If you feel the "blues" during the fall and winter months, you are not alone. Many Americans suffer from depression and anxiety. However, many people feel the blues during certain times of the year.
According to the American Psychological Association's Stress in America 2020 survey, Americans face the highest average stress levels since the survey started in 2007. With stress comes a higher level of anxiety and depression.
Social media use, even with the 50+ crowd, also can lead to depression. The COVID-19 crisis, along with the economic uncertainty it has created, brings a higher level of anxiety and depression.
Depression and anxiety often cause lifestyle changes. These changes can lead to additional health issues. Want to feel more depressed? Depression and anxiety can also increase your future need for long-term care services.
Don't Be Sad
Sometimes it is just the changing weather that makes us sad. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder characterized by depression related to a specific season of the year – especially winter. However, SAD is often not described as a separate mood disorder but as a "specifier." A specifier is a seasonal pattern of major depressive episodes that can occur within major depression and manic depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health lists the symptoms associated with SAD.
Symptoms of the Winter Pattern of SAD include:
- Low energy level
- Hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness or excessive time spent sleeping)
- Weight gain
- Craving for carbohydrates
- Social withdrawal (feel like "hibernating")
SAD is a clinical diagnosis accepted in the medical community. Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., is the researcher credited with discovering SAD.
There are several ways to beat being "SAD." Click here.
Aging Can Also Bring Depression
With aging, your risk of depression starts to impact your overall health and well-being significantly. When you add SAD to the mix, a person's mood and health will be affected.
Be sure you or an affected loved one is speaking with their doctor about treating all types of depression. Too many people fail to discuss depression and anxiety with their medical professionals.
It would be best if you also considered how aging and your health would affect your future retirement. One of the most significant areas many Americans fail to consider is the financial costs and burdens of longevity.
Think About Future Heath Expenses
When people think about health costs, they often concentrate on the costs of health insurance and the doctor and hospital costs that come with using the medical system. Once you reach age 65, you will have Medicare as your primary health insurance. Since there are significant deductibles with Medicare, most people purchase a Medicare supplement. There are several options here, including very low-cost options. You might have heard about the federal prescription drug program, which is also available.
For most people, these costs are easily managed between Medicare and the various supplement options. Many people become surprised what is not covered by health insurance, including Medicare and supplements - specifically - long-term care services and supports.
Often Long-Term Care Gets Ignored Until Its Too Late
People require long-term care for many reasons due to an illness, an accident, or the impact of aging. The need for extended care happens at all ages but increases significantly with age.
Many Americans also require supervision due to cognitive loss. There are many forms of dementia that will need a person to be supervised.
When a person needs help with everyday living activities (ADLs) or supervision, this is referred to as custodial care. This type of care is not paid for at all by any health insurance, including Medicare and supplements.
If you require skilled care, your health insurance or Medicare and supplements will pay for a limited amount of day; after that period, you will pay for it out of pocket.
Long-Term Care Costs are Expensive - LTC Insurance is Not
These long-term care costs are expensive. These costs are perhaps the most significant involuntary risk you will face after age 50. How will you and your family address your need for extended care services at home or in a facility? How will these costs impact your assets and income? What about your lifestyle and legacy?
According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, the average cost of a facility is over $100,000 a year; depending on where you live, that cost could be more. Assisted living facilities, memory care centers, adult day care centers, and home care are all expensive as well.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for these services, but you must put a policy in place before your health changes. Most experts suggest purchasing a plan before your retirement, usually in your 40s or 50s.
LTC NEWS Tools Helpful in Research
The LTC NEWS The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding resource if you want to take a deep dive before speaking with an advisor or specialist.
There are other resources available by clicking here.
Experts suggest getting help from a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who represents the major insurance companies. Generally, financial advisors and general insurance agents are not knowledgeable enough in this area. Their help could cost you a lot of money or even get you declined because of your health.
Every insurance company which markets Long-Term Care Insurance has its own underwriting guidelines. These rules will determine eligibility and at what cost. A Long-Term Care specialist will understand these rules and find you the right company for you based on your age, health, family history, and other factors.
Find a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist by clicking here.
Don't get depressed about an upcoming future retirement or the natural changes in your health that will occur. However, be sure to plan before your options are limited or non-existent.
For many American families, an affordable LTC Insurance policy in place provides greater peace-of-mind along with income and asset protection.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
LTC NEWS offers many resources to help people learn about retirement issues like long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and more. Whether you are researching for yourself or an elderly parent, LTC NEWS is the place to start.
Find the available resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.
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