A Case Study for Long-Term Care Insurance

Contributed by Shehnaz Hussain, Intuitive Financial Solutions

Looking at Senior’s as well as Caregiver’s perspective

A parent has fallen, and daughter gets a call and she lives in another province.
A possible situation that can affect any of us at some point.

Let’s look at some realities

Mother fell. Had hip surgery, was in rehab and got discharged.

The good news:

  • Mother has great long-term care insurance, so family don’t have to worry about where the money will come from for home care especially on days when CCAC is not able to cover the care. Family can start with around-the-clock care and could cut back to one 8-hour shift a day. Mother still a high fall risk.
  • Mother and daughter have a close relationship and rarely disagree.

The bad news: 

  • The dynamics of dealing with mother with the new circumstances.

Mother was moved to the nursing home at 9 p.m. Daughter arrived shortly after to find mom upset about the fact that she was sharing a room, since she had been expecting a private room.

She was told she would be getting a semi-private room for rehab. Blamed daughter for not taking care of her as the daughter had not gotten a private room.

The next morning, mother informed daughter that they had awoken her in the middle of the night because the roommate had died. Guilt for daughter. Relationship dynamics changed.

When mom returned home and family started discussing home health care details — such as when to reduce the caregiver hours from 24 to 8 — it was soon clear mom and daughter disagreed. Daughter wanted more; mom wanted less. Managing mother became more stressful than managing her care.

Caregiving is challenging

Often seniors feel, “I don’t need this, because my family will take care of me” — a reality check is needed. Yes, family is there. But do you want your kids to take you to the bathroom, help you shower, and give up their careers to become a full-time caregiver?

One of the best things about having long-term care insurance policies is that the family gets the ability to supervise the care rather than provide it hands-on.

Many family caregivers are trying to work at the same time. That’s tough — caregiving takes time.

Being a caregiver can affect one’s health. A recent study showed that among working women 50 and older, 20% of caregivers reported fair or poor health, more than double the number of non-caregivers,

The continuum of care

Stand-alone long-term care insurance is not nursing home insurance. It is nursing home avoidance insurance. Most of the care is being received at home, and virtually everybody wants to stay at home.

You have a very good chance of being able to get care at home. And with a long-term care plan in place, you have the dollars coming in to maintain control.

Navigating the system

This is tough. Knowing a lot about long-term care one assumes it would be smooth sailing. Wrong!

Mom was going to need home health care when she came home. What would happen after daughter goes back?

Many things need to be considered…A care coordinator, appointments and transportation, in home care costs…all of these can be covered with the long-term care plans. Some practical realities that we sometimes think are easier to manage than they really are.

Long-term care insurance is a friend of the family and can help keep relationships and finances intact. Seriously consider looking at getting some care insurance and keep the peace.

It’s Never Too Late to Try New Things

A video of a 102-year old grandmother skydiving has been making its way around social media. While jumping out of a plane is not everyone’s idea of a good time, her story is a great reminder that it’s never too late to try something new.

With the warm weather finally here, what better time to get outside for a little adventure. And by adventure we mean any new experience – no freefalling from a plane needed.

Getting out with help

Not every senior has the mobility to just up and leave the house on a whim. Physical limitations, living away from family and other challenges can make it difficult to get out and about. Even a senior who isn’t receiving home health care for medical needs can enlist the help of a home care provider to help with outings and transportation. A caregiver can help get you to and from where you need to go and escort you to social outings and events or help you get out for some fun and new adventures.

Some activities to try this spring and summer

Ontario is full of beautiful parks to explore and sights to see with something for everyone. There’s also no shortage of activities for seniors looking to try something new and meet new people, regardless of their age or mobility.

Here are 3 activities to get you outdoors this spring and summer:

Lawn bowling – A favorite with old and young; lawn bowling is a low-impact activity that allows you to enjoy the outdoors and meet new people. Lawn bowling clubs are located across the province, with one in just about every city or town. You can find lawn bowls near you by visiting the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association site at: https://www.olba.ca/club-locater.html

Pickleball – This is a net and ball game that’s similar to tennis, but played on a smaller court and at a slower pace. It has become very popular with the aging community in recent years. Pickleball Ontario has locations across the province and is also affiliated with the Ontario Senior Games Association (OSGA) who hosts tournaments. To find a place to play pickleball in Ontario, visit: http://pickleballontario.org/places-to-play/#/Action/Alpha/listingType/O/cid/1291/id/301/value/All

Pole walking – Also called Nordic walking, pole walking is a great activity for seniors, including those who may be a little unsteady on their feet. You walk at your own pace with specially designed poles that help you use your entire body. It’s a wonderful way to get out and enjoy nature and explore new places on your own or with others. You can search pole walking groups in your area on the Nordixx website at: https://www.nordixx.com/pole-walking-group/

This list barely scratches the surface of the many activities that seniors of all ages, fitness, and skill levels can get out and enjoy. Some other ideas: tai chi, yoga, dancing, nature walking/hiking… the list is endless!

David Porter, CPCA

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

The Things I Learned from my Grandparents

As a young adult, you probably rolled your eyes more than once as your grandparents gave you their advice. Stories of walking 100 miles to school, usually barefoot and in the rain or snow probably preceded lectures on waste and spending money on frivolities. We’ve all been there.

Inevitably, like other generations before you, a time came when you realized that the lessons they taught you actually stuck and shaped who you are today.

In honor of grandparents and the knowledge and life lessons that they pass down with the kind of love that only a grandparent can give, we share some of those lessons with you.

Here are valuable life lessons learned from grandparents as shared by three of our clients.

“Never make fun of someone because they have an accent and don’t sound like you. It means they speak more than one language.”  – Gina D.

My grandfather, a proud European man, tried to learn English the few years he lived in Canada. He found it incredibly difficult and only learned a handful of words, but his pride when he spoke those few words – even when they didn’t make sense – was very evident. To him, speaking multiple languages meant more opportunities. I went on to learn 3 other languages which has served me well in my career and given me and my brothers the lifelong gift of being accepting of others, regardless of our differences.

“Think before you spend.” – John C.

As a kid, I would run to the convenience store and spend my allowance on chips, pop, and playing on the video game machine in the store. The money would all be gone before I walked out of the store and I’d spend the rest of the week complaining that I didn’t have any money. My grandfather taught me how to budget my allowance so that it would last. I opened my first bank account and with his guidance and learned to save money.

“Laugh all the time, as much as you can. It will keep you young and make everything better.” – Anna S.

My grandmother laughs all the time and she is over 100 years young now. Growing up, my siblings and I learned to see the lighter side of everything and the value of laughter and making your own happiness. It has gotten us through some of the darkest times in our lives. We are often praised by others for our positivity and told that our laughter and good spirits are infectious. We’re all also quite young-looking for our ages, which is a nice bonus that we attribute to all the laughing!

David Porter, CPCA

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

Proud to be in the Service of Canada – Honouring our Veterans

June marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

Living Assistance Services would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the 14,000+ Canadians who died serving and those who are still with us. We salute their bravery and sacrifice, not only on the anniversary, but every day.

We have many veterans as clients and have the privilege of providing care to those who did so much for us. Our caregivers have been touched by these brave and selfless heroes, many of which still live with the lasting effects of battle.

As the years pass and the number of living Canadian veterans of the Second World War gets fewer, it’s even more important to hear their stories and know what they did and why, and cherish our freedoms, which they fought for.

Our veteran clients have shared so many great stories. We have cried with them as they’ve opened up about the hardships and unfathomable experiences of war. We have laughed with them as they shared funny memories of time spent with other heroes who became lifelong friends. We also get to hear about the challenges and the joys of what their lives are today, which we are so honoured to be an integral part of.

We can’t express enough the immense pride we feel having the opportunity to be a part of the lives of some of these incredible seniors. Having the opportunity to provide compassionate and respectful care to our veterans is an honour that is not easily put into words.

Being able to live in their own home symbolizes independence and the freedom to make their own decisions – something that rings true for all seniors, but is especially poignant to those who fought for the freedom of others.

From helping make their homes more comfortable, lending an ear to hear their stories of life before and after their call of duty, or providing comfort or medical home care to those still dealing with the emotional and physical effects of their sacrifice – we are grateful for the opportunity.

How Will You Remember

As with other years, some of our caregivers will have the pleasure of accompanying these special clients to events to remember and praise their service. It’s just another way that we get to do our part to honour them.

We will continue to cherish these clients and the thousands of others who fought for Canada.

If you too would like the opportunity to show your respect and help others continue to remember their sacrifice, a list of events in your area is available through the Veterans Affairs Canada events page.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We will never forget.

David Porter, CPCA

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care