5 Tips for Family Caregivers

I recently spent a 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 …

States Start Shifting Focus to Help Seniors Live Independently, at Home

“We need to ‘spring’ your mother,” Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home. My mom and pop, like most Americans, wanted to stay in their home and community as they aged. Pop became the primary family caregiver for Mom, and …

Study: Support Services a Good Alternative to Nursing Home

You may feel you have stark choices for frail and elderly family members: Keep them at home without the help and support they need, or help them move to an assisted living facility or a nursing home to get those services. A new report from the Center for Housing Policy (CHP) encourages a third possibility: getting services for them in their home and community. The report, produced by the research arm of the National Housing Conference, says that option is less expensive and allows …