For Many Veterans, the Battles Don’t End With the War

It seems so easy. We pass a veteran in uniform in an airport or on the street and we nod and say, “Thank you for your service.” It is a gracious greeting that is much appreciated by these men and women who have fought or stood bravely for the ideals of freedom for which America stands. But the fact is that, though veterans respond in kind to appreciation, many have brought the battlefield home with them in various ways. >> …

A New Washington Memorial Just for Disabled Vets

In June 1969, Dennis Joyner was a 20-year-old soldier on patrol in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta when he encountered a land mine that ripped off his legs and an arm. He had only been in the war-torn country 32 days. Now 66, Joyner has learned to navigate life over the years from a wheelchair and is one of the nation’s more than 3 million disabled vets. He will also be among the crowds at the dedication of the American Veterans Disabled …

Lawmakers Urged to Act Soon to Shore Up Social Security

The financial outlook for Social Security remains largely unchanged from last year, with the combined trust funds that pay benefits to retirees and workers with disabilities expected to exhaust reserves in 2033, according to a government report released today. After that date, money coming into the system would be enough to cover 77 percent of benefit obligations, according to the Social Security trustees report. At a news conference on Monday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Jack J. Lew said Social Security and Medicare are …

Walking and Working with the Extenders

The first time I ever heard the term “extenders” applied to human effort and not necessarily to equipment utilized by the handicapped was in the office of a doctor who actually had disabilities. He redefined the word to mean that you never give up. Burdened by the ever-increasing impact of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) on my body, I had requested a wheelchair from Medicare and was told to make an appointment in Los Angeles with one Dr. Thomas Hedge, …

Giving Family Caregivers the Respect and Support They Deserve

Caring for a loved one with chronic or disabling conditions is a daily struggle for millions of American families. For decades, these intensely personal and family needs have generally been viewed as private issues and largely overlooked in public policy, although it would cost an estimated $450 billion to replace that care. But that may be changing. The federal Commission on Long-Term Care has taken an important step to elevate family caregiving as a public issue that can no longer …

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 …