Medicare, Medicaid and Long-Term Care: Your Questions Answered

A senior woman and a healthcare professional have a pleasant conversation in a senior living setting

Long-term care costs the federal programs do and don’t pay for [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Next Avenue recently asked readers to send us their questions about Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care coverage. The most popular ones:

  • What is offered by Medicare and Medicaid for long-term care?
  • If my assets are too high, should I forget about Medicaid?
  • Why does Medicare coverage only pay for skilled care?

Today, we’ll answer those questions.

This topic is weighing heavily on the minds of many Americans, and for two good reasons: 70 percent of people 65 and older will need some kind of long-term care eventually and long-term care costs are astronomical. The median annual fee for a private room in a nursing home, for instance, is $97,455 and hiring a home health aide runs roughly $49,000 a year, according to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Report. read more

How to Make the Most of Your Holidays

Happy family exchanging wrapped gifts

Tips and inspiration to keep the season low on stress and high on meaning [Photo credit: Getty Images]

By Heidi Raschke for Next Avenue

From gifts that are truly meaningful to tips on navigating tricky family situations, we’ve got advice and inspiration from the Next Avenue stories below to help you have truly happy holidays:

Traditions and Family

Four Jews and a Christmas Tree — I grew up in a Jewish household where Christmas dawned each year with only one thought in mind: “Woo-hoo, the ski slopes will be empty today!” As my mother made clear, the trees, the ornaments, the music — that wasn’t for us. That was for the family one street over, who (charitably) let my three siblings and me come over each year to help decorate their tree. If our line of menorahs seemed less festive, well, we knew where Mom stood on the idea of a “Hanukkah bush.” Then came love. Then came marriage. Then came the Christmas trees Mom had disparaged. Read more. read more

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America honors campuses

James J. Cook standing at a lectern

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s board of trustees member James J. Cook of St. Louis, Missouri, addresses the gathering on Nov. 30 in Wichita, Kansas.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America recognized all 17 of its Kansas and Missouri campuses for reaching goals in fiscal year 2017, July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, during a celebration Nov. 30 at the Broadview Hotel in Wichita, Kan.

The recognitions came through PMMA’s new Emerald Awards Program, designed to encourage its 17 locations and 2 hospices to achieve high levels of resident and employee satisfaction, meet financial goals, build philanthropic support for the organization’s mission and meet marketing goals. There are 11 areas measured for community Emerald Awards and 10 areas measured for hospice Emerald Awards. read more

4 Ways to Maintain Healthy Family Relationships

Deploy a little patience this holiday season [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Ken Druck for Next Avenue

(Editor’s note: This essay is the latest in a series from author and speaker Ken Druck, based on work in his book Courageous Aging, which is about how all people can make peace with, and find joy in, every stage of life.)

Things don’t stay the same as we get older. We evolve into the older versions of ourselves.

The same happens with families. And sometimes growing older can cause great upheaval to the family dynamics — especially between adult children and aging parents — requiring additional patience and understanding if we want to age together in a way that is healthy. read more

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America wins web awards

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s recently launched Facebook page for Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor and a video produced for Aberdeen Village recently received recognition from the Digital Health Awards for fall 2017.

The campus Facebook page allows Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor to highlight the lifestyle on the campus in a more immediate way than the campus website can. The page features a mix of real-time posts and content curated from other senior living resources. All 17 PMMA campuses have a presence on Facebook. read more

The Special Bond of Older Dogs and Older Owners

Money-saving ‘Seniors for Seniors’ pet adoption programs are gaining popularity [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Jen Reeder for Next Avenue

When Barbara Castleman and her husband visited an animal shelter in Albuquerque, N.M., several years ago, they were surprised to find a purebred toy Australian shepherd available for adoption. While it would have cost them thousands of dollars to purchase such a dog from a breeder, 10-year-old Stella’s pet adoption fee was only $40 because she was a “senior” — and Castleman received an additional $10 discount because she herself was over 50.

“Best of all, before taking her home, the shelter vet asked if they could give her a free dental exam, saving us hundreds of dollars. Imagine, for what we’d spend on lunch out, we’ve gotten years of unconditional love and companionship,” Castleman said. read more

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health

Woman with a peaceful expression tilts head upward in a forest, basking in rays of sunlight

Resolve to focus on taking care of yourself, beginning now [Photo credit: Getty]

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue

Eating less and exercising more are likely on many a to-do list for 2017. But in between meals and after working out, we all can identify ways to improve our mental health as well. Below are seven new year’s resolutions I’ve devised to help me take better care of myself in 2017. What are yours?

1. Adjust the settings. While fixing my leaky faucet, the plumber blurted out: “I’ve lost my passion for this work. I’ve been at it for so long, and the passion just isn’t there anymore.” read more

Why Doctors Shouldn’t Treat All Older People the Same

Doctor meets with senior man in a medical office.

A New York Times op-ed makes the case for recognizing ‘oldhood’ in health care. Photo credit: Adobe Stock

By Grace Birnstengel for Next Avenue

Health care systems have very distinct doctors and procedures for treating children vs. adults — but the division often stops there. People ages 65 and older are largely lumped into the category of geriatric, without considering the vast differences between those in their late 60s or 70s and those in their 80s or 90s.

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Louise Aronson, author and professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), argues that the experiences of older adults are much more nuanced than currently considered. Aronson cares for older adults in the UCSF’s Care at Home Program and directs the Northern California Geriatrics Education Center. read more

Radatz named to regional operations team

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA) has announced the appointment of Bradley “Brad” Radatz, executive director at Salina Presbyterian Manor, to the role of full-time regional director of operations.

Radatz has been splitting time between Salina Presbyterian Manor and a regional operations role since October 2015. He most recently has served as interim executive director at Wichita Presbyterian Manor.

“Brad has a wealth of administrative experience,” said Bill Taylor, PMMA’s chief operating officer. “We are excited to bring him full-time to our team of regional operations directors.” read more

Can Technology Predict Falls in Older Adults?

Man has fallen on a public sidewalk.

Fascinating new research sheds light on the precursors to potentially deadly spills. Photo credit: Adobe Stock

By Randy Rieland for Next Avenue

The prospect of aging can conjure up a multitude of horrors — a mind stolen by dementia, a body debilitated by illness, a soul crushed by social isolation. For most, fear of falling would be well down the list.

But falls are, in fact, one of the more common and consequential risks faced by older adults. The statistics, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, are both eye-opening and alarming.

One out of four Americans 65 or older falls at least once every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult in the U.S. is treated in an emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, one dies from a fall. By 2020, the financial cost related to falls by older adults in the U.S. is expected to top $67 billion per year. read more