Long Term Care

One New Hampshire woman had been caring for her husband with Alzheimer's disease for two years. Devoted to his needs, she couldn’t leave the house. That meant she couldn’t go to her book club two nights a week.  What seemed like such a small thing was actually a key step in keeping her emotionally and mentally healthy, and avoiding burnout—a high risk for family members who become caregivers of sickly or elderly patients.

Millions of Americans have Alzheimer's disease and the number is growing as the population ages.  Large numbers of  persons with Alzheimer's disease in nursing homes present care-giving challenges, as well as state financing issues.

Suggested State Legislation: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Physician Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) are forms people complete with their doctor for the purpose of clearly defining which medical treatments are to be given to them at the end of their lives. At least eight states currently recognize POLST forms, including California, Idaho, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia. Although the names may differ slightly by state (such as Idaho’s POST program), the forms are essentially the same.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act provides that if an inmate is given an early release, pardon, or parole due to a chronic or terminal illness and is admitted to a nursing or assisted living facility, the state department of corrections or state agency placing the offender must notify the facility administrator about the offender prior to the offender’s admission to the facility.

Suggested State Legislation: Connecticut Public Act No. 07-130 establishes a program and trust fund to help people pay for certain services which allows people to remain in their homes or live in a non-institutional setting as they age.

Suggested State Legislation:  This Act is designed to balance funding between programs that pay for nursing home care and programs that pay for home and community-based care to people who need long-term care.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act prohibits an insurer, including an insurance company, fraternal benefit society, hospital or medical service corporation, and HMO, from issuing or delivering a long-term care policy on or after July 1, 2008 unless it had offered the prospective insured an optional nonforfeiture benefit during the policy solicitation or application process.

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