Connecticut’s independent living centers save money | CT Viewpoints

A 38-year-old woman with a spinal cord injury that uses a power wheelchair is able to get health insurance, the opportunity for employment and mobility with a new and improved chair and accessible apartment that lets her get out into the community.

A widower living with a mental health disability, who had fallen behind financially after losing his wife is able to get help through the CT Housing Finance Authority and stay in his home.

With the support of an advocate for the Money Follows the Person program, a young man living in a nursing facility is able to find a wheelchair accessible apartment that allows him to live in his own home in the community.

These are just three of the thousands of individuals across Connecticut who turn to the state’s Independent Living Centers each year for services that provide living skills and support their access to housing, employment, health insurance and medical care.

Source: Connecticut’s independent living centers save money | CT Viewpoints

Notice of quarterly meeting of the membership of Center for Disability Rights March 23

The winter meeting of the Membership of CDR will take place from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, March 23, 2017, at Center for Disability Rights, 369 Highland St., West Haven, CT 06516.

There will be a light supper from 6-6:30. Updates and news until 7.

A presentation “Living with Wellness,” by Christopher Chase, D.C, SoVita Chiropractic will follow.

Please call Carmen 203-934-7077 Ext. 14, or email to confirm attendance. It is important that we know who is coming so that we can plan on food.

News on the Affordable Care Act

We know there has been a lot of news around the president’s Executive Order to Repeal and Replace the ACA or Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

Here are some facts:

>Did the executive order repeal or replace the ACA?

No, it did not.  The ACA has not been repealed or replaced at this time.

>How does the executive order affect 2017 coverage?

It Does Not. The Connecticut Insurance Department assures us that plans that customers enroll in during this Open Enrollment will be honored for the entire year according to state regulation.

>Do I still need to enroll? 

Yes. The law still requires residents to have coverage.

>What happens if I don’t enroll?

You could pay a tax penalty of $695 or more, and you won’t have coverage for your healthcare needs.

>Is there financial help available?

Yes. Close to 80% of our members get financial help to pay for their coverage.

>When can I enroll?

You have until January 31, 2017 to enroll.

>How can I enroll?

  1.     Online:
  2.     Phone:  1-855-372-2428 | TTY: 1-855-789-2428 (Over 100 languages spoken)
  3.     In person: **No appointment needed**

ADA transit services subject of meeting Tuesday Sept. 27, 2016 in West Haven

Representatives from Greater New Haven Transit, Valley Transit, Milford Transit, CT Dept. of Transportation Bus System, the Center for Disability Rights and riders, will address issues related to new rules and procedures that will change the way people travel across transit districts at a meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at the offices of the Center for Disability Rights, 369 Highland St., West Haven, 06516.

Examples of travel routes that will be discussed include New Haven to Milford; Seymour (and other Valley towns) to West Haven; and New haven to Meriden.

RSVP to Charlie Smyth, 203-387-8350, or or Irene Puccino, at 203-468-4787.

Free Dental Clinic Sept. 16-17, XL Center, Hartford

The Connecticut Mission of Mercy (CTMOM) is offering a two day clinic that provides free dental care to the underserved and uninsured in CT. Oral health is inseparable from general health and can affect a person’s self-esteem, compromise their ability to work, attend school and lead a normal life. Click here for more info.

When: Friday 9/16 & Saturday 9/17. Clinic opens at 6:00 a.m.

Where: XL CENTER, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford

Gov. Malloy Announces $13 Million in Small Cities Grants to 21 Municipalities to Enhance Housing Availability, Increase Economic Development

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein today announced that nearly $13 million is being awarded to 21 municipalities in Connecticut to provide important upgrades and improvements to the state’s affordable housing stock and infrastructure.

Awarded under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Cities program, which is administered by DOH with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the grants are awarded to small towns that have a population below 50,000 residents to advance projects that develop and preserve affordable housing, provide services to the most vulnerable residents in their communities, and also create and retain jobs.

“These projects will help so many local communities increase quality of life and make our state an even more attractive place to live, work and do business,” Governor Malloy said.  “These are investments in our neighborhoods, in the people who live here, and in our economic future.”

Read more at the source here.

Heat wave hits CT. Cooling Center information is available

CT heat wave – high temperatures can be detrimental to some. Know the signs of heat related distress. Be sure your neighbors are safe, especially older adults living alone. Please get the word out – those in need of a cool place can call 211 for a list of cooling centers closest to them.

Heat wave hits CT. Cooling Center information is available.

Miguel Torres, 77, rides his electric wheelchair near a fountain at Pier A Park while escaping his hot apartment, Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Hoboken, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Miguel Torres, 77, rides his electric wheelchair near a fountain at Pier A Park while escaping his hot apartment, Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Hoboken, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat stress. Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people and communities need to be aware of who is at risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death.
  • CALL 211 TO FIND A COOLING CENTER nearest you.
  • Heat related illnesses and treatment from the Centers for Disease Control.
Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.
Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with measures that aid the body’s cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness. This pamphlet tells how you can prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems.
What Is Extreme Heat?
Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a “dome” of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.
During Hot Weather
To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Replace Salt and Minerals
Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen
Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully
If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
Pace Yourself
If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Stay Cool Indoors
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
Use a Buddy System
When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
Monitor Those at High Risk
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
  • Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
  • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
  • People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
  • People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
Adjust to the Environment
Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.
Do Not Leave Children in Cars
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open. To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver. When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
Use Common Sense
Remember to keep cool and use common sense:
  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
  • Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
  • Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
  • Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
**This information provided by NCEH’s Health Studies Branch.

Content Last Modified on 7/7/2016 2:04:02 PM

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After Scathing Federal Report, State Pledges Changes To Protect Developmentally Disabled | The Hartford Courant

Douglas Davis death in 2004 resulted in the state agreeing to pay more than $2 million for the neglectful treatment he received. The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons With Disabilities later cited the group home for neglect in Douglas’ care, finding that the center did too little to keep him safe or determine the cause of his condition.

The state says it has developed a strategy to better protect people with developmental disabilities, including computerizing injury reports, increasing staff training and monitoring the medical diagnosis and treatment of clients – actions officials hope will radically improve the detection of possible abuse and neglect.

The plan to repair Connecticut’s tattered safety net is in response to a scathing federal audit last week that revealed some group homes failed to report injuries or mischaracterized their severity, and that the Department of Developmental Services routinely missed “critical incidents” that warranted abuse or neglect investigations. Also, some hospitals failed to report injuries that should have raised a suspicion of abuse, the audit found.

Source: After Scathing Federal Report, State Pledges Changes To Protect Developmentally Disabled

Older Americans Act Reauthorized

The Older Americans Act is integral to funding programs that help those age 60 plus here in Connecticut.

HARTFORD – The State Department on Aging celebrates today. The bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act was introduced by the Senate in January of 2015 and was signed yesterday by President Barack Obama. The signing of the Act protects funding to the aging network through federal fiscal year 2018. The Act was last reauthorized in 2006.

The Act was initially signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 14, 1965. The Act provides funding for an array of services such as home delivered and congregate meals, supports for caregivers, advocacy for nursing home residents and healthy aging programs to name a few.

Commissioner Elizabeth Ritter says, “On behalf of the State Department on Aging, we extend our appreciation to members of Congress for passing this vital piece of legislation to help secure the supports and services that assist our aging population to remain in the community. Connecticut is aging and in these uncertain fiscal times it’s comforting to know that these funds are secured. The reauthorization provisions modernize the Act and promote state flexibility in ways that will be very helpful to us in our state.”

Read all the latest news from the State Department on Aging here

Beautiful minds, wasted: How not to squander the potential of autistic people | The Economist

IN AMERICA in 1970 one child in 14,000 was reckoned to be autistic. The current estimate is one in 68—or one in 42 among boys. Similarly high numbers can be found in other rich countries: a study in South Korea found that one in 38 children was affected. Autism is a brain condition associated with poor social skills. It has a wide spectrum of symptoms, from obsessive behavior to hypersensitivity to sound, light or other sensory stimulation, the severity of which ranges from mild to life-blighting. The range of consequences is also wide. At one end, the autism of a computer scientist may be barely noticeable; at the other, a quarter of autistic children do not speak.

Autism is a condition that defies simple generalizations. Except one: the potential of far too many autistic people is being squandered. Although around half of those with autism are of average intelligence or above, they do far worse than they should at school and at work. In France, almost 90% of autistic children attend primary school, but only 1% make it to high school. Figures from America, which works harder to include autistic pupils, suggest that less than half graduate from high school. In Britain, only 12% of higher-functioning autistic adults work full time. Globally, the United Nations reckons that 80% of those with autism are not in the workforce.

Read more of this article here: Beautiful minds, wasted