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resource people look to is their family members. A common response I hear when I bring up long-term care is that the client’s family will take care of them. The second response I hear is that they will use Medicare or Medicaid. The least popular response I hear is that the client would like to purchase long-term care insurance.

While all three responses are likely scenarios (varying with each individual), the most positive of the three is to purchase insurance. Through insurance, you are transferring the risk to an insurance com- pany, who, in case you need long-term care, will pay part or all of the cost of your care. In exchange for this coverage, you pay a premium for the insurance. Let’s take a look at each of these three answers and see why they will or won’t be the best general answer.

Family Care As I said, the most common answer I hear from clients when we talk about long-term care is that their family will take care of them. This is a very admirable sentiment, but it is also very presumptive. The first thing to consider is, while you may want them to take care of you, do they want to take care of you? Don’t just assume that since you think they will take care of you that they will. What you would be asking, even in the short-term, is very time-consuming, finan- cially and emotionally expensive, and intrusive.

For many people, when they refer to their family, they mean their children. Do your children have children? If so, your children would not only be taking care of their own children, but also their parents. Do your children work? How do you expect them to balance the chores of work with the rigors of taking care of you? Chances are, they would be unable to do both, so they would have to quit their jobs. Taking care of someone who needs long-term care is a full-time job in itself; and one that doesn’t pay any money. They would be trad- ing a job that pays them a wage, where they could leave all the job pressures at the office, in exchange for a job where they would be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at home. This is a huge trade- off, especially for someone whose heart isn’t in it. Not to mention the possible added costs of bringing you into their home. If you use a wheelchair, they may have to add a ramp. The list goes on; this is just one example.

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