To the Editor:
Re "Assisted Living vs. Hospice: Who's in Charge?" (New Old Age, Nov. 16): When my father was admitted to a north Florida nursing home for hospice care after his gastroesophageal cancer metastasized, he became a "fall risk," getting out of bed and wandering the hallways. The nursing home administrator insisted that we hire additional round-the-clock care, at a cost of approximately $500 a day, over and above the $7,000 per month regular charge.
Hospice volunteers, bless them, were able to sit in for several hours a day, substantially reducing the cost. When you consider that the for-profit nursing home was almost certainly taking a cut of that $20 per hour charge for a sitter, and that the sitter was far more important for nursing home attorneys than for my father, the awful nature of our for-profit medical industry comes into clear view.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.