We’ve all heard the horror stories about how being a direct caregiver can tear families inside out. Well, I lived through that with my beloved grandmother. She was my favorite and I was hers; but a day came when she needed me in more ways than I had ever imagined, and I had a big decision to make. With a job and family of my own, how would I manage to help her in all of the ways she deserved? Sure, there were other family members, but I was the one who was closest and the nurse.
At first the visits were minimal. There were trips to the grocery store or doctor’s office and perhaps, a little housekeeping. Then I started to notice I was needed more often than not. After two years of doing everything I could to keep her in the home she loved, the day came for the decision to be made to move her to a local Assisted Living Facility. Although it was nice, it was not home. Since she did not have a long-term care insurance (LTCi) policy, the monthly expenses were paid from what she had saved over the years and a small amount of income from social security. This lasted for approximately six months until she had a medical setback that required surgery. After she recovered from the surgery, she was never the same. Her mind was gone. So we made the move to a local nursing home. At this time, she needed care 24/7 but the cost was high and the care was mediocre. She lasted for two more years in a state of not even knowing my name and eventually ended up not having a penny to her name.
I often think to myself, “what if she had purchased long-term care insurance?" She had every other type of insurance, why not that? I can see the value of a care coordinator to assist with the details of planning her care and the policy paying for the daily expenses. Although it was a burden on me and my family, we did what we could to help care for her in her last few years of life. So many families deal with this every day. The question is, who will be affected in your life, if you ever need long-term care services?