276-4400

Elmhurst Adult Day Care Center Elmhurst, NY (718) 803-2388 CNR Adult Day Health Care Program Jamaica, NY (718) 297-4700 Queens Social Adult Day Care Center Inc Jamaica, NY (718) 647-4444

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Recognizing, Diagnosing, Understanding and Treating N

ovember is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month. It was designated by the late President Ronald Reagan in 1983, who himself was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease later in life and passed away in 2004. Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. The disease eventually destroys the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Alzheimer’s is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer described changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. He found abnormal deposits (now called senile or neritic plaques) and tangled bundles of nerve fibers (now called neurofibrillary tangles). These plaques and tangles in the brain have come to be characteristic brain changes due to the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “an estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019. This number includes an estimated 5.6 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.” This number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million by the year 2050. In fact every 65 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s disease. And the cost is staggering. Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $290 billion by the time 2019 comes to a close and it is expected to rise to at least $1.1 trillion. This incapacitating brain disease robs an individual of their memories among many other critical issues. Symptoms first appear with those in their mid-60s in—those with the late-onset type—Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare.



10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s you should look for in your loved ones:

Sadly there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer, although some experimental drugs have shown promise in easing symptoms in some patients. Medications may help temporarily in controlling some behavioral symptoms; making patients more comfortable and easier to manage for caregivers. Still other research efforts focus on alternative care programs that provide relief to the caregiver and support for the patient.

• • • • • • • • • •

Memory loss that disrupts daily life Challenges in planning or solving problems Difficulty completing familiar tasks Confusion with time or place Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships New problems with words in speaking or writing. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps Decreased or poor judgment Withdrawal from work or social activities Changes in mood and personality

Only 16% of seniors says they receive regular cognitive assessments EARLY DIAGNOZE CAN MAKE A VAST DIFFERENCE


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Recognizing, Diagnosing, Understanding and Treating If you notice sudden decline in memory, speech, problem-solving and other thinking skills about yourself or a loved one, it might

very well be a sign of dementia. Someone who suddenly finds themselves unable to perform everyday activities, gets easily agitated especially towards the evening hours or may be losing interest in social life or becomes forgetful, then it is time to speak to a doctor. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair one’s daily life and independent function. Alzheimer’s disease account for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs because of microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain, is the second most common cause of dementia. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. Keep in mind that no single test can diagnose dementia, so doctors are likely to run a number of tests that can help pinpoint the problem. Some tests that doctors may perform includes cognitive and neuropsychological tests, Neurological evaluation, brain scans, Laboratory tests and psychiatric evaluation. Symptoms: Symptoms of dementia can vary greatly. Here are some signs to pay attention to: • • • • • •

Problems with short-term memory Keeping track of a purse or wallet Paying bills Planning and preparing meals Remembering appointments Traveling out of the neighborhood.

Causes • Dementia can be caused by several factors such as: • A lack of blood or oxygen supply to certain brain areas • A head injury (from boxing or whip lash after a car crash, for instance) • Pressure on the brain (from a tumor, for example) • A long period of excessive alcohol intake. ref: Alzhimeir Assoc.

• •

• •

Hydrocephalus (fluid buildup between the brain and the brain lining) A neurological disease (such as Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeld Jakob disease (CJD)) An infection (such as aids) Vitamin deficiency.

Treatments Most types of dementia can’t be cured, but there are ways to manage your symptoms. Medications that may temporarily improve dementia symptoms include Cholinesterase inhibitors and Memantine. Your doctor might prescribe medications to treat other symptoms or conditions, such as depression, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, Parkinsonism or agitation. bigapplehealthne.com pg. 11



Both Alzheimer and Dementia disease can have incredible emotional and physical impact on those who finds themselves caring

for a loved one and sometimes it can become equally helpless on how to provide the right care in order to ensure a happy and comfortable life. Sometimes we might find ourselves second guessing our decisions wondering if what we are doing or how we are conveying our message or responding to those who are in our care is the correct way. Sometimes there is no correct way as each situation is different and above all else, we are not professionals. In fact, we are humans, just like those that we are caring for, with the same emotional make up, maybe even weaker in that regard, than our loved one. With help from the Mayo Clinic here are some ways that can assist you in navigating this new road you find yourself in.

Reduce frustrations - A person with dementia might become agitated when once-simple tasks become difficult. To limit challenges and ease frustration: Schedule wisely. Establish a daily routine. Some tasks, such as bathing or medical appointments, are easier when the person is most alert and refreshed. Allow some flexibility for spontaneous activities or particularly difficult days. Take your time. Anticipate that tasks may take longer than they used to and schedule more time for them. Allow time for breaks during tasks. Involve the person. Allow the person with dementia to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance. For example, he or she might be able to set the table with the help of visual cues or dress independently if you lay out clothes in the order they go on. Provide choices. Provide some, but not too many, choices every day. For example, provide two outfits to choose from, ask if he or she prefers a hot or cold beverage, or ask if he or she would rather go for a walk or see a movie. ref: Mayo Clinic

Provide simple instructions. People with dementia best understand clear, one-step communication. Limit napping. Avoid multiple or prolonged naps during the day. This can minimize the risk of getting days and nights reversed. Reduce distractions. Turn off the TV and minimize other distractions at mealtime and during conversations to make it easier for the person with dementia to focus. Be flexible. Over time, a person with dementia will become more dependent. To reduce frustration, stay flexible and adapt your routine and expectations as needed. For example, if he or she wants to wear the same outfit every day, consider buying a few identical outfits. If bathing is met with resistance, consider doing it less often. Create a safe environment. De mentia impairs judgment and problem-solving skills, increasing a person’s risk of injury. To promote safety:

Use locks. Install locks on cabinets that contain anything potentially dangerous, such as medicine, alcohol, guns, toxic cleaning substances, dangerous utensils and tools. Check water temperature. Lower the thermostat on the hot-water heater to prevent burns. Take fire safety precautions. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. If the person with dementia smokes, always supervise smoking. Make sure a fire extinguisher is accessible and the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. Focus on individualized care. Each person with Alzheimer’s disease will experience its symptoms and progression differently. Tailor these practical tips to your family member’s needs. Patience and flexibility — along with self-care and the support of friends and family — can help you deal with the challenges and frustrations ahead.

Prevent falls. Avoid scatter rugs, extension cords and any clutter that could cause falls. Install handrails or grab bars in critical areas.


November 2019 pg. 12



he expression, “Once a man and twice a child,” which was probably penned in 400 BC, still rings true to those of us who find ourselves taking care of our senior parents or grandparents. We cannot get away from this reality that one is born as a child, who grows to adulthood, and consequently enters old age, where he or she may deteriorate and revert to a childish state. It is difficult for many seniors to accept that their level of independence is being reduced and their dependency on family or others is increased. There are many ways we can work with our elderly family member to provide a balance and maintain some independence if we cannot be with them or if they do not want us to be with them all of the time. While there is nothing wrong about this new reality, some disagree and will bring into question the issue of privacy. But is privacy more important than the security and safety of our loved ones? With our senior population rapidly growing and the increase in the number of seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, staying in touch, monitoring and caring for them with electronic help can provide some additional peace of mind. Electronic devices are plentiful these days and remote-monitoring devices such as baby cams, doorbell cameras, and walking alerts. They can all provide assistance to keep your loved ones safe, providing quick responses and aid. But even though you might be a caregiver for your elderly parent, who is of perfectly sound mind, as seniors, they may slip and fall. Not being able to see or hear the person, could not only be threatening to your loved one but creates additional stress for you when you dial home and no one answers. In addition, so many seniors have become victims of home invasion and scams by those who are “here from the gas company” etc. in uniforms etc. The use of camera surveillance to preserve the safety of seniors is practical and safe. We have provided a list of alerts and electronic ways to assist in keeping up and staying connected to your senior parent/grandparent, to be there for them when you can’t be physically present. Medical Alert - medical alert device2 makes it easy for seniors to ask for help 24/7. When the button is pressed or a fall is detected, the device can contact emergency services, send a notification to family members, or do both at the same time.

er is a sensor that can be used for a variety of monitoring purposes such as sleep monitoring, activity tracking, medication reminders, water intake and door alerts. Silver Mother is a simple, unobtrusive way to monitor patterns and habits, as well as to be alerted when changes to these patterns could indicate a problem.

Nutrition tracking - Imagine taking a peek into a relative’s refrigerator to see if they have an ample food supply — from 1,000 miles away. Smart refrigerators that have Wi-Fi-connected cameras (like the Family Hub from Samsung or the upcoming LG InstaView ThinQ) allow caregivers that insight.

Assured Living – a smart technology system that provides an affordable care option compared to assist living. Stay connected and informed, even if there’s no time for a call or visit, with real-time alerts sent directly to your phone. Get notified about nighttime safety, activity levels, and when someone enters or leaves the home.

Memory Picture Phone - This visual phone is helpful for those who may have difficulty remembering phone numbers, or who may find dialing multiple numbers too difficult. The phone holds up to 10 numbers and can be individualized with photos of each person associated with each person that gets programmed into the phone.

Safe Wander: This discreet sensor alerts caregivers via cell phone when it detects motion out of a bed or chair. This is a major concern for caregivers whose loved ones may be getting up at night undetected and are at a risk for falls.

Telemedicine - With the increase in fitness trackers and the expansion of home-use devices to monitor vital signs, glucose levels and overall wellness, it’s possible to have an appointment with a doctor or nurse without leaving the house

Immediate delivery - No more urgent trips across town during your lunch hour to pick up food or prescription refills for your loved one. Now you can schedule deliveries of everything from groceries to medicines less than an hour after ordering. Devices like Alexa and Google Home can help, too. These voice recognition devices allows for easy and quick orders and helps your senior maintain independence.

In-Home Smart Sensors - Silver Moth-


November 2019 pg. 13


Staying Active and Engaged -

he idea that seniors come of age for retirement and all things stop has long proved to be a fallacy for most of them. For one thing, many people don’t stop working at the retirement ages of 62-67 or older, because they have to continue working to make ends meet. If they are able, many just like the idea of staying busy. Those who can and do retire may not stop all activity, but will look to do things they had no time for when they worked. It’s a known fact that people who stay active are generally healthier and happier. Some take up sports, maybe golf or bowling. Some get part time jobs in fields they didn’t previously work in. Some decide to volunteer for various causes, and they make a definite impact on their communities. Some of the things they may volunteer for is helping out in schools, churches or day care agencies. There are so many community needs that need to be filled, it is not difficult to find places where experience and kindness count. Volunteering at nursing homes can involve many aspects of care; one can teach crafts, such as knitting or crocheting; painting is always popular, many seniors in homes like to work with their hands. These things are also helpful in maintaining hand/eye coordination. Senior centers often offer courses in practical items, such as computer skills, but if you have expertise in other areas, possibly teaching, dancing or singing, these can add excitement and fulfillment for those who spend time at these centers. Two dancers come to mind, one who taught dancing for much of her adult life. She retired and started teaching at YMCA’s and senior centers, ball room, line dancing, and folk dancing until she was well into her eighties. Another teaches belly dancing and performs puppet shows; at 77 she is older than many of those she teaches, but you’d never know it. She travels and does belly dancing with a troupe that is very active in New York City. Politics can be another form of activity, working

polls (for which one gets paid), conducting polls, doing mailings, and handling mail and materials, especially during the upcoming elections. Working with your own religious affiliation can mean doing service around the facility, cleaning, helping serve meals to seniors or the homeless, possibly helping out with tag sales or fund raising. Think outside the box! What do you do well enough that you would like to teach others? Are you an avid reader? Check with some places where there are seniors who may not be able to read anymore. Can you set up a schedule with administrators or caregivers to read to a group, or even one-on-one? Do you work well with animals, or own a dog that can be trained as a therapy animal? Patients in nursing homes love visits from friends, furry and non-furry. Are you an animal lover? Many animal shelters are in need of volunteers to feed the animals, clean, or just to socialize with the inhabitants. Animals are always in need of kindness, pets and head scratches. You might also look into being a foster parent for cats or dogs; fosters care for the animals between their being rescued and until they go to their forever homes. There are always places where children can go when they need help with homework, crafts, and even learning to play games. Check with local churches, schools and agencies to see if any of them can use your services. Do you perform in any way, as a clown, perhaps, or with puppets, do you excel in telling children’s stories? Libraries, schools and other groups might need your services. In today’s world we have to be so careful about being involved with others; some of these places may want to vet you for the safety of their clients. Other ways to stay active without spending a lot of money may not start with volunteering, but starting something new can lead to all kinds of good experiences and possibilities. Look for free activities at hospitals, senior centers, churches, and other places of worship, and at

by Judith Balfe

community centers. Libraries are gold mines of all kinds of activities, most at no cost to the patron. Some senior groups have regularly scheduled trips planned, at lower costs than if you were to pursue them individually. These include trips to casinos, dinner theaters and famous sites. Also, lower pricing for groups for plays, museums and other activities. Check local papers for art gallery openings, book discussions and signings, and health forums. Community meetings are great places to meet neighbors, to get to know people and causes. Join a book club at your local library, check out the programs they have to offer. Look into joining an historical society or sign up for classes at a YMCA, YWCA or library. Some community colleges offer free courses for auditing. There are precautions to take before you go out to start a whole new life. Check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to do whatever it is you’re thinking of doing. Keep an open mind, if the first time you try something doesn’t work out, give it another try. Remember that seniors today are living longer and hopefully healthier, so we have the opportunity to try things we never tried before. We can meet new people, make new friends, and keep our bodies agile and our minds sharp. Give yourself time and be patient. If you are feeling nervous or concerned about making connections, keep in mind that others are for the same reasons you are and are experiencing the same level of nervousness. Think about starting a new school and that should help ease some of that fear. More than that, we have an opportunity to help others, to add to their lives and experiences no matter their needs or their ages. But be careful, don’t bite off more than you can handle. New experiences, even new jobs, can be more fun when you don’t overdo it, when you are getting rest and taking care of yourself. Getting old(er) can be a wonderful learning experience, and since we all have to do it at some point, why not make it fun, interesting, and add to the comfort and happiness of others? Sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch can still be great, but seniors, with their wealth of knowledge and life experience

bigapplehealthne.com November 2019

pg. 14

Staying Active and Engaged can be invaluable benefactors to all those around them. Living doesn’t and shouldn’t stop at any age. Possible volunteering connections: AARP has many volunteering opportunities Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of America Boys and Girls Clubs of America Senior Corps Habitat for Humanity Junior Achievement Big Brothers and Big Sisters Peace Corp These are just a few of the many opportunities, look on line or on community bulletin boards for more ideas. Use this period of relative free time to keep yourself active and well, and add to the lives of some of those around you who are in need of whatever your life experience and wisdom can bring them.

bigapplehealthne.com November 2019




ational Family Caregivers Month is celebrated each November and it is time that we recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It is also a time to use to raise awareness of family caregiver issues, celebrate the efforts of family caregivers, educate family caregivers about self-identification and increase support for family caregivers. Caregiver Action Network (the National Family Caregivers Association) began promoting national recognition of family caregivers in 1994. President Clinton signed the first NFC Month Presidential Proclamation in 1997 and every president since has followed suit by issuing an annual proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November. Caregiver Action Network is an organization that chooses the theme for National Family Caregivers Month annually and spearheads celebration of NFC Month nationally. The theme they have selected this year is “#BeCareCurious”. It is an excellent theme as we all need to be more curious about the health and happiness of our loved ones. We have to ask questions, explore options, speak up and for them, share background information with doctors that provide a better picture about the health conditions. We need to know how our loved ones are doing and what the best possible care for them is.

Family Caregivers Provide

$470 Billion in Unpaid Care -AARP A

s we observe National Family Caregivers Month and celebrate and honor the work of so many sons, daughters, spouses, siblings, parents and grandparents let us also be reminded about the mental, emotional and physical and yes, financial affect it has on them. Spouses and partners become caregivers to the ones they love even as they navigate their own health and relationship challenges. AARP recently released a report that is not only an eye opener and make us want to embrace caregivers even more, but also clearly indicate the increase in advocacy that needs to take place nationally to help so many across America provide care to their loved ones without them losing their own sanity and lives in the process. According the report released on November 14, approximately 41 million unpaid family caregivers provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care — worth a staggering $470 billion — to their parents, spouses, partners, and friends in 2017. The report, among other things, explores the growing scope and complexity of caregiving, including an aging population, more family caregivers in the paid workforce, and the increasing amount of medical and nursing tasks entering the home. “It’s encouraging to see greater recognition of the emotional, physical and financial struggles that caregivers face,” said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president, AARP Public Policy Institute. “But the demands on family caregivers are not just a family issue and we must continue to push for meaningful support and solutions.” The total economic value of caregivers is more than: • All out-of-pocket spending on U.S. health care ($366 billion in 2017). • Total spending from all sources of paid caregiving, otherwise known as Long-Term Services and Supports ($366 billion in 2016). • The total combined value added to the U.S. economy by the education and arts/entertainment sectors ($460 billion in 2017). The report offers recommendations to better support family caregivers, including developing a robust and comprehensive national strategy with the needs of an increasingly diverse caregiver population included; providing financial relief and expanding workplace policies; developing caregiver training programs; and expanding state and federal funding for respite programs. With the complexity of care increasing and other factors putting ever-more pressure on family caregivers, the demands of family caregiving are becoming unsustainable for people to manage alone. As a result, ensuring better recognition of and support for family caregivers has become a health, economic, and social imperative. The report is Part of the AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable series on the economic value of family caregiving, and updates national and individual state estimates


November 2019

pg. 16


MAKING THAT DECISION Nursing Home and Assisted Living

ooner or later, most families will have decisions concerning aging loved ones. It is never an easy decision, but when the time comes and decisions have to be made, being prepared and having knowledge of options can be comforting and expedient.

Some elder people can remain in their homes, taking care of themselves with maybe a little help, a family member or an aide who comes in at certain times to help. Often, the elderly person can be incorporated into a family situation with a small, private apartment within the main dwelling. Shared housing can also work, but careful vetting must take place, and the needs of each inhabitant have to be taken into consideration. It’s best to do this with people you are wholly familiar with, or through an agency who will take responsibility for the outcome. Assisted living seems like a fine idea, but one has to be generally in good shape to enjoy what they offer, and most are very expensive. The last thing most families want to consider is arranging for an elderly relative to enter a nursing home. Even though this is often the only sensible solution, it is not always as simple as one expects. If the senior is willing to do this, that helps. Medical procedures, such as a feeding tube, tracheostomies and other complications can be handled best by professionals. Not all nursing homes will take patients with special medical needs. However, those who do take in patients with special needs can be found,

- by Judith Balfe

and hopefully close to family.

When looking into nursing homes, take other needs into consideration, such as religious beliefs, special dietary needs, and services available. Can the residents obtain Kosher, vegan or other medically needed foods? Are religious services in different faiths available? When one is sure of the specific needs, ask questions. Ask medical professional where they would settle their own loved ones if they had to. Ask friends and relatives for opinions about the places they have seen or investigated. Go online and check out those that you are interested in. You can also go through a social service agency if you are already involved with one, or ask a pastor or other professional to help with the search. When you have decided on just a few possibilities, arrange for a visit. Talk to the residents, as well as the staff and administrator. Check on every detail before you make a decision. If possible, take the senior with you, and check with their preferences. Ask questions! Are there doctors available in emergencies? What are the policies for handling a crisis? Ask for references. If arranging for a beloved senior to enter a nursing home, or any facility that may be required, frequent visitations can ensure good treatment. If there is a complaint from the resident, follow up on it. Most of all, make sure that the senior knows that he or she is still loved and part of a family, and if everyone is comfortable with the arrangement, the family will be at peace and the senior will be safe and cared for, and hopefully happy in the new environment.

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November 2019



World’s Toughest, Deadliest Cancer

ovember has been designated pancreatic and lung cancer month, a good time to be reminded about the critical effect they have on the lives of so many. So as we lay it out in clear details and statistics with real numbers and helpful information for organizations such as American Cancer Society and Pancan.org, we should pay careful attention to our lifestyle as a great percentage of that contributes to not only to these types of cancer but other health conditions as well.

• • • •

Jeopardy host, the great Alex Trebek, was diagnosed earlier this year with the world’s toughest and deadliest cancer, pancreatic cancer.

• • • • • • • • • •

While there has been advocacy groups and individuals working on building awareness of this cancer, Tribek’s diagnose, has contributed to an uptick in individuals and organizations donating and getting more involved in building awareness. This is sad, however, because the statistics are quite alarming. (Credits: ABC) The American Cancer Society estimates for the US for 2019: About 56,770 people (29,940 men and 26,830 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

New-onset diabetes Digestive problems Loss of appetite Mood Change

The following risk factors may increase the likelihood that someone will develop pancreatic cancer. Inherited genetic mutations Family history of pancreatic cancer Family history of other cancers Diabetes Pancreatitis (chronic and hereditary) Smoking Obesity Race (ethnicity) Age Diet

Treatment - How pancreatic cancer is treated is really dependent on the type and the stage of the cancer and other factors such as major existing health conditions but treatments can range from surgery, ablation or embolization, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and pain control.

228,150 new cases of Lung Cancer

About 45,750 people (23,800 men and 21,950 women) will die of pancreatic cancer.

Lung cancer is a group of diseases defined by what type of lung tissue the abnormal cells originated in.

Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the US and about 7% of all cancer deaths. It is slightly more common in men than in women.

There are 2 main types of lung cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and Small cell lung cancer (SCLC). These broad classifications, based on histology, can greatly affect an individual’s approach and response to treatment.

The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 64. But each person’s chances of getting this cancer can be affected by certain risk factors.

While lung cancer mainly occurs in older people, age 65 or older, it is said to be by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.

So what is Pancreatic Cancer? Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine, with two main functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation.

The American Cancer Society’s statistics and estimates for lung cancer in the United States for 2019 are: •About 228,150 new cases of lung cancer (116,440 in men and 111,710 in women) •About 142,670 deaths from lung cancer (76,650 in men and 66,020 in women) Overall, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 15; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 17. These numbers include both smokers and non-smokers. For smokers the risk is much higher, while for non-smokers the risk is lower. •Black men are about 15% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men. The rate is about 14% lower in black women than in white women.

Know the Signs & Symptoms and take action! Apparently pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in the early stages, which can make it very hard to diagnose early. In fact these symptoms are so subtle, that people may easily ignore them. Here are signs and symptoms you should pay attention to: • Abdominal and mid-back pain • Unexplained weight loss • Yellow skin or eyes • Change in stool

continue on pg. 19 bigapplehealthne.com November 2019 pg.18

Close to home

New York Tied for Best 5-year Survival Rate


he cecond annual report from American Lung Association explores how states can act to save more lives, support patients and families facing lung cancer

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women and men in the United States. It’s estimated that 13,380 New Yorkers will be diagnosed with this disease in 2019 alone, but fortunately more Americans than ever are surviving the disease according to a new report from the American Lung Association, with New York leading the nation for 5-Year Survival rates. The annual “State of Lung Cancer” report examines the toll of lung cancer throughout the nation, and outlines steps every state can take to better protect its residents from lung cancer. This year’s “State of Lung Cancer” seeks to continue the positive trend of increased lung cancer survival, as the nationwide five-year lung cancer survival rate of 21.7%, up from 17.2% a decade ago, reflects a 26% improvement over the past 10 years. In New York State the survival rate is 26.4%, tying Connecticut for the best 5-year survival rates in the country. “While we celebrate that more Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer, the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths, and much more can and must be done in New York State to prevent the disease and support families facing a lung cancer diagnosis,” said Carla Sterling, Executive Director for the American Lung Association in metro New York. Part of the reason that lung cancer is so deadly is because most lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a later stage, after the disease has spread. Lung cancer screening is the key to early detection, when the disease is most curable, but only 21.5% of lung cancer cases nationally are diagnosed at an early stage. While this simple screening test has been available since 2015, only 3.6% of those eligible in New York State have been screened. Survival: Lung cancer has one of the lowest five-year survival rates because cases are often diagnosed at later stages when it is less likely to be curable. New York ranks #1 along with Connecticut.

Early Diagnosis: Nationally, only 21.5 % of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher (57.7%). Unfortunately, about 48.5% of cases are not caught until a late stage when the survival rate is only 6%. New York ranks among highest at 24.1%. Surgical Treatment: Lung cancer can often be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread widely. Nationally, 20.6 % of cases underwent surgery. New York ranks among highest at 27%. Lack of Treatment: There are multiple reasons why patients may not receive treatment. Some of these reasons may be unavoidable, but no one should go untreated because of lack of provider or patient knowledge, stigma associated with lung cancer, fatalism after diagnosis, or cost of treatment. Nationally, about 15.4% of cases receive no treatment. New York ranks 16.1% of cases do not receive treatment, giving it a worse than average ranking. Screening and Prevention: Screening for lung cancer with annual low-dose CT scans among those who qualify can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%. Nationally, only 4.2% of those who qualify were screened. New York State ranked below average with 3.6%.


continue from pg. • Both black and white women have lower rates than men, but the gap is closing. The lung cancer rate has been dropping among men over the past few decades, but only for about the last decade in women. • Despite their overall risk of lung cancer being higher, black men are less likely to develop small cell lung cancer (SCLC) than are white men. • One out of seven people who get lung cancer have never smoked a cigarette Symptoms to watch for include Persistent Cough, Shortness of Breath, Hoarseness, Bronchitis, Chest Pain, Unexplained Weight Loss, Bone Pain.


November 2019


Parker Jewish Institute Community Partners Dinner Shared insights about the Institute’s dedicated approach in caring for patients at the center’s new Indian Cultural Unit


arker Jewish Institute hosted its First Annual Community Partners Dinner on Thursday, October 10, at the center’s auditorium. The dinner provided an opportunity to share insights on Parker’s dedicated approach in honoring and valuing the customs of Indian cultures when caring for patients in need of short and long-term care at the Institute’s new Indian Cultural Unit. Parker’s specialized Indian Cultural Unit is the first of its kind serving East and West Indian older adults who reside in Nassau and Queens Counties. It is staffed by Indian physicians and nursing staff who are fluent in Indian languages, including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi and Punjabi, among others. The unit is adorned with Indian-inspired artwork and décor. Activities and entertainment include music, TV, movies, newspapers and religious services so that patients remain connected to their traditional lifestyle in a healing environment. “Our ability to provide culturally sensitive care best suits the needs of the growing number of East and West Indian older adults living in the region,” said Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s President and CEO. “We are grateful to Parker’s Indian Cultural Committee as its members help us celebrate success and continue to shape the program for the future.”

Sandeep Chakravorty, the Consul General of India, presents Parker Jewish Institute with a Proclamation in thanks of the center’s support, devotion and compassion to the Indian community. Standing with the Consul General are, from left, Dr. Shefali Shah, Tara Buonocore-Rut, Parker’s Executive Vice President – Corporate Strategy and Operations, and Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s President and CEO. PHOTO CREDIT: Parker Jewish Institute

At the dinner, Sandeep Chakravorty, the Consul General of India, presented Parker with a Proclamation in thanks of the Institute’s support, devotion and compassion to the Indian community. And New York State Senator Kevin Thomas presented Parker a Proclamation for its support to the South Asian community on Long Island. The dinner was organized by the Indian Cultural Committee of Parker Jewish Institute. The committee comprises community leaders including Dr. Dilip Tolat, Rekha Tolat, Dr. Harshad Shah, Dr. Indravadan Shah, Dr. Ram Pardeshi, Dahyabhai Patel, Mukund Mehta and Ramaswamy Mohan. Parker Jewish Institute, headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York, is a leading provider of Short Term Rehabilitation and Long Term Care. At the forefront of innovation in patient-centered health care and technology, the Institute is a leader in teaching and geriatric research. Parker features its own medical department, and is nationally renowned as a skilled nursing facility, as well as a provider of community-based health care, encompassing Social Adult Day Care, Home Health Care, Medical House Calls, Palliative Care and Hospice.

New York State Senator Kevin Thomas presents Parker Jewish Institute with a Proclamation to Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s President and CEO, for its support to the South Asian community on Long Island. Also pictured here, from left, are Tara Buonocore-Rut, Parker’s Executive Vice President and members of Parker’s Indian Cultural Committee. Sandeep Chakravorty, the Consul General of India, presents Parker Jewish Institute with a Proclamation in thanks of the center’s support, devotion and compassion to the Indian community. Standing with the Consul General are, from left, Dr. Shefali Shah, Tara Buonocore-Rut, Parker’s Executive Vice President – Corporate Strategy and Operations, and Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s President and CEO. PHOTO CREDIT: Office of Senator Kevin Thomas


November 2019


OPEN ENROLLMEMT November 1-December 7

Each year America is faced with the choice of changing their health insurance plan/company if they desire. This period is called OPEN ENROLLMENT. It falls typically between October/November to around the first week of December. This year Open Enrollment for the 2020 health insurance plan is November 1- December 7. Many change their insurance either because the one they are enrolled may be too costly, deductibles are too high and certain services they would like to have, they do not. Having the choice of shopping around and exploring other options and what might work best is, in itself, a wonderful thing. But also, the other side of the coin brings about other fears for many such as change of doctors, etc. Many Americans change their health plans not knowing or asking whether their current doctor that they love and feel comfortable with will be in the network. Often times, this not only results in frustration, but also strains the pockets of many. Healthcare is and continues to be a complex struggle for many Americans to navigate. Insurance companies can help make this burden lighter by ensuring their representatives, as part of their interview with prospective clients they are screening, ask about the current doctor they are using and provide clarity whether or not the client’s doctor is in their network. If you wish to change your insurance, you may do so over the next two weeks but ensure that you are asking the representative of the new plan about your current doctor. You may also want to ask your doctor if he or she is accepting the plan you wish to change to. As many times, insurance companies will have your doctor’s name in their “in-network” but later down the road, many find out that the doctor is no longer in their plan. During this period too, you may want to check with the pharmacy you have been using to see if they are still accepting your current insurance and or the new one you may be thinking of switching to.

SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD Outside of Open Enrollment, in this case after December 7, you can only change plans if you have a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. Most people who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and want to change plans may have a limited number of plan “metal” categories to choose from (instead of all 4) during their Special Enrollment Period. The “metal” categories are referred to the Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum and Catastrophic” plans. The latter are available to some people. Metal categories are based on how you and your insurance plan split the costs of your health care. They have nothing to do with quality of care. Special Enrollment Period allows for you to select a new plan within the same plan category as your current plan for 2019, or you can change to a plan in a different category right now for 2020. Enrollees and their dependents (including newly added household members) who qualify for the most common Special Enrollment Period types — like a loss of health insurance, moving to a new home, or a change in household size — will only be able to pick a plan from their current plan category.



The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage runs from October 15th to December 7, 2019 during this period you can from:

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage), you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage).

October 15 - December 7, 2019

January 1–March 31, 2020

You can drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. You’ll also be able to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. But you cannot switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, A Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare. join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you’re in Original Medicare or switch One Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan. from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another if you’re in Original MediA Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare care. Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage. A Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage. coverage) or go back to Original Medicare (with or without a drug plan) within A Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. the first 3 months you have Medicare. One Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan. bigapplehealthne.com November 2019 pg. 21 Your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.



he National Council on Aging has provided the top Financial Scams Targeting Seniors in America. So if you are a senior or a loved one of a senior, please review the list provided below, so you can identify and avoid a potential scam. 1. Medicare/health insurance scams Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money. In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money. 2. Counterfeit prescription drugs Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications. The danger is that besides paying money for something that will not help a person’s medical condition, victims may purchase unsafe substances that can inflict even more harm. This scam can be as hard on the body as it is on the wallet. 3. Funeral & cemetery scams The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors. In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts. 4. Homeowner/reverse mortgage scams Scammers like to take advantage of the fact that many people above a certain age own their homes, a valuable asset that increases the potential dollar value of a certain scam. 5. Telemarketing/phone scams Perhaps the most common scheme is when scammers use fake telemarketing calls to prey on older people, who as a group make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average. While the image of the lonely senior citizen with nobody to talk to may have something to do with this, it is far more likely that older people are more familiar with shopping over the phone, and therefore might not be fully aware of the risk. With no face-to-face interaction, and no paper trail, these scams are incredibly hard to trace. Also, once a successful deal has been made, the buyer’s name is then shared with similar schemers looking for easy targets, sometimes defrauding the same person repeatedly. Examples of telemarketing fraud include: 6. The grandparent scam Grandmother and granddaughterThe grandparent scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts.

From The Mouth Of Seniors


n our effort to engage our seniors, we reached out to some to share with us anything that they believe can be done or should be done to help make their lives a little easier and lighter, share common sense ideas or tell us what worries them as a senior. The renewal of health insurance every year. When it is renewed, you have to find new doctors because my regular doctor doesn’t accept the new insurance. Then when you go to your dentist or opticians, or specialist etc. You are told that you are only covered for the below basics. Baksh, 66 – Queens Village, NY The issue on sanitation and garbage pickup needs to be addressed. Maybe the city needs to introduce new laws that require sanitation workers to pick up the garbage and recycle at the gate or near the fence and put it back in the same place. For many reasons especially because there are many seniors that have disability/difficulty taking them out and taking it back in, many home owners are at work when the sanitation do their pickups which allow for the pales to be flying around the streets and which can subsequently cause accidents or injure someone and yes, sometimes broken. The issuance and renewal of disability parking signs. There are not many disability parking at businesses and the distance sometimes where the parking is to where someone needs to walk is too far. And there needs to be more enforcement as many times there are cars without the disability signs parking in these spots. There is a need for more escalators at subway stations and even more security Juliet, 84, St. Albans Because most seniors are on fixed income, there should be discounts on taxis, more meaningful discounts on inter-city travel, clothing and restaurants. They would be more active, hence healthier and less alienated. It will increase demand in these sectors and stimulate the economy. Also, there should be caps on rent if concessions/ incentives are offered to landlords. Frightened – Acceptance of senior irrelevance rather than recognizing them as an asset/social capital. Also, a health system that accepts illness as a norm rather than active promotion as an ideal. Leyland, 83, Brooklyn, NY.

Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research. bigapplehealthne.com

November 2019 pg.22

bigapplehealthne.com pg. 22

Medicare+Medicaid= More Benefits for You! You may be eligible for additional money-saving benefits through our Dual Advantage plans, including: • Monthly OTC Card up to $100

(to pay for items like OTC medications, toothpaste, incontinence supplies, and more)

• Transportation





Medicare Number/Número de Medicare

1XX0-XX0-XX00 Entitled to/Con derecho a



Coverage starts/Cobertura empieza

01-01-2018 01-01-2018

Medicaid/Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) NEW

• Dental • Care Management support


• Top-quality doctors and hospitals • Discounts for hearing devices* • and many more!

For a complete listing of plans in your service area, contact the plan. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Out-of-network services may require more out-ofpocket expense than in-network services. Benefit restrictions apply. Fidelis Legacy Plan is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Fidelis Legacy Plan depends on contract renewal. *Fidelis Legacy Plan partners with TruHearing for discounted purchases of hearing devices.

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bigapplehealthne.com pg. H3328_FC 19179_M