Dementia or Alzheimer’s ?
Why should I be concerned about that !
IF I have a problem, it will be when I’M OLD.
As for thinking about it when you are older, stop for moment and look at your current age. Did you think it happened rather quickly ? We feel great and at the same time we become “OLD”. Even I am amazed that I’m as old as I am.
With respect to having Dementia or Alzheimer’s (D/A) or not,
PLAN on having it.
The same as when you buy Home or Car insurance because it might happen. Plan on it happening as there are no guarantees that you will have an accident or D/A. The same as you understand the financial impact of a house fire or totaling your car. You still need to prepare for it just in case. How you prepare for it is the key……………
The beginning can start at any age. The youngest that I’ve seen was a lady who was only 46. Most often the onset is in the 60’s and higher.
It’s not something one should worry about if you have planned for it. If it occurs, then we work with it. I have not met one person with D/A that was not a happy person. They all tend to be rather pleasant to be with. If confronted or pressured, they may become more irritable.
Full development can take years to occur. Others will notice one forgetting why or what they were going to do. Difficulty in remembering names, dates or places. Keys and Glasses are lost by everyone. Those 2 items are not qualifiers.
As the problem progress’, they quite often will remember more clearly, as they perceive it, things that happened as a much younger person.
Something that appears to help is keeping active both physically and mentally. Keep using the mental facilities working. Something as simple as a puzzle. It causes the brain to work. The Brain is also thought of as a muscle. And everyone knows about the effects of not using your muscles. I have just read an article where Line Dancing helped. In Line Dancing or something similar – You need to think about it……. Forcing the brain to work. Keep it active to delay or possibly eliminate the memory problems.
Once diagnosed, there are medications that help delay- not stop – the future.
The normal progression begins with the occasional lapses of memory that seem to occur more often than normal. The individual is still able to completely function like anyone else. Over time they will need more supervision rather than being left on their own at home. A companion to ensure that no harm happens. That meals and rest are available etc. At some point, after many years, they will need to move to a facility that is set up for the D/A patients.
In the interim, what occurs ?
In the early days John or Joan can be left at home alone. Or go shopping when accompanied. No driving. Check with local law enforcement. They may have in place a registration for persons that could become lost by just walking away. Join support groups. They can help you as to what to expect and how to work with it. They are current in your local area of available additional services.
Later the person will need progressively more care. At this point, life takes a turn for the well person. Keep in mind that the sick person will receive care regardless. The well person(s) have to commit more time to care for him/her. In the typical household with a husband and wife. As one’s health declines, the activities formerly done by the sick person, now have to be done by the well person. All of the household management such as paying bills, maintaining the yard, shopping and the list goes on. Every responsibility falls on the well person. If the well person is still working, that creates a whole new set of problems. Wether to continue to work or stay home and take care of the sick person. Encounter a loss of needed income. Lose a way to get away for a short period of time from the stress at home. The pressures will slowly become larger over time. Often there is family support to carry this load, but sometimes it’s not there.
The Financial Planning.
As I mentioned earlier. Plan on it occurring. The percentage of men is lower than women. But that is mainly accountable to the fact that men generally predecease a woman. They are more apt to have heart or cancer problems. Women do account for 80% of the nursing home residents. Their average age is in the 80’s.
Before one gets to a nursing home, they will have spent years at home unless the finances permit some type of assisted living. During those years generally the spouse takes care of the person. That added responsibility in turn puts more stress on the well person, causing it’s own harm.
Private care is expensive. There are more and larger buildings being built to accommodate the Baby boomers. That fact will continue for decades into the future.
Medicaid is one option that was planned on. That has become less favorable recently. One law not known by many is the Filial Law. In 30 states across the country. In Florida we do not have this law. But if your child say’s,,,,,, Mom, I’m going to take you back to New Jersey to be close to me and we will use Medicaid there. Sounds practical, close to the family. Mom may go on Medicaid. Her child has enough money to move her so they have assets.
Then Mom dies…….. This is when the Filial Law kicks in. The state has allowed Mom to go onto Medicaid to cover her nursing home care. Briefly what happens is: The law permits the state to pursue FAMILY MEMBERS, not just the child to recover any monies spent by the state for the care of Mom.
One option is to purchase Long Term Care Insurance. Generally it’s a use it or lose type of plan. If you can still find a company to sell one, it will be expensive. To often if you don’t use it, the premiums are lost without a benefit in return.
A better option is to purchase either a Life Insurance Policy or an Annuity. With either one you may use the values to cover the costs. If you never need it, it passes to the beneficiaries. A WIN/WIN plan.
One can expect to spend $200,000 easily. The two options, Life Insurance or an Annuity are both excellent.
With an Annuity, you have access to the assets without charges or fees to be spent towards the confinement costs. With the annuity, if you need the funds, they are there. If you never need the funds for care, the funds will pass to your heirs within 10 days of one’s passing. You of course always have access to it in the interim.
The use of Life Insurance is so often overlooked for it’s living benefits.
Regardless of your future, Life Insurance will be there to provide money for you. You already know about it’s use at death. Where Life Insurance excels is with the living benefits. The living benefits allow you to use the Death Benefit, less 10%, towards any confined care. The policy is prepaying the Death Benefit while you are alive for confined care. You also have access to the internal cash values for you to spend as you desire. That money in the policy is yours and you have some control over it. If done properly, it’s all Tax Free benefits to you.
Richard Goodrum RICP®
352.787.5061 ~ ~ 87.822.3102