Update: Proposal for state funding of Long-Term Care on hold - Will the proposed Minnesota State constitutional amendment be reintroduced?

The ability of seniors to cover the cost of Long-Term Care and Housing is a growing concern to them. With the baby-boom generation ageing and lifespan increasing, affordable housing and care of senior citizens is on the minds of lawmakers as well.

Recently an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution relating to the issue of Long-Term Care was introduced by Minnesota state senator Kent Eken to Minnesota lawmakers. However it failed to get a hearing last session. Nevertheless, Sen. Eken is determined and intends to ‘introduce the bill again next session and work as hard as possible to get the bill heard and on the ballot for Minnesota’s voters’. This according to Jacque Clinton, Legislative Assistant to Senator Kent Eken.

More and more, lawmakers are recognizing the importance of dealing effectively with the cost of Long-Term Care and Housing for senior citizens. It is a fact that the need of affordable housing for those of advanced age and requiring extra or specialized care will continue to increase in our nation.

The older population—persons 65 years or older—numbered 46.2 million in 2014 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 14.5% of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2014. - http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/

We applaud the efforts of Senator Eken and others to effectively address the important issue of affordable Long-Term Care, and hope they will not give up when facing setbacks. As always Senior Home Search will keep you updated on these efforts as they relate to Senior Housing and Assisted Living.

In Minnesota, a state senator wants to amend the state constitution to require funding for "the state's most vulnerable."

Minnesota lawmakers say the state is late in making sure there is funding to take care of them.

Sen. Kent Eken, D-Twin Valley, is leading an effort to increase funding for senior citizens and the disabled. The senator said his effort is meant to "shine a spotlight on an issue that in our view has been too often ignored."

Under Senator Eken's proposed plan, an estimated $1.2 billion a year would be provided by adding a tax on the top 4 percent of the wealthiest Minnesotans. Most Americans pay a federal tax up to $118,500 of individual income to fund Social Security. Eken said the state would add the same size tax on people earning more than $118,500.

The plan is bound to draw criticism from lawmakers who do not want to raise taxes.

Details of the Senators Plan

The Eken plan would amend the constitution for 25 years, enough to ride out what he described as "an age wave coming toward us, the likes of which we have never seen."

His website outlines the proposal this way:

“This care will be funded by closing a tax loophole for a small group of wealthy individuals. Currently, individual income above $118,500 is exempt from the tax which supports Social Security. Only the top four percent of income earners receive this special treatment. Everyone else is required to pay this tax on all of their earned income. Closing the loophole, and treating the top four percent the same as everyone else, will fund the care needed to help our most vulnerable citizens.”

Minnesota Senator Kent Eken

Read more about the proposal:

Sen. Eken, Rep. Newton Hold Press Conference on Dedication Amendment

As the need for senior caregiving continues to increase, will state and federal funding to address this need increase as well? Truly, much effort on the part of citizens will be required it that is to be.

Published in News
Monday, 22 February 2016 12:02

Just Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

"People with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate unusual changes"

Sometimes we have to be able to differentiate between News and Hype. Organizations looking for traffic on their channels and websites may give in to the tendency to Hype something that is really not so big. An example can be the weather. My wife and I get a kick out of some of the TV weather reporters and their breaking news about terrible snow storms, torrential rains and such. Get real, it’s Michigan.

Normal or Alzheimers

Same comes when we consider senior health and caregiving. Just got an email from the Alzheimer's Association with a graphic about the ‘Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease’ for ‘Early Detection’. Really, just ten? However giving credit where due, the pages did also explain with each of the Ten Warning Signs, ten Normal Aspects of ageing that are typical. So, which is hype and which is normal?

We just have to be reasonable and always be aware of our own changes and those of we care for.

Here are the basics of the Ten “Early Detection Signs” page I received:

1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. For example: Asking for the same information over and over. – Normal Ageing: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. – Normal Ageing: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks such as: Driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work, or remembering the rules of a favorite game. – Normal Ageing: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or record a television show.

4. Confusion with time or place. People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there. – Normal Ageing: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Some people may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. – Normal Ageing: Vision changes related to cataracts.

 6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary; have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name. – Normal Ageing: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. – Normal Ageing: Misplacing things from time to time.

8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate unusual changes in judgment or decision making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers – Normal Ageing: Making a bad decision once in a while.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced. – Normal Ageing: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

10. Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They may be easily upset in places where they are out of their comfort zone – Normal Ageing: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Finally, the page concluded:

If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's in yourself or someone you know, don't ignore them. Please consult your physician.

OK. Any of the 10 Warning Signs! Any! And what about the Normal Ageing stuff? Should we call a nurse for that?

Normal Ageing or Alzheimers
Normal - Normal Ageing - Alzheimers?

Seriously, as I said at the start, we really do have to be careful to distinguish between the hype and just normal things about ageing. Point is to always be aware of changes and take notice when thouse changes start to stack up beyond what is 'normal'.

Finally here is a link to the graphic the Alzheimer's Association emailed me. They kindly asked me to share it with you.

Know The Signs pdf (1.7MB) View / Download

Published in News