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  • Francine Blume 8:55 pm on May 17, 2020 Permalink  

    Older adults are facing dual public health emergencies 

    By now we all know that adults 60 years and older are at heightened risk of serious, if not fatal, health consequences in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true for those with chronic health conditions and compromised immune systems. As a recent report of the American Red Cross and the American Academy of Nursing reminds us, older adults consistently experience the greatest proportion of casualties as a result of all variety of public emergencies and natural disasters compared to younger age groups.

    In response to worsening COVID-19 conditions, federal and state stay-at-home orders and guidelines will better ensure that older adults avoid those situations that might expose them to this potentially life-threatening viral disease, if you do not how to start, you can look at more info here to be oriented on the special cares they are needing at this time. This has been a necessary protective measure. However, as a result, older adults are now: confined to their homes often without sons and daughters and friends visiting as they normally would have; not able to receive visitors if they reside in long-term care facilities; not attending luncheon and social programs normally offered at senior and community centers; and not functioning as volunteers as they had been in their local communities as part of a busy social life.

    [Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

    The social distancing edict is really a physical distancing requirement but has, unfortunately, been equated with a social, if not emotional, disconnection mandate in the eyes of too many. The result is that a second pandemic has reared its ugly head — reflected in dramatically increased numbers of older adults living dangerously isolated and lonely lives in the community and in long-term care settings because of the loss of meaningful social contact with loved ones, friends and others.

    Even before the novel coronavirus outbreak, Americans were found to be living more isolated lives than ever before with as many as 43% of adults 60 years of age and older in the U.S. reporting feeling lonely. The negative consequences of isolation and loneliness, especially for older adults, are not to be taken lightly. Living an isolated life has been likened to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is associated with heightened levels of psychological distress and a greater risk of being abused, neglected and exploited, hospitalized, and falling, and having reduced access to critical health and social support services. Isolated and lonely older adults exhibit significantly higher illness and death rates than the general population. Social isolation among older adults has major cost implications as well. It has been associated with $6.7 billion in additional federal Medicare spending annually.To know more about health read health blog.

    During this time of physical distancing, we need to do everything in our power to ensure that a second pandemic, that of widespread isolation and loneliness among our older citizens, does not reach epidemic proportions unaddressed. Physical distancing need not negate our capacity to maintain social and emotional connectedness with those we love and care about. For those older adults with access to the internet, teleconferencing and other forms of remote socializing should be encouraged. This can include using online neighborhood-based applications connecting you with nearby neighbors; co-learning opportunities with students; recording virtual performances and sharing them with others; informal conversations via video chatting; and pre-recorded digital video messages shared by those who can no longer personally visit each other.

    Old-fashioned telephone check-ins and daily chats represent a second line of defense that can be undertaken with virtually all older Mainers. Grocery shopping deliveries, care packages, letters, and notes left at the front door or mailed to older residents represent still another option. Ensuring older adults are aware of essential community services that remain open and available like their local Area Agency on Aging and home-delivered meals programs is critical.

    Additional ideas for maintaining social connectedness with isolated older adults are being offered through a number of well-informed outlets including The Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness and AARP. Sustaining any and all avenues for expressions of caring, concern and social support, especially during times of crisis, such as the one we are now experiencing, is critical for preserving the health, safety, and well-being of older Mainers.

    Lenard W. Kaye is a professor of social work and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Maine. This column reflects his views and expertise and does not speak on behalf of the university. He is a member of the Maine chapter of the national Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.

  • Francine Blume 11:18 am on November 19, 2012 Permalink  

    How to Tell If a Job Offer Is Legitimate 

    The Career Center is committed to helping AU students and alumni understand all facets of the job search process. In light of some recent job scams that have come to our attention, we’ve prepared this post to help you identify fraudulent job offers.

    But first, here’s a brief list of scams we are aware of affecting AU students. Please note that scams are originating both from fake organizations and scam artists claiming to represent real organizations.

    Advance Auto Parts
    ADC Telecommunications, Inc.
    Caterpillar, Inc.
    Liberty Homes Concepts
    Aaron’s, Inc.
    Seapoint Ventures
    TrustRealty, LLC (More …)

  • Francine Blume 3:06 pm on September 5, 2012 Permalink  

    Study Abroad = Higher Pay and Faster Employment 

    Photo by IES

    In a survey of 1,008 IES Abroad alumni who graduated between 2006-2011 . . .

    • Nearly 90% secured a job within the first six months after graduation, compared to only 49% of respondents in a separate survey of the general college graduate population who found work within a year of finishing school
    • Starting salaries were $7,000 more, on average, than those from the general population of 2006-2011 college graduates
    • 90% got into their first or second choice graduate or professsional school.

    Read more about the IES study here.

  • Francine Blume 2:51 pm on November 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , mashable, , social networks, Sparked.com   

    How do employers use social media to screen candidates? 

    You would be amazed! Take a look at this infographic from Mashable. Then check the privacy settings on your Facebook.



    You may need to significantly improve your online presence. After you check Facebook, build a solid presence on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn Learning Center is a great way to get information to move forward with your profile. Start with their overview video. We also have a LinkedIn expert at The Career Center, Felicia Parks, who did a series of videos that you might find helpful. If you don’t have a lot of experience or if you need to be able to demonstrate an interest in an issue area, then Sparked.com could be a way to help. And by that, I mean you get a chance to help others and the experience can help you. Sparked.com is a micro-volunteering site where, in the time it takes you to play Angry Birds, you could be helping a nonprofit organization solve a problem, produce a product, and collaborate with others literally across the world. After micro-volunteering, you can post a note to your LinkedIn profile. Learn more about the organization by watching this overview. Don’t forget to regularly Google yourself to see what’s coming up and make sure you know what your online presence is saying about you.

  • Francine Blume 4:51 pm on September 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Chris Hughes, Jennifer Carignan, , politics, Roll Call   

    Get Real about Jobs in Politics! 

    Are you a political junkie thinking about actually making a career in politics? Not everyone wants to run for president, though it may seem like it at times, so how do you get started?

    Our OWN resident experts, Chris Hughes and Jennifer Carignan, shared their favorite books on the subject with Roll Call just last week. Read why Jenn recommends An Insider’s Guide to Political Jobs in Washington by William Endicott, Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz, and Getting a Job in Politics, and Keeping It by Ben Wetmore. Chris suggests CQ‘s Politics in America 2012 edited by John Bicknell and David Meyers and National Journal’s just published Almanac of American Politics 2012 by Michael Barone and Chuck McCutcheon.

    You can check for these books in our own University Library, perhaps in preparation for Public Affairs Career Week!

    Illustration adapted from photo by Urban Jacksonville.

  • Francine Blume 6:06 pm on September 16, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , office behavior   

    New job or internship? Avoid these “rookie mistakes.” 

    Maybe you started a new internship this semester, or maybe you’ll land something at the Job and Internship Fair. If this is one of your first office or professional experiences, The Daily Muse has some tips for you. It really just comes down to balance.

    1. Questions: ask them all or don’t say a word?

    2. Know it all or no ideas?

    3. Copy everyone or don’t tell a soul?

    4. “Yes” to all or “not my job?”

    5. Ultraquiet or TMI?


    Check out the good advice in “Rookie Mistakes: 5 Extremes to Avoid” by Ashley Faus.


     Photo by winnifredxoxo

  • Francine Blume 10:07 am on September 16, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , movie,   

    What can you do with a math major? 

    There are so many cool possibilities for people with degrees in math and statistics! Just for fun, here’s a preview of the movie where a math guy’s first job made baseball history, Moneyball!

    And don’t forget, Nate Silver hasn’t been too badly for a math guy, either. You’ll be hearing more from him as the election year heats up.

  • Francine Blume 7:22 pm on August 31, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Class of 2011 doing somewhat better at finding jobs than previous two years 

    According to the Huffington Post, it’s been a little less tough on the national level for the most recent graduates to find jobs than it has been for their older classmates. A lot of the new hiring comes from corporations with big profits hiring students with backgrounds in business. You definitely want to stick with your college education. Unemployment amongst college graduates is only 4.3% compared to a national average of over 9%.

    What are the best ways to make it easier on yourself? Hopefully you have some internships so you at least have some experience on your resume. Next, you want to have a really strong resume and a job search strategy so you know where to look, where to apply, and how to follow up. Networking is key, make sure your LinkedIn profile is current. And don’t wait until the last minute. If you’re graduating in May, you should be mapping out your strategy now. If you graduate in December, you should be actively looking now. Be sure to take advantage of the advising, events, and online resources of the Career Center. Plan to attend the Fall Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, September 21st.

  • Francine Blume 3:59 pm on August 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Want work for the UN? 

    Check out the Young Professionals Programme. You don’t have much time, only until September 10 to apply for this highly competitive program. You must be from a participating country (of which the United States is one), you must have completed your first university degree, you must be under 32, and you must speak French and/or English. This year’s examination will be offered for the job families of statistics, humanitarian affairs, public information, and administration.

  • Francine Blume 3:43 pm on August 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    When can Facebook get you fired? 

    By now everyone really should know to set their Facebook profiles to private and to be prudent with regards to what pictures get up there because they can always come back to bite you when you are applying for a job. But did you know that what you put on Facebook could also get you fired?

    Complaints to the National Labor Relations Board have increased this year from employees who have been dismissed or reprimanded because of their Facebook activities. We’re not talking about people commenting on politics, or giving a scathing review of a music video. Were talking about calling the manager a “super mega *%@&” and telling her to kiss his #*%, or about a staff member calling the clients by a particularly unflattering term.

    Hopefully you don’t get into that territory when you post on Facebook. Hopefully you know you should not complain about your job or the people you work with or your customers in a public forum, because you can actually get fired for doing that. We have an intern get fired from a major media outlet because she tweeted how miserable she was. For more, read Dave Jameison’s piece, “Facebook Firings: Feds, Managers Navigate ‘New Territory’ In Employment.”

    Oh, and by the way, don’t put on your Facebook status that you’ve applied for a job with XYZ Company or that you had a terrific interview with 123 Organization. PLEASE keep that private, too!

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