New York Times (June 27, 2009): Getting Insurance For One's Frailest Years

Publication Date: 
Sat, 06/27/2009

In our house, we talk a lot about long-term care. My dad is 92 and afflicted by dementia and failing eyesight.

Luckily, I'm blessed with three wonderful siblings who do the hard work of caring for my father and making sure he can stay in his own home in suburban Detriot. But my visits from Brooklyn to spell my siblings are becoming increasingly complex, as my father needs more care and loses track of exactly who I am.

Meanwhile, all four of us share the financial burden of the extras that his limited budget and health insurance don't cover:  a part-time home care attendant, various prescription drugs not covered by his insurance, physical therapy sessions and endless incidentals like a new jacket or sheets and towels. We're all happy to pitch in, but the costs add up quickly.

Like many people with elderly parents, I can't help thinking there must be some way I can make sure my 8-year-old son doesn't someday end up in the same situation when my husband and I need assistance. As one fellow boomer said recently, "I want someone to care about me when I'm older, but not necessarily care for me."