comparing the costs of families …

… The national average for nursing home costs roughly $168 a day. MetLife estimates that to be $61,320 annually outsourcing the care of our elderly to senior assisted living or nursing homes. That’s a lot of money. What happens if you want to retire at 65 and end up living till you 85? The cost for 20 years of care would be $1,226,400. That’s even more money. Way more.

Medicare and Medicaid only provide limited amounts of assistance, and even then you have to exhaust all your assets before you start receiving those benefits. Drain those bank accounts, sell the house, use up all the retirement. Forget saving any money in your will for your family.

Whether the money for this care comes from your own personal savings, government subsidies, or a combination of both it is still a shameful waste.

Now this is obviously a hypothetical scenario with many factors that play into the numbers. Many won’t retire at 65. Many 65 and plus adults live quite competently in their homes and don’t require assistance till they are further advanced in age. Even then, those who take care of their health may only require at home care on a part time basis for significantly less the estimated cost.

Now compare the numbers above with the cost of having aging relatives live with their families.

You have the monthly additional costs of utilities and food. There may or may not be medicines to purchase, depending on medical insurance. You can at least assume there will be co-pays. Will the home have a spare room or will additions need to be constructed plays heavily into the total cost. But again, these alterations are a one time purchase and doubtful to exceed the cost of a single year of nursing home care, $61,320.

Now here all kinds of variable come into play. Is the elderly adult living with family mobile, incontinent, alert or oriented? There might be a need for at home care on a part time basis which, depending on your state of residency, can run from $24-46 an hour. Depending on medical coverage this may or may not be a total expense consumed by the family providing the care.

Also, not a lot of families are in the financial position to care for aging parents and family members. They may be struggling themselves to provide for their own children. I say “children” and not “family” because I often hear people use the excuse, “I have my own family to care for.” I feel this is a strange justification, as if you suddenly don’t consider your elderly parents as part of your family.

Depending on the frailty of the aged parent, yes, this can be a hardship. Will they need to have another adult in the home with them or are they capable of being left alone for hours at a time? If so, then the bread winner’s ability to leave the home and work is not impeded.

However if we look at the traditional model of family; the one the government, liberals and feminist work so tirelessly to destroy, you’ll see it was made for this type of arrangement.

If the family structure is modeled with traditional household, you have a bread winner and a wife at home to readily care for children and aged adults. If that family doesn’t practice the use of artificial birth control they will have multiple children. These children will, in turn, grow up and care for their parents and share the responsibility between the other siblings. If there are four children, each child can care for their parents 3 months out of the year. The cost and care (I will not use the word “burden’) is shared. What a novel remarkably simple idea.

In the setting, you also have the elderly parents in the home to help with the children and home care, provided on their health. A grandmother available in the home is a live in babysitter and God send to a married couple who want some down time together. In turn this strengthens their marriage. It also eliminates the need for daycare expenses, another government wasteful expenditure.

Unfortunately, thanks to our advancements and entitlements, no one has to be responsible for anyone else, much less ourselves. Women on the pill don’t have babies to grow up and care for them when they are old. Men don’t have to be fathers. Families divorce and split apart on a whim. All the while the elderly population grows and the birth rate lessens.

The answer is not a new tax plan with revised spending and budgets. The answer is not more wasteful government spending and subsidies.

They answer is family.

There, I just fixed the economy.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05389147035157025445 Badger Catholic

    Like!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03792937108732259684 priest’s wife

    In my area, we have the Sisters of the Servants of Mary who (of course there is a waiting list)take care of sick, elderly and dying patients in the home at NIGHT for FREE so the family can get some sleep at night. A homeschooling dad with terminal cancer got to stay at home and was cared for for 2 years because of these sisters (all RNs)- he became a Catholic before he died

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02605402760873643451 The Watcher

    Tomorrow would have been my grandmother's 107th birthday; sadly, she's been gone since 1990. She moved in with my mom and dad after grandpa died (3 years before I was born) and lived with us until she was felled by a stroke in 1985.When we were told grandma couldn't come home from the rehab center and had to go into a home, it was like someone had carved a huge chunk out of my heart – I ended up getting kicked out of college for 2 years because my grades went right into the toilet. But every day grandma was in the home, we visited her.She's been gone 21 years now, and I find myself in tears writing this, because I still miss her terribly.I apologize for rambling, and to get to the point – family is the answer.

  • Anonymous

    This hits home for me! Me and husband and kids moved back in to my parents' house, so that they would be able to live in their house for as long as they were able. This entailed changing jobs, selling house and furniture, and leaving dear friends to move 700 miles away. 4 years later, my parents seem much happier and less worried. Lest you think we were purely altruistic–our 4 kids now have more options for post- secondary education, I can stay at home and homeschool, and my husband has a job with much more future in it.It isn't a picnic, but we are trying to teach our kids the value of family–and have had to put our money where our mouth is;). If we all were able to show by example that family was to be put ahead of any material thing, perhaps our governments and society would not be in the chaotic mess they are today.God bless–my daughter and I always enjoy your blog posts!Embattled Catholic

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10209866349452434099 Tina aka Snupnjake

    There is more than a financial cost with taking care of your aging parents. My parents and I barely get along as it is. Then of course you have families that are abusive….I think you are trying to paint a rosier picture than reality.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06117353945124506952 The Crescat

    if you look @ religious communities, not every member gets along all. But for the sake of the community they work & live together. Of course families argue and are filled with people who are difficult to get along with. Being irritated and inconvenienced still doesn't negate familial responsibility. You speak of abusive parents; let me share a very brief story of a woman who was abused by an emotionally unstable mother. She escaped at 17. Fast forward 30 years and this mother is unemployed and under foreclosure, just days from being homeless and failing in health. The daughter takes her in and the mother is so humbled by this she changes and returns to The Church. She is no longer abusive and the daughter is no longer angry. You aren't giving credit to God and the power of redemption. And no… this is not a hypothetical or made up scenario. It happened. It was me. No matter how difficult the family, it is still emphatically our responsibility. Our cross, if you will. You have decide to how you want to rewarded in heaven and if you want to be judged by your same standards and lack of forgiveness. And yes, you have to forgive whether they ask for it or not.

  • Anonymous

    Kat,Your true storry is excellent and so moving!Good, good daughter!God bless you alwaysDan

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09384415590309803327 Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    "…When we were told grandma couldn't come home from the rehab center and had to go into a home, it was like someone had carved a huge chunk out of my heart – I ended up getting kicked out of college for 2 years because my grades went right into the toilet. But every day grandma was in the home, we visited her.She's been gone 21 years now, and I find myself in tears writing this, because I still miss her terribly…"God bless you, God bless you, God bless you, a hundred times.Ask your Priest and Confessor to say a Mass for her.I had a friend whose family members were horrible.They beat her, they called her names, they did everything they could to humiliate her.My fiend always worried about them, and she washed their clothes and encouraged them at school, then at work, and when they were sick she would make certain they had their medicine.Ingrates.She feel ill once and they did nothing to help her; they stole her money and ate her food.All their torments had no effect upon her, she ignored them all.Once, when I was fighting and getting the best of my adversaries, that deserved a good smacking around, she admonished me severly for attacking Christ's sheep, and made me make a deal with them that was clearly in their favor.She told me of our Lord's love for us, and how in His plan for salvation, everyone is included, we just choose by our actions to exclude ourselves.She stated the torments she suffered in her life were just little drops of rain upon her soul, and like rain, they would help make things grow."They think they have the best of me, but their torments just cause me to pray harder for them. When they die, I want to hand them over to our Lord as a bouquet of my prayers."I wish I could have tricked her into marrying me.Don't miss an opportunity to help save a soul.In a Mexican family, one two bedroom home can house thirty family members and an Abuelita.For each additional bedroom add ten more; another bathroom, add two Abuelitas and a Abuelito.*

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01067593594408371005 NBW

    You pegged it Kat.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04458504641419416339 Smiley

    KatHuggs what more can i say

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17624589296171657699 egosumbarb

    My dad used to tell an old Portuguese folk story: Once upon a time, there was a young boy who loved his grandather dearly. One day, his parents started complaining about this grandfather. Then they began to ridicule him. Things got worse, to the point where they gave him a wooden bowl (so that he would not soil the rest of the dishes) and made him live outside. The parents, satisfied with their idea, continued with their lives as if everything was normal. One day, they see their son making some toys. Curious, they asked him what he was making. Innocently, the child replied "A wooden bowl for you….for when I have to make you live with grandpa." The parents, realizing their cruelty and the example they were setting (and, perhaps, realizing their own fate if they kept this up), brought the grandfather back and treated him with respect for the rest of his days. I never got the chance to grow up with my grandparents (they lived abroad or had passed away by the time I was a child). However, I grew up on a block with plenty of wonderful, elderly people. I cannot ever imagine abandoning or abusing any of them…or anyone in my family. My heart goes out to the elderly that suffer at the hands of those who do not know any better. I just can't believe how cruel people can be sometimes.

  • Anonymous

    Kat, I won't dispute your own experience. But in my family, taking responsibility for my father's senile mother exacerbated my mother's undiagnosed mental illness, and seriously strained my parents' marriage. My father was the only one–the other kids had already died childless. Not everyone's cross makes them holy; sometimes it makes them more neurotic, despite being a practicing Catholic. This was all through my teenage and college yrs. Do I trust in God's grace to work a change? Yes, but I also know it's not a sure thing. Some kids will be fine, as one of your posters above, but it's not always the case. I respect your witness; please respect mine, too.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06117353945124506952 The Crescat

    I wasn't aware I was disrespecting you personally. How is it so, just because we don't agree? It's not a personal disrespect to differ in opinions. Perhaps something else, that has nothing to do with me, is causing such a gross over reaction.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17489606909822078682 Joseph M

    That nice Portuguese story brings to mind: Dumping kids in daycare is how we prepare them emotionally for the day the dump us in a nursing home. And so, we try to make sure our 5 kids understand that our house is always their home, if they want it. Nobody's going to be kicked out. Our hope is that they will care for us similarly when we need it. To that end, when we added to our house a few years back, we put in bathroom rails on the bathroom nearest the ground-level back bedroom, which is the most private one. So far, we haven't needed it for any relative, but it's only a matter of time, and we hope we're ready when it comes. It may be us, after all.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09384415590309803327 Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    Nobody's going to be kicked out. Our hope is that they will care for us similarly when we need it. To that end, when we added to our house a few years back, we put in bathroom rails on the bathroom nearest the ground-level back bedroom, which is the most private one. So far, we haven't needed it for any relative, but it's only a matter of time, and we hope we're ready when it comes. It may be us, after all…Good on you Joseph.The Church Militant, that's what you are….and when the devil comes round, hit him with a few Hail Marys and give him the boot.*

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03893341464969743583 Jane

    "If that family doesn't practice the use of artificial birth control they will have multiple children." Unfortunately it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes God only sends one child. Sometimes He also calls an aunt and an uncle to the single life, and then sends that only child another only child as a spouse. The result? My husband and I will eventually have sole responsibility for six aging relatives. I hope we will be forgiven if one or two have to go into nursing homes. Maybe we should just open our own little nursing home and hire some staff!

  • Anonymous

    Great post, Kat. I only wish we could move to my husband's hometown to take care of his mother. Unfortunately, all of his siblings think she needs her "own space" and thus should live alone with a daily visit from an health aide or live in the nursing home. And to be fair, she insists that she not be a burden to anyone. You are right, families taking care of families; mothers at home raising their children–these things will not only fix our broken economy, it would be a balm on the acidic culture in which we live.


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