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 …

It’s Time to Talk About America’s Long-Term Care Crisis

AARP applauds the Bipartisan Policy Center for highlighting the need for a real discussion about America’s long-term care crisis and solutions to address it. Millions of individuals and families currently caring for loved ones are faced every day with physical, financial and emotional challenges. Family caregivers need support - individuals want to live independently in their homes and communities - and as a country we are not prepared. Every night, families are discussing these tough issues around their kitchen table. It’s time …

Living With Dementia and Caregivers: So Many Unmet Needs

Call me naive, but I didn’t realize that as many as 70 percent of the 5.4 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia are cared for by family and friends. A four-year Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined the unmet needs of people with dementia (PWD) living in the community (as opposed to long-term care) and their family caregivers. Researchers wanted to determine if there were a lot of unmet needs (an …

The New Federal Rule on Home- and Community-Based Services: All Eyes on the States

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently took an important step toward helping low-income people with disabilities. In January, CMS issued a final rule [CMS-2249-F/CMS-2296-F] giving states new flexibility and responsibilities for using Medicaid dollars to pay for home- and community-based services (HCBS). The rule – which should help Medicaid recipients overcome fragmented systems of care and limited options for living in the community – is likely to affect states in three significant ways. New Definition of …

America’s Next Great Challenge

In today’s Washington Post, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Secretary Tommy Thompson made a strong case for a constructive, national dialogue on long-term care. AARP agrees wholeheartedly. Just this week, we joined with The Hill Newspaper to hold a briefing on long-term services and supports. We convened leaders from the federal and state levels to shine a bright light on the possible solutions and innovations that are happening across the nation. >> Visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center …