She divorced her husband of over 40 years because he had Alzheimer’s.
It was the only way, after running through all the family’s savings, to make care affordable for him.
Heath care reform is a matter of morality, not a matter of country club memberships for executives.
Our present system is immoral and forces good people to do immoral things to stay alive.
Meanwhile, back in Massachusetts, Roberta still wrestles with her agonizing decision to divorce her husband so he could qualify for Medicaid. “Married couples risk losing nearly everything when one spouse needs long-term care,” explains Hyman Darling, Roberta’s attorney, “and it shouldn’t be that way.”
Roberta has found some peace in the realization that “marriage means more than a piece of paper.” Her love and devotion to Alex have not diminished; she visits him every day in the nursing home, giving him the latest news about their children and sometimes bringing flowers. Totally incapacitated now, both physically and mentally, Alex will never improve or return home. But Roberta is grateful for the time they do have, as well as the peace of mind that comes with knowing her own future is secure. “I’m grateful I still have my home and enough savings so I won’t be dependent on my children,” she says. “But the real question is, why should health care have to end up in the divorce courts? What kind of a system is that?”