Dr. Eva Mor has authored a book entitled “Making the Golden Years”. Dr. Mor’s research has revealed many disturbing truths the elderly population will encounter, from insufficient incomes to elder abuse. According to her book, the U.S. Dept. of the Aging has estimated that by 2019 the number of Americans over 85 will increase to 4.2 million, an increase of 44 percent from today. The median income for men is $21,102 and $12,080 for women over 85 years old.
The average annual cost of a stay in a nursing home in the United Sates is approximately $70,000. Medicare covers 100 percent of costs for only 20 days and partial cost for 80 days. After the 100 days, Medicaid will take over if the individual is eligible. Assisted living facilities are not covered by Medicare and can range from $40,000 to $100,000 a year.
Even more sobering (and disturbing), the elderly are often the target of devious telemarketers (approximately half of the $40,000,000 stolen in telemarketing scams has been attributed to elderly victims). The NY Times reported that a list severely impaired elderly individuals was sold to telemarketers. The book also indicates that 500,000 cases of elder abuse were reported in 2006. It is also likely that at least that many go unreported. Dr. Mor’s book offers practical tips to avoid these pitfalls.
Making the Golden Years, Health News Digest, Eva Mor, June 21, 2009.