Dilbert cartoon followers know the humor the cartoon strip writer Scott Adams uses to entertain us with the happenings of daily office life. The cartoon can always spark a life for those of us who show up for work at an office each day. Now Mr. Adams has opened up to share the challenges of caring for an aging parent with his blog post titled: "I Hope My Father Dies Soon".
Mr. Adam's father, age 86, is bed-ridden and as Mr. Adams says, if his father were a cat, he would have been put to sleep long ago and nobody would have ever looked back. It would have been the right answer for someone who has lost 98% of their mind and has lost their physical capabilities. Instead, he pays $8,000 a month to stay in a state of perpetual suffering. Mr Adams has a way with words and I encourage you to read his blog post on why he hopes his father will die soon.
Senior care services can easily cost $8,000 a month for round-the-clock care. And right now, Medicare and Medicaid really provide all or nothing senior care services when it comes to long-term care. Medicaid, a service provided in conjunction with state and federal funds, provides ongoing nursing home care until someone dies but unfortunately that care usually must be provided only in a nursing home. And a senior must qualify for this level of total care.
Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care. This means most of us will be in the same situation as the Dilbert cartoonist's father - we will have to privately pay for the senior care services and if we have not invested in long-term care insurance, these costs could become as high as $8,000 per month and burn through our life-savings.
The hope is that most seniors will only need part-time senior care to maintain their daily activities of living. But insurance analysts suggest that everyone plan for 2 years of senior care services.
As the nation's baby boomer population continues to live longer and will increase by as much as 70% in the coming decade, the ethical issues around keeping seniors alive when there is no longer any quality of life will become one of the areas of concern for everyone. Especially as we must tackle how to pay for senior care for both those who can privately pay and through our tax dollars for those who cannot privately pay for senior care and are on Medicaid care.
Mr. Adams shares that he feels doctor-assisted suicide should be an option, as none of us should be forced to die a long, slow painful death when it has already been confirmed we are at the end of our road.
How much does senior care cost?:
Nursing home care gives the best view into the real costs of full nursing care for seniors. Here are some of the costs of nursing homes:
- Alden Estates of Barrington in Barrington, Illinois costs $263 to $362 per day for nursing home care
- Brighton Place in Spring Valley, California costs $165 per day for nursing home care
- Mount Vernon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria, Virginia costs $236 to $270 per day for nursing home care
Learn about nursing home care costs in the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory and share with us your comments on end-of-life care.