This dilemma has plagued many families, and I’m no different, but am struggling with knowing my wife will feel abandoned, which I desperately do not want to do. She is a quad due to the effects of 35 years of MS, which some of you are aware of.
Although we have savings, I have watched them dwindle for years. I left my paying job at 44 to care full time for my wife, and then 7 year old daughter. I had saved what, at that time, would have carried us through as an early, if not forced, retirement. My attitude, looking back at the post early retirement, is that I was still working, just not getting paid for it. This work was many times more difficult then the conventional paid for work I did, and it worsened as the years went on.
I’m now 64, my wife is in an ALF, and the years of caregiving has taken a physical toll on me. I see how fast the $’s are being used up, as my wife’s needs are now much more then I had expected. Let alone, my own living expenses, and possible future age related issues.
Divorce for preservation of finances is the issue. The way the rules of Medicaid are set up, it is available to those who qualify by the state definition of destitution. There are many families who find they must divorce, and diminish the finances of the spouse who needs the long term care. That way they legally qualify, after the look back period for Medical, which I think is 4-5 years, putting us at about 69-70ish. My concern is that divorce may make my wife feel so terribly insecure along with her MS cognitive issues.
I think you all can get the picture of the dilemma.
I love my wife and desperately don’t want her to hurt more then she already has been, yet I still need to protect both of us financially.
How do I ensure her care when we can’t continue to support 2 households, with hers being the most draining, by far.
I find myself hardly sleeping and thinking constantly about this issue starting around 3-4am. I can barely stay awake during the day. I still see her daily and take care of all appointments and therapy’s and medication needs. She’s very frail and fragile now, with severe osteoporosis. Numerous broken bones. Skull fracture, broken back and 3 months ago a broken femur. I’m obviously depressed and can’t think straight. I can’t help but feel like I’m failing both of us. I know that’s not the way to look at it, but life needs don’t change. You don’t get a pass because someone’s ill. I really feel boxed in.
I need some perspective within this and would appreciate some input.