Long Term Care Insurance - A Caregiver's Perspective

Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance is not something you think typically about until you are forced to. Although, we should plan ahead and not wait until it is too late, many of us do. From a caregiver’s perspective, caring for aging and/or ill parents can be exhausting, emotionally & physically and financially. Caring for our aging parents can also very rewarding, as they took care of us when we were young, now it is our turn. When my turn came, I had no problem stepping up to the plate.

Both my parents and my mother in-law had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), all were also former smokers. As they got older, and their conditions worsened, a slight cold could lead to pneumonia in a blink of an eye. We tried to be careful not to visit with them if we, or one of the kids, had colds or just didn’t feel well so we wouldn’t spread germs to them.

I come from a large family - there are seven of us - and when dad took ill, we all stepped up and took him to his doctors’ appointments, and even stayed overnight when he finally came home. Not everyone had the same time availability as others, some of us weren’t working outside the home, and some were, so we made a schedule that worked for the family, as a whole. When our mom later needed care, a couple of my sisters definitely had a larger share of that load and I can’t thank them enough.

I truly didn’t understand the depth of what they did until my mother in-law came to live with my husband and me, when she became ill and needed our care. Having my siblings around also afforded us our own kind of counseling forum amongst ourselves. We were able to be there for each other, talk, share our feelings and work through things together. Not everyone is so fortunate to have this kind of strong support circle.

The impact of being a caregiver, however, wasn’t just on us as children of the aging and/or ill parent; it had a trickle down effect to our families as well. Spouses and children feel the impact as well, dinner’s not on time, laundry’s not done, etc. Adjustments had to be made there as well with our time.

Thankfully, our parents had outside help, too. Home health aides would come in 2-3 days per week to help with personal care, household chores and also grocery shopping. Visiting nurses came in at least weekly to check on them and also checked prescriptions. My mother in-law’s doctor also stopped by the house to check on her. They were wonderful and we can’t thank them enough for their help and care.

Long term care insurance helps to cover costs associated with the care of your loved one, for example; nursing home or assisted living care, adult day care, home health care. If you are ever faced with having to take care of an ailing parent, you will have many things to worry about. If they have long term care insurance, the cost of their care could be covered, making some decisions easier for you, as their care giver. 

About the author: Melanie Tretheway has been in the life insurance business for over 30 years. She is a mother of two who loves baking, reading, gardening, and taking care of her family. Melanie takes great pride in making sure you are informed, especially when it comes to choosing the right life insurance policy for your family. You can contact Melanie at 1-800-651-1953 or MTretheway@Pivot.com.