In Colossians 1:24, Paul said “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and in my physical body for the sake of his body, the church. I fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ.” This week, Hans and Robby listen to Tom as he discusses his personal experience with a health scare and needing an around-the-clock caregiver.
Tom said he had been experiencing bad headaches and unusual sleep patterns for a few days and wrote it off as work-related stress. His wife eventually forced him to go to ER, knowing something was wrong. The doctors, unable to find anything, sent him home. Only a few days later, Tom became unresponsive and experienced weakness in his extremities. He woke up in the hospital unable to use his legs. He was only 26-years-old.
Tom’s doctors didn’t know what caused his severe illness. Today, they know Tom experienced a disruption in his brain and spinal cord from a rare autoimmune disorder that attacks the central nervous system. At the time, however, his recovery was extremely difficult, especially with an 8-month-old infant in the house.
Tom said he was sent home in a wheelchair and his wife became his full-time caregiver. All of the sudden, she was solely responsible for everything from taking Tom to physical therapy to waking up in the middle of the night for their baby to mowing the grass. At one point, his wife got sick because she was stretched so thin and continued to persevere through it to care for her family.
Hans talks about how Cardinal Advisors had lost another employee right when Tom got sick during their busiest months of the year. Even so, Hans and other employees offered their help to Tom’s family and supported him through his recovery.
Tom talks about how life is fragile and ultimately in God’s control and hands. Even though his situation was bad, Tom says he was lucky. He had a loving wife who could advocate for him and coworkers who were patient and helpful. His wife was young, energetic, able-bodied, and could care for him effectively.
Most people don’t want to discuss long term care. They assume their family will care for them or fear that nursing homes are the only solution or simply say they’ll never be incapacitated. Tom wants to emphasize that he too thought he wouldn’t need care until one day he couldn’t walk.
It’s important to know how extremely difficult it is to help grown family members when they’re immobilized. Robby talks about how helping his dad into his wheelchair was next to impossible and left them both feeling hopeless. Tom added that he felt embarrassed when he was sick and couldn’t take a shower without assistance. The point is, if loved ones don’t have the proper training, it’s difficult to impossible to help family members with limited mobility.
Up next, Robby talks about how putting simple legal plans in place like Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, a will, and a HIPAA agreement can help dramatically in difficult health situations.
Long term care planning takes care of a difficult decision-making process that can cause disagreements that divide families. Hans talks about how it’s hard on the caregivers to see a loved one who can’t get out of bed, function, or make decisions on their own anymore. Having the flexibility, permissions, and money to hire professionals relieves this burden and allows families to focus their energy on offering loving support.
Hans says long term care does not mean going to a nursing home. Long term care includes home health care and a fund to help your children care for you. Hans and Robby both say that they themselves will not move to a nursing home unless it’s absolutely necessary and have planned according to those wishes. Taking the time to plan now while you’re still healthy and sound of mind is worthwhile and can prevent a future bad situation from being made worse.
Don’t forget to get your copy of “The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement” on Amazon or on CardinalGuide.com for free!
You can contact Hans and Cardinal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 919-535-8261. Learn more at CardinalGuide.com.