Archive for Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Letter: Elder care

January 15, 2013


To the editor:

Nursing home care of the elderly is so expensive that only very affluent families can afford the price. So, most elderly are forced onto humiliating Medicaid, which provides that one keep $60 a month for personal expenses. However, the state of Rhode Island has a wise law providing salaries to family members who will care for their own elderly at home. This frees them to resign their other job.

In my 80s and 90s, I have lived in Presbyterian Manor, Babcock, Brandon Woods and now Pioneer Ridge. Only public housing Babcock is affordable to most elderly. But, of course, Babcock does not provide nursing care. Babcock does provide a noon meal on Monday through Friday and is near Dillons grocery store.

In Canadian and European democracies, the state pays for the medical care and hospitalization of its citizens. In those nations, hospitals are publicly owned and operated by medical doctors who are public employees. Unlike the United States, doctors and hospitals are not free to charge whatever they wish. Nor can private health insurance companies charge exorbitant premiums for medical insurance.

May Congress pass a second health care law.


Laus_Deo 5 years, 5 months ago

So let me get this straight. The Seasoned among us, spend a life time of existence in a productive environment without saving for the inevitable? And now they want the children of society to pay their way? What gives the seasoned of society the right to take from the young defenseless children of society, when they had a lifetime of opportunities to pay their own way?

This sounds rather selfish to me, to jeopardize the children's opportunity to save for their inevitable.

Treating children as Ponzi, is selfish.

appleaday 5 years, 5 months ago

I hope your own parents don't ever have to depend on you for anything. After all, they did nothing for you apparently.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Laus you've never been poor have you? I grew up in the early '60s and my parents both worked their asses off just trying to keep their heads above water. My dad was a carpenter for more than 30 years and even after that long his only benefit was two weeks of paid vacation a year. My mom worked various shifts as an RN depending on the age my sister and I were at the time so she could be home with us.

For years my dad would work 7 a.m.-5 p.m., my mom worked 3-11 p.m., and Ione Smith covered the two hours when neither was there. At the end of the month they felt lucky if they had $5.00 left from their combined paychecks.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

As I said, you've obviously never been poor. Hard to "profitably manage the inevitable" when food on the table today takes priority.

duckieone44 5 years, 5 months ago

In reply to Laus_Deo: Oh, you poor child! YOu must be one of those persons that have everything? I wish you could have grown up in the 50's with two parents "scratching'" the earth for every penny to raise four kids. My father worked as a carpenter & my mother worked at home making professional slipcovers for others furniture. She did this for many years before switching to making custom draperies. There were NO benefits to pay for retirement. Mom & Dad lived comfortably in their golden years because Dad would buy older houses that no one would touch, clean them up & rent them to students or others. One such house they bought was one they rented in back in 1933. There was NO inside facilities, only running water. Dirt was nearly 1/2 inch thick on everything and they used pure ammonia to clean everything. They weren't afraid of hard work.
I was lucky! I not only learned to sew, build houses, but at an early age I also took an interest in cooking and I do not regret any of the things I learned at home. Are you one so intertwined with computers and the "finer side(s) of life" & things others taught you in a classroom, that you can't teach the coming generations the basics of life. I hope you will have enough to live comfortably in your retirement and your don't ever get scammed by a Ponzi scheme so that you don't have to rely on Soc Sec. Because the way our elected officials are going there won't be Social Security when you reach 70-75 (Proposed retirement ages for the future generations)

BigDog 5 years, 5 months ago

Yes .... the people of Canada and Europe do pay for these things for their citizen. And the citizens of those countries pay significantly higher taxes for those and other services. If you want these kinds of services ... EVERYONE... not just the rich have to be willing to pay significantly higher personal income taxes to the federal government.

In Canada you start by paying 15% federal tax on first $43,561 of taxable income, that means everyone who is lower income still pays 15%, and it moves up from there.

Then there is income tax by territory which can run from 4%-11% by territory on first $40,000.

jafs 5 years, 5 months ago

When my wife and I visited Canada, nobody complained about taxes.

In fact, we asked somebody what their percentage was, and they didn't even know. Shocking to us - everybody here is so focused on those numbers.

budwhysir 5 years, 5 months ago

One of the major problems we have is using last years taxes to fund next years expenses leaving a hole in the middle of our savings for the future.

appleaday 5 years, 5 months ago

It's pretty obvious who it is. A rose by any other name...

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 5 months ago

Like everything else this depends on what you want and how much you are able to pay. Housing such as Babcock and Vermont Towers are for low income senior and ask for thirty percent of your income for rent. The reality of here and now is that there are many seniors who worked very hard for very long and now need help. What kind of income do you need to have so that you can save enough to guarantee a "comfortable" retirement.

Are all the young working people thinking about this and putting money away and accumulating a portfolio? Not likely. They are just trying to keep alive from one paycheck to the next. It is sad that old people can sometimes be vicious and mean. We don't live in a fairy tale world but in this one.

been_there 5 years, 5 months ago

"Oh, and a good, reputable long-term care insurance plan is a good idea, too. :)" That's what they tell you. My parents paid into one of those for 15 yrs, and it is very expensive. My dad tried to use it only to be told dying of cancer doesn't qualify. My mom died while we tried to jump through all their hoops to get her into a facility. Plus there is usually a waiting period for some. It only kicks in after you have been in a facility for 60 days so you have to get another short term policy to cover the waiting period. They would have been better off saving that several hundred a month in the bank. It wasn't easy trying to keep my job and take care of them.

bad_dog 5 years, 5 months ago

Your folks may have had an older policy that provided only nursing home coverage. Many policies today offer coverage for skilled nursing, homemaker services, etc., in the home, assisted living facilities or nursing homes as long as the insured is incapable of performing a certain number of the activities of daily living or is cognitively impaired. Benefit triggers can vary somewhat, particularly between tax-qualified and non TQ policies. Elimination (waiting) periods can range from 0 days to one year and the premium is adjusted to reflect the risk. The lowest premiums will go to persons selecting policies with the lowest daily coverage amounts, longest elimination periods, shortest benefit periods and no cost of living adjustments.

As for your Dad's experience, I can't imagine terminal cancer not eventually leading to a viable claim, particularly given such a person would likely need assistance with many activities of daily living. If the statute of limitations for breach of contract has not run, it might be worth your while to have this reviewed by an attorney or the Consumer Assistance Division at the Kansas Insurance Department.

KS 5 years, 5 months ago

There is already a plan in place that has allowed family members to be paid (from Medicaid dollars) to care for their parents. It was under the "self-direct HCBS" program A tremendous amount of fraud in that program. I think that may have stopped under KanCare. If not, it should. Yes, and I also realize that for every case of fraud, there were others that were legit. The cases were just not managed.

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