Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Long Term Care Planning Month

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By Nurse Diane

Cruise Ship VS Nursing Home

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About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room. I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady.

I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told that she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back to back.
As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship for the last four cruises".

She replied, "Yes, that's true."

I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, “It’s cheaper than a nursing home".

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:
  • Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.
  • I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week).
  • Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.
  • They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.
  • They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient.
  • An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
  • I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days.
  • TV broken? Light bulb needs changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.
  • Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.
  • If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best!
  • Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go?
  • Princess will have a ship ready to go.
  • So don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.
  • PS. And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge.

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 October is Long Term Care Planning Month. Planning for long term care is one of the most important things you or your loved one can do. Statistics show that six out of ten people will need long term care, and often times when a crisis happens, it’s too late to plan for it. Loved ones can be left wondering what kinds of options are available, how they will finance it, and what the person receiving care would prefer.  This type of insurance is sometimes provided through your employers or can be purchased through your insurance agent.  You don't want to wait until there is an illness or accident that will require care sooner than you are ready.

Last year my son's father-in-law was in a small fender bender.  He was 70 years old and had been in excellent health.  This accident cause injury to his shoulder, and he was hospitalized for a brief time.  During this time it was discovered that he had Parkinson's disease as well as early stages of Alzheimer’s.  His family was looking at a long time of long term care, however unfortunately he passed away after suffering heart problems.  

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If you haven't considered long term care planning for your life, now is a good time to discuss your options with your insurance agent or check in with the cruise ship lines. (Joking about the ship…well…maybe)

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