The partner is writing today’s blog: Right from the heart of a long term care dilemma.
Mom and I live 125 miles apart. I work full time, and have adult “step-children” at home, as well as a new “spouse”, AND am the care giver to 83 year old mom: A classic case of “sandwich” generation.
Hindsight is a wonderful tool – it makes us look at what should have been while sorting out the realities of where we are. In hindsight mom should have purchased Long Term Care Insurance 20 years ago. She could have done so when she was still teaching. Mom is of the genre that doesn’t believe in Insurance in general. Unfortunately no one sat with mom to have the discussion of where do you want care, who will help you with care, and how will you pay for your care (and in mom’s case, still leave something to her family as her legacy).
We are at the cross roads of what do we do with mom? I am the in-state sibling. The out of state sibling has washed his hands of mom’s care because this sib is too busy building his career.
Of course as sibling things go, my career seems to be forgotten in this equation: A common issue for women in the sandwich situation.
Mom, at 83 has been quite active, independent, spunky, and generally able to care for herself for over 40 years. First, as a single parent in the 1960’s (when single moms were frowned upon), then as a single parent seeing to it both her children went to college and got masters degrees. And then as a champion ballroom dancer in her 70’s.
Mobility issues and vision deterioration have now put this spunky, sharp-witted lady in the dilemma of moving to a new community to be closer to her primary care giver; to change doctors, hair salons, fitness trainer, church, restaurants, etc. At 83 this is not an easy task. Moving to a Senior Community 125 miles away is a huge leap for this person who likes the security and continuity of her condo; to say nothing of having to give up her best friend – Kitty Cat. (Author note – Kitty cat will be coming to live in our zoo with existing cat and dog).
Had mom considered Long Term Care Insurance when she had the chance, she would have several more options for where she could get care. As it is, we at the Long Term Care Guy, looked at mom’s financial situation, and because she has been a conservative saver, she can afford a Senior community. BUT if her health and mental acuity decline, she will be faced with another move, to a facility that will take Medicaid.
Being a long distance caregiver is tough: Emotionally draining, physically exhausting and frustrating. Add to that the demands of career and family and the days are not long enough.
So to close, please consider Long Term Care Insurance while you are healthy and able to get it. This will provide you with numerous options for where you will get care, who will give you the care and how the care will be paid for.