Blog Post

Aging Research & Issues: February 12-16, 2018

  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report:  Medicaid Assisted Living Services: Improved Federal Oversight of Beneficiary Health and Welfare is Needed. February 5, 2018. Older people and people with disabilities receiving Medicaid assisted living services — over 330,000 in 2014 — can be vulnerable to abuse, neglect or exploitation. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees how states monitor such incidents, but its guidance has been unclear. More than half of the 48 states providing Medicaid Assisted Living  services couldn’t tell us the number or nature of critical incidents in assisted living facilities. In addition, states may not be monitoring things you might expect them to. For example, three states don’t monitor unexpected or unexplained deaths. The GAO recommends that CMS take steps to improve state reporting. Click on the right for full report, or for highlights.
  • ‘‘It was then that I thought ‘What? This is not my Dad’’:  The implications of the ‘still the same person’ narrative for children and young people who have a parent with dementia. Pat Sikes and Mel Hall. Dementia, 2018, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 180-198. Open access. The construction of their parent as the same person is not helpful and, expectations that they will behave and feel towards that parent as they did before are a source of distress in what is already a challenging situation.
  • Several employment indicators for those ages 55+ improve in January 2018. AARP. The new Thinking Policy blog by Jen Schramm.  Posted on Feb. 2, 2018. Among persons ages 55 and older the number of unemployed, the unemployment rate and the percentage of long-term unemployed all declined in January compared with the previous month. Meanwhile, an analysis of government data on occupational distributions by age has found that workers ages 65 and older represent a comparatively larger share of both high and low wage occupations but a lower share of middle wage occupations.
  • The increasing mortality advantage of the married: The role played by education. Øystein Kravdal, Emily Grundy and Katherine Keenan.   Demographic Research, Volume 38, Article 20, pages 471-512. During the first part of 1975-2008, mortality was constant or even increasing among the never-married, who at the end of the period could be considered as lagging 30 years behind the married. Educational patterns have changed markedly, but this explains only up to 5 percent of the increasing mortality disadvantage of the never-married.
  • Evidence-Based Nonpharmacological Practices to Address Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia. Kezia Scales, Ph.D.; Sheryl Zimmerman, Ph.D.; and Stephanie J. Miller, M.S.W. The Gerontologist, Volume 58, Issue supplement 1, Jan. 18, 2018, pages S88-S102. Published: Jan. 18, 2018. Free access for a limited time. Up to 97 percent of people living with dementia experience at least one behavioral or psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), the most common being apathy, depression, irritability, agitation and anxiety. Nonpharmacological practices to address BPSDs include sensory practices (aromatherapy, massage, multi-sensory stimulation, bright light therapy), psychosocial practices (validation therapy, reminiscence therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, meaningful activities), and structured care protocols (bathing, mouth care).