Law Office of John S. Palmer Attorney at Law

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A New Book on Elder Care

Posted Sunday, February 1, 2015 by John S. Palmer

In her new book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America, author Ai-Jen Poo notes that that number of people in the US who need long term care is expected to reach 27 million by 2050. She also discusses an issue that elder law attorneys and their clients grapple with every day–how to pay for care:

Many Americans currently struggle to afford the care they need. On average, a home health aide hired through an agency costs approximately $21 per hour, the cost of an assisted living facility averages $3,300 per month, and a semiprivate room in a nursing home costs $6,200 per month. Yet the average Social Security check amounts to just $1,230 per month, and Medicare provides little if any support for home based care.

Based on my experience as an elder law attorney, I believe the average cost of care in King County is actually higher; for example, the nonmedical in-home care agencies I deal with charge $25 to $30 per hour.

The book also advocates for changes that would make it possible for more people to receive care at home and avoid placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Although Ai-jen Poo may have a personal bias toward in-home care (she is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a group that advocates for better wages and working conditions for in-home caregivers) she makes some interesting and thought-provoking points about how we as a society deal with aging.

A longer excerpt from the book, along with an interview with the author, is available at in an article entitled As America Grays, A Call For Dignity In Aging And Elder Care.

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Law Office of John S. Palmer11911 NE 1st St, Ste. B204,Bellevue, WA 98005-3056