The Family Caregiving Crisis Meets an Actual Pandemic
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents unique challenges to those who work with the seriously ill population, including both health care providers and the family caregivers providing unpaid care. We rely on this lay workforce as health care routinely transitions care to the home, and now more than ever, we are depending on them in the current pandemic. As palliative care and other health care providers become overwhelmed with patients critically ill with COVID-19, and routine care becomes delayed, we have a charge to recognize and work with family caregivers.
First and foremost, family caregivers are essential frontline health care workers who are providing daily hands-on care for the most at-risk populations to COVID-19, without direct supervision, support staff, or formal training in COVID-19 safety precautions. So treating them as such was the first of six recommendations in this excellent article. Now that we have established that they are essential, let's consider that caregiving is also a social determinant of health. Must read.
Commentary The need for family caregiver support: Now more than ever
Healthcare Global Practice Partner wrote this article for BenefitsPro News.
The issue of paid family leave has certainly garnered the attention of organizations and the government during COVID-19. But to quote from a recent article: “ending the conversation about caregiver support on paid leave would fall short of effectively supporting employee caregivers. From a caregiver’s perspective, paid leave should be the tip of the iceberg when offering support to caregivers.”
Health providers have had a bad track record when it comes to caring for the family caregiver. A recent national study in JAMA found that while most caregivers reported that older adults’ health care workers always or usually listened to them and always or usually asked about their understanding of the older adult’s treatments; fewer caregivers reported being always (21.3 percent) or usually (6.9 percent) asked whether they needed help managing older adults’ care. Nearly one-half (45.0 percent) were never asked.
Read more at: https://www.benefitspro.com/2020/04/29/the-need-for-family-caregiver-support-now-more-than-ever/
Caregiving: The health care crisis few are addressing
There are more of them. They are in poorer health. They are providing more intense care for longer periods of time in close quarters. These are the 53 million family caregivers, 21.3 percent of the population, who are providing unpaid care for loved ones.
This according to the latest AARP/NAC Caregiving in the US 2020 report, which was published on May 14. The data is based on quantitative surveys of nearly 1,400 people taken BEFORE the novel coronavirus hit.
Global Practice Partner Anthony Cirillo examines the implications for organizations in this thought-provoking BenefitsPro article.
Read more - https://www.benefitspro.com/2020/06/08/caregiving-the-health-care-crisis-few-are-addressing/
University of Rochester Medical Center Faces $3 million Fine After Data Breach
The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) will pay $3 million in fines for failure to encrypt mobile devices and other HIPAA violations, it was announced in November.
With more than 26,000 employees, URMC is one of the biggest health systems in the state of New York.
In addition to the $3 million penalty, URMC will be forced to adopt a corrective action plan to address all aspects of noncompliance found in the investigation following the data breach.
You can read the full article here: https://www.hipaajournal.com/lack-of-encryption-leads-to-3-million-hipaa-penalty-for-new-york-medical-center/
AIM Executive Weighs in on How Businesses Should Approach CCPA Regulations
AIM Managing Partner Philip Gow spoke with PIMA Insights last week about how businesses should prepare for and achieve compliance with new CCPA regulations set to take effect in January. In the interview, Gow described that even businesses with knowledge about compliance may not have the resources or expertise to execute and achieve full compliance with the new regulations.
Setting your organization up for success in the future is crucial Gow said, and may require the use of third-party resources or outside firms.
Read the full article here: https://www.pimainsights.org/blogs/michael-baccelli1/2019/11/19/when-to-bring-in-reinforcements
Unique Program to Address Senior Loneliness That We All Can Try
The Lionel Ritchie Song “Hello” may hold a key to addressing loneliness in seniors. According to the Administration for Community Living and the Administration on Ageing, nearly thirty percent of older adults in the United States live alone- fourteen million people. The National Poll on Healthy Aging has determined loneliness can impact memory, physical well-being, life expectancy, and mental health and has been linked to a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weaker immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s Disease
The organization Age UK, explains that these statistics show that hundreds of thousands of older adults won’t even share a simple “hello, how are you?” with someone. They have partnered with Cadbury Dairy Milk to launch a new campaign called “Donate Your Words”, to help combat loneliness in senior citizens.
The campaign is educating the public about loneliness among older populations and is encouraging them to simply say hello to an elderly neighbor, invite them over for a coffee or cup of tea, or even offer to help them with some daily tasks.
The number one thing you can do to help the older adults in your life is to really listen to them, says Tina Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist, noting that asking a senior citizen “tell me more” is like giving them a gift.
Another way to connect is to get them to teach you something.
Don’t be afraid to encourage other friends or family members to reach out to the elderly person in your life or community, too. “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”
The advocates at GISHC see this first-hand everyday with their interactions with family caregivers.
Experts Weigh in On Recovering the Financial Costs of Caregiving
According to the 2017 Transamerica Institute survey, caregivers spend a median amount of $150 per month out-of-pocket to cover expenses for the care recipient; three quarters of whom receive no financial assistance. In addition to putting a financial burden on caregivers, it causes stress.
In this Forbes article, experts weigh in on strategies to help preserve your wealth. Keeping a budget. Have family financial conversations. And when the journey is over, take care of yourself and plan for your financial future.
Need help as a caregiver in planning for lifetime healthcare costs? We can help Check out our solutions at www.gishc.com.
THE ART OF DECLUTTERING: HOW TO DO IT WHILE KEEPING YOUR SANITY AND HAVING FUN
Most people want to age in the home they have. According to AARP, three out of four people 50-plus want to stay in their homes and communities as they age but just 59 percent anticipate they will be able to do so.
The key to aging in place is making your home safe and accessible while you are still young and healthy to tackle the job. Part of that process has to do with decluttering and downsizing your possessions. But where do you start?
Read this article by GISHC Global Practice Partner, Anthony Cirillo in Sixty and Me to learn more. In it he distinguishes between Hoarding and just accumulating “stuff” and with a little help from “Dorothy The Organizer” he outlines a plan to face your clutter demons. You’ll even learn about The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.
We hope it's one more way to reduce your stress as a caregiver. Need more tools? Check out our Caregiver Services for individuals, employers, organizations and health providers.
Go here: https://sixtyandme.com/the-art-of-decluttering-how-to-do-it-while-keeping-your-sanity-and-having-fun/
AP Report Discusses Dangers of Combining Prescriptions
A new report from the Associated Press described the risks of taking multiple prescription medications at once.
For patients who do take multiple prescription drugs, the risks of side effects or negative interactions between medications compounds with each added prescription and one doctor often is unaware of what others have already prescribed for the same patient, the article said.
Multiple prescriptions can also complicate the diagnosis process for doctors and physicians. “It’s very easy to miss medication side effects because they masquerade as all these other symptoms,” UCSF geriatrician Dr. Michael Steinman said in the article.
This has especially dangerous implications for seniors: about 91% of people 65+ take at least one prescription medicine and 41% use five or more.
Read the full article here: https://apnews.com/5ef58b341a016590d5996a1c330f959b
CDC Report Describes Caregiving as a Growing "Public Health Issue"
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly 1 in 5 family caregivers may be in fair or poor health, going on to describe caregiving as “a public health issue of increasing importance.”
Using data from 44 states, researchers found that 21% of more than 252,000 respondents were caregivers who rated their health fair or poor.
Katherine Ornstein, an associate professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City reviewed the findings and said the health care system needs to start thinking about how to support these caregivers. Specifically, they need to consider what resources and training are needed to do the things they have to do.
Dr. Steven Radwany, a professor in the Division of Palliative Medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, also reviewed the report and noted that “we have to have the political will to step up and address this.”
The authors concluded that “the potential for losing informal caregivers because of poor health exists and needs to be addressed to support caregivers and expanded offerings that allow caregivers to address their own health concerns.”
Read more here: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-02-20/whos-caring-for-family-caregivers-1-in-5-says-health-is-poor