Having worked as a nursing home administrator, Barbara Farone saw many families exhaust their life savings to pay for care. Wanting to avoid a similar fate, Barbara and her husband, Vince, purchased long-term care insurance policies. They appreciated knowing that if either ever needed assistance, their retirement assets would be protected and they would have lots of options regarding where care might be received.
When they bought the policies, Vince got a better rate than Barbara because he had a clean health history. She had suffered a heart attack previously. But four years later, it was Vince who faced a health crisis. He was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative brain disorder that was causing a gradual loss of speech and muscular control. Vince eventually required constant care, but Barbara was determined not to institutionalize him. “When people get sick they tend to get isolated,” says Barbara. She wasn’t going to let that happen.
Vince eventually required constant care, but Barbara was determined not to institutionalize him.
But caring for an incapacitated loved one can take a toll on the caregiver, points out the Farone’s insurance agent, Stacia Vetter, CLU, CLTC, LUTCF. That’s where the long-term care insurance came in. First, it paid for equipment and modifications to the couple’s Murfreesboro, Tenn., home that made it easier to care for him. It also paid for trained health aides to take care of Vince 12 hours a day, allowing Barbara time for herself and to keep the household running. When Barbara and Vince went on vacations to Florida, the caregivers went too, their salaries paid by the insurance.
Vince passed away at age 73, after a four-year health battle. Barbara is grateful he was able to spend his last years with her, well cared for and surrounded by familiar things. Those trips to Florida meant a lot to Vince, Barbara says. “The air was so good for him. His face would just light up.”