I sold Melinda her long-term care insurance policy when she was 60, a little more than two years ago.
She was only 61 when she was diagnosed with cancer. Up until then, she’d always had great health.
Melinda did not have much money saved, and when Jim and I visited her in early December, 2016, she had considerable pain.
We observed she was very weak and fatigued, and not able to manage her affairs without assistance. Melinda confirmed she feared falling while dressing and bathing.
I explained to her that needing chronic (not temporary) standby or hands-on assistance with bathing and dressing would cause her long-term care insurance policy to pay. She’d be entitled to collect about $3200/month if she’d admit to and accept help. Melinda was happy to admit this.
Only because she owned long-term care insurance, Melinda was able to move to a high-quality assisted living facility, where she spent the rest of her life. The assisted living facility was in a ranch house, in a sub-division, modified for people needing care. Not all assisted living facilities are large communities. And many of these facilities keep patients through the end of life, as this one did.
I visited Melinda at her assisted living facility about a month before her death. I spent the afternoon with her. I was impressed with the caring, peaceful, nurturing atmosphere. The ratio of caregivers to residents was about 1:3 – higher than you’d find in a larger, more commercialized facility.
Melinda often commented on how pleased she was with the facility and her care. Her bedroom had a large picture window. Through it, we enjoyed the sunset together and watched the shadows on the wall change. We had a high-quality visit. Then we said good-bye to each other. Caregivers were very attentive to her. It was a very dignified place. She was truly cared for.
Melinda was able to spend the end of her life outside of the hospital, tying up any loose ends, making amends, enjoying friends’ visits, all with peace and dignity.
Without her long-term care insurance, the outcome for Melinda would have been entirely different and not nearly as good. She would have had to stay in a friend’s home, trying to “tough out” her situation. She would not have wanted to admit her true need and impose on her hosts. This probably would have resulted in emergency hospital admissions, discharge, accelerated decline, loss of dignity, and reduced life quality. I believe she would not have gotten all the care she needed. She would have felt unsafe and fearful.
Melinda’s long-term care insurance carrier, MedAmerica, could not have been more helpful and willing to pay her claim. Without her long-term care insurance, I believe Melinda would have passed away much sooner, and with far less dignity, serenity, and peace.