When The Unexpected Really Happens

 long term care insurance do you need it

Four years ago, one of the most unexpected things our family could imagine happened. In September of 2009, my (very healthy) father-in-law contracted West Nile Virus.  Within hours, he turned from a completely energetic seventy-year-old man (riding twenty-two miles on his bike for his seventieth birthday), to someone who no longer had use of his legs, and very limited movement of his chest and back  as well. (See his story here ~ he's one of my favorite people on the planet and I'm oh-so-thankful for him!)




As you can imagine, our life stopped for awhile. Don spent the next eighteen months in several hospitals and rehab facilities hoping to re-gain strength, however the virus left him paralyzed and unable to care for himself.  I really can't express in words to you just how difficult it was for us as we watched him, but even more so for he and my mother-in-law.


However, years before he became sick, my in-laws purchased a long term care health insurance policy which truly has given them so much more quality of life than they could have dreamed of without it. Thanks to his long term health plan, Don was eventually able to return home. Without the plan his only option would have been to remain in a nursing home, and while he was incredibly fortunate to have wonderful care in those facilities as well, there's just nothing like being home.

I would love to think that sudden illness never happens, but have seen entirely too closely that sometimes we're given little control over our own future. My husband and I have been discussing our own need to find long term care insurance, which really is just awful to even talk about. (Am I the only one who would rather pretend it doesn't exist?) However after seeing firsthand how my in-laws quality of life has been so much better thanks to their policy, I know it's something we'll consider at some point.


Have you considered purchasing long term care insurance for your own family? According to statistics, 69% of people aged 65 and older will need some type of long term care after age 65 – and not having long term care insurance can cost your family anywhere from $300,000 – $400,000 or more. 


Dave Ramsey's Endorsed Local Provider program is a great place to start looking for Long Term Care Providers, and they can help you find services in other areas of your finances as well, including investing, real estate, health insurance and tax services.  Find out how you or your parents could benefit from Long Term Care Insurance ~  click here today for free help!


This is a sponsored by Dave Ramsey's Endorsed Local Providers, however all opinions are (of course!) my own.



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  1. Suzanne Shankin-Killion says

    I hope and pray for the best life possible for you in-laws.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! It is a new year and on top of getting my own personal finances in order I’m also trying to help my parents. I worry so much about them and while I would like to think I can always take care of them when they can’t do it themselves, I know that’s not realistic. You’re right, this post gives me something that NEEDS to be thought about even if it’s not what I want to.

  3. Faith Conaway says

    Great post! Can I just ask a question? I believe Dave recommends buying this after age 55 or 60 since you are not likely to need it before then. Is that accurate?

    • From what I read on his site that is what he suggests – I think my in-laws purchased it in their mid to late 50’s, but I’m almost a little worried to wait that long (which is why I need to talk with an ELP and see what they suggest!)

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. My mom had heart surgery last April that, due to complications, left her paralyzed from the chest down. My parents, in their 70’s, do not have long term care insurance. My dad has been amazing and she is finally home where he cares for her in the most loving way but the daily struggle is so hard for both of them. On the other hand, my uncle had a stroke a few years ago leaving him in need of daily care and they do have long term care insurance. The difference in their two lives is drastic. My uncle gets several hours of help a day which significantly helps give my aunt a break. Long term care insurance will have to be a birthday gift to myself and my husband once we’re in our 50’s! It really is so good to have. Best of luck to you and your family!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Courtney – it really does make such a huge difference and was so worth it – it’s so difficult to figure life out when they don’t have that! Thanks for sharing (praying for your parents – that’s got to be so difficult, but love that your dad is taking care of her – what an amazing gift!)

  5. I’m a big Dave Ramsey follower and I believe he suggest that you do not purchase long term care until you are 59 or 60.

  6. My mother in law contracted west Nile last year! She is currently in a acute care facility. Also parazylzed and on a ventaltor. Unfortunately she didn’t have a long term health plan. She saved all of her life for retirement and one mosquito has left her with nothing. My husband and I are now looking into options to protect ourselves.

    • Oh Amy – I’m so so sorry and can’t even imagine (it’s devastating!) My father in law was on a ventilator for several months, and I can’t even imagine what we would have done without his long term care policy. Praying for you right now – especially for wisdom in such a difficult time. I’m so sorry you’re going through this! 🙁

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