Our parents are getting old. They won’t admit it, but we can see it. Getting up in the morning is a little slower; moving around the house is a little tougher. As I look at them, I see my future. Sure, I attempt to maintain my perpetual youth by running half-marathons and adventure races, but I can feel my recovery taking longer. It’s just a reminder that age is coming and we’d best be prepared for it. Part of that involves planning for our long term care.
I recently read an article from the Women’s Institute on Financial Education (WIFE) entitled Long Term Care Is a Woman’s Issue. It is a well-established fact that women, on average, live longer than men. That means that most married women will wind up providing long term care for their husbands. In addition to taking care of their husbands, these women must also maintain the home, prepare meals, etc. Once their husbands pass away, they will wind up being caregivers for themselves. Even if the shoe is on the other foot, what happens to an older man who has never shopped, cooked, or cleaned the house?
Thankfully, many long term care plans provide flexibility where government programs and healthcare insurance may not. Perhaps your spouse does not need nursing care, but a housecleaning or shopping service would allow you to focus on providing care and spending time with your spouse rather than spreading yourself thin trying to do everything yourself.
We are fortunate that Beth opts into a long term care plan with her employer. For those out there without that option, insurance companies offer several different options to give you the flexibility that you need.
Have you developed a long term care plan for you and your spouse? Did you go through your employer or a separate company? Leave us a comment and let us know.