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« The Point Radio: Don't Hold Your Breath | Main | Atrocity of the Day: August 20 »

August 20, 2008

Kicking Grandma to the Curb

Assisted_living From NPR (HT Thunderstruck):

Cordelia Robertson turned 99 in May. Two days later, she got the eviction notice.

Her son, Gene Robertson, says even though his mother is confused and doesn't understand what's going on, she would be devastated if she had to leave the home outside Seattle she has lived in for nearly 10 years.

"I think it would kill her," he says. "This lady is probably 80 pounds. You could pick her up with one hand. You could put your fingers around her wrist. She is just a little, little, little, teeny, frail, frail person. She smiles and she's always happy. But she don't know what's going on."

What is going on is that Cordelia Robertson has run out of money. She went through her entire life savings. She spent it on the rent at the assisted living facility.

"My mother spent $350,000," Gene Robertson says. "It was her money. And she is now broke. I mean, she has zero money."

He says officials at the assisted living facility always promised him that if his mother ran out of money, she could use Medicaid, the government health insurance for the poor.

However, last year, when Cordelia Robertson finally did need Medicaid, Assisted Living Concepts changed its policy and said it would no longer accept Medicaid.

In May, the company, which has facilities in 20 states, sued Cordelia Robertson to get her to leave.

Read more and listen to the broadcast.

It seems this is an opportunity for churches -- to provide where business/government cannot, or will not. Actually, churches should probably be the first, not last, resort in caring for the elderly. That can be an expensive undertaking, I realize, that only many large churches are able to work into their budget (one such church I attended does have an assisted living facility with reasonable fees, and I believe they offered placement ministerially as they were able for those in need).

But for smaller churches, perhaps caring for the elderly could be done in a simpler manner than what an assisted-living facility would offer (a team of congregants to cook, clean, etc.). I realize that in some cases, more expensive medical live-in help would be needed. But I would think this is where the church could still find answers and provide the help -- the people, money, and resources.

What do you think? What does your church do for the elderly?

(Image © Assisted Living Concepts)

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Unfortunately, my congregation does nothing for the poor or the elderly caught in such situations.

Many times, one can hear pastors and others teach that Christians are under the Mosaic law of the tithe - and then go on to more than triple the amount of the tithe in Deuteronomy 14.

In the New Covenant, we are not under the law of the tithe. But we -are- under a newer and higher law: Jesus said that if we do not care for our relatives, we are worse than heathens and unbelievers. All of our fellow Christians are our brothers and sisters. How then can we indulge in luxuries while our brothers and sisters do without necessary medical care, or in the instance in this article, are made homeless by these Snidely Whiplashes of bean counters? We are in fact given a new commandment; to love one another as Christ loved us - and He laid down His life for us.

It is reported that the ancient Romans said of the Christians; "my, how they love one another." Can the same really be said of us?

Pinon Coffee

The church should definitely take care of their elderly, or, alternately, Paul in Timothy says people should take care of their own parents when they get old so the church can instead take care of those who don't have anybody.

Either way, Christians should hardly expect the goverment to do it...

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