Heart Healthy Tips for Women at Any Age!

From Bronx Voice 

If you're surprised to hear that heart disease kills more American women every year than all types of cancer combined, you are not alone. Heart disease is the number one killer in women — with a disproportionate effect on African American women — and yet only 47 percent of women are aware of this. Read the full article.

Flu Shots: An Ounce of Prevention Is Especially Vital for the Elderly 


"What if I told you there was a simple shot that prevents thousands of deaths each year among older, frail Americans? I’m talking, of course about, a flu shot," writes Hany Abdelaal, D.O., president of VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans. Read the full article.

Bomb Cyclone Hits Home Care Providers in Northeast

From Home Health Care News

A major winter storm, dubbed a “bomb cyclone” for its rapid intensity, pummeled the northeast region of the United States on Thursday, forcing in-home care providers to switch into overdrive to keep clients, patients, and caregivers safe. Read the full article.

Senior Pet Companions Help Ease Loneliness 

From Buffalo Healthy Living 

While many people associate pets with kids who can't wait to welcome the first cat or dog into their homes, pets can benefit aging men and women as well. Read the full article on page 40.

Stress-busting Nibble n’ Nosh Tips for Caregivers This Holiday Season

From The Bronx Voice 

Does this picture sound familiar: the holidays are right around the corner, you've been tending to your parents all day and running errands while squeezing in last-minute holiday shopping. When you finally stop to catch your breath, you realize you never ate lunch and are about to miss dinner. Read the full article

Stress-Busting Tips for Caregivers This Holiday Season

From Norwood News

Two words that the holidays bring to mind for many of us these days are food and stress. With no shortage of sugary, fattening foods and a seemingly never-ending to-do list, it is easy for people with busy lives, particularly family caregivers who often lack time to care for themselves, to resort to unhealthy food habits like stress-eating during the holidays. Read the full article

Keeping the Holidays Cheerful When Managing Diabetes

From New York Amsterdam News

Although the holidays are a source of enjoyment for many who look forward to quality time with loved ones, the unprecedented focus on eating and drinking can make this time just as much a source of distress for those with diabetes. Read the full article. 

Simple Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer to the Homebound

From Buffalo Healthy Living 

For many of us, the holidays are considered the "most wonderful time of the year." But, for the frail, elderly, or homebound among us, the holidays can be a disheartening reminder of one's isolation and stripped independence. Read the full article on page 14.

The Opioid Epidemic: Don't Overlook the Elderly

While the opioid epidemic has taken its greatest toll on younger people, with the highest misuse death rates among males in their mid-twenties to mid-forties, studies show that the epidemic has increasingly affected the elderly Medicare population as well. Read the full article.

Maintaining Independence for Seniors

From: Buffalo Healthy News

As a registered nurse and care coordinator, my colleagues and I help frail, elderly, and disabled individuals live safely and independently in their own homes and communities as long as possible. Read the full article on page 37.

Fall Allergies Are Nothing To Sneeze About For Seniors

From Buffalo Healthy News

While fall allergies aren’t fun for anyone, they place an extra burden on older adults, many of whom live with preexisting medical conditions that can be complicated by allergy symptoms such as congestion or a sore throat. Read the full article.

How Older Adults Can Reduce Their Risk of Falls

From Buffalo Healthy News

Falls are one of the biggest contributors to fatal and nonfatal injuries among seniors. In addition to threatening safety, falls can compromise a person's independence and cause broken bones, impaired mobility, and even death. Read the full article (page 47).

Elderly Especially Susceptible to Heat

From Buffalo Healthy News

Alicia Schwartz, a nurse with VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, warns that elderly men and women, in particular, are susceptible to the effects of hot temperatures. Read the full article (page 27).

8 Tips on Caring for Loved One with Alzheimer's

From The Bronx Voice

According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disease — a type of dementia — affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans. In 2014, 15 percent of the U.S. population (or 46 million adults) were 65 or older, and the number is expected to climb to about 22 percent of the population (88 million U.S. adults), by 2050. Read the full article.

Vision and Hearing Loss: Seeing the Big Picture of Depression and Falls

From The Huffington Post 
As a nation and a health care system, we are coming to appreciate that the best way to treat health issues — especially in vulnerable populations like the frail elderly — is to see each person as a whole and treat each issue in the context of an entire life. Read the full article

June Checklist for Summer Allergies and Asthma Concerns

From Buffalo Healthy Living

As a Registered Nurse Care and Care Coordinator with VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, I’ve noticed that seniors can really be caught off guard during allergy season, and are often surprised to learn that they can develop asthma at an older age. Read the full article.

Stand Up for Your Own Health on National Nurses Week

From Buffalo Healthy Living 

May 6 – 12 is National Nurses Week, a time to recognize the men and women who dedicate their lives to the nursing profession. Read the full article (page 40).

Transportation: A Vital Connection to Independence and Care for Older Adults

From The Huffington Post

Sometimes, access to a simple car ride can be a life or death matter, especially for the chronically ill and homebound. Read the full article.

Taking Shared Responsibility for Your Health

From The Huffington Post

As we age, it is not uncommon to experience kidney problems, but for some people talking about symptoms even to a doctor can be a challenge. It is important to understand the causes of kidney disease and to take steps to maintain good kidney health at any stage of life. Read the full article.

Preserving Medicaid for the Most Vulnerable: Complex Care, Complex Conversations

From The Huffington Post

Medicaid is more complex and extensive than is generally acknowledged — and it’s important to take this complexity into account when considering steps to modify how Medicaid is run. Read the full article.

Heart-Healthy Tips to Follow All Year Long

From Buffalo Healthy Living

Here are a few helpful reminders from Alice Schwarts, RN Coordinator, to help those with heart disease make healthier lifestyle choices. Read the full article on page 35.

Armed With New Training and Technology, Home Health Aides Boost Quality Care for Elderly Americans

From The Huffington Post 

There is important new thinking in managed long term care and across the healthcare landscape about ways to enhance and expand the role of a home health aide. Read the full article.

Helping Seniors Avoid the Chill of Social Isolation

From Buffalo Healthy Living 

According to Alicia Schwartz, MSN-ED, BSN, RN, PCC, CCM, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, "it’s not unusual to experience an increased desire to curl up on the sofa and 'hibernate' when the weather turns cold, but for older folks with chronic illness like asthma, COPD, diabetes, dementia or heart disease, retreating to the indoors can lead to social isolation and sometimes trigger serious health problems." Read the full article.

The Importance of Caring for Family Caregivers

From Buffalo Healthy Living 

"November has been designated as National Family Caregivers Month — highlighting the unsung and often exhausted and overwhelmed family members providing care to family members and loved ones unable to independently manage and care for themselves," writes Beth O’Keefe, RN Care Coordinator at VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans. Read the full article.

MLTC Solutions that Bring Managed Care Home (Even If It’s ‘25 Miles Away on Top of a Giant Hill’)

From The Huffington Post

Hany Abdelaal, DO, President of VNSNY CHOICE writes, "almost all members of MLTC plans are eligible for nursing home care, but surveys show that the vast majority would rather live at home — so we bring the care to them, no matter the level of need or the medical complexity." Read the full article.

A New Model for Aging At Home: Care Management — Every Step of the Way

From The Huffington Post

Thanks in large part to the growing popularity of Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) health care plans, we now have the ability to keep even the sickest elderly patients stable and comfortable at home, writes Hany Abdelaal, DO, president of VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Read the full article.

Combating Late-Life Anxiety with Education, Support And Treatement

From The Huffington Post

"Anxiety in the elderly is far more common than we thought — maybe more common than depression and dementia," says Kathleen Wolfe, LCSW, who is director of social work and behavioral health at VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans. Read the full article.

Health Guidelines to Keep Blood Pressure in Check

From Buffalo Healthy Living

Beth O'Keefe, RN Care Coordnator with VNSNY CHOICE offers ways to manage high blood pressure with these reminders. Read the full article.

Watching Your Step: Safety Tips for Preventing Falls Among Seniors

From Bronx Times, Bronx Times Reporter, Harlem Community News, Harlem Times 

The first day of fall—September 22, 2016—begins National Falls Prevention Awareness Week. Here are falls prevention tips from Alicia Schwartz, MSN, RN, Care Coordinator, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans. Read the full article in one of these publications: the Bronx Times (page 50), the Bronx Times Reporter  (page 50), the Harlem Community News (page 14), or the Harlem Times

Stopping Slips, Trips, and Falls: Simple Home Fixes to Keep Seniors Safe

From Buffalo Healthy Living

September 22nd is the first day of fall and the beginning of National Falls Prevention Week. This is the perfect time to remind older adults and their families about safety measures they can take to reduce their fall risk now, and throughout the year. Read the full story.

A Cure for Hepatitis C: Bringing Medication Within Reach for All

From The Huffington Post

Here’s a question: How can we ensure that if we use such a costly medicine to treat people with hepatitis c virus (HCV), including some of society’s most vulnerable, they will follow the regimen day in and day out — and emerge disease-free? A novel partnership between the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and partners such VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth, is aiming to find out and provide a blueprint for others. Read the full story.

Keeping Summer Allergies and Asthma in Check


As summer begins, irritants like pollen and smoke are more likely to cause asthma attacks. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, asthma is a chronic disease that affects about 8% of Americans, and is characterized by inflammation of the airways and difficulty breathing. Read the full story.

Navigating Your Medications: Five Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist or Doctor

From The Huffington Post

Mrs. T, age 79, suffers from diabetes and hypertension, among other conditions. Like about one in three older Americans, she takes more than five medications on a regular basis — in her case, nine. Read the full story.

What Makes a Health Home Successful?


VNSNY CHOICE Population Health Specialist Alan Rice, LCSW discusses SelectHealth's HIV health home program and upcoming changes to the state's reimbursement model for health homes. Read the full story.

Keep Asthma at Bay During Summer Allergy Season

From Buffalo Healthy Living

As the weather warms and summer begins, irritants like pollen and smoke are more likely to cause asthma attacks. Asthma can be particularly dangerous for aging adults who may be more prone to increased risk for infections and more susceptible to respiratory failure. Read the full story.

National Nurses Week — The Voice on the Phone: New Era, Same Skill and Caring

From The Huffington Post

It was about 9 p.m. when a Bronx mother called in a panic. Her 22-year-old daughter, who suffered from debilitating multiple sclerosis, had dislodged her urinary catheter — an extremely painful situation. Read the full story.

Why I Love Being a Nurse


In celebration of National Nurses Week, shares comments from nurses across various specialties, including Alicia Schwartz, VNSNY CHOICE Care Coordinator, about why they love working their chosen field. Read the full story.

Know Your Nurses!

From Buffalo Healthy Living

National Nurses Week is an opportunity to shine a light on these skilled and dedicated professionals who work tirelessly on the front lines in our communities, helping our most vulnerable New Yorkers stay safe and healthy well into their golden years. Read the full story.

Loss is Not a Four-Letter Word

From The Huffington Post

Loss is at the heart of change, and change is at the heart of living. The organization where I work, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, takes a holistic view at delivering managed long term care to vulnerable people as they age in their homes and communities. Read the full story.

Spring Ahead to a Healthier You

From Buffalo Healthy Living 

April is a great time to think about the importance of staying healthy and looking at the behaviors we'd like to change. When did you last see your primary care, dental, and vision care providers? This is also the perfect time do a "spring cleaning" of medications and supplements. Read the full story on page 27.

Alcohol and Aging: What We Can Do to Help

From The Huffington Post

Mr. R had been a successful photographer in New York City. But decades of alcohol abuse eventually cost him dearly. Now 81, he lives on his own in a poorly kept studio apartment. Still battling alcohol dependency, he has no contact with his family, suffers from a number of chronic conditions, and was hospitalized 15 times last year. Read the full story.

Taking Steps to a Healthy Heart

From Buffalo Healthy Living

February is designated "American Heart Month," and it's a great opportunity to focus on healthy heart habits. Read the full story.

Staying Hydrated is Important 

From Buffalo Healthy Living

Most of us associate dehydration with summer heat and increased thirst, but dehydration can occur anytime — even during the depths of winter's cold weather. The elderly are at a particular risk. Read the full story.

For the New Year, A New Approach to Healthy Aging

From Buffalo Healthy Living

Instead of resolutions, Beth O'Keefe, RN, of VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans offers three strategies to help you maintain your independence and continue to be at your best. Read the full story on page 18.

Update: Health Plan Revisions Help Keep Promise to Elder New Yorkers

From The Huffington Post

Earlier this month, I introduced readers to Mrs. S., who was in danger of becoming bedbound by her arthritis, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. She is living a fuller life than she might otherwise have thanks to the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage program, or FIDA. Read the full story.

Combating Late-Life Depression, System-Wide and One Loved One At a Time

From The Huffington Post

When Janice T. came from Minnesota to New York to visit her 82-year-old mother for the holidays, she found the apartment's shades drawn and her mother still in a bathrobe at 3 p.m. Janice was not surprised. Read the full story.

Home Health Aide Forms Tight Bond with Family

From Bronx News 12

A Bronx family invited their home health aide to a Christmas Eve celebration. Watch the full news story.

A Homecare Nurse's Guide to Beating the Holiday Blues - For Seniors and Family Caregivers

From Buffalo Healthy Living

For so many of us, the holidays spark feelings of happiness and celebration. But for members of our community who are homebound, sometimes things don’t feel quite so cheery. Read the full story.

Show Your Heart Some Love This Holiday Season

From Buffalo Healthy Living

The holidays are a great time to celebrate being with family and friends, but can also be a good time to show ourselves some love by focusing on our own health and healthy living. Read the full story

The Future Is Now: A Step in the Right Direction for a Vulnerable Population

From The Huffington Post

When I imagine what the future of day-to-day health care might look like for low-income seniors living at home — struggling with chronic conditions but wanting to stay connected to their community and their word — here's what I see. Read the full story.

Bringing Mom Home: How to Create a Safe Space for Your Loved One with Alzheimer's 


Many family members who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s don’t think of themselves as “caregivers.” For them, it’s just caring for a parent — a role they are happy and proud to take on. Read the full story.

America's Health Literacy Conundrum: A Key to Improving the Nation's Health

From The Huffington Post

A 75-year-old woman with congestive heart failure fails to weigh herself daily and ends up in the hospital when her symptoms suddenly worsen. Read the full story.

Steering Clear of Allergies


Ann Marie Moran, who's a registered nurse at The Eddy Visiting Nurses and VNSNY CHOICE, joined WNYT to discuss the best ways to steer clear of allergies. Watch the full news story.

Effective Health Care: A Working Model May Be Closer Than You Think

From The Huffington Post

Conversations about the changing health care system in America tend to focus on tools and obstacles, but hidden behind all the noise is a serious effort to design "real life" health care models that deliver on some "real people" needs. Read the full story.

Depression Among the Elderly: Warning Signs Can Be Easy to Miss

From Aging Care

As summer gives way to fall and the days grow shorter and cooler, many people—especially those who are elderly and homebound — can experience a bit of an emotional downturn. Read the full story.

Consejos para evitar caídas en personas mayores

From El Diario 

Cada 15 segundos se atiende a un adulto mayor en la sala de emergencias de un hospital debido a caídas.

Taking Steps Toward Fall Prevention 

From Buffalo Healthy Living

You may be surprised to learn that one in three adults over 65 will suffer a serious fall this year (CDC). Read the full story.

Watching Your Steps: Safety Tips for Preventing Falls Among Seniors


Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall — the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors. Read the full story.

Coordinated Care Gives Patients the Freedom to Stay at Home

From PBS NewsHour

So how does coordinated caregiving work? Meet three older American with chronic illnesses who are benefitting from coordniated caregivers in their homes. Read the full story.

A Tribute and Thank You to Nurses: Five Things You Didn't Know About Nurses In Your Community

From Buffalo Healthy Living

With so many changes in healthcare the expanded role of nurses has become vitally important to a health care team’s success. Managed Long Term Care Nurses, as well as Home Health Care visiting nurses, are often the unsung heroes who keep our aging population living safely and independently at home... Read the full story.

Mount Vernon Nurse Honored as Health Care Professional of the Year

From Mount Vernon Daily Voice

Barbara Wisdom, a registered nurse and Mount Vernon resident, was honored at NYSUT's annual Representative Assembly May 1-2 in Buffalo. Read the full story.

A New Card Covers It All

From Newsday "Living Well" Edition 

A new program gives eligible Long Island residents access to all of their Medicare and Medicaid benefits, including home care. Read the full story.

Understanding FIDA: long-term care options 

From Bronx Times

In the past few months, New Yorkers who depend on Medicare and Medicaid for their long term health coverage have been hearing about a new kind of insurance plan that combines Medicare and Medicaid benefits in one new option: it's called FIDA. Read the full story.