Saturday, September 14, 2013
Aging is a Bitch
This article here (which I quote below) discusses the quality of life and what aging means, the affect of disability on quality of life. What it does neglect is the discussion about the cognitive aspects and how we are not coping well with regards to that loss in functioning and what that means in regards to the bigger picture of disability and aging.
Why more problems with women? Women are more prone to disabling disorders like depression, arthritis or osteoporosis. They have lower household wealth, also associated with disability. And they’re more apt to live alone. “Husbands who are disabled have their wives taking care of them,” Dr. Smith said. “But women with disabilities don’t have their husbands anymore to take care of them.”
And that in turn puts pressure on family members or others to provide care that is both expensive and challenging. We are a Country obsessed with the young and we have been long ignoring or denying the fact that we all age and we do not have any clue on what that means to our larger needs nor do we even understand what defines "disabled."
And today even more irony, the Social Security Disability program was found to have paid over a billion dollars to those working but registered as "disabled." Again when it comes to our Government and its ability to mismanage something they do so. And this is not because of their failure to actually offer something of use but due to the individuals they hire and employ to run said departments. They are often poorly educated and badly trained with no real management or interest in giving a shit, so hence they fuel that fire that we need less Government. No, we need intelligent Government. Again looking to Congress I can see where that might be a problem of a larger scale.
I already blogged about the Frontline/Pro Publica investigation into the long term care facilities and their utter failure to help residents who are aging with varying levels of cognition and functioning skills but it is more than that. A recent Governmental study and in turn proposal just failed to find common ground with regards to how to cope with this very issue.
As a woman I am most concerned and of course have been hammering away on my concept of the New Commun-ty style housing arrangement that enables single women who need to find those willing to step up if we can't get up. I am afraid. I admit it. I didn't think about it until my accident and the chaos that resulted from it. I am afraid. There one hurdle god I just hope I don't break a hip.
Ideas of Federal Panel on Long-Term Care Don’t Include Costs
By JUDITH GRAHAM
The federal Commission on Long-Term Care on Friday issued more than two dozen recommendations meant to bolster services for older Americans and people with disabilities, but stopped short of endorsing a new public or private program to help families pay for home health care, custodial care, assisted living or nursing home services.
“We’re disappointed,” said James Firman, president of the National Council on Aging. “They kind of ducked the most important issue.”
The commission was established by Congress last January after the demise of the Class Act, a voluntary long-term care insurance program originally part of the Affordable Care Act. It was given limited resources, an ambitious agenda and a very tight timetable: the first meeting was held in June, three months before the deadline for issuing a report.
Many experts judged it a “semi-serious, halfhearted effort on behalf of the Congress,” Mr. Firman said.
Yet how to pay for the rising costs of long-term care is a pressing problem. Public programs and families spent $317 billion on long-term care services — nursing homes, home health aides and so forth — in 2011, according to the Congressional Research Service. AARP estimates the yearly value of unpaid care provided by 42 million caregivers at $450 billion.
More than 12 million Americans rely on long-term care services, and the number is expected to expand sharply as baby boomers age. Only impoverished older Americans and people with disabilities receive funding for long-term care through state Medicaid programs. Medicare does not ordinarily pay for long-term care.
The commission was tasked with developing recommendations for addressing this need. The report announced on Friday was passed by the commission by a 9-to-6 vote.
Among other measures, it endorsed the delivery of more long-term care services in community settings, rather than institutions; integrating long-term care more closely with medical care; improving standards for home-care workers; and creating a standardized assessment of the need for services. But the members could not agree on a way to finance expanded long-term care coverage.
In a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders released Friday, six commissioners emphasized their conviction that “the commission’s recommendations should not increase the existing budgetary commitment to health care faced by both state and federal governments.”
Separately, five commissioners issued a statement strongly supporting a more robust publicly financed long-term care program.
Judy Feder, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University and a commission member, was among those who voted against the recommendations because they did not go far enough.
“The major challenge for dealing with long-term care is that we’ve got no insurance mechanism to protect families,” she said. “In the short time frame we had, the commission wasn’t able to address this, and consequently we missed the ballgame.”
Dr. Bruce Chernof, the commission’s chairman and president of the SCAN Foundation in California, a research group focusing on the elderly, saw reason for optimism. The group’s recommendations, he said, “represent a broad range of important ideas and solutions that could make a difference in the lives of vulnerable Americans today and tomorrow.”