I wish to offer debts of gratitude to Margaret M for having the courage to share her story with us. Unfortunately, similar situations happen far more often than they should, mostly because people don’t want to plan. Margaret and I ardently hope that by sharing her story, others will be able to avoid similar circumstances. The following is a true story, and not a paid endorsement.
About 18 years ago, we received a mail solicitation for long-term care insurance. My husband said he thought it sounded like a good idea. We responded and made an appointment with an agent who would show us coverage.
Three days before our appointment, my husband suffered a mini-stroke and became uninsurable. He continued to have mini-strokes. His condition deteriorated. He was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
My husband was an avid jogger. One day he went jogging and couldn’t find his way home. At that point, he wanted to move to our retirement home in Louisiana, about 4 ½ hours away. We felt he could do some of his favorite activities there, and would be safer because he wouldn’t have to leave our 54 acres. He had a caregiver. We were able to save some money because the cost of care is lower there.
That was in February, 2000. I was working full-time, largely to keep us both covered with health insurance. Every weekend, I’d commute back and forth to Louisiana from Houston.
My husband’s condition continued to deteriorate. He began to hallucinate and became violent, making it impossible for him to remain in our home with a caregiver. In the Spring of 2006, we moved him into a nursing home back in Houston. By the time he passed away on Thanksgiving Day of 2006, he’d lost 60 pounds and was painfully thin and physically debilitated.
This whole ordeal lasted about ten years. Alzheimers and similar debilitating diseases cause tremendous emotional stress for the patient and caregiver. We went through pretty much our entire $650,000 retirement savings paying for his care. The stress of this financial burden greatly exacerbates the pain and devastation of losing your loved one.
People just can’t imagine something like this ever happening to them. They can’t fathom how expensive the cost of care can be. I am sad and concerned about this. This is why I want my story told. I’d like to prevent other families from experiencing the same type of hardship we had. Our lives would have turned out so differently if we’d known about long-term care insurance just a little bit sooner. I am so glad I own long term care insurance, so that our children will never have to worry about providing care for me, should it be needed in the future.” ~ Margaret M | Houston, TX