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States with high-performing long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems have one thing in common: a commitment to long-range master plans to guide policy and fiscal investments
Rebalancing the the long-term services and supports system away from an over-reliance on nursing homes and making choices available for individuals of all incomes and abilities means they get to decide how and where they want to live as they age.
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Innovative state solutions to America’s savings crisis are in danger. Federal overreach threatens an important Department of Labor rule that gives states flexibility to help workers save for retirement.
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Let me introduce you to a fellow family caregiver, Lisa. With the help of her sister, Lisa cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease — managing medications, cleaning the house, and handling any medical issues. They also managed her mother’s finances. Lisa shared:
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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.
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“People give their time to their job. They shouldn’t have to fear what happens when they’re done working.”  — Molly Sumner of Kindred Companions
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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.
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How much have you saved for retirement? Five hundred dollars? Five thousand? Fifty thousand? If you have even $5 saved, you’re one step ahead of nearly half of working-age households — who have ZERO saved for retirement.
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Like Billy Joel, I frequently find myself in “A New York State of Mind.” I am a New Yorker — born, raised and educated in the Empire State. Though I no longer live there, I still call it home — which is why I was concerned by the findings of a new AARP survey released last week. The reality is, the New York state of mind is experiencing high anxiety when it comes to saving for retirement — especially Generation X, which started turning 50 this year.
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As National Nurses Week concludes, I want to take a moment and thank all nurses — past, present, and future — for all that you do. I know firsthand the importance of nurses not only to patients, but to their families. During the 15 years I cared for my parents, nurses made a huge difference in our lives. There’s no doubt, caregiving takes a team, and so often nurses were a part of my family’s team.
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