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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:17 PM
Original message
Elder-Care Costs Deplete Savings of a Generation
NYT: Elder-Care Costs Deplete Savings of a Generation
By JANE GROSS
Published: December 30, 2006

....(Elizabeth) Rodriguez is among the legion of adult children more than 15 million, according to various calculations who take care of their aging parents, a responsibility that often includes paying for all or part of their housing, medical supplies and incidental expenses. Many costs are out of pocket and largely unnoticed: clothing, home repair, a cellular telephone.

Adult children with the largest out-of-pocket expenses are those supervising care long distance, those who hire in-home help and those whose parents have too much money to qualify for government-subsidized Medicaid but not enough to pay for what could be a decade of frailty and dependence.

The burden is compounded by ignorance, according to a study by AARP, released in mid-December, which found that most Americans have no idea how much long-term care costs and believe that Medicare pays for it, when it does not.

Families have always looked after their elderly loved ones. But never has old age lasted so long or been so costly, compromising the retirement of baby boomers who were expecting inheritances rather than the shock of depleted savings.

There is a myth out there that families abandon their frail elders, said Dr. Robert L. Kane, a geriatrician at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Instead, across the income spectrum, children are sacrificing to care for their parents to the limit of their means and sometimes beyond....

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/30/us/30support.html?hp&...
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. what savings?
i'm sorry but if my folks are counting on this they're shit out of luck, their earnings were many times mine and i think that is true for many gen x'ers or last out of hatch baby boomers (whatever i am, it's unclear)

there is nothing to pay a nursing home which would wipe out a lifetime of my work and leave nothing for me in a month or so

if it is a "myth" that families pay these high costs, well, i guess this is why the high costs can continue to be charged, but i would ask where all this money comes from
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. oh i see "a vice president of federal reserve in new york"
well fuck her, no wonder she can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, must be nice, that's probably 1 year's pay for her
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. speaking as another member of the gen-x vanguard...
(btw- have you ever heard of the term 'generation jones'?)

for some (a lot?) of us, "savings" is a complete pipedream, so our 'retirement nestegg' mostly consists of the savings of our parents and/or other close relatives- when that has to be liquidated to take care of them in their golden years/qualifying for medicaid- any small dream we might have had about possibly cruising thru perhaps a small part of our own retirments get liquified along with them.

as for me- i'm still counting on my 85 year-old chain-smoking childless aunt, who owns the house my uncle built, has 300k+ in t-bills/cash, and living on ss and a small pension, she still manages to add money to the savings account every month...did i happen to mention that she was an adopted child of wealthy parents...?(pre-1929 that is- after that october, she and her newly widowed mother lived on the charity of the church for many years)
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. with you, on that
welcome to the US, where if you develop a chronic illness, you join the legions of the poor.

Hubby is on dialysis. We have gone through Chapter 7, have no savings, no extra assets and no hope of saving. I am his full-time caregiver. Hubby is 59.

Mom and step-father still work. They already know we can't help them.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. Just got off the phone with my 62 year old friend

He was almost in tears because he is the care giver for his mother and she has dementia.

He is afraid to leave her without someone to care for her all the time.

He works long hours and Mother is getting worse.

I have four other friends that were crying this week from being the care giver.

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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. It is really, really tough and it is exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally
I take care of my 88-year-old mother full time, and I am with her at all times, except for 6-hour breaks four times per week, when we have hired caregivers come in. But they cost $15 per hour and that is quickly draining my Mom's savings. I never leave her alone at all. I have been doing this for over 2 years now. My sisters (one of which is retired) are of no help at all. They couldn't handle the job even if they were here. So I know how taxing and draining it is in every way. It is like taking care of a newborn baby in some ways - it is a constant burden that never stops. The only plus side to it is that when the day finally comes when the parent goes on to heaven, the caregiver who spent so much of his/her life doing it will have no regrets whatsoever. They will be glad they did it, and they will have that gladness with them for the rest of their lives. This is what other caregivers have told me, anyway.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 04:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I feel your pain
for the last year and a half I've been looking after my father 24/7 cause he has dementia. Sometimes I wonder if I will survive this ordeal or if he will out live me cause I'm so wore out.
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. I wonder the same thing! Will my Mother outlive me? I feel like I've aged 10 years in the last two.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The Greatest Gift That We Can Ever Give Our Parents
Is To Be THERE when They need US!

Someone told me that about 6 years ago and I must say it to myself 25 times each day.

It is the greatest gift and you are so right, it is draining.

There is one difference with a Baby and a Parent---

The things that you do for the baby are rewarded when you see them making positive progress.

With the parent, there are hopefully bright spots in the day for them but just because of their age, it is hard for them to make progress.

That is hard to watch because you see yourself in them and it is hard to see them so frustrated /sad or ill.

But, my Mom is 88 and she was on Aricept for her memory. I could not leave her alone because she ached so much she could hardly walk, she had hot.cold flashes, her memory was not improving etc.


One day, a friend called. She happened to be a doctor and sees my Mom as her second Mom.

She told me to take her off of that Medicine immediately! She had just left a lecture and all the symptoms that my Mother was suffering were a result of that medication.

Guess what, I took her off of it,and she is 90% better!
It was like a miracle!

Her memory is not wonderful but according to the information that I was given by our friend,Aricept does not hold back the Memory Problems forever, it may help them a little bit.

I'll take it this way and she is so much better ~ she has a full life now.

I just took her, with her boyfriend :) , to see Dreamgirls and they had a wonderful time.

PEACE in the New Year to My Fellow Care Givers~

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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Thanks, I appreciate it. Doctors definitely tend to overmedicate seniors.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. We'll All Have to Visit Restaurants Every Night And Start Choking Ourselves
(Sorry, just in the middle of rereading this.)

I sure hope my parents aren't going to do this to me. I have tried for the last twenty years to be ready for retirement and I just might make it if my parents don't expect me to fork over half of it for something they had every opportunity to prepare for themselves.



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Imagevision Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. Will Pelosi and the new Dem actually do anything to help the seniors???
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 01:41 AM
Response to Original message
8. For all us 50-somethings out there (who own a house)
SELL it to your children BEFORE you get sick or you will end up losing it.

if your children will inherit your property when you die, and you do not want to move, sell it, (you have a 500K tax protection). Let the kids "buy" your house so that when something does happen to you, your one and only asset will not be grabbed away from you.

We plan to do this with our 3 sons. they will use our house as a shared investment, and we will "rent" from them. They are at stages of their lives where they can use the extra deduction, and when we both have croaked, the house will surely be worth more than the little bit we still owe on it.

consult a real estate lawyer though..make sure it's all legal..

businesses do this all the time. They sell their assets and lease them back ..
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I have a trust and so does my Mom


She deeded the house to me and I take the deduction.

A friend that was a Social Worker explained it to us and called me 4 times to encourage me to do it.

I did it and we hope that it helps in the long run.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. That's the only way a lot of boomers will be able to leave anything
to their kids...or to have a secure place to live in their old age.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
15. a.m. kick
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
16. Nothing has motivated me to get in the best physical condition I can,
than watching my mother age poorly. At 68, she is frail, unstable on her feet & cannot breathe without oxygen. Most of what ails her could have been avoided if she had exercised, ate better & stopped smoking.

I know there are many who have more serious health issues that life style changes can't cure, but I am not one & I have gotten off my fat lazy ass & am taking action. In the four months since starting my health routine, I have lost 25 pounds, have gone from simply walking to walk/running & have gone from 40 pounds on my squats to 80.

We seem to have forgotten that old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Our health industry is not at all a health industry. They don't encourage health, but rather wait until you are ill & then try to cure you.
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