Why We Think Long Term Care Insurance is So Important

Our Own Family Experiences

Our family experience taught us a lot about long term care, and LTC Insurance would've come in handy - to say the least. Through the years from 1977 through 1990, our families wrestled with caregiving problems many times over, and we ended up losing to long term care facilities almost all that had been saved over the years. Over 1.7 million dollars in all...

Click blue lines below to read how it all unfolded:

First, Aunt Ida lost her faculties and needed long term care around the clock.

Then, my father fell ill. He needed full-time long term care for 2 years before he passed on. Since he had no asset protection strategy in place, my father was forced to literally impoverish himself to qualify for long term care benefits. He spent his last years living in a barracks-type setting of a VA Hospital.

In time, my remaining aunts and uncles required long term care as well...

Aunt Ida: 5 years long term care - Alzheimer's
Dad 2 years long term care - Emphysema
Aunt Judy: 9 years long term care - Longevity/Frailty
Aunt Louise: 7 years long term care - Longevity/Frailty
Nana: 5 years long term care - Alzheimer's
Aunt Nina: 2 years long term care - Cancer
Uncle Arthur: 4 years long term care - Diabetes
Uncle Rolly: 3 years long term care - Alzheimer's
Uncle Bob: current long term care - Longevity
Aunt Jessie: current long term care - Longevity

Finally, in 1997, at age 50, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I now need care for every Activity of Daily Living (ADL) - Feeding, dressing, bathing, writing, phone, finances, toileting ,walking, transferring - You name it.

My devoted wife is and has been my 24/7 caregiver since I became wheelchair-bound in 2004. She cannot work outside the home. We do not have extra money for caregiving help, but make just enough from passive income to "fall between the cracks". We cannot get government assistance at this time - and hope never to have to go that route. Still, the stress is enormous. I don't know how my wife carries on, especially with her own health issues.

Clearly, in my life, there's been a good deal of experience with long term care. I only wish that I would bought Long Term Care Insurance policy before I was diagnosed.

Don't let this happen to you. If you are planning on getting LTC insurance, please don't gamble with your life by procrastinating, like I did. Contact your Buyer's Advocate today to find out if Long Term Care insurance right for you.

Yours Most Sincerely,

Clayborne Cotton

Both Kimberly and her mother, Fran, moved to Arizona years ago to care for Nana during her last 6 years with Alzheimer's. Here is Kimberly's story:

nana, mom and me "In 1984 my mother asked me to move into my grandmother's house to care for her. Nana was forgetting things and becoming increasingly confused. Mom was quite worried, but In order to care for Nana herself, my mother would have had to take a five-year early retirement. That pay cut would have left her living below poverty level after retiring.

My grandparents didn't have any Long Term Care insurance, because my grandfather didn't like the idea of 'nursing homes'. He was able to stay at home fighting emphysema and cancer, because Nana and a dear friend, who was a nurse, provided care. I also left my husband and small children in Oregon and flew to Arizona to care for Pops when needed.

On his death bed, Pops made my Mom promise to "never put your mother in one of those homes". She did promise, and the burden of long term care was put squarely on the family's shoulders. Yet only my mother and I were willing and able to accept it.

After caring for Nana for a couple of years, as well as trying to maintain my own massage business, I became quite ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At times I was bedridden and was of little use as a caregiver. During the 3rd year, as Nana steadily declined, I realized that I could not care for her by myself any longer.

After explaining the situation to my mother, she decided to take a 2-year early retirement which, unfortunately, cut her monthly pension checks in half. She moved to Arizona to take care of Nana, then dealt with the next heart-rending, nerve-wracking 3 years as Nana's caregiver. Finally, stressed to the point of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion, Mom could not continue. She needed to place Nana in an long term care facility, no matter what she had promised her father so many years before.

It was hard to find an inexpensive, competent facility, but my mother was able to locate a residential care facility for $1500 per month (1989 prices). After 6 years of home care, Nana stayed in the facility for only three months. This once docile, caring and loving woman had become increasingly violent and uncooperative over the years. She also had such terrifying hallucinations that her behavior was disruptive to the other residents. The owners of the residential care facility called my mother and said they could not provide the kind of care my grandmother required, then told her that Nana would have to be moved as soon as possible.

On the day my grandmother was supposed to enter an Alzheimer's facility, she mercifully passed away. Our family was both sad and relieved. None more so than my mother.

Like most families, we all wanted Nana to be well cared for during her last years. Sadly, no one planned ahead. Without the support of long term care insurance, none of us had the financial resources to provide a comfortable and safe place for her without also sacrificing our own well-being. If my grandfather had known the price Mom and I would have to pay in energy, health and dollars, he would have made sure that some kind of financial protection was in place so that Nana's care could have been provided by professionals. But hindsight is 20/20.

I have always told my mother that I will care for her in her old age...and I mean it. Mom, however, does not want my sister and I to suffer the same caregiving burden that she experienced with Nana. So, when my mother purchased long term care insurance, I cried...

I told her then that I believe long term care insurance is the most thoughtful, loving gift a parent could possibly give their family. I still do.

Thanks Mom. :-)

With Deep and Abiding Love,


Two folks who "walk the walk" of long term care - 24/7

It was never in their plans for Clayborne to contract mid-life Multiple Sclerosis, but that's exactly what happened…

His devoted wife, Kimberly, now Clayborne's full-time caregiver, says "Clayborne is so weak that he can't hold a glass of water, let alone get out of bed." Still, one must keep a sense of humor.

"Caregiving for anyone can be a stressful job, but just think of what it's like to spend every moment of every day with your spouse...poor Clayborne! He can never get away from me!", Kimberly jokes.

As well as taking care of Clayborne's daily needs, which is a 24/7 job in itself, Kimberly also takes dictation for him in his capacity as long term care author/activist for the LTCi Buyer's Advocate Alliance. She is also a retired massage therapist, nutritional counselor, writer, and a happy mother and grandmother. In addition, she webmasters for PrepSmart.com, ClayCotton.com and a few other sites.

In the late 1980s, after years of coping with his own aging relatives care issues, Clayborne studied financial planning and asset protection, became a stock broker and eventually, an expert in long term care insurance. So, he knows the long term care insurance industry and financial planning first-hand.

Ironically, even Clayborne fell victim to the "it won't happen to me" mentality. At age 50, he put off buying his own LTC insurance coverage for "just a few months longer", until the surprise Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis blocked his eligibility for enrollment.

Says Clayborne , "I waited too long to buy long term care insurance, and now I'm uninsurable. Now I'm a poster child for denial and procrastination. Not having LTC insurance has put a tremendous strain on my wife and our finances. If I dwell on our situation, I can feel pretty sad and guilty, so I try not to. "

"I'm blessed with a loving wife. My family is supportive, even if they do live elsewhere. Some folks have to deal with MS by themselves, so I count my blessings every day", Clayborne quickly adds.

"Still, my current situation is what motivates me to make sure others act wisely. If you can afford it, please get your long term care insurance without further delay", says Clayborne. "You'll feel secure, whether you use it or not. You'll be glad to have your LTCi policy, should you ever need it and you'll be happier still, if you never need it. Let's hope you never do need long term care, but protect yourself, in any case."