Vol. 15, No. 4
September 24, 2015

Applications for the Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards Program are now being accepted until Friday, October 2, 2015 at 5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time).

CARE for All Veterans Act (H.R. 2894)
  • This bill expands eligibility for the family caregiver program of the Department of Veterans Affairs to include members of the Armed Forces or veterans who are seriously injured or who became ill (or aggravated such injury or illness) on active duty before September 11, 2001, (currently, limited to service after September 11, 2001).
Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act (H.R. 3308)
  • This bill expands Medicare coverage to include eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dental care.
Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 1830)
  • This bill amends Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under Medicare Part B.
Together We Care Act of 2015 (H.R. 3467)
  • This bill establishes a pilot program to train public housing residents as home health aides and in home-based health services to enable such residents to provide covered home-based health services to residents of public housing and residents of federally-assisted rental housing, who are elderly and disabled.
End of Life (A.B. 15)
  • This bill enacts the End of Life Option Act, which authorizes an adult who meets certain qualifications, and who has been determined by his or her physician to be suffering from a terminal disease, as defined, to make a request for a drug for the purpose of ending their life.
State Department of Public Health: Dementia Guidelines: Workgroup (S.B. 613)
  • This bill requires the State Department of Public Health to convene a workgroup to update the Guidelines for Alzheimer's Disease Management in California to address changes in the health care system, including changes in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Medicare.
Guardianship (S.B. 232)
  • This bill seeks to establish a "complaint department" for Floridians affected by the elder guardianship system, including wards of the state and their families, and would establish an Office of Public and Professional Guardians to both certify and supervise court-appointed guardians.
Right to Try Act (H.B. 1335)
  • This bill allows eligible terminally ill patients who have considered all other treatment options approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to acquire experimental drugs and treatments that have yet to receive approval for general use, without government interference.
Elder Abuse (S.B. 369)
  • This bill amends the state definition of elder abuse to include the expanded offense of aggravated stalking.
A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies to Prevent Hospitalizations of Community-dwelling Older Adults With Dementia
  • This Medical Care brief report summarizes current evidence about interventions that reduce the risk of hospitalization of persons with dementia, which is an important outcome for both those with dementia and their families.
  • Though none of the included studies demonstrated a significant effect on hospital admission, two (2) studies produced effects in the desired direction.
  • Based on the review, the authors suggest the following:
    • A diagnosis of dementia should shape the focus and the approach to management of all other health issues in the context of routine outpatient care.
    • The next generation of intervention research must identify the elements of high-quality outpatient care for persons with established dementia.
Assessing the Impact of Caring for a Person with Schizophrenia: Development of the Schizophrenia Caregiver Questionnaire
  • Research conducted to inform the development of a revised version of the The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) relevant to caregivers of persons with schizophrenia is discussed in this The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research article.
  • After reviewing the content of the ZBI and the qualitative interviews with caregivers of those with schizophrenia, the ZBI was modified to develop a new disease-specific measure: the Schizophrenia Caregiver Questionnaire (SCQ).
  • Although the SCQ demonstrated to be comprehensive and relevant to caregivers of persons with schizophrenia, with strong face and content validity, further research is needed to establish the psychometric validity of the scale.
The Effect on States of Increasing the Medicare Eligibility Age
  • The unintended consequences for state and government finances due to increasing the eligibility age for Medicare are predicted in this Urban Institute research report.
  • The following are some of the report highlights:
    • Currently, the Medicare program bears the largest share of costs for the care of beneficiaries between the ages of 65 and 69, but an increase in the program's eligibility age could shift those costs to Medicaid.
    • Although a change in the Medicare eligibility age would not affect disabled beneficiaries, many dual eligibles who currently qualify for Medicare solely on the basis of age could still qualify for Medicaid after losing Medicare.
    • The states' share of Medicaid costs would increase $369 million per year if the Medicare eligibility age is increased to 67 and $1.9 billion per year if the eligibility age is increased to 70.
    • The financial effect on an individual state depends on (1) its demographic composition, (2) the share of Medicaid expenditures for which the state is responsible, and most important, (3) whether the state has expanded the income eligibility threshold for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicare Provides Few Respite Coverage Options For Caregivers
  • This National Public Radio (NPR) story addresses questions about caregivers' options for respite care coverage and cost, with links to Medicare advocacy resources, such as information on special needs plans and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
5 Ways Technology Can Benefit Your Grandparents
  • Technology products and services can be used to improve the lives of the elderly in the following five (5) ways, as discussed with real examples in this Huffington Post blog article:
    1. Transportation
    2. Grocery Shopping
    3. Senior Care
    4. Health Tracking
    5. Isolation and Loneliness
8 Great Apps For Our Elders
  • In this Forbes story, Jeff Salter, Next Avenue Contributor, presents his picks for eight (8) simple-to-download apps that cost no more than $9.99 each, which can be used to enhance the daily lives of older adults, families, and caregivers.
  • Magnifying Glass With Light, MedCoach, and Red Panic Button are among Salter's picks.
Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards
  • Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), with resounding support from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, is pleased to oversee the 8th annual Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards program that is now accepting applications until Friday, October 2, 2015 at 5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time).
  • The program promotes strengthening caregiving for people with Alzheimer's disease, and stimulating innovation in this field by both recognizing and rewarding the efforts of those who lead the way in addressing the needs of Alzheimer's disease caregivers.
  • One $20,000 award will be given in each of the following categories:
    • Creative Expression
    • Diverse/Multicultural Communities
    • Policy and Advocacy
Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program
  • Hilarity for Charity and the Home Instead Senior Care network are collaborating to award home care grants to those providing care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.
  • The grants will be awarded across the United States and Canada, and are meant to contribute to the provision of exceptional home care to families affected by this disease, and to give these families support and rest.
2016 Class of Dole Caregiver Fellows
  • The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2016 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows.
  • This fellowship provides those caring for wounded, ill, and injured services members and veterans the opportunity to advise national leaders through the Foundation's network of public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Dole Caregiver Fellows also serve as spokespeople for their peers, elevating the nation's awareness of the contributions and struggles of the 5.5 million Americans caring for someone who has served.
New Resources for CBOs: The SCAN Foundation Linkage Lab Initiative
  • The SCAN Foundation, through its Linkage Lab Initiative, is now offering a suite of resources for CBOs seeking partnerships with the health care sector. Resources include the following:
    • Case studies from the first cohort of Linkage Lab grantees, which include information about their key objectives and strategies, successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
    • Free online learning modules for CBOs to build leadership and management capacity.
    • Perspectives from Dr. Bruce Chernof on the importance of forming effective health care/CBO partnerships.
The Community Research Center for Senior Health (CRC-SH) Releases a New Resource in the Arena of Evidence Based Programs (EBPs)
  • CRC-SH has developed a free web-based toolkit to guide CBOs through the selection, implementation, and evaluation of EBPs to better promote older adult health and well-being.
Professional Studies
Graduate Studies
Note: All FCA/NCC Caregiving Policy Digest Research Registry listings are displayed in the manner they were received by FCA/NCC.