My Long-Term Care Story: Part 3

by | Dec 13, 2021

To continue My Story about long-term care insurance and what it means to me, I need to explain how COVID changed everything. Specifically, how the “alternate plan of care” in the long-term care insurance policy made all the difference for us.

In mid-August 2020 Brookdale was just beginning to open up activities for residents again. My mother had returned to the exercise class, as the one activity that gave her daily routine. One day while leaving the class, a staff member gave her a paper that described a scoring of sorts weighing a resident’s COVID risk to the community. She was told that if she left the community to come to my home, she would be quarantined for 14 days each time. Or, she could stop doing the daily activities in the community, and still leave the facility without being quarantined.

It was cruel. Everything about COVID is cruel, but our seniors in long-term care facilities bore the greatest burden. My mother was in tears.

Our choice was easy, and my husband Scott made it even easier. Upon hearing about this turn of events, Scott grabbed my mother’s rollator (walker) and started wheeling it around our house, through the bedroom doorway turning into the bathroom. He was testing it to see how easy it would be for her to maneuver all-around our house if she lived with us. There was no discussion except when we could do it, and how would we covert the shower/tub into a step-in shower.

And this is where my mother’s long-term care insurance policy came into play. The “alternate plan of care” in the long-term care insurance policy allowed for modifications to the home. Although my mother did not own this house, her long-term care insurance policy paid over $8,000 towards the renovations in our home for removing the bathtub and tiling a shower. This provision also covered the cost of installing grab bars where needed in our home. Obviously, this “alternate plan of care” in her long-term care insurance policy was needed and made the transition easier for us all.

Mom moved in with us on September 15, 2020. I had hired a home healthcare agency to provide 4 hours of care for my mother each morning, to help her bathe and dress, as well as help her exercise, go for a walk, and prepare her lunch. Since we work at home, I was available if she needed anything in the afternoons or evenings.

It was the perfect plan, and we all expected this to last for at least five years. We only had two weeks of this new normal before things changed once again for us.

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