Earlier this summer, the federal government approved an 11.1% cut in Medicare rates effective on October 1, 2011. As that date nears, seniors and elder care professionals are now bracing for the impact of those cuts – and desperately seeking ways to slash expenses in preparation for significantly reduced reimbursements. Meanwhile, government officials and elected representatives continue to grapple with further deficit cuts to balance the national budget; and according to Bloomberg Business Week, gridlock may be the industry’s only protection against further cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other benefit programs – all of which would have a profound effect on health care employees, aging seniors and low-income individuals.
Assisted living facilities are a necessity for many aging seniors who find themselves unable to manage their own health care. But for others, the prospect of living among strangers in an institutionalized group home is frightening and unfamiliar – even in the face of debilitating health conditions, loneliness and burdensome homeowner responsibilities. Alternatives to nursing home living include everything from in-home care to co-housing; but in order to determine the conditions best suited to each individual’s unique health, budget and lifestyle needs, it may be necessary to consult management professionals before establishing a new routine.
Many of the nation’s 76 million baby boomers are by now well versed in the art of parenting; but when it comes to eldercare for their own aging parents, a new national survey suggest that most boomers are woefully unprepared. CBS News reports that, according to industry survey results, a startling number of individuals lack even basic information regarding their parents’ financial and healthcare information – a trend that could leave large portions of the population with heavy economic and emotional burdens in the years to come.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and as-yet incurable condition; yet doctors and scientists are recommending new PET brain scans effective at early detection of the disease as an aid in determining appropriate medical treatment and helping patients plan for the future.