Dr. Marion Somers, an award winning, author & nationally recognized geriatric care manager and Matt McCann, an expert on Long Term Health Care Planning are interviewed on the Morning Blend"
Mike DiGiacomo: Seems like everything is getting more expensive, longterm health included.
Mary Nelson: It's true. Most of us, three in four to be exact, will need it, but affording it, that's a different story. Our next guests say planning is key and they are working to raise awareness.
Mike DiGiacomo: That's right. Welcome author Dr. Marion Summers, alongside Matt McCann, a longterm care insurance expert. Good to see both of you this morning.
Mary Nelson: Good morning. Hi.
Marion Summers: Good morning.
Matt McCann: Good morning.
Mike DiGiacomo: Dr. Marion, you've been traveling the country in a bus out there, right? Tell us about this tour.
Marion Summers: Well, the tour started because we want to educate people that longterm care, health issues, when they hit you are so expensive and most people think that Medicare and their insurance, their regular insurance, is going to cover their expenses and that's not the case. I have seen people in the 40 years that I've been an elder care expert, I've seen people just been financially devastated and definitely emotionally devastated.
Mary Nelson: Matt, you're nodding your head. We'll talk about your personal experience... It's not just your job, you know from personal experience.
Matt McCann: Absolutely.
Mary Nelson: This is the bus, which Dr. Marion you playfully refer to as Nelly. We also have some numbers for Omaha. I'd love to get specific with our viewers and show you just what Dr. Marion is talking about in terms of cost. This is how it breaks down for our area, right?
Marion Summers: Yes. I want people to understand what their costs are in their immediate area. If they're planning to go visit with their children or live near the children or with the children, they should know what the costs are in the environment that they are thinking to move to.
Mary Nelson: Yeah, good point. Good point.
Mike DiGiacomo: The numbers we're looking at here, that's a room for at a nursing home, $6,200 a month.
Marion Summers: Yes.
Mary Nelson: Home Health, if that's the route you're going. Assisted living, if you need those services, break down that way. And not just financial planning, but I think it's interesting you touch on emotional planning as well. Can you speak to that?
Marion Summers: Yes. When when people are devastated with grandma has fallen and you're all of a sudden not only have a full time job, but you have this added responsibility to take care of her, you want to spend your time just taking care of her and her needs. But if you're worrying about the finances as well, then your emotion and your thought is totally divided. The person who needs the help needs to have 100% of your focus. If you're worried about finances, can you pay the mortgage? Can you pay the rent? Are you going to have to take your kids out of college because of the finances are so steep? People don't think about it until it happens at home.
Mike DiGiacomo: Yeah. What do people need to think about? What are some of the options out there available?
Marion Summers: Well, they need to know that longterm care health insurance is available, longterm care insurance. If they wanted to deal with a reverse mortgage, if they have equity in their home, they can take the reverse mortgage and have... That's not taxed. It doesn't interfere with their social security or Medicare. I also want to say that One Reverse Mortgage is having a contest, a $50,000 contest. Is it okay to talk that?
Mary Nelson: No, I was going to say, we're going to show you the website. At the bottom of the screen, you've seen this 3in4needmore.com. Maybe this is a good time to look at the site live because I'd love to show you where to find the contest details. It's right there on the right side of the screen. It's essentially $50,000, as you said, toward care.
Marion Summers: $50,000 of products and services, not $50,000 they can go fly to Paris.
Mary Nelson: Well, no right. Yes, thank you for being... No, no no. Right. It's for what we're talking about today to help relieve some of that stress for one family.
Marion Summers: If somebody needs a new roof or an adapted car or something, it will address the issues at hand. What they need to do is send in their story about how they're dealing with their elder care issues, how it's impacted on them. If they submit their story, somebody's got to win and it could be somebody that's listening to this program right now.
Mary Nelson: That'd be great.
Mike DiGiacomo: That could be a great benefit to somebody. We're going to get to this book in a second, Dr. Marion, but first, Matt, what are some of the things we need to know about longterm care insurance?
Matt McCann: Well, longterm care insurance is really for many people an affordable way to plan for the emotional, physical and financial burdens that longterm care places on loved ones. It's really all about family and it's more than just money to pay for care. It's a plan to help the family deal with it because the emotions that go along with with an extended family when a loved one needs care is really hard to explain until you actually lived it. The cost of course is very high.
Mary Nelson: You've lived it.
Mike DiGiacomo: You had a personal experience with it.
Mary Nelson: Yeah, yeah.
Matt McCann: Yeah. My mom at age 59 had a major health event, ended up in a nursing home. I saw exactly what happened to my family from... not just financially, but emotionally and physically. When you live that kind of thing... Of course, longterm care can happen at any age. 42% of all people who require extended care today are under the age of 65 so you have to plan today while you're young and healthy and have time to plan.
Mike DiGiacomo: How difficult are some of those decisions, some of the financial decisions, when that emotional stress is there?
Matt McCann: It's really tough because it's crisis management. That's why planning is important because when you're trying to make decisions in the midst of a crisis, you don't always make the right decisions and then you're forced to do whatever you have to do instead of planning ahead and make it easy.
Mary Nelson: It's the right now decision, not maybe the right decision.
Matt McCann: Absolutely.
Mary Nelson: As you look longterm. Your book is available-
Mike DiGiacomo: Right here.
Mary Nelson: Your whole point is you want to make sure people are prepared. It's available for free online via PDF.
Marion Summers: Yes. Yes. If they just write me whatever their major concern is, go to drmarion.com. That's M-A-R-I-O-N. It's the masculine spelling of the word. Then I answer whatever their question is or whatever their concern is and then they get a free PDF of the book or they can go to the bookstores or Amazon.
Mike DiGiacomo: You just really want to get this information out. It's Dr. Marion's 10 steps to help you care for an aging loved one.
Mary Nelson: Yeah. Awareness is it and that's the point of the website. It's 3in4needmore.com. That's where you're going if you'd like to get registered to win that $50,000 long term care package. Right. As she said, you don't get a fly off to Fiji, that you don't just get a check for $50,000, but what a huge gift for whoever wins.
Marion Summers: Somebody will be blessed.
Mary Nelson: Yes, no kidding. Is there a deadline, do you know, to get registered for the contest?
Marion Summers: It's September.
Mary Nelson: September. There you have it. Nice to see you both. Matt, thank you.
Matt McCann: Thank you Pat.
Mary Nelson: Dr. Marion, pleasure to see you.
Mike DiGiacomo: Good luck on the bus. You have two weeks left, right? Two weeks left on the bus.
Marion Summers: I want people to wave and follow us on Twitter and Facebook and 3in4needmore.com. The more people that understand that they need to plan and start the planning now while they're young and healthy and have the option of planning, that's so important.
Mary Nelson: We'll see you on I-80. Right. You'll see us.
Marion Summers: I look for forward to it.
Mike DiGiacomo: Dr. Marion, thanks a lot. Matt, thank you very much.
Matt McCann: Thank you.
Mary Nelson: Thank you guys.
We showed you where to go online to register for that caregiver makeover contest. You'll find us at omahamorningblend.com. You can watch show clips, give us your feedback about the show. Learn more about me if you'd like. That's right, Mary, they care about me. Again, that's omahamorningblend.com. Fall allergies, they can be a nightmare. It's that time of year.
True. No easier for sufferers facing flood cleanup. We're going to talk to a sleep and allergy specialist about that when we come back.