Monday, July 29, 2013

"Inside Man": Morgan Spurlock looks at eldercare, starting in his own blood family

On Sunday night, July 28, CNN aired another episode of Morgan Spurlock’s “Inside Man”, where Morgan moves in with his 91-year-old grandmother and investigates caregiving.
The link for the episode is here
This seems like an off-putting concept, to turn care of one’s own family member as an example of commercial journalism. 
Nevertheless, Morgan’s report takes us through the steps that eldercare often entails.  He also provides some statistics about the rapid aging of the population and the cost to our economy.  More than a third of people over 65 will need some kind of custodial care. 
The grandmother goes to the hospital for an infection, becomes weaker, has a stroke.  In this situation, the family considers placing her to a skilled nursing facility for physical therapy. The documentary explains how Medicare will pay for 20 days of skilled care, and 80% of the next 80 days  But Medicare intervenes only if the patient is expected to get better.
Spurlock also visits a great uncle who is 96, with dementia, but still at home, accommodated.
My own mother had a terrible experience in an SNF in 1999 after coronary bypass surgery at 1985.
President Obama once said that he would gradually pay for hip replacement for his own grandmother. 

The documentary covers the fact that Medicare does not normally pay for custodial care, and mentions the Medicare “spend down” problem.  But it did not mention filial responsibility laws, as with the case in Pennsylvania.  

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