News (blog)

This blog is a new feature for the Coalition. We hope visitors to our site will find the blog posts useful as we share information about the Coalition, provide information relating to behavioral health needs of older adults.
  • 18 Apr 2013 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    Attorney General's Office teaming with DEA for Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

    HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has joined the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement officials from across the state in support of the fifth Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

    Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said the program, scheduled for Saturday, April 27th, is an effort to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal and destruction. The service is free and anonymous.

    The last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was held on Sept. 29, 2012. On that day, law enforcement agencies in all 50 states collected more than 488,000 lbs - 244 tons - of prescription medications.

    Kane said that continuing national initiatives to collect expired or unwanted prescription drugs provide opportunities for those who may have missed previous events or who may have accumulated additional prescriptions to dispose of them safely.

    Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. In the past few years the Attorney General's Office has arrested hundreds of individuals involved with abusing or selling prescription drugs. Many of those arrested included doctors, nurses or medical professionals.

    A common misconception with prescription drug disposal is that it is safe to flush unwanted medicine down the toilet or simply throw them away. However, the options pose potential health and safety hazards.

    The Attorney General's Office encourages participation in this safe, legal and environmentally friendly way of disposing prescription medications.

    Collection sites will be available across Pennsylvania on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A complete list of local sites is available at

    Click here for a link to search for a prescription drug take-back location near you:;jsessionid=F75E57536643C416D35796ACE7795BFB?_flowExecutionKey=_c32382DFB-B71A-26F4-94D4-336D176C84D8_k067B7DD0-5F7E-2D56-3A46-5F91FDBBEF75

  • 25 Mar 2013 12:36 PM | Anonymous
    Governor Tom Corbett announced today that Pennsylvanians who need assistance paying home heating bills now have additional time, through April 26, to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly referred to as LIHEAP.
  • 08 Mar 2013 3:50 PM | Anonymous
    Re-Posted from

    The National Council on Problem Gambling has set this week (March 3-9, 2013) as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.  The theme this year is “Problem Gambling: A New Understanding of a Community Concern.”  The organization says the goal of the campaign is to “educate the general public, and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally.”

     On the group’s website, resources for problem gambling treatment can be found including:

    ·       Information about high school students and gambling

    ·       Information about college students and problem gambling

    ·       Information about older adults and problem gambling

    ·       Benefits to stopping gambling

    ·       Screening tools available

    Below are some of the podcasts, blogs, and articles featured on Addiction Professional that also provide insight and advice for this process addiction.

    Gambling: the wins, the losses and the treatment to addiction Read an article about a panel discussion amongst experts in the field of gambling addiction from around the country.

    PODCAST: Gambling addiction panel discussion (1 of 3) Listen to experts in the addiction field discuss their thoughts on the recent changes with gambling addiction in the DSM-5

    PODCAST: Gambling addiction panel discussion (2 of 3) Listen to experts in the addiction field discuss their thoughts on gambling addiction in regards to the screening and assessment process, and individual versus group therapy.

    PODCAST: Gambling addiction panel discussion (3 of 3) Listen to experts in the field of addiction from around the country discuss various topics related to gambling addiction, such as providing a financial counselor, keeping the patient busy, and specific subpopulations that are vulnerable to this addiction.

    Bringing gambling problems to light In this article, Marketing and Admissions Manager at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery stresses the importance of screening every client for gambling addiction.

    Comorbidities of problem gambling In this blog post, I discuss the fact that although gambling addiction serves as a large issue on its own, many times it’s not the only problem the client is facing.

  • 01 Mar 2013 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    In the coming months, Pennsylvania lawmakers will move on a number of proposals designed to correct the  problems that plague our nursing home industry.

    Dennis Short, Research Director with SEIU Healthcare PA will talk call participants through these legislative initiatives that take on issues of accountability, staffing, oversight and more.

    RSVP here  for the call on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:00 PM. 

  • 20 Dec 2010 4:50 PM | Anonymous

    Too often when you turn on the 6 o’clock news, you see news stories about how substance abuse plagues our youth. Teenagers and young adults arrested or even worse – our young succumbed by an addiction – like celebrities Janis Joplin or more recently - Heath Ledger.  Not very often do you hear about a senior citizen being arrested for abusing prescription drugs, alcohol or illicit drugs – but the reality is that substance abuse among the older population is a growing problem. 

    Researchers predict that by 2020, approximately 4.4 million adults over the age of 50 will have some sort of substance addiction.  These sobering statistics prove that we need to recognize the signs of substance abuse in our older population – getting them the help that they need.

    To learn more about substance abuse in our older population please visit,


  • 01 Nov 2010 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    Did you know that most Americans (young and old) do not exercise regularly?  We all know that exercise is good for your heart, but did you know it is also good for the mind?  When the body engages in physical activity, such as walking, aerobics, yoga, even daily activities such as cleaning, it provides blood flow, oxygen, and glucose to the brain – ultimately clearing the mind of toxins. So, when someone says they need to take a walk to “clear their mind” they aren’t kidding! Regular exercise can help battle depression – a common health concern for the senior citizen population. 

    Studies have also shown that senior citizens who walked regularly showed a significant improvement in memory, concentration and abstract reasoning. Exercise even cuts the risk of stroke by 57% for those who walk as little as 20 minutes a day! For more information on the benefits of exercise, go to

    Making healthy decisions now means fewer doctors visits later.

  • 04 Oct 2010 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    Memory loss that disrupts a person’s quality of life is not a typical
    part of aging. But sometimes it can be very hard to distinguish
    between forgetfulness and early-onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms. By
    recognizing and understanding the facts on Alzheimer’s, it will enable
    your loved one to get the treatment they need - providing them with a
    better quality of life.

    What is Alzheimer’s?

    Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal brain disease that affects
    nearly 5.3 million Americans. And even though so many of our older
    generation are affected by this debilitating disease, there still is
    no cure for Alzheimer’s, it is however treatable.

    Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s

    1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. (Forgetting what day it
    is, asking for the same information repetitively.)

    2. Challenges with planning or solving problems.  (Have trouble
    following a recipe or paying bills.)

    3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at
    leisure. (Having trouble finding their way to a familiar location or
    remembering rules to a favorite game.)

    4. Confusion with times and dates. (They may have trouble
    remembering where they are or how they got there.)

    5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial
    relationships. (They may have difficulty reading or judging distance.)

    6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. (They may
    stop in the middle of the conversation and have no idea how to

    7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
    (They may lose things and not be able to trace back their steps or
    accuse others of stealing from them.)

    8. Decreased or poor judgment. (They may use poor judgment when
    spending money.)

    9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. (They might begin
    to withdraw from their favorite activities or hobbies.)

    10. Changes in mood and personality. (They can become confused,
    suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.)

    And even though this is not a curable disease, the symptoms are
    treatable and can make a difference in maximizing your loved ones
    quality of life. If you notice any of these symptoms please visit your
    family doctor for a complete medical checkup! For more information
    on Alzheimer’s please visit

  • 31 Aug 2010 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    Seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs:

    • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
    • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
    • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
    • Feeling hopeless
    • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
    • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking
    • Feeling trapped - like there’s no way out
    • Increasing alcohol or drug use
    • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
    • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
    • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
    • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

    Download a Lifeline wallet card to keep with you or give out: These cards include tips on how to help or get help, and summaries of warning signs.

    What To Do if You Think a Person Is Having Suicidal Thoughts

  • 02 Aug 2010 4:59 PM | Anonymous
    As we grow older we often look forward to the “Golden Years”.

    Retirement can mean extra time to travel, spending time with family
    and enjoying hobbies. However, illness or other situations can place
    those enjoyable moments onto the back burner – leading some to feeling
    frustrated and depressed.

    Depression in older adults often times goes unrecognized and untreated
    – as a result their suicide risk is much greater.  Studies have found
    that depression is the common reason for suicide among older adults,
    creating an urgency to improving detection and treatment of depression
    to reduce the suicide risk among older adults.

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

    • The risk of depression in the elderly increases with other
      illnesses and when ability to function becomes limited. Estimates of
      major depression in older people living in the community range from
      less than 1 percent to about 5 percent, but rises to 13.5 percent in
      those who require home healthcare and to 11.5 percent in elderly
      hospital patients.
    • An estimated 5 million have subsyndromal depression,
      symptoms that fall short of meeting the full diagnostic criteria for a
    • Subsyndromal depression is especially common among older
      persons and is associated with an increased risk of developing major

    If you or a loved one needs crisis intervention please call,
    1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    For more information on depression and recognizing the signs, please

  • 26 Jul 2010 4:55 PM | Anonymous
    Welcome to our first Blog post to our new website. We have been working on revamping our website to make it more user friendly and to provide you with more information about the behavioral health needs of older adults, news about the Coalition itself, our programs and events, and ways we can help you. Please take a look around and provide us with feedback on ways we can continue to improve.

525 South 29th Street  |  Harrisburg, PA 17104  |  717-541-4219Click here to go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website

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