One of the greatest fears many people have as they get older is the loss of their memory. Your mind is what makes you - you. Once you lose memories of your life and fail to recognize your loved ones, you are no longer yourself in the same sense you were before memory loss.
Alzheimer's and other dementias are costly from a financial standpoint as well. The cost of long-term health care services, either at home or in an assisted living facility, memory care facility, or a nursing home, is skyrocketing.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the national median average for a nursing home is over $100,000 a year. Less costly but still expensive assisted living and in-home care providers are also rising sharply, and dementia care is even more costly.
No Dementia Cure – Limited Available Treatment
There is no cure, and treatment is limited. However, a Canadian company, LUCID Partners, has teamed up with JT, a Japanese company, to partner in developing a prescription digital therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's is more than just memory loss – neuropsychiatric symptoms can include anxiety, aggression, and personality changes. These symptoms aren't just heartbreaking; they're promoting the burnout of caregivers. Many caregivers are family members juggling career and family responsibilities while caring for a parent. Even professional caregivers can feel stress and anxiety providing care for their care recipients. Treatment is more necessary than ever.
Engaging with music, both passively and actively, is promising in helping dementia patients and caregivers manage symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
People living with Alzheimer's deserve dignity in this stage of their life. They deserve a treatment that is both effective and can enhance quality of life for them and their caregivers.
Zach McMahon, CEO and co-founder of LUCID
Reducing Anxiety in Caregivers and Care Recipients
Earlier this year, LUCID's first randomized controlled clinical trial revealed clinical evidence in reducing acute anxiety in adults with moderate anxiety. With the support of JT, LUCID will translate their data-driven clinical insights into the development of a digital therapeutic to reduce agitation and anxiety in dementia care, initially with Alzheimer's.
Music interventions can ease these psychiatric symptoms and spark joy," McMahon said. "We're committed to delivering new care paradigms in an evidence-based way.
Finding the Benefits of Personalized Music Therapy
With funding from JT, LUCID will conduct research and develop the digital therapeutic known as LUC-101. Sheridan College's Centre for Elder Research is also involved with LUC-101 development through a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) initiative to support gerontological research and design.
Can the power of music be used around the globe to help those with dementia and their families? Research may show the benefits of personalized music therapy for those with Alzheimer's.
LUCID notes that neuroscientists have observed that music can improve mood, behavior, and cognitive function. Music is known to stimulate autobiographical memory, which may have a role in promoting "neural scaffolding" and thus preventing cognitive decline.
Music can also increase the heart rate and hormone levels in dementia patients. Researchers have proposed that music affects steroid hormone levels, which in turn may promote neurogenesis, regeneration, and the repair of neurons. Music affects cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen levels and may contribute to a preventative effect on Alzheimer's Disease.
Long-Term Care – Including Dementia Supervision – Hard on Families and Finances
The physical, emotional, and financial burdens placed on families worldwide due to long-term health care continue to increase as the world gets older. Dementia is one of the leading reasons people require help with daily living activities or supervision from memory loss.
Many families find themselves in crisis as they are not prepared. With dementia, there is little treatment and no cure. Costly care drains savings, and adult children and their families face the realities of caring for a parent and their family at the same time.
In the United States and other countries, the government provides limited benefits for long-term health care. For example, in the United States, Medicaid will pay for long-term care services, including supervision, but only if the care recipient has little or no income and assets. Traditional health insurance and Medicare pay little to nothing toward this type of care.
According to a 2014 report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, about 73% of long-term care costs are covered in Canada by provincial, territorial, and municipal plans and agencies, whereas 23% of costs are covered by residents either out-of-pocket or through supplementary private insurance like Long-Term Care Insurance.
In Australia, long-term health care coverage is means-tested. Before individuals can access government-funded long-term health care services, they must apply for an assessment. This assessment will determine eligibility.
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service provides some long-term health care. However, a large part of care is financed with public and private funds or provided by family caregivers.
Being prepared by having a plan before you retire and experience a decline in your health is vital to having quality care, easing family stress, and protecting savings.
LTC Insurance Offers Guaranteed Tax-Free Benefits
Many people in the United States get Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s. Premiums can be affordable, but premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies. Experts recommend seeking the advice of an experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find affordable coverage.
There are several types of policies that are available in the United States. You might have questions about long-term health care planning and LTC NEWS has the answers to many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions | LTC News.
About the Author
Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.
Contributor since October 31st, 2017
People require long-term health care due to declining health, mobility issues, memory loss, and the general frailties of aging. About half of us will need care before we die. Care costs are exploding and will adversely impact your family and finances.
If you have a family history of Alzheimer's or dementia, you have even more considerable risk, and taking action should be paramount. No matter your family history, taking action before you retire should be a crucial part of retirement planning.
For many people, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is the solution. Most of us have a desire for quality care and choice. When you own an LTC policy, you will have a solution. You will have access to your choice of quality care services, including care at home.
Safeguard assets, ease family stress and anxiety, and give your loved ones the time to be family instead of becoming your future caregiver. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.
Planning Tools and Resources Available on LTC NEWS
Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions. Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier.
One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.
LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Help Planning for Long-Term Care
Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price.
Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Find a specialist who represents the top companies as premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Leading specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.
A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Need Help Now for Mom or Dad?
If your family is already in crisis and you need to find help for mom or dad, LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.
Start by reading our four guides -
If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
Get Assistance in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim
Many insurance companies have issued Long-Term Care Insurance policies over the years. Filing a claim can sometimes be complicated unless you know what to do or get expert help and assistance.
Don't allow the claim process to stop you from using the benefits available in an LTC policy. Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care.
If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help. LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work - free with no obligation.
Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Advantages of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance. You might be eligible at younger ages as well.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, and even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. Mike Banner, LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.
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