The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults


    Tagged in: `caregiving`

    November10 th

    Older black man and black woman embracing each other. This National Family Caregivers Month, The SCAN Foundation salutes the tremendous contributions that family caregivers provide to older adults and people with disabilities.

    Nearly everyone will be a caregiver or need a caregiver in their lifetime. Currently, 53 million people in America are unpaid caregivers—providing physical, emotional, social, and financial support to family, friends, and neighbors. They are the “invisible backbone” of U.S. health care, spending roughly $7,000/year on out-of-pocket caregiving costs, such as household and medical expenses. An earlier report found that caregivers’ estimated 34 billion hours of unpaid care translated to an estimated economic value of $470 billion.

    California had 6.7 million adult caregivers in 2020, and 1 in 4 adults provided at least 20 hours/week of caregiving. Nearly 3 in 5 were women, 3 in 5 were 45 years of age or older, and 4 in 5 were white or Latino. Further, we see communities of color living in multigenerational settings (or households) more often than whites, which suggests that these families are more likely to provide unpaid caregiving across the generations.

    Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of health care and deserve more recognition than just 30 days in November. Their service reinforces our commitment to lift their voices—like Sandy, a woman caring for her proud veteran father, and ensuring he can age at home surrounded by his friends and community.

    Similarly, Grace cares for her parents. She adjusts as her parents’ needs change to ensure they can keep doing what they like to do. Simultaneously, she is thinking about how she can obtain support and maintain her own well-being.

    Though Angela moved into an assisted living facility to be supported with her daily living needs, her granddaughter Sarah continues to provide emotional and social support.

    We pledge to continue to advance efforts for every state to develop a Master Plan for Aging that includes the needs of family caregivers—like paid leave, multilingual training resources, virtual care options, and other supports. So what can you do today?

    • Start important conversations about aging well with older adults in your life. Then when caregiving needs exist, you’ll know what matters most to them.
    • Find your local AARP chapter to learn about family caregiver assistance and ongoing efforts to expand home- and community-based resources near you.

    Throughout National Family Caregivers Month and every day, we must continue to shine a light on family caregivers. They deserve our deep appreciation, and our responsiveness to their wants and needs.

    Older adults and family and friend caregivers are discussing what really matters. Our Aging Well with Community page shares how three older adults are navigating growing older with support from their family caregivers and communities. Related, check out our 10 Things series for millennial caregivers and families.

    Older woman and daughter in nursery.

    September8 th

    California’s 2022-23 enacted budget addresses longstanding system challenges for older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers. Read our fact sheet to learn about key investments, including the continued investment for implementing the Master Plan for Aging.

    Symbol of California and coins.

    August4 th

    We partner with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program to build awareness on aging and elevate how a variety of issues affect the lives of older adults. A recent Inside Climate News feature shares how a pilot program in California is helping communities with older adults prepare for wildfires and other climate disasters by training in-home caregivers.

    July13 th

    The Master Plan for Aging (MPA) Learning Collaborative facilitated by Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a multistate learning community set out to help states advance their MPAs. The learning collaborative is supporting 10 states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont. Learn what is essential to a successful MPA, the unexpected benefits, and how to get started.

    May11 th

    A Better Care Playbook article highlights research from the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) exploring the experiences of Black patients during serious illness. The work identifies disparities in symptoms management and communications, preferences for hospital and life sustaining treatment, and recommendations for reducing suffering and enhancing equity in America.

    Addressing social needs can improve health outcomes and facilitate better use of health care services. Read recent issue briefs from the Institute for Accountable Care identifying key considerations for accountable care organizations (ACOs) to help people access social service resources by using needs assessments and developing partnerships with community-based organizations.

    February24 th

    The Center for Health Care Strategies has developed a messaging guide and summary to communicate effectively when building support for complex care approaches. Register for the March 16 webinar to learn more. 

     

    February2 nd

    Long-Term Quality Alliance and ATI Advisory released new insights on the Contract Year 2023 Medicare Advantage and Part D (MAPD) Proposed Rule and its impact on nonmedical supplemental benefits. See additional resources, including an analysis of the benefits offered in 2022. In a recent Playbook blog, learn how plans have used these benefits to support family caregivers.

    See also, ATI Advisory’s earlier insights on the impact of the MAPD Proposed Rule on dually eligible beneficiaries in this tool and blog.

    Find best practices from leading voices in the complex care field, and watch the virtual forum to hear firsthand experiences on providing care to people with complex health and social needs.

    January12 th
    1. We are building momentum for Master Plans for Aging across the nation! Our policy brief highlighted states with Master Plans for Aging, shared key elements of those plans, and discussed how states can get started. Just last week, New York’s Governor Hochul committed to develop a Master Plan.
    2. Website visitors continued getting to know TSF staff.
    3. Our 2021 annual forum was last fall. Access the recordings and materials, and learn about other recent events.
    4. Since COVID-19 emerged, Americans have had a lot of time to think about what they want their life to be like, including what it means to age well and equitably. Our popular webpage showcased videos of three older adults who are thriving at home in community.
    5. Visitors kept up to date with our annual Innovation Award. In 2021, we celebrated Covia, a Front Porch Partner, for their Well Connected Program. Empowered Aging and the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living were honorably mentioned. In December, we hosted a webinar to share more about each organization’s achievements.

    For the past decade, AARP Policy Institute’s Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard has offered a way for policymakers to assess state performance as we strive to improve the lives of older adults, people with disabilities, and their family caregivers. With COVID-19 exposing LTSS system challenges, how can we redesign the system and improve our measurement methods? Read the latest AARP blog.

    January5 th

    Through our partnerships with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC), reporters are sharing the experiences of older adults living in community. The following coverage rounded out 2021:

    • An article in The Washington Post explained how family caregivers are using monitoring technology to keep older loved ones with cognitive decline safe. The piece looked at related issues of affordability, access, and quality of care as well as ethical questions about privacy.
    • How are older adults dealing with ongoing COVID-19 isolation? A Travel + Leisure article recounted one retiree’s experiences and train travels. A Next Avenue piece shared how an intergenerational program in San Francisco expanded its purpose to support older and younger people during the pandemic.
    • Polling explored people’s opinions of telehealth and The Associated Press unpacked how preferences vary based on age, race and ethnicity, education, and income.

    December16 th

    Older adults can age well in their community of choice with proper supports and services. This can take the form of family, friends, neighbors, and even community centers where older adults can connect with people their own age. Watch as three older adults share their stories.

    Older woman and daughter in nursery.

    December8 th

    Learn the who, what, where, and how of home and community-based services (HCBS) in a new fact sheet from AARP as part of a series on transforming long-term services and supports (LTSS) as part of the LTSS State Scorecard.

    More states are considering their own Master Plan for Aging (MPA). Read about state activity, see what New York state is doing, and get started with this toolkit and related webinar.

    December1 st

    Since COVID-19 emerged, Americans have had a lot of time to think about what they want their life to be like, including what it means to age well and equitably. Watch three older adults who are thriving at home in community with the support of loved ones.

    This work is one example of how our communication partners give voice to issues of aging and support enhanced storytelling. Learn more.

    August4 th

    Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) at USC informs the entertainment industry’s depictions of aging and family caregiving. This new resource page compiles data on aging and health-related storylines along with viewer perceptions and actions.

    June15 th

    Read a new Bipartisan Policy Center brief identifying key challenges and opportunities to expanding Medicare and Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS), as well as policy options for congressional consideration.