new york magazine

I didn’t need to be schooled in the realities of long-term care: The costs for my mother, who is 86 and who, for the past eighteen months, has not been able to walk, talk, or to address her most minimal needs and, to boot, is absent a short-term memory, come in at about $17,000 a month.

Make no mistake, the purpose of long-term-care insurance is to help finance some of the greatest misery and suffering human beings have yet devised.

When his mother becomes ill, the family makes the decision to go ahead with treatment. Looking back, he says:

The truth is you’re so relieved that someone else has a plan, and that the professionals with the plan seem matter-of-fact and unconcerned, that you disregard even obvious fallacies of logic: that the choice is between life as it was before the operation and death, instead of between life after the operation and death.

do not know how death panels ever got such a bad name. Perhaps they should have been called deliverance panels. What I would not do for a fair-minded body to whom I might plead for my mother’s end.

Who does caregiving fall upon?

Women take care of the old. They can’t shake it because they are left with it. In the end, it is a game of musical chairs. The girl is the one almost invariably caught out.

Read more in New York Magazine.

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