Quoted directly from today’s (September 12, 2011) Dear Abby column:
My longtime friend Jim and a stroke several years ago. His wife was struggling to keep him at home while working, taking care of the house, cooking and doing other endless chores. She found it difficult even to get out of the house for a haircut. She confided to me the hurt she felt when friends never followed through on their general offers of assistance.
Our discussion led to the formation of the FOJ (Friends of Jim’s) Club. Everyone in our “elite” group commits to spending two hours a month with Jim. The time slots we fill are recorded in our FOJ calendar. This time provides a needed respite for Jim’s wife and an opportunity to Jim to interact with others and get out of the house. Because the time commitment is for a defined— but not overly long—period of time, people are more willing and able to make a commitment they know they can keep.
Friend of Jim’s in Champaign, IL”
Honey’s comments: LTCQueen readers who do NOT own LTCi (long-term care insurance), please do everything within your power to imagine how different the scenario above would be if Jim had purchased LTCi.
My guess is that although Jim’s wife is getting some respite from friends, it is still not enough respite to spare her the additional mental, physical and financial stress being his full-time caregiver causes.
If Jim owned LTCi, chances are his policy would pay for home health care and he’d be on collecting from it right now. His policy would also be in “waiver of premium” (requiring no premium payments). I have no way of knowing how much home health care his LTCi would pay for, but chances are that whatever additional, paid home health care it paid for would go far to alleviate his wife’s stress and the resentment this reader describes.
LTCi ownership is all about having dignity, options, choices for not only the person needing care, but just as importantly, for the loved ones surrounding them.