by George Lorenzo. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Family caregivers of loved ones with disabilities and chronic illnesses experience life transformations that are often unexpected. Their altered lifestyles, frequently resulting in dramatic changes to their personal identities, can last for many years, depending on their circumstances.
Being uprooted from their former selves over long periods of time can bring isolation and loneliness. And that can have negative physical and mental ramifications for both the caregiver and their loved one. How caregivers deal with their newly transformed lives, and how much assistance they may or may not get, can make a huge difference in their well-being. Here are stories of three family caregivers and their.... Read More
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
You Shouldn’t Need a Golden Ticket to Stay Mobile as You Age
Perhaps no movie has better staying power than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Many of us raised our children — and now our grandchildren — on the 1971 hit. In a movie filled with iconic scenes, one that really resonates with me involves Charlie’s four grandparents.
It’s hard to forget Grandpa Joe being confined to a bed, as life in the house goes on around him. He’s seemingly living out his later years as a passive.... Read More
Cultural competence is the key to trust and respect between clients and direct care workers
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.
Family caregivers provide an estimated $470 billion in unpaid care each year. All family caregivers need more support, but the diverse needs of family caregivers have not been fully appreciated. Thanks to research supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation, we’re learning a lot more about the diversity of family caregivers in this country and how we can better support them.
Family caregivers are represented in all races, ethnicities, ages, sexualities, gender.... Read More
“I have been forgetting things for years, but now I forget in a new way. I used to believe I could eventually retrieve whatever was lost and then commit it to memory. Now I know I can’t possibly. Whatever’s gone is hopelessly gone. And what’s new doesn’t stick.”
This passage is just one of many favorites from Nora Ephron’s final book, I Remember Nothing — a 161-page testament to the fact that as we age, our memories get.... Read More
New Data Show ACA Is Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Coverage
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
Take action: Submit a comment to protect health care rights for all
Health is a human right, and that is why we believe that a patient’s health should come first. The Trump Administration has introduced a new proposed rule that would radically reinterpret civil rights protections under the Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act) for people who are limited English proficient (LEP). This includes changing how US Department of Health and Human Services and federal and state health insurance marketplaces must comply with the law, limiting enforcement of civil rights, and rolling.... Read More
As Death Approaches, Older Indian Americans Unprepared for the End
The 88-year-old man looked gray and emaciated, the outline of his collarbones clearly visible under the loose fitting gown he wore as he lay in a narrow hospital bed in an East Bay nursing home. His eyes were closed, his mouth agape. A tube delivered both medicine and food directly into his stomach. He didn’t appear to know what was going on around him.
Nearly two years ago, aspiration pneumonia put Chandra Bhatia (his wife asked that his real name not be used) in the hospital. Since then, other health crises have.... Read More
When you reach your 60s, all the issues that arose in your 50s become more extreme.
Your yearly well-woman visit is a good time to check in with your doctor about how you’re doing, how you’d like to be doing and what changes you can make to reach your health goals. In addition to talking with your doctor or nurse about your health, you may also need certain vaccines and medical tests. Don’t worry. You won’t need every test every year.
Younger than 65? Right now a yearly well-woman visit won’t cost.... Read More
Middle Income Older Adults Need New Policies and Programs That Will Work for Them
Joan and Lucy are members of an increasing population of older adults in their 70s and 80s who will need some type of assistance to support them to age in place. Joan is a retired teacher and her partner Lucy is a retired social worker.
Joan told me, “We always planned on traveling after retirement. There are so many places we haven’t been, and we wanted to visit all of them. But then Lucy developed Alzheimer’s, and everything changed. We took some great trips at the beginning of the disease. We enjoyed every minute of our time together. It.... Read More
Eradicating Elder Abuse is Everyone’s Responsibility
Many of us take the answer to that question for granted. After all, our home should be our refuge. It should be a place where we feel safe, secure and surrounded by people we love and trust — especially as we age. For the one in 10 older Americans who suffer elder mistreatment, however, home may simply not be a safe place.