Care of older adults is mired in misinformation, with most older patients and caregivers mistakenly believing that sharp declines in quality of life are inevitable, according to a new survey from The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and WebMD. Driving Towards Age-Friendly Care for the Future, a survey of more than 2,700 older patients and caregivers, found:
- More than 40% of respondents believe depression is an inevitable part of aging;
- Three in four older adults are not aware that they have the right to ask for, and receive, health care that is tailored to what matters to them;
- Nearly 40% of respondents did not know that some prescription medications can impact cognition.
The survey underscores the importance of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, a national movement led by JAHF and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the US, which is helping hospitals and health systems provide age-friendly care that focuses on the “4Ms.”
- Read more about the survey findings;
- Learn more about the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative.
Beth Beth Salamon is an only child taking care of her mother, who has dementia. Above, they are pictured in 2009. (Courtesy of Beth Salamon)
by Rose Conlon
“When Holly Hill’s grandfather entered hospice in June, she watched his four children — including her mother — come together as a team to care for him and support each other. But Hill, who’s an only child, couldn’t help but wonder what things might look like when it was her own mother who needed care.
“‘My mom even said to me at one point, “You can’t do it all on your own. You have to take breaks,” remembered Hill. ‘And I thought to myself, “Who’s going to give me a break?”
“Hill, 39, a first grade teacher and a mother herself, lives two hours away from her parents. She hopes they’ll move closer to her before they start needing more care, but it’s a hard sell. They’ve lived in the same house for 40 years — the one her dad built.”
Click here to continue reading this Marketplace article.
“Credit Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times
“Daughters said they sacrificed careers when their relatives wouldn’t. Others said hiring help sapped finances. And more than a few found treasured final moments with loved ones despite the overwhelming work of caring for them.
“After The Times published a pair of articles on elder care — one about a Connecticut home health aide and another about women forgoing careers to care for older relatives — hundreds of our readers shared their own experiences with the hardships of trying to make the final years of a loved one’s life comfortable.
“Many of the readers said they had parents and other relatives who fit squarely in a growing demographic in the United States of elder-boomers who want to spend their final years at home.
“Below is a selection of the reader comments … “
Click here to read this article in its entirety at The New York Times.
“Gloria Brown is the primary caregiver for her husband, Arthur, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer\’s disease four years ago. (Emma Marie Chiang for California Healthline)
by Samantha Young
“Gloria Brown didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Her husband, Arthur Brown, 79, has Alzheimer’s disease and had spent most of the night pacing their bedroom, opening and closing drawers, and putting on and taking off his jacket.
“So Gloria, 73, asked a friend to take Arthur out for a few hours one recent afternoon so she could grab a much-needed nap. She was lucky that day because she didn’t need to call upon the home health aide who comes to their house twice a week.
“The price of paying for help isn’t cheap: The going rate in the San Francisco Bay Area ranges from $25 to $35 an hour. Gloria Brown estimates she has spent roughly $72,000 on caregivers, medications and supplies since her husband was diagnosed four years ago.
“‘The cost can be staggering,’ said state Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), author of a bill that would give family caregivers in California a tax credit of up to $5,000 annually to help offset their expenses.”
Click here to continue reading this Kaiser Health News article.
This is an opinion statement from Laurie Orlov’s blog at Aging in Place Technology Website.
“Where the baby (or elderly family member) may be. The WSJ investigation of Care.com has only added a level of urgency about the risky business of finding and placing caregivers in homes. Consider the Care.com CEO’s egregious assertion that “Care.com is a marketplace platform, like Indeed or LinkedIn.” Really, finding someone to watch your baby or your aging father is analogous to finding a worker to fill a job opening in your IT department or seeking a manager to fill out your org chart? And having nasty problems with convicted criminals taking on caregiving roles, resulting in occurring in multiple states, but never aggregating those into a nationwide picture of a horror show, until research into incidents was done by a Stanford MBA student? Read that link, please.
“What’s wrong with this picture of oversight? Fixing the Care.com background checking fiasco will take ‘more than babysitting money.’ No kidding. It will take vote-with-their feet feedback from the firm’s investors and especially the customers.”
Read this opinion column in its entirety here.
“As you get older, you may find you face more and more medical bills. No matter how great your insurance coverage is or if you are on Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs due to medical needs can add up. And if you or a loved one have a serious medical condition or disability, your costs can quickly get overwhelming.
“The average medical care cost for seniors retiring today is around $280,000. The average cost of long-term care needs for seniors and disabled individuals is around $4,000-$7,000 per month. Clearly, these expenses add up quickly and can drain the resources of those who need care most. That’s why individuals and their caregivers need to understand all of the potential tax benefits they qualify for to ensure they are taking all possible deductions.
“Thankfully, there are many tax deductions you can take for medical bills or the medical bills of someone in your care. In fact, around 9 million Americans currently claim tax deductions to help them lower their tax liability and pay for their medical care. But almost just as many taxpayers fail to take those deductions because they are simply uninformed.
“This guide is designed to give you all of the information you need to claim the deductions you are due. Whether for yourself or for someone you love and care for, here is what you need to know about tax deductions for medical care.”
Keep reading this article at taxact.com, click here.