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calendar   Wednesday - July 15, 2009

In keeping with the Health Care theme: Elderly face £20,000 bill for social care. That’s about

OK Lyndon, explain this for me too. I think I’m reading it correctly but sometimes you know, things do get lost in translation.

Both Drew and Vilmar have had really awful things to say about national health. And for that matter so has everyone posting comments here at BMEWS.
But hey ... IT’S ALL FREE. Right?  What’s to complain about?  free-free-free.  And all of it with the compliments of the taxpayer. Well, those who do.
Ah ... hang on.  I think I just caught the fly in the ointment.

What a mess .......  Meanwhile, here in the UK ....

Elderly people in England could be required to pay up to £20,000 to guarantee basic social care and support if they need it at the end of their lives, under Government proposals released today.


The compulsory insurance scheme
is one of three options for funding a new National Care Service, designed to end the current “cruel lottery” under which some elderly people have to sell their homes and use up most of their savings to pay for care, while others pay nothing.

Launching a consultation on the future of social care with a statement in the House of Commons today, Health Secretary Andy Burnham said he wanted to create a system which was “fair, simple and affordable” to all.

He has already ruled out full state funding from general taxation, on the grounds it would place too great a burden on people of working age, and retaining the “pay for yourself” system, which is unfair to those who need years of care for conditions like Alzheimer’s.

And he today called on the public to give their views on three possible solutions:

A “partnership” approach, under which the state would pay around a quarter to a third of the cost of basic social care and support, leaving individuals to find the remainder;

A voluntary insurance scheme, under which the state would pay the same proportion, but would also make it easier for individuals to take out insurance - at an estimated cost of around £20,000 to £25,000 at today’s prices - to cover the rest;

Compulsory insurance for all, costing around £17,000 to £20,000 at today’s prices and providing free care for all who need it.

The National Care Service would offer assistance with needs like dressing, washing and moving around at home, but individuals who need to go into residential care would continue to pay the cost of accommodation and food themselves, whether they had taken out insurance or not.

However, new national arrangements would allow for bed and board costs to be deferred and paid as a lump sum after the individual’s death.

The Department of Health is also consulting on whether insurance costs should be deferred until after death, paid in instalments or handed over in a single lump sum when an individual reaches retirement age.

Under all three options, those with little or no savings or assets would continue to receive free care.

THERE’S MORE HERE

When the late MIL became too ill to care for herself, the wife and I moved here to help and at first were sort of like baby sitters. She (mil) for part of the first year (2004) was still able to make it to the kitchen to get her own tea and toast and cereal, which was her staple every morning.  She dressed herself and was able to use the loo on her own.  Then later on she had a fall, and it was all downhill from there.  That’s when we became real Care Givers as it’s called here.
At some point in the second year she finally became bedridden full time, and there wasn’t a way in the world the wife could cope alone and especially changing diapers. 
So ... the wife had to spend down a good part of her mother’s savings before she became eligible for (FREE) care in home. Prior to that, the old lady (unknown to her) was paying for care workers to come in and bathe her once a day but at first that was all that was needed. At first, it was just one care person with the wife helping out. Or maybe the other way round.  But later on after another fall and then a near fall when she misjudged distance and missed sitting properly on her portable potty in her room, she decided she was too frightened to ever again attempt to get out of bed. Period!  And the old bag didn’t, right to the end.
So it became necessary to have two care givers come in and eventually they had to come here twice a day.  Once in the morning and once in late afternoon
for diaper changes.  Somehow my wife worked out doing the other changes.  Usually at bedtime but sometimes it was necessary to do an extra one as well.

As time went on she got worse which is what necessitated two people to move her around changing the diapers and bathing her. 

The tole on the wife’s own health wasn’t fun to watch and what it did to her back was pretty bad too.  I recall once telling Drew and Wardmom that I thought the wife was committing suicide by mother, and I never altered that view.

But a care home was out of the question, even if the wife wanted it.  There just was not the money for it.  Having shared all this I should mention also that her mother had paid into the system for most of her working life.  I say most because national health didn’t arrive here till after WW2.

When the old dear (but not to me) needed a hearing aid, national health paid for it. The thing I thought was rather over the top was that national health also paid for the batteries in the thing.  ??  National health even paid for her aspirin. 

I’ll have to be honest with you.  While I haven’t been a fan of socialized medicine, and still not as it’s run, it was a big help to her mother and by extension to us as well, as we were already spending some of our own savings to prop things up here. 

OK, that’s it except for this little tag.
If we ever make it back to the states we are looking at a potential health ins. problem.  At my age, and the wife is in her 60’s with a birthday in five days thus adding another year, we don’t think we’ll be able to get ins. worthy of the name back home.  And can ya blame the Ins.companies for that?  I don’t.
So we are on our own.  Scary when ya get to a certain age.  That age being mine and the wife.  And I think you guys know the cost of being ill even with ins.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/15/2009 at 10:40 AM   
Filed Under: • Medical •  
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