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Here are some details about the Good Samaritan Fund (GSF), specifically how much we tend to receive each year in donations, and how those funds are used by Londonderry Village to provide care for our residents. I am going to explore a little variation on that theme, namely why people need the support of the GSF and why the need for financial assistance is growing each year.

There are two main reasons why folks ‘run out of money’ as they age. First is longevity. Frankly, due to a variety of reasons (better diet, more exercise, medical advances, etc.), folks are living longer than anybody ever expected. On average, they are also living healthier lives, as well…but that is a topic for another column!

The second reason that seniors exhaust their funds is the prohibitive costs of medical care. Prescription medications can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per month. Surgeries (though often covered by insurance) can run over $100,000. Stays in an assisted living or nursing care facility are typically in the $60,000 to $120,000 per year category…and they are often not covered by insurance. While most seniors have a “nest egg” saved up for their retirement years, it is often insufficient when unforeseen medical issues arise. And while the good news is that most folks will not encounter a multi-year stay in a long term care facility, the bad news is that the unlucky ones who need ongoing care will often deplete their nest eggs.

When a resident in Personal Care exhausts his/her personal assets, there is no government ‘safety net’ and so the Good Samaritan Fund steps in to provide 100% of the financial assistance for that person’s care. When someone in Nursing Care exhausts their personal funds, the Medicaid program will then step in and pay for their nursing care…sort of. Unfortunately, the average daily Medicaid reimbursement (about $200 per day) is well below the costs that Londonderry Village incurs (about $350 per day) to provide nursing care for that resident. Once again, the Good Samaritan Fund is called upon to help fill the gap.

This year I am thankful for all those folks who support our Good Samaritan Fund. Whether they be cash donors, Chicken BBQ patrons, Golf Tournament participants, corporate sponsors and partners, Butterfly Release attendees, Auxiliary members, church supporters, etc…, they all contribute mightily to our ability to serve our mission, and to our 40-year tradition and promise of never asking anybody to leave Londonderry Village because they could no longer pay our charges.

Jeff Shireman, President

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