Recent Round Up – Week of May 24, 2021

Administration for Community Living releases 2020 Profile of Older Americans. The Profile of Older Americans is an annual summary of critical statistics related to the older population in the United States. Relying primarily on data offered by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Profile illustrates the shifting demographics of Americans age 65 and older. It includes key topic areas such as income, living arrangements, education, health, and caregiving. The 2020 Profile includes special sections on COVID-19 and mental health.

What’s the Financial Condition of Households Getting Government Benefits?
The median “wealth” or financial assets of U.S. households that participated in one or more means-tested government programs in 2017 was about 97% less than that of those who didn’t. Despite less wealth and lower asset ownership, households that received government assistance surprisingly had only slightly lower unsecured debt, such as credit cards and medical bills, than those who didn’t and even lower secured debt like a mortgage.

How We Take Care of Families of Those Who Died While Serving in U.S. Armed Forces
Family members such as a surviving spouse, surviving parent, or dependent child are eligible for some of the benefits the government provides survivors in honor of service members’ sacrifices.

The New York Times reported that Family Caregivers Feel the Pandemic’s Weight
“Most older Americans who need help with the so-called activities of daily living — bathing, dressing, eating, using a toilet — don’t receive any kind of paid care, at home or in care facilities. They rely on unpaid family caregivers.”

From EurekAlert! – Older adults with functional impairments linked to prescription drug use/misuse
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 22 percent of older adults in the United States suffer from a functional impairment, defined as difficulties performing daily activities, such as bathing or getting dressed, or problems with concentration or decision-making affected by physical, mental or emotional conditions.”

Apple previews powerful software updates designed for people with disabilities
“Apple today announced powerful software features designed for people with mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive disabilities. These next-generation technologies showcase Apple’s belief that accessibility is a human right and advance the company’s long history of delivering industry-leading features that make Apple products customizable for all users.”

CMS Webinar: Strategies to Help Kids Safely Return to School – Vaccinated and Ready to Learn
Thursday, June 3, 2021
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET
Webinar speakers feature:
Shannon Stokley, DrPH, MPH, Associate Director for Science, Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Virginia Mika, PhD, MPH, Deputy Chief Analytics Officer, Community Programs, University Health and Connecting Kids to Coverage Grant Project Director
Nora I. Silva, MPA, Assistant Director, Community Engagement & Population Health, University Health
Rawha Abouarabi, Public Health Coordinator/Navigator Grant Project Director, Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS) Michigan
Darshana Panchal, MPH, Outreach Contractor, Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign, Porter Novelli Public Services

Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization in the United States: An Update
Main Points
Since the prior 2014 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) report on vaccine safety, we found no new evidence of increased risk for key adverse events following administration of vaccines that are routinely recommended for adults, children, and pregnant women.
Signals from the prior report remain unchanged for adverse events that include anaphylaxis in adults and children, and febrile seizures and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in children. There continues to be no evidence of increased risk of adverse events for vaccines currently recommended in pregnant women.
There remains insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about some rare potential adverse events.

June is PTSD Awareness Month, when the National Center for PTSD spotlights treatment options and resources that lead to a better quality of life for Veterans suffering from PTSD

VA: Isakson and Roe Act Summaries
The Isakson and Roe Act enhances and expands education benefits and programs for Veterans, Service members, families, and survivors. Check out the descriptions below to understand how the provisions impact GI Bill® and Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefits.

Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) May Forum Materials Available Now. he May 2021 update is now available on Care Compare, the streamlined redesign of eight former CMS healthcare compare tools on Medicare.gov, including Hospice Compare. We made several changes. First, data derived from the Post-Acute Care and Hospice Provider Utilization and Payment Public Use File (PUF) have been updated to include calendar year 2018 data. Furthermore, additional data elements from the PUF file have been added to inform users whether a hospice provided service to any Medicare Advantage patients, or patients with both Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Please visit the Public Reporting: Background and Announcements page to view a newly issued Fact Sheet and Question and Answer document. These resources provide an overview of the PUF information on hospices publicly reported by the HQRP.

CMS: Post-Acute Care Quality Reporting Programs
On Wednesday, May 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted the Spring 2021 HQRP Forum to provide information on the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation, or HOPE. Materials from this HQRP Forum, including a recording of the presentation, are now available in the Downloads section of the Provider and Stakeholder Engagement page at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Hospice-Quality-Reporting/Hospice-QRP-Provider-Engagement-Opportunities

CMS to host webinar on the Provide Accurate Information Directly (PAID) Act
Wednesday June 23, 2021 at 1:00PM ET
Webinar URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PWXW2072056&p=9205987&t=c

Free Webinar by Justin in Aging: Defending Against “Bad Behavior” Evictions in Nursing Facilities
Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET

ACL: New RIC Brief: Multimodal Pain Management: Considerations for Clinicians Treating Pain
Chronic pain is rising because of an increase in related conditions within a growing aging population. In particular, individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid have higher levels of chronic pain, and use prescription opioids to treat pain more often than those eligible for Medicare only. This puts them at a higher risk for opioid misuse or addiction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests providers use a multimodal approach to pain management that offers individuals access to a range of therapy options. This allows them to determine the most effective combination of services to reduce pain and improve quality of life. However, many providers may need additional pain management training and more information on safe and effective multimodal treatments.

VA: Mental health matters, now more than ever. Take advantage of telemental health treatment options in VA and the community.
Life can be difficult regardless of a global pandemic. VA offers a variety of mental health treatment options for Veterans, including in-person care at VA and community facilities and telemental health services. For many Veterans, telemental health may be the most accessible and convenient option for care.

Older Adults on the Edge of Eviction
Blog author Alisha Sanders, director of housing policy research at the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, shares disturbing statistics to illustrate the precarious position in which older renters find themselves.

Dementia and Technology: As Memory Fades, the Beauty of Reconnecting

NIH: Scientists discover brain cells that compete to sustain or suppress traumatic memories
Two clusters of brain cells compete to promote either the persistence or disappearance of traumatic memories, according to a new study conducted in mice. The findings could provide important insights into human conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and associated problems such as alcohol use disorder (AUD) that can arise from the persistence of traumatic memories.

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