Author Archives: Michael Hanisco

October is National Residents’ Rights Month

October is National Residents’ Rights Month, focusing on the rights and quality of life of residents in long-term care facilities. This year’s theme is “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them.”

Emotional intelligence can increase with age

By Michael Hanisco

Despite popular notions of seniors being stubborn or set in their ways, evidence suggests that we may actually gain in skills known as “emotional intelligence” as we age. October was designated as Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month by the nonprofit Emotional Intelligence Institute to improve emotional literacy, communication and mindfulness.

At Southwest Senior Center, everyone is welcome

By Michael Hanisco

Just inside the entrance of Southwest Senior Center, 6916 Elmwood Ave., sits a large blackboard plastered with bright posters and stickers. The first poster features a picture of Earth from outer space and is captioned with a simple, provocative tagline: “I don’t see any borders. Do you?” “No one is truly free while others are oppressed,” another declares. A third plainly states, “Immigration is the American Way.” While new images have been added to the collection over time, the unifying message has remained the same: Everyone is welcome.

PCA sets public hearing to address needs of Philadelphia’s older adults for Sept. 20

PCA is holding a public hearing to obtain comments regarding its programs and proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. at PCA, 642 N. Broad St. Seniors, aging-services professionals and other interested stakeholders are invited to attend the hearing and may provide verbal and/or written testimony.

Today’s senior community centers promote healthy living, active aging

By Marcia Z. Siegal
With sophisticated fitness centers and wellness programs, computer and Zumba classes, intergenerational collaborations, and a focus on active living, today’s senior community centers are a far cry from the centers previous generations were accustomed to.
National Senior Center Month, observed in September, provides an opportunity to celebrate the vibrant programming featured at senior centers supported by Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA), which is engaging members ranging from baby boomers to centenarians.

Annual report highlights PCA’s impact on Philadelphia seniors

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) has released its annual report, which highlights the agency’s impact on the lives of Philadelphia seniors. The report conveys the agency’s mission, funding and governance and highlights personal stories from several people who have been assisted by PCA.

Benefits of socialization for seniors’ health

The negative effects of loneliness and social isolation have been widely reported in recent years. Loneliness is on par with obesity, lack of exercise and smoking as a risk factor for illness and early death, according to the journal Heart. On the other hand, researchers are increasingly finding that socialization may have positive impacts on health.

An empowered death: Taking control of the end of life

By Constance Garcia-Barrio

Death, like superb wine, claims a starring role at some dinners these days. Death dinners, where people meet over fabulous food to talk about dying, help guests ditch the taboo around discussing life’s final transition. More than 100,000 such dinners have taken place in 30 countries, according to, a website that points out the benefits of having the sometimes-tough conversation.

The beauties of nature can be enjoyed without sight

By Joe Garrison

I’ve been sightless since birth, and have experienced a lot of discrimination. People tend to think that because people are sightless – and this goes for all people with disabilities – that they are like children and need a babysitter. I’ve always lived my life to be independent. There are more things that a sightless person can do besides sit around and do nothing.

PCA employees study abroad to expand their worldview

By Marcia Z. Siegal

In the midst of their careers, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) social workers Marquetta Bond, Edda Weber and Frederick Pence traveled abroad individually to study social work in other countries. Through their experiences, they gained new perspectives and deepened their appreciation of cultural diversity – an advantage in working with PCA’s long-term care participants, they said.