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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.

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