Denial Ain’t Just A River In Egypt: Americans (Still) Unprepared For Care Needs In Old Age

Americans 40 or older know they’ll need some personal care as they age and worry about losing their independence or having to rely on others. Yet, they are more likely to plan for their funerals than for their care needs, have no idea what such care costs, and more than 4 in 10 mistakenly believe Medicare will pay for their [...]

By |2014-05-21T15:04:43-04:00May 21st, 2014|Aging, long-term care financing|1 Comment

Informal Caregiving? Free Caregiving? Seriously?

In a nice blog post the other day, AARP’s Lynn Friss Feinberg reminded me of one of my great pet peeves: The way some so-called experts describe the help family and friends provide loved ones with care needs. Lynn called them out for using the phrase “informal caregiving,” as if this were merely some sort of casual relationship. You know, [...]

By |2014-05-14T17:26:20-04:00May 14th, 2014|Aging, aging in place, family caregivers|4 Comments

The Future of Age-Friendly Communities: Can They Do It All?

Nearly all of us want to age in place. We want to grow old in a safe, comfortable, secure, affordable, and interesting community. But what the heck does that mean? As the U.S. (and the rest of the world) ages, governments, non-profits, think tanks, advocacy groups, and universities are trying to figure it out. It turns out to be not [...]

By |2014-05-07T13:44:54-04:00May 7th, 2014|Aging, aging in place|1 Comment

How Elders Are Building New Communities

For decades, it’s been easy to answer the question of where we will live as we age. The options were few--our home or our children’s, a nursing home, or some form of large retirement community. Not any more. Unsatisfied with the limited choices of the past, seniors are creating an extraordinary brew of options, inventing new forms of community as [...]

By |2014-04-23T11:27:30-04:00April 23rd, 2014|Aging, aging in place|3 Comments

The Real Value of ObamaCare Has Nothing to do with Enrollment

The loud debate over how many people have gotten health insurance under the Affordable Care Act misses the point. Yes, reducing the number of uninsured was one goal of the ACA. But only one. The law’s most enduring legacy will come from its historical—but largely unnoticed—changes in the way health care is delivered. Unlike the insurance expansion, which largely excludes Medicare, many [...]

How A New Alzheimer’s Test Could Kill Long-Term Care Insurance—Or Make It Cheaper

A team of researchers at Georgetown University and six other medical centers has developed a simple blood test  they say can predict, with 90 percent accuracy, whether an individual will develop Alzheimer’s Disease within 2-3 years.  If it works as advertised, such a test could have a profound impact on the long-term care insurance market. The study results, published in the [...]

By |2014-03-26T16:02:14-04:00March 26th, 2014|Aging, dementia, long-term care financing|0 Comments

We All Want To Live At Home In Old Age, But Know Nothing About the Quality of Care We’ll Get There

The other day, I wrote about a troubling report on the high likelihood of falls or medication errors in skilled nursing facilities. The problem is real and serious, but at least we can measure it-- which is a first step towards fixing it. In contrast, there is home care. More than eight of every 10 people who need long-term supports [...]

Addressing the Dangers of Nursing Facilities

Earlier this month, the federal department of Health & Human Services concluded that more than one of every five skilled nursing facility (SNF) patients suffered serious harm from events such as medication errors, falls, or infections in 2011. Half were sent to the hospital as a result of these events. Six percent died. And 60 percent of these adverse events [...]

By |2014-03-14T14:17:16-04:00March 14th, 2014|Aging, Medicare, nursing homes|4 Comments

Senior Services Take a Hit in Obama Budget

Federal senior services programs are in for another very difficult year. In the 2015 budget he released yesterday, President Obama proposed freezing or even cutting spending for many key programs. And Obama’s blueprint may be the highwater mark for many initiatives, which are likely to see even deeper cuts as the budget works its way through Congress. Key House Republicans have [...]

Better Coordinating Long-Term Care and Medical Treatment

The most important trend in care for the frail elderly and younger people with disabilities may be what’s called managed long-term supports and services, or MLTSS. This effort to combine medical care with long-term care would replace today’s disorganized, ineffective, and even dangerous system with one that can bring together complex care that’s being delivered by many different providers. Done [...]

By |2014-02-27T07:41:27-05:00February 27th, 2014|Aging, Care Coordination, Medicaid, Medicare|2 Comments