The Law Will Require Development Of A Strategy To Recognize And Support Family Caregivers
In January, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. The law creates a strategy to support millions of people who help loved ones remain in their homes.
Here is what the new law will require.
- Require HHS to develop, maintain and update a National Family Caregiving Strategy, offering resources and education opportunities to family caregivers in the United States;
- Require HHS to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to advise it on recognizing and support family caregivers;
- Promote greater adoption of person and family centered care in all health and long-term services and supports settings; and
- Ensure older adults with disabilities and illnesses receive high quality care in their homes.
Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Representatives Greg Harper (R-Miss.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) spearheaded the legislation.
The bill as it moved through congress was also backed by AARP. “Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in America,” said Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer. “We need to make it easier for them to coordinate care for their loved ones, get information and resources and take a break so they can rest and recharge."
These family caregivers have a big job, but some basic support — and commonsense solutions — can help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier.
We are grateful to Congress and “This is forward progress, but it should not be the end of the journey. - Charles Fuschillo, Jr., President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Across America, family caregivers help parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities and other loved ones to live independently. They prepare meals, handle finances, manage medications, drive to doctors’ appointments, help with bathing and dressing, perform complex medical tasks and more — all so loved ones can live at home.
So What Will The RAISE Family Caregivers Act Really Do?
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain and update an integrated national strategy to support family caregivers. According to the Act, HHS will create a national family caregiver strategy by bringing together federal agencies and representatives from the private and public sectors (like family caregivers, health care providers, employers and state and local officials) in public advisory council meetings designed to make recommendations. The agency will have 18 months to develop its initial strategy and then must provide annual updates.
So we can say that the aim of this new law is certainly needed, well intentioned and could be of great help to the 40 million family caregivers with an elder or disabled loved one at home. What could be wrong with that?
What We See Is Wrong With The RAISE Act
Funding, simply put. Implementing any national strategy will create a large cost that our polarized Congress is unlikely to fund. The RAISE Act is supposed to help family caregivers keep working outside the home. The question is: Who is going to pay for the replacement caregiver when the family caregiver goes back to work? Respite options are to be included as part of the Act. That means that the family caregiver gets time off to rest. And what happens to the elder or disabled person when the family caregiver is getting that break? Someone has to pay for the actual cost of placing the care recipient in a facility temporarily or paying someone by the hour to care for them temporarily. We have no such national programs now. Strategizing about programs is not the same as paying for programs.
Age Related Illness and Disease
Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia are affecting seniors in growing numbers. The result is literally millions of people become family caregivers and are quitting their jobs to care for their loved ones part time or full time. Passing a law requiring an integrated strategy is fine, however funding research to find a cure for the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., Alzheimer’s disease, is hugely important. Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer's can last 20 years.
The RAISE Act is an important step toward more fully recognizing the impending crisis in caregiving as the aging population continues to grow. As improved guidelines and policies develop from the legislation, funding will be required to relieve the 2015 AARP estimate of $470 billion in unpaid care and the 2016 AARP estimate of $7,000 in out-of-pocket expenses provided annually by family caregivers. - Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director - Family Caregiver Alliance
We have not seen as part of this new law, any mechanism for Funding caregiver relief, disease research, housing assistance for seniors or any other important caregiver related need. Referring this lack of funding, Charles Fuschillo, Jr., President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America is quoted in a press release from GlobeNewswire: “We are grateful to Congress and “This is forward progress, but it should not be the end of the journey.”...This encouraging development is only the tip of the iceberg. A dire need remains for the federal government to pass a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget which includes $2 billion—up from the current amount of $1.4 billion—for Alzheimer’s disease research at the NIH." (National Institutes of Health).
Caregiver Training, Medical Assistance And Financial Relief
According to AARP, family caregivers “commonly experience emotional strain and mental health problems, especially depression, and have poorer physical health than non-caregivers.” And they rarely receive training in providing care.
And 78% of them incur out-of-pocket costs due to caregiving, spending $6,954 a year, on average, according to AARP. That’s estimate of $470 billion in unpaid care each year. Recognizing and strategizing about this with a new law is not the same as funding a solution.
What Concerns Me Is What’s Missing In This Law
To be effective and not just a list Advisory Councils, Strategies, and Unfunded Departments, I see several main things that could be put in place rather quickly and which would provide much needed help for families faced with a senior caregiving situation. Consider the following:
- Allow family caregivers an amount stipulated on their tax return that funds their lost wages in regards to social security. In other words fill those gap years in their ss earnings with a stipend so they do not lose benefits they will need when they themselves retire.
- Congress needs to pass a law allowing Medicaid funds to be used to pay for Adult Foster Care Homes and not just nursing homes. These homes cost on average ½ of the cost of a nursing home, which is the only option open to those whose funds have run out. The care in these homes as good and many times proven to be better than traditional nursing homes. The smaller environment can be a great benefit to patients with forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and the staff to patient ratio usually much better. Just ask, me I am a huge advocate for these homes.
- Allow family caregivers who leave work to care for a loved one to draw a caregiver wage from the government if they meet certain income requirements. If a person cannot financially leave a job to care for someone, that person ends up in a nursing home and that cost the government and the economy on average 8-10,000 per month per resident! Again you could pay a family caregiver a fraction of that, save money and the patient gets better care! It’s a win win solution.
For Adult Foster Care, Assisted Living and all Senior Care Home owners and operators.
Senior Home Search, the popular website for finding assisted living and senior care homes, now allows owners of these ideal senior living options to list Free!
Full Featured Senior Home Listings are now completely free. And the website allows visitors to contact homes directly and safely by phone, contact forms and email.
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When you list your home with Senior Home Search you will be helping families find the right senior housing option for their loved ones.
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According to one U.S. government source*, the average cost of long term senior care ranges from about $36,000 to around $72,000 per year. And in some cases the average can be over $250,000 per year. “Wow, what’s with the huge difference?” you may say.
That’s easy to answer. It is because there are 50 states in the U.S. and probably about 100 different Kinds of Long Term Care, or senior homes and senior living, depending on the state. Each of those different kinds of senior living has a different cost associated with it.
That’s right, the Kind of care and where it takes place makes a big difference in the yearly (and of course monthly) cost.
“The national median monthly rate for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility is $3,500, according to the 2014 Cost of Care Survey released in April by Genworth Financial Inc. of Richmond, Virginia. That's $42,000 per year, an increase of 1.45 percent over 2013.”
And so the key to finding out ‘What is the Cost of Senior Home Living’ to you and your loved one is to have a good resource to help you
- Identify the kind of Senior Home you are in need of.
- Determine which of those homes can provide the kind of care required.
- Locate homes that fit and are close and convenient to you and your family.
Once you have that information, you can contact those homes to gain a good knowledge of the Cost of Senior Home Living for you and your loved one.
Senior Home Search is one of the Best Sources for helping you get this information. We offer information on thousands of small to medium sized Senior Care Homes across the U.S. in an easy to use format. Homes that are many times family owned and operated, fully state licensed, professionally staffed and very importantly, offer a family like home atmosphere.
There are literally dozens and dozens of web sites with “calculators” to get costs – and your name and phone number. There are web sites that pressure you to call an “800” number to talk to a sales person. But really, the best way is to use Senior Home Search to help you collect the information you need without the hassle. Contact Senior Care Home owners directly to find out what the Cost of Senior Home Living really is.
Overview of Small to Medium Sized Senior Homes as Licensed in the state of Michigan:
Source(s): Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
|States Common Name for
Residential Senior Care Homes?
|• Adult Foster Care Family Homes
• Adult Foster Care Large Group Homes
• Adult Foster Care Medium Group Homes
• Adult Foster Care Small Group Homes
• Home for the Aged
|Licensing or Legal Standards Required?||Yes|
|How many Residents Accommodated?||Care for 2 – 20, more residents for Homes for the Aged|
|Typical Staff-to-Patient Ratio?||Varies according to home type|
|Average Per Month Home Rate?||$2000.00 - $3500.00 per month. Also, move in cost in many cases.|
|Is Nurse Staffing Typical?||See Below|
|How do Residents Typically Pay?||Private Pay, Medicaid, Long Term Care Insurance|
Assisted Living in Michigan Defined
“Assisted living” is not a legally defined term in Michigan. As such, assisted living in Michigan is typically provided by one of two types of facilities:
- Adult Foster Care Homes (AFCs)
- Homes for the Aged (HFAs)
While not legally referred to as an assisted living facility, HFAs and AFCs are not nursing homes. Both types of facilities offer only daily assistance and supervision to residents, rather than extensive medical or skilled nursing care. Both HFAs and AFCs offer personal care services, which include assistance or supervision with activities of daily living, such as:
- Administration of medication
The main difference between the two facilities is that HFAs require residents to be at least 60 years of age or older, whereas AFCs provide personal care services to any adult. Another key difference is size. A Home for the Aged requires that there be 21 or more residents over 60 years of age, while AFCs house 20 or less residents. Adult Foster Care Homes are typically divided into:
- Family Homes for 1-6 people
- Small Group Homes for 1-12 people
- Large Group Homes for 13-20 people
Regulation of Michigan Assisted Living Facilities
Senior Homes - What are the Options in Your State
In your search for a place for yourself or a place for mom or dad to live, you are seeing so many different names and terms for various types of senior homes and senior living. These terms and names have changed over the years and what we may have at one time called a 'Nursing Home' or 'Old Folks Home' are now called many other things. At one time thoughts of white-walled, institutional settings we we’re hesitant to visit are now independent and assisted living options offering a wide range of appealing amenities, features and socializations.
Assisted Living, Adult Foster Care, Nursing Home, Board and Care Homes.
The different levels of care available today will depend on you or your loved one's needs, and various options, depending on a senior's health, age and financial status.
What is very important however, is that most if not every state in the U.S. has it's own definitions - descriptions and usually licensing requirements for senior living options. This is where we provide you with an important and useful resource for finding what your states options are.
To discover what senior living options are offered in your state:
Information updated regularly.
When it comes time to choose a home for you or your senior Loved One, you may discover it is a difficult task. Your goal is to find the best home possible yet you may be looking at many, even dozens of homes on a list. How will you make the right decision?
Checklist for Assisted Living and Senior Homes
Choosing an Assisted Living or Senior Home for yourself or a loved one can prove to be challenging. Here at Senior Home Search we hope to help you by providing information and links to articles that will make your search better and easier.
Do You Have a Checklist?
Using a Checklist while searching online or when visiting a home in person can be very important. It will help you ask all the right questions and get all the answers you need to make an informed decision.
We have put together a checklist for you to use. Have it handy when calling and visiting each home you are considering. It is very comprehensive and we hope you find it helpful.
There may be things on the list you did not think of and this will help you in your search. You can print out as many copies as you need to take with you when visiting each home. Click on this link to get your copy:
Thank you and check back often for updates on making your Senior Home Search the best it can be.
These Adult Family Care Homes are just that - homes that provide small intimate settings with consistent caregivers that foster a family like atmosphere.
When looking for a new home for our own mother we chose one of these, an AFC, and she couldn’t be happier. Around the country, access to these homes has been getting better, however with the large – hotel and apartment like facilities leading the markets for assisted living they sometimes get lost in the haze so to speak.
This is why our site is dedicated to these homes and only these homes, no big guys to muddy up the waters. Our site links you directly with the owners, no annoying care coordinators hounding you for your business and no large commission charged to the home owner. It’s a win, win for everyone.
Please feel free to use our Senior Home Search web site to find out what we did, that bigger isn’t always better and let us know what you think.
Thank you for visiting our site, Senior Home Search. Please browse as often as you wish. You may use our contact page to ask questions or even make recommendations. We would love to hear from you. k2
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