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Please Don’t Send Me to the Poor House

I first heard this saying bedside back in the 1980s.  There I stood, the neophyte social worker, trying my best to look competent, when a very frail man looked into my eyes and implored “don’t send me to the poor house.”  Admittedly I didn’t understand the cultural reference at that very moment.  All I knew was that I had the authority to change this man’s life forever.  

I went to my favorite source of knowledge, my father, and asked the question “what is the poor house?”  I had heard of the Great Depression, the financial ruins that landed many honorable people displaced into sub human conditions.  Today I think the best analogy is the mass migration from Africa and the Middle East into Europe.  We watch the images roll across our screens of cold, wet exhausted people looking for shelter, food and safety.  

In 2012, per the MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services and Home Care Costs, the average annual price of a single room, private pay, nursing home stay was $90.520.00 

The decision to enter a nursing home is never made casually.   The amount of documentation and scrutiny required for a nursing home placement to occur is daunting.  Family members must produce many legal and financial documents.  Care team members document the functional and medical status of each organ system and activity of daily living.  The doctors and nurses outline a treatment plan, medication and prognosis in great detail to prepare for the new care setting.

70% of Americans age 65 or older will need some form of long term care (click for more info)

No matter the level of precision exercised, a nursing home placement is painful.  “Don’t send me to the Poor House” expresses the emotional apprehension and uncertainty that the nursing home is the right place to live.  The cost of a nursing home stay has a rippling effect on the financial resources of all the parties involved.  Medicare covers just a portion of a nursing home stay with approval from the insurance company.  Medicaid pays for nursing home care after all the senior adults assets have been exhausted.  Long term care insurance is the best option for covering this care otherwise the expense must be covered by the senior adult and family.

Long Term Care Insurance is a prudent investment for avoiding the poor house (click for more info)


Today we have more options for care that ever before but researching alternatives is a painstaking, time consuming process. I am the first to turn a blind eye the unpleasantries that may lie ahead.  I suspect many of you are the same.  However, I do strongly encourage you to begin your planning process now.  Know your options before the situation ever lands on your radar.  REUNIONCare is committed to changing the way we care for each other.   Join us today.