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November 2013

The State of Senior Finances: Often Bleak, Trending Toward Dismal with a Few Rays of Hope

Washington Watch


Home Health Care Wages to Increase


Minimum wage and overtime protections have been extended to nearly two million home care workers, the Obama administration announced recently, overturning a decades-old exemption.


For many years, advocates for low-wage workers have pushed for this change, arguing that home care workers --who take care of the elderly and disabled Americans -- have been wrongly classified into the same “companionship services” category as babysitters. Those companionship services workers have always been exempt from minimum wage and overtime coverage.


Under the new rule, home care aides, unlike babysitters, would be covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the nation’s main wage and hour law. The federal government says six million of the 40 million Americans older than 65 need some form of daily assistance to live outside a nursing home. Federal officials estimate that the number will double to 12 million by 2030.


But in an unusual move, the Obama administration said the new regulation would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2015, even though regulations often take effect 60 days after being issued. The reason for the delay, according to the administration, is to give families that use these attendants, time to prepare and to give state Medicaid programs, which administer home care workers, time to adjust to the new law and get ready for it since it has financial implications for the states.


Industry experts say most of these workers are already paid at least the minimum wage, but many do not receive a time-and-a-half premium when they work more than 40 hours a week. About 20 states exclude home care workers from their wage and hour laws.


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Migraines ‘n Medicine



Got a hurting head? Has a migraine ruined your normal routine? Do you get exasperated because you seem to do the “right” things, yet migraines still stir in your skull? Well, you may have a stomach-headache! No kidding.


People see you as a fit person who works at maintaining health/strength/endurance/muscle tone, and can’t look into your head. Some don’t even realize that there are three types of headaches: vascular, muscular, and inflammatory — and none of the three care how old the calendar says you are! While you can’t do much for an inflammatory one, since disease causes it, prevention may replace a pain pill for the other two.


Vessels dilate and substances are released which cause swelling and intense pain. Vasoconstriction may be the result of a trigger-nerve impulse. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Can vasoconstriction be prevented, and what’s the stomach got to do with a migraine?


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