The obesity epidemic and the climbing diabetes statistics amount to a nationwide public health emergency. Yet, thanks to modern medical science, we have a much better understanding of this silent killer. Jews with diabetes, in particular, are no longer faced with the dilemma of being forced to choose between following our traditions and beliefs or protecting our health.
Resources: 1. Friends With Diabetes (www.friendswithdiabetes.org) A Rockland County-based support group for religious Jews with diabetes. Distributes diabetes-safe recipes, sponsors meetings (separated by gender and age), and presentations by renowned rabbonim. Publications, edited by Rabbi Hirsch Meisels, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, address halachic, social and health challenges facing frum Jews living with diabetes.
2. Jewish Diabetes Association (http://jewishdiabetes.com) An organization devoted to diabetes education and advocacy offering its website, magazine and contact persons in both Hebrew and English.
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Today, millions of members of the baby boomer generation are being confronted with the new realities of aging in America. Many now reaching the traditional retirement age of 65 are still fit and vigorous and do not consider themselves to be old. Thanks to medical science, 60 has indeed become the new 40, and most can look forward to years — and perhaps decades! — more of life in relatively good health. Yet, many do not want to retire.
Between 1997 and 2008, the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) increased almost fourfold, according to the National Health Interview survey. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health indicated that 1.1 percent of all children born in this country are on the autism spectrum.
As Rabbi Meyer Waxman discusses elsewhere in this issue, more elderly parents are being forced, by circumstances, to move in with their adult children, as are more young adults who find themselves compelled to move back into their parents’ home. More adults have become part of the sandwich generation, as members of the six million American households today that span three or even four generations.
Fundamental and far-reaching changes are coming that will have a profound effect on every individual in New York State who receives services under the current system for caring for individuals with developmental disabilities.