Advance Care Planning Gets a Boost

In response to an earlier request from AARP and other groups, we are pleased that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recommended in its recent proposed update to the Medicare physician fee schedule that Medicare be able to pay for advance care planning (ACP) services from physicians and other providers. The proposal will help facilitate voluntary conversations among individuals, their families and health care providers to help ensure individuals’ choices and wishes about their care are known, …

Pop’s Critical Role as Caregiver During Mom’s Brain Surgery

This weekend we all had the opportunity to celebrate our fathers. As I remembered my Pop — a funny, hardworking, unselfish man — I thought about his devotion to my mom, especially during their later lives when he was her primary caregiver. He shouldered huge responsibilities that I think weighed heavily on his mind. I remembered the time, several days before Mom had brain surgery, Pop opened his wallet and handed me a small piece of paper. “It’s the anesthesia …

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Story of Love, Faith and Victory

Three years ago at age 55, Ricki Fairley was having a routine physical when her doctor found “a little tiny tumor under my nipple.” After further tests, she got the news: She had breast cancer. “I was shocked because I thought my breasts were, like, too small for breast cancer,” she muses three years after a mastectomy on Oct. 20, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A busy marketing executive, her initial thought was, “Gosh this is going to get …

New Grandparent Shocker: This Is Fun!

“What’s it like for you, coming over here?” my daughter asks when I stop by her house for a visit. “It must be like entering the gates of hell.” She’s joking — sort of. For starters, she’s tethered to that medieval torture device known as a breast pump. If you last encountered one of these things in the ’80s, you may be surprised to learn that they’re as clunky and loud as ever. Perhaps when men can lactate we’ll see …

When Grandma’s Called to Take Over

Calling all grandmas, calling all grandmas, they’re after you again, the people who have babies but don’t or can’t actually raise them. You are being tested once more on your ability to care for the children of your children in an age that is altering the dynamics of family at the speed of a thunderclap. It is a warning gleaned from reports indicating that more and more grandparents are going to be called upon to raise their grandchildren, stirring the …

Home Health Workers to Get Minimum Wage, Overtime Pay

By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News The U. S. Department of Labor issued new rules Tuesday that mandate home health care agencies pay their workers the minimum wage and receive overtime pay starting in 2015. “Almost 2 million home care workers are doing critical work, providing services to people with disabilities and senior citizens who want to live in community settings and age in place in their familiar surroundings,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. But when it comes to …