How Housing Plus Services Addresses Senior Needs

By Meghan Hendricksen

A shortage of affordable housing for seniors will pose a huge challenge for the United States in the years ahead. But finding homes for those elders is only part of the solution, according to Alisha Sanders.

Helping seniors deal with health issues locally and age in place in their homes should be an important element of any housing plan, she said.

Sanders, director of Housing & Services Policy Research at LeadingAge, was the final fall speaker series guest at UMass Boston’s Gerontology Department. Her talk, “Affordable Senior Housing Plus Services: Meeting the Needs of Low-Income Seniors,” stressed the value of providing housing and services together. Continue reading

An Insider’s Look at Battle Over Future of Affordable Care Act, Medicaid

The future of federal policy toward health care, potentially affecting many millions of Americans, became the hottest of all front-burner issues immediately following Election Day last year.

The next president had made repeal of the Affordable Care Act a leading priority of his campaign. Republican legislators who controlled both the House and Senate were eager to make it happen. Plans to drastically cut Medicaid funding were in the works.

None of this was lost on health care advocates who had campaigned for passage of the ACA and later worked to help implement the law now enabling health insurance coverage for millions of Americans with financial support from Medicaid.

“Everything we had been doing for the past seven or eight years was threatened,” said Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, at an Oct. 30 meeting of the Gerontology Speaker Series at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School. Continue reading

Measuring Dementia Caregiver Mindset That Can Impact Well-Being at Work

By Meghan Hendricksen

The way professional caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia think about dementia can have a significant impact on their well-being at work. The risks of burnout and negative emotions are clear.

Lena Kunz of Groningen University in the Netherlands has conducted research focusing on professional caregivers in Germany, examining different aspects of well-being such as burnout, overall job satisfaction, affective well-being as well as self-reported behavior at work. She developed a new scale measuring the mindsets of those workers while trying to answer the question: What makes a good caregiver good at giving care? Continue reading

Dr. Renee Beard Examines Risk of “Social Demotion” With Early Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

By Meghan Hendricksen

The early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive impairment can be more than a medical finding. It can become a new and serious challenge to a person’s social identity.

That was one of the findings from the latest research by Dr. Renee Beard, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the College of the Holy Cross. Beard kicked off the Fall 2017 Gerontology Speaker Series at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School with a talk entitled “Forget Me Not: What Gets Lost in Translation in the Alzheimer’s Industrial Complex.” Continue reading