Nursing homes are one of the top three dreaded outcomes that Boomers fear the most. The other two are Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, a trifecta of destinies they hope to be spared from at the end of life. While none of these three appear to be receding, one of them is inadvertently moving out of reach for a segment of the Boomer cohort. I am of course referring to nursing homes.
This recent CBS report documents that the cost of nursing home care is rising faster than the overall cost of healthcare, much faster. Boomers are are now faced with annual costs for skilled nursing care running between between $75,000 and $100,000. (Read full article here). This rapid rise in the most advanced sector of the senior housing market creates yet another disintermediation between those who will be able to afford skilled care and those who will not. Equally disturbing, it adds yet another debilitating expense to the unavoidable devouring of all available assets by healthcare in the final phase of life.
This epidemic of “unaffordability” of the essentials of health care is not what Boomers envisioned for their aging society. They thought all the sobering choices would be mostly philosophical, related mostly to how far we wanted to go to stay alive. And while these choices are still in play, a riptide of draconian financial debt is pulling all of them out into a sea of sociological despair, earning a spot as the fourth dreaded outcome. This is the one the Boomers didn’t see coming and seem at a loss as to how change it…
One response to “The Dreaded Outcome Boomers Never Envisioned”
This is a topic that stirs passionate discussion among many people I know. Unfortunately, the discussion never seems to lead to viable answers for this epidemic which grows worse by the day.
I had to place my widowed mother in a nursing home recently because she required much more care than could be afforded at home. Fortunately, she is eligible for Medicaid.
I know of some people who could not afford care-giving anymore and were left with no other option than to go to the local hospital emergency room. Once treated they cannot be discharged because they have nowhere to go and no one to care for them. The State will end up paying for their care.
I don’t know what the solution is, but I hope there are some bright minds putting effort into finding one.