Washingtonians for a Responsible Future

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Your Story, Your Power

This short video works to capture our collective experiences as family caregivers. For others to fully understand what happens when we care for our aging loved ones, they need to hear firsthand from us about the hard work and love that goes into being a family caregiver.    

This year we are going to introduce a piece of legislation that tells our state lawmakers that it is time to put the cost of long-term supports and services on their agenda. But in order for this to happen, they need to hear from you.

No matter how long-term services and supports has impacted your life, your story matters. Whether you help your aging loved ones full time and have left work or if you spend a few hours a week helping with doctors appointments you are a family caregiver and your story matters! If you have spent down your life savings to afford long-term supports and services, your story matters. Now is the time to share your story!

Who Will Provide Care for Childless Boomers?

Next AvenueHealth & Wellbeing:

The last piece of real estate Pam and Bruce Boyer purchased together was more than 20 years ago: adjoining plots in the cemetery across the street from their home in historic Bethlehem, Pa.

“We chose a place we really like. We walk there – it’s like a park in London,” says Pam Boyer, 68, a retired magazine researcher whose husband is a freelance writer. “We got it taken care of early before it seemed morbid – or too homey,” she adds with a laugh.

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How to Keep Long-Term Care From Bankrupting Us

Next Avenue:

When policymakers, health care analysts and financial journalists talk about the staggering costs of long-term care, it’s often wonky, devoid of humanity. We throw around statistics like this one from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 52 percent of individuals turning 65 will require long-term care supports and services at some point in their lives. But at a Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) webinar yesterday pegged to its new report on long-term care financing solutions, family caregiver MaryAnne Sterling poignantly revealed the financial, physical and mental tolls that long-term care can take.

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Yes, We Can Create A Universal Long-Term Care Insurance Program

Forbes Personal Finance:

For three years, I’ve been working with a diverse group of policy experts to create a consensus framework for financing long-term supports and services (LTSS). This morning, the Long-Term Care Financing Collaborative, released its recommendations. And they are built around two major reforms: a new universal catastrophic long-term care insurance program and major improvements to Medicaid’s LTSS benefit.

Our insurance proposal would create an alternative to Medicaid for many middle-income people who now impoverish themselves paying for both long-term care and related medical expenses.

Our plan recognizes that everyone who needs care is not the same. A 45-year old with MS has very different needs than an 85-year-old widow with dementia. Similarly, people with high lifetime incomes should be expected to pay for a share of their care through personal savings, home equity, or private insurance. Others will never have the resources to finance their care.

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The New York Times: Health Care? Daughters Know All About It

The New York Times Health Article:

As Washington debates the relative merits of Obamacare or Trumpcare, many families have already come up with what is arguably the most reliable form of care in America: It’s called daughter care.

The essential role that daughters play in the American health care system is well known but has received little attention. But some health care analysts are beginning to sound the alarm about the challenges women face as caregivers — not just for children but for aging parents — often while holding full-time jobs.

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‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Intimate Relationship Between Social Security and Health Care Reform

C.Matti Consulting Blog Post:

The relationship between social security and health care reform is far more intimate than most of us realize. All told, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid provide a sweeping safety-net for the bulk of our nation’s Senior Citizens.

Until recently, many of us have naively clambered our way through working adulthood with some comfort that we too will have some financial security and well-being because of these programs… But–will we?

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The Olympian: We’re not ready for the aging

The Olympian Opinion-Editorial:

Whether we like it or not, it’s going to happen to all of us — and few are thinking about it or planning for it. We will all age. And at some point, 70 percent of us will need help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and transportation.

As Washington residents, we’re fortunate. We live in a state that’s created an effective and efficient long-term care system. The backbone of our system are tens of thousands of home care workers — those who assist the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes.

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The Yakima Herald: Long-term care could get boost in Legislature

Yakima Herald Opinion-Editorial:

Our population is aging. On average in the nation, 10,000 people a day turn 65. That pace that will continue for the next two decades. As we age, most of us are going to need long-term care. The number of Washingtonians age 85 and older – those most likely to need care – is projected to be 216,000 by 2030. To put the number in context, that is more than double the population of the city of Yakima.

With over 30 years of experience as a long-term care provider, I have learned a profound lesson: Most consumers don’t understand that Medicare and Social Security benefits do not cover long—term care. This is a significant problem. Regardless of whether care is delivered in the home or in a skilled nursing facility, it can cost between $50,000 and $100,000 per year on average.

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The Kitsap Sun: Long-term care trust act helps seniors and families

The Kitsap Sun Opinion-Editorial:

Last week our State Legislature will hold a hearing on a bipartisan bill, HB 1636: The Long-Term Care Trust Act. It “offers a flexible solution that would help many seniors pay for long-term care services and take some of the pressure off of working family caregivers,” according to co-sponsor Rep. Laurie Jinkins.

We all like to think that we will always be able to take care of ourselves. But as we age, the reality is that most of us will need some form of help with daily activities like dressing, bathing, cooking. Right now there are no good options for covering the cost of this help, known as long-term care.

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The Everett Herald: Editorial: Use payroll tax to set up long-term care benefit

The Everett Herald writes:

The numbers are enough to make you feel your age.

About 70 percent of Americans 65 and older will need long-term care services, such as a nursing home or in-home care. Neither Medicare nor most health insurance plans pay for long-term care. Insurance is available but is unaffordable for most, meaning that more than 90 percent of seniors are uninsured for long-term care needs.

While the median retirement savings for seniors are about $136,000, those 65 and older may face average costs of more than $260,000 over their lifetimes for long-time care. The average cost of in-home care in the state is about $56,000 a year and $96,000 annually for nursing home care.

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