Longterm care of elderly parents and the toll on personal health
I am the wife of an established financial advisor, insurance whole life sales agent and various insurance coverages for annuities, and securities. Yet we still remained in a middle income bracket due to rising chronic medical personal care. It was while taking care of my elderly/aging parents in place, I noticed a distinct difference in my ability to accomplish usual and customary day to day personal chores. It was he who brought up the actuary tables and told me it “costs” an average health care worker either family or outside help – a decline of 12 years for the dedicated healthy care giver. After they passed, both at age 93, I noticed a distinct inability to jump right back in and have any real keen ability, interest or energy in simple things. I’ve had Lyme disease for over 35 years (undiagnosed earlier for 13 yrs) and am 76. It is a lack of social interest in this flailing and failing country to train and reach out by our health administrators to simply do some numbers and ask the doctors some statistics so they can reach out to personal caregivers to support a reasonable program to take over and AGAIN have it minorly free of charge or at least reasonable fees. I was told it was my job either to be independent or pay huge fees for adequate care. I would have gladly paid for washing, car services, cooking and simple chores. It is the middle man or woman who must again support the full load. I went to social services, private services, and ended up using mostly all of my parents hard earned savings, save for a few dollars to bury them because I had no help except to pay exorbitant costs in the state of NY as they needed hands on care, & at one time both were in rehab facilities and to support all this, my husband and I did the best we could. Now we have a generation of grandchildren who feel it’s not their job. I just read we now have a crisis in this country of people who don’t want to work any longer.
We are in a sorry debilitating national state of affairs and I don’t have a real good answer! Anyone who cares to weigh in…pls do. Clearwater Florida.