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Old 07-11-2019, 12:52 PM
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miamac miamac is offline
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Default Elder Care, the missing political conversation

The Strange Political Silence On Elder Care

I know we have a handful of caregivers here (probably more) and as one of them, I thought this was an interesting article.

Baden-Mayer, a freckled forty-five-year-old, put her house on Airbnb three years ago and moved with her husband and two kids into her parents’ home in Alexandria, Virginia. Her mom, who has Alzheimer’s disease, was no longer able to take care of her dad, who had suffered from heart failure. “I didn’t really have a good idea of what I was getting into, quite honestly,” she said, reflecting on what a truly frank conversation with her husband would have sounded like: “What do you think of living with my parents for about ten years while their health declines and they die?”
Most people assume that Medicare will cover the type of long-term personal care older people often need; it does not. Neither does standard private health insurance. And the average Social Security check can only make a medium-sized dent in the cost of this care, which can easily exceed $100,000 a year if provided in a nursing home. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, does cover long-term care, but only for patients who have exhausted their savings, and coverage, which varies from state to state, can be extremely limited. So the safety net you thought would catch you in old age is less like a net and more like a staircase you get pushed down, bumping along until you’ve impoverished yourself enough to hit Medicaid at the bottom.

I've actually had physicians (my own, not my father's) tell me "Why don't you put him in a nursing home? He has Medicare, right? You can get help at home." There is such a HUGE misconception about what it means to arrive at this stage and have just enough money to live but not enough to thrive. As my mom is dependent on his retirement, we can't deplete his resources to the point of getting help. So we do it all ourselves. I live with them, we combine our incomes and hopefully we make it through. I have nothing and even if my own health were stellar, I don't know how I would be able to hold a full time job with their needs. That means no retirement fund for me. This is trickle-down of the worst type. My mom worries what will happen to me when I'm their age because I have no children. I tell her not to worry about it, nothing to do. But I think about it.
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