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[ The Majority Of California's Medi-Cal Caregivers Live In Or Near Poverty ]

The Majority Of California's Medi-Cal Caregivers Live In Or Near Poverty

The demand for caregivers is growing rapidly as California's population ages, but the majority of state's Medi-Cal caregivers earn poverty or near-poverty wages and have poor access to health care and food, a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has found. Fifty-seven percent of paid Medi-Cal caregivers - and almost half of all 450, 000 paid caregivers in the state - have incomes that leave them in poverty or near poverty, according to the study, "Hidden in Plain Sight: California's Paid Medi-Cal Caregivers Are Vulnerable." Medi-Cal is the state's public health insurance program for low-income seniors or adults with long-term illnesses or disabilities. "Paid caregivers do a lot but get paid very little, " said Geoffrey Hoffman, the study's lead author. "They play a critical and complex role caring for our aging or disabled parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors yet can earn only a little more than minimum wage.

Deterioration In A Husband's Health Likely When Wife Suffers Breast Cancer

Caring for a wife with breast cancer can have a measurable negative effect on men's health, even years after the cancer diagnosis and completion of treatment, according to recent research. Men who reported the highest levels of stress in relation to their wives' cancer were at the highest risk for physical symptoms and weaker immune responses, the study showed. The researchers sought to determine the health effects of a recurrence of breast cancer on patients' male caregivers, but found that how stressed the men were about the cancer had a bigger influence on their health than did the current status of their wives' disease. The findings imply that clinicians caring for breast cancer patients could help their patients by considering the caregivers' health as well, the researchers say. This care could include screening caregivers for stress symptoms and encouraging them to participate in stress management, relaxation or other self-care activities, said Sharla Wells-Di Gregorio, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University.

Analysing Pre-Nursing Home Hospitalization Of Alzheimer's disease Patients And Medicare Costs

Among the key findings of a novel analysis of Alzheimer's disease-related Medicare expenditures, is that the federal insurer faces particularly high payments for hospitalization during the period between when patients are first diagnosed and when they enter long-term care. A new study that tracked what Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) costs Medicare during three distinct stages of patient care suggests that the government insurer could realize substantial savings through efforts to reduce the hospitalizations that occur before patients became permanent nursing home residents. Brown University experts collaborating with researchers from Pfizer Inc. analyzed millions of nursing home and Medicare patient data from 1999-2007 to determine that between the time patients were diagnosed with ADRD and the time that they entered a nursing home, Medicare spent, on average, $29, 743 per patient on ADRD-related hospitalizations.

Relatives Of Cancer Patients At Increased Risk For Cardiovascular Disease

A current study shows that the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke increases by almost thirty per cent in a person whose partner has cancer. The cause is probably the negative stress to which the cancer patient's relative is exposed. We know that the relatives of chronically ill patients, especially cancer patients, have an increased risk of mental illness and depression. Previous studies have reported that mental stress and depression affect the nervous system, blood pressure and inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke. Against this background, researcher Jianguang Ji and colleagues at the Centre for Primary Healthcare Research in Malmà investigated the specific risk for coronary heart disease and stroke when an individual's spouse is suffering from cancer.

Coping And Quality Of Life For The Caregivers Of Alzheimer's Patients Enhanced By A Simple, Low-Cost Yoga Program

For every individual who's a victim of Alzheimer's - some 5.4 million persons in the United States alone - there's a related victim: the caregiver. Spouse, son, daughter, other relative or friend, the loneliness, exhaustion, fear and most of all stress and depression takes a toll While care for the caregivers is difficult to find, a new study out of UCLA suggests that using yoga to engage in very brief, simple daily meditation can lead to improved cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression for caregivers. Dr. Helen Lavretsky, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and colleagues report a further benefit as well: a reduction in stress-induced cellular aging. The report appears in the current online edition of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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