Resistance to planning for long term care and doubting that human activities have created global warming share some very interesting roots. What a revelation to me! Author Karie Marie Norgaard connected these dots in her book, Living in Denial.
In the book, Norgaard examines the thought processes behind those who choose to deny the existence of climate change. I read an essay by Andy Skuce in which he takes a deep dive into Norgaard’s research and understanding about Denial.
Types of Denial
The book divides denial into 3 categories:
- Literal denial. This happens when people don’t trust the facts, even when overwhelmingly supported by objective and thorough scientific data. We often see this from “Climate Skeptics”.
- Interpretive denial. This one gets slippery. It accepts the facts (climate change is real), but reinterprets the meaning so it doesn’t sound like a real threat. That removes their responsibility to make proactive changes, since it’s not a real problem.
- Implicatory denial. In this case, the facts and the interpretations are generally accepted. But then, “the psychological, political or moral implications that conventionally follow” are discounted and ignored. Climate change is already too advanced for anyone to do anything about it, so I’m off the hook and don’t have to make hard choices.
Denying the Need for Long Term Care
If these thought processes sound familiar, these are exactly the same behaviors I’ve been writing about throughout my career as a Long Term Care Insurance Specialist. Let’s run through these again:
- Literal denial. Not trusting the facts — No matter how many studies get funded, no matter how may reports get written. There are always going to be people who refuse to accept that they are probably going to need financial help to cover their future medical care.
- Interpretive denial. Accepting the facts: Yes, we’re living longer. Yes, we’ll probably need help in our later years. BUT… we’ve always taken care of each other. Or our family is ready to step in to help. We’ll be fine.
- Implicatory denial. I know, we’ve got some uncertain times ahead of us. BUT… ‘they’ say that there’s no real reliable coverage. Or it costs too much. What can I do at this point?
For almost 30 years I’ve had well-educated, affluent friends and acquaintances make excuses to avoid the conversation about reasonable, responsible long term care planning. Intellectually, these people know better. They are making sound decisions in other areas of their lives, but they refuse to accept the fact that after age 65, they might be one of the 70% of us are going to need some sort of long-term care.
Denial is not a river in Egypt and the first step is easy. Click here to receive your no-obligation quote on your own Long Term Care insurance plan.