July Observer

July Observer

In the latest OWL Observer, we celebrate anniversaries for the Americans with Disabilities Act and Medicare. We write about new public and private initiatives in caregiving, the promising potential of technology on aging, and we welcome new OWL board member Janet Pitt.

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What makes OWL unique is our sharp focus. We are the only organization that works solely on the economic security and quality-of-life issues impacting women over 40, who account for almost one-quarter of the U.S. population.

Join us in speaking up for this estimated 78-million-member demographic whose voice on the policy stage has yet to match its size.

 


Latest from OWL

2015 Could be the Year for Mental Health Reform

In OWL’s latest Huffington Post blog, we discuss mental health reform:

Not since the 1960s has the U.S. Congress seriously considered the issue of mental health. In 1963, it passed President Kennedy’s Community Mental Health Act, and a few years later, Medicare and Medicaid designated funding for the community services mentioned in the bill.

Now, nearly 50 years later, lawmakers in both houses are considering bipartisan bills that would reform mental health care in America.

The Senate bill is S. 1945, the “Mental Health Reform Act of 2015,” introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). The House bill is H.R. 2646, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).

Both bills address two major issues:

• Improving access to mental health care under Medicaid. A decades-old rule in Medicaid excludes patients between the ages of 21 and 64 from going to freestanding psychiatric hospitals. The bills would allow an exception so that short-term psychiatric hospitals can participate in Medicaid.

• Clarifying disclosure of patient information under HIPAA. Because of the way doctors and other healthcare providers interpret the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), it’s difficult for family members or caregivers to get information about the diagnosis or treatment of a loved one. The bills would clarify what information can be disclosed, allowing for greater access to family members.

Read the full Huffington Post blog.

Posted by Deborah Akel on 08/21 at 11:01 AM
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Aging? There’s an App for That

In our latest Huffington Post Blog, OWL discusses aging and technology:

What were Airbnb, Uber, Walgreen’s and Peapod doing at a White House Conference on Aging?

Giving us a glimpse of the future.

In case you missed it, 10,000 people are turning 65 years of age every day. That’s expected to continue for the next 15 years - and the private sector is taking notice.

There was Seth Sternberg, CEO of Honor, one of a number of corporations that took part in the once-in-a-decade event designed to guide policies around aging. Honor’s goal is a heady one -“to spark a revolution in solving the monumental problem of how we care for our aging parents.” His well-funded company - investors include Marc Andreesen and Jessica Alba—is using technology to build a new model to match people with caregivers; at the conference Sternberg announced plans to give away $1 million in free home care in ten cities.

During the day-long conference, interspersed with announcements of new administration initiatives, company after company demonstrated how the private sector is finding opportunity in the nation’s changing demographics. From travel to grocery shopping to home care, there’s a promising partnership between aging and technology on the horizon.

Read the full Huffington Post blog.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 08/11 at 01:13 PM
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New Initiatives Aim to Help Family Caregivers


The nation would need to spend $470 billion to replace the work done by the more than 40 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. That’s one of the findings from a recent study by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Caregivers themselves pay a high price; the study noted that adult children, mostly daughters, reduce their own paid work to care for parents, at a lifetime cost that can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.  According to research by the MetLife Foundation, female caregivers lose on average $324,000 in lost wages and Social Security benefits.

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Posted by Pat Lewis on 07/29 at 01:24 PM
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