Vol. 16, No. 2
February 29, 2016

American Heroes COLA Act of 2015 (H.R. 677)
  • This bill amends title 38, United States Code, to provide for annual cost-of-living adjustments to be made automatically by law each year in the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans, and for other purposes.
Comprehensive Behavioral Health Reform and Recovery Act of 2016 (H.R. 4435)
  • This bill improves access to mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, crisis, and recovery services. It includes provisions for older adult mental health grants; improving communication with individuals, families, and health providers; and the expansion of Medicare mental health coverage.
Keeping Our Promise to Seniors Act (H.R. 4551)
  • This bill requires the establishment of a Consumer Price Index for Older Americans to compute cost-of-living increases for monthly insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act.
Senior$afe Act of 2016 (H.R. 4538)
  • This bill provides immunity from suit for whistleblowers who disclose potential examples of financial exploitation of older adults.
Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act Expansion (S. 2493)
  • This bill expands eligibility for hospital care and medical services under Section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to include veterans who are age 75 or older.
Uniform Definitions and Data Elements for Collecting Information about Elder Abuse
  • This AARP policy brief describes the challenge of collecting data related to elder abuse because definitions of elder abuse, elder abuse prevention laws, data and reporting of elder abuse, etc., vary from state to state. Using a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the brief proposes the use of uniform definitions and core sets of data elements nationwide to help public health officials evaluate and improve the effectiveness of prevention and intervention strategies for combating elder abuse.
Cognitively Impaired Adults: Caregiver Resource Centers (S.B. 1377)
  • This bill appropriates funds for the allocation of caregiver resource centers (CRCs) to provide respite care services for caregivers of cognitively impaired adults.
Home Care Services: In-Home Supportive Services, Registration and Training (A.B. 2158)
  • This bill requires an independent In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) care provider to be listed on the home care aide registry prior to providing home care services to a client, and would require an independent IHSS provider to complete the specified training required for an affiliated home care aide.
Relating to Discharge Planning (S.B. 2397)
  • This bill requires hospitals to conduct discharge planning, including the assessment of the unique preferences and needs of patients and their caregivers when developing a discharge plan.
Relating to Health (H.B. 2005)
  • This bill creates policies to adequately address the various issues concerning the elderly and disabled and the community healthcare industry while ensuring consumer protection for Hawaii's elderly and disabled.
Act to Amend Indiana Code Concerning Health (S.B. 272)
  • This bill establishes the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council, and sets forth member requirements.
Prohibiting Discrimination Against Family Caregivers (S.B. 472)
  • This bill eliminates and prevents discrimination against family caregivers in all employment relations, housing, and public accommodations, and ensures anti-retaliation provisions that protect discrimination complaints.
Hospitals: Designation of Lay Caregivers (S.B. 336)
  • This bill requires hospitals to provide a patient with the opportunity to designate a lay caregiver before they are discharged from the hospital.
Act to Expand Health Insurance for Telemedicine (H.B. 1192)
  • This bill prohibits health insurers from denying payment for the diagnosis, treatment, or consultation provided by telemedicine if that service would have been covered had it been provided in person.
Telehealth Revisions (H.B. 340)
  • This bill amends the Medical Assistance Act and the Public Employees' Benefit and Insurance Program Act to provide coverage for certain telehealth services.
Designated Caregiver (H.B. 76)
  • This bill requires the appointment of a designated informal caregiver for the aftercare of a patient upon their discharge from a hospital, and for continuing coordination between hospitals and caregivers.

A National Profile of Family and Unpaid Caregivers Who Assist Older Adults With Health Care Activities
  • This research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examines how caregivers' involvement in older adults' health care activities relates to caregiving responsibilities, supportive services use, and caregiving-related effects. The study found that family caregivers providing substantial assistance with health care experience significant emotional difficulty and role-related effects, yet only one-quarter use supportive services.
Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Caregiving Research: Chinese and Filipino Caregivers
  • In this AARP research brief, researchers focus on the caregiving characteristics, habits, practices, and information needs of Chinese and Filipino caregivers, who compose a significant portion of caregiving populations in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Key findings include:
    • Caregiving issues and problems are generally kept private within the family.
    • Caregiver selection is not often discussed in-depth and is typically an organic consideration of a variety of factors, such as birth order, finances, and other logistics.
    • End-of-life conversations are avoided or held in a cursory manner; there is little comprehension around end-of-life planning and it is rarely conducted.
Associations between Advanced Cancer Patients' Survival and Family Caregiver Presence and Burden
  • Research published in Cancer Medicine investigates the effect of an early palliative care intervention (ENABLE: Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) for persons with advanced cancer and their family caregivers. Findings demonstrate that advanced cancer patients with caregivers had lower survival rates than patients without caregivers. However, this mortality risk was mostly attributable to higher survival by unmarried patients without caregivers. Higher caregiver demand burden was also associated with decreased patient survival.
'Invisible Work' Toll Among Family and Unpaid Caregivers
  • Recent research from the National Institutes of Health examines the crucial role of family and unpaid caregivers who are often invisible in the healthcare system. Findings indicate that unpaid caregivers who help with the health care of older adults experience emotional, physical, and financial difficulties, as well as lower work productivity. These results provide a better understanding of the unmet needs and challenges of this often invisible caregiving workforce.
On Pins and Needles: Caregivers of Adults with Mental Illness
  • This study from the National Alliance for Caregiving, in collaboration with Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, identifies startling inadequacies in the U.S. healthcare system in meeting the needs of families who manage moderate-to-serious mental illness. The study highlights the struggles of caregivers to find accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatments--including access to long-term services and supports--for their loved ones.

Caregivers Could Use Pharmacist Partnerships
  • In this Pharmacy Times story, Jennifer L. Wolff, PhD, who recently published research findings about the extent to which caregivers experience a lower quality of life, explains how pharmacists can help reduce burden and potentially improve quality of life in caregivers. She says that pharmacists should get to know, educate, and partner with family caregivers that access and administer medications and make treatment decisions in order to help caregivers avoid harming those they care for and themselves.
New study finds Transcendental Meditation reduces stress in family caregivers
  • This EurekAlert! press release describes the results of recent research that demonstrates the stress relief that Transcendental Meditation techniques offer to informal caregivers of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other chronic medical conditions. Participants in the Transcendental Meditation program also experienced improvements in energy level, feelings of calmness and resilience, and reduced anxiety and other psychosocial stress.
Striking Disparities in Food Insecurity Rates Among Older Adults
  • This AARP story describes food insecurity among older adults, nearly 8 percent of whom do not always have balanced meals or enough to eat because they cannot afford it. Black and Hispanic seniors are over three times more likely to experience food insecurity than their White and Asian counterparts. This food insecurity is a significant public health concern, in part because it is associated with health problems such as depression and chronic disease.
What Is a Health Care Power of Attorney?
  • In this PBS Next Avenue article and video, attorney Betsy Abramson, Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging, offers pointers on how to appoint a health care power of attorney if one is unable to make healthcare decisions for oneself.
Caregivers: 4 Reasons Support Groups Will Be Your Lifeline
  • This U.S. News & World Health Report story details how family caregivers can turn to each other as valuable sources of real-time caregiving information and advice. According to the author, the following four (4) benefits, which are further explained within the article, are gained by participating in an in-person or online family caregiver support:
    1. When the chemistry clicks, you'll feel like family.
    2. You'll learn more from people on the front lines of care.
    3. You'll feel strength and emotional support from like-minded people.
    4. Enjoy unexpected opportunities.
Relationships with Robots: Good or Bad for Humans?
  • This Forbes story explores the development of robotic technologies and how artificial intelligence and robots becoming more involved in our everyday lives could trigger a variety of emotional responses towards robots depending on their role (i.e., caregiver).
Survey: Most caregivers became more reliant on online health information in the past year
  • According to this MobiHealthNews article, an Edelman survey of 1,500 U.S. adults indicates that 56 percent of caregivers are more reliant on online health information than ever before. The most popular reasons for accessing health information online include looking up health symptoms, information on doctors, information about medications, and information on specific diseases and conditions. The survey also revealed the importance to caregivers of online health information sharing.

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.
Seed Grants Available for the Start-up of Dementia Day Programs
  • The Brookdale Foundation Group has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the start-up of new social model Group Respite or Early Memory Loss programs for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
  • In October 2016, The Foundation will be awarding up to 15 seed grants for the development of dementia-specific Group Respite programs or specialized programs for people with Early Memory Loss (EML). The grants are $10,000 for the first year with an opportunity for a second tier grant of $5,000. Any 501(c)(3) or equivalent not-for-profit service agency wishing to develop a social model day program for Alzheimer's families is invited to apply. Proposals are due at The Brookdale Foundation Group office in New Jersey on Thursday, July 7, 2016. More information can be obtained by visiting

2015 Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards Reception at AiA16
Caregiving 2.0: Innovative Directions in Data and Service Delivery Session at AiA16
  • This session will feature the latest updates relating to the following two (2) FCA projects that offer insights into the next generation of design relating to services and products for supporting family caregivers:

1. FCA Care Compass (Caregiver 2.0)

    • Product that provides online services and support for family caregivers from intake and assessment to training, consultation, education, decision support and related services.

2. Atlas of Caregiving

    • Project that tracked and analyzed a day in the life of a caregiver using time logs, ethnographic pre-post interviews and a variety of wearable and installed technologies.

  • For more information about the session, visit the session webpage.
Put Your Family Caregiving on the Map (from the Atlas of Caregiving Pilot)
  • The Atlas of Caregiving Pilot offers information on how caregivers can create their own care map.
  • A care map is a helpful way to visually represent all the people and services involved in a family caregiving situation.
  • Once completed, the map will show all the individuals who are providing care and the relationships between them.
FCA Call to Family Caregivers
  • FCA often receives requests from the news media seeking family caregivers served by FCA willing to be interviewed about about their caregiving experience and how FCA has helped them.
  • If you would like to share your caregiving stories and how FCA has helped you, please complete the online form to be added to the list of FCA's caregiver media ambassadors.
Resources for CBOs: The SCAN Foundation Linkage Lab Initiative
  • The SCAN Foundation, through its Linkage Lab Initiative, offers 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.

NOTE: All FCA/NCC Caregiving Policy Digest Research Registry listings are displayed in the manner they were received by FCA/NCC.

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