Posts tagged ‘Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’

PCA’s 2012 Regional Conference — Registration Now Open

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, in collaboration with the surrounding suburban Area Agencies on Aging, is offering a cutting-edge program and continuing education for professionals who work with older adults. Nationally and locally recognized content experts will present relevant, practical and current information that will be immediately beneficial to anyone working in the aging arena.

October 1-4, 2012

Free parking, lunchtime presentations and resources!

Who should attend?
All professionals who work with older adults and their families and those in related professions will benefit from attending the East Coast Conference on Aging.

Continuing Education Credits
Continuing education credits (CEUs) are available for specific sessions for Social Workers and Nurses. If you are not sure whether your licensing organization will accept conference CEUs, please contact them for clarification.

Conference Brochure [pdf file]


Ben Cohen’s “Lakeside” Is Signature Artwork for PCA’s 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging”

ImageAsked how long he’s been painting, artist Benjamin (Ben) Cohen, 88, replies, “I guess forever.” Cohen’s painting, “Lakeside,” an idyllic scene of a lakeside house with autumnal trees in the background, is the signature artwork for Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) 10th annual senior arts festival “Celebrate Arts and Aging”   It will be on exhibit during May at Independence Visitor Center in the city’s historic district and featured on posters, mailings, and electronic media publicizing the citywide celebration.

“My philosophy is that art should be uplifting and thought-provoking and may allow for quite a smile.  There is enough horror and aggravation going on nowadays. If I can make someone smile, I want to do that,” the artist says.

“Lakeside” was inspired by the one of the many outings Cohen has enjoyed with the Rancocas Valley Plein Air painters, a group of more than 30 local artists, who visit a different outdoor site to paint each week, weather permitting. “I bring my backpack with a bunch of pastels and sit and relax and paint,” Cohen explains.”People will see me and ask: ‘Are you an artist?’”

Cohen’s talent was noticed early on. The son of an iceman and a homemaker, he grew up in New York City’s Lower East Side, and attended the Henry Street Settlement, a social service agency there dedicated to “opening the doors of opportunity” to residents in the community through social services, arts, and health care programs. “They were very interested in keeping kids on the right path,” he remembers. “They thought I had talent and sent me to a life-study art class. But at nine years old, I was too embarrassed to look at the [nude] model.”

Ben CohenCohen later studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on the GI bill, after serving in the U.S. army in World War II.

He fought in many of the war’s most famous battles, including the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Metz in France that followed the Normandy landings. Earlier this spring, during a special ceremony at the French consulate in New York City, he was one of 18 U.S. veterans presented with the Legion of Honor Chevalier for their services in the liberation of France during World War II.

“War taught me to face reality,” Cohen reflects. “I try to follow my instincts. When I do something, I don’t look back.” That goes for painting too, he says. “When I paint a nose, it’s really a nose, not just a metaphor or a philosophical statement.”

Cohen graduated Pratt with a degree in industrial design and spent 50 years as a commercial artist, designing everything from toys and sweaters to catalogues and displays. It often meant working around the clock. While those demands left little time for fine art pursuits, he squeezed in what time he could to paint in the pastel medium he favors.

After such a demanding work schedule, “I was a little leery about retiring,” he admits of that decision 10 years ago. “I thought, ‘I’ll go crazy. What will I do?’”

The answer came quickly enough. Tuesdays are spent with his fellow plein air painters. On Thursdays, he attends a class at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, where he has helped to organize exhibitions. He taught at the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Fleisher Art Memorial and currently teaches at the Willingboro Art Alliance near his Cinnaminson, New Jersey home. Most of all, life these days is centered on his home studio, “where I still work around the clock. It’s still a crazy, busy schedule.” His expressive landscapes and figure paintings have found homes in many private, corporate and public collections.

In September, the Home Fine Art Gallery in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, will open an exhibition of his work entitled “The Flip Side.” One of these artworks features Santa Claus sitting in front of a window and eyeing the raging snow and ice storm outside. “I titled it ‘I Ain’t Going Out in That,’” the artist says with a laugh.

Cohen now manages to fit in a few hobbies, including gardening. “It’s one of my passions because it’s so relaxing,” he says. “I can dig in the garden and forget the world around me. Art, when it’s on a serious level, is not overly relaxing because you are never satisfied with what you do.”

“Lakeside” will be on exhibit through May at Independence Visitor Center, 1 Independence Mall West, in Philadelphia.

For more information on this exhibit and other PCA “Celebrate Arts and Aging” exhibits and cultural opportunities this month, visit

By Marcia Z. Siegal
Source: Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Call for Artists 55+ for PCA’s Celebrate Arts and Aging

Original artwork by Marie RicciutiSubmissions Sought from Artists 55+ for 

PCA’s 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging” Exhibits 


Artists age 55 and over are invited to submit artwork for exhibit as part of the 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging” festivities during Older Americans Month in May. Presented by Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, and supported in part by PECO, “Celebrate Arts and Aging” highlights older adults’ artistic talents and creativity with events held throughout the city during May. In addition, it offers older adults a host of opportunities to connect to arts activities that month, including discounts for many arts performances, museums and other cultural venues.

This is the 10th year for the celebration. Senior artwork will be exhibited at four sites this year, including Center on the Hill…the place for active adults in Chestnut Hill; the Klein JCC in Northeast Philadelphia; Independence Visitors Center in Old City; and Philadelphia Senior Center in Center City.

Photo or slides of artwork, accompanied by an art submission form, should be sent to Amanda Buonomo, PCA special events manager, at PCA, 642 North Broad St., Phila., PA 19130 by Wednesday, March 28. Artwork must have been created during the past three years. There is a limit of one submission per applicant. For more information on art submission criteria and an application to exhibit, visit, call 215-765- 9000, ext. 5052, or email

Register! Lawton Conference – March 26, 2012

Conference on Urban Aging and Award Luncheon - Aging in the Community: Three Models

Local and national experts will compare and contrast:

  • Villages
  • Age-friendly Initiatives
  • Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs)

Topics will include how they work; who they serve; strengths and weaknesses;
funding issues; and their impact on aging services and on neighborhoods.

Fredda VladeckThe 2012 Lawton Award will be presented to Fredda Vladeck, founding director of the first Naturally Occuring Retirement Community supportive service program (NORC) in 1986.  She is now Director of the Aging in Place Initiative of the United Hospital Fund, in New York.


Loews Hotel
1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA

Registration fee of $50 includes Award Luncheon
Social work CEUs will be offered
For more information, call 215-765-9000 ext 5063, or email:

Photo Credits: Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

September 2011 marks the 10-year Anniversary of PCA’s Helpline

Since its creation, the Helpline has taken more than one million calls!

The PCA Helpline is an extensive telephone information and referral service that connects callers with programs, services and resources available to Philadelphia residents who are age 60 and over, or who are age 18 and over living with disabilities. 

The PCA Helpline is the point of intake for four of PCA’s service areas; Care at Home, Housing, Attendant Transportation and Protective Services.  An Intake Specialist receives information over the telephone or through the mail concerning a person in need of services.  This information is passed on to the appropriate department at PCA.  In the case of Care at Home services, an appointment for an in-home assessment is scheduled.  Languages spoken by staff include English, Spanish, and Russian.  PCA utilizes the Language Line to accommodate any linguistic needs not addressed by bilingual staff or the following dedicated foreign-language lines.  No fee for services provided through the Helpline.

Helpline Fun Facts

  • Helpline is open 8:30am-5:00pm Mon-Friday
  • Helpline completes intakes for all Long Term Care programs plus, Older Protective Services, Housing, Attendant Transportation and BRAVO Health applications.
  • 23 Helpline Intake Workers scheduled assessments for more than 80 AW’s and process program change paperwork for 192 CM’s
  • Emergency Fund requests from PCA staff and city wide agencies are processed by Helpline.
  • The Helpline can accommodate ANY language that calls.
  • Helpline assists the Philadelphia community with special programs such as Food Vouchers and Flu Shoot Programs.
  • Helpline seconds as the Heatline when the National Weather Service calls an Heat Emergency, at that time the Helpline/Heatline can operate up to 7 days per week and can stay open until midnight.


PCA Heatline – Helps 1,300+ Callers


The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) Heatline received 1, 326 calls from Philadelphia residents during the three activations that have taken place so far this year. Of those, 111 callers were referred to nurses from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health who were stationed at the site.  Nurses dispatched the city mobile health team to intervene in one case and called 9-1-1 for emergency assistance on behalf of two other callers.

“We believe – and statistics show – that we are helping to save lives by providing this service,” says Chris Gallagher, director of the PCA Helpline Call Center — 215-765-9040 — which becomes the city’s Heatline during a potentially dangerous heat wave.

The PCA Heatline was created in 1993, following a heat wave the previous year that claimed 118 lives. It is a collaboration between PCA and Philadelphia’s Health Department, and has been recognized as a model nationwide.

Trained staff members from PCA are available to counsel callers with tips to prevent heat stress and suggest air-conditioned locations where they can go. Callers with medical concerns are referred to city Public Health Department nurses.

Activations are triggered when the National Weather Service declares an “Excessive Heat Warning for Philadelphia.” The latest activation began Wednesday, July 20 and ended on Sunday, July 24.  The HEATLINE was previously activated this year from June 8 to 9 and from May 31 to June 1 – its earliest activation ever.

The elderly; individuals with chronic medical conditions; those on medication; homebound individuals; and persons who live alone and receive few visitors are encouraged to call the Heatline for advice on coping with the heat. In addition, callers may contact the Heatline on behalf of another individual who may be at risk for heat stress.


Philadelphia – As a result of the National Weather Service’s declaration of an “Excessive Heat Warning,” Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) will extend operation of  its HEATLINE until  8PM  on Saturday, July 23.   Hours of operation are as follows:

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, Noon to  Midnight
THURSDAY JULY 21, 8:30AM to Midnight
FRIDAY, JULY 22, 8:30AM to Midnight
SATURDAY, JULY 23, 8:30AM to 8PM

 The HEATLINE is a joint effort between PCA and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to prevent heat-related deaths and help citizens stay safe in extreme heat. Across the country, heat is known to cause more deaths each year than all other natural disasters combined.

At the HEATLINE call center, trained staff counsel callers of all ages with tips on dealing with the heat and detecting signs of heat stress.  City Health Department Nurses are on site at the HEATLINE call center to speak with callers about medical problems related to the heat. Mobile teams from the Health Department will be dispatched if a situation requires intervention, and 911 will be called for emergencies.

Neighbors, friends, and relatives are urged to look in on elderly persons, as they may be especially vulnerable to the heat. The elderly, individuals with chronic medical conditions, those on medication, and persons who live alone and receive few visitors are encouraged to call PCA’s HEATLINE for advice on coping with the heat. In addition, callers may contact PCA’s HEATLINE on behalf of another individual who may be at risk for heat stress.

“When it gets this hot and temperatures outdoors are in the 90s, many homes can have indoor temperatures that reach 100 degrees of higher. This is extremely dangerous, especially for the homebound,” said Gallagher.

PCA’s HEATLINE is a non-emergency telephone service. IT IS NOT A FAN OR AIR CONDITIONER DISTRIBUTION SITE.  PCA’s HEATLINE staff can provide information about recommended air-conditioned locations and year-round senior services.


  Philadelphia Corporation for Aging  

Offers Warning Signs of Heat Stress, Tips to Stay Cool

When you’re feeling the heat, this information could be a lifesaver.

Sharon Congleton, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) Health Promotion Nurse Supervisor, says that senior citizens, young children and people with chronic health conditions are at a greater risk heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion or heat stress.

“It is important for older adults to understand the dangers and potential complications that can occur from being exposed to severe heat. Older adults also need to know what they can do to prevent heat stress from occurring,” she said.

Following are hot weather safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and PCA’s Sharon Congleton:

Know when to ask for help.  Symptoms of heat stress can include: loss of energy, loss of appetite, upset stomach, lightheadedness, prickly heat, heat cramps, heavy sweating, thirst, feeling faint, giddiness, confusion and/or nausea.  If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these symptoms, move to a cool location and rest.  Drink more fluids and remove any excess clothing.  Call 911, if symptoms include any of the following:  lack of sweat; combative behavior; hot, dry, flushed skin; body temperature of 105 degrees or above; throbbing headache; rapid heartbeat or breathing; convulsions; staggering; loss of consciousness; and/or confusion.

Check on elderly and homebound neighbors. Make sure they have enough to drink and check the conditions inside the home; fans should not be used inside a home with windows closed; this circulates hot air and creates a convection oven effect.

To avoid heat stress and dehydration:

Drink lots of water.  Even if you’re not thirsty, drink a glass of cold water every 15 to 20 minutes.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can cause your body to lose water; in hot weather, it is easy to become dehydrated, which is very dangerous to your health.

Stay cool.  Turn on the air conditioning – don’t try to save on energy bills during a heat wave. If you don’t have air conditioning, go somewhere that is air-conditioned, like a neighbor’s house, senior center, public library or shopping mall.  If you can’t get out of the house, stay on a lower floor, where it’s cooler and open the windows.  Use a fan only if the outside air is cooler than the inside air, and do not use a fan with the windows closed.  Also, keep curtains or blinds closed during daylight hours to block out the sun.

Take a cool shower or bath, which can be more effective at cooling you down than using a fan.

Dress cool by wearing loose, light-colored clothing, which allows air to circulate and helps the body throw off heat.  Also, wear a wide-brimmed hat outside.

Avoid the sun.  Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes loss of fluids.  If you must be outdoors, apply sunblock with SPF 15 or greater.  Stay in shaded areas when possible or use an umbrella.  Best of all, plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evenings, when the sun is not as strong and temperatures are cooler.

Pace yourself.  Rest often in cool or shaded areas.  Also, limit physical activity during periods of high heat and sun.

Eat lightly.  Avoid hot foods and heavy meals.  Use your stove and oven less to keep room temperatures lower.  If you must heat food, use a microwave.  Add cool foods to your diet, like watermelon, cantaloupe, Jell-O or other fruits.

Seniors in Philadelphia can always turn to the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040 for practical solutions to everyday problems.  But during a heat wave, this number expands to the PCA Heatline and assists callers of all ages on coping with the heat.  When the National Weather Service declares an “Excessive Heat Warning” for our area, the PCA Heatline is activated.  Trained staff can provide heat safety tips, information about recommended air-conditioned locations and year-round senior services.

This non-emergency telephone service includes a staff of nurses from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health to address callers’ medical problems.  Mobile relief teams from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health will respond to situations requiring intervention, and 911 will be called for emergencies.  Whether you’re concerned about the heat or need senior services, the PCA Helpline is the number to know – 215-765-9040.

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