I know all about household caretaking. I took care of both of my grandparents during my formative adult years. I took three years off college to do so. As the years passed they needed more and more daily care. Towards the end they both needed help walking, dressing, ad getting up out of chairs and into and out of bed daily. Either my mother or I would take care of their household cleaning and grocery shopping. I would drive them daily to appointments such as dialysis, chemo, and simple doctor checkups. I would even have to help them cut up their food or blend it for them to be able to eat. 

Being a “doctor/nurse” so to speak can take a physical and emotional toll on the caretaker, but having a family member who can be right by your side every minute of the day, as well as your task rabbit, can be extremely time-consuming and overwhelming at the best of times.

Now I know I wouldn’t take back those last few precious months with my grandparents for the world, but I know my education, career, and personal life took a toll in those crucial early adult years of my life. When we finally hired a hospice nurse I was finally able to start being just their grandchild again. We were able to sit down and talk about stories and look at old photos without me having to stop and give them their pills or keep track of their vitals throughout the day. I could just visit them and sit down and have a relaxing conversation. Their hospice nurse gave us back our grandchild and grandparent relationship and that was all thanks to my grandmother’s long-term care insurance. They were foolish enough to only get coverage for her and not for my grandfather which is why I become their caretaker for the first few years of his illness. 

Things I took for granted before my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer were the time I had to spend with friends and in classes, but also the type of relationship we were able to have before they got sick. My life revolved around appointments and medicines and not being able to enjoy our time together. I could not be any more thankful too for being able to get these things back once my grandmother’s LTC policy started.

Anyone who does not have a long-term care policy may be putting their loved ones in the same position I was in. If you do not plan for the future then those around you will have to pick up that slack if you become in need of any of the six daily activities which are, bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring, and grooming. Protect yourself and your family by signing up for long-term care today. Another option if you believe long-term care insurance is out of your price range is an annuity option that would give you a steady income for a set period of time or until your death. There is no reason to not prepare yourself for the future.