Mike Wallace, Life in the year 2050 essay Vander Werf, Lew Wolff, michael wolff, St. The era of medical miracles has created a new phase of aging, as far from living as it is from dying.
A son’s plea to let his mother go. 2014 New York Magazine Holdings LLC. From left, Nancy, Van, and Michael Wolff in 1958. I stopped in, after quite some constant prodding, to see my insurance salesman.
He was pressing his efforts to sell me a long-term-care policy with a pitch about how much I’d save if I bought it now, before the rates were set to precipitously rise. 5,000 per year, I’d receive, when I needed it, a daily sum to cover my future nursing costs. I have a parent in an advanced stage of terminal breakdown. It’s what my peers talk about: our parents’ horror show. But in a room somewhere, hidden from view, we occupy this other, unimaginable life. And while her LTC insurance hardly covers all of that, I’m certainly grateful she had the foresight to carry such a policy. My three children deserve as much.
We make certain assumptions about the necessity of care. It’s an individual and, depending on where you stand in the great health-care debate, a national responsibility. It is what’s demanded of us, this extraordinary effort. For my mother, my siblings and I do what we are supposed to do. My children, I don’t doubt, will do the same.
And yet, I will tell you, what I feel most intensely when I sit by my mother’s bed is a crushing sense of guilt for keeping her alive. Why do we want to cure cancer? Why do we want everybody to stop smoking? 1990, there were slightly more than 3 million Americans over the age of 85.
Now there are almost 6 million. 5 percent of the population. There are various ways to look at this. If you are responsible for governmental budgets, it’s a knotty policy issue.