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Old 11-03-2020, 12:21 AM   #41
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My mom had 3 bouts of cancer between 78-90. It didn’t slow down her travels until the third bout at 87. She lived alone until a week before she died. She didn’t spend much the last 3 years because of her health.
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:24 AM   #42
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I let it be known to my kids that I don't want any of that care. When I am older if I fall down in the back yard and hit my head on rock, let it be. Don't blow money getting my diaper changed for years. I am not sure if this will be an option, as we go on the state seems to show who is in charge.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:11 AM   #43
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"Letting you go" is not a real option, unless you live all by yourself with no one around.

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I let it be known to my kids that I don't want any of that care. When I am older if I fall down in the back yard and hit my head on rock, let it be. Don't blow money getting my diaper changed for years. I am not sure if this will be an option, as we go on the state seems to show who is in charge.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:29 AM   #44
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This pandemic has given me a window into stay-at-home spending.

The upshot: not much! I'm really surprised at how low our spending is going to be this year.

Of course, care expenses are another matter. My experiences match Braumeister's observations on page 1.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:57 AM   #45
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I let it be known to my kids that I don't want any of that care. When I am older if I fall down in the back yard and hit my head on rock, let it be. Don't blow money getting my diaper changed for years. I am not sure if this will be an option, as we go on the state seems to show who is in charge.
If I totally have no quality of life I would probably feel the same way. But what if you are 90, still doing pretty good but you cannot drive and you need some help for things like taking a shower, preparing meals, grocery shopping, etc. Maybe you need to be in assisted living with some caretakers. Don't you want some help then?
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Old 11-03-2020, 08:13 AM   #46
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If I totally have no quality of life I would probably feel the same way. But what if you are 90, still doing pretty good but you cannot drive and you need some help for things like taking a shower, preparing meals, grocery shopping, etc. Maybe you need to be in assisted living with some caretakers. Don't you want some help then?
I guess it is a matter of perspective. Not sure how good of a quality of life that is if I can't clean myself or cook, etc. Food could always be delivered. I would still say let me do my best at home. If I am 90 and I am struggling with these things, let it be. I would rather keep trying at home than in a "care" home.

We have a bit of land (under 2 acres), which is why I say something about falling outside. To me, to extend my years by 3 - 5 having someone care for me, particularly if I can't think or don't have my memory seems like an awful waste of money.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:29 AM   #47
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Here is an interesting essay that relates to some of the foregoing: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...-at-75/379329/

The author (an oncologist and bioethicist) argues for a cessation of most medical treatment for himself, even routine care, past a certain age. (He chooses 75, but I would choose a later age, perhaps 80.) This article helped me realize how deeply ingrained the “normalness” of aggressive life-preserving care presently is, even for elderly people.
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Old 11-03-2020, 10:27 AM   #48
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When Mom & Dad downsized form their 3BDRM, 3 car garage, two story 100+ year-old house into a 3 BDRM apartment in their late 80s, I was sure that the ~$1,000 a month rent would cause them to start using up their savings. Much to my surprise, it did not. As things turned out, water & sewer, heat, and basic cable were included with their rent. They gained a covered, heated parking space for their car and onsite laundry facilities. And no more repair bills. By then, they did not take trips out of town, so they lived comfortably, if economically, on ~$25k per year. They were not internet savy, so shopping online was never an issue for them.

That has changed since Mom passed away at 95 and Dad moved into assisted living. He runs about a $2,500 per month deficit now and I've had to start selling some of his assets. If he does not need more care, then his savings should last another 6 years. Dad will be 99 in January. He started with about $250k invested roughly 65/35. Dad did alright for them, especially considering how little he earned in his lifetime.

Note that they were both mostly healthy and Dad choose a good HMO to supplement Medicare.

Edit to add: Dad has pretty bad arthritis and needs a wheelchair, so once Mom died, he was not able to stay in the apartment on his own. He has a DNR and in no way wants any medical treatment that would extend his life.
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Old 11-03-2020, 11:04 AM   #49
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My stepmom (93) is in a high end independent & assisted living facility. She splurged on a one bedroom (vs studio) with an ocean and bay view. Those two splurges added $1500/mo to rent - which is $8500/mo. She does not have a meal plan - which is no longer allowed for new residents... but she was grandfathered in. We had an outdoor visit with her last week - she's still going strong but misses playing bridge. (They make residents maintain social distance - which doesn't work for bridge.) Her youngest daughter brings her groceries 1x/week. My sister's former MIL lived at the same facility with a studio and no view for a lot less.

My MIL is in memory care. She was in a fairly fancy place outside Philadelphia and it was $7k/month... Unfortunately, the care was meh.... For a variety of reasons we moved her to suburban Detroit, near a different family member. Care is much better and it's only $4k/month. Mentally she's gone, but physically she's still fairly healthy - she turns 94 in a few days. BIL has 'window visits' with her several times a week.

We're budgeting for something similar to my stepmom...
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Old 11-03-2020, 12:41 PM   #50
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Regarding health care costs versus long term care, with Dad, health care has not been an issue. He had a recent 13 day hospital stay for a bad fall, mostly just lots of bruising, so I believe the hospital kept him because they could bill Medicare (not enough patients due to Covid.) His out of pocket including the ambulance ride came to ~$2,000, or less than one month's withdrawal from savings to cover his assisted living rent.

Dad has a 1 BDRM ground floor apartment in what was a brand new facility when he moved in. He gets all of his meals and has laundry and housekeeping services for $4,400/month. That's for level II care. His facility offers assisted living (1 person assist), and memory care. That seems to be the trend here. Only a few places offer skilled nursing care in the area. Mentally Dad is fine so his risk is with getting too weak to be able to safely transfer without the help of more than 1 aid. FWIW I think his assist living operator is motivated to keep Dad as a paying resident. We went from too little capacity to too much here and his facility has never been more than 50% occupied.
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:04 PM   #51
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Dad lived to 97 and was at home (alone) until 10 days before his death. He spent next to nothing from age 80 - 97 and easily got by on his SS. He got lucky. The last few years were really hard on him physically but he was determined to avoid the nursing home. I often felt he would have a much more fulfilling life had he spent some time with other people in assisted living than sitting at home alone those last few years.

I doubt I make it anywhere near his age, but I don't think I will be as stubborn as he was about getting help. I finally got him to use a housekeeper once a month and he would "hide" from her when she came to the door. We went through several agencies because he wouldn't let them in or would always cancel. He didn't want to spend the money and didn't "need any help".
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Old 11-03-2020, 05:16 PM   #52
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My mom is 91 and we just moved her to a place where she pays $3,900 for a one bedroom apt with two meals a day and light housekeeping. Utilities and cable are included, plus she gets a medical alert pendant and there are a couple alert buttons in her apartment as well. The place has a gym, craft room, theater, and several open areas with nice furniture, books, and TVs. They also offer free transportation within a 10-mile radius. She gave up driving last year, and loosing that independence has been hard for her, but so far she hasn't wanted to use the free transportation. She still gets around pretty well on foot without a walker, though she should probably use one outside at least.

Mom could have stayed in her previous apartment a while longer if she'd have allowed people to help her more. I take her out for all errands and appointments, but she always declined help with housekeeping and bathing. She was also needing help when DH and I were out of town, someone to check on her, take her grocery shopping, and maybe take her out for a meal now and then. But she wouldn't let me bring in hired help. That was becoming a sore point between her and me, that I no longer felt comfortable leaving town and leaving her alone. She'd been having more frequent little emergencies, and I could see me getting a panicky phone call when DH and I were three states or three countries away. I hated trying to talk to her about it because she'd always get so emotional and accuse me of treating her like a 3-year old. But finally she conceded and decided to move into the assisted living place. I know she doesn't like spending so much more for rent, but she can afford it and the peace of mind is worth it for DH and me.
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:01 PM   #53
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My aunt is 95 and has someone grocery shop, clean and do her laundry. She eats lean cuisines and her daughter brings her some meals. She started paying for help 5 years ago. My mom took care of herself until a week before she died of cancer at almost 90. I intend to follow their lead. Actually I doubt that I will make it to 90.
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Old 11-06-2020, 06:56 PM   #54
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FIL moved into a small Board and Care facility (no memory care) 7 yrs ago at age 83 when he developed Alzheimers. SIL lives a couple of blocks away and pre-Covid would do activities with him at least 4+ days/wk. I believe the cost at the time he moved in was $4,500/mo for his own bedroom and all meals/care, not sure what the cost is now. There is no nursing care on-site though. He pays for it out of his investment portfolio and social security, is physically still very healthy, and could easily live at least 5-10 more years. This is in Orange County, CA, a HCOL area.

From what I've seen, as long as someone is around to supervise closely, small board and cares can be an excellent and cost effective option. FIL is an introvert and had absolutely no desire to spend his final years in a larger facility with more residents.
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:19 AM   #55
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My stepmom (93) is in a high end independent & assisted living facility. She splurged on a one bedroom (vs studio) with an ocean and bay view. Those two splurges added $1500/mo to rent - which is $8500/mo. She does not have a meal plan - which is no longer allowed for new residents... but she was grandfathered in. We had an outdoor visit with her last week - she's still going strong but misses playing bridge. (They make residents maintain lolsocial distance - which doesn't work for bridge.) Her youngest daughter brings her groceries 1x/week. My sister's former MIL lived at the same facility with a studio and no view for a lot less.

My MIL is in memory care. She was in a fairly fancy place outside Philadelphia and it was $7k/month... Unfortunately, the care was meh.... For a variety of reasons we moved her to suburban Detroit, near a different family member. Care is much better and it's only $4k/month. Mentally she's gone, but physically she's still fairly healthy - she turns 94 in a few days. BIL has 'window visits' with her several times a week.

We're budgeting for something similar to my stepmom...
Up until COVID, my assumption was that I would move to a CCRC when the time came. There have been way too many stories from friends about parents being virtually imprisoned and I have changed my mind. I will stay at home and if need be pay for any assistance needed. I can afford it although it may mean less of an inheritance for the kids.
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:50 AM   #56
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Up until COVID, my assumption was that I would move to a CCRC when the time came. There have been way too many stories from friends about parents being virtually imprisoned and I have changed my mind. I will stay at home and if need be pay for any assistance needed. I can afford it although it may mean less of an inheritance for the kids.

I wonder if you could expand on the "virtually imprisoned" portion of your post.

DW and I have been investigating several local plan A CCRC's over the past couple of years including visits, interviewing current residents, studying the available literature, etc. We've generally liked what we've seen. The biggest issue for us has been trying to pick the sweet spot between going in too young and waiting until you no longer qualify due to health issues.

We have observed that COVID-19 brought on some negative, and hopefully temporary, changes. Events for prospective clients were moved online. Current residents had meals delivered to their apartments instead of going to one of the dining rooms or snack shops. The workout area and pool were closed. Guest visits were limited.


Generally, it hasn't looked much worse than self-isolating at home and they've been successful in not having a major virus outbreak. But, your comment troubled me. What are you hearing?
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:47 AM   #57
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The biggest issue for us has been trying to pick the sweet spot between going in too young and waiting until you no longer qualify due to health issues.
I've read several times that the early 80s is the most typical age. Whether that's best for most people is a different question.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:17 PM   #58
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I've read several times that the early 80s is the most typical age. Whether that's best for most people is a different question.
Well, certainly it seems like that would be old enough to not feel like "the kid" in the group and be comfortable with the other folks you meet there, etc. When we visit the place we're most interested in, we are obviously younger than the majority of folks we see and interact with.

The catch is that to qualify for a type A contract, you need to be totally independent and have no medical history indicating you're a likely NH candidate in the short run. And, for some personal reasons, we're interested in a type A contract even though we can self-insure.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:52 PM   #59
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I wonder if you could expand on the "virtually imprisoned" portion of your post.

DW and I have been investigating several local plan A CCRC's over the past couple of years including visits, interviewing current residents, studying the available literature, etc. We've generally liked what we've seen. The biggest issue for us has been trying to pick the sweet spot between going in too young and waiting until you no longer qualify due to health issues.

We have observed that COVID-19 brought on some negative, and hopefully temporary, changes. Events for prospective clients were moved online. Current residents had meals delivered to their apartments instead of going to one of the dining rooms or snack shops. The workout area and pool were closed. Guest visits were limited.
Generally, it hasn't looked much worse than self-isolating at home and they've been successful in not having a major virus outbreak. But, your comment troubled me. What are you hearing?
We are current Independent Living residents of at a 3 year old Type A CCRC in W. Wash. While there are a lot more rules related to masking and social distancing, we certainly are not imprisoned. Last Spring when Covid first struck, we did have strict 2 week quarantine in your apt. if you traveled out of state or were in an airport. The dining rooms and common areas including gym were closed. We were provided grocery shopping at no cost if desired and meal delivery to the our apt. Dining is still limited to take out.
Due to state regs, the folks in our Assist Living/Skilled Nursing apts. have had more restrictions. Even our residents with spouses in Assist Living have had their visitations tightly regulated and limited to "window visits".
Our professional staff has been very diligent about limiting non-residents coming onsite especially at the outset. All our CCRC staff have their temps taken every day when coming to work and now have regular Covid screening. As a result, we have NO Covid infections by any resident. We did have a part time kitchen employee test positive but there was no subsequent spread to any of the staff.
Clearly, the Assist Living/Skill Nursing residents have felt the most inconvenience but they are also safe and healthy and have access to a host of resources for everything from computer assistance for connecting to family to full shopping assistance A lot of folks have become more Internet literate and Zoom skilled.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:54 PM   #60
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I wonder if you could expand on the "virtually imprisoned" portion of your post.

DW and I have been investigating several local plan A CCRC's over the past couple of years including visits, interviewing current residents, studying the available literature, etc. We've generally liked what we've seen. The biggest issue for us has been trying to pick the sweet spot between going in too young and waiting until you no longer qualify due to health issues.

We have observed that COVID-19 brought on some negative, and hopefully temporary, changes. Events for prospective clients were moved online. Current residents had meals delivered to their apartments instead of going to one of the dining rooms or snack shops. The workout area and pool were closed. Guest visits were limited.


Generally, it hasn't looked much worse than self-isolating at home and they've been successful in not having a major virus outbreak. But, your comment troubled me. What are you hearing?
A neighbor and his wife want to travel to Wisconsin to see his parents. The CCRC where the parents live will not allow them to visit. That is a choice I do not wish to abdicate to an organization that has its own best interests in mind. The children are in their 70s and do not want to try driving during the middle of the winter. That puts a visit off until next spring or summer. They haven't seen the parents for quite a while. I hope 6 or 8 months from now is not too late.

Please keep in mind that this is a very personal view from one who is more than happy to have my kids come up and stay as they wish. Isolation is a product of where I live so contacts outside the very small local community and family are very limited for me.
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