Monthly Archives: March 2010

ABCs of MSP (Medicare Savings Programs)

Updated: 4/1, 11:30 am

The Medicare Savings Programs allow seniors to get a break on their Medicare part B premiums, deductibles, and prescription drugs. The law was changed in October 2009 and according to DSS spokesman David Dearborn, the income requirement was raised, and the asset requirement was dropped.  As a result, Dearborn estimates that 23,000 more seniors have become eligible for the Medicare Savings Programs. The Medicare Savings Programs have served 82,945 …Read more ›

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Why reporting on aging and health topics are important

I started writing stories on aging topics because I wanted to help caregivers, their loved ones, legislators, citizens and families become more informed. Too often, families do not look “down the road” for many reasons: fear of the unknown, work and family responsibilities. Caring for a loved one is not easy to discuss. However, we must ask ourselves, what if? What if there was a crisis? What if a family had to be hospitalized, or …Read more ›

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3 Financial Tips for Sibling Caregivers, From The WSJ

When a parent needs home care, sibling tensions need to fly out the window. But that’s easier said than done.

The Wall Street Journal features tips for navigating—and troubleshooting—when brothers and sisters have to come together for mom and dad. One rocky area it covers: financial arrangements. A few of their tips:

1. Consider that the caregiving sibling may need to get paid.

Particularly when caregivers make financial sacrifices, elder-law attorneys say it can …Read more ›

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State Sen. Kane and allies support respite program being re-opened

The Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, AARP and its allies spoke this afternoon after the press conference in support of HB 5111, which would reopen the statewide respite program to new enrollees. This program has been closed to new enrollees since last May. This bill affects people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia-related disorders and their caregivers. This is what they had to say.

“Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that affects caregivers and …Read more ›

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Alzheimers Association-Connecticut chapter, AARP to hold press conference

The Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimers Association will be holding a press conference today at 10:30 AM Room 1A of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The release follows:

FOR RELEASE: Immediate   CONTACT:   Christianne Kovel

Tuesday, March 30, 2010      christianne.kovel@alz.org

                                                860-828-2828

                                                                                                                   Jennifer Millea, AARP

      …Read more ›

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      Nursing Homes Ratings System May Be Flawed, Says HHS Secretary

      It’s not perfect. But it’s what we’ve got … for now.

      Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, says the bell curve used when measuring nursing home performance “seems to have some inherent flaws,” reports McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

      Long-term care providers have complained about regulators’ predetermined percentages for how many five-star and one-star facilities are identified with each update. Providers also believe the Five-Star Quality Rating System’s foundation has relied too …Read more ›

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      4 Ways the Health-Care Bill Will Affect Seniors

      We’re ducking our heads into the health-care bill storm—but don’t worry, not to debate. Just to inform.

      We’ve pinpointed at least four aspects of the bill that pertain directly to seniors. Here are the changes you and your parents can expect.

      1. The Medicare donut hole is going away—eventually. Right now, after you spend $2,700 on medicine, Medicare drug coverage stops and doesn’t pick up again until you spend $6,154, …Read more ›

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      Long-Term Care Insurance Is Tax Deductible! … Sometimes

      Oh boy. Tax time looms. Time to find the deductions.

      If you or your parent has long-term care insurance, good news! Like other medical expenses, that’s sometimes deductible, says Bankrate’s George Saenz. But, surprise, surprise, it’s complicated.

      For people who aren’t self-employed, the insurance cost “can be considered additional medical expenses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A of Form 1040,” he says. But you can only really deduct medical expenses if they total more than 7.5 …Read more ›

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      How to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Death

      We’re told all the time that we need to prepare advance directives. We should tell our families how we want to be treated in death—or near death.

      But by the same token, our families need to return the favor. And yet, how do you ask your parents, “When you die …?” or, “If you’re on a machine …?”

      Dale Carter, founder of Transition Aging Parents, offers some tips on how …Read more ›

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      How to Choose a Nursing Home: Tips From the BBB

      After wading through the daunting task of deciding what type of care your parent needs, you’ve finally decided on nursing home.

      And then come the options … lots more options.

      “As in any industry, there are good and bad nursing homes,” says Carol Odell of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. You just have to do your homework. When choosing a nursing home, she writes in her blog:

      Begin by checking with your county ombudsman who …Read more ›

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