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June 1, 2007 | Jordan Rau, Times Staff Writer
The California Senate voted Thursday to bar employers from denying promotions or raises to workers who juggle job duties with the demands of caring for children, sick spouses or aging parents. One of the first such efforts in the country, the measure would add "familial status" to the categories of discrimination banned by the state's Fair Employment and Housing Act.
April 23, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan
In the new movie "Hateship Loveship," Kristen Wiig's character, an introverted, thirtysomething housekeeper named Johannna practices kissing herself in the mirror. It's a moment of loneliness that Wiig and director Liza Johnson envisioned as a sad beat in the film. But at a screening last September at the Toronto International Film Festival, Wiig was shocked when audiences laughed at the scene. "I'm so surprised that comes across as funny," she said in a recent interview at a Los Feliz cafe.
December 7, 2003 | Jean Merl, Times Staff Writer
On her first regular day with a new volunteer program, Margie Mayhams tied a denim apron over her white AARP T-shirt and went to work chopping onions and potatoes in the immaculate kitchen of a Carson couple who, until recently, had been strangers to her. During her training to participate in the AARP's Caregiving, Assistance, Respite, Education and Service program (CARES for short), Mayhams had learned to ask what help her elderly clients wanted most.
April 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy and Lisa Girion
Federal officials said Thursday they hoped a new "rescue pen" would help reduce the death toll from overdoses involving prescription painkillers. The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale, by prescription, of the prefilled auto-injector of the drug naloxone that caregivers or family members can use to reverse the effects of prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, and heroin. Available until now only by syringe, naloxone has been a workhorse drug in emergency departments battling the relentless rise in painkiller overdoses over the last decade.
When 86-year-old Eleanor Siegman's health began to fail and she needed personal care at home to stay out of a nursing facility, her daughter thought she had found the perfect person for the job. The live-in care-giver she chose was a certified nursing assistant who seemed trustworthy and compassionate and was recommended by her mother's rabbi. "I don't think you want a better recommendation than that," said Siegman's daughter, a mental health professional who asked not to be identified.
March 21, 2004 | Stephanie Stassel, Times Staff Writer
During his lifetime, Fletcher Jackson has had many friends, but none like Susan Townsend. His days at a Pasadena convalescent hospital begin and end with a phone call to Townsend, who visits him once or twice a week, occasionally bringing her husband and two children. The rattan bookcase in his room is from Townsend's home. The bulletin board she got him is covered with postcards from her recent trips. Sometimes, she surprises him with strawberry ice cream, his favorite.
Susan Gollas inherited her family's farm in Sacramento County when her father died, recompense for the 13 years she cared for him while his health deteriorated. Seven months later, Gollas opened her mail to find a bill for $120,000 from the state to repay Medi-Cal for subsidizing her father's final two years in a nursing home. Dorothy Muscari's mother, deaf and mute, begged her to move west from Illinois after Muscari's father died in 1963. The two women bought a house together in Salinas.
April 3, 2006 | Judy Foreman, Special to The Times
Yolanda Spencer is eternally grateful for the weekly visits from fellow members of the Bethel AME Church. Without them, she's not sure how she would have survived the eight years since her husband, Vincent, now 62, fell off a ladder and became a quadriplegic. An accident such as Vincent's "is such a devastating thing to happen to a family," Yolanda said. The Spencers' relatives live far away, but, she said, members from the Jamaica Plain, Mass., church have been "really, really supportive."
August 2, 1999 | JANE E. ALLEN
Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, affects an estimated 4 million Americans. It will strike one in 10 of those 65 and older, and half of those 85 and older. The neurological disease usually begins with forgetfulness and the inability to remember familiar skills, such as balancing a checkbook. It progresses to serious memory loss, disorientation, confusion and irritability as well as changes in behavior, such as a tendency to wander.
Millions of Americans live in the shadow of sickness. They are not afflicted with Alzheimer's nor have they suffered a stroke or other debilitating illness. Yet sickness has intimately embraced their lives. When Mom can no longer remember her children's names or how to use a spoon or say "I love you"--these family members step in to help. When a spouse becomes too infirm to live alone, family is there.
March 31, 2014 | By Tony Perry
The nation needs to better acknowledge and support the efforts of the "hidden heroes" from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: the estimated 1.1 million civilian, volunteer caregivers tending to the needs of wounded and disabled veterans, according to recommendations contained in a Rand Corp. study released Monday. While family members and others have long cared for veterans, the veterans from two recent wars are more likely to have mental health and substance problems, making the task of providing care even more difficult, according to the study, funded by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
January 20, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - A union effort to increase salaries for workers caring for the country's elderly and disabled threatens to backfire in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown wants to limit their hours. A change in federal rules set for next year entitles nearly 2 million home aides nationwide to overtime pay. But Brown, in an effort to keep a lid on costs, has proposed a cap on the time they work in the state's taxpayer-funded home care program for low-income Californians. The proposal, part of the governor's latest budget plan, could particularly affect disabled people who receive more than 40 hours of assistance a week.
January 8, 2014 | By Christopher Goffard, Ari Bloomekatz and Mark Boster
A 71-year-old woman who cared for five mentally impaired adults in a Santa Ana group home scrambled to help them Wednesday morning after a smoke alarm warned her the house was on fire, fire officials said. The caregiver of the four-bedroom group home at 2138 N. Hathaway St. suffered burns to the head and body in the effort, and three of the residents escaped or were pulled out by firefighters. Two others -- identified as women aged 52 and 48 - were found dead in separate bedrooms.
December 24, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
Brenda Schmitz and her youngest son, Max, then 2 years old, shared a favorite song: "Over the Rainbow. " At the time, Schmitz and her family hadn't seen rain - let alone a rainbow - for five weeks when the wife and mother of four was hospitalized at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines for ovarian cancer. But on the day of her death, in September 2011, a large, bright double rainbow cast across the sky. Her husband, David, said this was the first but certainly not the last time Schmitz would give her family signs that she was watching over them.
September 17, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - The cost of providing care to elderly and disabled Californians is set to increase in about 15 months because of new federal rules on overtime. The new regulations, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor, will require overtime pay for almost 2 million more workers nationwide, including nearly 360,000 caregivers in California's taxpayer-funded home care program. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration estimates that the overtime will cost the state an extra $150 million annually for its In-Home Supportive Services program.
September 4, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
As American parents have grappled with financial peril and other woes over the last decade, grandparents have stepped in to help. Grandparents were the main caregivers for more than 3 million children in 2011 - a 20% increase from the turn of the millennium, the Pew Research Center reported Wednesday. The numbers surged during the economic downturn and have leveled off in its aftermath, Pew said in a report based on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Sixty percent of those children still have at least one parent at home, but grandparents are responsible for most of their needs.
Although owners of a mobile home park have informed Shirley Lewis that her 39-year-old son has to move because he is too young to live there, she contends that the real reason is that he has AIDS. "Most people out there are planning their Thanksgiving dinners right now," Lewis, 61, said Tuesday. "We're planning how we're going to stay together." Lewis said Huntington Shorecliffs Mobile Home Park sent a notice last weekend reminding her that park rules require that all residents be at least 55.
Home-care workers, among the lowest paid government employees in the state, won a 50-cent-an-hour raise Tuesday from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors but said they still cannot make ends meet. The workers said the raise to $6.75 an hour, without health insurance, is too low and should be increased to at least $7.50 per hour with health benefits. To make that point, several got themselves arrested Monday during peaceful demonstrations in front of the supervisors' offices.
August 2, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In the next two decades about 78 million baby boomers in the U.S. will turn 65. As they age, a portion of them will be cared for by their families, and others will no doubt enter facilities for the elderly. But many will rely on a growing cadre of domestic in-home workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for the kind of personal-care aides who can help cook, clean and bathe the elderly and disabled is expected to grow by 70% from 2010 to 2020. Today, these caregivers often labor in conditions that would not be tolerated in any other industry.
October 30, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
Getting an early diagnosis of dementia could lead to finding ways to cope - and it could mean feeling bereft at what the future holds. So do you want to know? The early diagnosis of and intervention for Alzheimer's and other dementia has become an increasing priority, but that means the patients and their informal caregivers are left facing many issues regarding their futures that need to be considered, researchers said Tuesday. The researchers, from several British universities, reviewed 102 studies from 14 countries to consider the ramifications on patients and caregivers of a dementia diagnosis.
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