“Nursing Homes Look Younger” by Renee Lee was published in the February 21, 2011 Houston Chronicle.
From the article: “People ages 31 to 64 have entered nursing homes at a higher rate than those 65 and older in the past eight years, according to data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The age group has climbed to 14 percent of the nursing home population.”
This statistic ties in with my most recent blog about a friend in his mid-50s who had an accident about three months ago that bruised his spinal cord and temporarily rendered him a quadriplegic. He is slipping through the cracks of our medical system. His medical insurance carrier doesn’t want to pay for the extended nursing home care he needs. They claim that he is not recuperating quickly enough, despite the fact that according to his physical therapist, he is making good progress. So they want to send him home, where his wife is ill equipped to care for him. Sadly, the couple does not own long-term care insurance (LTCi). If they did, it would most likely defray enough of the cost of his care to make a big difference in their lives.
I do not know how our friends will finance the cost of long-term care. In the Houston Chronicle article referenced above, it appears that Tim Lowe, the patient described, is on Medicaid. Under current regulations in the US, he was required to spend his wealth down to poverty level before qualifying for Medicaid assistance, and he can receive long-term care only in a facility that accepts Medicaid.