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Provide Feedback on the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers.

The 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers was created to support family caregivers of all ages, from youth to grandparents, and regardless of where they live or what caregiving looks like for them and their loved ones. The public is invited to comment on the strategy by November 30th.

The strategy was developed jointly by the advisory councils created by the RAISE  Family Caregiving  Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, with extensive input from the public, including family caregivers and the people they support. It will be updated in response to public comments and will evolve with the caregiving landscape. Continue reading

Celebrating and Recognizing November as National Family Caregivers Month

Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers.

In support of the more than one million Massachusetts residents who provide frequent or daily care to their family members, the Baker Administration has proclaimed November 2022 as Family Caregivers Month in the Commonwealth. Continue reading

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins for Coverage Review and Changes

Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15 and will remain open through December 7, 2022. Medicare’s Open Enrollment period gives people with Medicare the opportunity to make changes to their health plan or prescription drug plan, pick a Medicare Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare (also referred to as Medicare Part A and Part B). Medicare plans can change their offerings and costs every year, and individuals’ health needs can change from year-to-year, too. Now is the time for people with Medicare to review their coverage options and make a choice that best meets their health care needs. Continue reading

Baker Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Announce Five Year, $67.2 Billion Agreement for MassHealth Reforms

The Baker Administration recently received federal approval to expand and extend its  innovative Medicaid (MassHealth) section 1115 waiver through December 2027. The demonstration approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) supports integrated, outcomes-based care for MassHealth’s two million members and brings a new focus on advancing health equity by closing disparities in quality and access. The demonstration also focuses on investing in primary, behavioral and pediatric health care, and sustains Massachusetts’ national leadership by maintaining near-universal health insurance coverage. Continue reading

Mass. Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Launches Emergency Services Card

The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), in partnership with the Department of Fire Services (DFS) and Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), has created a visual tool called the Emergency Services Card (ESC) to assist EMT’s, firefighters and Deaf and hard of hearing individuals communicate better in the first moments of an emergency.

Links and instructions for use are listed below and may be useful for age/dementia friendly community partners to promote locally. Continue reading

Baker Administration Announces SNAP Benefit Increase

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that approximately 550,000 Massachusetts households who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see an increase starting in their October 2022 benefits. In response to the annual cost of living adjustment, SNAP benefits will increase 12%, with Massachusetts households receiving an average monthly increase of $25-$30. Continue reading

FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Sale of Basic Hearing Aids

According to AARP’s Public Policy Blog, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved over-the-counter sale of basic hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss via a  final rule taking effect 60 days from the date of publication (August 16).

This means that people will be able to buy these hearing aids in pharmacies, other retail stores, and online without a prescription. Allowing over-the-counter sale of these devices is expected to stimulate competition and bring down prices. Continue reading

MHAC Contributes to Report ‘Care Work in Massachusetts: A Call for Racial and Economic Justice for a Neglected Sector’

Care work has forever been critical to the health and basic functioning of our society. With the steady aging of our population, care jobs are also among the fastest growing in our economy. A new report from Boston indicators and SkillWorks with input from the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) discusses trends, data and policy solutions around improving the quality and conditions of care work through an equity lens. Continue reading

NORC Report: Many Middle-Income Seniors Will Not Be Able to Pay for Long-Term Care and Housing in 10 Years

A new NORC analysis updating the groundbreaking “Forgotten Middle” study finds that there will be 16 million middle-income seniors in 2033, many of whom will struggle to pay for the health, personal care, and housing services that they need. For instance, excluding home equity, nearly three-quarters of middle-income seniors in 2033 will have insufficient financial resources to pay for assisted living, if they need and want it. Even with home equity, nearly 40% will not be able to afford assisted living. Continue reading