In March, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reaffirmed its prior holding that the federal government cannot approve changes to state Medicaid programs that are not consistent with the central objective of the Medicaid program
Having a loved one in the hospital can be a stressful and emotional experience — especially if you don’t have the support you need. Each day, 40 million family caregivers help older parents, spouses, children with disabilities and other loved ones live independently at home. They help with bathing and dressing, manage finances, stand by their loved one’s side when they go into the hospital, care for them when they return home, and so much more.
My pop was a Buffalo city bus driver for 25 years. Just like millions of Americans – firefighters, nurses, teachers, and other public employees - Pop worked hard and counted on having his pension to help retire with confidence and dignity. The long-term sustainability of today’s public pension programs is just as critical to millions of Americans.
In preparing Mom’s medication, my 90-year-old Pop would fill a syringe using the light of the kitchen window to see if the dosage was correct. He set up the nebulizer on a table with handwritten step-by-step instructions to remind him how to operate it. Today, millions of family caregivers like Pop perform complex medical tasks that at one time would have been administered only by medical professionals.
Crisp autumn air reminds me of my elementary school days in Upstate NY – and of my Mom's hard work and dedication. My Mom worked the "vampire shift" at Tommy Tucker bakery – injecting doughnuts with jelly from 9 at night to 5 in the morning. She'd arrive back at home in time to wake my brother, sister and me, cook a hot breakfast and send us off to school. And, every Friday on her pay day, she'd take us to the bank to cash her check and set aside a small portion of pay in a Christmas club savings account. No matter how small the check, she always saved something for the St. Patrick's Church collection basket and something for the future.
Think about retiring from your job with no savings — not even a little bit — just debt. Unfortunately this is the case for one in five Utahans, according to a new study released recently by Notalys LLC. This news is troubling, to say the least. To make matters worse, with 45 percent of working-age households having nothing — zero dollars — saved toward retirement, what’s playing out in Utah could have significance nationwide.
My pop, like many family caregivers, used his ingenuity to solve problems. This time, Pop was trying to figure out an easier way to help my mom out of her wheelchair and into bed. Pop was in his 90s, and anything would make it easier on him. So he rigged up a ramp from cinder blocks and particle board. If he could get her chair going at the right speed and right angle, he could run up the ramp and drop her in bed. No doubt Mom was a good sport and willing passenger.
My sister always says, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." I was reminded of this adage when I heard Loren Colman, Minnesota assistant commissioner of continuing care, explain how Minnesota is consistently ranked at the top of the nation when it comes to providing support for seniors and their family caregivers. " We planned," he said. Indeed, Minnesota developed a plan decades ago to transform the way the state would deliver long-term care services to older residents in their homes and communities, instead of costly nursing homes.
"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.
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