Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up Jack got, and home did trot,
As fast as he could caper,
To old Dame Dob, who patched his nob
With vinegar and brown paper.
Jack and Jill were in their late 60s and had been married for 37 years when Jack suffered a severe stroke and required care beyond the abilities of his partner. He was sent to an assisted-living facility, and the family home was sold to pay for his care.
Jill ended up finding a new place to live, now alone without her lifelong mate, and being separated affected the couple’s morale. Worse is that it affected both their health and their finances. Life savings were depleted before Medicaid kicked in, and the grown children now had two places to visit to support their declining parents.
It didn’t have to be that way with this second scenario.
Just as in the nursery rhyme, Jack goes home and gets better quicker in those familiar and loving surroundings, where Jane hires professionals to help care for him. That decision lets the couple stay together, and the kids have just one place to visit.
Even though renovating a home for wheelchair accessibility can cost $50,000, it can be financially better than the alternative, and the project can be entirely funded with home equity. That way they don’t even have to touch their retirement money. You see, Jack and Jill are like most American seniors, 86% of whom would rather continue living at home for as long as possible, and are willing to seek help to do that.
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