As AARP’s recent report highlights, the majority of Americans prefer to remain in their homes as long as possible. Helping to enable that are home- and community-based services (HCBS)—the kind of long-term supports provided to older adults and individuals with disabilities residing in communities as they age.
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.
My almost 96-year-old mother is one of about half of older adults with disabilities serious enough to need long-term services and supports. She is nearly blind, has dementia and osteoporosis, and suffers from arthritis. Recently she’s begun to experience back pain too. She lived in her home of over 50 years until it was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. For the past four years she has been living in an assisted living facility in New Jersey, in the community she prefers. Here’s a little of what the experience of my mother — and my family — reveals about the cost of care for older adults with health and self-care needs.
After nearly 30 years, the Obama administration wants to modernize the rules nursing homes must follow to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid payments.
As nursing homes have moved away from using physical restraints, there is evidence that some institutions are substituting antipsychotic medications to sedate residents with behavior problems.
While traveling to Erie, Pa., for a town meeting on family caregiving, I was reflecting on my family roots. A little more than 100 years ago, my Lithuanian grandparents immigrated to America and made Shenandoah, Pa., their first hometown. My grandfather worked in the coal mines and my grandmother, fluent in six languages, worked various jobs while raising five children - one of whom was my mom. My grandparents taught me about hard work and perseverance, and my parents taught me all I'd ever need to know about unconditional love and family caregiving.
"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.
I'll admit it: I love a good to-do list. When I've got a lot on my plate, or even when I don't, there's something so satisfying about crossing things off as I go.
You've heard it before. You go into the hospital for one thing and come out with another: a whopping infection contracted there. Did you know that you're also at risk for infection in assisted living and nursing homes? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just launched a website to help put the brakes on infection in long-term care settings.
Imagine that your mother is in a long-term care facility. On your weekend visits, she's told you that the nurses and aides there are taking things from her, pinching her and refusing to change her diapers when she soils them.
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