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Home    Advocacy    Training & Events    Programs    Resources    Join    Jan. 6, 2011
A changing of the gavel
The Washington Post    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The House and the Senate have a split personality by design, but the recent debut of the 112th Congress revealed a contrast between the chambers that could define the direction of every major debate over the next two years. The two lawmakers sworn in to lead the House and Senate are archetypes of the moment. Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is eager to deliver by repealing health care reform and making deep cuts to federal programs. Immediately after Boehner accepted the speaker's gavel from Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., now the minority leader, the House began debating changes to budget rules that would force spending reductions. More

Policy Update

US faces 'explosion of senior citizens': Will Baby Boomers strain economy?
PBS Newshour    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The start of the new year marks another milestone for the baby boom generation. The first of the estimated 79 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 will turn 65 years old this year, at a rate of 10,000 a day, according to the Pew Research Center. And there are big implications for everyone. More

Seniors may need a push to use free wellness exam
Shots Health Blog via NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer than 10 percent of seniors took advantage of the "Welcome to Medicare" physical exam paid for by Medicare, according to the government. So what does that mean for how seniors will use the new, more comprehensive preventive health exam benefits that kick in by 2011? "I don't think people will be running to do this," said Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. While she applauds the new benefit, she said seniors may not see the value without a strong recommendation from their doctor. More

Baby boomers worried about Medicare
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Anxious to receive their Medicare benefits after years of paying taxes into the system, baby boomers say they're willing to sacrifice to preserve the scope and level of coverage. Beginning January 1 the first boomers were old enough to qualify for Medicare, and a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds them worried about the future of the giant health care program that has helped their parents and grandparents live longer, healthier lives in retirement. More

Citing benefits for seniors, Senate leaders say they will block repeal efforts
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leading Senate Democrats warned that the upper chamber will block any effort to repeal the new healthcare reform law in a letter sent to Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-Ohio, recently. Pointing to a reform law provision that closes the so-called Medicare doughnut hole for prescription drugs, the senators said consumer protections included in the reform law would be eliminated if Republicans made good on their promise to repeal the reform law. More

n4a Announcements

Former n4a President Donna Harvey named to Iowa state post
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov.-elect Terry Branstad announced Donna Harvey, longtime director of the Waterloo-based Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging, will serve as head of Iowa Department on Aging in the Branstad-Reynolds administration. "As the number of older Iowans grows, the Iowa Department on Aging will need a steady hand at the wheel to guide us and I am confident Donna's leadership will provide exceptional service and advocacy for older Iowans," said Branstad. Harvey has headed HVAAA since 1987 and was a longtime n4a board member, serving as president in 2004-2006. More

Take Action Now

Easter Seals Project ACTION accepting applications for the Accessible Transportation Coalitions Initiative
Easter Seals    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Easter Seals Project ACTION will select ten communities for the 2011 Accessible Transportation Coalitions Initiative. This one-year, facilitated process helps local and regional teams of 15 to 25 leaders to improve accessible transportation options for people with disabilities. The teams often include aging and senior transportation experts, and the plans developed can support older adult transportation services. Last year's participant Monita McGhee, Director, Dallas Area Agency on Aging, said "Having expert ATCI facilitators come to us, leading our local partners through two days of strategic planning, resulted in a course of action that built upon our community's unique needs and strengths. We continue to benefit from ongoing technical assistance provided by the ATCI team." Applications are due January 31. More

Apply for the HHS 2011 Healthy Living Innovation Awards
Department of Health & Human Services    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
HHS Secretary Sebelius has announced the 2011 Healthy Living Innovation Awards — a new initiative that seeks to identify and acknowledge innovative health promotion projects that have demonstrated a significant impact on the health status of a community. The awards offer an exciting chance to recognize and foster the spread of effective health promotion efforts, specifically community-based efforts that either make use of an entirely new tool or approach or have applied existing tools in an unusual way to improve community health and well-being. Nominations will be accepted January 18 through March 1, 2011. More


Researchers helping electric-wheelchair users move more easily
Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thick gravel, mud, snow, steep ramps or hills — they might get a pedestrian a little dirty or out of breath, but to someone in an electric wheelchair, they could mean terrain that's simply too difficult to cross alone. To address this problem, researchers at the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering are working on technology that will enable electric-powered wheelchairs to detect hazardous terrain and automatically adjust their control settings to maneuver more safely. More

Research & Trends

Wanted: A national respite system
New Old Age via The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The concept of a "holiday" is an elusive one for the more than 28 million people in the United States who provide care for someone age 75 or older. A 2009 National Alliance for Caregiving/AARP study found that 88 percent of family caregivers never get a break from this full-time job. As readers here know all too well, the non-stop effort can take both a physical and emotional toll over time. More

Giving Alzheimer's patients their way, even chocolate
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Margaret Nance was, to put it mildly, a difficult case. Agitated, combative, often reluctant to eat, she would hit staff members and fellow residents at nursing homes, several of which kicked her out. But when Beatitudes nursing home agreed to an urgent plea to accept her all that changed. Disregarding typical nursing-home rules, Beatitudes allowed Ms. Nance, 96 and afflicted with Alzheimer's, to sleep, be bathed and dine whenever she wanted, even at 2 a.m. She could eat anything, too, no matter how unhealthy, including unlimited chocolate. More

Better spaces for older people
Medical News Daily    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The research project 'Older People's Use of Unfamiliar Space' (OPUS) examined the strategies used by older people to find their way in unfamiliar spaces as pedestrians and users of public transport. As part of the research, older people were shown town scenes and pedestrian routes and gave feedback on signposting, ease of navigation and general impressions. Their heart rates were measured to monitor stress levels. Participants were also taken to a town centre to walk through the same routes in person. More


DOT launches resources for Tribes and Tribal governments
Department of Transportation    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On December 17, President Obama addressed the White House Tribal Nations conference, stressing the economic benefits of growing transportation infrastructure and public transportation options in Indian Country. The value of better access by Tribes to transportation networks is echoed by the Department of Transportation and the message extends beyond jobs and commerce to access to essential services and supports important to American Indian elders. DOT recently went live with an online information resource for tribes at, which details grants to Tribes through the Department of Transportation and opportunities for peer-to-peer support and technical assistance. More

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