The Ripple Effect of a Long-Term Care Event
Pattianne Baran has over 15 years of experience in the long-term care industry and was ranked by American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance as one of the top ten long-term care professionals.
The driving factors behind Pattianne’s success are her passion for long-term care planning, her resilient mindset and her personal experience. Beyond her career, she has a first-hand understanding of the devastating impact a long-term care event can have on a family.
When Pattianne was in college, her mother became ill. With the support of Pattianne, her sister who worked as a geriatric nurse and her father, who was in good health, the family decided they would provide at home care instead of moving her into assisted living.
This worked for a while, but one day Pattianne’s mother took a serious fall and broke her hip. Neither Pattianne nor her sister were at the house at the time and her father did not hear her calling for help. Eventually, he found her on the floor and called 911. Just as the EMTs arrived, her mother suffered a stroke.
The stroke did not kill her, but it stole nearly all the life out of her from a cognitive, physical and emotional standpoint. Everyone thought that she would pass away in the coming days or weeks. However, she continued to rally time and time again, just enough to continue to survive. Meanwhile, the cost of care was skyrocketing.
While Pattianne’s parents had invested and saved money properly throughout their life, their savings drained faster than the principal could recover. They realized that within 10 months they would run out of money, so they applied for Medicaid. Yet, the only facility that would accept Medicaid was 100 miles away from where Pattianne’s father lived, making regular visitation nearly impossible.
After Pattianne’s mother passed away, her father lived on for 12 more years without a dime to his name. The family did their best to provide care to their father during this time period, especially as his physical health began deteriorating, but they were struck with additional hardships, including the untimely death of Pattianne’s husband and her brother-in-law’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It seemed that everything that could possibly go wrong did, but Pattianne refused to let it ruin her.
She was the poster child for what not to do, but through trial and error she had learned how to plan against it. She made it her life’s mission to help others from enduring many of the same hardships she had gone through. She obtained her insurance license in 2001 and within a short period of time she was one of the top producers in her company. Today, she is with ACSIA Partners and one of the top producers in the country.
When Pattianne sits down with a family, she first asks them about what’s important to them to help them drill down to the real reason for putting a plan in place. Most people carry the false belief that long-term care insurance is used just to protect their money. However, it’s not really about the money – it’s about protecting their family, children and loved ones from the devastating financial, emotional, and physical consequences that would result to them should care ever be required. Like a pebble in the water, a long-term care event causes a ripple effect that often impacts everyone in the family, not just the individual receiving care. For this reason, long-term care is not something that just happens to old people, it happens to entire families and it can happen to you.
In her own situation, any financial support – even $50 or $100 a day – would have been immensely valuable to help pay for care. Pattianne educates clients that they don’t need to have every dime covered, but something is better than nothing. She focuses on providing quality advice and creating custom-tailored solutions based on her clients’ needs. With the industry constantly changing, she recommends that financial professionals find a good long-term care specialist to partner with and also explore the new life and annuity products that have riders that can also play a role.
Life is full of challenges, many of which are unfair, unlucky and unforeseen. It’s our job to help protect our families and our clients from life’s biggest pitfalls, like the devastating consequences endured by Pattianne and her family. Share her story! All wisdom comes from specific human experiences, not general stories! Story telling connects and creates trust. Trust is an impulse, not a calculation, and is never earned by the weight of evidence. Real life stories told by someone with conviction and caring can inspire people into action.