Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dementia and Divorce

I have recently thought about divorce and dementia. Liz Pulliam Weston has written an interesting article for MSN discussing it. See the entire article at She says, “The population of divorced people over 65 has exploded in the past 15 years, and elder-law attorneys suspect money is at least partly to blame. The idea that money might be a factor in divorce isn't news. But instead of fighting over their money, these attorneys say, older people who divorce might be trying to preserve it. Christine Crawford of Aurora, Ohio, started divorce proceedings after her husband's care for dementia consumed more than $100,000 of their savings. Crawford said she didn't want to divorce her husband, with whom she'd raised three children, but it was the only way to preserve what was left of their life savings.” The couple divorces and puts all their assets in the well person’s name and the sick spouse can then qualify for Medicaid benefits.
I have not seen any divorces caused by dementia. An internet search shows some but most are second marriages or shorter marriages. Couples who are married longer seem to be more willing to care for a sick spouse. This is encouraging.
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