For people who are in the workforce already, the added burden of unpaid caregiving for a family member or loved one may lead to insomnia and other sleep issues, according to a large study from Sweden. Researchers found that the likelihood of sleep problems rose with the number of hours spent in unpaid caregiving, and when caregiving stopped, sleep disturbances were reduced.
“Informal caregiving is common, and the need for carers is expected to grow due to population aging and cuts to social care services in various countries,” said lead study author Lawrence Sacco of the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London in the UK.
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LEUSDEN, Netherlands — The shouts of schoolchildren playing outside echoed through the gymnasium where an obstacle course was being set up.
There was the “Belgian sidewalk,” a wooden contraption designed to simulate loose tiles; a “sloping slope,” ramps angled at an ankle-unfriendly 45 degrees; and others like “the slalom” and “the pirouette.”
They were not for the children, though, but for a class where the students ranged in age from 65 to 94. The obstacle course was clinically devised to teach them how to navigate treacherous ground without having to worry about falling, and how to fall if they did.
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How to Get Compensation When Caring for Aging Parents: Five ways to offset the cost and loss of income
.Providing care for a friend or family member is a labor of love for the 40 million people who are coping with that challenge. But taking on caregiving responsibilities can be costly. A 2016 AARP survey found that unpaid caregivers spend an average of almost $7,000 a year on out-of-pocket expenses.
But for many people who leave a job to take on caregiving responsibilities, the cost is even higher. An earlier AARP study estimated that missed wages and Social Security benefits totaled $234,000 for male caregivers and $324,000 for women, who are more likely to drop out of the workforce.
So it’s no surprise that many family members who devote significant time and money to caregiving wonder whether it’s possible to be compensated for their work. “The majority of people who contact us are asking precisely that,” says Sima Schoen, a resource specialist at the Family Caregiver Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group in San Francisco.
The answer is maybe, if you're persistent. “There are a handful of ways you may be able to get paid," says Schoen. "But programs and policies vary from state to state, and even in the best of circumstances, it can be difficult.”
Click HERE for five of the best routes for getting paid as a caregiver to a family member.
Beginning January 1, 2018, adults with full-scope Medi-Cal have many dental benefits restored through Denti-Cal. This includes all pregnant women, regardless of immigration status, who are eligible for pregnancy-related Medi-Cal with full benefits.
The full restoration provides an important opportunity to educate California residents, especially Medi-Cal beneficiaries, about the additional dental benefits to ensure that beneficiaries are able to seek needed dental services.
Here are the major dental services available to adults through Medi-Cal, as of January 1, 2018 However, Denti-Cal continues to have a cap of $1,800 for covered services per year, although some services do not count towards the $1,800 cap and additional services can be covered if shown to be medically necessary. Adults with full-scope Medi-Cal can expect to receive a letter in the mail notifying them of these new benefits.
Major services covered as of January 1st, 2018:
While the restored dental coverage will now extend to adults with full scope Medi-Cal, beneficiaries can face an array of barriers to accessing these services. It remains critical to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate education to community members about their benefits. Here is a consumer pamphlet in English and Spanish (and soon available in various other languages) with more information about the restored dental benefits and how to access them.
To learn more, please visit https://www.denti-cal.ca.gov or call 1-800-322-6384.
Carolina Valle, Senior Policy Associate, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Marianna Yamamoto, Program Coordinator, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles
Amber Christ, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging
Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center
Helping family caregivers care for their loved ones and themselves.