Guest Post By Ken Reid

by MyDadBlog on August 8, 2012

in Guest Post

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Though we never want to think about it, our mortality is inevitable and unavoidable.  The death of a family member is something that can take a heavy toll on a family, and is usually a time where we lean on each other the most for support. With that said, the circumstances leading up to a family member’s passing can pit family as foe, as well as put a large strains on the those responsible for the care of a loved one who is unable to care for themselves.

 

Long term care insurance (LTCi) is one of the most beneficial and unselfish monetary tools that a person can obtain. Though not many people understand it nor purchase it, the benefits extend beyond financial protection.  For those receiving the care, it ensures that they receive the type of care that they desire and ensures that their last days are as comfortable as possible.  In addition, LTCi can preserve family relations in that it solidifies a plan for care, which mitigates potential arguments and family in-fighting that is likely to occur if a care plan is left open-ended or not agreed upon by all family members.  This is particularly important for the adult children or spouse of a terminally incapable person who serve as a full time caretaker, as they typically face this largest amount of stress and likely to develop underlying resentment for shouldering most of the care burden.

 

I have experience in how this scenario can play out, both as a professional and in my personal life.  My own grandfather suffered through the crippling effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease. My grandmother and local family bore the responsibility of his daily care.  As my grandfather and grandmother had never been introduced to the idea of Long Term Care, there was not a defined care plan in place.  And while my grandmother and her children never gave a second thought to caring for my grandfather, it wasn’t long until I could see a steady growth of impatience and animosity between my family members providing my grandfathers care.

 

Because there was no definite care plan in place, each person involved began to have their own ideas about how the care should be provided.  In addition, they also began harboring resentment and criticizing other family members for their “lack of involvement.”  Even if the responsibilities were delegated equally, it was inevitable that someone thought they were doing more than their fair share of the work. Many hurtful words were exchanged between family members, even the day of my grandfather’s funeral in the very room where he was laid to rest. The disagreements and in-fighting drove a wedge between my family members, that to do this day, has still not been resolved among certain members.  But perhaps even more tragic, the disagreements also burdened my dying grandfather, who at one time said to me in whisper, “All this feuding is because of me.”

 

Your family does not need to suffer the same consequences as mine or the many others that have faced to repercussions of being underprepared for a long term care scenario.  There are many free Long Term Care resources at your disposal to help you understand the costs and benefits of LTCi and the importance of having a care plan in place.  We all want to be there for our parents and other family members when the time comes, but it should be in a way that we can enjoy our remaining days together and reflect on the experience in a positive light. Long term care insurance is a key component to that overall solution.  Don’t wait to have the conversation – start talking with your family members now.  Not only will you protect your family’s finances, but something far more valuable – your time and relationships together.

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