Oct 11, 2009

This Alzheimer's Caregiver: Yo Uncle Sam Get Your Butt up to Vermont

My name is Bob DeMarco, I am This Alzheimer's Caregiver. My mother Dorothy, now 93 years old, is That Alzheimer's sufferer.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Previously, I wrote -- Got Alzheimer's? Uncle Sammy says -- Tough Luck.

In that article I made a simple point. I believe this, that, and everyone taking care of an Alzheimer's sufferer full time should receive 24 bucks a day from their Uncle Sam. This amounts to $1 an hour for their service. This would cost our government $8.5 billion a year -- less than what it costs to fight terrorism in Iraq for one month.

Now some of you might think this is a nutty idea. Others might say, we can't afford it. There are always people who make conclusions without bothering to look at the evidence.

Welcome to Vermont. Vermont pays caregivers, and its not limited to Alzheimer's caregivers, $45 a day. They also pay an additional $175 for fuel and phone bills.

Here is the nutty logic being used in Vermont --
"We realized it is cheaper to keep people at home. We can save a lot of money, and it is what they want."** -- Teresa Wood, Vermont home-care project, Waterbury, Vermont

Sounds expensive doesn't it? Not really. Vermont has reduced its Medicaid nursing home population by about 20 percent.*** It actually saves Vermont Medicaid money. Imagine.

Now in defense of our Uncle Sam, "the federal government beginning in 2007, encouraged states to use less strict medical standards, and make Medicaid more widely available to those who could be cared for at home."****

As best as I can tell this is happening in four states.

After thinking about it, you might be wondering why wouldn't every state, after looking at Vermont, institute a similar program that would do so much good, and reduce Medicaid costs.

I am going to tell you why.

This would likely "piss off" a lot of people that are contributing to already in office politicians -- particularly State Governor's.

When a powerful self interest group gets mad, they usually decide they want to get their own guy or gal in office. So if you are a really smart politician, who doesn't really care what your constituency wants -- you don't rock the boat. Let freedom ring.

If you would like to read more about this very important issue, and find out what is really going on out there in America -- good, bad, and indifferent -- get this book.

I challenge all my brother and sisters blogs in the Alzheimer's -- Dementia -- Caregiving arena to take up this issue on their blogs.

I challenge anyone that really cares to email the title of this story, and the link to the story to the White House. Here is the link to the White House email form --
Here are the links to include in the email to President Obama..
This Alzheimer's Caregiver: Yo Uncle Sam Get Your Butt up to Vermont

Barack Obama said, We are the One's We have been Waiting for.

Well what are we waiting for. If you don't do it -- then Who?


**Caring for Our Parents
***Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living.
****Caring for Our Parents

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Enter Your Email Address

More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,880 articles with more than 95,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer's Action Plan
300 Tips for Making Life Easier

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room