All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.
Q. I’ve been told that if we put our mother in a nursing home, we must first spend down all her assets before Medicaid will kick in. But her major asset is her house. In this economy, with houses not selling, how will that work? Does Medicaid put a lien on the house and get reimbursed after it sells?
Also, my sister currently lives in the house. Is she allowed to continue living there until the house sells?
It's a good idea for seniors enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans to review their choices every year for possible changes, experts say.
Two years ago, Ruth Collins found herself in a quandary. The primary-care doctor she'd been seeing for 17 years was not covered by her Medicare Advantage plan, a private Medicare plan. Instead, her health insurer tried to send her to other physicians and the insurers wouldn't accept some charges by the provider.
Luckily, there were other options for Collins. She switched to a different Medicare Advantage plan and can now see her doctor in San Bernardino, where she lives. She's happy with the change and has decided to stick with the same plan next year.
Every other weekend, I drive the 55 miles between Brooklyn and Tinton Falls, N.J., where my father lives at an assisted living facility called Renaissance Gardens. Before I can give him a hug, see how he’s feeling and wheel him out to the car so we can go out for lunch and take care of his shopping, I pass the “Dearly Departed” table in the corridor leading to his room.
A frame sits on the table, displaying a face, sometimes smiling and sometimes not, along with a name, a room number and the date that person died. Almost always, the face has changed since my last visit. Read more
Alzheimer's specialists in Chicago have recently launched a new effort to educate the city's Latino population about the disease, as it affects Latinos about seven years earlier than it does white Americans.
Experts say that low-income levels, language barriers and access to medical care contribute to higher rates of diabetes and high-blood pressure in Latinos, making them more susceptible to Alzheimer's, according to the Chicago Tribune. This has caused what the Alzheimer's Association refers to as a public health crisis.Read more...
Heavy drinkers and heavy smokers develop Alzheimer's disease years earlier than people with Alzheimer's who do not drink or smoke heavily, according to new research.
"These results are significant because it's possible that if we can reduce or eliminate heavy smoking and drinking, we could substantially delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease for people and reduce the number of people who have Alzheimer's at any point in time," said study author Ranjan Duara, MD, of the Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.
"It has been projected that a delay in the onset of the disease by five years would lead to a nearly 50-percent reduction in the total number of Alzheimer's cases," said Duara. "In this study, we found that the combination of heavy drinking and heavy smoking reduced the age of onset of Alzheimer's disease by six to seven years, making these two factors among the most important preventable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease." Read full article...
by Paula Span, The New Old Age, New York Times The whole issue of older drivers — how safe they are or aren’t, how states should determine that, how families should respond when someone clearly seems a danger to himself and others — can be confounding, full of emotional overtones as well as pragmatic questions.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been thinking about this, too, and is holding a two-day public forum today and tomorrow called “Safety, Mobility and Aging Drivers,” which will feature academic and medical researchers, industry leaders, law enforcement officials, safety experts and advocacy groups like AARP. Read full story...
VA produced more than 103,000 decisions in August 2010, and just under 103,000 in September, breaking all previous records on the number of decisions rendered in one month's time. The fiscal year ended with an annual total of more than 1 million disability claims completed, another first for VA. Increasing efficiencies, use of overtime, and the spirit of a can-do workforce is helping VA strike historic marks in processing claims for disability benefits. VA's commitment to quality is unwavering, and our systematic technical accuracy review shows quality continues to trend in a positive direction. Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and this year’s theme is “Reach out for help.” The ALS Association recognizes that every day caregivers work many long hours taking care of loved ones. Caregivers tirelessly support those they care about with essential tasks such as bathing, dressing, feeding and activities associated with general health. All too often, caregivers perform this without assistance and with no monetary reimbursement. This can take an enormous emotional and physical toll on these dedicated men, women and children. The ALS Association encourages caregivers to embrace this theme and “reach out for help.” Read more...
More so than with any other major disease, our near-term progress in the battle against Alzheimer’s will be determined largely by our ability to improve awareness about several aspects of this encroaching threat.
Summarized here are five reasons why greater awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, and a deeper public understanding of risks and prevention strategies, will play a key role in the nation’s ability to triumph against the prospect of a devastating AD epidemic.