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 …

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 …