Wendy Fox-Grage

Wendy Fox-Grage was a senior strategic policy advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute. She worked on state long-term care issues, including Medicaid and home and community-based services.
No husbands or wives should have to completely bankrupt themselves when their spouses need Medicaid to fund home- and community-based services (HCBS) such as help with daily activities like eating, bathing, and dressing. Yet unless Congress acts, bankruptcy or nursing home admission are exactly what could happen in many such cases in the near future because an important provision that allows spousal impoverishment protections for spouses of Medicaid HCBS recipients is set to expire on March 31.
Medicare Advantage—the private plans that cover one-third of Medicare beneficiaries—has new flexibility to offer more supplemental benefits. Importantly, among those benefits are services and supports for family caregivers.
older americans act chart
High-profile issues that make daily headlines currently are occupying much of Congress’s attention. Yet one important issue is receiving little to no attention: the Older Americans Act. If Congress does not act, this legislation, which was last reauthorized for three years, will expire on September 30.
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In our seminal 2017 Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard, we issued a call to action to “pick up the pace of change.” To help accelerate LTSS reforms, we have released a series of Promising Practices and Emerging Innovations reports that provide real-world solutions.
Demographic Graphic
A major demographic shift is happening. The ages 85+ population is projected to triple between 2015 and 2050. In comparison, the population younger than age 65 will increase by only 12 percent.
Pearl Harbor Survivors
Veterans Day provides an opportunity for all of us to thank our military veterans for their service. This time of year is also an appropriate time to increase our awareness of some of the challenges our veterans face. The AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) wants to ensure that our nation’s veterans get the long-term services and supports (LTSS) they need, and do so while remaining in their own communities.
ServiceLink
Most of us will need long-term services and supports (LTSS), either for ourselves or for our family members. However, most of us do not know about our options and how to pay for these services. That is why the LTSS State Scorecard — created by the AARP Public Policy Institute and funded by the Scan Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund — ranks states on their aging and disability resource centers. These centers are an important feature of a high-performing LTSS system.
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I live in Fairfax County, Va., where the population is extremely diverse and aging. This county is a large suburb of Washington, D.C. More than 1 out of every 4 county residents 70 years or older speak a language other than English at home. Of those speaking another language, 1 out of 6 do not speak English. My home county is a window into what the older population in the U.S. will be in the future. The following numbers tell the story.
Percent pop increase
From 2010 to 2060, the age 85-plus population will more than triple (+260%), the fastest growth of any age group over that time period.
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Millions of older people and adults with disabilities receive services in their own homes and communities, but little is known about their quality of care or quality of life. However, an exciting and relatively new assessment called the National Core Indicators — Aging and Disabilities (NCI-AD) is emerging that could begin to fill this data void.
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