In the blink of an eye
David and his wife Shirley were enjoying their lives together. They'd been married for 53 years, had 3 children and 6 grandchildren, and were active in their church and community. Life was very good, and they had both been blessed beyond measure.
One evening as they were watching TV David noticed that his wife got up to go to the restroom. This wasn't unusual, but something was different this time. She returned, having not found the bathroom, and she seemed quite disoriented. David asked her what was wrong, and what happened next frightened him terribly. When she answered him it came out as gibberish. She couldn't speak! He also noticed that she had wet herself, and the frightened look on her face told him that she too, knew that something was wrong. As quickly as he could he dialed 911.
The prognosis wasn't good. Shirley had had a stroke, which left her unable to walk, there was no mobility of any kind on her left side, there were some cognitive issues, and she couldn't communicate. After several days in the hospital, and two weeks in a rehab unit, he took his beloved wife home.
But his normal life was gone. At first David tried as best he could to take care of her, but his strength and stamina were not up to the task. His children flew in to help, but after a couple of weeks they all had to return home, which wasn't near their parents. He was exhausted, discouraged, and depressed.
What could David do?
He began to bring in home health caregivers. They cost $20 an hour and Shirley needed care around the clock. He was able to keep this up for almost a year, but eventually David knew he'd have to turn Shirley over to someone who could really take care of her. She would have to go to an institution.
In just a few short minutes that night, everything had changed for David and Shirley. Their financial picture had changed too, and not for the better. David was truly worried now about running out of money. *