Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
So I might be a little biased and have a little bit of a cross to bear, but I’m going to make a statement that I believe to be true: We’re doing ourselves a disservice as women if we focus only on our present-day health. Women, in general, are the caregivers of our society, but they hardly give their own care a second thought.
Now, I don’t want to go all matriarch on you guys, but I read an article that made me think. It spoke of a couple who was emotionally, physically, and financially drained after the husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his early 60′s. They hadn’t planned for this — no one really does, right? — and it hit them hard.
I grew up living just one door away from my grandparents, and it was something that I’ll treasure forever. After a long career in the military, my grandfather and grandmother settled down with their six children. While her husband was away, my grandmother was a full-time parent in every sense of the word. I only have half the children she did, and I can’t imagine the days she must have had. Even after her children were grown and had kids of their own, she was still very much a caregiver — I can’t count the number of times she mended our clothes or let us bake with her. In fact, I spent every afternoon at her house from first through fourth grade.
I’m incredibly grateful and lucky that both of my grandparents turned 91 this year. In fact, they just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. They’ve had their health scares, but they still live in their own home, and live semi-independently (my mom and dad still live in my childhood home and help them run errands and bring them dinner).
The reality is that they are the exception to the rule. I focus so much of my energy on caring for my kids, as well as a decent amount of energy into my physical health. But what I haven’t done such a great job of is planning for the day when I need someone to care for ME. It’s not a fun thing to think about — I always get this impending sense of doom when I see that image on Pinterest that says “Run while you can.” — but it’s something we have to plan for, our we’ll be in a serious pickle.
Overcoming the Anxiety Related to Planning
Honestly, this is a big deal for me. It’s a sticky, not-fun subject, and it’s just something we’d rather not talk about. I found this video from Genworth Financial that I wanted to share with you guys that talks about using your anxiety to drive you to make good steps towards planning for your long term care.