November 2, 2020
Election 2020: A Message from The John A. Hartford Foundation
"Regardless of the outcome of this year’s elections, our nation is once again exercising one of the most powerful functions of democracy. Record numbers of people – including millions of older adults and their family caregivers – are casting their ballots to select our federal, state and local political leaders. The John A. Hartford Foundation calls on each of these leaders to ensure a future where all of us, no matter our age or race, are valued equally and receive the care we need and deserve.

This future must be rooted in age-friendly health systems, respect and economic support for family caregivers, and care for serious illness and at end-of-life that centers on what matters most to people."
Election day is tomorrow! Don't forget to vote. Check out an in-person voting checklist from Caring Across Generations HERE. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
For Family Caregivers, COVID-19 Is a
Mental Health Crisis in the Making
"Almost 42 million Americans, or 16% of all adults, serve as caregivers for relatives 50 or over. The majority of the people doing this unpaid, labor-intensive work are women, and, on average, they are just shy of 50 themselves, according to data compiled by [AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving]. Many have jobs outside the home or are also primary parents for young children.

The issue has gotten little attention on the campaign trail. But it’s at the forefront for those who are preparing to vote while they navigate a pandemic that has taken caregiving – already a grueling task – and rendered it all-consuming, with no promise of relief coming anytime soon.

And though there isn’t good data yet to show how many people have taken on caregiving burdens because of the pandemic, experts agree it’s likely a growing segment of the workforce, as resources like adult day care and assisted-living facilities prove perilous."

From: USA Today | October 17, 2020
Work-Life Balance Hard on Women During Pandemic

"A new survey out from S&P Global and AARP takes a look at how companies can create policies that allow employees to balance a career and family during the pandemic and beyond. Financial Expert Jean Chatzky discussed the work-life conundrum facing many employees."

From: Spectrum News | October 19, 2020
Has the Time Come for Hospital at Home?

"Under Mayo's 'hospital at home' (HaH) model patients who have certain medical conditions and meet other criteria can be admitted to HaH either from a hospital, an emergency department or a primary care clinic. A portion of their house is converted into a hospital room. Mobile x-ray and lab tests can also be performed at home."

From: Next Avenue | October 23, 2020
November is National Family Caregivers Month! 
November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. Family caregivers manage health emergencies, juggle priorities, and suffer isolation - and all that was before COVID. The pandemic brings even more challenges as family caregivers handle caring during a crisis. The Caregiver Action Network has chosen "Caregiving in Crisis" as the theme for 2020’s National Family Caregivers Month. During NFC Month 2020, CAN and its partners will be addressing the new realities family caregivers face with their loved ones during these uncertain times. CAN will also be releasing five essays throughout the month related to this year's theme. Topics include long-term care, risk during the pandemic, tele-health, home environment, and mental health.

Learn more about this year's theme HERE
November Caregiver Spotlight

NAC is partnering with the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the John A. Hartford Foundation to develop a series of vignettes to be used to add the caregiver voice into the work of the RAISE Family Caregiver Advisory Council. In 2021, the nearly 30 interviews conducted to write the vignettes will be used to create a series of videos which allow the caregiver voice and their message to disseminate the Council’s recommendations into the general public and among key policy makers. In honor of National Family Caregivers Month in November, NAC, the ACL, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and NASHP will be releasing some of these caregivers’ stories to help raise the voices of America’s family caregivers.
This week, we are spotlighting Nayma, a young caregiver (ages 18-49), who works part-time while providing care for her two siblings with Autism and her mother. Nayma has no other family in the United States to help support her parents and siblings. Ultimately, a tremendous amount of responsibility has fallen on Nayma’s shoulders. Her part-time job doesn’t qualify her for paid sick leave or paid family and medical leave benefits to support her caregiving responsibilities. As her parents’ translator, Nayma agonizes over what is going to happen when her parents are gone—she knows she will be her siblings’ caregiver for life.

Stay tuned for more by following the hashtag #RAISEcaregiving.

In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, NAC will be announcing upcoming projects and events throughout November, so make sure you're following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Caregiver's Rest Conference

November 11, 2020 | 11 AM - 2 PM EST 

Join Caregiver's Respite for the 15th Caregiver’s Rest Conference, coming up on November 11th, 2020 This year’s theme is ‘A Time To Share’, and participants will reflect on the past ten years to remember all the support, resources, guidance, and friendship the organization has shared together along the way.
Medicaid Supports for Family Caregivers

November 12, 2020 | 1 - 2 PM EST

This webinar, hosted by the National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) RAISE Family Caregiver Resource and Dissemination Center and funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation, will explore how family caregiving impacts state Medicaid programs and the role Medicaid plays – and could play – in supporting family caregivers.
Accessing Services and Supports During a Pandemic

November 12, 2020 | 2 - 3:30 PM EST 

Are you a caregiver of someone who has a chronic disease, disability, or health condition? Join NAC, the Diverse Elders Coalition, and Sage on November 12th for a webinar on Accessing Services and Supports During a Pandemic. 
Avoiding Caregiving Burnout
During COVID-19 

November 13th | 2:00-3:30 PM EST

Faith Unger, M. Ed., and Lori Hill — from the AGE of Central Texas CaregiverU caregiver education and training program — will discuss caregiving strategies and how to adapt to the "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caregiving and the Holidays: Stress Reducing Tips & Tools

November 16th | 11:00 AM-12:30 PM EST

Join Dr. David Zuniga as he presents a virtual seminar filled with stress reducing tips and tools to support caregivers through the holidays.
Why Health Bones Matter™

November 17 & December 7, 2020 | 7:30-8:30 PM EST 

Why Healthy Bones Matter™ brings an insight into how medical conditions, medicines, and family history can affect your risk for fractures. Black Americans are less likely to be screened for osteoporosis, to receive treatment, and are more likely to have chronic conditions that are bad for bones. Why Healthy Bones Matter™ provides the crucial education necessary so the community can take charge of their bone health!
Flattening the Caregiver Crisis Curve

November 18, 2020 | 1 PM EST

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 1 PM EST, please join C. Grace Whiting, J.D., President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), and Jennifer Olsen, DrPH, Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) along with Torchlight’s Adam Goldberg, M.Ed., CEO and, and Carolyn Romano, J.D., Vice President of Product, for the Flattening the Caregiver Crisis Curve webinar. The panel will address the impact COVID-19 is having on family caregivers, who are also balancing the demands of work. The panelists will discuss:
  • Challenges facing working family caregivers; 
  • Possible solutions to improve the health, strength and resilience of caregivers; 
  • Crossover caregiver skills that employers should embrace; 
  • Importance of sharing personal experiences and stories to break down barriers and enhance dialogue in the workplace.

Learn more HERE.

Health and Aging Policy Fellowship 2021-2022

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program offers two different tracks for individual placement: (1) a residential track that includes a nine-to-12-month placement in Washington, D.C. or at a state agency (as a legislative assistant in Congress, a professional staff member in an executive branch agency or in a policy organization); (2) a non-residential track that includes a health policy project and brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites. The project may be focused at a global, federal, state or community level.

U.S. Rare Disease COVID Vaccine Survey

The EveryLife Foundation, in partnership with the Community Congress COVID-19 Response Working Group is conducting a survey to better understand the rare disease community’s perceptions and information needs about a vaccine for COVID-19 once one is approved.
COVID-19 Research from RCI 

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) undertook a study of caregiving in the time of COVID-19 with the support of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. The purpose of this study was to understand the direct experience of caregivers, particularly changes in and causes of stress, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Language Matters and Is Changing

"In June 2017, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) adopted the American Medical Association Manual of Style including qualified recommendations for the language used to describe older people in order to built better public perceptions of aging. The journal adopted 'older adult(s)' and 'older person/people' as preferred terminology, explicitly advocating against using 'the elderly,' 'senior(s),' and/or 'senior citizen(s).' In a recent research letter, the AGS outlines how these recommendations impacted word choice across a variety of forums." Click the red link below to view the research letter. 
New Research on Mothers of Sons With Muscular Dystrophy

"The health-related quality of life and emotional distress among mothers of sons with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophies (n = 82) were compared to sex- and age group–matched controls (n = 26). Mothers reported poorer health-related quality of life across all domains of their health-related quality of life, as well as higher levels of emotional distress."
These results from the Journal of Child Neurology suggest the need for intervention to improve the psychosocial functioning of families impacted by muscular dystrophies.
Medicare Open Enrollment Has Begun!

Medicare open enrollment is now through December 7th. Have you done your yearly Medicare plan review? Medicare is stronger than ever with better choices, lower costs, and a more modern way to get you the information you need. Each year brings new health plan and drug coverage choices. Look at your current health and drug coverage each fall, and make sure your plan’s still right for you. Also, remember to take advantage of free preventive benefits, cancer screenings, and yearly "Wellness" visits.

Download the free "What's Covered" mobile app from the App Store or Google Play to get coverage information right on your mobile device.