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Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

Highlights from the Older Adult Forum at PHMC
Wednesday. June 2, 2004

PHILADELPHIA, PA, JUNE 2, 2004 – The Community Health Data Base hosted a forum on the topic of older adults in May at Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC). Approximately 50 Members, Affiliates and friends of the Community Health Data Base gathered to learn more about current issues effecting health and social service delivery for this changing population.

The forum included an analysis of data from PHMC’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, presented by Diana Levengood, a researcher on the Community Health Data Base staff. Among the findings, 31 percent of adults 65 years of age and older in the region live alone, with some variation by county; older adults report an average of 5.4 days per month when their physical health was not good; and one out of eight seniors did not fill a prescription in the past year due to cost. The 2004 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey is due to begin fielding June 1st. As in previous years, the survey will include supplemental questions for the older adult population, which incorporates questions about use and awareness of social services, use of home health services, Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADL and IADL scales), and other special topics.

The panel, which was moderated by Siobhan Hawthorne, MBA, Marketing Associate for the Community Health Data Base, included presentations by representatives from the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA), The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Bayada Nurses. Copies of each presenter’s materials are attached.

The Forum’s first panelist, Allen Glicksman, Ph.D., PCA’s Director of Research and Evaluation, discussed PCA’s work on minority aging in Philadelphia. In addition to providing an overview of projected growth in the minority senior population (60+), Dr. Glicksman highlighted predictors of health outcomes, which included both minority status and several social capital indicators included in PHMC’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey. The Community Health Data Base will alert members to the availability of PCA’s comprehensive report on urban aging, due out from the agency within the next year.

Cathleen Shiman, CARIE’s Director of Program Development, spoke on the issue of elder abuse, including the signs to look for in detecting abuse and the options available to the abused in seeking protection. Although the abuser may be of any gender, income level, or race, in this region, the abuser is more likely to be female. Elder abuse may also occur in households where the senior’s adult child is dealing with personal issues of alcohol or substance abuse. CARIE’s efforts to bring this issue to the attention of legislature are described in the attachment, as well as information for health and social service providers on how to identify and address elder abuse.

Monique Scott, Health Insurance Specialist with the Philadelphia Regional Office of CMS, provided details about the new Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Program. The program is positioned as an interim effort to help seniors afford drugs until the new Medicare bill takes effect in 2006. While information and applications for the card are readily available online, Ms. Scott discussed the telephone customer service option for seniors with low literacy issues and limited or nonexistent access to a computer. The phone number is 1-800-MEDICARE. The PACE program has been selected by CMS to be the statewide sponsoring agency for the program.

David Roarty, Director of the Bayada Nurses PCA-N Office, brought the group’s attention to the health and homemaking needs of the homebound elderly. Audience participants were interested in the distinction between skilled and non-skilled nursing care. Mr. Roarty outlined seven ways to receive assistance in the home (see attachment) and noted that the need for in-home services frequently arises from an unanticipated crisis. Understanding the types of care available and how to find and pay for the appropriate level of in-home care, can be vital to helping a family through a difficult time.

Materials from the Forum may be accessed online at Please see the “Find Data” section and look under the “Reports” heading. To receive the Community Health Data Base’s upcoming email newsletter or information regarding upcoming events, please contact

Website Resources:

PHMC’s Community Health Data Base

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Bayada Nurses