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Open Forum: The cost of nursing homes

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The cost of keeping an individual in a nursing home is more than $5,000 a month. Perhaps we should consider closing the nursing homes just as we closed the state hospitals for the mentally ill.

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By closing the state hospitals the state is not responsible fiscally for the clients. They are shifting costs to communities. Besides saving money they are not responsible for outcomes as related to the mentally ill. I want to call it the Pawlenty principle. Shift costs of whatever you can back to the local communities who are then responsible for the costs/outcomes. We know what happens to property taxes when costs are shifted from the state to local communities.

If we close programs that support the elderly who can no longer pay for their care the state will save money. If you are one of those citizens that think that the state is overburdened caring for those who cannot care for themselves I suggest you consider that one day you may be an elderly individual that will not have $5,000 a month income to pay for your care. I am very grateful that Minnesota and the federal government is helping my mother who is 104 going on 105. She has spent all of her money over her lifetime, a widow raising three children alone. I took care of her for 10 years until last year when I could no longer care for her in my home. I was forced in great sadness to move her to a long-term care facility. If you want to live in a state/country that cares about those who cannot care for themselves, you will have to pay taxes and fees to support that state/country. I am grateful that I can help others with my tax dollars.

Nancy Galatowitsch

Merrifield

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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