Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Long-Term Care

The Motley Fool had some good information yesterday on long-term care. Ignore their advice at your peril! It amazes me how much denial Americans indulge in regarding their inevitable decline. Then I remember I denied my ass off, when I was younger. It's what we do.

From the article:

Only about 4% (or 1 in 25) of the elderly reside in a nursing home at any point in time. Nevertheless ... one out of five people aged 65 and older has self-care or mobility limitations, while one out of nine has cognitive/mental limitations. ...

83% of people who need long-term help live in the community, and more than three-fourths who do so rely on unpaid assistance from family, friends, or volunteers. Only 8% rely solely on paid help. Even two out of three of those who require assistance with three or more activities of daily living (ADLs) rely exclusively on unpaid help. Family, friends, and volunteers, then, provide the bulk of assistance to those who receive long-term care outside of nursing homes, and they do so largely at no charge.

The author goes on to say that long-term care insurance may provide a cushion for those of us unlucky enough to need assistance and not have the free care family or friends can provide.

What I take from this is that I need to start being a lot more charming if I expect to cultivate friendships with younger (healthier, stronger) people who might be inclined to drop in once in a while to take out my trash or shovel my walk. I will start working on hilarious and heartwarming stories of The Old Days right away.

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