11/21/2013 – Who will care for America’s aging population?

Nearly 70 percent of Americans who reach age 65 will, at some point, be unable to care for themselves without assistance. Issues of long-term care also affect millions of younger people with significant cognitive or physical functional limitations. Yet long-term care gets neither the public attention nor the policy focus that it deserves.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

11/21/2013 – Work, Women and Caregiving

Trying to hold onto a job while caring for a family member is a tough juggling act. Caregivers sometimes have to arrive late or leave early, cut back to part-time work, and decline travel or promotions.

 Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/21/2013 – Signs of Aging, Even in the Embryo

Senescent cells are involved in many of the ravages of old age. Wrinkled skin, cataracts and arthritic joints are rife with senescent cells. When researchers rid mice of senescent cells, the animals become rejuvenated.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/20/2013 – A Misunderstood Directive

Dr. Michael Rothberg, vice chair for research in the Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have written a new paper on little known, poorly understood medical directives. It is a small study of 16 health care proxies for patients with advanced dementia — largely their adult children, and some nieces and nephews.

The key findings? Often, proxies are confused about how “do not hospitalize” orders work. Several proxies believed, mistakenly, that a such an order was equivalent to a request to withhold medical intervention altogether.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/20/2013 – Medicaid Help Without Falling Into Poverty

Tactics to keep elderly people’s assets and income within their family’s control while still qualifying them for Medicaid were common. Loopholes were exploited.

But legislative changes in the late 1980s and a major overhaul in 2003 have closed some loopholes, and the eligibility requirements for Medicaid have been eased; they will relax further on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, in an expansion that some but not all states have embraced. Such changes allow elderly people to keep more assets and income and still qualify for Medicaid.

11/20/2013 – Early Obamacare data show older Americans more apt to sign up

More older Americans than young adults so far have signed up for new insurance coverage under the state marketplaces created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, according to early data from four states reporting details on their enrollment.

Read the full article at Reuters.

11/20/2013 – Dementia Patients Still Getting Dangerous Antipsychotic Drugs In Nursing Homes

More than one out of every five nursing home residents is still being given powerful antipsychotic drugs despite a growing consensus that they are inappropriate and often dangerous. These drugs frequently are given to “calm” dementia patients even though many are approved only for the treatment of diseases such as schizophrenia.

Read the full article at Forbes.

11/19/2013 – You Plan Your Retirement, Then You Get the Health Bill

As the American population ages and insurers try to rein in costs, the share of health and medical costs that retirees can expect to shoulder is becoming more formidable.

A look at estimates of retiree health costs suggests that, if long-term care costs are included, it is not difficult to come up with a situation in which a couple’s tab for out-of-pocket costs post-retirement could approach — or even exceed — $1 million.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/19/2013 – Federal cuts hit seniors who want to live at home

For seniors desperate to avoid nursing homes, government-funded services such as free rides to doctors’ appointments are key to independent living.

But the $80 billion in deep federal budget cuts this year has trimmed many such services, putting seniors more at risk of losing their ability to live at home, according to a survey of agencies that work with the elderly.

Read the full article at CNN Money.

11/18/2013 – Caring for Aging Parents, Even From a Distance

Caring for aging parents at a distance is a great challenge for grown children. Besides the physical and emotional strains, there are also financial effects beyond the extra expense.

Read the full article at The New York Times.