Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
Cost of Alzheimer's
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Here is confirmation of what should be obvious: Alzhieimer's disease is not only costly, it costs more than heart disease or cancer.
I worry that we'll just look away.
The Democratic-led Minnesota House and Senate are proposing $150 million in cuts to heath and human services. For nursing homes, costs go up but reimbursement goes down. Who will suffer? Not just the employees, who haven't had a raise in years, but the residents are going to feel the impact of lower staffing levels and lower morale amongst staff.
Sadly, I think we are entering grim times in eldercare, particularly for those who are going to enter eldercare instutitions. There is no will whatsoever, even in areas you would usually find the will, to take care of those in need. None. The "all government is evil" mantra has so hynotized politicians (and many citizens) that anybody who brings up the actual pain caused by cuts in services is ignored in the name of fiscal belt-tightening. The tight-wads have won. I don't buy that they are simply looking at fiscal reality. These people who look down at the ground as soon as you bring up human suffering use fiscal matters as an excuse for human coldness, which is what really gives them joy: The opportunity to be cold and mean and have it seem noble and necessary. Some people live for that.
The belt-tightening will fall hardest on those who don't have voice to protest. Alzheimer's patients have no voice. They will suffer most. Other nursing home patients are next. Then come those who work in nursing homes, who have no organization and are generally on the edge of poverty themselves.
Is it a radical notion that people who do the hard work in a nursing home should be paid well enough to have no problem buying a car, buying a home and taking an occasional vacation? That's the way it was thirty years ago! But no more.

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