Thursday, September 26, 2013

Long-Term Care

Three recent articles in the New York Times tackle three discrete topics on long-term care.  The first,  by Steven Greenhouse, U.S. to Include Home Care Aides in Wage and Overtime Law was published on  September 17, 2013. His article reported that the Department of Labor will include home care workers under the overtime and minimum wage protections, although the changes do not take effect until January 1, 2015. A portal on the DOL website offers more information for employers, workers and families using home health workers.

The second article, the September 18th, 2013 post in Paula Span's New Old Age Blog, focused on Daughters (Still) Are the Caregivers. The post discusses a recent study by Drs. Pillemer and Suitor about which of the adult siblings was likely to be the caregiver for the mother and found that "[t]he decision came down to gender: daughters were more than twice as likely to become caregivers as sons. And proximity: children within a two-hour drive were six times likelier to provide care than those farther away." The results of the study were published in The Gerontologist.

The final article, also a post in the New Old Age Blog (this one by Judith Graham published on September 19th, 2013) covers the recommendations of the federal Long Term Care Commission (about which we had previously written). This post is titled No Easy Answers on Financing Long-Term Care. Focusing on how to pay for long-term care, the article quotes some disappointed commission members, including Judy Stein, past NAELA president and Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy (note: in full disclosure,  I sit on the CMA board), Judy offers

 “The vision in the majority report is not much more than we have now,” she said. “It is, ‘Plan, understand, think about savings and insurance, and provide for those who are impoverished.’  That kind of approach doesn’t meet our long-term care needs now, and it won’t meet them in the future.”

While several of the commission’s recommendations are welcome, they will make a difference only “around the margins,” Ms. Stein said.

Interesting sources for a great class discussion.

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