From smartphones to social media, technology is reshaping our world. For people with disabilities, advancements in technology and engineering have the potential to knock down long-standing barriers to communication, employment, and full community participation. ACL’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) works to translate that potential into real-life solutions that increase choices, opportunities, and accommodations.
For more than 30 years, NIDILRR has funded a variety of research projects at Gallaudet University — a pioneer in advancing educational opportunities and research for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. On June 25, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan and ACL Administrator Lance Robertson got an up-close look at the impact of Gallaudet’s NIDILRR-funded work at the university in Washington, DC.
NIDILRR-funded projects at Gallaudet include the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Improving the Accessibility, Usability, and Performance of Technology for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. A key principle behind Gallaudet’s work is that people who are deaf or hard of hearing should be directly involved in developing solutions to address the barriers they experience.
Ten residents slipped away from their retirement community one Sunday afternoon for a covert meeting in a grocery store cafe. They aimed to answer a taboo question: When they feel they have lived long enough, how can they carry out their own swift and peaceful death?
The seniors, who live in independent apartments at a high-end senior community near Philadelphia, showed no obvious signs of depression. They’re in their 70s and 80s and say they don’t intend to end their lives soon. But they say they want the option to take “preemptive action” before their health declines in their later years, particularly due to dementia.
More seniors are weighing the possibility of suicide, experts say, as the baby boomer generation — known for valuing autonomy and self-determination — reaches older age at a time when modern medicine can keep human bodies alive far longer than ever before.
For women, predicting when they’ll reach menopause is anyone’s guess. But if you want to get some foresight, you should ask your mother.
For most women, menopause begins at around 52. But for thousands of women it starts much later, and for some, a lot earlier. Those whose menopause starts later may also be looking at a longer life expectancy, researchers have found.
Smoking, chemotherapy and weight can affect the age when a woman’s monthly periods stop.
But family history appears to be the most important factor, according to researchers led by Harold Bae, of Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. If your mother started menopause early, odds are you will, too, the investigators found.
The National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS) has several updates on recent activities:
Technical Assistance – NCAPPS selected 15 states for the first cohort to receive technical assistance. Technical assistance recipients work with national subject matter experts toward individualized goals focused on systems change to ensure the person is at the center of service organization and delivery.
Learning Collaboratives – The Learning Collaborative activities will bring together “teams” from states, territories, and tribal government human services agencies to promote broad peer-to-peer learning and local improvement efforts.
PAL-Group Coordinator – Nicole LeBlanc will be joining the NCAPPS team as our Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership Group (PAL-Group) coordinator. Nicole is a self-advocate with deep experience in public policy. She’ll help to ensure that the PAL-Group informs and supports the direction of the efforts of NCAPPS. In addition to supporting communication with the PAL Group, Nicole will help with the development of cognitively accessible project materials and resources that reflect the experiences of people with disabilities.
Researchers reveal a marker and new testing tool of frontotemporal dementia that may help distinguish this condition from Alzheimer’s disease.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a less common form of dementia than Alzheimer’s. Sometimes called Pick’s disease or frontal lobe dementia, this condition occurs when brain cells in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, or both, become damaged.
The frontal lobes of a person’s brain are responsible for problem-solving, planning, emotional control, and behavior.
A New Jersey team of researchers has reported the successful, long-term relief of chronic refractory shoulder pain in a wheelchair user with spinal cord injury (SCI) following a single injection of autologous, micro-fragmented adipose tissue into the affected shoulder joint. The article was epublished ahead of print on May 13, 2019 by Spinal Cord Series and Cases. This is the first reported use of this intervention for shoulder pain in an individual with spinal cord injury who has failed to improve with conservative care, such as physical therapy and pharmacological agents.
The authors are Chris Cherian, MD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Gerard Malanga, MD, of the New Jersey Regenerative Institute and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, and Nathan Hogaboom, PhD, of Kessler Foundation, and Michael A. Pollack, MD, of Montclair Radiology.
Chronic shoulder pain is a common cause of functional decline among wheelchair users with SCI who rely on their upper limbs for mobility and everyday activities of daily living. When pain persists despite conservative management, current options for individuals with SCI have significant drawbacks. Corticosteroid injections offer only temporary relief and surgical interventions often require prolonged periods of recovery and have poor outcomes, which can add to the burden of disability.
The strong link between brain health and heart health is reinforced in a new study. The research showed that as cardiovascular health falters, so too does thinking and memory.
In one of the largest and longest studies of its kind to date, researchers studied a group of nearly 8,000 people in the United Kingdom. The participants were over 49 years of age and their health was tracked from 2002 to 2017.
Everyone in the study had relatively healthy hearts and brains at the beginning of the research. People with a history of stroke, heart attack, angina, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease were excluded.
AoA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative – Grants to States and Communities program announcement (HHS-2019-ACL-AOA-ADPI-0360) seeks to support and promote the development and expansion of dementia-capable home and community-based service (HCBS) systems in States and Communities.
There are two application options contained in the single funding announcement: Grants to States (Option A) and Grants to Communities (Option B).
No entity is eligible to apply for both State and Community options.
The dementia-capable systems resulting from program activities under either option are expected to provide quality, person-centered services and supports that help people living with dementia and their caregivers remain independent and safe in their communities.
New research in mice uncovers a previously unknown “pathway toward healthy aging.” A circulating protein from the blood of young mice led to health improvements and visible signs of rejuvenation when researchers gave it to aging mice.
As well as hair loss, wrinkles, and lessening mobility, less visible, underlying bodily changes also characterize the aging process.
One of these changes is the loss of a kind of “fuel” that keeps the body healthy — the so-called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).