An issue that continues to become a major concern for so many of our families is that of costs associated with aging. Specifically, the challenges of being able to afford quality care; be it at home or in a facility. This reality was brough home again in a recent series of interviews that we did on the Boomer Generation Radio* show (see Boomer Generation Radio on Facebook). This money issue is not going to go away anytime soon. With every Baby Boomer now alive at least 50 years of age. many in our generation are smack in the middle of caring for a parent, or even, a spouse. And not too far away is the frightening prospect of who is going to care for us as we age out and who is going to be able to afford it!
The costs of care for something for Alzheimer’s is mind boggling. Ginny Biggar, of USAgainstAlzheimer’s (usagainstalzheimer’s.org) mentioned in an interview that for 2013, the costs associated with caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s was $215 Billion. Given the expected rise in the number of cases, as Boomers age out, this figure will obviously grow. And this is just one condition. And, as many know, this is just the economic cost. The emotional and psycho-spiritual costs are unfathomable. Likewise, there is the statistic that by 2050 1/5 of the total population of the USA will be 65 or over. What may be surprising to many is that the American Jewish community is already there.
We will continue to explore aspects of this issue. I suggest that this economics of aging issue may very well be THE social justice question for our generation. Many Boomers may just not be able to afford to grow old. Is there a limit to how much the government can afford to pay for our care? Who will take care of us when we are being told by so many professionals that there are not enough trained care-givers or geriatric doctors to be there for emerging age tsunami?
A guest on a show, a lawyer whose speciality is dealing with patient’s rights in facilities, did refer us to a valuable resource. If you are contemplating the need to choose a nursing home and need a one-stop resource, look at www.cms.gov.
Go to that site and put in the search bar nursing home compare. There is a givernmental system of rating nursing homes. One star not good, five stars, the best. You can search by state, etc.
Rabbi Richard F Address.
* pod casts of these shows are available here on www.jewishsacredaging.com Scroll down to view
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.