Angela is an IT professional in her early 30s. She and her husband share their modest home in a quiet neighborhood on the west side of Bloomington with her mother. Angela became aware of the importance of planning ahead for long-term care needs when her grandmother, whom they call Grandy, needed care.
Grandy wasn’t the picture of perfect health, but she wasn’t sick often and there was very little family history of extended illness. Grandy and her husband loved to travel. They both worked hard and saved what they could along with raising four children. After the children were grown, they started to save even more with the hopes of being able to take the family on vacations. Grandpa had two trips planned for every year, including cruises, trips on the train that followed the Orient Express and to their favorite spot, Florida.
But, all those dreams of a carefree retirement changed in an instant when Grandy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Six years ago when she fell at home and broke her hip, she didn’t know that would be the last time she’d be living in her home. After her hip surgery, she moved to a nursing home, where she stayed for the four remaining years of her life.
Angela’s grandpa never imagined that this was how he would spend all of the money he had worked so hard to save. He ended up paying for Grandy’s nursing care until she was eligible for Medicaid. Even after his wife’s passing, he can’t travel because so much of the money he had saved went to pay for Grandy’s care in the nursing home.
Thinking about what her grandparents went through, Angela said, “You never know what is going to happen. We didn’t plan for Grandy to get sick and we didn’t think we needed to worry about that. We didn’t think anything like that would happen.”
Angela and her husband don’t feel they can afford long-term care insurance, so they are starting to explore other options that might work for them.
“Having a resource like the Minnesota “Own Your Future” website that presents objective information about planning ahead for long-term care needs for people in a wide array of life circumstances will help us understand some of the things that we should and can be doing,” said Angela.
She and her husband have started the process of planning ahead for themselves using so they can be sure that their care needs are met without having to impoverish themselves or their children in the future.