Archive for the ‘Legislative’ Category

Clearing the Fog of Dementia Drugs

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Most of us agree that nursing home reform is a critical need in the United States. Many times, difficult behavior from people with dementia is managed by giving them more psychotropic drugs. As a result of these drugs, sometimes people go into a “fog” including lethargy, seem detached from the world,  stop speaking and other negative side effects.

This is a great article about Clearing the Fog at Nursing Homes – how behavioral interventions (and hands-on caring) changed residents from zombies to engaged adults at one nursing home in Two Harbors, Minn.

As the article states, behavioral interventions can be more costly to implement than prescribing, yet in the long run it can save money – not to mention the increased quality of life for the residents and families.

Even if your loved one with dementia is not in a nursing home, there are behavioral modifications you can use at home that might help them live a better life. Caring, and a loving touch can make a bigger difference than you might think.

Caregiving Initiative gets fully funded

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Exciting news from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging – read their statement, below.

This is great news for Aging Network and caregivers!

As Appropriations Bills Move,
AoA A Big Winner
July 27, 2010

Excellent news from Washington today. After months of advocacy from n4a members and others to boost the President’s Caregiver Initiative, it appears that we may just win this one!

This afternoon, the Senate Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations marked up its spending bill for FY 2011, which contains funding for OAA and other critical federal programs. While full details have not yet emerged and likely won’t until after the full Senate Appropriations Committee marks up the bill this Thursday, n4a has learned that the overall increase for the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) is $143.3 million, which is even higher than the President’s generous budget requested.

Not only is the Administration’s Caregiver Initiative fully funded (with an additional boost for the AoA-administered Lifespan Respite Program), but the bill contains a $38.2 million boost in OAA senior nutrition programs, which is a 4.6 percent increase over FY 2010. This means that the National Family Caregiver Support Program (OAA Title III E) and the Title VI Caregiver program would see 31 percent increases, Title III B a 13 percent increase, and Title VI Part A more than 7 percent increase—all of these programs have been n4a funding priorities for several years.

Previously on July 15, the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations marked up its spending bill. Details have yet to be released about specific programs within the bill’s jurisdiction, but n4a has learned that AoA’s funding level is approximately $135 million over FY 2010, which is also $26 million over the President’s recommendation. This is excellent news—trumped a bit by the Senate’s even higher numbers, but very significant when compared to years of stagnant funding for OAA. Our fingers are crossed that this overall number reflects, as the Senate’s does, a full funding of the Caregiver Intiative. Once the full committee marks up the bill, the details will be made available and n4a will update its appropriations chart and notify all members.

However, neither bill is expected to come to the floor for consideration before the fiscal year begins on October 1. As in years past, a continuing resolution (CR) will likely keep federal funding flowing until Congress passes a final bill. Best estimate of when that will occur? During the lame-duck session after the elections in November—perhaps as part of an omnibus bill that merges several spending bills.