Family Caregivers Need Support; Are States Meeting the Need?

One day my toddler decided that she was going to push “Gamma” in the wheelchair. She went to the tippy-top of her toes, reached her hands high to grab the handles and then p-u-u-s-s-h-e-d. It clearly wasn’t going to happen without some assistance, but she didn’t see it that way. After several frustrating attempts she looked up at me and said, “Help, Mama, help…” I am one of 42 million Americans who care for an older adult. I also work …

Jackson on the Job: Service Dog Plays Crucial Role in Caregiving Team

At less than a foot tall and under 25 pounds, Mr. Jackson might not seem like the powerhouse that he is in our family. His floppy ears and big brown eyes make him adorable, but it’s the intelligence and sensitivity that are apparent through those eyes that have made him my constant, loyal and vital partner in caregiving for my parents over the past five years. As caregivers, we all need to build a caregiving team - no one can do …

5 Tips for Family Caregivers

I spent last weekend with eight of my college roommates for our annual get-together. Through the years we’ve always shared our life events, so it came as no surprise that our conversation turned to the topic of family caregiving. Like millions of fiftysomething women in the U.S. today, my former roomies are struggling to navigate the health care system on behalf of their parents – who now turn to them for help. “Information is power,” I told them. “So let …

The Importance of Language Access in Community-Based Long-Term Care Settings

En español | The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 55.4 million Americans speak a language other than English when they are at home. In addition to Spanish, growing numbers of Americans speak Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic and other languages. This represents a 140 percent jump since 1980. The Census Bureau also predicts that the United States will continue to be a linguistically diverse nation and home to large numbers of people with limited English proficiency (LEP). This …

Removing Barriers to Financial Independence for People With Disabilities

For people with disabilities, barriers to employment can be especially devastating. Nearly 20 million working-age adults have a physical, sensory or cognitive disability. Their rates of employment are significantly lower than among the non-disabled population (33 percent compared with 73.8 percent) and their poverty rates are more than double that of non-disabled people ages 18 to 64 (28.8 percent compared with 13.3 percent in 2012). It’s not just about money. Employment enhances personal well-being, identity, purpose and social inclusion. Unfortunately, …

Time for States to Get Moving on Supporting Long-Term Care

It’s time to pick up the pace of change. That’s the core message of a report released today by the AARP Public Policy Institute (with support from the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation) that looks at delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS). The 2014 LTSS Scorecard evaluated every state and the District of Columbia on 26 aspects of system performance, including affordability, access, choice, quality, support for family caregivers, and effectiveness of care transitions. There was good news …