A third of family caregivers spend over $10K a year

Recently I came across an article that offered a different point of perspective on the status of caregiving today. A recent article on USA Today showed that about a third of family caregivers spend more than 30 hours on caregiving tasks, with another third spending more than $10,000 a year on caregiving expenses, ranging from medication to in-home care and even senior housing. The article also mentions a snippet of an interview with Andy Cohen, CEO of Caring.com. He said that, “the uncovered cost of caregiving offers people by surprise. It is something they haven’t planned for and budgeted for.”

There are a number of other statistics in the article that show the status of the caregivers mentioned, most of which are retired. I encourage my readers to view the article and see if these statistics match your own experiences and current situation. I would love to hear your feedback on it.

You can read the article here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/09/15/family-caregiving-time-costs/15456771/

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Pope Francis prepares to honor the elderly in St. Peter’s Square Mass

This Sunday, Pope Francis will be joined by 100 elderly priests to highlight the wisdom that comes with age in a huge Mass. The Mass is part of the Pope’s longstanding belief that old people shouldn’t be shut away in retirement homes but should be actively cherished for their wisdom. You can find more information about the event here http://news.msn.com/world/pope-to-focus-on-grandparents-after-newlyweds

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Do daughters spend more time caring for elderly parents than sons?

A new study recently presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco suggests that daughters spend twice as much time taking care of their elderly parents than sons. The research is led by Angelina Grigoryeva, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Princeton University and uses data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study, which surveys more than 26,000 people over the age of 50 every two years. The paper, entitled “When Gendeer Trumps Everything: The Division of Parent Care Among Siblings”, finds that daughters provide an  average of 12.3 hours of elderly parent care per month as compared to sons’ 5.6 hours and shows how gender roles affect elderly care.

This is an interesting topic of discussion that we would love to see more information on as time progresses and we would love to hear your thoughts on. We would also like to note that while this is a study currently being conducted, the association did mention that papers presented at ASA annual meetings are “typically working papers” that have not yet been published in peer-reviewed journals.

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Medicare Star Ratings may not be what they seem

I came across this in-depth article in the New York Times recently and while it carries a very serious tone, I thought it best to share it with all of you. Two particular paragraphs immediately stood out, urging me to recommend this piece despite its length. Below are two snippets from the article, along with the link where you can read more.

“The Medicare ratings, which have become the gold standard across the industry, are based in large part on self-reported data by the nursing homes that the government does not verify. Only one of the three criteria used to determine the star ratings — the results of annual health inspections — relies on assessments from independent reviewers. The other measures — staff levels and quality statistics — are reported by the nursing homes and accepted by Medicare, with limited exceptions, at face value.

The ratings also do not take into account entire sets of potentially negative information, including fines and other enforcement actions by state, rather than federal, authorities, as well as complaints filed by consumers with state agencies. Last year, the State of California, for example, fined Rosewood $100,000 — the highest penalty possible — for causing the 2006 death of a woman who was given an overdose of a powerful blood thinner.”

If this information has piqued your curiosity as much as it had mine, you may read further at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/business/medicare-star-ratings-allow-nursing-homes-to-game-the-system.html

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On this day we remember

Image via 911memorial.org
Image via 911memorial.org

On this day we remember and honor those who we have lost on that fateful day in 2001. We also recognize the service and sacrifice of the first-responders, civilians, and veterans of September 11th. While we are still feeling the impact of 9/11, the resilience of these heroic individuals continues to give hope to our country’s future.

At the same time, even though it’s been over a decade since the events of that day, there are many whose day to day lives are still very much affected up to now. On this day of remembrance I would like to draw your attention to The Code of Support Foundation (COSF) which works to engage and leverage the full spectrum of this nation’s resources to ensure our service members, veterans and their families receive the support they need and have earned through their service and sacrifice. Please take some time to visit their site and learn more about how they help our military families. http://www.codeofsupport.org/

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