Sometimes I forget the impact our life has on the rest of our family. Today, that impact is more evident as I wait for our three children and their spouses to come over to “talk about the future.” I have been having just such a conversation with my brothers and parents but hadn’t really thought much about needing to have that conversation with my own children. However, they have requested an opportunity to discuss the “what ifs” that can occur either as a result of my disability or my death.
As a result of secondary progressive MS, Lynn can no longer provide any self-care. He relies on me for everything from feeding to assistance with going to the bathroom. It’s a lot of work but we have a routine that works for us pretty well. However, what if I suddenly could not provide that care? What would happen to Lynn? And what if the “what if” was not my death but my disability and not only would total care be needed for Lynn but also for me? The obvious answer to that is that our children would have to figure out what to do with us. Therefore, I understand and appreciate their desire to have this conversation with us today.
All three of our children are in their late twenties, or early thirties. Two of them have just been married two years or less and the other one has been married longer but has a young child with special needs. All are in those early years of learning to make it on their own and struggling to do so in today’s economy. I also know that each of them would do anything for us. They are very good about helping out and they want the very best for us, but realistically, if something happened to me so that I could no longer care for Lynn, there would certainly be an impact on them as well as me.
With any illness or injury, there are mounting bills to pay. If we were both dead and had an outstanding debt that was not paid by life insurance, the bills would go to our heirs. That doesn’t seem fair but if I’m not mistaken, that’s how it is. Therefore, to protect my family, I have bought supplemental life insurance that should be enough between what my company provides and the additional I carry, to pay my last expenses and provide the ability to care for Lynn. I can keep this insurance as long as I’m employed but I’m also 57 years old now so I may only have that option for another 10 years if that long. Hopefully, I’ll be able to afford to carry that as independent coverage afterward though; so financially, I think they will be okay.
Money is one thing but who is going to be responsible for taking us in? None of them have houses that would allow Lynn to move in along with all his equipment and supplies. Therefore, they would either have to move into our house or move Lynn into an assistive living arrangement (or more likely a long-term care facility). I know that none of them want to do that but sometimes there is no choice in the matter. I have some Long Term Care for me to help pay for a place for me to go but Lynn was in the process of being diagnosed with MS when that option became available with my company so he was turned down for coverage. Would they be able to afford a long-term care option or would someone have to quit their job to stay home to care for him? And, if that happened, could they afford for one of them not to work?
Continue reading at: http://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/planning-future-children/