Long-Term Care: A Woman’s Nightmare

By Rick Law, Senior Estate Planner and Attorney in Suburban Chicago.

He looked into his wife’s eyes and flatly stated, “I’ll put a gun to my head before I ever go to a nursing home…”

Even if he really believes this, it is very seldom true. In truth, it is often his wife who bears the greater burden caused by his long-term care needs and her own aging challenges.  His wife – like millions of women – may spend years and all their money caring for her husband.

His wife selflessly provides in-home care until eventually the day comes when her strength is not enough to pick him up or keep him from wandering away from home. On that day it might be a doctor, a discharge planner, or a policeman who finally looks into her eyes and speaks the real truth to her:  “I’m sorry, ma’am. You cannot take care of him at home anymore.” It is then that most women begin to experience phase two of the elder care nightmare.

Most seniors do not realize that Medicare does not care about them when they need long-term care. Medicare was designed to take care of people who get well.  It doesn’t provide much care for people who have chronic, long-term illness.  The pain of long-term care is not shared equally between the spouses; the crushing impact falls most heavily upon women. It has long been said that “women are the weaker sex” – but in the game of survival, men are the weaker sex and women are “fit for longevity.” The insurance industry Life Expectancy Table reveals that a female born today will typically outlive a male by four to five years. But a Life Expectancy Table does not reveal the traumatic burdens that older women often carry when their husbands slowly decline and then die.

At Law Elder Law, our attorneys provide advocacy for senior citizens and the family members who love them. Our clients are often aging men and women who have worked in our factories, fought our wars, paid our taxes, and raised their own children to become productive citizens. We see them when they come to our office beaten down by the physical decline of long-term illness.  They seek assistance with estate planning, disability benefits, Veterans benefits and Medicaid qualification.

They are frugal people who were doing fine on their modest incomes until they were hit by the wrecking ball of long-term illness. They are the husband and wife who are living on two Social Security checks, a modest pension and minimal investments. They were able to pay their bills and enjoy simple luxuries until the out-of-pocket expenses of long-term care begin to drain what they worked a lifetime to save.  We are here to help.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Conveniently located off I-88 just west of the Aurora Premium Outlet Mall.


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