The parental pig in the python

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  1. In this ever-more-competitive business climate, I doubt seriously that elder care is going to catch on any better than child care did.

    I dunno… after all, as the boomer generation ages, employers are going to have to look for ways to retain some of the more talented of the lot – and offering this *benefit* might give them an edge.

  2. Actually, I think that if employers do respond to the coming challenge with elder-care benefits, it’s just as likely to be because of this (also quoted above):

    Many executives at these employers, typically men, initially saw child care as primarily a benefit for female workers.

    And this (not quoted, but from later in the same article):

    Men account for nearly 40% of those with significant responsibilities for older relatives, according to a recent study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

  3. I think that “Just how many ways can you split a dollar?” is almost the question. I’d ask it this way: “Just how many ways should you split a dollar?”.
    Fifty years ago health care for the elderly consisted primarily of radical surgery and making them comfortable for the end. Now both the possibilities and the costs are dramatically higher.
    As uncomfortable as this discussion may be, today’s seniors have an ethical responsibility to their children to consider how much of their health care costs must be paid for using future generations’ tax and after-tax dollars.
    Consider that the marginal value of additional health care benefits begins to decline after a certain point in one’s life. The rules of cost/benefit are not suspended in the medical realm. Trade-offs have to be made.
    If my natural life span is 72 years and I can extend that to 80 by using drugs and therapies that my family and I can afford, great, I should. But if the cost of my extra years means that my grandchildren would be denied their own medical care or college education, I should consider my responsibilities to my progeny before demanding that every available dollar be spent on me.
    The same logic applies at the collective level. It’s simply not ethical for today’s seniors to bankrupt the social systems of a nation to extend their lives beyond the point of marginal utility. And they should know that without having to be told.

  4. In other words, they should put themselves on the iceberg and drift out to sea, rather than insisting their children do it for them?
    Of course, you could take this several ways:
    1) How about children born with birth defects? Treat… or No Treat?
    2) How about people with ‘self-inflicted’ conditions (e.g. lung cancer, diabetes)?
    3) At which point to we check for those who might be of ‘marginal utility’ while still in the womb, and then simply eliminate the problem before it is ever born?
    Not questions I would want to be responsible for answering.

  5. Finding good childcare is very, very difficult. I know because I lost a son at the age of 2 when I left him with a nanny. I wish I knew exactly the events that took place that day. If I only had a nanny wireless camera, I wouldn’t be guessing and wondering what happened to my child. I am very passionate about the subject and so empathetic to moms who have to go to work and leave their children in the care of a stranger.

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