Experiencing the Sandwich Generation (Part II)

In this second of two blog posts, contributor Renata JL talks about saving your sanity and creating a balance while living in the Sandwich Generation.

My mother is an eighty-something year old widow who is relatively healthy and vital enough to live on her own. I started my family a little later in life, so my two children are still in elementary school. That means that I am, many times, caught in the middle, caring for both ends of my family’s generational spectrum. Most of the time, I like to think that I handle the pressures of care with efficiency and aplomb. But sometimes, especially during a health crisis, I find myself stretched pretty thin. And I know I’m not alone. Welcome to the world of the Sandwich Generation.

The term “Sandwich Generation” was first coined in by journalist Carol Abaya in 2006 to describe the growing segment of society simultaneously caring for both their children and their aging parents.

In a previous post, I wrote about my aging mother’s unexpected trip to the hospital and my subsequent scrambling to make sure all of my responsibilities would be met. It turns out her hospital stay (with its requisite daily visits) was not the ideal situation, but between Medicare and her insurance, the cost of her care was minimal and she had the around-the-clock attention she required. As her release date approached, we were aware that Medicare would pay for the first 20 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility, so with the help of the Caregiverlist’s Nursing Home Star Ratings system, we were able to find her a quality Nursing Home in her area. When those initial days are complete, the real challenges of being a member of the Sandwich Generation begin.

There is, of course, the financial stress involved with caring for my children and my parent, while planning for my own retirement. In this economy, I fully expect that I will need to help support my children for a longer time. Couple that with spiralling living costs, and I’m not sure how much I will have left over to help cover the costs of caring for mom, whether through the costs associated with Assisted Living or Senior Home Care. While the financial costs and responsibilities are fairly cut-and-dried, the emotional stress is the one that can really take its toll. Resentments can easily build between siblings dividing responsibilities, children losing the attentions of a parent to grandparent, and the senior realizing their diminishing independence. There are things that I plan to do to help prevent, or at least alleviate some of the stress involved with generational caring.

Here are some suggestions I found helpful:

Don’t Go It Alone
According to AARP, 29% of adult Americans spend 20 hours per week on caring for their parent(s). This growing demographic means and increased presence on the internet. Web sites catering to the Sandwich Generation abound. Look to them for ideas and support. Sites like sandwichgeneration.org, and AARP have a wealth of information about resources and support.

Talk About It
Gather family together, including children, parents, spouses. If you have siblings (even those living distantly), request that everyone participate in the plan of action. Communication is key and my help minimize or prevent feelings of resentment. Encourage everyone to voice their concerns and work together to find solutions.

Don’t Forget About You
If you are the primary caregiver for both children and parent(s), it may be difficult to carve out time for yourself, especially if you work outside the home as well. Although it may be difficult, you must treat the care you give yourself with as much gravity as the care you give to others. If you are fatigued, depressed or fall ill, you won’t be able to care for those around you. This one rings especially true because, as you know, we here at Caregiverlist are big advocates of “Caring for the Caregiver”.

The future will be demanding, I’m sure. I feel a little like I felt before giving birth, knowing that I would soon be entrusted to care for another human being and not sure if I was up to the task. That worked out somehow — some days are more demanding than others — but with the help of my family, my community and Caregiverlist’s resources, I hope to rise to the challenge of my new caregiver role with as much grace as I’m able to muster.

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We at Caregiverlist, along with the rest of the world, were deeply saddened by the December 14th, 2012 events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, CT. We offer our sincerest condolences to all those affected — family, friends, neighbors. This tragedy reminds us that, in the midst of all the challenges we face as part of the Sandwich Generation, we are truly lucky to have the ongoing opportunity to care for our loved ones.

Experiencing the Sandwich Generation (Part I)

In this first of two blogs, contributor Renata JL discusses the challenges faced by many like her — members of the Sandwich Generation.

My brother phones with the news that my mother’s been admitted to the hospital. She has the flu and I was going to visit her later in the day, after work, after the kids came home from school. My brother had (luckily) gotten there first. He’d found my mother disoriented and severely dehydrated, broken shards of glass around her bed. He’d cleaned her up enough to get her into the car and to the ER, where they promptly determined she’d need to be a guest of the hospital for at least a few days. The flu can be awful for anyone; at 82 it can be life-threatening.

My first reaction as I grab my coat to race to the hospital is one of gratitude that she’s going to be ok. She is in a safe place, being cared for by professionals. The second feeling is that of guilt. Why had I not gone to check on her earlier? I’d known she was sick. Was helping my son with his spelling words more important than my mother’s well-being? And then I think *expletive*, I’ve got to get someone to pick up the kids from school and do the grocery shopping I’d planned to do later that day. And what am I going to do about work? If I don’t work, I don’t get paid — my job doesn’t offer Paid Family Leave.

And so is the plight of the Sandwich Generation. The term “Sandwich Generation” was first coined in by journalist Carol Abaya in 2006 to describe the growing segment of society simultaneously caring for both their children and their aging parents (or other family members.) The combination of longer life-spans (the Journal of Financial Service Professionals finding shows tht at the beginning of the 20th century between 4% and 7% of people in their sixties had at least one parent still living. Today, that figure is nearly 50%) and later child-bearing has created a demographic whose parents are older while their children are still young. Combined with the phenomenon of smaller families (resulting in fewer siblings to bear the burden of care), those element can create a situation rife with stress, both financial and emotional.

According to AARP, 66 million Americans between the ages of 40-65 find themselves caring for multi-generation family members. The typical Sandwich Generation member is a 48-year-old woman. She maintains a paying job and spends an average of 20 hours a week providing care for a parent(s) and at least one child. And in these economic times, those children can be dependent for a much longer time.

While extended family care is not a new concept, the environment surrounding that care is completely different from historical care, as a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out. We no longer live in small villages, so care is not distributed throughout a community. In many instances, Americans are distance-caring for their parents. While I am fortunate to live in the same city as my mother, I have been living in denial. This latest health episode has shown me that changes need to be made. I’m not comfortable having my mother live alone with the sporadic support from her children. I think my sandwich just squeezed me a bit tighter.

Right now my mother and I both have time to assess our next steps. While she’s still in the hospital, she’s getting the care she needs. I arrange my schedule to see her every day, but my responsibilities are minimal. Her release is imminent, however, and I know I’m going to have to step up my game.

Next: How to best cope with the stress and that come with caring for a multi-generational family, and the resources available for support.

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Affordable Care Act Closes Part D Donut Hole

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hand down a decision regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in early July. While the most contentious aspect of “Obamacare”, and the focus of the Supreme Court’s vote may be the its "individual mandate" clause, which requires Americans to buy health insurance if they don't have it, there are other aspects of the PPACA that would directly impact this nation’s seniors. Not the least of which is the closing of the Part D “donut hole”.

So what is the Medicare donut hole in the Part D program? Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does a fine job of explaining the donut hole on a post in his 2010 Healthcare Blog.

In a nutshell, the donut hole is the gap in prescription coverage for those participating in Medicare, which includes seniors and those with disabilities. People with Medicare can pay a monthly premium prescription drug coverage, known as Part D. A gap exists in coverage and limits supplemental payments past a certain dollar amount until another, higher dollar threshold is met.

In 2010, the deductible for prescriptions was $310. After that deductible was met, Medicare paid for 75% of prescription drug costs until the entire amount spent reached $2,800. After that, the “donut hole” occurred, and there was no supplemental coverage until the yearly out-of-pocket spending limit of $4,550 was reached.

In an effort to help, those who found themselves in the donut hole received a one-time tax-free rebate of $250 to help with prescription costs. In 2011, people on Medicare and in the donut hole automatically received a 50% discount on brand-name drugs. In 2012, drug discounts in the donut hole will rise to 75% and the donut hole is scheduled to close completely by 2020.

If the Supreme Court strikes down healthcare reform, we need to look at how the decision will impact our seniors and Medicare in general. Will the donut hole prevent doctors prescribing needed name-brand drugs? Will physicians have to bill Medicare patients for wellness visits, which are presently free of cost to the patient and helps perhaps prevent the need for costly prescriptions down the line?

Healthcare reform is sure to be a topic on everyone’s radar in the coming weeks. Because the nation’s aged are the fastest growing segment of the population, special attention should be paid to the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision for our country’s elderly. No one should have to choose between quality of life — like the ability to pay for groceries and housing — and the ability to pay for needed prescription drugs.

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Posted by: Renata Jasinski Laszuk, Caregiverlist Content Manager

Seniors Home Alone with Medical Alert Systems

In a previous post, we discussed the fact that Nancy Reagan recently fractured some ribs after a fall in her home. Accidents are shown to occur more frequently as we age, which becomes a problem — especially when one doesn’t have a phalanx of caregivers to make sure you get immediate medical attention.

Living alone is what most elderly do when they outlive a spouse. And while the familiar surroundings and routine can give much comfort, and the feeling of independence is desirable, family members may be a bit apprehensive to let their loved one live alone in case of emergency. So what is the solution for the senior who lives alone, doesn’t yet need help with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), and needs the peace of mind that comes with knowing that help is readily available if needed?

First developed in the 1970s, Home Alert Systems were created to help those living alone at home and consisted of little more than a wireless transmitter that, when pressed, sent a preprogrammed message to emergency medical personnel. Technology has given rise to amazing strides in home medical alert systems. The basis of modern systems remains similar to that of their predecessors—a stationary console with speaker and microphone, and a transmitter worn as a pendant or bracelet. However, new systems are much more advanced and their technology has made them more powerful, and therefore more helpful, than ever.

Look for these new technological breakthrough features when deciding on a Home Medical Alert System.

For active seniors on-the-go, some medical alert systems come equipped with GPS tracking, enabling complete monitoring everywhere the user goes.

Automated medical dispensers dole out daily medication in the right amount at pre-programmed times.

Look for reliable systems that work with wireless phones. As more people switch from landlines to cellular phones, it’s important that systems that were designed to work with analog technology upgrade to true wireless capability.

Of course, no transmitter works unless it’s worn. Some systems deliver voice messages to users and caregivers if the user forgets to wear the device. Here again, technology fills a need. According to AARP, Philips Lifeline, “the market leader with 750,000 customers, recently released its new AutoAlert system, which detects falls automatically, summoning help without relying on its user to push a button.” It’s been shown to accurately detect 95% of home falls.

Once a senior gets too frail, nothing will take the place of a quality caregiver. Until then, technology is proving to up the ante in allowing seniors to live home alone.
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Women Serving as Caregivers Receive Less Social Security Than Men

Social Security benefits should be updated to reflect women serving as caregivers, say three national organizations who presented to Congress last week.  And, all senior caregiver employees should also receive Social Security benefits through their payroll deductions - - - all caregivers should make sure they are working for a licensed senior care company providing this benefit which will allow them to retire and collect Social Security benefits. 

Caregivers are usually women. This is not news for anyone. Senior home care agency owners can tell you that the majority of their caregiving employees are females. Nursing homes and Assisted Living communities will also agree that the majority of people applying for their jobs are women. Men simply are not as attracted to this type of work. My own brother has amazing talents from hunting to cooking to being very accomplished in his career - but he says he just can't take the hands-on care duties for our Grandmother. Yes, he'll plug her hearing aid into his ear and adjust it and make sure the batteries are working well, where I sort of am not attracted to doing that. But he isn't comfortable with assisting with caregiving duties such as bathing and toileting. Guys are just wired differently than women and science confirms this for us. We can accept this and play to our strengths. But not receiving the same pay and retirement benefits is not acceptable.

 

After a lifetime of lower wages and time out of the labor market for child-rearing and caregiving, women typically receive less pay from their Social Security check than men. Widows and women of color often fall into poverty in old age. This is a problem.

 

But what successful married man with children would not be half as successful in his career without his wife keeping the household running? My girlfriends and I joke about a board meeting of Venture Capital guys who were comfortable, in the company of women, bragging about being proud their wives were ‘stay at home’ because this meant their wives could do all of their chores and errands and scheduling for them. Yes, without a wife to do these things for them, they would need to use their own work hours, or after-work hours, to actually do these types of things. Or, they would need to hire a housekeeper or nanny to do these tasks. Even these professional men are admitting these duties are very needed and necessary in order for them to be successful.


I also heard Jack Welch, the former GE Chairman and CEO, speak once. He was on one of his book tours with wife #3, Suzy Welch (for the book titled “Winning”).  I will give him credit for being very honest when he was asked this question by an audience member: “how did you balance raising your kids while growing your career?” He answered:  “I didn’t. You would have to ask my first wife how she did that. I wasn’t around.”  He is trying to do the balancing act now with his third wife who writes his books with him and goes on book tours with him, so we'll also give him credit for this.

 

Life is a balancing act. Whether women engage themselves in a career or work in the home raising children, they are managing the household and part of a team. Social Security payments should honor this work and recognize this labor.

 

This is also why Caregiverlist advocates for all caregivers to only be hired as employees, through senior home care agencies, insuring they are receiving Social Security benefits and payroll tax contributions along with Worker’s Compensation Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance. This protects the senior and the caregiver and it is only right and fair that someone working as a senior caregiver will be able to collect Social Security benefits when they retire.

A team of leading advocates for women, including a UCSF social scientist, are seeking to correct the inequities through new proposals to reform Social Security - our nation's financial safety net for senior citizens.

 

Last Friday, May 11, 2012, their report was presented at a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The authors represent three national organizations for seniors and women: the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare Foundation, the National Organization for Women Foundation (NOW), and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

 

“This is an urgent call for our retirement system to catch up with the changing needs of women,’’ said the lead author of the report, Carroll L. Estes, PhD, founder and former director of the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging. She is the chair of the board of directors of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security& Medicare and its foundation.

 

“Social Security is crucial to the future of our children and grandchildren,’’ Estes said.“It is there for Americans when catastrophic events befall them, such as 9/11 when about 2,600 children lost a working parent. We must keep the social contract that it represents, and improve the lives of women and other workers who have paid into Social Security for decades.’’

 

The report, “Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling: A Proposal to Modernize Women’s Benefits,’’ examines the changing role of women in the workforce as well as the smaller incomes women receive in retirement as a result of lower wages on average and time spent out of the labor market for unpaid caregiving of children and aging parents. Retired women of color are particularly vulnerable, experiencing two to three times the poverty rates of whites.

 

Social Security benefits may begin as early as age 62, however, the benefit amount will be reduced and you may wait until age 70 to begin collecting in order to receive the maximum benefit based on the amounts you contributed from your paycheck.

 

Social Security benefits are adjusted for cost-of-living increases and your benefit amount may be impacted by military service or pensions.

 

The Social Security Administration provides a “Retirement Estimator” tool on their website to allow you to calculate your expected Social Security check when you retire. The maximum benefit is around $2,100.00 per month, if you paid in the maximum amount for 35 years. The average monthly benefit is around $1,230.00 as of January, 2012.

 

Caregiverlist provides the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide along with senior home care costs to allow you to plan for your retirement care. You may view nursing home daily costs in each state and compare the nursing home ratings based on costs.

Caregiverlist's FindtheBest Comparison tools also allow you to compare hospitals, compare Medicare plans and more, to allow you to be ready for senior care needs.

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Alzheimer's Alone

Seniors prefer to age at home in familiar surroundings; it's a fact. The comfort derived from familiar routines and environs can be encouraging and reassuring. Many diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia feel the same and choose to remain independent for as long as possible.

In March, the Alzheimer’s Association released 2012 Facts and Figures: Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, and includes a Special Report on People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Who Live Alone. According to the report 800,000 or 1 in 7 of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease lives alone.

Distance caring is the result of a mobile society — family members may live too far away to give sufficient supervision. Spouses pass away and the once tight-knit family disperses. Someone with early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s may find themselves alone.

While the desire for independence remains strong, the body may have other plans. An overwhelming aspiration to stay in one’s home and remain vital in one’s community can can turn even the most stalwart person into an ostrich, hiding their head in the sand from the disease.

The population is aging and we all need to consider that this could be our fate, or the fate of someone we love. An estimated 5.4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's or dementia. That number is expected to reach up to 16 million by 2050. But if independence and home aging is a priority, there are things we can do to help manage.

Those who live alone, either by choice or necessity find they need to adjust their expectations.

Driving Miss Daisy. Until the self-driving car is readily available, a good choice would be to drive less. and when driving, perhaps keep drives short and to well- known routes.

Note to self: leave more notes to self. This is especially important when safety is a concern. A note by the stove with a reminder to shut off burners and oven, a note by the door with a reminder to lock, a note near the medicine cabinet with gentle reminders of which meds to take and when, could help prevent disaster.

Everything in its place. Designate a spot to place keys or sunglasses. If you ever see items that have strayed, return them immediately to their home.

Also, consider an id bracelet with address and a phone number of someone who will come to your aid. No one expects to wander off, but it happens.

The Alzheimer’s Society UK also provides a helpful factsheet with more information and suggestions on living alone with dementia.

It is important to begin to plan for the escalation of care. A quality Home Care Agency will work with finding assistance for your level of need — from simple companionship and housekeeping, to medication management to possible live-in care. A Geriatric Care Manager can consult with you to help determine the health markers that might indicate you should step up the level of care.

Early detection is so important, so discuss it with your doctor. Give yourself time to plan accordingly, especially if you intend to live alone with Alzheimer's or dementia, as so many others already do.

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Mitt Romney Turns 65, Opts Out of Medicare, Social Security

Mitt Romney, GOP presidential hopeful, turned 65 on March 12 but has no plans to enroll in Medicare. Instead, the Republican front-runner will continue coverage through his private health-care plan.

Wealthier individuals, according to Mr. Romney’s campaign website, should pay more for government Medicare benefits, while lower-income seniors would receive more generous support. His plan would include a “premium support” contribution, allowing beneficiaries a choice between private plans and Medicare.

Social Security is another government benefit that the former Massachusetts is passing up. In response to Fox News host Neil Cavuto’s question if he was planning to sign up for Social Security on this, his eligible birthday, Mr. Romney emphatically declined. Citing the fact that retirement is far off, he stated, “I have no plans to retire at the current moment. I’m not going to be doing that anytime soon. I’m still very much in the work force, I hope.”

For both Medicare and Social Security eligibility, Mr. Romney proposes to “gradually raise the retirement age to reflect increases in longevity.” Beginning in 2022, the proposal would incrementally raise the eligibility age for both programs from 65 to 67 by one month per year.

How would the change affect beneficiaries today?

AARP Research & Strategic Analysis recently released Social Security State Quick Fact Sheets comprised of recently released 2010 data. In its findings, AARP shows that in 2009, more that one-third of the elderly population would be living in poverty if they did not receive Social Security benefits. Even in states where personal income is high, Social Security is the only income for a segment of the population.

How do you feel about delaying Social Security and Medicare benefits? While admirable from a personal (and political) standpoint, do you think Mr. Romney’s decisions and options are viable for the country at large? For information on your state’s services and resources, check your own individual Senior Services by State.

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Home-Based Businesses for Senior Clientele

An aging population was cited as the reason that “health care was the largest contributor to employment growth in the past two years”—surpassing manufacturing jobs, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Senior home care and elder caregivers such as home health aides and Certified Nursing Aides certainly make up a bulk of those burgeoning jobs, but there are many services that would benefit the senior citizen community. For those who are especially entrepreneurial and motivated, many of these services can be established as home-based businesses.

Dual-income households are increasing, so many services for an older population will continue to be outsourced. The aging populace will provide great small business opportunities.

Consierge Services can be bundled into the category of Assisting with Daily Needs:

Personal chef services.
Prepare and deliver healthy meals. You can arrange to cook onsite or off. With training, you could learn to customize menus based on personal dietary needs.

Transporation. Drive clients to and from appointments.

Pet services. Help care for a senior’s beloved companion. Groom, transport, exercise or pet-sit.

Money management. Assist with the day-to-day tasks of paying bills, balancing checkbooks, filing medical claims and reconciling bank and credit card statements.

Special Services are not needed every day, but still provide much-needed assistance:

Downsizing and relocation services. These include but are not limited to packing and unpacking, setting up a new living space and, according to the National Association of Senior Move Managers, “to facilitate the physical and emotional aspects of relocation for older adults.”

Personal Trainer. The baby-boomer generation knows that the key to longevity is in part fitness. As a personal trainer, you can visit a client’s home, bypassing the need for any kind of studio. The National Federation of Professional Trainers is a good place to start to get information on certification. By that same token, massage therapy and yoga targeted especially to seniors are growing services.

In-Home Caregiver. As always, Caregiverlist is here to help you on your way to a rewarding career in home health care. Find answers to your home care questions in our Career Center.

Successful home-based businesses are built on passion and if your passion is helping a growing senior population, your choices are expanding. The Administration on Aging’s statistics show that the +65 segment of society is growing and this makes it an important future consumer sector.

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Seniors Outliving Loved Ones

Cissy Houston’s tragic and devastating loss of daughter Whitney Houston reminds us that increasingly, our elder loved ones may outlive family and friends.

“Elder Orphans” are those seniors who have lived long enough to see their friends, siblings, spouse, sometimes even their children, pass away and are left behind alone. They are the seniors with no immediate family or friends to help care for them or to make important decisions about their care.

Smaller families, combined with the longevity rates enjoyed by baby-boomers, means that we may see a distinct decrease in family caregivers. Higher obesity rates among the young can result in shorter life expectancy and poor health. Therefore, this may be the first generation of American children to be less healthy than their parents.

Seniors who live alone are estimated at about 10 million. Of those, close to 15 percent are those who need care and have no family support. It’s been estimated that nearly 60% of nursing home residents don’t have anyone visiting them each year. That means that a significant portion of our elderly population have no one to advocate for them and no one to make sure their health care directives are carried out should they become incapacitated.

Unbefriended elders are a sad truth and why we need to investigate creative and proactive solutions to this burgeoning concern. One such program is Minnesota’s Unbefriended Elders Project run by Volunteers of America. The activities of this project include:
  • Locating estranged or lost family members of participants
  • Facilitating increased communication between participants and their primary care physicians/practitioners
  • Distributing participant HCDs to healthcare professionals and other professionals
  • Increasing network partners’ knowledge of HCDs and working with unbefriended elders
  • Developing and sharing a protocol for national replication of the project by Volunteers of America, as well as other agencies and organizations
  • Increasing public policy attention to the needs of unbefriended elders whose number will increase with the aging “baby boom” generation.
Estate Planners and Eldercare Lawyers can help you complete a health-care directive, to make sure your plans are honored in case you find yourself with no one to advocate on your behalf. Growing old alone is an uncomfortable thought and an outcome no one could wish for. However, with increasing numbers and visibility, society will have to place elder orphans on its radar.

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National Alzheimer's Project Act Funding on the Horizon

National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) is the country’s first national Alzheimer’s plan.

The Obama administration is seeking to spend more than half a billion dollars on research funding next year, boosting current research spending by $50 million. Early Alzheimer’s detection and diagnosis and discovery of new therapies are two major areas of research.

In a press release, the White House announced that next week, President Barack Obama will ask Congress for $80 million in new money to spend for Alzheimer's research in 2013.

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are said to affect roughly 5.6 million people and nearly 40% of the U.S. population aged 85 and older. It is the 6th leading cause of death and approximately 13.2 million older Americans are projected to have ADRD by 2050.

The administration said it will propose spending $26 million for other goals of the still-to-be-finalized plan, including much-needed caregiver support.

Taxing and relentless is how Anne Hodges describes caregiving for her mother who suffers with ADRD. “The hardest part for me is difficulty in communicating with her. I used to be able to see glimmers of my mother once in a while and that's when we would talk. Those times are now fewer and farther between.” It is estimated that 15 million family members and friends are affected by the disease.

President Obama signed NAPA into law last January, the goal of which is to “prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's by 2025.”

The draft framework is structured around five ambitious goals:
  • Prevent and Effectively Treat Alzheimer's Disease by 2025.
  • Optimize Care Quality and Efficiency.
  • Expand Patient and Family Support.
  • Enhance Public Awareness and Engagement.
  • Track Progress and Drive Improvement.

The current Draft Framework for the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease is available in full HTML Version  and full PDF Version  (12 PDF pages)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be collecting input for consideration in its final draft through February 8, 2012. Please send your comments to NAPA@hhs.gov. All comments will be shared with the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services. The final draft of the plan’s framework is due on the desk of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius later this month.

The Alzheimer’s Association is also urging everyone to sign a petition calling on President Obama to issue a strong National Alzheimer’s Plan and support his proposed funding in his upcoming Budget Request to Congress.

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