Who Will Care for Your Parents?

The terms “filial responsibility” and “filial support” refer to an adult child’s obligation to render care to aging parents.  Before Medicare and Social Security, children were obliged to meet their filial responsibilities by filial support laws.  These laws gave children the primary responsibility in caring for elderly parents – neglecting to do so could yield financial consequences.

Medicare and Social Security, however, have largely relieved children of this primary role.  Even though filial support laws remain on the books in 30 states, only

h Dakota have recent track records enforcing these laws. 

A states that presently:

Each generation of workers pays for the retirement benefits of the generation ahead of it.  The system is powered by babies, who grow up to become productive little FICA contributors.  But even if you never have children, someone else's kid will eventually pay for your Social Security benefits.

The government now takes

the primary role in caring for aging adults in many cases.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Brian W. says:

    I have the sinking feeling that government not only wants to take the primary role in caring for aging parents and grandparents (a task formerly left to families, as you point out in your post), they also want to become the primary caregiver for our children.

  2. charlie says:

    Interesting, I definitely agree that this is a problem, but it seems that the real solution is personal responsibility. Passing on the responsibility of care to the next generation through filial responsibility or the Ponzi scheme of health care are both bad.

    No matter what the answer is, it is obvious that it shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility.

  3. Carol says:

    I have something to say about the government providing care for the elderly. What type of medical service is out there for the elderly if the government is providing the care, who mandates the supervision on these homes that provides these services? If the government isn’t responsible and our children are to take the responsiblity, then how is this funded to our children to take care of us old folks? My daughter is much small person than I am. She can’t lift me up to put me on the throne to take care of business, or to give me a shower and change my bedding for me all in one spot of time. It took two men to lift my grandmother to just put her into a wheel chair to go to breakfast. Nurses would leave her laying in her waste for hours at a time and leave rashes on her. These people are not watched over like people think they are. Who’s going to take care of us all in our old age. How bad is it going to be when our children are going to get old. Are they just going to give us a pill to put us to permenant sleep and say that we are not productive citizens and say bye bye. Treating us worse than an animal.

  4. Donna says:

    Not only will we should be concerned who will be providing the manual care, once healthcare reform is in place, we are going to have our government telling us if we qualify for care. If we are too old we don’t qualify. We can just take our pill and wait to die.

  5. Evvacie says:

    Not that I can find, but if you do your homework you will be just as peeasld with the plan C’s that are available in NJ. Most providers accepting Medicare patients also accept Medicare Assignment. This means they will accept Medicare’s approved amounts. Therefore, you will have not be responsible for excess charges above what Medicare approves. This makes Plan F excess coverage obsolete.