WLG On Our Mind

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Don’t Ruin Your Life vs. Don’t Put Me in a Nursing Home

Families deal with aging in different ways. We all hope that, if we are struck by Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s or another Dementia, our spouses and our children will be willing to step up and be there for us.  At the same time, many of us are torn between our desire to be taken care of by our own family and the realization that if our spouse or children take care of us, the caretaking will takeover their lives.  Our instinct is to protect them, even in the face of our own needs.  According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP over 65.7 million people take care of someone who is ill, disabled or aged in the U.S. without compensation.

We may be forced to wrestle with how to save our families from our own needs.  Bringing outside care providers into our homes can quickly consume our life’s savings and quickly eat up our family’s nest egg.  Agency supplied care providers often start at $18 an hour and peak at $28/hr. Privately found and paid caregivers can be less, but are unknown and working unsupervised can pose a threat to a Senior’s person, finances, and dignity. Most Seniors are very hesitant to spend their life savings on in home care.  This quandary quickly becomes a quagmire.

As a nation, we are very loyal in our commitment to take care of our spouses and parents.  How much should we be willing to sacrifice? How much do we want our spouses to endure and our children to sacrifice?  At what point do we want them to find a suitable care facility for us? How much of their lives must they give up before getting help? Do we want them to continue to carry the burden of keeping us at home if we no longer know we are there?  The Washington Post ‘Promise you’ll never put me in a nursing home’ recently focused in on these issues, and came away without an answer.

These are thorny issues that need to be discussed and revisited every few years.  Part of the discussion needs to be the best ways to pay for care.  Including an elder law attorney in that discussion is critical.  Elder law attorneys are experienced in helping families arrange their affairs to qualify for public entitlements and Veterans’ benefits to help pay for a Senior’s care.  At the Weissler Law Group, we are accustomed to helping families prepare for and face these issues. We believe that everyone deserves to be cared for when they are old and that being able to access help to pay for in home or residential care can make an enormous difference.  If elder care is not yet a crisis for your family, call us today at (619) 281-1888 to plan for tomorrow.  If you are dealing with overwhelming care needs today, call us immediately at (619) 281-1888 to find out what can still be done to protect family assets and pay for care. 

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