“Burning Down the House”

Burning house I’m a connections person; I don’t have many original ideas, but I like to think I have a knack for seeing the link between what might be seemingly disparate ideas. So, I’m listening to the radio (which I rarely do), and on comes Burning Down the House by the Talking Heads. Released in 1983 this was part of the group’s fifth album, Speaking in Tongues. For those of you not in the know, speaking in tongues is known as Glossolalia which is a phenomenon in which people appear to speak in languages unknown to them.  Part of the lyrics are:  Continue reading

What to Do When Mom or Dad or Both Move In Redux

(As I mentioned in the previous blog this subject was suggested by a follower, so if you have an issue you want addressed let me know, and if I can address it I will try to do so.)

Herniated disc with pressure on spinal cord

26 years ago I fractured my back at the T7 vertebrae. I was participating in a training exercise and I had a partial parachute malfunction. I actually heard my back break when I hit the runway; it did not help that I was carrying 60 pounds in radios alone. Anyway, I recovered, but I have had back issues since then, and last week I blew out a disc in my back. I was doing something I should not have been: I was getting out of bed. I can only tell you the pain was excruciating; it went on and on for hours, and then around 3 pm it stopped. The negative to this was that I then had nerve impairment, and as a consequence I cannot make my left ankle and the associated muscles work.

I have a number of consults set up, but right now I do not know what will happen with my back and leg.

While I am optimistic, I would give a great deal to “know” that everything will be alright. So it is with most of you as you face the uncertainty of how to care for elderly loved ones. I can only say that the best advice I can give is to prepare now. Old age is coming for us all, and we all need to plan accordingly. Last week I talked about the importance of powers of attorney, and this week I will address advance planning.

Long-term care is incredibly expensive. Right now it costs around $7000 per month to provide the care my mother needs. She has received such care for nearly 18 months; as you can see this amounts to $126,000. My mother-in-law has been in a facility for over 3 1/2 years, amounting to over $315,000!I don’t know about most of you, but I don’t have this amount just lying about. This means you need to plan ahead. One tool for doing so is to invest now in long-term care insurance. I will not mislead you; long-term care insurance is expensive.

The principal advantage to purchasing long-term care insurance is that it will protect family assets in the event long-term care is required. It might be a better idea to think about a whole life policy that allows an individual to use the cash value for long-term care. I am not an expert in this area, but contact me and I can put you in touch with people who can give you more information. Candidly, most people fail to pursue either option, so next week we will talk about Medicaid and other planning options. Until then take care.

 

What to Do When Mom or Dad (or Both) Move In

Serious Senior Man With Adult Daughter At Home

I am writing this in response to a request made by a blog follower whose elderly mother just moved in with her. If you have issues you would like addressed please let us know, and if I can I will try to address them. This said, whether we like it or not, our population is aging. Where I live the latest demographic studies suggest that in 20 years the majority of county residents will be seniors. Moreover, I have come to know first-hand the effects of this trend as both my mother and mother-in-law are in long term care facilities. So what to do?  Continue reading