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Elliemae, I need your advice about something

By turtledove follow turtledove   2016 Sep 16, 12:27pm 4,656 views   17 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


@elliemae

Hey there. I have a question for you. My husband's parents are getting on in age. His mother is suffering from dementia, but physically healthy. His father seems to be doing well all around. She's 75, he's around 80.

His father says they have these insurance policies that they got a long time ago that give them lifetime benefits for their care. I tried looking it up, but all I could find were policies that had limits on the number of years that the benefits would pay out (like 10 years). His father insists that his policy is good for his and his wife's lives. But I haven't read the policy myself, so I cannot be sure. But I'm sure he's probably right. He usually is.

That said, is there a type of care that would be a good fit for them? SHE obviously needs an entirely different level of care than he does. He would be much happier at one of those places that's more like a cruise ship than a nursing home. He doesn't want to send her somewhere. They've been married for over 50 years. But she is basically like a toddler, at this point. My husband was telling me that just today she made herself a sandwich, forgot, then made herself another sandwich. She talks about her job, and the last thing she remembers is when she taught high school, which was before my husband was even born. For the rest of her career, which was over 20 years, she was a social worker. But she doesn't recall any of that.

The father is very independent. He doesn't seem to want to move in with us. It would help if I understood the options better. The different types of care. Surely, this isn't the only couple where one partner is far worse than the other... He doesn't want to be separated from her, understandably... Are there facilities that cater to this particular problem? A facility that has nursing capabilities, but is also more condo-like for the partner who is basically fine? Perhaps I'm just not using the right terminology, but all I see are facilities that are one or the other... Anyway, a point in the right direction would be appreciated.... and what questions should I be asking about his insurance policy?

#aging

1   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 1:10pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thank you so much Ironman. I appreciate the info.

2   curious2   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 1:14pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

1) Thanks for posting this, it's good to see something possibly helpful and useful on PatNet from time to time.
2) I haven't read the particular policy, but remain skeptical of insurance and the American financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable people generally.

If the parents like travel, then they might like Mexico, Costa Rica, or Chile. In those places, they might not depend on American insurance to pay for anything. If they want to secure the value of the insurance policy, they might either keep it as backup or try to negotiate a deal to cash out the policy. Viatical settlements began with life insurance, but there seems no inherent reason why they couldn't apply to other types of insurance.

In this country, most things medical/dental/optical tend to cost 3x-10x more than anywhere else on earth, with little correlation between price and value. We have the most uneven system I have ever seen anywhere. People pay all they can afford, usually with no real assurance of getting any value at all in return. The problem results from mandatory dependence, legally prohibiting independent choice: for example, we pay the highest prices in the world for Rx drugs, but the lowest prices in the world for OTC drugs, where we can compare prices and choose independently. Insurance compounds that problem, especially when it becomes mandatory. I wish you success navigating the American insurance system and its promised (but too often illusory) benefits, and I feel truly sorry that your mother-in-law may be losing some of her ability to participate actively in decisions. Elliemae knows much more about how to navigate the Byzantine American cost-shifting system than most people, so I defer to her on that. The best I can say is, if ever they enjoyed a vacation in a country that has high quality and low costs, they might consider visiting again, with an eye towards maybe extending a visit, preferably somewhere grandchildren would enjoy visiting too.

4   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 Sep 16, 1:45pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Crooks...
You might as well spend everything you got then drive off a cliff.
Don't let the crooks win!

curious2 says

"The CI Advantage"

5   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 3:20pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

If the parents like travel, then they might like Mexico, Costa Rica, or Chile.

I'm not seeing that. I think that they are much more likely to go with what they know. I agree that there are some great options outside of the country... I just don't think that they'd be likely to do something like that. This is the copy of the policy summary. I redacted it, obviously. Seems pretty straight forward, but I'm sure there is a lot of fine print that is long gone at this point. And of course, it's the fine print that causes all the problems.

6   curious2   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 3:28pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ranina ranina says

Crooks...

With so many different categories of crooks to choose from, you seem to have chosen the wrong villain.

Ranina ranina says

You might as well spend everything you got then drive off a cliff.

If that's your plan, then good luck with it, you might enjoy watching Harold and Maude first. Just don't enact legislation locking all of us in the trunk of your chosen vehicle. It's a suitable metaphor for our current borrow&spend policy paradigm, which seems likely to persist with either or both major parties in charge.

7   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 3:29pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironman says

What county/state do they live in?

They currently split their time between Tampa and Knoxville, but we'd like to get them to come out to Southern California. My husband is their only child....

8   curious2   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 3:31pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

turtledove says

Southern California.

San Diego borders Tijuana, which some people say isn't Mexico but it's fun to walk back and forth across the border, finding different advantages on each side.

9   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 4:11pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

This is just so much easier with big families. My mom's having bypass surgery in two weeks. We already have her care divvied up among all of us. Unlike my husband's mom, my mom has 100% mental acuity, but she's suddenly developed PAD (peripheral arterial disease). They tried to drill the arteries in her legs and feet, then angioplasty... Now it's bypass surgery. This is a woman (69 years old) who legitimately has a blood pressure of 120/70 (no meds whatsoever). She's 5'10" and 130 pounds. She's not the kind of person who typically develops PAD. It's crazy. But my brothers and I are on it... and no one person is totally responsible here.

Not the case with my husband. There is no one but him to take care of his parents.

10   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 4:18pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I think I figured out the right terminology: Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). This seems to encompass those who live independently with those who needs assisted care. I found a place right near our office (1.5 miles away)... carlsbadbythesea.org. The bond is stiff, but the monthly should be covered. And it would be super convenient for us to visit regularly. We could eat lunch with them daily. We live just 20 miles up I5.

Are bonds typical?

11   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 5:36pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironman says

That place looks nice and should fit their needs. It offers the Independent living for him(with all the events and activities), so he doesn't feel like he's in a "Medical Facility", but has the ability to handle additional medical needs that she needs. These type of places are the best to go to, as when the medical conditions change, they just move to a different level of care in the same community, instead of having to pick-up and move somewhere else. (In most cases the medical needs get more involved, not less). Plus, being close by, that's a biggie.

My thoughts exactly. There's a lot going on at a place like this. It would meet so many needs as they come up. I'm sure there are places like this all over the country. I just hope we can talk him into living closer to us. I hate the idea that he'd be sitting in a place 3,000 miles away... with once/twice a year visits from us...

12   Strategist   ignore (2)   2016 Sep 16, 6:10pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

turtledove says

Ironman says

That place looks nice and should fit their needs. It offers the Independent living for him(with all the events and activities), so he doesn't feel like he's in a "Medical Facility", but has the ability to handle additional medical needs that she needs. These type of places are the best to go to, as when the medical conditions change, they just move to a different level of care in the same community, instead of having to pick-up and move somewhere else. (In most cases the medical needs get more involved, not less). Plus, being close by, that's a biggie.

My thoughts exactly. There's a lot going on at a place like this. It would meet so many needs as they come up. I'm sure there are places like this all over the country. I just hope we can talk him into living closer to us. I hate the idea that he'd be sitting in a place 3,000 miles away... with once/twice a year visits from us...

Glad you identified an ideal place for your in laws. Now for the difficult part of convincing them. Old people can get very stubborn. Hope it works out.

13   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 Sep 16, 7:11pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

What? Was I elected??
curious2 says

Just don't enact legislation locking all of us in the trunk of your chosen vehicle

14   Sharingmyintelligencewiththedumbasses   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 7:53pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

ironman, you have offered helpful advice on this column.

That moves you up a notch in my book.

I won't even call you any insults in this post...

Ok, you're still at notch level -987,832.5, but you have indeed moved up a notch!

15   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 8:29pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironman says

If you were a nice daughter-in-law, you'd let them move in with you!! :)

I didn't know about the money, but that was our first offer.... For them to move in with us. But he just answers with how he's prepared to live in a retirement community... That he has insurance for this. So, I figure he wants his independence and lifestyle.... I can understand that.

16   turtledove   ignore (0)   2016 Sep 16, 9:11pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironman says

That's where he's going to need to do some homework to actually see what's covered. I've never heard of a long term care policy that covers non-medical, independent expenses. Some are borderline if they'll even cover Assisted Living costs. It really depends on how the policy is written.

I've told my husband to come home with the fine print. The statement I put up just doesn't tell me anything.

17   marcus   ignore (12)   2016 Sep 16, 11:05pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

She hasn't commented in nearly a month. When she does, your thread might be buried. If you really need to contact her, you might try

this http://www.thenursinghomesurvivalguide.com/contact-info--ads.html . I don't think the Dr. Wall is her, but who knows. L.E. Green ? Try the email address there.


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