• Turning Nursing Homes into Cultural Centers
    Cultural Centers

    What if programming in nursing homes was so compelling, so intriguing, that family members asked if they could join in? And school groups started to compete for volunteer slots? And nearby arts organizations started calling to ask when they could partner?

    That isn’t a dream. It is unfolding right now in 12 rural nursing homes in Kentucky where a team of artists and staff are beginning a three-year journey toward transforming stigmatized nursing homes to vibrant cultural centers that can be resources for their communities.

    Enough of bingo and balloon toss — no matter how beloved they may be. Together, in the I Won’t Grow Up project, we are exploring the themes inside the myth of Peter Pan and working toward three creative festivals in the spring of 2019 that will be open to
  • Willing and able: Disabled workers prove their value in tight labor market
    value in tight labor market

    Julie Propp landed her first-ever job about 18 months ago — at age 55.

    A part-time retail helper at a Kwik Trip convenience store in Marshalltown, Iowa, Propp cleans and ensures coffee cups and other items are well-stocked. She previously loaded boxes in workshops run by agencies that help disabled people but never had a traditional job because of a developmental disability.

    She prefers her current gig. “It’s more money down there and more hours,” says Propp, who earns $10.90 an hour and will soon get a bump to $11.25. “Some customers are so nice.”

    With the low 4.1% unemployment rate making it tougher for employers to hire and retain workers, more are bringing on Americans with disabilities who had long struggled to find jobs. Many firms are modifying traditional interviews that filter out candidates with less-refined social
  • U.S. government proposes 1.84 percent hike in 2019 payments to Medicare insurers
    Medicare Insurers

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Thursday proposed an increase of 1.84 percent on average in its 2019 payments to the health insurers that manage Medicare Advantage insurance plans for more than 20 million elderly or disabled people.
  • Recognizing Caregiving Burnout
    Caregiver Burnout
    Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able — either physically or financially. Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.

    What Are the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?

    The symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to the symptoms of stress and depression. They may include:
    1. Withdrawal from friends and family
    2. Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
    3. Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless
    4. Changes in
  • How States Are Helping People Get Medicaid At Home
    medicaid at home

    Survey after survey shows that people want to continue living in their homes as they age, rather than moving to a nursing home or an assisted living facility. (In a recent Nationwide Insurance survey of Americans 50 and older, 61% said they’d rather die than live in a nursing home.) But whether you or your parents will be able to receive long-term care benefits at home through Medicaid — assuming Medicaid-eligibility — is an open question.

    That’s because state rules vary enormously regarding whether Medicaid — the leading payer of long-term care in America — will pay for a person’s long-term care at home. But a new report from the Center for Health Care Strategies (a nonprofit health policy resource center focused on