The Financial Burden of Being a Family Caregiver

Caring for family or friends is not just a matter of love and time, it’s also a matter of dollars and cents. According to a new survey from Caring.com, nearly half of caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year — a whopping $25,000 over the average caregiving stint of five years. And many spend far more. Complicating things is the reluctance of caregivers to talk about finances: Seven out of 10 have not spoken with loved ones about how to …

Bill Would Cover More Medicare Patients for Skilled Nursing Care

A congressman is expressing confidence that a bill he sponsored – to fix a problem faced by many Medicare patients who are left without coverage for skilled nursing care – will pass this year. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who introduced the bill with Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, told reporters in a conference call that the legislation has picked up 137 cosponsors. “This is not happening in a vacuum,” Courtney said, according to the Connecticut Mirror. “It’s happening because there is …

What Do Hospitals in Your Area Charge? Look It Up

Last week the Obama administration started publishing comparative data on what more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation charge for services – information that has long been hidden from consumers. And the results were pretty shocking. As Modern Healthcare reports, the data show enormous disparities in what hospitals charge for the same treatments – not just from region to region, but even among hospitals in the same metropolitan area. Treatment for kidney and urinary tract infections, for example, typically costs $40,902 …

What Does This Symptom Mean?

I am not the hypochondriac sort; I don’t assume that every symptom means something is desperately wrong. That said, I am a Google-er of symptoms both big and small; it’s good to have all the info on your bod, right? AARP Symptom Checker to the rescue. From swollen ankles to palpitations, from itchy eyes to tingly fingertips, enter in all of your symptoms to see what might be going on with you, inside and out. So go on, click here …

Ringing Ears Is All In Your Head, Literally

Lately, I’ve heard a lot talk in my group of friends about tinnitus (a constant hissing or ringing sound in the ear). A dear friend’s husband has it, and he’s found no medical relief. Another friend told me last week she’s had it for a few years, and wonders if she’ll return to a good night of sleep again. You might be surprised (I was) that millions of Americans suffer from tinnitus. Whether it be from exposure to loud noises, …

Death Takes a Holiday

Every other Thursday, we have Trish Vradenburg as our special guest blogger covering Alzheimer’s issues. Trish is a playwright, author, television writer, and Alzheimer’s disease advocate. She and her husband, George, founded UsAgainstAlzheimer’s with the goal of finding a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s by the year 2020. She brings her legendary humor and wit to the devastating realities of Alzheimer’s, and we’re excited to have her share with us here. Great news – no one died today from Alzheimer’s… …