Aging Out Loud: From Generation to Generation

by Renée Markus Hodin. This article originally appeared on Community Catalyst’s Health Policy Hub blog.

We want to pay tribute to a leader with whom many Health Policy Hub readers may not be familiar: Nelson Cruikshank. Nelson was a longtime leader in the labor movement who was instrumental in creating two of the most important programs for vulnerable older adults and people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare.

Born in 1902, Nelson grew up to become a Methodist minister and, later, a union organizer. After a series of jobs in the federal government – including one setting up camps for migrant farm workers, a program later made famous in John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of.... Read More

             

Why The New ‘Public Charge’ Rule Could Hit Older Immigrants Hard

by Jaya Padmanabhan. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Devyani Dave immigrated from India to California in 1995 in her early 60s to live near her son and his family. Her green card was sponsored by her son (who prefers not to reveal his name), a citizen who came to the U.S. in 1973. When Dave arrived to start her new life, she had no health insurance and relied on her son to support her. Now, sitting on a bench at Priya Living, a senior community facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Dave said she feels fortunate to be in close proximity to her only child, especially as she ages.

But some immigration experts say the.... Read More

             

Pneumonia Vaccination: Protect yourself by asking the right questions

It’s a new year, and here at the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), we’re resolving to make 2020 the healthiest year yet for NHCOA’s constituents and staff. Hopefully by now you have been vaccinated for influenza and the immunization will keep you healthy over the winter months. Equally important is another vaccine currently available for your protection — the pneumococcal vaccine – which prevents a serious illness, pneumococcal disease or pneumonia.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that pneumonia is just a bad cold or the flu or that it can be prevented with the flu vaccine. In.... Read More

             

Three Ways to Save on Medicare Costs

This article originally appeared on Medicare.gov.

You may be able to get help paying for your health and prescription drug costs. Even if you aren’t sure you’re eligible, it’s worth learning more about these three ways to save on Medicare costs:

Medicaid

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for Medicaid—a joint federal and state program that:

Helps with medical costs Offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care servicesEach state has different rules about eligibility and applying for Medicaid. Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify, learn how to apply, and how Medicare works with Medicaid..... Read More
             

Cultural competence is the key to trust and respect between clients and direct care workers

Dear Colleague,

Resources for Integrated Care (RIC) has developed a series of briefs, described and linked below, to help long-term services and support (LTSS) providers, administrators, and other stakeholders, support a diverse direct care workforce that can meet the cultural needs and preferences of dually eligible beneficiaries. These resources contain information and promising practices related to organizational cultural competence in LTSS provider settings, training culturally competent direct care workers, and recruiting and retaining a diverse direct care workforce.

Click here to access the direct care workforce briefs.

Nearly.... Read More

             

New Data Show ACA Is Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Coverage

by Dara S. Taylor. This article originally appeared on the Community Catalyst blog.

Since the passage of the ACA over 20 million people have gained access to health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. A recent issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund reaffirms that substantially lowering uninsurance rates nationwide has also led to reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage. The health coverage gains have been most pronounced for minority groups and individuals with incomes below 139 percent of the federal poverty level.

Before the passage of the ACA, Latinx people had the highest initial uninsurance rate. Black people also had higher initial uninsurance rates than whites. Therefore, a reduction of.... Read More

             

Culturally Competent Supports for Diverse Family Caregivers: Spotlight on Volunteers of America Minnesota-Wisconsin

This article was written for the Diverse Elders Coalition by Resources for Integrated Care.

Nearly one in four older adults dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid has Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, and dually eligible older adults have higher rates of chronic conditions than Medicare-only beneficiaries. Caring for individuals with dementia and other chronic conditions often involves significant physical, emotional, and financial support from family members. To meet the needs of family caregivers, providers and health plans may benefit from strategies for supporting caregivers through services such as respite services, counseling, and training and education.

Family caregivers come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and health plans report.... Read More

             

Culturally Competent Care Resources for Providers Serving Dual Eligibles

Dear Colleague,

April was National Minority Health Month, and May is Older Americans Month. In observance, we invite you to explore our resources for delivering culturally and linguistically competent long-term services and supports (LTSS).

Long-term services and supports (LTSS) are a vital part of care for many dually eligible beneficiaries. Nearly half (42 percent) of full-benefit dual eligibles used LTSS in 2013, including nursing facility services, adult day programs, home care, and personal care services. Individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups often experience disparities in access, quality, and outcomes.... Read More

             

A Mouthful of Pain for Older People: Sen. Cardin Introduces Medicare Dental Benefit

by Viji Sundaram. This article originally appeared in India West.

When Sanjog Kaur could no longer bear the pain around her upper molar that had been bothering her for months, she took a needle-nose pliers from her husband’s toolbox one recent day, sterilized it in boiling water, rocked the offending tooth back and forth a few times and yanked it out of her mouth. Then she put a sterilized cotton ball in the gap to suck up the blood

“I was scared, but I had no other option,” said the 70-year-old Indian American resident of the Bay Area, who asked that her real name not be used. “A visit to the dentist has always set us.... Read More

             
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