I swear that I do NOT watch Entertainment Tonight on a regular basis. In fact, I would guess that I see that show about five times a year. But it is a guilty little pleasure when I do see it…kind of like reading People Magazine.
But I did see the show recently and there was a segment with Queen Latifah and her mother. Her mother has been diagnosed with heart failure. Queen Latifah talked about how it rocked her world. Her mother is only 66 years old. The two are very close. Queen Latifah talked about how she moved her mother across the country to live with her. Obviously she is fortunate to have the financial resources to do this.
The interviewer (always a tall, slim, gorgeous blond in stilettos), then turned to the mother and asked “how did you feel about being able to move in with her?” The obvious answer they were expecting was something on the order of “I was so grateful” or “it meant so much”. That’s not the answer they got. Queen Latifah’s mother paused briefly, looked very thoughtful, and then responded “well, I actually was kind of embarrassed”.
What a revealing response! This confirms my belief that no matter who we are, we don’t want to be dependent upon others—especially our children. We raise our children to be independent. We do the best we can to prepare them for life. We love them. We send them out to be on their own. We don’t want to be dependent on them.
The statement that I hear most often while meeting with those exploring long term care planning is “I don’t want to be a burden on my children.”
While I don’t know Queen Latifah’s financial situation, I’m guessing this was not a financial “burden” for her. However, her mother still felt that she was being a burden in some way to her daughter.
Having financial resources, whether personal funds or a long term care insurance policy, doesn’t take away from the other challenges that face the loved ones of someone who needs care. However, if one isn’t also struggling to figure out how to piece together care and how to pay for care, there is more time and energy available to respond to the other needs that arise during that time.
In many families, the children will step up and do what is needed to take care of a parent. But it may come at the cost of time with their own families, time away from work, physical stress, and depression which is very common in caregivers.
Long term care insurance is a cost-efficient way to make sure that there will be funds available in the future to hire caregivers if needed. Maybe you would only hire someone to come in and do the more personal care such as bathing. Maybe you would want or need someone available for most of the day.
Being able to hire a professional caregiver allows your family members to simply be there to love you rather than be there to provide necessary hands- on care. It allows life to be as normal as possible. It helps fulfill what you meant when you said “I don’t want to be a burden to my children”.