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Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:36 PM

Making my case for why I don't think that Medicare should pay for long term nursing care.

Last edited Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:44 PM - Edit history (1)

Sorry, but I didn't want to hijack someone else's thread so I decided to start my own. If Medicare had to pay for long term nursing care for the elderly, the fund would be bankrupt within in a very short time. Long term nursing care is very expensive.

This is not what medicare was designed for. Also, I find it hard to believe that the government is not paying for any Alzheimer's research, for a disease that threatens most retirees and their families should they live long enough. I read an article the other day which stated that 1 of 5 people who reached age 90 had no cognitive disabilities, which says to me that 4 out of 5 do have some form of cognitive disabilities. This is the subject that Americans and our politicians needs to be talking about. Thanks to Sarah Palin back in 2008, she made it almost impossible to talk about, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be talking about it and what i'm talking about is Sarah Palin's death panels. Nursing homes when you aren't dealing with a demented patient are incredibly expensive. When you add dementia to the mix, it's that much more expensive.

I am dealing with two parents one 85 and one 84, who both have recently come down in the past year with early stages of dementia. My dad's came on with gangbusters and his cognitive skill are diminishing quickly. You wouldn't believe that he was still driving as recently as last September and living alone as recent as 4 months ago. The problem is that his body is still relatively healthy, thanks to a host of pills he takes to control a host of ailments common with old age, but he's becoming less and less cooperative each day, and more and more defiant with those trying to assist him. My mother is in the early throws of dementia and still relatively healthy, and could live another decade. But because she lived alone, some of my siblings sought a temporary conservativeship over her because they thought she was making poor choices which could threaten her finances, (i.e. buying things she didn't need from door to door salesmen.) The problem is that the one with dementia is usually the last to know it. Our parents lived in separate households which only makes the problem worse. Their children up until recently have had to split their non working time going between their two residences. Few people could afford 24 hour in home care of some sort or for an assisted living facility with a dementia ward. I could buy a condo on a beach and the payments would be less than it would cost for a month in a shared room in an assisted living facility with a dementia ward. I don't think Medicare should have to pay these types of bills. The system was not set up for this type of thing and the system would be bankrupt in no time.

People who would have normally died of natural causes a decade earlier due to heart attacks or stroke or other diseases can now live decades longer thanks to medication and other medical devices that keep our hearts pumping but no one has yet to find a cure to keep brain cells from dying resulting in a continual degradation of our cognitive skills. When I reach that point and perhaps before I reach that point, I want to be able to die with dignity. My siblings and I have investigated various types of faciiities over the past 9 months checking out what options are out there for the cognitive impaired and what it costs, and what the quality of life appears to be at these types of facilities and I've personally have arrived at a few conclusions for me. I don't want to go to Adult Day Care or be put in a nursing care facility because my working adult children who have not reached retirement age, can't supervise me 24/7. I also would rather pass on to my children any resources I have remaining when I can no longer function on my own, or tend to my own needs, rather than spend my final days or what could be years being medicated in some smelly nursing facility with a bunch of other demented patients. Our body parts were not designed to last forever, but modern devices can keep our heart ticking long past what Mother Nature intended.

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Reply Making my case for why I don't think that Medicare should pay for long term nursing care. (Original post)
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 OP
Skittles Jun 2015 #1
Warren Stupidity Jun 2015 #2
Peregrine Took Jun 2015 #6
Nay Jun 2015 #52
Downwinder Jun 2015 #9
Warren Stupidity Jun 2015 #10
Downwinder Jun 2015 #34
Warren Stupidity Jun 2015 #63
Downwinder Jun 2015 #73
Warren Stupidity Jun 2015 #74
pscot Jun 2015 #11
Warren Stupidity Jun 2015 #65
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #16
marym625 Jun 2015 #53
nc4bo Jun 2015 #3
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #4
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #14
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #15
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #21
jwirr Jun 2015 #5
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #17
pnwmom Jun 2015 #26
jwirr Jun 2015 #67
Downwinder Jun 2015 #7
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2015 #20
TeeYiYi Jun 2015 #8
Ilsa Jun 2015 #12
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #18
Skittles Jun 2015 #32
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #35
Skittles Jun 2015 #39
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jun 2015 #64
TheKentuckian Jun 2015 #38
madokie Jun 2015 #13
riverwalker Jun 2015 #19
herding cats Jun 2015 #22
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #33
herding cats Jun 2015 #37
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #45
MattBaggins Jun 2015 #23
pnwmom Jun 2015 #24
Recursion Jun 2015 #25
brush Jun 2015 #27
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #36
Hoyt Jun 2015 #28
Cleita Jun 2015 #29
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #40
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #30
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #41
pnwmom Jun 2015 #31
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #42
pnwmom Jun 2015 #46
Manifestor_of_Light Jun 2015 #43
pnwmom Jun 2015 #47
Manifestor_of_Light Jun 2015 #48
pnwmom Jun 2015 #69
Manifestor_of_Light Jun 2015 #78
Ghost in the Machine Jun 2015 #44
Igel Jun 2015 #68
leftyladyfrommo Jun 2015 #49
Cleita Jun 2015 #72
leftyladyfrommo Jun 2015 #76
GeorgeGist Jun 2015 #50
orpupilofnature57 Jun 2015 #51
SoCalDem Jun 2015 #54
Omaha Steve Jun 2015 #55
LineLineReply .
marym625 Jun 2015 #58
LineLineLineReply .
Omaha Steve Jun 2015 #60
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2015 #75
ileus Jun 2015 #56
MoonRiver Jun 2015 #70
Sancho Jun 2015 #57
marym625 Jun 2015 #59
nc4bo Jun 2015 #61
LWolf Jun 2015 #62
99Forever Jun 2015 #66
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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:41 PM

1. sorry, what solution are you advocating?

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Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:45 PM

2. "Everyone be wealthy".

 

Seems like a great solution. Not too sure how we implement it. It might be more practical to expand Medicare and cover long term care. Other nations, obviously much wealthier than our own, seem to be able to do this.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:57 PM

6. Impossible - we must all become wealthy overnight.

Its the only solution.

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Response to Peregrine Took (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:06 AM

52. That won't help -- as soon as everyone gets rich, the prices will go up and we'll have

the exact same problem. That's what happened with college tuition. (the students 'got rich' when easy loans became available.)

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:07 PM

9. Wealth does not guarantee protection from mistreatment.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:08 PM

10. Yes I suppose that is true.

 

I'm sure you have a point there.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:54 AM

34. Dementia might be its own protection.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #34)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 09:33 AM

63. Have you ever cared for somebody with dementia?

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #63)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:37 PM

73. No. My family seems to die from something else first.

Most commonly cancer.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #73)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:42 PM

74. Ok so the devastation falls on the family

 

not, at least after it progresses far enough, on the person with dementia. Dementia is not its own cure.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:10 PM

11. Others aren't doing any better at this than we are

Britain's elder care is in crisis and facing big funding cuts. Germans seem to be exploring the idea of sending senile elderly to developing countries where labor for nursing care is cheap. I'm in my 70's and my siblings and I have been paying for my mother's care for the last six years. It wouldn't be a surprise if she outlived me. That would be OK too, since there's no way my kids will be able to carry me in like circumstances. I'm not sure we're doing her any favor, either. Being reduced to the level of a needy four year old has no appeal at all.

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Response to pscot (Reply #11)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 09:42 AM

65. Oh bullshit. All the western and northern european

 

nations are doing far better than we are. They all start from the assumption that everyone is guaranteed health care services as a right. Instead of everyone fending for themselves, they share the costs. Are there funding problems? Sure. But they are working on solutions to keep good systems running, we don't even have a system.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:30 PM

16. I don't think being wealthy is the answer. But I agree with Ezekiel Emanual.

Why I Hope to Die at 75

An argument that society and familiesóand youówill be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly
Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Photos by Jake Chessum
October 2014 issue


Seventy-five.

Thatís how long I want to live: 75 years.

This preference drives my daughters crazy. It drives my brothers crazy. My loving friends think I am crazy. They think that I canít mean what I say; that I havenít thought clearly about this, because there is so much in the world to see and do. To convince me of my errors, they enumerate the myriad people I know who are over 75 and doing quite well. They are certain that as I get closer to 75, I will push the desired age back to 80, then 85, maybe even 90.

I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.

By the time I reach 75, I will have lived a complete life. I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my lifeís projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations. Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy. Indeed, I plan to have my memorial service before I die. And I donít want any crying or wailing, but a warm gathering filled with fun reminiscences, stories of my awkwardness, and celebrations of a good life. After I die, my survivors can have their own memorial service if they wantóthat is not my business.

Let me be clear about my wish. Iím neither asking for more time than is likely nor foreshortening my life. Today I am, as far as my physician and I know, very healthy, with no chronic illness. I just climbed Kilimanjaro with two of my nephews. So I am not talking about bargaining with God to live to 75 because I have a terminal illness. Nor am I talking about waking up one morning 18 years from now and ending my life through euthanasia or suicide. Since the 1990s, I have actively opposed legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. People who want to die in one of these ways tend to suffer not from unremitting pain but from depression, hopelessness, and fear of losing their dignity and control. The people they leave behind inevitably feel they have somehow failed. The answer to these symptoms is not ending a life but getting help. I have long argued that we should focus on giving all terminally ill people a good, compassionate deathónot euthanasia or assisted suicide for a tiny minority.

I am talking about how long I want to live and the kind and amount of health care I will consent to after 75. Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal.

I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop.
Americans may live longer than their parents, but they are likely to be more incapacitated. Does that sound very desirable? Not to me.

What are those reasons? Letís begin with demography. We are growing old, and our older years are not of high quality. Since the mid-19th century, Americans have been living longer. In 1900, the life expectancy of an average American at birth was approximately 47 years. By 1930, it was 59.7; by 1960, 69.7; by 1990, 75.4. Today, a newborn can expect to live about 79 years. (On average, women live longer than men. In the United States, the gap is about five years. According to the National Vital Statistics Report, life expectancy for American males born in 2011 is 76.3, and for females it is 81.1.)

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:18 AM

53. I read it to be

Have the decency to due if you find yourself with the beginning signs of dementia.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:49 PM

3. I'm also curious about your solution.

I guess if YOU wish to opt out that's you're decision but there are many who would chose not to do so.

In either case, arrangements should be made and finalized before the person becomes too incapacitated to make competent decisions.

Btw, I always thought that in a civilized society, we take care of our sick, mentally ill and seniors. This country can do many good and great things if only our priorities were in the proper place (which they are absolutely not).

I wish you all the best dealing with your aging parents, it IS indeed a difficult situation.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:51 PM

4. Normally a person who has dementia dies from other causes than the dementia. Usually their bodies

Are in good shape physically so they remain a long time. We had to put both of my parents and my mother-in-law in a nursing home, father lived 23 months and cause of death was bladder cancer, mother lived two years and had congestive heart failure and the mother-in-law lived for seventeen months and dies of colon cancer. All deserved the 24/7 care and family members did nit have the time or strength do give them the care they needed. My best advice is to get a power of attorney and depending on the state of their residency perhaps a durable power of attorney. Taking conservatorship can end up costing lots of money and court time. Find a good elder care attorney to advise. In some states Medicaid pays for nursing home care if the patient isn't getting much money. All possibilities to check on. Medicare pays for 20 days of nursing home care.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:19 PM

14. Longevity runs in our family. Who knows how long both my parents could live.

Both were fiercely independent prior to this happening, and neither likes the fact that they were removed from their homes because some felt they weren't safe there. As I mentioned, we've spent the last 6-9 months investigating facilities and weighing the various options. Both parents would want to be in their own homes had they not been removed by well meaning family members. Having experienced it first hand, it has been a rude awakening how fast one's circumstances can change. I personally have decided that for me, there is a difference between living, and being alive. For me, when my capacity to make decisions for myself about myself and my daily activities, has diminished to the point that a court feels the need to appoint someone else to make these decisions on my behalf than I feel that I'm no longer living. Let me go and bury me. Unfortunately, by the time I reach this level, I will probably be one of the last to know and probably unable to end my life by my own means. But that is what I would want for myself. However, this is a personal choice for me. I respect that others might not share my views on this subject.

I also don't think that is a decision that should be inflicted on the young or people born with disabilities.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:30 PM

15. My heart goes to you, these are hard decisions, never easy. The average time after dementia is

Around seven years, some live longer. Not that realizing your parents may or may not understand a move to another facility but sometimes they do not realize what is happening. Sometimes even if they stay in their homes they fail to recognize where they are and still want to ho "home". It is really which portion of the brain is losing function and what abilities are lost. My father could still speak and recognize people but he lost the ability to walk along with other functions. O strongly advise you to locate an Alzheimer's group near you. They have lots of information and advise on caring for your loved ones. I wish you the best of luck, it isn't easy.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:15 AM

21. Thanks, I appreciate your kind words.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:54 PM

5. Do you realize that there are many developmentally disabled children and adults who are covered

by Medicare on a long term basis? If they have a parent who is getting SSA then they are eligible for this care. And I suspect there are a lot of other cases like them.

They will not be dying from natural causes any time soon. My daughter's doctor says she is going to outlive all of us. Yet she does need long term care.

Are you suggesting we go back to the good old days before WWII and practice eugenics again?

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Response to jwirr (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:51 PM

17. This thread was not intended to deal with the issue of disabled children.

Children who are born disabled or become disabled have their whole lives ahead of them. I'm trying to have a discussion about people who are well up into their years and whose best years are behind them not ahead of them. Modern medicine may have made it possible to prolong people's lives but at what cost. Ezekiel Emanuel as a physician, makes a case for why he thinks 75 is a good number in his book, "Why I Hope to Die at 75" and I agree with him for me. Also, I have read many times that doctors who themselves become inflicted with certain diseases and ailments would chose an alternate course of action for themselves than the ones that they prescribe for their patients.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:48 AM

26. It's fine for you to make that decision for YOURSELF

but not for society, or for people's children, to be making that decision for the elderly.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 10:06 AM

67. Thank you. In our state MN we are all encouraged to have a living will which would allow just

that without ending long term care. Unfortunately most people do not know about or do not think they need on until they are brought into the emergency room and at that point if they are unable to say no to all the modern medical devices the staff has no choice but to hook them up.

I read the post on Ezekiel's book and I agree with him except only when my illness is diagnosed as terminal. I have known some very active and intelligent people who lived to be 95. At this point that is my goal - to remain active and thinking for as long as I can and since all of my grandmothers lived to 83 I plan to make it that far. BUT not in a nursing home.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 10:58 PM

7. What is your alternative?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:12 AM

20. my question also

 

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:06 PM

8. "It is a good day to die."...



I believe that death, like birth, should be honored and faced unafraid. I hope to embrace death when my time comes; without fear and on my own terms.

TYY

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:10 PM

12. You need to propose a solution.

Long term care insurance is a scam when you are paying for it through group insurance at work. When you retire, it's ridiculously expensive.

Come on, we're waiting...

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:03 AM

18. In another post within this thread I discussed Eziekiel Emanual's book, "Why I Hope to Die at 75"

as the basis for a discussion on the topic. For the most part I agree with him. In the excerpt I posted from his book, he makes a case as a physician, that I believe most physicians share for themselves.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:25 AM

32. so are you advocating suicide or murder?

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Response to Skittles (Reply #32)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:58 AM

35. I'm advocating for the right to be able to have rational discussions about these types of things

without people thinking that I am crazy or depressed and need to be protected from myself. I wouldn't rule out being an advocated for some level of doctor assisted suicide though although I recognize that we are not there yet as a nation. Besides, I realize that if I were to develop some form of dementia, I'd probably be the last to know and that's part of the problem.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #35)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 02:36 AM

39. what about for people who don't want euthanasia or who are not aware enough to make the decision?

who pays for their care? Remember, you brought it up.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #32)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 09:37 AM

64. Soylent Green or Logan's Run? nt

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 02:30 AM

38. They did, it is put down the useless eaters but they don't want to quite come out and say it

So they offer the odious servant of those who must not be burdened with taxes Zeke Emanuel as the beachhead for their ever so rational and quite "pragmatic" conversation about firing up the Soylent factories to rid ourselves of burdensome nonproductive types.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2015, 11:16 PM

13. One of our friends

is the administrator in one of these Alzheimer wards. She doesn't talk about it though as I suspect its not cool to do that. All I know is what her job is

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:09 AM

19. DNR DNI

Will limit the artificial means of keeping bodies alive. Families avoid making this decision usually for selfish and not loving reasons.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:18 AM

22. I have a feeling you're overburdened right now.

Which is totally understandable, but as such you're not really thinking about the whole picture since you're dealing with an aspect of it yourself at the moment. Dying before dementia sets in isn't a viable solution. Alzheimer's strikes people as young as their 40's. Not as often, granted but you never know.

Not everyone has family able to take care of them, or even family in a position to take care of them. Then there's the reality that most Alzheimer's patients will need in house care at some point even if the family tries at first to do it on their own. Once you're of an age to need it LTHC insurance is out of most peoples price range. So what is a person to do? Maybe we need to rethink the whole concept of long term health care for our elderly and make it a right, rather than a privilege for a few?

I believe most of us seek healthcare because we want to be able to live as much of our lives as possible. Yes, there's a real question as to when when we stop living and begin existing, but for the majority that isn't at the point when we begin to exhibit cognitive issues. It's when those issues have reduced our quality of life to the point where we, ourselves, would no longer want to be living. Which is a personal choice, and sadly, one which most of those who would make such a choice are past being able to by that point. I read an article about an 80+ year old couple murder/suicide this past week in a healthcare facility. One of them was the patient, the other the spouse. The pain that spouse went through to end their sick loved ones life, and then take their own, breaks my heart to imagine.

I wish you peace and strength in what you're going through.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #22)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:40 AM

33. I thank you for your concern, but I feel that there are many people I have met in a few short months

who are more overburdened, and have been for a longer, time than me. Having three grown children of my own, this has just solidified it for me in my own mind. I have a great relationship with my three kids and as i've mentioned it a few times in this thread I saw Dr. Ezekiel Emanual on tv discusing his book about a year ago before there were any known issues with my parents more than a year ago. My grandmother died at age 94 having spent almost the last 10 years in bed after suffering from dementia. She was too frail to walk and they were concerned she would fall and break a hip. I come from a long line of family members who are medical professionals. I love my kids too much to want to put them through what I've seen other families going through. My views aren't for everyone and I don't even agree with Dr. Emanual on everything. I just know that I fear losing my capacity to make day to day decisions for myself, and being unable to tend to my most basic of necessities without being a burden to my loved ones, more than I fear death. Medical science has found ways to extend the life of body parts, but so far they haven't found a way to keep brain cells from dying. My greatest fear is my body parts outliving my brain cells.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #33)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 02:21 AM

37. I hear what you're saying, and my heart is with you.

I know it's so little in the face of what you're dealing with, or the others in a similar situation, but I still hear you and understand where you're coming from. I see why you said what you did in a response to what you'd read here. It makes total sense why it provoked you to make this post. Who doesn't fear losing their sense of themselves before their bodies expire? Not a single one of us, I'll guarantee you that.

I'm not judging you. How could I? I'm not walking in your shoes, all I know for sure is my own limited life experiences. Which in no way mirror yours at this moment in time. Not to say they won't in my future. Any one of us could wind up walking in very similar shoes to your own. Which is why you're worried about your own children being in your situation at some point in their lives. Which, by the way, is a sign you love them dearly.

I wish you, and your loved ones, the very best in this stage of your life. I sincerely wish it were easier on you all to endure and navigate.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #37)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:28 AM

45. Thanks again. You are a very kind and thoughtful person. It really is like a grieving process.

Your're actually mourning the loss of a loved one who's still here in body, but something else has taken control of their soul. Thanks for your understanding and emphathy.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:32 AM

23. Since medicare doesn't pay for nursing homes what is your pount

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:37 AM

24. Medicare does NOT pay for long term care. It pays for a maximum of 100 days, if the person

has been released from a hospital and needs rehab.

Medicaid does pay for long-term care, but only after a person's assets are exhausted. (A house can be retained for 13 months but after the person's death it must be sold, with available funds going to reimburse Medicaid.)

What do you think should happen with disabled, penniless elderly people? Mentioning death panels makes it sound like you think they should be killed.

I also would rather pass on to my children any resources I have remaining when I can no longer function on my own, or tend to my own needs, rather than spend my final days or what could be years being medicated in some smelly nursing facility with a bunch of other demented patients.


That is your decision to make -- but your parents' assets should go to your parents' care as long as they are alive, even if you think their lives are no longer worthwhile.

I agree with you that we need to be spending more money on research for Alzheimers. And we should be regulating nursing homes to make sure the residents all have adequate care. There is a vast difference in the quality of care that is available, and for-profit homes tend to be among the worst.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:42 AM

25. Medicare doesn't pay for it. Medicaid does

Medicare pays for like a few weeks of it, then you're required to pay yourself until your assets get low enough that you qualify for Medicaid, at which point Medicaid takes over.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:53 AM

27. Let me get this straight. You don't want Medicare to help with the care of your parents?

But you can't believe that the government is not funding dementia research.

Aren't you contradicting yourself? Medicare is funded by the government.

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Response to brush (Reply #27)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 02:17 AM

36. I said I don't think Medicare should be funding longterm nursing care because it would go broke

in a short amount on time, because it was never intended to provide for long term nursing care which is quite expensive if you haven't looked into it recently. I also said that I can't believe that the government is not funding alzheimer's disease in response to another thread that originally raised the issue that the government should be responsible for providing long term nursing home care for people with alzheimer's disease. I said this because I work for the government and I know that they fund a lot of medical research and i couldn't believe, as the author of the other thread said, that the government would not be providing any research funding for a disease which is likely to be the biggest threat to an aging population and which could potentially threaten to bankrupt the entire Medicare fund.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:54 AM

28. For myself, I'd prefer option of Euthanasia when it's time to be institutionalized for what remains.

 

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:59 AM

29. Well, Hitler called old people in need of care like myself "useless mouths".

How sad that I have to read this kind of hard hearted thought here in America. There is no reason why we can't do both nursing home care and Alzheimer's research. Maybe stop feeding the MIC our tax money and children and there might be some money left to care for the elderly. I'm a childless widow and in good health. I look after myself now, but some day I won't be able to and you scare me saying stuff like this that this. When the time comes am I and all the widow and widowers left alone supposed to go crawl under a bush and die like feral cats?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 02:46 AM

40. Well I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but you are on a discussion board and it would seem to me

that we should be able to have discussions without even about things which people disagree. You say that you are a childless widow. Well I have said that I have 3 grown children whom I happen to love very much and I know they love me just as much, and would want to do what they could to assist me if that was the card that life dealt me. But having been a mother for the past 34 years, I don't want that for them. We all make choices in life. I didn't have children to provide for me in the case I couldn't provide for myself. In fact I've spent the past 40 years working to make sure that they don't have to. They have blessed my husband and my lives many times over. My wish for them would be that when my brain cells start to die at a rate that I no longer can made decisions for myself, I'm ready to die. I'd rather leave them a nice inheritance than to spend my life savings paying for many years of long term nursing care.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:02 AM

30. Modern medicine keeps a lot of hopeless cases alive

Why single out the elderly? I spent eleven years as a long term care nurse and to this day it's my favorite kind of nursing. I have a hundred stories, happy, sad, comic and tragic.

The elderly want to live until they die.

I will tell you life is sweet, what I would rather see is we stop making LTC residents part of the invisible society. We have many invisible populations, put away and hidden as though they have no value. And what is the value of a human being in strict utilitarian philosophy?

What Medicare is designed for and what it does may have parted ways, but your reasoning leads to forced Euthenasia. I live in a state with a 'right to die' law, which I think should be available to anybody with a crippling, hopeless illness, who is able to make sound and prudent decisions can take advantage of.

I do understand what you're facing, and while I do a very different type of nursing now, I'm aware of costs of treatments that keep people alive. Kidney dialysis is a big one, ESRD is the only chronic disease fully covered by Medicare/Medicaid, and the history of why is very interesting indeed.

Chemotherapy is another. We have a number of ways to treat diseased hearts. I myself work in solid organ transplant. Just a short few of many examples

Dementia is stunningly heartbreaking, when adult children are no longer recognized by their beloved parents, or when sufferers have behaviors that is completely out of character and would horrify the person they were, I guess I can only offer a philosophical solace; had I not spent the years taking care of that population I wouldn't be the person I am today, have the knowledge of human interaction, certainly not the nurse I am today. I'm grateful for each person, for for every deathbed I sat by. For every family member I got to know. They taught me honor and courage without words to express such ideas.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #30)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:06 AM

41. Your patients are blessed to have you. For the record I think we have more in common than divides us

I have a large family and there are many of them in the medical field, including a doctor, nurses, several X-ray and Ultrasound Techs. a pharmacists, etc. My mother who is in early stage of dementia herself is a nurse. She always kept her license current. She's taking this very hard because she doesn't think that there is anything wrong with her and most of the time there isn't. If you didn't know her you wouldn't recognize the problem, but as you described there are the personality changes. And while I'll always love her and take care of her at any cost, I wouldn't want to put this burden on my children just like I know my mother wouldn't want to put this burden on her children. But there are moments when my mother's disease takes control and the person speaking is not my mother.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:13 AM

31. If your parents own homes, then they could be sold to pay for nursing home care.

Another possibility is to get reverse mortgages that wouldn't have to be paid back till their death.

We looked at assisted living and nursing homes in three states and there is a HUGE range in quality. The best are usually non-profit. It's best not to wait till the elder has spent all his assets. Most residents begin as private pay and then switch to Medicaid when their assets run out. The best nursing homes keep an elderly person in the same room, with the same resources, even after they switch to Medicaid. These homes charge a lot for their residents who are on private-pay, but -- for their Medicaid patients -- accept Medicaid's normal low reimbursement. So the private-pay patients are helping to subsidize the Medicaid patients. But this works out in the long run because the private-pay patients know that if they ever run out of money, they can switch to Medicaid, too.

My mother entered a nursing home last year and it's very expensive. But she's happier than she has been in years. So spending all her money on her care is worth it. And if she lives long enough to run out of money, nothing will have to change. We're all very grateful we found this place, and wish all nursing homes were this good.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:15 AM

42. We've looked into a lot of things including reverse mortages.

As you've mentioned, nursing care is expensive. Reverse mortgages are expensive with hefty up front fees for the loan. They don't continue making payments if the person goes into a nursing care facility. Since we don''t know many years my mother has, and longevity is on her side, we are trying to provide the care she needs ourselves and save the money from the equity in her home until we can not longer provide for her ourselves.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #42)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:35 AM

46. The mistake it's easy to make is to spend all the elder's money

on assistance at home or in assisted living, and not to consider a nursing home till the elder is completely out of money. You have a lot better chance of finding a spot in a good nursing home if you start looking while they still have funds -- the rule of thumb is about 6 month worth of the cost of the nursing homes you are considering. (Including home equity.)

My mother couldn't be taken care of at home after she broke her second hip, and we struggled to choose between a high level of assistance at an assisted-living home, or a nursing home. We finally decided we didn't want her to have to move twice. And then we found this wonderful nursing home (2/3 of the residents are on Medicaid and all the rooms and bathrooms are private). If we had spent all her money on another year of assisted living, and she had to apply as a Medicaid patient, it would have been harder for her to get in. On the other hand, by starting as a private-pay she's guaranteed a home even when she runs out of money, if she outlives her assets.

Medicaid will let an elder apply for nursing home care if a house is their only asset, but the house has to be sold within 13 months. If you know the move will be permanent, there's no reason to delay on that.

If any of the children of an elderly person has money to lend them, it doesn't cost much to get a lawyer to prepare the legal note and mortgage document. That way that child will get his or her money back when the house is sold, and there won't be resentment if the more well-off child helps the parent out financially. (And it will protect that part of the equity from being taken by Medicaid.)

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:22 AM

43. My mother would not go into a nursing home. She refused, after dad died.

 

So I let her rot until she begged me to take her in. I took her home and took care of her in my house for three months. She wanted to be admitted to the hospital. I took her to the emergency room and they wouldn't take her so I had to take care of her. She was nasty when she was young, and just got nastier to me. She was never in very good physical shape and she had alzheimer's although she still recognized everyone. I was the only child. She went in the hospital for about a week, and died in ICU.

When she was in ICU they operated on her in the room and made a hole in her stomach for a feeding tube. The nerves in her throat had been messed up for years, and she had all kinds of trouble with eating and such.

There was a lady in ICU that was a dietician and she was telling me "When you take her home you can pour this stuff in her feeding tube, blahdeblah" and I saw my life flashing before my eyes and I thought, "I cannot handle this. I cannot handle this."

She died a few days later in ICU.


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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #43)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:36 AM

47. What a nightmare. Few people could handle that, MoL. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #47)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 05:21 AM

48. Thank you Pnwmom.

 

I think about people who have to provide long-term care to their relatives for whatever reason and I wonder how they can handle it at all. I only had to endure the bad stuff for about three months. I had to bear-hug mom to sit her up in bed, swing her feet out on the floor, and then bear-hug her under her arms and pull her to standing position to get her standing on her feet. She was a lot taller than I am but had lost a lot of weight.

When I tried to help them they thought I was only after their money and gpt mad at me, at least in my experience. No good deed goes unpunished. I've seen several instances of this. There are a few old people that I have known, and they had dementia to varying degrees, and I have felt overwhelming relief after they died. I was supposed to be grieving the loss and I couldn't. I was angry and relieved.

The old people I have seen that were relatives, parents and grandparents, were not wise old people. They did and said a lot of dysfunctional and foolish things like they had done in their youth. I wondered where those nice sweet grandparents were that other people said they had. Because I didn't know what healthy relationships were, I suffered a lot in my life until I finally figured it out in middle age. I'm still figuring it out. There is a subreddit called RaisedByNarcissists that is helping me figure out a lot of it. There are young people posting and I'm relating to what they are saying.


My husband and I went to see the FIL (husband's dad) and the stepmother many years ago at Christmas and it was horrendous. We had no idea how horrible the situation was. He had alzheimer's, was completely out of his mind, and would argue endlessly with me. He thought that his son was his father. We figured this out from a comment he made to my husband. He got in his car to go see the old city he grew up in. He had had his driver's license yanked after he was found doing retrograde orbits around the State Capitol building. He told me over and over how that cop shot his gun off when they took his license away. In other words, imagining stuff and repeating it. We suggested going out and looking at Xmas lights and he got enraged over that.


The next year after that Xmas, my dad also got grumpy and nasty about going out to see Christmas lights. When it happened with my dad, hubby and I went to a movie. I decided that getting grumpy over going out to see Christmas lights was a sure sign of senility. Both my parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's by a neurologist in the 90s. They both lived into their 80s. Dad was in very good shape physically, Mom wasn't.


I was completely freaked out because I could not reason with father in law and my BP hit a new record high. The stepmother was trapped because he wouldn't let her go anywhere. She had heart trouble and was very frail. Every evening he had to go out in the yard and make sure his troops were in order and that there were no Nazis in the yard. He was a retired Lt. Col. from WW II. Sundowner syndrome. After we got out of there after a couple of days of being unable to reason with them, I called the state Adult Protective Services. Stepmother and everyone else was in denial. If I hadn't called, nothing would have changed and it was definitely a crisis situation.

The folks at Adult Protective Services went out there and took the wife to the hospital for her heart trouble, and they noticed that he was suffering from serious dementia(Alzheimer's and Korsakoff syndrome and probably other things), and they put him in a locked ward. He died about six months later in the hospital. He kept regressing to the point that in the hospital he was calling out "Mommy, Daddy". That is incredibly sad.


He was 84.

After the funeral, at the house, two of the man's sisters and one of his brothers in law decided to start yelling at me and husbo for no reason, like they were uncontrollable volcanos. Husband's ex brought his kids over and she wouldn't let him go anywhere with me and his kids. We should have gotten in my car and taken the kids to visit with them anyway. She was a control freak. I was sobbing in a bedroom feeling like a trapped rat. I wondered why they all hated me so much, because every time I was around them, they would snap at me and I would have an instant feeling of being completely drained of energy from disapproval. As if all I could do was sit down and rest before I collapsed. I am sure my husband's sister thought I was some kind of a freak.

Stepmom did not get a dishwasher until after her husband died, because he thought dishwashers were for rich people (!) and he insisted on washing the dishes himself.

I have seen commercials with healthy, active old people (70s and 80s) and I think of that as a fiction. Now I'm part of the older generation as a baby boomer. So far I seem to be pretty healthy and in better shape in many ways than I was when I was young.
I don't have anything that will kill me anytime soon. I'm terrified of turning into a nasty hateful person like my mother.

I have no idea if my husband or I will live longer than the other. We are both no contact with our children because they are hateful towards us. They told us we were terrible people and it was out of the blue. We were not expecting to be told that. So I won't rely on any of the younger generation.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #48)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 10:46 AM

69. You have been through some terrible times, MoL.

People who are judgmental just don't know.

There is a book you might be interested in. It's called "Children of the Self Absorbed" by Nina Brown. It's about the long term effects of being raised by a narcissist.

Hope things will start to get better for you soon.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #69)

Mon Jun 15, 2015, 09:53 PM

78. Thank you.

 

Things got a lot better after my mother died and I got her house cleaned out to the point where it was livable. That took six years of going up there on weekends and shoveling trash.

I know that a lot of people have far worse caretaking situations than I have had. And far longer lasting.

back atcha!

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 03:23 AM

44. Not what it's designed for?? What about the people who put 50+ years of work in, having taxes

and medicaid/care taken out of their checks every week?? They have paid into the fund more than enough and deserve everything they get!

You've fallen for the "Social Security/Disability is broke and draining our other resources" bullshit, when the simple fact is that the politicians have borrowed from the fund (which was NOT supposed to be allowed when it was implemented), and now they don't want to have to pay it back.

Peace,

Ghost

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Response to Ghost in the Machine (Reply #44)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 10:16 AM

68. You act like these programs are bank accounts.

They're not.

Both cover those needing them as they need them, taking money out of current revenues. They have no trust funds or savings. They are spend-as-you-go programs and from the start pretty much every cohort has pulled much more out of the system than they ever put in, even with taxes. That may not hold for some baby boomers; we'll see, there's 20 years or more to go before we can produce that cash flow summary.

Medicare isn't even fully funded with current dedicated taxes--every year general fund revenues has to bail out Medicare, and has for probably more than 20 years. As part of a budget deal years ago Medicare rates were to be cut; every year, Congress votes emergency funding for Medicare. That's part of the TAA discussions that circulated last week--whether to "cut" Medicare funding increasing it as much as expected. (That's DC-speak, where "cut" may mean "not increase" and "maintain" may mean "decrease"; you have to read the small print at the bottom of the endnotes.) I pay Medicare not for myself, but to help others who need it--in hopes that when I need it, others will be paying in sufficient to cover my needs--or that the government will continue to put general tax monies into it. That's how it was set up, as a kind of insurance program that spreads the risk but isn't a health-care savings account. (Most people who work for 50 years wouldn't want a health-care savings account. Their savings would peter out quickly and they'd both need and demand more money be added.)

Medicaid is different. It's a joint state/federal program and also fails to self-fund. Depending on the exact year, half of the money is paid by the state you live in, with the feds providing matching funding and a mess of requirements. There is no separate "state Medicaid tax". It's all up to the state legislature. In a state like Texas with no state income tax nobody contributes directly to the Medicaid funding. In most states with really progressive taxation schemes, relatively few people contribute much, and they tend to be quite well off. New York State suffered huge state tax declines during the 2001-03 recession because it relied so heavily on the top 5%, esp. Wall Street bonuses. In some states Medicaid is as much as a quarter of state spending and that percentage, with very few exceptions, has only increased over the last 30 years.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 06:51 AM

49. That's what ice flows are for.

I guess the Eskimos had it right.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #49)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 12:11 PM

72. I've put in a request for mine because if everyone thinks like the OP,

it's all I'll have to look forward to.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #72)

Mon Jun 15, 2015, 08:03 AM

76. there won't be any ice flows by the time I''m ready for mine. nt

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 07:50 AM

50. Other than your opinion, I don't see your case being made.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 07:54 AM

51. What Canidate do you feel would facilitate that ?

 

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:37 AM

54. The inherent problem is that MANY people do not HAVE extended families who can step in

to advocate for their care
to care for them
to pay for care for them

EVERYONE ages (except for the lucky ones who are healthy until the day they drop dead in their tracks..as an old person)

MOST people will become progressively ill and most will linger a while

There HAS to at least be some serious forethought as to what will we DO with them when they are no longer able to care for themselves.

We have to decide (as a society) just what value we place on life, and whether and how we will care for our unattached elders.

NO ONE wants to be a "burden", but we all start and end our lives "burdening" someone.

No one "blames" the baby, because babies are just so promising and so damned cute...and they will grow into productive citizens...BUT when it comes to older people, they (we) get written off and disposed of...sometimes well before necessary.

Societies like ours will suffer in the end and become even more callous if we cannot solve this dilemma.

It makes little sense to provide the wherewithal for people to live long lives, if there is no support for that long life, and the body/mind/spirit that will always decline toward the end .

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:38 AM

55. I've told the DU I have dementia (FTD)


I've had it for years and I'm getting worse. It is terminal. I retired early because of it. I'm 58.5 years old. My health insurance only covers 2 months a year in a facility.

Marta has enough trouble that she shouldn't care for me. She works. My kids all work.

When the time comes I won't go to a facility if you know what I mean. I'll save Medicare the $.

OS

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #55)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:55 AM

58. .



You are doing amazingly well. I hope that day is much further off than you think it is.

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Response to marym625 (Reply #58)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:58 AM

60. .


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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #55)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 01:40 PM

75. One wouldn't know from your writings. However, I'm glad we are at least having this discussion.

This is a problem that will only get worse with our aging population and the solutions aren't going to be easy. We have hard choices to make and long term health care is very expensive. Best wishes to you and your family.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:43 AM

56. Where does the money to come from once their estates have been "spun down" ???





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Response to ileus (Reply #56)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 10:55 AM

70. That's what Medicaid is for.

My MiL didn't have much, but after she spent down the little she had, took about a year, she was taken care of in her nursing home under Medicaid for another 10 years, passing at 91. She got very good care btw.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:46 AM

57. Ok...there are lots of issues if you say "medicare was designed for" ...

It's no secret that things change over time.

Baby boomer demographics lead to waves of people hitting the system at a given time.
People living longer than when the system was created.
Corporations making health care a "for profit" industry, so people like RICK SCOTT steal millions from the government.

You get the idea...

When systems are challenged, the answer is probably not to opt out or do away with the system. To me, the better answer is to improve the system.

For example: laws, buildings, parking, education, education, and our whole society used to be ignorant and cruel to disabled people. Contrast the 40's and 50's with today for disabilities! Society has changed it's attitude and structure for the disabled.

If society needs to increase and improve long term care; with models for in home support, time off for caretakers, technologies for monitoring, education for providers, laws that support families, etc. ... well then lets get going!

I have an 85 year old mother with dementia. Our family has financial and medical powers. We've had all the usual issues of placement, finding care, and cost realities. There's no consensus on treatment, nor easy access to finding affordable care for aging people. Each family has to find a path to long term care just like other life decisions. Medicare is part of the picture; not the one and only resource. I think Medicare may need a "part F" or something for long term policies. We'll see.

Dying of "natural causes" is changing and will continue to change as medicine changes. Personally, I've made my wishes known to my spouse and relatives so they can make guilt-free decisions for me if I'm not able myself, and I've created the legal paperwork to allow others to take care of me as best as the laws allow. Unfortunately, Florida is the state of Terri Shaivo, so I hope some crazy governor doesn't override my wishes! Life and death with dignity is all we can hope for at this time.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:57 AM

59. No one has the right to decide it's time for you to go but you.

I watched my uncle, who had a major stroke at the age of 45, while on the operating table (the doctor's fault) live for 15 years after. He couldn't speak. He couldn't walk. His right side was completely paralyzed. 15 years we looked into his eyes and saw the pain. We watched him cry. We watched my grandmother die a little every time she saw her son suffering so. We watched his wife, my aunt, care for him, as much as she was able, for 15 years while she worked harder than anyone I know. My uncle was in a fairly decent nursing home. But my aunt did his laundry. She did everything while she was there every day and she checked on him constantly. That was while she took care of her blind sister and elderly mother that lived with her.

My uncle had an IQ of 163 and you could tell that he was still there, trapped inside. It was a horror movie one should live through. And he did it for 15 years.

My aunt said to her sister in law, as the sister-aunt chastised my uncle's wife for not having a priest come to the nursing home at the end, "he was handed the keys to heaven 15 years ago. "

I know that my uncle would have chosen to die if he had that choice. But he didn't.

I won't live like that. I have talked to everyone in my family and my friends about it and will be taken out so that no one need suffer if something should happen to me. I believe that assisted suicide is everyone's right.

However, your OP seems to not want anyone to have the choice. That's despicable.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 09:18 AM

61. The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/the-dutch-village-where-everyone-has-dementia/382195/

If the Dutch can do it, why can't the U.S..

Perhaps this is something we CAN do that will benefit so many families and patients with dementia.

If I were ever fortunate enough to hit a lottery, I'd do my best to get the ball rolling in the right direction. There is a need.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 09:26 AM

62. You haven't made your case. nt

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 09:44 AM

66. Inhuman claptrap.

Shame on you.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 11:11 AM

71. Disgusting, human engineering, crap.

In terms of human life and productivity, one size does NOT fit all.

My husband is 68, and one of the most productive and famous academics in his field. You seem to imply, that at 75 he should voluntarily,( or maybe not voluntarily), end his life to save the younger people of America some dough. FUCK THAT.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Original post)

Mon Jun 15, 2015, 10:38 AM

77. I'm going to make the unpopular argument

that going to a nursing home is not the worst thing in the world. My widowed mom lived on her own until she was 94 and after a fall breaking her pelvis, she could no longer care for herself and had to go to a nursing home. She was there for 2 years until she passed and except for the last 2 months of her life when she started to fail, her stay was overall very good. She always talked about feeling safe, never feeling lonely and enjoying the young girls who took care of her. She had wonderful caregivers who saw to her every need, she went on numerous outings to dine out, shopping and even went on a trip to a casino. Because I had just retired I was able to spend everyday with my mom, go on outings with her and met some of the most compassionate staff in the world, some of whom I still keep in touch with.

When my mom first went to a long term care I felt so guilty, but it really was clear there was no way I could take care of her on my own. For me, I know longer had to worry about my mom falling during the night, or calling me because she was scared or lonely. I'm so glad we had those 2 extra years together, which were spent having quality time together and not have to worry about the things I had to do when she was in her apt. ie, cleaning, grocery shopping, banking, errands, etc.

I also got to meet and become friends with other family members and when my mom started to fail, I received so much support and love from them as well as the staff. I know my experience may be unique, but long term care doesn't have to be as bad as people make it out to be. Family has to keep a close eye on everything and you have to treat staff with respect, the caregivers have a very tough job and don't get paid what they are worth.

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