Long-term care insurance distributors and educators, recommend preemptive action against the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “Cognitive decline is a big and growing reason Americans need long-term care,” says Denise Gott, CEO, “and the best time to plan for it is before symptoms arise.”
“Think of it this way,” she explains. “If you’re worried about your house burning down, you wouldn’t wait for smoke and flames before getting fire insurance or removing fire hazards.”
When it comes to Alzheimer’s, most Americans fail to appreciate its danger and avail themselves of sensible precautions. Here are three guidelines:
1. Recognize the size of the problem. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and the number is expected to triple as millions of Baby Boomers enter their retirement years.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal disease. Over time, more and more longer-living Americans may lose the ability to care for themselves. Millions will need long-term care.
And they may need it for an extended period. Many dementia victims require LTC for seven to ten years or more, while others typically need care for about three years.
2. Determine whether insurance is the right option. Medicare does not cover many services that are needed by people living with dementia.
Medicaid does provide substantial help, but only for those lacking the financial means to help themselves. If you fall into this category, public assistance may be your best bet.
Otherwise, providing care is up to you. If you’re very wealthy, you may choose to self-insure. If you’re not rich but doing OK, private insurance may be your best option. An LTC policy lets productive family members keep on with their jobs and lives. Nobody has to become default caregiver, a role usually filled by a wife, daughter, or other female relative.
3. If LTC insurance makes sense for you, consult with a dementia-aware advisor. LTC agents are state-certified, but there’s no legal requirement they know anything about dementia. So it’s up to you to pick one who does.
Ask questions such as, “How many years of care should my policy cover?” and “What mental or physical disabilities trigger benefits?”
Massachusetts News Wire