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Sure You’re Not a Caregiver Now, But …
Posted By Patti Shea On November 12, 2012 @ 1:35 pm In Take Care | No Comments
I’ve worked on caregiving issues for AARP for five years now. I started as an erstwhile online producer for AARP.org wanting to bring great family content to the website. (Read: wanted to boost sex and pets content since they get the most clicks, right?)
A few months into my tenure here, I was asked to help overhaul the online Caregiving Resource Center. At the time, being a late thirty-something singleton living in Washington, D.C., I really didn’t know a lot about caregiving … or so I thought.
Sure my parents were aging and had their share of health issues. But it wasn’t until dad had the first heart attack, then the second, that I sat up and paid attention to what was REALLY happening: I hadn’t a clue of what to do. Neither did my siblings. Why would we? I was busy with my life and they with theirs.
Then the boom. Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What just happened?
Thirty-somethings and forty-somethings, I’m here to tell you: it will happen, it will surprise you, you will be upset. No matter how much you think you’re ready, you’re not. Don’t kid yourself that you are. I’m not trying to be Debby Downer. Be assured there are things you (or you and your sibs) can do now:
And finally for you: Buy a long-term care insurance policy NOW. My parents had no such option when they were our age as this insurance is relatively new. Any policy they could buy now wouldn’t be worth it due to their age and premium cost. Before I turned 41, I purchased a policy that’s $656 a year and covers me for $675,000 of care. DO IT!
I don’t want to scare you but I do. It’s reality. It happens. You won’t be 100 percent prepared but getting started with the tips above is a great start. You won’t regret it. (Another plug: We have a great document called Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families that you should download for free.) Also, for you ladies, we have a great campaign called Decide.Create.Share. that helps you plan for your future financial and care needs.
Have I missed something? Let me know in the comments below.
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