Press Releases

 

Entries in Senior Citizens (46)

Friday
Sep252015

NH DHHS - Promotes Good Oral Health among Older Adults in Honor of National Senior Center Month

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Oral Health Program, has been

providing oral health screenings in senior centers around the State to

raise awareness of the importance of oral health for New Hampshire's older

adults.



Older adults face barriers to regular dental care due to a lack of dental

insurance, financial constraints, absence of perceived need, and

transportation issues. A recent statewide survey of older adults in senior

centers documented an unmet need for dental care among seniors living

independently in their communities, particularly among those residing in

rural areas, and those with limited incomes. Twenty-four percent of older

adults have untreated decay and sharp broken teeth.



“Because many seniors have unmet oral health needs, the Department is

promoting innovative approaches to dental care to help seniors prevent and

control tooth decay,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of the

Division Public Health Services. “Oral health is part of healthy aging; you

can’t be healthy without good oral health.”



Older adults with urgent dental needs in six selected senior centers who

have been identified by hygienists are referred to participating local

dental offices, where their treatment is paid for through funds from DHHS.

These services are especially important for older adults because poor oral

health impacts their nutritional status, social functioning, and overall

well-being. As the gateway to the body, the mouth is constantly challenged

by bacteria and viruses that cause infection and inflammation. Dental

caries (cavities) and the periodontal diseases (such as gingivitis and

periodontitis) have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,

respiratory diseases, and cancer.



The Oral Health Program received funds from the National Association of

Chronic Disease Directors to provide seniors with screening assessments,

oral health education, and referrals for treatment.



While these programs are important, funding for seniors’ dental screening

assessments ends on September 30, 2015. DHHS is raising awareness of the

issue to show the importance of sustaining the screening program and adding

on-site preventive oral health services to additional sites in the state.



For more information about screening sites or the Oral Health Program in

New Hampshire visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm.



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Tuesday
May052015

2015 Vaughan Awards Presented to NH Seniors for Outstanding Volunteer Service 

New Hampshire Seniors Honored for Their Volunteer Service



Joseph D. Vaughan Award Presented to Seniors Volunteering to Help Seniors



Concord, NH – At a ceremony held in the State House Executive Council

Chambers today, Governor Maggie Hassan was joined by New Hampshire

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas, the

State Committee on Aging (SCOA) and EngAGING NH in presenting the 2015

Joseph D. Vaughan Awards to seniors in recognition of their outstanding

volunteer efforts on behalf of fellow New Hampshire seniors.



"One of my favorite things about New Hampshire is the 'all-hands-on-deck'

spirit of our people," Governor Hassan said. "We roll up our sleeves, pitch

in and work together to improve our communities. The Vaughan Award winners

exemplify that spirit, and on behalf of all Granite Staters, I thank the

recipients for their unyielding dedication to helping their neighbors and

for service to their community."



The Awards were initiated in 1962 to memorialize the Honorable Joseph D.

Vaughan, the state legislator instrumental in creating an agency dedicated

to the health and well-being of New Hampshire’s senior citizens. They

annually recognize an individual or couple age 60 and older from each

County for their extraordinary volunteer service.



“The generosity, hard work and caring spirit of these dedicated volunteers

help seniors remain independent through important steps in a life’s

journey,” said DHHS Commissioner Toumpas. “Volunteers are truly the

backbone of life in our State. Congratulations to these terrific seniors

who are most deserving of this prestigious recognition for their unwavering

commitment to service.”



This year's recipients are:



Belknap County: Peter Cassell of Laconia

Carroll County: Richard and Alice Vierus of Center

Conway

Cheshire County: Dr. Owen Houghton of Jaffrey

Coos County: Jacqueline Gagne of Berlin

Grafton County: Kate Kelly of Bethlehem

Hillsborough County: Ernest Gould, Sr. of Hillsborough

Merrimack County: Grace Anderson of Salisbury

Rockingham County: Charlene Mitchell of Newmarket

Strafford County: Lorraine Meyer of Farmington

Sullivan County: Kathleen Crevier of Marlow





(See attached WORD document for a brief summary of each recipient’s



volunteer service.)



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Friday
Mar272015

NHDP - ICYMI: Conway Daily Sun: Senior Services Center Braces for House Republicans “Catastrophic” Budget Cuts 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Point: “The Gibson Center for Senior Services is bracing for what could be "catastrophic" reductions to state funding for its meals and transportation programs, and its executive director is spreading the word in an attempt to influence an upcoming House vote on April 1."

"...Among other programs, the Gibson Center serves congregate meals on site, provides Meals on Wheels for seniors living between Madison and Bartlett, and runs a bus service in the Mount Washington Valley... 'It's a huge deal,' said Cleveland who has run the center since 2000. 'We don't use the word 'catastrophic' lightly.'"


Click here for the full Conway Daily Sun article or see excerpts below:

The Gibson Center for Senior Services is bracing for what could be "catastrophic" reductions to state funding for its meals and transportation programs, and its executive director is spreading the word in an attempt to influence an upcoming House vote on April 1.

Executive Director George Cleveland explained on Wednesday that the center runs on a budget of about $880,000, but the New Hampshire House Finance Committee has approved cuts to social services budgets that may result in a $150,000 shortfall for the North Conway center.

Among other programs, the Gibson Center serves congregate meals on site, provides Meals on Wheels for seniors living between Madison and Bartlett, and runs a bus service in the Mount Washington Valley.

"It's a huge deal," said Cleveland who has run the center since 2000. "We don't use the word 'catastrophic' lightly."

… At midday Wednesday, Cleveland told seniors eating lunch at the center to call their local representatives and let them know the Gibson Center needs support.

… This situation is unlike anything Cleveland has seen before. "We've seen threats of (cuts) that are normally nipped in the bud early," said Cleveland.

Last year, the Gibson Center served meals to 1,003 people, said Cleveland, adding that it serves between 90 and 110 meals per day. Last year, it served a total of 57,000 meals.

… Meals on Wheels goes out to the elderly, disabled and the sick, said Cleveland, adding that for some people the delivery is the only meal they get per day. He said it's hard to say how the cuts will come down because there are some variables. For instance, the state may cut funding on a per-meal basis or they might choose some other route.

According to Cleveland, Meals on Wheels saves lives. During their deliveries, drivers sometimes encounter recipients who are hurt or incapacitated. The drivers may provide the only person-to-person interaction a recipient might have all day. Cleveland said the interactions also help ward off depression.

Click here for the full Conway Daily Sun article.

Friday
Mar132015

US Rep Guinta fighting to protect seniors from harmful Medicare cuts 

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WASHINGTON. D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Guinta joined a bipartisan coalition of House Members in sending a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt.  In the letter, the Members urged against recent payment cuts for Medicare Advantage which will go into effect in 2016.  These proposed cuts, released on February 20, will impact the health care choices and benefits of more than 16 million seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“I have long opposed these reckless cuts to Medicare that would greatly impact New Hampshire's seniors.  Year after year, seniors are forced to grapple with the dual problem of fewer medical choices and sky-rocketing costs.   This year’s cuts threaten not only the financial security of our seniors; but, also their health and well-being.  Washington cannot continue to make irresponsible choices at our senior's expense.  I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight to secure the healthcare choices and benefits of Granite State seniors.”

 

To read the letter, please click here.

Tuesday
Dec022014

NH DHHS - Do New Hampshire Seniors Have a Reason to Smile?

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Oral Health Program has

released the results of the 2014 Oral Health Survey of New Hampshire Older

Adults that are based on data collected at 25 Senior Centers and Congregate

Meal Sites in our State and the news is compelling. Altogether, 18.9% of

older adults are in need of early or urgent dental care that may be

difficult to access particularly due to financial and transportation

issues. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors funded this

survey of adults aged 60 and older and the New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly

and Adult Services (BEAS) provided funding from its Title IIID Older

Americans Act allocation for all dental treatment referrals resulting from

the survey. Altogether, 610 adults 60 years of age and older were screened;

38 of these received restorative treatment using BEAS funds.



The results of this survey provide important insights into the dental needs

of our older residents who remain active and live independently. Collected

data show that only 18.4% of older adults have some type of dental

insurance to help pay for routine dental care, 28.0% of older adults have

no functional top to bottom tooth contact, which affects proper chewing,

and 15.9% of older adults have lost all of their natural teeth, which

greatly impacts their quality of life and well being. Approximately 5.2% of

individuals with no teeth have no dentures, which interferes with eating

and daily functioning. Similarly, 25.4% of older adults have untreated

decay or root fragments, and 6.8% are in need of periodontal care. The

report reveals that there are significant geographic and socioeconomic

disparities in our State. Older residents living in rural areas and those

with lower incomes have a significantly greater unmet need for dental care.



“Oral diseases and conditions are common among our New Hampshire seniors,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “many of whom

grew up without the benefit of community water fluoridation and other

fluoride products. This survey illustrates that New Hampshire seniors with

the poorest oral health are those who are economically disadvantaged and

live in the most rural parts of our State. This is not a cosmetic issue.

Our seniors have conditions that impact their ability to eat and may impact

their overall health."



The collected data help to identify gaps in service delivery to older

adults who represent a substantial proportion of the State’s population. In

fact, the current number of New Hampshire adults 65 years old and older is

about 200,000. The Oral Health Program has received federal funding for two

new dental facilities in health centers located in rural New Hampshire.

Oral health care will be integrated into medical care for underserved rural

residents, including older adults with a greater unmet need for dental

care. A similar survey will track the progress in the future. To view the

full report, visit

http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dphs//bchs/rhpc/oral/documents/older-adults-2014.pdf