PNS Daily News - December 13, 2019 

Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

2020Talks - December 13, 2013  

The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Re-Thinking Aging

July 12, 2007

The country's largest senior advocacy group says we need a better way to deal with the health issues of an aging population. Minnesota AARP spokeswoman, Amy McDonough, argues we've got to move away from institutions, such as nursing homes, and encourage family caregivers.

“It is more cost-effective to keep people in their own homes for as long as possible. And, it's really what people want to do. They want be as independent as possible. So, we have to find ways to help family members to enable their loved ones to home for longer.”

She states that a new study finds the economic value of family caregivers is estimated at $350 billion a year nationally and over $7 billion in Minnesota. McDonough notes that there are proposals, including tax credits, that would support those providing home care.

“When a family member needs long-term care, many times, they need to go into a nursing home. A nursing home costs about $4,000 a month. That cost is first paid for by the family, until they run out of money. Then it's paid for by state and federal Medicaid dollars.”

She explains that one proposal being considered would allow workers to use sick leave to take care of the elderly. Another, calls for expansion of adult day services. McDonough adds that hundreds of thousands of Minnesota families care for their elderly loved ones, and they need support.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is sponsoring federal legislation to provide incentives for family caregivers. She believes it's getting more difficult for families to take care of their aging parents.

“The idea is to help them financially, with a tax credit, and make it simple. It's not going to help with everything, but it's at least a start with some of their expenses. Secondly, to make them aware and make as many services as possible available to help them. And then, finally, if they want to buy long-term care insurance, that a person understands what those options are, and that we make sure the long-term care insurance works and it's actually is there when they need it.”

More information is available at

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN