Over 50 million people worldwide live with dementia, and this number is growing dramatically as the world gets older. In the United States, the number is over 6.2 million people. Over 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's or another dementia. In the United Kingdom, 850,000 people live with dementia, and an estimated 472,000 Australians are as well.
DementiaAffects Families Emotionally and Financially
Dementiais a real problem and affects families emotionally and financially. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, and there is no cure and no effective treatment. Most people afflicted with cognitive impairment require supervision and long-term health care.
However, an early diagnosis can help slow the progression and provide a better quality of life for the individual and their family. Loved ones must be open to the signs of dementia and get them to a doctor for testing and proper care.
Don't Ignore the Signs
There are some things that are signs of dementia that we might ignore. For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry showed that those with early-onset dementia lost some of their sense of humor and no longer found jokes funny.
Forgetting our keys, struggling to find a word in conversation, and getting lost in a familiar location are also signs. However, symptoms could also be from other health issues unrelated to dementia that are treatable. Therefore, it is essential to take your loved one to see their doctor if you observe some of these signs.
Read this story about common signs of early dementia - The four hidden signs of dementia to look out for in your loved ones (nypost.com)
You Can Avoid the Family Crisis
Too often, families fail to think about aging and changing health until a crisis happens. At the point of a crisis, it is usually too late to plan. If you are doing retirement planning, you should consider including a plan for the future costs and burdens of aging. For many families, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is the solution.
Keep in mind that traditional health insurance, including Medicareand supplements, will only pay a small amount of skilled long-term care. It leaves the majority of the expensive your responsibility. Medicaid will pay for long-term health care with Medicaid-approved providers, but only if you have little or no income and assets.
Care Costs Rising Sharply
Since the cost of long-term health care services (including dementia supervision) is getting more expensive due to rising demand and higher labor costs, the financial impact is tremendous.
For example, in Reading, Pennsylvania, the monthly cost of in-home care (based on a 44 hour week) averages about $4400 a month. But, in 25 years, that same amount of in-home care will average around $9700 a month - Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
The cost of care will vary depending on where you live. Compare Reading, PA, with Lake Charles, Louisiana. In Lake Charles, LA, the current average cost of care at home runs over $3200 a month, but in 25 years, that same care will average about $7200 a month - Louisiana Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
While the cost is less in Louisiana, it can still be devastating to your family and finances. Don't forget the cost of other forms of care like adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and nursing homes.
Do You Own LTC Insurance?
Experts suggest obtaining Long-Term Care Insurance coverage when you are in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy good health and premiums are very affordable. Seek help from a specialist - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
If your loved one's health is declining, and you are looking for care now, read the LTC NEWS Guide to in-home care - Finding Quality In-Home Care | LTC News.
Don't allow your family to be burdened. Be prepared.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
Dementiaand other cognitive impairments are only one reason people require long-term health care—our health, body, and mind decline with age. As we get older, we suffer from more mobility problems. Chronic illness and just aging can lead to needing help with daily activities we take for granted. About half of us will need long-term care - are you prepared?
A vital part of retirement planning should include affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. You probably want to avoid being dependent on other people. Family caregivers face physical and emotional stress and anxiety, and professional care is expensive.
Long-Term Care Insurance offers guaranteed tax-free benefits so you can choose the type of care you want in the setting you desire. Protect income and assets and give loved ones the time to be family rather than caregivers.
Act before you retire and start your research today.
Available Resources on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS can put together several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the financial impact of long-term health care where you live. It will also show you state-specific information on tax benefits, care options, rules, and more.
- 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 Advice
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
Take a moment and read -
Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you, or a loved one complete the claim's process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. You can also support finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits 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.
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, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. 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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