Family: The real meaning of LTC

Family: The real meaning of LTC

During this month of love, take a minute to reflect on what long-term care insurance really does for people. I know long-term care means different things to different people. Is it about financial independence? Is it about keeping your dignity? Is it about choice? Yes, it is. But even more importantly, it is about FAMILY! When someone needs care, they will get care. But their family is likely to bear the burden of being a caregiver, or trying to find a caregiver. 

I am writing this as I am reflecting on the passing of my wife’s grandmother (Mimi). From the moment my wife and I started dating, I can remember all of the family gatherings. They happened at least once a month. Homemade pasta sauce and meatballs. Ribs that were baked in the oven. Playing catch in the backyard with the football, and the late nights just sitting around talking and laughing about everything going on. Well, that all ended about nine years ago … Dec. 11, 2005, to be exact. This is when Rachael’s grandpa (Boppie) had his heart attack.  

Family came in from everywhere as the doctors were giving him about 48 hours. Surgery wasn’t an option, so the blockages were left intact. Well, nine years later, he is still with us … but the family has been his caregivers. That was just the beginning, however. Family gatherings became less frequent and eventually, Mimi’s health started going downhill as well.  

Without giving a play by play of the last five years, I will say that this family has been torn apart. Mimi spent her last months in a nursing home, trying to recover from surgery. My mother-in-law has spent the last five years as a caregiver, when she should have been a daughter being able to spend time with her parents during their last years. We were able to spend time together over this past Thanksgiving … then our next family gathering was just a week later, at Mimi’s funeral.  

Getting back to thinking about why we do what we do … This family was so torn apart that two of my wife’s cousins, who were with us in Chicago, didn’t take time out of their busy schedules to go and see Mimi. She was 20 minutes down the road. The love is gone, the caring is gone … let’s face it, the family is gone. I expect we won’t have another family gathering until Boppie passes away. I was extremely thankful to spend time with him and see Mimi one last time, but I am also heartbroken over what has come out of this.  

When we are having discussions with clients, we need to get to the heart of what we do. We keep families together! If you have a story, share it and make it personal. If you don’t, you can use mine. I challenge our advisors to remember the importance of what we do, and not just give a quote to their clients. It has never been easier to talk about long-term care, but it is definitely harder to sell because it has been about price for so long. Let’s look past the price and into what this really means: FAMILY!