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not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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not only no inheritance...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/30/us...&ex=1167627600

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.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 04:42 PM   #2
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Re: not only no inheritance...

If you think we boomers have a problem, wait until you see what happens to our kids.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 04:46 PM   #3
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Re: not only no inheritance...

I'm not sure I understand this. The man in the picture (her father) should be in a nursing home. You pay for the nursing home until you qualify for Medicaid. Her father would go through his savings, but I don't know why it should impact her savings.

My grandmother lived for 2 years in one room of my Aunt's house. She had a portable toilet that that smelled of urine all the time. I suspect they didn't want to put her in a nursing home because it would have depleted their inheritance, but it would have been much better for my grandmother.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: not only no inheritance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostDone
I'm not sure I understand this. The man in the picture (her father) should be in a nursing home. You pay for the nursing home until you qualify for Medicaid. Her father would go through his savings, but I don't know why it should impact her savings.
He looks like he should be but the medical details are missing other than all the equipment she bought. Alzheimer's is not covered by Medicaid and they can be real picky when it comes to paying. Also, Medicaid-only facilities are often very bleak. Think rooms full of smelly, dying old people that make lots of noise. Some facilities will take a very limited number of Medicaid patients but only those that were longterm paying patients.

When we checked my in-laws into a facility, they wanted to know about the money. They made sure we knew that they'd be evicted if we didn't pay.

I suspect the woman in the article qualifies as a well meaning idiot. She could have found a facility that would have been less expensive than what it appears she paid on her own. I have known people totally committed to "my mother/father will never have to go to a nursing home" mentality. They will do unbelieveable things to meet their goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostDone
My grandmother lived for 2 years in one room of my Aunt's house. She had a portable toilet that that smelled of urine all the time. I suspect they didn't want to put her in a nursing home because it would have depleted their inheritance, but it would have been much better for my grandmother.
They may have been after the money; but if that was the goal, they really earned it. This is also based on dealing with my in-laws before we put them in the facility. We had to deal with soft-hearted, well meaning SIL that lived several states away the was looking for ways to keep her father out of assisted living. All options involved my DW and me working 24-7 to take care of him. I don't know how we could be so hard-hearted. I did offer to put him on a plane and she started backing off fast.


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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 05:22 PM   #5
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Re: not only no inheritance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B

They may have been after the money; but if that was the goal, they really earned it. This is also based on dealing with my in-laws before we put them in the facility. We had to deal with soft-hearted, well meaning SIL that lived several states away the was looking for ways to keep her father out of assisted living. All options involved my DW and me working 24-7 to take care of him. I don't know how we could be so hard-hearted. I did offer to put him on a plane and she started backing off fast.
One thing I noted was that in each case there was only ONE adult child caring for the elderly parent.....no telling where the rest of the family was, but my experience is that the responsibility tends to be lumped onto whoever is nearest, best equipped financially, or most soft-hearted.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: not only no inheritance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4cash
One thing I noted was that in each case there was only ONE adult child caring for the elderly parent.....no telling where the rest of the family was, but my experience is that the responsibility tends to be lumped onto whoever is nearest, best equipped financially, or most soft-hearted.
That's the truth. My poor sisters were closest when my father went terminal. They was there and lived with it until the end. The rest of us poor tu*ds were there at the funeral. From my in-laws, soft-hearted only comes into play when they are telling the closest siblings what they should do.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: not only no inheritance...

we've lived relatively lucky lives. mom raised two kids who would never let anything bad happen to her and protected our own finances as well as our generous inheritance with long term insurance. we both lived 20 minutes from her home so we were able to maintain her illusion of independence very far into the disease. besides having sound financial resources and excellent family cooperation, my brother and i also utilized every resource society made available: the alzheimer's association, our local university's memory center, private psychiatrists.

all that was helpful and available we incorporated into mom's care. finally we could no longer keep mom at home as she started refusing help there. following advice of the alzheimer's association to 1st and foremost keep mom safe and of mom's living will instructing us to provide her with a social life, we entered mom into a local nursing home for the last 3 years (where for the first year and a half mom became apparent social director & nurse's aid helping those worse off than she--what a lady.)

the nursing home cost $60plusk/year, most of that covered by insurance. i picked it based on the fabulous chocolate cake they had out for their residents on the day i happened to visit. well, also they had a wonderful actual activities director. we were able to keep mom and her dog together in a double private room sporting over 650 sq ft. there we arranged lots of mom's furniture but the grand wouldn't fit so we got her an upright to play. that little dog ruled the nursing home and we gave puppydog to the home's director on mom's passing.

at the same time my family suffered this, i had four other friends undergoing similar lives. one took care of her mother suffering alzheimer's without help of two other siblings who live states away. none of them have money to speak of. my friend lives in a ratty building slightly offset from a major highway. her mom lived next door. my friend quit work to care for her mom full time. one sister was supportive in spirit but never gave my friend even a week off. the other sister not only never helped, but criticized at every turn and, being a jew for jesus, spent most of her time telling my friend she is damned to hell. this sister did visit once when the mother was in the hospital and left a bible on the bed. my friend didn't think that was very helpful.

without the resources money and good family can provide, my friend also would not take any of my advice to utilize resources offered by society. she was frozen in depression and i could not break away from my life to offer better help. finally, one day, she entered her mother's apartment. there she found her mom stuck in bed, her legs swollen to the point of scarey, her body laying in urine. after some time at the hospital, my friend finally brought her mother to a nursing home which accepted medicaid for alzheimer's patients. they didn't serve chocolate cake, but the place was clean, her mom got good care and it was close to my friend's apartment so she could visit frequently. her mom died two months before mine.

another friend whose mom also has alzheimer's has stopped talking to me because i read him the riot act. an only child, he has done nothing to care for his mother. all he did was go to the lawyer to make sure she wouldn't be able to write him out of the will. his mother has become paranoid of him in her delusions and he can't separate his feelings from her disease. he lives only a town away and so drives by her house, i guess, to make sure his inheritance hasn't caught fire yet.

i have two other friends caring for their elders. both of these guys are very loving & caring & responsible. one has lots of money and so his fil is in an excellent facility in florida. the other is not a case of alzheimer's, just of gotten old.

my friend's mother wants to die at home, where my friend lives with her. she doesn't want help in the house, she doesn't want to go to a nursing home. he has to be gone all day working. she falls when she tries to walk. she is becoming incontinent and he refuses my advice to have her wear diapers. he doesn't want to embarrass her. good god, what is my friend thinking? he won't listen to me when i explain that she can't be crapping in bed with him cleaning it up. he doesn't hear me when i tell him she needs the care a nursing home can provide so that she doesn't break a bone and wind up in even more pain for the next 12 months. but he lives with her & cares for her and he's doing the very best he can given her strong will.

i have stopped trying to offer him advice as i do not want to lose another friend.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 09:40 PM   #8
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Re: not only no inheritance...

This quote from the article always bugs me:

“Should this burden fall solely on the individual and the family?” asked Judy Feder, dean of the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University.

I think, "who else?".

I assume she means "the government" ought to pay. If these situations are really common, there is no point in expecting the taxpayers to pay for them, because we'll pay more in taxes than we save in individual spending.

If these very expensive situations are rare, then as individuals we ought to be able to cover them with private insurance.

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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-30-2006, 11:23 PM   #9
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Re: not only no inheritance...

Depressing story but it does not have to be that way.
The person in the article means well but will live to regret leading with her heart. You do your parent or youself no good by mortgaging your future to take care of an elderly relative.

After nearly 32 years working in Long Term Care as a nurse I can offer this advice.
The best thing all children can do is to get educated about what your options are. The AARP is a good place to start. Through their web site and the books that they publish you can find a wealth of information about what you can do the assist your parent as they age. Do a web search about care giving and the elderly.

No one ever wants to go into a Nursing Home. Every one want to stay home and be independent and your loved one will always try to make you promice never to send them to a nursing home. This is not always possible or realistic and the worse thing you can do in some cases it keep them home.

My parents tried that with me and I refused to make that promice. I told them I will do the best that I can to keep you home but your safety comes first. If your no longer safe at home your outta here. No they were not thrilled but it gave me the room I needed to work with them. For example modifying the house so the they can stay in it.

If you know what your options are you can make a educated decision. It is best to do this before the situation is staring you in the face. Plan ahead.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-31-2006, 01:09 AM   #10
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Re: not only no inheritance...

We just went through this with my MIL. She was a nurse who smoked all her life and ended up with lung cancer. We took care of her for her last 18 months. My observations.

1) Except for one sister who moved in with us, her family was pretty useless. They would come down and expect us to feed them too. We don't drink so at least they had to go out and buy their own booze. And at the funeral, they patted themselves on the back for all they did for her. It isn't just the economic costs but the emotional ones.

2) Thank goodness for Medicare. I believe that she ran up over $600K in bills for multiple hospital visits. She also had supplemental insurance which paid for the rest. I will not retire without that insurance. However, they only pay for 100 days of nursing home a year. My MIL ran over the limit by five days and the home ended up eating.

3) Have a will. She had everything sorted out although one sister refused to sign the paperwork for six months because she thought she was being cheated.

4) Hospice is great. The picture in the article reminded me of this. The hospice people came into our home and helped out a lot.

Intesting article. I remember the whole bit of buying stuff because it was needed.
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Re: not only no inheritance...
Old 12-31-2006, 06:47 AM   #11
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Re: not only no inheritance...

Lazy,

An excellent summary of your experiences. I have seen similar dynamics. Elder care is a lot like good financial planning. There's the "easy" way that turns out hard in the end and the "hard" way that is what works best. There's only so much that an individual or small group of unskilled people can do before a nursing home or assisted living facility is the right place for someone no matter how much they don't want to go there.

DW used the Alzheimer's Association for support before and after moving her father. He drove her nuts with saying he wasn't going to move out of his house. He had numerous symptoms of incapacity and the diagnosis was solid from a neurologist. She ended up spending almost a month with him full time before she knew it was beyond her. DW's sister was against moving him. He just needed "a little more help." She didn't want to do anything that he was "uncomfortable" with. She wanted my wife to hold on for 3 more months and then she could come in and relieve her for a week. Family dynamics can really be a pain in the butt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent
This quote from the article always bugs me:

“Should this burden fall solely on the individual and the family?” asked Judy Feder, dean of the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University.

I think, "who else?".

I assume she means "the government" ought to pay. If these situations are really common, there is no point in expecting the taxpayers to pay for them, because we'll pay more in taxes than we save in individual spending.

If these very expensive situations are rare, then as individuals we ought to be able to cover them with private insurance.
Look at who said it. They want government to take over everything. Elder issues are just another step. Unfortunately, the boomers are going to overwhelm the system when we all hit the old folks' homes. Do you think the "lowest common denominator" government care would have made the woman profiled in the original article happy? I don't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
You do your parent or youself no good by mortgaging your future to take care of an elderly relative.

No one ever wants to go into a Nursing Home. Every one want to stay home and be independent and your loved one will always try to make you promice never to send them to a nursing home. This is not always possible or realistic and the worse thing you can do in some cases it keep them home.

My parents tried that with me and I refused to make that promice. I told them I will do the best that I can to keep you home but your safety comes first. If your no longer safe at home your outta here. No they were not thrilled but it gave me the room I needed to work with them. For example modifying the house so the they can stay in it.

If you know what your options are you can make a educated decision. It is best to do this before the situation is staring you in the face. Plan ahead.
Excellent advice. I don't know anyone that is not "really old" that tells me they want their children to go through hell trying to let them stay in their home. Somehow, elder minds go and become fixated on "staying in their home." I've told my kids to watch what we are going through and don't do it to themselves. When we need to go, make us go.

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