WEBINAR: “Measuring home and community-based services for older adults and people with disabilities”
Register for this WEBINAR that will be held on February 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm eastern time.
Gain a deeper understanding of the factors that help older adults and people with disabilities maintain their independence, and to what degree publicly funded services are meeting those needs. This session examines a wealth of data to answer the questions:
- What access does the aging and disabled community have to vital services like transportation, employment, and service coordination?
- How do outcomes vary among programs funded by Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, and states?
- Where can I go for data to guide the work of my agency?
While most family and unpaid caregivers looking after older adults feel listened to when talking with the adults’ health care provider, a small new survey finds that few are asked about needing assistance. Here’s more:
- Interaction with health providers: The vast majority of those surveyed said they always or usually feel heard by the older adults’ health providers. At the same time, fewer than half of caregivers interact with clinicians.
- Assistance: Almost half of caregivers said they were never asked about needing help tending to the person under their care, while about 20% said they were always asked. Those who interacted with health workers were more likely to be asked about needing assistance with caregiving.
- Dementia care: Those assisting adults with dementia were more likely to report being listened to, and asked about needing help and whether they understood the medications they were handling.
In this national survey study, most caregivers reported that older adults’ health care workers always (70.6%) or usually (18.2%) listened to them and always (54.4%) or usually (17.7%) asked about their understanding of the older adult’s treatments, but fewer caregivers reported being always (21.3%) or usually (6.9%) asked whether they need help managing older adults’ care.
SOURCE: STAT Morning Rounds
“Like climate change, the aging of America demands a serious rethinking of the way we live.”
“Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times”
by Sysan Jacoby
“One of the paradoxes of this presidential campaign is that while many of the candidates are in their eighth decade of life, fundamental issues associated with the aging of American society are still receiving relatively little attention from the public, the press and politicians themselves. In 2031, the oldest baby boomers will turn 85, entering the land of the ‘old old’ and facing exponentially higher risk for dementia, serious physical disabilities and long-term dependency.
“Like climate change, the aging of America demands serious reconsideration of the way we live. Confronting the issue and its many implications, from Medicare’s failure to cover long-term care to the ethics of physician-assisted dying, requires what seems to be the most difficult task for human beings — thinking about the future.
“In November, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the birthrate among women of childbearing age had dropped to a record low, continuing a sharp decline in births that began around the financial crisis of 2008. At the same time, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported an increased death rate in the 25- to 64-year-old age group, with the main causes thought to be opioid overdoses, alcoholism and suicide.”
On November 13, 2019, Pennsylvania announced it will formally request a Good Faith Effort Exemption from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the implementation of the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) mandate to allow for necessary time for providers of Personal Care Services to fully prepare for EVV. The state is seeking an extension to allow additional time for providers using Alternate EVV systems to go through the necessary testing and become integrated to feed EVV data to the DHS Aggregator. If approved by CMS, the extension will allow the Department of Human Services (DHS) to extend the soft launch period and implement a tiered compliance structure before the denial of payments. If the Good Faith Effort Exemption is denied, EVV will be mandated as of January 1, 2020. DHS will update stakeholders on the Good Faith Effort Exemption request response from CMS.
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.”
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.”
“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 … “
“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.