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Lifelong Support Insights for Pennsylvanians with Disabilities

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) recently published a new issue of the Positive Approaches Journal, focusing on the aging process in individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. The journal aims to offer up-to-date research and solutions for those with mental health, substance use disorder, and various developmental disabilities, enhancing their quality of life. DHS Secretary, Dr. Val Arkoosh, emphasized DHS’s commitment to providing necessary services and supports to these individuals throughout their lives, particularly as they age.

The administration under Governor Shapiro is actively working towards bettering the care system for aging Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities and autism, ensuring they have access to timely and appropriate services. This includes the execution of the Aging Our Way, PA Plan, a 10-year strategic initiative designed to cater to the needs of Pennsylvania’s older adults and enhance state services. The plan also aims to help older adults remain in their communities, grow the elder care workforce, and offer support for Alzheimer’s Disease impacts.

The latest journal edition features articles on various topics, including community participation among individuals with autism, the challenges of social isolation among older Pennsylvanians, the need for more research on aging in people with disabilities, and the intersection of ageism and ableism in healthcare, particularly concerning dementia. It also discusses Medicare coverage for mental health and substance use disorders.

The Positive Approaches Journal represents a collaboration between DHS’s Office of Developmental Programs and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. It serves as a resource for sharing advancements and observations in mental and behavioral health to improve community services. For further details, the journal is available on the DHS website.


Pamela K Coyle 1949-2024

Pam received her Master’s degree in library science from Clarion University in 1978. She never lost her love of reading or her enthusiasm for libraries.

Daily Forecast, April 21, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting overcast clouds, with a high of 52.23°F and a low of 35.2°F. The humidity

Candie Sue Diffenderfer 1963-2024

Candie worked in the Prothonotary’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse, and later at Irving Accounting and U.S.A. Cartage in Williamsport, MD.

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The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

On January 1, 2022, the torch was passed to Nathan Neil and his firm, Neil Publishing, LLC. Neil, a local entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses in Chambersburg, shares Vicky's fervent commitment to both the community and the world of local journalism.

Rooted in the heart of Franklin County and powered by its residents, the Franklin County Free Press continues to bridge the gap, ensuring that the local stories, events, and issues that matter most to the community remain in the spotlight.