Evelyn retired a few years ago and had plans of relaxing, tending to her vegetable and perennial gardens, camping with her husband, Alex, and enjoying her family. She and Alex have raised three sons, live in a quiet country setting and are very dedicated to each other. That dedication will become very apparent as you read this story.
Her retirement journey has become a difficult one. She started showing signs that something wasn’t quite right. She was diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer’s. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This wasn’t in the plans. They were supposed to travel with their friends and enjoy themselves.
Alex knew he would have to make some difficult decisions eventually. He was determined that no matter what happened, Evelyn would remain at home. He wanted to care for her as she had done all her life for their family. Now that she was going through this most trying time, Alex wanted to be there to support and protect her.
When her condition worsened and she couldn’t be left alone for her own safety, Alex hired some very qualified and capable caretakers that are sharing shifts around the clock. With this help Alex could now run errands, get some needed time to himself and sleep through the night. He knew Evelyn was comfortable, well taken care of, and happy to be in her own home.
Early on, Evelyn knew the importance of protecting her family. She purchased life insurance policies on herself and her three sons. She should be credited on her foresight and planning for the future. She had done a great thing for them. When she bought her life insurance policies, living benefits were not yet offered. One day we were catching up on what was happening in our lives and I mentioned that we had these living benefits riders and how they could benefit a family in a large way. She was quite interested and she was going to call her agent. Adding these living benefits riders to her policy would allow her to accelerate her policy to access the death benefit while she was alive to help with expenses if she became terminally, chronically, critically ill or critically injured. It would lessen the stress on her husband. She must have forgotten or maybe life’s everyday events just got in the way because she never followed through.
Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease that starts with a mild stage with trouble remembering everyday things and losing or misplacing items; the moderate stage progresses into confusion, frustration and anger; and the end stage where your loved one will require full-time care, is unable to walk, sit or communicate. Learn more about the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), caregiving resources or Alzheimer’s events and fundraisers.
Currently 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and as many as 16 million will be suffering with this by 2050.* In the United States, basic services in an assisted living facility cost $43,200 a year. The average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home costs $80,300 a year.
This story is all about Evelyn and Alex, her courage to battle Alzheimer’s and his devotion to stand by her side during that time. I wanted to write this story to honor Evelyn and to make others aware of her journey. I know she would want to help if she could. In fact, she can. Just not with her words, but through this story and the voice of her husband. What could have been is gone, but what can be by telling her story can help so many others.
Evelyn continues to be a wonderful, loving and gentle person. She may not look the same and may not be the same person we all once knew, but as one of her caretakers told me recently, “She’ll always be a lady.”
If you have life insurance, but are not sure if you have life insurance with living benefits, talk to your agent to see if you can have living benefits riders added to your life insurance policy. While you’re at it, ask your agent to perform a Life Checkup on your insurance needs. Life happens everyday and all the choices are puzzling. Do what you can to plan and protect what matters most to you.
*Alzheimer’s Association Stats, 2016
Living benefits are provided by Accelerated Benefits Riders. Payment of Accelerated Benefits will reduce the Cash Value and Death Benefit otherwise payable under the policy. Receipt of Accelerated Benefits may be a taxable event and may affect your eligibility for public assistance programs. Please consult your personal tax advisor to determine the tax status of any benefits paid under this rider and with social service agencies concerning how receipt of such a payment will affect you.
Riders are supplemental benefits that can be added to a life insurance policy and are not suitable unless you also have a need for life insurance. Riders are optional, may require additional premium and may not be available in all states or on all products. This is not a solicitation of any specific insurance policy.