In his June 13 New York Times op-ed, Tyler Cowen wrote, “Medicare expenditures threaten to crush the federal budget.” The title of the article was “Something’s Got to Give in Medicare Spending.” Got it. Old people cost too much money to keep alive—and you younger disabled people on Medicare, you’re not helping either.

Trillions of dollars have been spent in the past eight years paying for a war of questionable legitimacy and monumental tax breaks for people who can afford to pay taxes, thus causing the national debt to skyrocket and putting the American economy on the skids.

So, what’s Mr. Cowen’s solution? Let’s limit health care benefits to old and disabled people. Boggles the mind.

One of the proposals coming out of the Obama administration is to limit end-of-life care. What exactly does that mean? I recently had a conversation with a leading thinker in aging services in the United States, Dr. Merle Griff. Dr. Griff is a successful businesswoman; she owns SarahCare, a thriving adult day care franchise.

In addition, Dr. Griff is an experienced psychologist with years of experience working with the at-risk neonatal babies and at-risk old people. Dr. Griff’s take on the future of health care benefits includes the elimination of expensive neonatal care in the beginning of life and expensive end-of-life care for old people.

In 1974, then–Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, an outspoken advocate of physician-assisted suicide explained his support for the measure this way.

He said, "We've got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life."

At the time, Governor Lamm was roundly vilified as heartless and anti-aging. There are good reasons to support physician-assisted suicide, but I don’t think a requirement to “get out of the way” is one of them.

http://www.silverplanet.com/poll/we-...u-prefer/55668
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POLL
We all face housing decisions as we age. Which of the following do you prefer?
23% A smaller home or apartment
11% A retirement community
3% An assisted living facility
1% A 24/7 care facility
62% Aging in my own home
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COMMENTS:
Posted by Over60Woman - October 17th, 2009 9:06am
Aging in my own home is a very attractive option. I see advertisements for home-care professionals, and such companies appear to be increasing in number.

Surely intermittent help (or even full-time help) presents a lower-cost option than assisted living or nursing-home care. This should make me a happier senior and, at the same time, reduce the overall cost burden of senior care on the economy.
I'm hopeful that, when needed, home care will be an established choice.
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Posted by EmmaGee - October 26th, 2009 10:40am
I've been a little confused about all the housing options out there, but a recent article on SP really helped answer a lot of "aging in place" questions. I highly recommend Housing Options: A Glossary. (http://www.silverplanet.com/housing/...glossary/55728)
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Posted by AmyJ - November 12th, 2009 3:14pm
The glossary is a very good resource for those seeking guidance on the maze of choices. Also note, under Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the glossary that there are options of communities "without walls". The basic concept is that to join, you pay a monthly fee and you will receive all the long-term care services you may need if your health ever changes. The "without walls" means you stay in your home.
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Posted by ClarenG - November 17th, 2009 4:55pm
I agree with living in your own home for as long as you can. My children want us to move to the lower 48--we live in Alaska now and have done so for 18 years. We run a small boarding house and I still work outside the home so we are able to pay all our bills. If the time comes when we can't do the stairs any longer then we will modify our home so we can stay in the bottom half of the house. We have great Senior Care in Alaska and for other health issues we prefer to stay here.
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