|Home > Newsletters > Caregiving PolicyDigest > Policy Digest, Volume XI, Number 17, September 14, 2011
E-mail to a Friend
|A Newsletter of FCA's National Center on Caregiving|
September 14, 2011
Volume XI, Number 17
State Legislation, Policy & Reports
- State Long-Term Care Report Card Released More...
- PHI: State Profiles Of Direct-Care Workforce More...
- MN: Senior LinkAge Line Now Answers Questions Via Instant Messaging More...
- FL: AOA Says State Not In Compliance With Older Americans Act More...
- TX: San Antonio City Council Considers Licensing Assisted Living Facilities More...
- OH: 20 New Measures Of Nursing Home Quality; Transition Program Reduces Readmissions; Medicaid Software Hiccups More...
Federal Legislation, Policy & Reports
- One Away Campaign Asks Congress To Reauthorize Older Americans Act More...
- Leaked List Of $500 Billion In Potential Cuts For Medicare Program Over 10 Years More...
- Research Briefs Focus On Medicare, Levels Of Disability, Settings, And Cost More...
- Canada: Caregiver Makes Case For Timely Geriatric Assessments More...
- Canada: Researcher Says Gray Tsunami Is Actually Gray Glacier More...
- UK: Policy Responses To Dementia Should Address "Feminization Of Aging" More...
- Ireland: Waiting Lists For Nursing Home Care And Loneliness Is Pressing Issue More...
- Australia: Report Provides Statistical Overview On Residential Aged Care Facilities More...
Research Reports & Journal Articles
- Study: 43% Of NC Nursing Home Contracts Contain Arbitration Agreements More...
- World Alzheimer's Report 2011: Start Earlier Diagnosis And Intervention More...
- Alzheimer's Disease Was Sixth Leading Causes Of U.S. Deaths In 2007 More...
- Prescription Drugs: FTC Criticizes Delays; Study Finds Donut Hole Leads To Less Prescriptions Being Filled More...
- Mild Cognitive Impairment Research Update More...
Conferences & Trainings
- Webinar: Focus On Texas: Caregiver Assessments: September 20th, 12pm Central More...
- Webinar: PHI's New State Data Center, September 19th, 3pm (Eastern) More...
- Conference: 2011 National Lifespan Respite Conference, November 1-4 More...
Funding, Media & Miscellaneous
- Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations In Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards More...
- WSJ: Issues To Consider When Planning An Inheritance For Disabled Heirs More...
- AARP On Senior Hunger; Poverty Increases Again; PBS Series On Wealth Gap More...
- Number Of Cohabitating Elderly Couples Triples During Past Decade More...
- VA Caregivers And Veterans Profiled In Article About VA Caregiver Program More...
If you are interested in having your registry listed, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
FCA is on Facebook- Click here to visit our page. FCA blogs: Click here to read and comment.
The AARP Public Policy Institute, in partnership with the Scan Foundation and Commonwealth Fund, released a report earlier this month that assess each state's system of long-term care services and supports. The report includes 25 measures to assess affordability and access, choice of setting/provider, quality of life/quality of care; and support for family caregivers. Support for family caregivers was measured by the percent of family caregivers who report usually or always getting assistance they need; a compilation measure that assesses state public policies that support family caregivers (i.e. paid leave, anti-discrimination policies, and spousal impoverishment); and the number of health maintenance tasks that can be delegated to direct care workers. The authors also find that the national average price for nursing home care is 241% of older people's average annual household income, which leads many Americans to exhaust their life savings and then turn to Medicaid financed long-term care. For more information, visit:
Raising Expectations: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers
Podcast Interview about the Report
Kaiser Health News: "Scorecard Shows Which States Are Best At Long-Term Care Support"
PHI: State Profiles Of Direct-Care Workforce PHI announced the release of a new tool that provides comprehensive data on each state's direct care workforce, including nursing home aides, home health aides, and personal care assistants. The tool includes data on workforce size and projected employment growth, trends in wages, and information on health insurance coverage rates and reliance on public assistance. In addition, the tool provides links to legislation/regulatory developments, state initiatives, and employer best practices. For more information, visit:
The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota's information and referral service for older people and their families, which already answers over 119,000 calls for help every year, will begin using instant messaging to answer inquiries. The system will rely on the expertise of 45 experts from 10 state agencies and is expected to generate an additional 20,000 requests for help annually. The service is operated by six regional area agencies on aging and relies on 45 paid counselors, 300 trained volunteers, and is funded with $2.9 million in state and federal money. The executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging explains that this new channel helps to make the program more of a "one-stop shop." In the AARP report mentioned in this issue of PolicyDigest, Minnesota ranked first on seven of the 25 measures of long-term care. For more information, visit:
Consumer Voice reports that the Administration on Aging (AOA) released a report on September 1, addressing a number of issues with the state's Long-term care Ombudsman Program. AOA investigated the state after receiving complaints when Governor Scott fired the state's Long-term Care Ombudsman in February. AOA's report gives the state 30 days to address issues focused on the governor's office interfering with the Long-term Care Ombudsman's office which is in violation of the Older Americans Act. The Miami Herald noted that a day after the report was released, the Miami administrator for the LTC Ombudsman program was fired, despite being described in a June evaluation as "an invaluable employee who is committed to promoting the best care and quality of life for residents." Florida was ranked 44th overall in the AARP report, however, it was ranked highly for its single entry point to resources. For more information, visit:
The San Antonio Express News reports that the San Antonio City Council will consider legislation to regulate an estimated 250 unlicensed assisted living facilities located in the city. The local ombudsman for the Bexar Area Agency on Aging explains that an ordinance would guide the city in efforts to license, regulate, and fine facilities that offer nonmedical care for seniors, the disabled, and people with mental illnesses. The city council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance in January after a public awareness campaign. Texas was ranked 28th overall in the AARP report. For more information, visit:
Several articles focused on long-term care in Ohio this month, and the state was ranked 35th overall in the AARP report. The Columbus Dispatch reports that a state advisory council is recommending 20 measures to assess the quality of care provided to residents in nursing homes. Measures include whether or not residents can choose when to go to sleep and wake up, staff turnover, bedsores, urinary tract infections, and family satisfaction. State legislators are expected to vote on the measures, if approved, they will be part of a new Medicaid incentive program that will reward nursing homes with higher rates if they meet a quarter or more of the performance measures.
The Akron Beacon Journal focuses on a partnership between an insurance company and the Greater Akron-Canton Area Agency on Aging to reduce hospital readmissions for 350 older residents through a program called "Bridge to Home." The participants are older patients who have been hospitalized and have five targeted health problems. They receive free health coaching from nurse care managers before and after discharge and conduct follow-up phone calls and home visits which include medication review and assessments of whether or not a person may need home health care. The agency submitted a proposal for a $9 million federal grant to fund a similar initiative with 11 hospitals throughout the area.
The Manfield News Journal reports on the new Medicaid billing system in Ohio and payment delays experienced by home health aides and other health care providers. The new system replaces a mostly paper-based system for approximately 90,000 independent health care providers. A home health care aide profiled in the story explains that she has only received $50 of $1,500 she is owed so far. A state representative explains that the new system has stricter guidelines that will reject incorrect submissions and that 7,000 of the 90,000 providers took advantage of online and state-wide training opportunities. Approximately 2,000 providers have been identified as having denied claims due to a computer glitch with the new system. For more information, visit:
The National Council on Aging's (NCOA) interactive One Away campaign has gathered over 3,200 stories from the 13 million seniors with incomes of $22,000 or less who are "one crisis away" from poverty. NCOA is now asking senators and representatives to sign a pledge to protect and strengthen the Older Americans Act which is supposed to be reauthorized this year. However, the supercommittee, charged with cutting $1.3 trillion, could impact funding for programs in the Act and whether or not it is reauthorized in 2011. A 2010 GAO report on Title III programs funded by the Older Americans Act found that 69% of states reported reduced state funding in FY 2010 while 19% of agencies reported being "generally or very unable to serve all seniors who requested home delivered meals" and 27% reported being "generally or very unable" to meet all requests for respite care. NCOA has a briefing and advocacy day on September 15th in Washington DC. For more information, visit:
NCOA "One Away" Pledge
GAO: OLDER AMERICANS ACT Preliminary Observations on Services Requested by Seniors and Challenges in Providing Assistance
Leaked List Of $500 Billion In Potential Cuts For Medicare Program Over 10 Years
Congressional Quarterly reported earlier this month that the House Ways and Means Democratic staff has prepared a list of possible cuts for the Medicare program in preparation for potential cuts being considered by the supercommittee. Some of the cuts have been previously recommended by MedPac, and include raising the eligibility age to 67 ($125 billion savings), requiring drug companies to pay rebates for drugs ($120 billion), and charging higher premiums to high-income Medicare patients for Part B and Part D benefits ($14 billion). The Kaiser Foundation released a brief that explains the process and timeline for the supercommittee, as well as potential consequences to Medicare if the supercommittee can't agree on how to trim $1.3 trillion, or if Congress won't support their proposals. For more information, visit:
Commonwealth Fund/CQ "Washington Health Policy Week in Review Ways and Means Democrats Outline Possible Medicare Cuts for Debt Panel"
Kaiser Foundation: The Budget Control Act of 2011: Implications for Medicare
Research Briefs Focus On Medicare, Levels Of Disability, Settings, And Cost
The Scan Foundation released four data briefs focused on Medicare recipients, where they live, and their utilization of services. Data Brief No. 16 focuses on the rebalancing that states have engaged in with their LTSS systems, resulting in 58% of older Americans who need assistance with two or more ADL's living in the community or residential care settings while 38% reside in nursing homes. Data Brief No. 17 addresses how Medicare spending varies for seniors with moderate or severe disabilities varies depending on the setting in which seniors live. Medicare spent $14,594 per capita on nursing home residents, $14,001 on residential care residents, and $18,307 per capita on community residents in 2006. Data Brief No. 18 compares expenditures on seniors with moderate or severe disabilities to seniors without disabilities and finds that seniors with disabilities use more services across all groups, with community-residing seniors having higher utilization of inpatient care. Data Brief No. 19 analyzes spending for seniors with moderate or severe disabilities (needing assistance with two or more ADL's) and finds that 21% of seniors who live in community settings had hospital stays as compared to 12% for these seniors who reside in nursing homes. All four of the briefs connect the policy issues with initiatives within the Affordable Care Act to address the issues contained in the brief.
Scan Foundation Data Briefs
Canada: Caregiver Makes Case For Timely Geriatric Assessments
A recent article in the Globe and Mail from a family caregiver argues that timely geriatric assessments would be better for older patients and their caregivers. Corinne LaBossiere explains that she and her husband recently moved their 90 year old aunt, "Aunty B" with dementia to live closer to them so they could assist with her care. While the transition went smoothly at first, Aunty B soon became frustrated and confused with her new surroundings, leading her doctors to adjust the dosage of her anti-anxiety medication. While the caregivers asked for an assessment of their aunt, they were told about a six-month waiting list for assessments. Three weeks after moving in, Aunty B tried to leave and threatened to throw a vase at a staff member. Later that night at the hospital, a doctor informed them that she had a urinary tract infection, prescribed some medicines, and released her. Aunty B's behavior problems continued, and a second trip to the hospital ensued, where a doctor found a second "source" for the delirium and said he'd release her. In response, LaBossiere and her husband successfully advocated for a psychiatric assessment that led to a successful rebalancing of medications. LaBossiere concludes: "It makes you wonder: With our aging population and a rising tide of seniors with dementia, wouldn't timely assessments by geriatricians be a more effective, less costly, less traumatizing form of care than police, paramedics and hospital emergency rooms?" For more information, visit:
Globe and Mail: "Our aunt tried to flee her seniors residence"
Canada: Researcher Says Gray Tsunami Is Actually Gray Glacier
Two studies in the most recent issue of Healthcare Policy suggest that concerns about a medical system unable to handle a "silver tsunami" may be unfounded. The first study examines total health care spending in British Columbia from 1996 to 2006 and finds that the aging of the population contributed less than 1% per year to spending on medical, hospital, and pharmaceutical care. While per capita expenditures on acute hospital care and doctor visits increased slightly faster than the 17% rate of inflation, per capita spending on prescription drugs rose by 140%. The authors forecast healthcare spending to 2036 and suggest that the aging of the population will continue to exert only modest influence on overall healthcare costs. The second study examined a perceived shortage of doctors in Canada, and finds that physician payments increased by one percent ($174 million) between 1996/97 and 2005/06 (even after adjusting for inflation, population growth and population aging). They suggest that the perceived shortage may be driven by a 64% increase in spending on diagnostic services for people aged 75 and older, which may be taking the place of "hands-on" care. In addition, the number of visits to a particular physician dropped while there was an overall increase in the number of specialists a patient visits. For more information, visit:
EurakAlert: "Fear of 'gray tsunami' overblown: UBC research"
Healthcare Policy: Population Aging and the Determinants of Healthcare Expenditures: The Case of Hospital, Medical and Pharmaceutical Care in British Columbia, 1996 to 2006 (Article is Free)
Healthcare Policy: Diagnosing Senescence: Contributions to Physician Expenditure Increases in British Columbia, 1996/97 to 2005/06 (Abstract is Free)
UK: Policy Responses To Dementia Should Address "Feminization Of Aging"
The International Longevity Centre published a report in August that suggests policymakers begin to address the disproportionate burden that women will bear due to dementia. The authors explain that women are more vulnerable to prolonged inequality because of lower levels of education and a greater risk of poverty. Because caregivers are more likely to be women, they are also exposed to increased health and financial risks associated with caregiving. The authors recommend incorporating a gender dimension to health policy and programs; including gender as a key health determinant in prevention of dementia; disaggregating dementia research by gender and age; equal representation by men and women for policy decision-making roles; and more interdisciplinary research that incorporates the biological and social models of health for men and women. For more information, visit:
International Longevity Centre: "Women and Dementia - Not forgotten"
Ireland: Waiting Lists For Nursing Home Care And Loneliness Is Pressing Issue
The Independent reports that about 1,100 mostly elderly people who have already been assessed as needing nursing home care are still on waiting lists and many are currently occupying beds in acute hospitals. The people have been approved for the government's Fair Deal scheme, but the program's budget has not been sufficient to meet demand.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Ireland released a report that examined attitudes of older people and found that loneliness was one of the largest issues for the elderly. The authors explain that loneliness may be due to isolation, especially in rural areas, where reductions in post offices and transportation options may contribute to less human contact and also reduce access to hospitals and other medical services. The report is based on interviews with almost 600 elders throughout Ireland. For more information, visit:
Independent: "1,100 elderly on waiting list for nursing home"
Society of St Vincent de Paul "Older People-Experiences and Issues"
Australia: Report Provides Statistical Overview On Residential Aged Care Facilities
The Australian Government released a report this month with demographics of residents in aged care facilities for 2009 that found the government spent an additional $1 billion on aged care as compared to the year before. Seventy percent of the 164,000 residents are female, and over 52% of residents (83,500) have a recorded diagnosis of dementia. For more information, visit:
"Residential aged care in Australia 2009-10: A statistical overview"
Study: 43% Of NC Nursing Home Contracts Contain Arbitration Agreements
A recent study by a law professor used a telephone survey and examination of admission contracts used by nursing homes in North Carolina from 2007 to 2009 and finds that 43% of the homes incorporated pre-dispute binding arbitration provisions in their admission contracts. The author explains that all of the major nursing home chains used the agreements in at least some parts of their admissions contracts while smaller companies used them more sporadically. In half of the agreements, the nursing home chooses the arbitration company, and the most popular company (36.59%) was the National Arbitration Forum, a company that agreed to stop doing business in credit card and healthcare arbitration after being sued by the Minnesota Attorney General in 2009. Almost 70% of agreements allowed for consumer rescission within 30 days, though only 40% explained that the arbitration agreement essentially waived a right to a trial by jury. In some cases, nursing homes required residents to sign the arbitration as a condition of admission, contradicting language in the agreements stating that signing the agreement was voluntary. For more information, visit:
Arbitration Agreements Used by Nursing Homes: An Empirical Study and Critique of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion
World Alzheimer's Report 2011: Start Earlier Diagnosis And Intervention
Alzheimer's Disease International released its third annual report focused on Alzheimer's and the authors suggest that earlier diagnosis and intervention is preferred by people, may allow for more effective interventions, and may make better economic sense. The authors explain that most people receive a diagnosis later in the stages of the disease (if at all), creating a "treatment gap." Recommendations to address this gap include every country developing a national dementia strategy to promote early diagnosis and a continuum of care after diagnosis. In a review of economic analyses, the authors suggest that earlier diagnosis could create savings of up to $10,000 per patient in high-income countries. The authors also recommend all primary health care workers being trained in early detection of dementia, and where feasible, establishing specialist diagnostic centers for both diagnosis of Alzheimer's and formulation of care plans. For more information, visit:
"World Alzheimer Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention" (Executive Summary)
Alzheimer's Disease Was Sixth Leading Causes Of U.S. Deaths In 2007
The Center for Disease Control recently released data on the leading causes of American deaths, and Alzheimer's was ranked as the sixth leading cause of U.S. deaths in 2007. The data is divided by age, sex, and race, for example, Alzheimer's was the tenth ranked disease for males (accounting for 1.8% of deaths), but ranked fifth for females (accounting for 4.3% of deaths). For more information, visit:
National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 58, Number 8 Deaths: Leading Causes for 2007
Prescription Drugs: FTC Criticizes Delays; Study Finds Donut Hole Leads To Less Prescriptions Being Filled
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report in August that criticizes the pharmaceutical industry for "pay-for-delay" agreements between pharmaceutical companies and generic drug makers that delay the availability of generic drugs. From Sept. 30, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010, there were 15 drug patent settlements that included promises from generic drug companies to delay their generic version's entry to market, and the FTC suggests these types of agreements cost consumers $3.5 billion a year. A recent report from the Kaiser Foundation finds that Medicare Part D beneficiaries who use drugs in one or more of nine drug classes fell into the "donut hole" in 2009 and these enrollees filled an average of 11% fewer prescriptions once they reached the donut hole. For more information, visit:
New York Times: "F.T.C. Criticizes Agreements That Delay Generic Drugs"
FTC: "Authorized Generic Drugs: Short-Term Effects and Long-Term Impact"
Kaiser Foundation: "Understanding The Effects of The Medicare Part D Coverage Gap in 2008 and 2009"
Mild Cognitive Impairment Research Update
The New York Times recently addressed research on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a condition that is not as severe as Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, though it may foretell these diseases. A study in the June issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Ronald Petersen on MCI cited previous research that suggests between 10 and 20% of people older than 65 have mild cognitive impairment. Dr. Petersen explains two subtypes of the condition: amnestic and nonamnestic. Amnestic MCI is more common and is associated with significant memory problems and forgetting important information and generally progresses to full-blown Alzheimer's. Nonamnestic MCI is associated with difficulty making decisions, finding the right words, visual-spatial tasks, and navigating. While the FDA has not approved any drugs to treat MCI, Dr. Petesen explains that Aricept and Namedna may be prescribed "off label." Family Caregiver Alliance recently updated its MCI Fact Sheet with information for family caregivers and their loved ones with tips about MCI, necessary transitions, and community resources. For more information, visit:
New York Times: "When Lapses Are Not Just Signs of Aging"
Family Caregiver Alliance Fact Sheet: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Does your state or organization assess family caregivers? Have you ever considered making changes to the assessment tool or changing how data from the assessment is used? If so, join FCA in an upcoming webinar on September 20th where we will hear from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and their experiences with implementing a caregiver assessment tool. In 2009, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) began efforts to implement a caregiver status questionnaire in its Medicaid functional eligibility determination process for HCBS as well as a caregiver assessment in its Older Americans Act, Title III-E programs. During this interactive webinar, participants will learn about: the legislative history behind the creation of the assessment; the department's development and implementation processes; how the tool is used and administered; challenges and lessons learned; and future plans for assessing the program. The webinar is scheduled for 12pm Central Time (10am Pacific, 11am Mountain, 12pm Central, 1pm Eastern). To register, visit:
Webinar: Focus on Texas: Caregiver Assessments
FCA: "Why Should We Assess the Needs of Caregivers?" (Part of Caregivers Count Too! Toolkit)
PHI is sponsoring a webinar on September 19th at 3pm (Eastern) to introduce the new PHI State Data Center. The Center provides up-to-date state level profiles of the direct service workforce. To register for the webinar, visit:
Webinar: PHI State Data Center
Conference: 2011 National Lifespan Respite Conference, November 1-4
This year's 2011 National Lifespan Respite Conference will be held in Glendale, Arizona from November 1-3, 2011, followed by a Lifespan Respite Grantee/Partner Meeting on November 4, 2011for Lifespan Respite Grantees and designated partners only. The conference is being hosted by the AZ Caregiver Coalition in collaboration with the ARCH National Respite Network. The theme of this year's conference, The Many Faces of Respite, will celebrate cultural diversity among family caregivers and will explore innovative and culturally responsive respite services to support caregivers. Early bird registration ends this Friday, September 16, 2011. For more information visit:
2011 National Lifespan Respite Conference: The Many Faces of Respite
Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations In Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards
The application deadline for the fourth annual Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards is this Friday, September 16th. The awards are given in three categories, Creative Expression, Diverse & Multicultural Communities, and Policy & Advocacy. Each of the three award recipients receive a $20,000 award, and applications are invited from non-profits, government agencies, and universities. The application deadline is September 16, 2011. For more information or to view the application, visit:
FCA: "Rosalinde Gilbert Awards Application"
WSJ: Issues To Consider When Planning An Inheritance For Disabled Heirs
The Wall Street Journal recently addressed estate planning for parents whose children have a chronic disability. Supportive programs like Medicaid often include asset and income tests that parents need to consider to avoid accidently disqualifying their adult children through an inheritance. The supply of housing for adults with disabilities has not kept up with demand, and according to an ARC report, 2/3 of parents/caregivers don't have a plan for where the person they support will live when they are older. The article suggests one possibility to address housing for a disabled adult is to use a trust to pay the mortgage and property taxes. Special needs trusts are another strategy for parents to "spend down" to a level where they (the parents) will qualify for long-term care services without being penalized by Medicaid "look back" provisions. Another possibility is leaving an inheritance to a sibling who can serve as the caregiver, though if the sibling divorces, that money could ultimately go to an ex-spouse instead of the adult disabled child. For more information, visit:
Wall Street Journal: "Taking Care of Disabled Heirs"
AARP On Senior Hunger; Poverty Increases Again; PBS Series On Wealth Gap
AARP released an August report that finds almost nine million Americans aged 50 and older face the risk of hunger- which represents a 79% increase from 2001. The risk of hunger for African Americans and Hispanics aged 50 and older is twice as high as for whites. People aged 50-59 who are at risk of hunger are 10% more likely to be disabled than people in the 40-49 age group or people age 60 or older. Adults aged 50-59 who are food-insecure are almost twice as likely to be diabetic, five times more likely to suffer from depression, and more than twice as likely to have at least one activity of daily living limitation (as compared to food-secure adults aged 50-59).
The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage for 2010 yesterday. The real median household income dropped 2.3% from 2009 to $49,445, a level not seen since 1997. The nation's official poverty rate in 2010 (the poverty line was $22,314 for a family of four) rose to 15.1%, or 46.2 million Americans. An economist cited by the New York Times notes that this was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, has not risen over such a long time. In addition, 49.9 million Americans lacked health insurance coverage during 2009.
PBS Newshour recently examined people's perception of income inequality in the U.S.
In an informal poll, respondents were shown three pie charts representing segments of the population and their corresponding amounts of wealth. Most participants incorrectly identified the U.S. as having equal wealth distribution across income groups. Dan Ariely, a psychologist from Duke University who designed the quiz, explained: "People don't understand how much wealth the top 20 percent have. They actually have 84 percent of the wealth. And they think they have much less. And more disturbingly, people don't understand how little wealth the bottom of the distribution have. The bottom 40 percent of the U.S. have about 0.3 percent of the wealth, basically zero." For more information, visit:
AARP: Food Insecurity Among Older Adults
Census Bureau: "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010"
PBS Newshour: "Land of the Free, Home of the Poor"
New York Times: "Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on 'Lost Decade'"
Number Of Cohabitating Elderly Couples Triples During Past Decade
The Sacramento Bee reports that the number of Americans aged 65 and older who cohabitate has tripled from 193,000 in 2000 to 575,000 in 2010. The increase is tied to several issues, including greater societal acceptance of cohabitation without marriage, financial concerns, and a desire to not re-work legal documents like wills. Dr. Susan Brown, a professor who studies the topic, cites the example of a widow who currently receives her late husband's pension and/or health care coverage and who would be forced to forfeit that income if she were to remarry. For more information, visit:
Sacramento Bee: "More Elderly Couples Live Together Without Marrying"
VA Caregivers And Veterans Profiled In Article About VA Caregiver Program
USA Today profiled Russ Marek, a staff sergeant serving in the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, who was wounded in September 2005 in Iraq by a roadside bomb. He lost his right leg and arm, suffered a brain injury, as well as burns over 20% of his body. His mother, Rose Marek, is his principal caregiver who helps him with activities of daily living like cooking. The Mareks were approved for the VA's new Family Caregiver program that includes health insurance, a monthly stipend for the caregiver, and counseling. A quarterly visit from a VA social worker ensures that the veteran is receiving adequate care. The stipends range from between $400 and $2,000 per month, depending on need, the amount of time spent caring, and based on comparable compensation for home healthcare aides in the area where the veteran resides. Of 2,003 applications received by the VA, 907 were approved as of August 25, 2011 with an average monthly benefit of $1,800. Rose Marek explains that the program helps her and her husband with expenses that they incur. She adds: "To a young couple, it's going to mean everything. If she has to quit work and stay home, it puts a terrible financial strain on that young couple." Family Caregiver Alliance is part of a broader effort with Easter Seals, Atlas Research, the National Alliance on Caregiving, the National Family Caregiver Association and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, that created the training curriculum for the caregivers of this program. For more information, visit:
USA Today: "Wounded vets applaud new caregivers plan"
VA Caregiver WebSite
FCA Frequently Asked Questions: Caregiving and Veterans
|To find caregiver support services in your state, visit FCA's Family Care Navigator http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/fcn_content_node.jsp?nodeid=2083|
?2011 Family Caregiver Alliance. All rights reserved.
The National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance works to advance the development of high-quality and cost-effective policies and programs for caregivers in every state in the country. The National Center is a central source of information and technical assistance on family caregiving for policymakers, health and service providers, program developers, funders, media and families. For questions or further information about the National Center on Caregiving, contact Policy_Digest@caregiver.org or visit the Family Caregiver Alliance website at www.caregiver.org.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to Caregiving PolicyDigest, use the following link: www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=836
Or, contact Family Caregiver Alliance using our toll-free phone number: (800) 445-8106
Your subscription information is used only for the purpose of improving this service and tailoring it to the needs of its audience. Information provided to us will not be shared with any other organization, agency, corporation, entity or third party.
Caregiving PolicyDigest is a publication of the National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance, 180 Montgomery Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94104.