AARP applauds Congress for passing the long-awaited bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA) after the Senate passed the House-amended bill on April 7. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of S. 192, legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate in July 2015.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is the law that since 1965 has provided a variety of essential programs and services to our most vulnerable older Americans, including Meals on Wheels, access to abuse prevention services, transportation assistance, and support for family caregivers. OAA programs save taxpayers money by reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions, and help older Americans stay in their homes and communities, where they want to be.
Since October 2012, the Medicare program has penalized hospitals when too many patients in traditional Medicare are re-hospitalized within a month of discharge. This policy appears to be having unintended consequences for patients in Medicare and in the commercial market.
Lately you may have noticed a growing number of commercials filled with people happily touting the benefits of their new joints. Experts expect such procedures to become increasingly popular as the active boomer population continues to age. However, the commercials typically gloss over the fact that joint replacements do not come without risk: Implant-related complications are common and can lead to unplanned hospital readmissions.
This weekend we all had the opportunity to celebrate our fathers. As I remembered my Pop — a funny, hardworking, unselfish man — I thought about his devotion to my mom, especially during their later lives when he was her primary caregiver. He shouldered huge responsibilities that I think weighed heavily on his mind.
Alice from Texas cared for her husband, Cort, after he suffered a severe stroke. She recently shared her story on I Heart Caregivers, writing, “After a week in intensive care, three weeks in a rehab facility and a month in a nursing home, I brought my husband home to begin his care. He came home with a severe wound on his back. I learned wound care, changing catheters, all the duties of a home healthcare nurse. Since then, he has had numerous hospital admissions, emergency room visits…”
BREAKING UPDATE 5/15: Oklahoma becomes the first state in the nation to enact the CARE Act! SB 1536, also known as the CARE Act, has been signed by Governor Mary Fallin and will take effect November 1, 2014. The bill will help the 600,000 family caregivers in Oklahoma when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.
"There is a bias in medicine against talking to people," a frustrated health care provider tells the Washington Post. Or, as a recent story in the Wall Street Journal put it, "Doctors are rude. Doctors don't listen. Doctors have no time. Doctors don't explain things in terms patients can understand."
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