KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Unpaid Caregivers Provided An Estimated $202 Billion In Dementia Care In 2010

NPR reports unpaid caregiver costs for those with dementia was an estimated $202 billion in 2010 alone. In other news, the income of Massachusetts' elderly covers only 60 percent of living expenses, and at the Mayo Clinic, researchers are trying to learn more about the effects of old age.

NPR's SHOTS blog: The High Price Of Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's
Caring for a family member with the personality-draining disease can take a hefty financial and emotional toll. Nearly 15 million people fall into the role of unpaid caregiver for those sick with dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Add it all up, and it comes to about 17 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $202 billion in 2010 alone. ... The job is so time-consuming that caregivers can become isolated from other family members and friends (Husted, 2/29).

Minnesota Public Radio: Mayo's Living Lab Learns Real Life Lessons About Aging
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have set up what they're calling a "living lab" to learn more about the effects of old age. ... Scientists say such multi-disciplinary research is increasingly needed, as demographic estimates indicate the number of Minnesotans age 65 and older will increase by 40 percent in the next 10 years (Baier, 3/1).

Boston Globe: Income For Elderly Falls Short, Study Finds
The elderly in Massachusetts struggle with the nation's largest shortfall between income and costs, with the age group's median income covering only about 60 percent of basic living expenses here, according to a study to be released today. ... The study aims to underscore the importance of entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare — that support the elderly and face potential cuts as Congress grapples with long-term deficits. Without changes, the costs of the programs are expected to explode as the baby boom generation moves into retirement (Waterhouse, 3/1).

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