Meals on Wheels America to Expand Mobile App-Based Health and Safety Monitoring Program to Reach 40,000 Homebound Seniors Across Country

ARLINGTON, Va and SAN DIEGO, June 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Meals on Wheels America is expanding a successful research program showing how Meals on Wheels drivers can use a mobile app to alert care coordinators about observed changes in homebound meal clients’ physical or mental health, social needs or home environment. The program ” developed with the West Health Institute and the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research ” will grow to include up to 30 Meals on Wheels sites across the country, helping ensure the wellness of an estimated 40,000 seniors.

As part of Meals on Wheels’ “more than just a meal” service model, staff and volunteer drivers deliver meals and visit clients in their homes regularly. They not only get to know their clients well through these visits; they may also be the only person some clients see in a given day. Collectively, this nutritious meal, friendly visit, and routine check-in help address three of the biggest threats to successful aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. By setting up drivers who know their clients with this app-based monitoring program, they are able to quickly and proactively notify Meals on Wheels care coordinators about any health or safety issues among their clients, facilitating connections with additional services and supports.

“When Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers are equipped with simple, yet effective screening tools while on their deliveries, they’re better able to react to changing conditions in seniors’ physical and mental state or environment before a particularly harmful health event occurs,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “This ability to respond in close to real-time can ultimately contribute to more agile coordination across medical and community-based service providers, improving outcomes and reducing costs.”

The expansion of this app-based alert and response program includes the following Meals on Wheels locations, and will continue through 2020:

A pilot of the alert and response program at two sites ” Meals on Wheels San Diego County and Meals on Wheels Guernsey County, Ohio ” demonstrated that Meals on Wheels drivers can effectively use an app called “Mobile Meals,” part of Accessible Solutions, Inc.’s ServTracker software, to send an alert to a care coordinator at the Meals on Wheels program about any changes in the health, safety or well-being of their home-delivered meal clients identified during a routine delivery. The care coordinator then responded by following up with the client to address their needs and refer them to appropriate health or social services as necessary. Within the two pilot sites, this alert and response program was tested across approximately 20 meal delivery routes serving nearly 900 clients.

“By collaborating with Meals on Wheels America, we’ve developed a safe, cost-effective and scalable program to preemptively identify and address concerns that too often result in deterioration of a senior’s medical condition or pose a major safety risk,” said Dr. Zia Agha, chief medical officer at West Health. “We’re excited learnings from this research program are now being implemented across the country within Meals on Wheels America’s expanded program that will positively impact as many seniors as possible.”

About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at and follow @westhealth.

About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit

SOURCE West Health; Meals on Wheels America

(StatePoint) When visiting one of the stunningly diverse 419 national park sites nationwide, experts say it is important to recognize the individuals who have spoken up over the decades to protect and enhance these incredible places, as well as the work that is still needed.

“It’s difficult to imagine what the U.S. would be like without the Grand Canyon or the Great Smoky Mountains or the Statue of Liberty. National parks offer more than hiking paths, beachfronts and mountaintops,” says Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). “We find a sense of identity and inspiration in these treasured places. They speak to who we are as Americans.”

Additionally, national parks offer veterans, active-duty members and their families places of solace, healing, and reflection, while honoring their service. More than a quarter of our national park sites commemorate military history, from Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to places such as Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, where Buffalo Soldiers were the first park rangers.

National parks don’t exist as they do today by accident. Today, Florida Panthers still roam in Florida’s Everglades; hikers in Joshua Tree don’t gaze at what would have been the country’s largest landfill; and the country’s diverse and shared history is celebrated in national parks, from Cesar Chavez to Birmingham to Stonewall, thanks to the work of conservationists, including NPCA.

For 100 years, NPCA has served as a fearless defender of national parks. The idea for NPCA came at the urging of the first National Park Service director, Stephen Mather and his colleague, Robert Sterling Yard, who believed that national parks needed a voice, separate from the federal government, whose sole responsibility was to protect and enhance them for present and future generations.

“The earliest park advocates shared a goal that lives on today, of ensuring the wonder of these places is preserved,” says Pierno. Each of us serves as beneficiaries of their vision and action. Now it’s our turn to ensure that 100 years from now, people will still be able to watch Old Faithful erupt at Yellowstone, learn about the history of our democracy at Independence Hall and stand in amazement as brown bears wade into Brooks Falls searching for fish at Katmai in Alaska.”

Unfortunately, national parks continue to face threats, including pollution that is harming their air and water, climate change, energy development, inadequate federal funding and a list of repair needs that is nearly $12 billion across the entire National Park System. Experts say that parks are also threatened by attempts to derail policies and laws meant to protect these treasured places — from carving up national monuments for development to fast-tracking oil and gas leasing in and near some of America’s last truly wild places. To learn more, visit

“We need our national parks, and they need us to stand up and be a voice,” says Pierno.

There’s more to managing your money than paying your bills and successfully avoiding overdraft charges (although those are definitely steps in the right direction). Effectively managing your money takes time and planning, but the payoff may be a stronger financial future.

Create a budget. Some people avoid making a monthly budget because they think they don’t need one. However, having a clear idea of the money coming in and going out of your bank account each month can help you make better spending decisions. A budget doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your monthly income and expenses. Be sure to consider long-term debt, like student loans, and treat your savings account as a payee you owe each month.

Track your spending. In a similar vein, it’s a good idea to see where your non-bill-related spending goes. For example, you may stop by the grocery store more frequently than you realize, and each of those trips is likely going to cost you more than if you limited it to just once or twice a week. Many banks and credit institutions offer charts and graphs that break down your spending so you can see exactly where your money is going and use that information to make adjustments.

Research big purchases. What constitutes “big” may vary depending on your circumstances and financial status, but regardless of the dollar amount, doing some due diligence before purchases is a good idea. The average millennial will do 4.6 hours of research before buying a big-ticket item like a mattress or car, according to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Firm.

Millennials are also likely to seek input from others, with one in five consulting four or more people for their opinions on a purchase.

“Doing research before making a big purchase can make all the difference,” said Timothy Mayes, Mattress Firm’s senior manager of eCommerce merchandising. “There are several resources available such as online reviews, blogs and even guides on the best time to buy that can help save you money on larger purchases. If you find yourself overwhelmed with too many options, recommendations from friends and family are the best resources to help you narrow down your choices.”

Prepare for emergencies. If a single unexpected event would cripple you financially, it’s a good idea to build an emergency fund that could help you weather through a storm. A job loss, accident or illness would substantially alter your income, expenses or both, so having at least a few months of salary stashed in savings could make a major difference in how long that unfortunate scenario affects your life.

Finance purchases responsibly. Building credit takes time and responsibility, but if you don’t ever borrow money, you won’t have a chance to earn the rates reserved for exceptional credit holders. Financing a moderately sized purchase, such as a mattress, is a good starting point. It may be out of reach for a cash payment, but the balance you carry could be paid in a reasonably short timeframe. To build good credit, always make payments on time and make monthly payments larger than the minimum payment – which is usually just the interest – so you’re actually paying down the principal.

Following these tips and taking advantage of product sites that offer resources and information on a potential purchase may aid in your long-term financial health. Find more information at (Family Features)

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Source: Mattress Firm

As the saleswoman took Susan Lucci’s purchases to be wrapped, the actress felt it again ” a tightening in her chest that radiated around her ribcage.

She’d felt something similar twice in recent weeks. Both had been mild enough to dismiss.

This time, Lucci described it as “an elephant pressing on my chest.” Using that phrase reminded her of a woman saying the same thing when describing the start of her heart attack.

“Is that what’s happening?” she wondered.

Lucci had good reason to wonder.

At 71, she was in such remarkable shape that in recent months Harper’s Bazaar hailed her as “hotter than ever” and Women’s Health called her a “fitness badass,” a nod to her nearly daily Pilates regimen. Good health also runs in her family; her mom is 101 and still going strong. And, as Lucci stood in that boutique, the only times she’d ever been hospitalized were to give birth to her two children.

Now she was on her way again.

Doctors found blockages clogging nearly 90 percent of the artery that supplies most of the blood to her heart and 75 percent of another artery. A heart attack is a full blockage, so she avoided that. Still, she needed an emergency procedure to insert a stent into each damaged artery.

Thanks to her willingness to seek immediate care, Lucci avoided a potentially fatal result.

Thanks to her healthy lifestyle, she left the hospital the next day ” and performed on stage two days after that.

And thanks to the fame she accumulated as Erica Kane on “All My Children,” Lucci hopes her story can help others. Just like a survivor’s voice spurred her into action, Lucci is encouraging everyone to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and to understand the importance of taking them seriously.

“Nobody has to die of a heart attack,” she said. “You just have to listen to your symptoms and act on them.”

Warning signs can be different for men and women. They can vary from person to person.

The most common is pain or discomfort in the chest; lightheadedness; nausea or vomiting; pain radiating in the jaw or neck; discomfort or pain in the arm or shoulder; and shortness of breath.

The form they take doesn’t matter, said Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, the head of cardiology at St. Francis Hospital on Long Island and Lucci’s cardiologist.

What matters, he said, is acknowledging them.

With the warning signs of a heart problem, the only decision should be which phone you use to call 911, he said.

Sometimes people wonder whether they’re having a heart problem. Maybe it’s indigestion or a pulled muscle. Once the pain subsides, they think it’s resolved. Shlofmitz recommends putting the symptoms to a three-prong test:

Did they flare during exertion (which can be as minimal as shopping)?

Did they go away at rest?

Have they occurred more than once?

If the answer to all three is yes, call 911.

“The heart doesn’t fix itself,” he said.

Lucci wants her message to resonate with women, especially since learning that heart disease is their No. 1 killer, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined.

“We’re not on our own to-do list,” she said. “We are nurturing others. That’s what we do, and we have places to go and people to see, and we don’t think we can fit (caring for ourselves) into our schedules.”

She knows women fear overreacting or being a burden because both of those thoughts crossed her mind. She especially lamented “taking this wonderful doctor’s time away from someone who really needed him.” (As it turned out, Shlofmitz said he sees people in her dire state “probably 2 percent of the time.”)

A recent study backs that up. Researchers in Europe found that women having a heart attack wait about 37 minutes longer than men before calling for medical help.

Ten years ago, Lucci walked the runway in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection fashion show as a celebrity model. On Thursday night, she’ll walk the runway again ” as a survivor.

Lucci made that connection for the first time during an interview with American Heart Association News. Her eyelids fluttered, appearing to blink away tears. With a smile stretched wide, she said, “There’s so much gratitude in being a survivor.”

Preventing heart disease is always best, but Lucci’s story shows that sometimes it’s inevitable.

“I would like women to pay attention to the symptoms that they’re feeling ” to be in touch with their bodies and to act on those symptoms,” she said. “If you think something needs medical attention, pay attention and go to the doctor.”

Source: American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email

Couples who have shared their lives for decades usually think they’ve long since resolved their differences.  However, it’s not uncommon for older couples to face the threat of an unwanted separation in later years because of varying health needs. 

Belmont Village Senior Living provides seniors, especially couples, the opportunity to age successfully together by providing a supportive environment and enriching programs for a variety of care levels. The company is a recognized leader in interpreting University-led research into therapeutic programs, offering a whole brain fitness lifestyle that engages people at all activity and cognitive levels. From MBA® (Mind, Body, Awareness), a self-directed program for independent residents who want to stay active and maintain mental acuity, to Circle of Friends®, a dedicated, seven-day-a-week program for residents with mild to moderate memory impairment, to the more tailored care plans for residents with late-stage memory loss, Belmont’s tiered approach allows both partners to interact with their peers socially and maintain their own mental and physical fitness in ways that are appropriate to each partner’s needs.

“Cognitive issues such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) are particularly challenging for couples, especially as one partner steps into the caregiving role.  Often the affected partner still functions well in other ways but needs a higher level of support than even they may realize. This creates stress for both partners that can make time together difficult and time apart worrisome,” said Beverly Sanborn, Belmont Village Vice President of Program Development. “In those situations, we’ve seen that our Circle of Friends program helps to give them back their personal space in a way that alleviates guilt, fear, and very real physical and emotional strain, allowing the couple to better enjoy time spent together.”

At every tier, Belmont Village provides daily activities that offer engagement and socialization. Professionally trained memory coordinators and activity assistants work with each resident to create a personal, “just right” cognitive challenge, which research shows can help to build cognitive reserve in the brain to keep the mind active, longer, when combined with a healthy diet and an exercise regimen that includes a combination of aerobic and strength-training. And because Belmont Village buildings are licensed throughout to the highest level of care, couples with differing care needs can continue to live together and stay together, even if care needs change.

With 28 locations nationwide and 13 in California, Belmont Village offers unprecedented senior living,

maintaining the highest standards since 1997. Belmont Village designs, builds, owns and operates every community. Each community features a signature blend of hospitality and amenities combined with premier health and wellness programs. Residents have everything they need to thrive ” professionally managed fitness center with therapy services, a licensed nurse and well-trained staff on-site 24/7, and a vibrant social calendar. Hospitality and amenities will include chef-prepared meals, concierge services, an outdoor heated swimming pool, screening room, and a full-service salon. For more information, visit

(BPT) – Is planning the perfect family vacation on your to-do list?

If you’re looking to leave your same-old, same-old behind to travel and explore someplace new and exciting, Myrtle Beach can be that area for you and your family. With a variety of attractions, it’s great for groups or quiet romantic getaways. Here are four reasons Myrtle Beach delivers immediate fun and long-lasting memories.

Start planning today

There’s no time like the present to start planning your vacation. Explore somewhere new and exciting this year. To learn more about what you can see and do in Myrtle Beach, visit

Though Tax Day happens every year, it still seems to take many Americans by surprise. This year, don’t miss the deadline or let this crucial to-do loom large over your head.

To have a smooth tax season, consider the following:

This year, have a fuss-free tax season. With a little planning, you can file your taxes efficiently, without headache and at the greatest benefit to your finances.

SOURCE: (StatePoint)

PHOTO SOURCE: (c) pure-life-pictures /

AARP Arizona Collaborates with Gold Canyon Heart and Home to Support Mike Fagan’s Hiking Journey

Gold Canyon Heart and Home (GCHH) announced today the monumental attempt of 71-year-old Mike Fagan to hike the Triple Crown Trail in one season. The 7,900 mile Triple Crown includes the three longest trails in the United States: The Appalachian Trail (2,184 miles), the Pacific Crest Trail (2,654) and the Continental Divide Trail (3,100).

The “I Hike With Mike” project is meant to involve as many 50+ year old individuals as possible in the support and successful completion of this mission. “One person hiking the Triple Crown can inspire thousands. One person hiking the Triple Crown with the support and active participation of others in their age group creates the opportunity to inspire millions.”

Michael Fagan is an expert in fitness, wellness, nutrition, and most health-related fields. He has hiked all over the world in some of the harshest environments. He owns a Health Food store, called Montana Harvest Natural Foods in Billings, MT that focuses on the health and education of its customers rather than just selling products. He also has a radio show, “Let’s Stay Healthy” on News Talk 730.

The Triple Crown Trail Project is one hiker achieving a monumental goal and will video all three trails using a mosaic approach including volunteers who will hike along his attempt. This project embodies the paradigm that age is just a number, and that aging can be just another part of the way we manage our health. Michael Fagan will complete the Triple Crown Trail Project in one calendar year at 71 years of age. The intention is to involve as many 50+ year old individuals as possible in the support and successful completion of this mission. “One person hiking the Triple Crown can inspire thousands. One person hiking the Triple Crown with the support and active participation of others in their age group creates the opportunity to inspire millions,” said Joe Chiappetta, Executive Director of Gold Canyon Heart and Home. GCHH, an Arizona 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is sponsoring this project for Michael Fagan as part of its Senior Outreach and Support Initiatives.

Gold Canyon Heart and Home has entered a collaboration agreement with AARP Arizona to help promote and communicate Mike Fagan’s feat across 22 states. AARP was approached given their work in Age Disrupting. “We sincerely hope many of our AARP members get inspired to live their lives to the max and make it a purpose to stay active as we age. Mike should be viewed as an inspiration for all, no matter how old we are. Age is just a number and shouldn’t define or limit us,” said Dana Marie Kennedy, AARP Arizona State Director. To learn more about AARP’s Disrupt Aging ( #DisruptAging), please visit

Mike will begin his endeavor on February 5th, 2019 in Springer Mountain Georgia and hopes to be finished sometime in the Fall on 2019 in New Mexico. To learn more about Mike Fagan and the Triple Crown Project, please visit
About Mike Fagan

Mike Fagan is an Arizona resident from Clarksdale and a part-time resident in Montana. Mike is an expert in fitness, wellness, nutrition, and most health-related fields. He has hiked all over the world in some of the harshest environments. He owns a Health Food store, called Montana Harvest Natural Foods in Billings, MT and has a local radio show, “Let’s Stay Healthy” on News Talk 730 that supports healthy eating and activities while focusing on the education of its customers rather than just selling them products.
About Gold Canyon Heart and Home

GCHH is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based out of Mesa AZ that focuses on developing community betterment projects. We specialize in Mentorship, Sponsorship, and Peer-to-Peer support. We utilize proven techniques that aid almost any individual or community cause in need of assistance. Gold Canyon Heart & Home (GCHH) was founded by a group of mentors, sponsors, and peer-to-peer educators from every walk of life and from every age group, vocation, profession, and demographics. GCHH personnel are carefully selected for their unique and diverse background. Staff included teachers, former military and government employees, entrepreneurs from various industries, experts in information technology, published authors, photographers, licensed contractors and more

When most people plan a trip, the focus is on the purpose of the journey, whether it’s a work-related jaunt or a vacation with loved ones. Researching and organizing travel for an upcoming trip is important, but so is finding the perfect place to make your journey easier, more productive and successful.

Proximity will almost always be a factor in selecting the right hotel, but the travel experts at Hyatt Place recommend paying special attention to a few essential details that can make an impact on your overall travel and hotel experience.

Guest-centered accommodations. It’s often the little things that make the biggest impact when you’re traveling far from home. Keep the core purpose of your trip in mind as you explore hotel accommodations, and look for those that are most thoughtfully designed around your needs. Seek out hotel options that can make it easier for guests to blur the lines between business and leisure travel with dedicated spaces to work, sleep and play and features like comfy sectional sofas, separate sleeping and living areas, and contemporary bathrooms.

Better basics. Waking well rested after a long night is a start, but an exceptional breakfast experience can make your day even better. As part of its upgraded breakfast buffet, Hyatt Place hotels across the U.S. now feature regional recipes. For example, hotels in the South feature a turkey sausage and pimento biscuit sandwich, and hotels in the Atlantic region feature cinnamon French toast with apple butter. In addition to five regional offerings, hotel guests will find an expanded breakfast buffet featuring cage-free scrambled and hard-boiled eggs, all-natural bacon and sausage, Greek yogurt, fresh-cut fruit, steel-cut oatmeal, a rosemary-garlic potato medley, and artisanal breads.

Lifestyle options. Whether you want to relax with your morning paper or mix and mingle following a day’s work, it can be liberating to know you have options outside your hotel room. No matter the time of day, public areas, like a spacious lobby and lounge, 24-hour fitness center or indoor or outdoor pool, can provide a chance to enjoy new scenery.

Convenient amenities. Many hotels offer the basics, but with an option like Hyatt Place hotels, amenities are purposeful, making your trip as productive and seamless as possible. From free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and guestrooms to a business center with remote printing and freshly prepared food offerings available throughout the day, guests’ travel and dining needs are covered.

Thoughtful service. It goes without saying that quality customer care is an expectation for any stay, but there are some hotels that take service to an extra level. The front desk staff is often the best trained, but it’s pretty simple to spot a hotel that puts a real emphasis on the guest experience. Checking in feels more like a welcome than a process with hosts offering a friendly smile, a greeting in the hallway or a friendly conversation. If you’re traveling to a new city, try reading reviews to get a sense for a hotel’s approach to guest services.

Start planning your next trip at and discover why you’ll never have to settle.

Sources: (Family Features)

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