Anna: You bring up another huge problem of old (with) or without money: the terrible toll it takes on caretakers.

My mother had some cash, investments, a federal pension and a paid for house.

But she also had dementia. The worse it got, (naturally) the more difficult she became. She would carry around hundreds of dollars in cash as she tottered around town. People took advantage of her. She lost some. It was a mess. We couldn’t stop her because she was (technically) competent. It was her money. Having someone declared incompetent is expensive, difficult and uncertain.

She steadfastly refused to go into assisted living, even though she was basically helpless. Again, because she was competent (legally), we had to wait for a crisis before we could do anything.

When the crisis happened, and she went to assisted living, you could hear the giant sucking sound as the health care predators circled for her money.

We could get no usable help from any of the agencies, private or public, that claim to be there for you. Worse than useless, they contradicted each other constantly. We had to figure it all out.

In the end, a woman who had worked since she was 15, saved money, invested money, owned a house, etc., died on Medicaid with $200 to her name. The vultures took everything. $9,000 a month for very minimal care. The kind thing would have been to shoot her.

I am one of six kids. Needless to say, this ordeal took its toll. Most of us no longer see or speak to one another.

I wish I could tell you it will all work out, but I can’t. What is called Elder Care in the US is just a euphemism for extortion.

But I do wish you luck. Mike

Honorary Schizophrenic. Recent refugee. Displaced person. Old white male. Confidant of cassowaries.

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