Sunday, December 2, 2007

News Item: Chicago Tribune 8/4/07. Children Outsourcing Parents to India

We’ve all seen the bumper sticker that says, “Be Nice to Your Children, They Get to Choose Your Nursing Home”. Believe it.

A recent story in the Tribune cites an 89 years old woman with advanced Parkinson’s disease who receives daily massages, physical therapy and 24 hour help in transference and bathroom assistance, for just over $15 a day. In the USA, that would be more like $18 to $20 an hour.

Add to that the expense of drugs – about 20% of those in this country – and the numbers look pretty good. Plus the cost of “staff” (wouldn’t you love to have “staff”?) is so low that retirees – even those needing long term care - can actually bank some of their Social Security checks!

With nursing home costs averaging over $6,000 a month (and climbing rapidly) in the USA and home health care expenses that exceed that amount if 10 or more hours of care a day is required, people are seeking other solutions.

Too many families are still looking desperately to Medicaid to help them. It is probably not a good idea to count on this in the future. A recent study shows that only 7% of the all the Medicaid recipients are receiving benefits for Long Term Care. The vast majority are receiving assistance for poverty programs – not for Long Term Care.

But those 7% LTC recipients actually cost the state and federal governments over 54% of the Medicaid budget! Clearly, Medicaid, as we know it, can not continue without bankrupting our nation.

Moving to a foreign countries is a solution, I guess. One friend is really planning to retire to Thailand, but he already has children there who are missionaries. Another plans to use St Kitts as his “Long Term Care Solution”. But he, too, has family there.

Thanks, but no thanks.

More and more families are looking to Long Term Care Insurance, or asset based LTC solutions. Personally, I would prefer this solution to being shipped off to India, or Thailand, or St Kitts.

Not that I have anything against these place, but do they have pizza? Or UCF and U of Toledo football games on TV? Probably not.

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