This email is pure “fluff” in that it isn’t intended to get you to do anything except think on a personal level. John read your reply to my original email regarding you using some of our parents’ assets for my care to me, and one phrase stuck out because I’ve heard it all my life. The phrase went something like: “There are agencies to help the disabled…” Well, yes and no. They do exist in principle, but the real world has little tolerance for principles usually. Below is another email I recently wrote to a friend on this very subject, might as well reuse it. J
In this case, it is the letter of the will that determines the fate of those assets, and Dale’s wishes are written large on that document. I know John is somewhat impressed by the fact that Dale married a woman with “a rebel, a disabled kid, and a gay” for sons. Fair enough, that fact is true. On the other hand, I lived under Dale’s roof for twenty years so I have some sense of his personality and motivations. I also grew up in the prevailing culture of the time so I know which parts of the cable tv series, Mad Men, were believable. Dale was an eager young sales executive for a company that, among other things, was a defense subcontractor so an “instant family” such as ours had a certain appeal to someone in his place with his upbringing. Our eight years in Baton Rouge with him as president of a little company pretty much bore that out.
The relevance of that is only how it determines the current situation. Once married, Dale became preoccupied with preservation of what was his. That explains why the will is written as it is, to allow him to hold on his comforts. As John said at the end of our meeting, things will continue as they are until something drastically changes.
From: Scott Royall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2018 21:25
To: ‘Michael Wrenn’ <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Insurance Assistance
That is not a question easily answered because there are so many factors involved. On one hand, you don’t want to discourage the friend who is legitimately trying to help. Yet, you also have an obligation to make him understand that so much of the “crap ton of information out there” is completely inapplicable to the specifics of your situation, because you do not want him wasting effort on dead-end rabbit holes.
The crux of the matter is that public assistance programs like Medicare are set up to deal with the typical scenarios. A severally disabled person with high mental function who has a home and is determined to retain what social interactions he has left isn’t typical. We’re probably rare enough to be statistically insignificant so finding assistance that even acknowledges that such a scenario is possible is the first hurdle.
Then there is the question of what type of care is offered. So-called professional caregivers only help with the ADLs, eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring. That’s all Medicare covers, and I certainly need help with them. However, that’s merely existing, not living. Unless I’m prepared to just sit there not going anywhere, watching everything fall apart around me, and my dogs starve, I unfortunately need more assistance than the usual sources provide. This is why it has been so essential that I have managerial authority over my care. I’ve operated this way for thirty years, and I genuinely think it is the only way for someone in my position to have anything like a life.
Although there are other considerations, I’m going to save them. As I said, I have an idea that could more than offset the end of my long-term care insurance. It’s based on the earnings capacities of my parents’ assets. Apparently, they are several times the $55,000 in caregiver expenses I have annually. What I need to do is write a very detailed email to the financial planner and my brother, John, who is basically the trustee. They are largely unaware of the details of my situation, and I first need to confirm my understanding about the earning potential of the assets, and then get John to agree to my plan. That’s going to be a long email so I’m not planning on writing it until June. John has so much else on his mind that I think the email would sink into the noise if I wrote it sooner. As it is, my insurance will last until February. It’s fine with me if you want a copy of the email.
You need to recognize I don’t intend to live forever. I will be satisfied if I stick around long enough to let Leia live out her life. Beyond that doesn’t appeal to me, because I learned very early that group care is dehumanizing no matter how beneficent the intent. I volunteer Leia’s time for pet therapy at a local nursing home, and every session is a stark reminder of why I plan to end my life on my own terms. I definitely don’t plan to hang around long enough to become any more disabled than I already am. If you can accept that and still want to investigate other care options, I appreciate it. Options are good.
From: Michael Wrenn <michael.wrenn>
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:52
To: Scott Royall <royall>
Subject: Insurance Assistance
Good Morning Scott,
I’ve done some cursory research on state and federal assistance. However, there is a crap ton of information out there. So I’d like to know if you are open to allowing me to help you out. If so, I need to know what insurance you currently have, and what avenues you’ve already investigated and the results of said investigations.
Don’t give up. Help is out there.
At your service,
Michael Wrenn – K5WRN
Sugar Land, Texas USA