The recent outbreak of the coronavirus reminds us how interconnected we are globally and the importance of protecting our most vulnerable family members and friends. We encourage you to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control about hand washing and preventative actions and listen to the news for updates in your local community.
If you are able, reach out to your older neighbors and offer to grocery shop for them. Many elders do not use delivery services like Instacart and may be uncomfortable risking exposure to the virus by shopping.
For updates about the coronavirus globally, healthcare and other professionals find the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security trustworthy. You can register for their daily updates here.
Listen to geriatrician Dr. Leslie Kernisan’s podcast about the coronavirus and how best to protect our aging parents and ourselves.
Are you confused about the new health care reforms? The AARP recently published one of the clearest, most elucidating guides to the slew of disorienting health care reforms. Of course, I’m not old enough yet to be a member of AARP, but my elderly spouse lent me his copy. Outlining the impact of reforms on eight different personal anecdotes (such as “If You’re Now on Medicare” and “If You Receive Employer Insurance” or “If You Run a Small Business”) this special section in their AARP Bulletin explains what the new health care laws mean for you and your aging parent.
Starting in 2011, a person who is covered by traditional Medicare insurance can get an annual physical and many preventive services free. This common sense legislation allows seniors access to care that may delay or even prevent the onset of debilitating diseases. While higher income families will pay a higher premium, the prescription drug coverage gap, called the “doughnut hole,” will begin to close. And, many employers will begin to offer long-term care insurance through payroll deductions, which after five years entitle you to cash benefits toward the cost of services including home health aides. I’ll invite an expert to blog more about this long-term care benefit soon.