Monday, August 6, 2007

Outsourcing to India the answer to caregiving costs?

Imagine my surprise to open the Sunday newspaper and read the story of the man who moved with his parents - a 93 year old dad with Alzheimer's and an 89 year old mom with Parkinson's - to India for care that cost him less than $20 a day!

So here's the solution to those high costs of care: move to India. Seriously, though, it's a sobering story. Actually, it's quite heartwarming to read about their 1:1 nursing services, daily massages, and hour long physical therapy sessions. The parents are able to live at "home" - a house they share with their son and round-the-clock care staff.

And it's all affordable, with money left over. Their monthly bill for rent, utilities, food, medications AND 24 hour staffing is less than $2,000 a month. That's compared to the typical cost of about $4,000 a month for each of them.

The son in the story looks at his monthly bill and feels happy with the decision he has made, as now his parents get the care and services they need and can afford easily from their own income.

It's sobering to me to wonder if this is what we've come to as a country: the need to move to India - or Mexico - or Canada - to be able to afford medication and care that we will increasing need as we, and our parents, age.

Are there better solutions? Will we be a part in creating them - or just responding as people like us seek and find their own solutions?

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