The Color of Money: Exploring elder care is daunting | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

The Color of Money: Exploring elder care is daunting | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

…A month ago, my 81-year-old father-in-law came to live with us while he recuperated from surgery. We now face a question that millions of adults are facing: What do you do with elderly parents or relatives who can no longer fully take care of themselves?

Thus began a journey that has caused me so much stress that I woke up one morning with a painful neck strain that lasted two days.

We are exploring various options, including having my father-in-law continue living in our home, returning him to his own home and hiring a home health care aide to provide daily care, or having him moved into an assisted-living facility.

Since I first wrote about this new turn in my life, I’ve received dozens of e-mails from people with great advice and comforting words. There is so much to say about the issue of elder long-term care, more than I can address in any one column. For example, many people — including a number of insurance agents — wanted me to talk about long-term care insurance. I’ll do that in a future column, but it’s too expensive to purchase now for someone my father-in-law’s age and medical condition.

Many pointed out that I should look into the Aid and Attendance program for veterans since my father-in-law served in the military. We had no idea he may be eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help pay for long-term care. This special pension benefit is also available to a surviving spouse. We are studying this program. I found a lot of helpful information at


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