Wrenching Choices Face Families Over An Aging Parent’s Living Situation
The Philadelphia Inquirer has two stories on the challenges that adult children face caring for elders. And Bloomberg and NPR report on developments on Alzheimer's.
The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com:
The Dilemmas Of Parents Aging At Home
The story of Mary Casavecchia and the house she won't leave began decades ago. ... Her love for this house and refusal to part with it have thrust mother and daughter into one of the toughest challenges families face: what to do when aging parents insist on staying in the family home even after it has become risky or isolating. Even loving families can find themselves in a standoff, each generation unable to see the other's point of view. (Burling, 9/29)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
How To Talk With A Stubborn Parent About Health Issues
Before a crisis, families should discuss contingency plans if an elder breaks a hip or develops dementia, said Barry Jacobs, a Delaware County psychologist who specializes in family caregiving. It's good to tour different types of facilities together. Seniors may respond better if their adult children bring up the topic of housing slowly, simply, and without a lot of drama. Work with facts. Experts suggested getting a neuropsychological and medical evaluation for a parent with cognitive problems or disabilities. Experts can also evaluate driving ability. (Burling, 9/29)
Bearing The Financial Burden Of Alzheimer’s
One in nine Americans age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s—a total of 5.2 million people—and that number is expected to triple by 2050. Patients typically live 8 to 10 years after diagnosis, and families can quickly exhaust their savings caring for them. The cost of an assisted living facility averages $43,200 a year, while a semiprivate room at a nursing home runs $80,300, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Medicare doesn’t cover that expense. Medicaid does—if you’re poor enough. A single person must have no more than $2,000 of assets to qualify, says Todd Lutsky, an elder-care attorney at Cushing & Dolan. “If you’re married, the healthy spouse gets to keep $119,220 and the home.” (Braham, 9/29)
Rats! They Could Be Better Than Mice For Testing Alzheimer's Drugs
What rats can remember may help people who forget. Researchers are reporting evidence that rats possess "episodic memories," the kind of memories that allow us to go back in time and recall specific events. These memories are among the first to disappear in people who develop Alzheimer's disease. (Hamilton, 9/29)
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