Atrial Fibrillation – Keeping the Beat in Rhythm Will Keep You Going

Remember the Sonny and Cher song, “The Beat Goes On?” Lyrics say,” the beat goes on, the beat goes on …” but sometimes that beat is off and that could be atrial fibrillation. A-fib can lead to several health issues including stroke and long-term care.

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Atrial Fibrillation – Keeping the Beat in Rhythm Will Keep You Going
4 Min Read March 22nd, 2021

Maybe you or a loved one is experiencing heart palpitations. Perhaps your heart is racing, or you feel a flutter or quiver in your chest as your heart beats. You could have a pounding feeling in your chest or a flip-flopping feeling as if your heart is doing somersaults.

People often experience a sense of anxiety when having these symptoms. It could be A-fib.

A-fib is a Common Heart Arrhythmia

About 6 million Americans have atrial fibrillation. A-fib is a common heart arrhythmia that causes an irregular heartbeat. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats in a way that is not normal. The beat may be too slow. The heart could be beating too fast or in some other haphazard or irregular way. This condition is a leading cause of stroke. 

According to the CDC, several risk factors increase your risk of having A-fib:  

  • Advancing age  
  • Chronic kidney disease  
  • Diabetes  
  • Enlargement of the chambers on the left side of the heart  
  • European ancestry  
  • Heart failure  
  • High blood pressure  
  • Hyperthyroidism  
  • Ischemic heart disease  
  • Moderate to heavy alcohol use  
  • Obesity  
  • Smoking  

A-fib Can Lead to Stroke

ECG Results


According to the CDC, more than 454,000 hospitalizations list A-fib as the primary diagnosis each year in the United States. It causes about 158,000 deaths every year. However, A-fib causing a stroke that results in the need for long-term care services can result in years of extended care costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a nursing home or in-home care. 

Plus, the predominance of A-fib in long term care facilities ranges from 7.5% to 17%, according to Michael W. Rich, MD, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.  

Dr. Rich writes that these patients often present challenges due to elevated risk for both stroke and bleeding complications related to the blood-thinning medications many of these individuals must take.

The Harvard University Heart Letter says more than one in six ischemic strokes can be traced to A-fib. For those 80 and older, the proportion jumps to one in three. What's more, strokes that stem from afib-related clots carry a higher risk of permanent brain damage or death than other ischemic strokes do, says Dr. Robert Giugliano, associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Health Changes Increase Over Time

It is a part of life that our health, bodies, and minds change as we get older. There are things we can do to reduce some of these risks but aging happens. Preparing for the costs and burdens of aging is an essential part of retirement planning.

For many American families, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is the solution. When no plan is present, the family must step in and provide care or arrange for paid care services to come in to help a parent. This family crisis places physical and emotional distress on the adult children who must deal with the problem.

Long-Term Care Insurance offers guaranteed tax-free benefits that give you access to your choice of care services, including in-home care that so many people prefer over a long-term care facility. 

Long-Term Health Care is Costly

Long-term care costs are rising every year. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator says the national average price of a nursing home is over $100,000 a year in today's dollars. However, most long-term health care is delivered outside nursing homes. Those costs are also expensive. Without substantial financial resources or Long-Term Care Insurance, care choices become very limited. Medicaid pays for these services, but only if you have little or no assets. The options for care are also limited since fewer providers accept Medicaid.

In many situations, one of the adult children, typically a daughter or daughter-in-law, find themselves in the role of caregiver. The role of the caregiver is physically and emotionally demanding. 

Experts suggest purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance in your 40s or 50s when you have good health and premiums are lower. There are several types of plans to choose from, but even a small plan can lead to less dependency and more choice of quality care options. 

Be sure to find the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who represents the major insurance companies to guide you in your research. Not many of them exist, but you can find one by clicking here.

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About the Author

Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.

LTC News Contributor Linda Maxwell

Linda Maxwell

Contributor since December 11th, 2017

Editor's Note

Preparing your family and finances for the future costs and burdens of aging is an essential part of retirement planning. But Long-Term Care Insurance is more than just about money.

Yes, long-term health care is a significant cash flow issue. LTC Insurance addresses this problem. However, long-term care is also a family issue. Without any plan in place, the family goes into crisis mode. The result can be a catastrophe for you and your family, and your wishes may take a back seat.

An LTC policy keeps you in control and helps avoid becoming reliant on your children decades from now. You will have access to guaranteed tax-free benefits that will pay for your choice of quality care, either in-home or in a facility.

Research Tools Available on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers multiple tools and resources to help you research the financial costs and burdens of aging so you can find an affordable solution and reduce the stress and burdens otherwise placed on those you love. 

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.

One of the best tools is the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. You can find the current and future costs of long-term health care where you live. This information will help you design an appropriate LTC Insurance policy.

This thorough guide is an exceptional first read -  The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide. Be sure to take notes so you can ask the appropriate questions when you speak with a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist.

Find a trusted specialist by clicking here.

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LTC NEWS can be an affordable way to drive consumers to your website or business - or promote products and services.

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