Modernizing Medicaid: Putting Home- and Community-Based Services on Equal Footing with Nursing Homes

The AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) had a Solutions Forum on Oct. 30 to discuss ways to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries get the supportive services they need in settings that they choose (See Twitter conversation at #MedMod and event transcript). AARP Executive Vice President Debra Whitman remarked that “the need for long-term services and supports is not a partisan issue. It affects Democrats. It affects Republicans. It affects wealthy people. It affects poor people. It affects old and young, all …

Help! Who Will Care for Baby Boomers When They Need It?

Many hands may not really make light work, but at least they help. The abundance of baby boomers means many can care for their aging parents. But a sobering report released today by the AARP Public Policy Institute shows that within the next 20 years, when boomers are in their 80s and need help of their own, there won’t be enough hands to go around. Consider these findings: In 2010, there were 7.2 potential caregivers (ages 45-64 or the average …

‘Life and Death in Assisted Living’ – Investigative Project Premieres

If you have a loved one in assisted living – or see that possibility on the horizon – this week brings some essential TV viewing and reading. “Life and Death in Assisted Living” is an investigative journalism project with several public faces: a powerful television documentary (premiering July 30 on the PBS series Frontline); a four-part, deeply reported web presentation (starting July 29 at ProPublica.org); and an online chat with correspondent A.C. Thompson and two of the documentary’s subjects on …

Sex and Dementia: What Are Our Rights When We’re Not Ourselves Any More?

A recent Bloomberg article recapped an incident in a nursing home in which an employee walked in on two elderly residents, both diagnosed with dementia, having intercourse. The man was in his late 70s, the woman in her late 80s. The employee, a nurse, called for help and separated the two, but not without the woman clawing and screaming at them. It’s a delicate subject and the zone is completely gray. The incident led to the male patient being removed …

In the Senate, a Symbolic Thumbs-Up for Older Americans

Bernie Sanders, a feisty Independent from Vermont who often votes with his Democratic colleagues, scored a modest – if largely symbolic - victory for older Americans as the Senate pulled an all-nighter last Friday to debate and vote on budget amendments. Sanders, who chairs the Senate subcommittee that deals with aging-related issues, sponsored an amendment to the budget resolution backing the Older Americans Act that was approved by unanimous consent. The landmark law, originally enacted in 1965, supports Meals on Wheels …