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Without a long term care policy, I don’t understand how people afford to put their parents in an assisted living facility... and home care is $20 an hour with 4 hr minimum!!!

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My father trained me to save, to invest, and, I did. I also have a cash flow due to rental property. I feel that I will be able to provide myself with the funds needed to go into a upscale home and that is what I intend to do. Unfortunately, today most Americans are poor savers, I am not sure what will happen in 30 years, although, I won't be here, I still wonder.
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rovana Jul 10, 2019
Dolly, too many of us Americans have been stuck in minimum wage jobs...this is not a fault that they did not save, realistically they couldn't. And a great many women are in especially bad shape because they worked in the home, caregiving, raising children, etc. etc. and never had much of a paid/cash economy work record.  But fear not!  I have read that life expectancy is actually declining!  And for a growing number of people the kind of medical miracles that make extended life possible simply will not be there because they will be unaffordable.   Many people do not seem to realize that the US is declining, yes, declining. Has been for some time.  Might I suggest reading the books and essays of Andrew Bracevich?  A thinking conservative.
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I have talked with elder law attorneys and social workers, they all say if you live long enough with a long term illness (like my mom with Parkinson's) everyone will end up on Medicaid. I do the bulk of my mom's care for free, but she still pays for nurses a couple times a week. Right now we're spending down her investments and expect to apply for medicaid in a year or so.
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OkieGranny Jul 9, 2019
Truer words were never spoken!
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Be careful about long term care policies. They are not as good as they once were. Many people end up paying increasingly high premiums until they find they can no longer afford them. All that money ends up going for nothing. Also, be sure to read the fine print. They just don't cover what they used to, and they use every means they can to avoid paying. Personally, I don't think they are worth it.
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Lori1026 Jul 10, 2019
I agree... plus I found out that there is a long list of pre existing conditions that can make you ineligible for a policy!! Which is where we land!
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I was born in 1970. My parents paid cash for everything, we never went on vacation, had fast food ONCE a week. My mill village home wasn’t air conditioned, we had a gas heater in the living room & bathroom. They owned one car (small low end) until my mom went to work in 1979 (another small, low end car). They never, ever had a credit card. Didn’t believe in them! What money didn’t go for bills/food was saved.

In 2003 they finally bought a modern (1970’s, haha!) home, with central heat/air & paid cash. IMO, a nice feat for two school drop-outs.

Dad died without needing extended care, but Mom has required 24\7 paid care since Jan. 2016. She will be going on Medicaid in a few months & is quite upset that the government will be supporting her.

(My favorite aunt, lived in pretty brick house, with that magical cold/hot air that would come out of vents in the floor, a machine that washed the dishes, and drove big, shiny, cars with leather seats. Guess who was borrowing money from whom? Didn’t know that till I was grown.)

My husband grew up the same, exact way, except his mom still lives in an old, UN-remodeled, farmhouse.

My husband & I are very careful how we spend our money, but not to the extent our parents were. People do laugh at us, however. We have a nice savings & currently my husband is set to receive a pretty good pension but even so, we will NOT be able to afford care like my Mom has gotten.
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Care is really so expensive, I agree with you. Does mom have medicaid? If not, I'd work towards getting her qualified, then there will be programs available to her. My dad was in an assisted living (now in a board and care) and the cost was/is more than double what his income is. We had to rally the family troops and everyone contributes financially to make it work. I know not all families can do that. I'm also a geriatric social worker and I've made a video on creative ways to fund senior care.
I also came across a company, https://www.silvernest.com/ that coordinates shared living for seniors, and you could arrange a caregiver situation.

Also, look into your local caregiver resource center, or office on aging for respite grants.

I hope you find a solution!
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rovana Jul 10, 2019
But I'm not sure this answers the poster's question - that is, how long will Medicaid hold out?
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I think having the savings needed at end of life is a result of many things already mentioned here. My parents lived through the depression and were savers, teaching my brother and myself to save at a very early age. My brother is now 85 and just entered assisted living, something he would never have been able to do had he not saved all his life, as many stated below, no cell phone, no TV, coupon cutting, checking every penny, always paying in cash, never using credit. He was a waiter all his life, so made no money, but did make good real estate decisions. His joy was old property bought cheap and brought back to beauty, then resold and on to the next. That's how he ended up with more money than he can outlive, that and the luck of good health so he needed nothing until 85. So it is a matter of both luck and very very hard work to get to the place where you are "secure". And it doesn't happen. And will happen less and less with the college loans that don't get paid off until retirement these days. I shudder to think, but won't BE here to think, so there's that. You are so correct, that either in home care or Assisted Living is just not affordable for so much of our population. And if we become ill early the money is soon enough gone. Do the best you can with any assets, especially real estate. Then it will be medicaid and medicare and what care they will provide. Not easy at all.
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Start planning for Medicaid. If your Mom has assets and money in the bank spend that money towards in home care if needed. When assets are depleted, she will qualify for LTC Medicaid. Start looking at nursing homes in area that accept Medicaid.
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Lori, I can understand the sticker shock of paid home care and senior living facility.

My parents were very fugal their whole lives, lived way below their means, lived off of one income, cut coupons, never bought anything new unless the items was far beyond repair, had one car, etc. So when they become older they had the "rainy day savings", and thank goodness they did.

They also trained me to save, I had my own savings account when I was 5 years old back in the early 1950's so every $1.00 I got from my grandparents for birthdays/holidays went into that account. Started buying stock in the late 1960's. I have my rainy day account all set. Whew.

But I understand that having a rainy day savings is far out of reach for so many people. Especially trying to save today with all the added expenses we never had decades ago, such as those outlandish cable bills and cellphone/computer cost. And credit cards haven't help matters, neither. I remember life before credit cards.

Thank goodness there is Medicaid that will help those that need a village to help with their care. Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] will pay for room/board and care for whomever qualifies.
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My mom owns some property left to her by my dad which he had owned jointly with his brother. Though her brother-in-law refuses to sell the property or give her her share which would be a substantial amount of money, we would have to proceed with litigation in order to get the money she would need to keep her in assisted living. This is a lot of trouble but without the sale of the property she would never have enough money for this type of contingency plan.
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I paid a family friend. We could be more flexible with hours. Fit her needs and his needs and we were not at the mercy of a profit-generating agency. Of course, there was no backup but me. If you can get a network of friends/family to help on a limited basis so no one carries the whole burden, good for you. That takes some organizational skills, too.
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