I was so happy that monetary help would finally be on the way, well, until I discovered that the financial assistance would only pay to place my parents in a nursing home, not even in assisted living, and with very little help to keep them in their own home.
Since their levels of care were so different (my mother needed nearly all ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) done for her, there weren’t any facilities that would allow my parents to be together. Instead, they’d be across the street from each other in different wings of the facility. After fifty-five years of marriage, they were adamant about wanting to stay together in their own home, in their own bed, where they could continue to cuddle and kiss–as they so frequently did. And, since my father could be so "challenging" with terrible temper tantrums, and with quite a long record of manipulative disruptive behaviors–none of the facilities wanted to deal with him anyway.
It was really hard to accomplish, but I committed to keeping my parents together in their own home and attending Adult Day Health Care five days a week. Then, with the help of two marvelous caregivers, after four more years of loving each other–they passed, just a few months apart. And even though caring for every aspect of my parents’ last years was the hardest thing I have ever done–I am proud to say I gave them the best end-of-life experience I possibly could.
Had I only known to insist that we buy Long-Term Care Insurance for them prior to their illnesses–their many years of in-home care could have been paid for, and I could have saved myself so much heartache, not to mention a small fortune. I encourage you to learn from my mistakes and look into LTC insurance long before you need it-for your loved ones as well as yourself. Like fire insurance, hopefully, you’ll never have to use it.
Also, be sure to call your local Area Agency on Aging, Department of Aging, and Alzheimer’s Association, and ask if there are any financial programs, waivers, or grants available in your area that you can apply for.
* An estimated 4.5 to 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. In a Gallup poll, 1 in 10 Americans said that they had a family member with Alzheimer’s, and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease.
* Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s. One in 10 individuals over 65 and nearly half over 85 are affected. Rare, inherited forms of Alzheimer’s can even strike individuals in their 30’s and 40’s.