Conversations at the Dinner Table
These days people have so many hats to wear. We’re parents, spouses, teachers, professionals, and many more things to boot. That’s hard enough normally, but sometimes our duties to one of those hats place a burden on all other aspects of our lives. As members of a great society, as members of the world, we’ve been doing what we can to assist in battling against the spread of disease. But as we continue to distance ourselves socially, we miss those things we can’t currently do. Many of us look forward to Easter as time we can spend with family and, while we still take our precautions, I’ve seen so much happiness in people who still find a way to connect; family members heading to each other’s homes to
LTCi Marketing Manager
wave from the driveway, dad’s taking their daughters to prom in the family living room. It brings a smile to my face.
It won’t be like this forever. It’ll be nice when we are all back together for Easter and Thanksgiving, and Christmas as a whole family again. There’s something about being together. For some, it’s the only time you can have a truly heart-to-heart conversation. For some, it’s the only time everyone’s together. It’s a somber statistic, but Easter and Thanksgiving are the two largest days of the year for getting admitted to a long-term care facility, and the reason is that it’s a chance to have a hard conversation with everyone involved. This year, though they may not be sitting across the table from each other, those same conversations will still be had.
As an advisor, it’s your job to equip your clients with the resources they’ll need so they’re prepared no matter how hard a conversation. To do that, first, you must be equipped with the right knowledge. Those families that haven’t had conversations, and then planned, are left to go through a draining, the emotional journey alone. That conversation and planning starts with us.
The brochure, Step by Step: a Guide to Receiving Care, can provide your clients with information about what resources are available, regardless of if they want care at home, in an assisted living facility, a skilled nursing facility, or just medication and management. There’s plenty there, so instead of being overwhelmed when the time for a decision comes, your clients will be knowledgeable and capable of making the right decision for their family. Now, I do have one caveat. In my heart, I don’t agree that traditional LTC is use-it-or-lose-it. That’s certainly not how I view my homeowner’s policy, nor my personal umbrella policy. That bit aside, the resources that are listed are worthwhile and I think there’s a lot your clients could gain from them.
I’ve told my story before, but it’s worth the recap. My mom’s health hadn’t been what you could call good
prior to her passing away at 70. I remember there were a lot of insulin shots each day. She had high blood pressure and poor cholesterol all her life. There was the congestive heart failure, and then two strokes. She was terrified that a massive stroke would leave her debilitated. Luckily, she never suffered one, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
We had an exceptionally loving, trusting, and accepting relationship; she was honest with me about how she wanted the end-stage to go. We planned her funeral, picked out the songs and scripture, talked about how she would be taken care of if she’d need any. She never shied away from those discussions with me. I think she knew I wanted to do the best for her, and planning helped me do what I could. Not all families have the same privilege I did, and I’m honored to say we were as close as we were. I know, for me, being able to discuss, plan, and prepare as a family was invaluable.
Obviously, I work in insurance and took steps to find the best solutions for my mother, but not every family has someone at the table with the kind of knowledge an agent can bring. I already said that the conversation starts with us, so I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re not going to help your clients find the best plan then who is? As we go through April, please know that we are together despite our distance. Some of our families will be having tough conversations about the care loved ones deserve, be the one who helps them. Open the conversation up to them before it’s too late. It’ll be good for you, and remarkable for them.