Life choices

Terrific storms buffeted our area two evenings this week. Being afraid of storms since I was a child, I took Johnny and went to bed early and hid under the covers.  David followed later with Clare, she being very afraid of the loud noise from thunder, having stuck to his side while he finished his “kitchen work.”

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This week, having decided the doctors will look until they find something, I cancelled several medical appointments, feeling virtuous for saving Medicare a few dollars.  No, I’m not being “penny-wise and pound foolish” as my Mom would have said. I’m just tired of this constant merry-go-round of medical appointments. At this point, no one knows my body better than I do.  I’m convinced a good deal of this checking and double-checking is more KYA than anything else.

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Monday, Daughter Connie and two granddaughters, Joy and Hannah, visited and caught me up on the family happenings. Connie said her MIL Francis will be 102 in September.  MIL has expressed some grievances with the assisted living facility where she is housed with other inmates.

Francis is healthy as a horse and is driven to distraction by “senile” roommates. She won’t eat in the dining hall so the staff brings her food on a tray. Francis likes to read mysteries, and rereads many of them.  When I was still reading paperback mysteries, I passed them on to her, but no more.  These days, books are ebooks and/or audiobooks.

All this got me to thinking about my long-term care insurance (LTC) policies.  Until recently, I had two policies, one with David’s insurer, the other a policy my former employer offered.  I opted off the former policy, taking a “fixed” amount for any long-term care I might require in the future. The premium increase on my own policy doubled this year, and the savings I have from opting out of one will cover the premium for the latter.

Why bother with this?  Because I think its wrong to expect someone else to care for me in my dotage…not children, not the government.  I’ve been responsible for myself my whole life and given I can afford LTC insurance at this time, it seems I should take care of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not wealthy, only what used to be called the thrifty lower Middle class.

I may need Medicaid some day, but Medicaid is for the truly needy, someone who has exhausted all their other resources or never had any to begin with. One reason Medicaid going broke is because some people who have other choices, are scamming the system.  I know this for a fact, having personally witnessed a few instances of this in my lifetime.

If you are truly needy, then you should use this program with no qualms, just as my former in-laws who lived into their ninties did.  They spent their entire lives eking out a living in hosiery mills in NC.  They had no savings, however they managed to pay for their house, which was sold to pay for the last survivor’s long-term care at the end of his life.

 

 

22 thoughts on “Life choices

  1. I, too, want to stay right here in my little house. I’m doing what I can afford to make it livable for me as I grow even older. I agree with Woody Allen who said “I don’t fear dying … I just don’t want to be here when it happens !”

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  2. You stirred up a hornets nest with this post. Personally, I cannot afford Long term care, but I have Medicare and a Medicare advantage plan. So pleased.
    I discovered that on Medicare if you cancel an appointment heart for instance, it won’t pay for anything more en re your heart.
    Hey, take your vitamins and walk.

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    • May I remind you of Dorothy Parker’s poem:

      Razors pain you, rivers are damp,
      Acids stain you, drugs cause cramp.
      Guns aren’t lawful, nooses give.
      Gas smells awful, you might as well live.

      Well that was depressing. All we can do, I suppose is roll with the punches. I have the examples of those who went before me. Paternal grandmother with ALS, who suffered until she was in her sixties when she died. Her faith sustained her. Maternal grandmother living into her nineties with dementia in a home. At the end of her life she knew no one and nothing. Those with dementia don’t know or care.

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  3. I think LTC is a must for anyone who can afford it. I can’t and I know my future will end in a nursing home at some point and I am learning to incorporate that and other not-so-fun facts of aging into by last years of life. I know my daughter will be there for me and so will my son to some extent. However, I think those that can should spend now to prepare for their really old age. If the next 60 years fly by as fast as the first 60, 120 will be here in a blink. Hahaha. I don’t think I would really enjoy 120.

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  4. We want to remain in our home and are cultivating local people who can help us stay here in Hawaii. However, if this becomes impossible we have a small condo in Seattle close to our daughters. I hope it never comes to that, that we have to leave, but if we do it will not be the end of the world. We carried the burden of Terry’s mom for nine years, and I’m glad we did it, but I would nonetheless like to spare my daughters that.
    A friend of ours took out long term care ages ago, and it’s really paying off for him. He has a full time care giver who cleans, cooks and takes him places and is a good companion to boot. Needless to say, we are getting to know her and her son! Her young son is a good yardman and has done a lot of work for us, although I*m sure he will move up in the world, since he’s very smart.

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  5. We were caught out in that storm last night as we met up with our son and daughter-in-law for his birthday dinner. What a doozy of a storm. It started raining heavily a few minutes after we had dropped them off and I was wondering if we would have to stop, it rained so hard. Fortunately it lightened somewhat – still raining hard – and I breathed a sigh of relief when we drove into our garage. With all those lightning bolts and loud claps of thunder I thought of all the poor animals. I remember Guy Fawkes Night and my parents leaving the radio on loud to help mask out the sound of the fireworks for our dog and cat. Thanks for leaving such an interesting comment on my blog. I have heard of this happening once before. You just never know when those genes are going to pop up.

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