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Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 35 Published in house by the RI ARA

September 2, 2018 E-Newsletter

All Rights Reserved RI ARA 2018©

AFL-CIO’s George Nee to be awarded World Peace Prize For the first time a Rhode Island Labor leader will be honored with the World Peace Prize. The World Peace Prize Awarding Council (WPPAC) has announced that George Nee president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, will r eceive the prestigious prize of “Roving Ambassador for Peace.” The presentation ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2018, 2:304:30pm at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street. Providence, RI 02903. World Leader and Master Planner, Reverend Dr Han Min Su, founded the Wor ld Peace Prize in Seoul, South Korea, in 1989. Dr Han is a Presbyterian Minister. “Our Washington office, headed by Father Sean McManus and Barbara

Flaherty of the Irish National Caucus, nominated the Honorable George Nee,” said Dr Han. “Our 14-member Board of International and Interfaith judges unanimously selected Mr Nee. Our Board is comprised of representatives of the world’s nine major religions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Russian Orthodox, and Zoroastrianism. We congratulate Mr Nee while also knowing that his acceptance honors our noble idea and mission of world peace.” “We were pleased to be able to propose George Nee because of the intrinsic link between

justice and peace: peace is, indeed, the fruit of justice,” said Father Sean McManus, President of the Capitol Hillbased Irish National Caucus and Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize Awarding Council (WPPAC). Labor Leaders who spend their entire lives working in solidarity for justice for working men and women are, indeed , working for peace—not only nationally but also globally. Hence, Labor leaders – and George Nee in particular – are eminently qualified to be candidates for the World Peace Prize of Roving Ambassador for Peace. Furthermore, our Peace Prizes encourage members of the Labor Movement to

positively think of themselves as not just fighters for justice but as peace builders as well. I believe this gives an important dimension to Labor’s selfunderstanding, self-image, and self-identity. And, I urge all members of the Labor Movement to embrace it —as I know George Nee does. So, too, does the national president of the AFL-CIO, the great Richard L. Trumka.” “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this prestigious prize,” said Nee. “The recognition by the World Peace Prize Awarding Council that there is an inextricable link between the work of the Labor movement in its historic struggle for economic justice for all workers and peace will encourage increased activities for a more peaceful and just world.”

Sen. Casey Shows How Kavanaugh Confirmation Would Harm Retirees Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), ranking member of the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, has released a fact sheet detailing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s disastrous record on issues relating to aging, disability, retirement, and health care. The sheet highlights numerous cases that Kavanaugh argued or decided that raise alarm. Perhaps most concerning is Kavanaugh’s repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

through the courts. President Trump promised to only appoint justices who would overturn the ACA, and Kavanaugh’s record shows he falls into line. Kavanaugh has disagreed at least twice with rulings upholding the law’s constitutionality. If the ACA is overturned, millions of older Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose their coverage. Kavanaugh has a particularly worrisome record concerning people with disabilities. He ruled against disabled patients’ ability to make decisions about their own lives, taking away the

right of self-determination and allowing the government to make medical decisions for them without first learning their wishes. He also sided with employers in numerous disability discrimination and retaliation cases. As an attorney Kavanaugh argued that age discrimination protections in place for older workers should not apply in some situations, and as a judge he ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was unconstitutional. If the CFPB were dissolved, older Americans would lose a key source of unbiased information

regarding retirement planning, financial resources, and how to protect Joseph Peters, Jr. themselves from fraud. “Brett Kavanaugh’s record proves that he will not protect retirees’ interests,” said Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Peters, Jr. “Confirming him to serve on the United States Supreme Court would be a catastrophe for older Americans who rely on the court system to look out for their health care and economic rights.”

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

The Trump administration is dismantling financial protections for the military The federal government’s top consumer watchdog has decided it no longer needs to proactively supervise banks, credit card companies, and other lenders who deal with members of the military and their families to make sure they’re not committing fraud or abuse. Critics, baffled by the decision from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, say it will put service members in the claws of predatory lenders and put their careers and livelihoods — and potentially US national security — at risk. The bureau’s supervisory staff offices have typically conducted

proactive checks that make sure lenders aren’t charging military members exorbitant interest rates, pushing them into forced arbitration, or otherwise not following guidelines outlined in the Military Lending Act, a 2006 law that protects active duty military members and their families from financial fraud, predatory loans, and credit gouging. Now the agency, under interim director Mick Mulvaney, is planning to end its use of these supervisory examinations of lenders, according to recent reports

from the New York Times and NPR. Instead, the bureau will only be able to take action against lenders if it receives a complaint. The agency says the rule change is simply an effort to roll back the agency’s overly aggressive practices under its first director, Richard Cordray, and isn’t technically part o the law, anyway. Consumer protection advocates and other critics say it’s an unnecessary move that will ultimately harm members of the United States military who are often disproportionately

targeted by payday lenders and other lenders that charge exorbitant interest rates and fees. “This is akin to removing your sentries from guard posts on military compounds. If you do that, you’ll have the expectation that the bad guys will try to penetrate your compound and will probably be successful,” retired Army Col. Paul Kantwill, who recently left a position at the consumer protection agency, told me. “That’s exactly what this type of action would result in.” ..Read More

McCain’s death marks decline of Trump’s GOP Senate critics Senate Republicans willing to counter President Trump on defense and national security are becoming a rarity on Capitol Hill. The death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) marks the start of the waning of an already small group of GOP senators willing to act as a counterweight to Trump as the president breaks with decades-long Republican policies.

McCain, despite being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in July 2017, remained a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy and national security under the Trump administration with his outspoken opposition to Gina Haspel to leading the CIA and his support of tougher sanctions

against Russia. The former senator didn't mention Trump in his farewell statement released Monday, but he appeared to take a parting shot at the ideological differences that have decided the two men for years. "We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism

with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe," McCain said in a statement released by his Senate office. "We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to the great force for change they have always been."

Postal workers rally to fight privatization A day after U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged to help them “defeat Trump’s disastrous plan,” more than 2,000 postal workers and union supporters rallied Tuesday in Downtown Pittsburgh against the potential privatization of the Postal Service. “The Post Office belongs to the people,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, among speakers at the afternoon rally held outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The APWU, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, represents about 200,000 postal employees.

“We feel this is a public good. The Post Office has been a real equalizer and a democratic right of the people in this country,” Dimondstein said, “and we intend to join together with the people to defend them.” On Monday, Sanders made a brief appearance at the APWU’s annual convention, during which he announced plans to author a bill intended to block the Trump administration from advancing a proposal to sell off the Postal Service to private entities. “I will soon be introducing legislation, which I think has a

strong chance of passing, that will put the Senate on record in opposition to Trump’s plan to privatize the Postal Service,” Sanders, I-Vermont, told attendees, according to video of his remarks. “We cannot allow Donald Trump to privatize the Postal Service … We will stand up, fight back and defeat Trump’s disastrous plan,” Sanders said. In June, the Trump administration’s Office of Budget and Management released a list of recommendations pitched as

government efficiencies that included making reforms to the Postal Service before selling it off to private bidders. The call for privatization, buried in the list of suggested government reforms, came amid ongoing work by a task force created by Trump in April to examine ways to improve the Postal Service’s financial position. The task force presented its final report to President Trump earlier this month, but it remains unclear when its findings will be made public. The report was due Aug. 10….Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

Almost half of Americans can't pay for their basic needs Four in 10 Americans are struggling to pay for their basic needs such as groceries or housing, a problem even middleclass households confront, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Despite the U.S. economy being near full employment, 39.4 percent of adults between 18 and 64 years old said they experienced at least one type of material hardship in 2017, according to the study, which surveyed more than 7,500 adults about whether they had trouble paying for housing, utilities, food or health care. The findings surprised researchers at the Urban Institute, who had expected to find high levels of hardship

among poor Americans but hadn't predicted so many middle-class families would also struggle to meet their basic needs. That may illustrate that a middle-class income "is no guarantee" of protection from hardship, said Michael Karpman, research associate at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center and a co-author of the report. Against the backdrop of President Donald Trump's boasting about low unemployment and strong economic growth, the research adds nuance to the problems facing American families. Middle-class households tend to

struggle with paying their health care bills rather than utilities, for instance. Health care costs have outpaced wages and inflation, pushing more Americans into high-deductible plans, which can backfire when serious health problems arise. "A lot of people are looking at the fact that wages aren't keeping up with household costs as one reason families are having difficulty making ends meet," Karpman said. "Even for families with health insurance, they may be facing high deductibles that leave them facing high costs." Basic universal income: Testing a weapon against economic

insecurity The Urban Institute designed the study last year to get a baseline measure of hardship in anticipation of proposed cutbacks in federal safety-net programs, such as proposals to add work requirements to food stamps and Medicaid. Some states have already moved forward with such plans, such as Maine's work requirement for its food stamp recipients. The idea, Karpman said, is to return to the survey each year to measure how hardship is changing as federal and state policies cut back on support for low-income families. "We expect it'll increase the risk that families won't be able to meet their basic needs," he said….Read More

Union Plus, Benefits for working & retired union members & families

Working hard for union families since 1986 We Work Hard to Make Life a little Easier for You and Your Family Union Plus is a non-profit and we're the ONLY consumer benefits organization created and endorsed by the AFL-CIO. Here at Union Plus, our mission is to improve the quality of life for union members and their families, provide valuable benefits and services that strengthen the ties of union members to their unions and contribute funding to the labor movement. We believe that our country’s middle class was built by union-strong members like you, so we diligently research every benefit and tailor them to support you and other union members — we’re working hard, to make life a little easier for you. How it Works—Solidarity, Savings and Support  Stand in Solidarity—Did you know that there are more than 12 million union members in the United States? Because of our strength in numbers, we’re able to negotiate exclusive discounts and financial assistance programs just for union members and their families.  Savings and Unique Programs — Pay it Forward—We pass along the exclusive benefits we’ve negotiated on behalf of union members directly to you. These benefits and programs are FREE to union members and their families. There’s no membership —if you’re a current or retired union member or a family member — you’re in.  Supporting Union Workers and Union-Made Products—We’re union and we stand by union. We’re committed to supporting U.S.-based and union workers, right down to using union printers and union-made products in our offices and our staff are members of OPEIU, Local 2. We’ve negotiated with some of the biggest names and brands to get you the discounts you deserve and the benefits working union members need — such as hardship help, strike grants and disability benefits. We’ve got your back! If You’re Union — You’re Eligible As current and retired union members, you are automatically eligible for your union’s Union Plus Benefits — often times, your parents, spouse and children are also eligible. No Union Plus membership, No Fees, No Waiting Period, No Hassle. Don't have access to a union job? Consider joining Working America for free. What We Don't Do We don't manage or use any union membership dues to finance our budget or benefits. Period. We also don't manage any union pension funds or health care funds. Typically your union handles those benefits directly. How to Get Your Union Plus Benefits Getting started couldn’t be easier. Simply create a profile on our site,, and start using your benefits and discounts today! For more information CLICK HERE Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

Ocean State Center for Independent Living Our Mission The Ocean State Center for Independent Living is a non-residential , consumer-driven, community-based, cross-disability, nonprofit organization. OSCIL was established in 1988 to provide a range of independent living services to enhance, through selfdirection, the quality of life for persons with disability and to promote integration into the community. OSCIL is governed by an active Board of Directors comprised largely of persons having disabilities, who play a major role in setting policy and programming. You are Invited to Join us as OSCIL Celebrates " 30 Years Promoting Independence!"…..Read More

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Programs & Services Advocacy Assessment Services Assistive Technology & Equipment Disability Awareness Presentations Deaf Services Gift of Hearing (Hearing Aid Assistance) Home Access & Modification Independent Living Skills Training Information and Referral Nursing Home Transition Program PCA Program Peer Support YMCA Connection Program Youth Transition Program

Closing the Donut Hole: What it Means and Why it Matters Congress is closing the #Medicare donut hole a little faster for brand-name drugs. Good news! Big problems with drug affordability remain (and it's getting worse) but this is a necessary step. This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a data note on the Medicare Part D coverage gap, commonly referred to as the “donut hole.” When Congress expanded Medicare to cover prescription drugs by adding Part D, they built in a coverage gap that made drug coverage disappear when people reached a certain spending level, then reappear when they hit another threshold. This donut hole left many people with Medicare struggling to afford their medications for at least part of the year. Since that initial design decision, Congress made changes to reduce the impact of the donut hole. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) required drug manufacturers to give significant discounts while

people were in the gap and began a phase-in of a federal subsidy for beneficiaries. The ACA gradually decreased the percentage that people with Part D are responsible for and planned to close the gap in 2020 for both brand-name and generic drugs. However, the gap for brand-name drugs will close one year sooner because of legislation—the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA)— passed early this year. Starting in 2019, this legislation makes the transition into the coverage gap for brand-name drugs seamless for people with Part D by decreasing their financial burden and requiring more financial support by pharmaceutical manufacturers. The coverage gap for generic drugs will still close in 2020. Importantly, closing the coverage gap eases but does not eliminate problems of drug affordability for people with Medicare. The underlying high

drug costs mean that more and more people are reaching the spending thresholds that trigger the donut hole. Once they spend enough in the donut hole, they reach yet another level called “catastrophic coverage.” In catastrophic coverage, people’s out-of-pocket responsibilities seem low at 5%, but they do not have a cap. This means that very expensive drugs are a huge burden to beneficiaries. The KFF data note breaks down the number of people with Part D who reach the various levels of coverage, what their average spending is, and how beneficiaries, drug manufacturers, drug plans, and the federal government split up the responsibility for various charges. Importantly, the note discusses the implications some future policy decisions may have on people with Medicare, including calls from manufacturers to decrease the amount they pay or proposals

from the Trump Administration that would sharply increase the money people with Part D must spend. This change in particular would have significant, negative implications for people with Medicare. Medicare Rights seeks to keep the BBA reforms in place and opposes any policies that would reopen the donut hole or increase out-ofpocket expenses for beneficiaries.

Read the Kaiser Family Foundation’s donut hole data note. Read our letter to Congress in support of the donut hole reforms in the BBA. Read more about drug affordability.

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

The Doctors Want In: Democratic Docs Talk Health Care On The Campaign Trail Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency physician from western Michigan, had never considered running for Congress. Then came February 2017. The 46-year-old Democrat found himself at a local townhall meeting going toe-to-toe with Rep. Bill Huizenga, his Republican congressman of the previous six years. “I told him about my patients,” Davidson recalled. “I see, every shift, some impact of not having adequate health care, not having dental insurance or a doctor at all.” His comments triggered

cheers from the audience but didn’t seem to register with Huizenga, a vocal Obamacare critic. And that got Davidson thinking. “I’ve always been very upset … about patients who can’t get health care,” he said. But it never inspired him to act. Until this June, that is, when the political novice joined what is now at least eight other Democratic physicians running in races across the country as first-time candidates for Congress. Democrats hope to gain

control of Congress by harnessing what polls show to be voters’ dissatisfaction with both Capitol Hill and President Donald Trump. The president maintains Republican support but registers low approval ratings among Americans overall, according to news organization FiveThirtyEight. Democrats also see promise in candidates such as Davidson, a left-leaning physician who may have a special advantage: firsthand health system experience.

Polls by Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest health care is among voters’ top concerns as midterm elections approach. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.) Of the Democratic doctors running for office, all but one are seeking House seats. In addition to the nine newcomers, there are two incumbents up for re-election. Each candidate is campaigning hard on the need to reform the health care system….Read More

FBI warns of blackmail scam targeting people with 'secrets' PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- "Let's get straight to the point," the email says. "I'm aware [redacted] is your password. Moreover, I'm aware about your secret." Nick Tella, the director of information security at Johnson and Wales University, says people across the country are receiving similar threatening emails from scam artists. "Cyber criminals are exploiting human vulnerabilities and fears through this latest email scam," Tella said. "It’s very malicious." The FBI recently issued a warning about the blackmail scam in which scammers claim they will expose affairs or

videos captured of people watching pornography. In the email Call 12 for Action obtained, the scammer said he will send an explicit video to friends, family, and colleagues of the recipient. "It’s a numbers game," Tella explained. "They put out 10,000 of those spam emails and they may have some people that are having an affair." People are falling for it because the scammer has a familiar password. "That password was obtained through the various hundreds of

thousands of data breaches that have occurred in the past. That data is for sale on the dark web, so the cyber criminals are buying it," Tella said. "Now you think this is legitimate." According to the FBI, the scammers often demand payment in bitcoin, a virtual currency that's hard to track. In the email we obtained, the sender demanded $2,600 in bitcoin. "We'll call this my confidentiality tip," the email says. In exchange, the sender promises to delete the video he

claims to have. "It's quite lucrative for them," Tella added. In reality, the scammer doesn't have access to your contact list or your the camera on your device, so don't pay up. "If you receive an email like this immediately change your password and don’t re-use them," Tella suggested. "Don’t click on something you don’t know." According to the FBI, anyone who has received a suspicious email should submit the information to the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

Trump administration proposes rolling back Obama's Clean Power Plan The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed replacing the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's regulatory efforts to combat climate change. The proposal released by the Environment Protection Agency is now open for a public comment period. A final EPA rule is expected later this year.

The effort to rewrite the plan is the latest move by the EPA under President Donald Trump, a Republican, to roll back environmental protections put in place by Obama, Trump's Democratic predecessor. EPA's proposal would grant states the ability to write their own weaker regulations for the

plants and give them the ability to seek permission to opt out of regulations on power plant emissions. Trump, who is scheduled to hold a rally on Tuesday in West Virginia, a top coal-producing state, has vowed to end what he has called "the war on coal" and boost domestic fossil fuels

production. The power plan, which was finalized by the EPA under Obama in 2015, sought to reduce emissions from power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 but never took effect. The Supreme Court put the brakes on it in 2016 after energy-producing states sued the EPA, saying it had exceeded its legal reach.

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News


Better heart health may mean lower dementia risk in older people Older adults with more ideal measures of cardiovascular health were less likely to develop dementia and experience cognitive decline. This was the main finding of a recent study now published in JAMA that followed 6,626 people aged 65 and over in France for an average of 8.5 years. It based the cardiovascular health measures on the American Heart Association (AHA) "Simple 7" guide. The guide recommends: giving up smoking; being physically active; having a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and fish; having a healthy weight; and managing blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Lead study author Dr. Cecilia Samieri, from the Université de

Bordeaux in France, and colleagues explain in their study paper that few researchers have "investigated the combined effect of these risk factors on the risk of dementia and cognitive aging." Those that have, they observe, have tended to concentrate on the first four "lifestyle" factors — namely, smoking status, physical activity, diet, and weight. 'Optimal levels' of cardiovascular health The people examined in the research lived in Bordeaux, Dijon, and Montpellier, all in France. None had dementia or a history of cardiovascular disease when they joined the study, which began recruiting in 1999.

Their average age was 73.7 years and 4,200 were women. All of the participants took repeated tests of cognitive ability during the follow-up. In addition, they underwent screening for dementia, and an independent panel of neurologists confirmed any diagnoses. At the start of the study, the scientists also assessed each individual according to how well they matched the "optimal level" of each of the seven cardiovascular health measures.  never having smoked or having quit for at least 12 months  regular physical activity, such as walking at least 8 hours per week or 4 hours per week or more of moderate-intensity

sport or leisure activity  at least one daily portion of raw vegetables, fresh fruits, and cooked fruits or vegetables and two or more servings per week of fish  a body mass index (BMI) under 25  total cholesterol under 200 milligrams per deciliter, untreated  blood pressure below 120/80 millimeters of mercury, untreated  fasting blood glucose under 100 milligrams per deciliter, untreated  At the start of the study, 36.5 percent of people were in the optimal level in 0–2 of the measures, while 57.1 percent achieved optimal levels in 3–4 measures and 6.5 percent achieved 5–7...Read More

6 Heart Attack Warning Signs  Dizziness Though most heart attacks don't make you suddenly lose consciousness, they can reduce or cut off blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart and brain, which may cause you to feel light-headed.  Upper body pain Our heart doesn't have many nerve endings, so it sometimes shares a pathway with nerves to other body parts, causing pain to radiate to the back, shoulders, arms, neck or jaw. Some women say it feels as if an elephant is sitting on their back.  Fatigue Feeling worn-out after a sleepless night or stressful day is normal. But more than half of women feel extremely tired or weak more than a month before having a heart attack, even though they haven't exerted themselves.  Sweating Unless you're going through menopause or have just exercised, breaking out into a cold sweat or perspiring excessively could signal a heart attack, which activates the nervous system.  Nausea A heart attack may cause nausea, which is twice as likely to occur in women than in men (many also feel like they're getting the flu days before a heart attack). If you have sudden and constant nausea that doesn't seem food related, take action.  Shortness of breath If workouts inexplicably seem harder, see your doctor. If you suddenly feel like you just ran up stairs and can't catch your breath when you're not doing much, or the feeling rouses you from sleep, go to the ER.

Is August Too Early to Get a Flu Shot? It’s technically still summer, yet pharmacies and schools are already telling us to line up for our flu shots. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended today that

people get their vaccines for the 201819 flu season by the end of October. In other words, two solid months from now.

The exact timing of flu season in the U.S. varies every year, but it’s typically in fullest frenzy in December, January, and February. That’s when you want to make sure

you’re best protected. “We know that antibodies peak four to six weeks after getting a vaccine and then slowly go down over the next six months,” ...Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

Medical Foster Homes for Helping Veterans and Other Ailing Adults Family-style caregiving offers an appealing alternative to nursing homes. FAMILY CAREGIVERS ARE devoted to keeping frail, older family members safe, comfortable and healthy. Foster homes have long served as community alternatives to institutions. A growing movement combines these concepts to help ailing older adults remain as independent as possible within homes headed by motivated, supported caregivers. This type of care goes by different names – adult foster care, medical foster homes, residential care homes, among

others – and details vary. If you're considering long-term care options for yourself or a loved one beyond nursing homes, you might want to include adult foster care. Here are some ways it can work. For veterans who can no longer safely live independently, the VA Medical Foster Homes Program may serve their needs. Veterans who qualify have serious, chronic disabling conditions that meet the nursing home level of care. These vets require health care coordination and increased access to VA services.

According to a VA overview, the medical foster home program "brings together a person who is willing to open their home and serve in the role of strong family caregiver" with a VA coordinator who manages the program, and a multidisciplinary home care team that provides inhome care to the veteran and training to the caregiver. The medical foster home is matched to the veteran's physical, social, emotional, supervision and safety needs. To date, 126 VA medical centers in 44 states and U.S. territories are operating or

developing medical foster homes. More than 1,000 veterans are enrolled, with about 700 caregivers who own or rent and live in these homes participating in the program. With a maximum of three residents (both veterans and nonveterans) receiving care in these homes, a therapeutic yet familial environment is possible. The small group of residents, 24/7 live-in caregiver and homecooked meals combine to create a personalized atmosphere. Residents can feel they're part of their surrounding neighborhood and community. ...Read More

Tips for dealing with rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups There are many methods for dealing with rheumatoid arthritis flares, or flare-ups, including home remedies and lifestyle changes. Flares are periods of increased disease activity during which people's arthritis symptoms, which typically include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, are more severe. People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often find that flares come and go in waves throughout their lives. The duration of flares varies from a few days to several months. The specific symptoms and their severity may also differ between people and situations.

Dealing with RA flares There are currently no medications that can cure RA or consistently prevent flares. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms, minimize inflammation, and prevent joint damage. People can try the following techniques and home remedies to relieve their symptoms when they feel an RA flare coming on: Managing flares at home Being aware of the early symptoms of flares is useful for preventing and dealing with them.  Keep a symptoms journal  Rest more  Exercise gently

 Use hot or cold packs  Make dietary changes  Try a dietary supplement  Reduce stress Medications It is possible to divide the medications that doctors usually prescribe for RA into three major groups:  Medications to treat symptoms. Ster oids, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and acetaminophen are among the medicines that can relieve the inflammation and acute pain that RA may cause.  Immunosuppressant drugs. These treatments slow the progression of RA and

prevent joint damage by halting the body's inflammatory response. They are also known as diseasemodifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).  Biologic response modifiers. These drugs are a newer generation of DMARDs, which mimic human immune molecules. Biologics inhibit the inflammatory response in a more targeted way. What does an RA flare feel like? Everyone with RA will experience flares differently, but it is common for RA symptoms to come and go in waves….Read the full article on Rheumatoid Arthritis

Meet the 'Super Agers' Who Are Out to Prove You're Only as Old as You Feel Researchers have identified a group of individuals called “super agers,” people in their 70s and 80s who have the mental or physical capability of those decades younger. Recently, high school students in San Diego witnessed several women, who could have been their grandmothers, playing each other on a basketball court. The ladies sank shots with the

same ease as players in their 20s. The so-called “super agers” are those who age much slower than their peers because they keep active physically and mentally. Marge, 79, played basketball in high school, and now finds

the game even more enjoyable. “It's much more aggressive, much more fun,” she said. The women are part of the San Diego Senior Women's Basketball Association, practicing at least twice a week and playing in games every weekend.

Jeannie, 77, hadn't played basketball for 30 years before recently joining the league. “I felt like I was 15 again,” she told Inside Edition. One woman, Linaya, 77, says basketball is her secret to staying young. “I say this is the fountain of youth,” she claimed.

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RI ARA September 2, 2018 E-Newsletter  

RI ARA September 2, 2018 E-Newsletter  

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