Many mistakenly believe that if they need Long Term Care, either in their home or in a facility, the cost will be covered by provincial health care or other government agencies. While certain programs are available, a large portion of these costs become the responsibility of the patient or their family.
John and Ellen, in their early sixties, retired. They were looking forward to traveling and visiting with their grandchildren. Within a few months, Ellen's parents were no longer able to look after themselves and asked John and Ellen for help. They extensively renovated their home, with just a little financial help from Ellen's folks, to accommodate them.
Over a period of less than a year, Ellen's parents needed more and more care. She ended up becoming a full-time care provider to them. John went back to work to help cover some of the additional costs. Their travel and family plans got put on hold. Ellen is not paid for her time nor has she received training. No other family members were willing to help.
Gordon and Anne, in their early seventies, had been retired for over fifteen years. They have traveled extensively and spent lots of quality time with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Over the years, their health has slowly deteriorated. Anne suffers from arthritis and Gordon has developed a cognitive impairment.
Ted and Martha had been retired for about ten years when Martha became cognitively impaired. Ted was able to look after her for a little over a year, but then Martha had to be moved to an extended care facility. The additional monthly cost of $2,500 meant Ted had to draw $46,000 more per year, before taxes, from his RRIF. Less than five years later, Ted's retirement savings ran dry.
The biggest part of the problem is, quite simply, money. There just isn't enough of it. In John and Ellen's case, they are footing a large part of the bill to care for Ellen's parents. For Gordon and Anne, a little more money each month can go a long way to pay for in home care providers. Ted and Martha's retirement savings needed to be protected.
The answer can be found in Long Term Care insurance. It pays a tax-free benefit directly to the insured when health or personal care services are required. Typically, a policy will pay a benefit if the insured loses the ability to care for himself or herself due to cognitive impairment or the inability to do two or more activities of daily living.
Long Term Care insurance can allow you to live with dignity and not worry about being a burden on your family.
*Fictional characters for illustrative purposes only.