At long last, we have a string of incredibly positive articles featuring LTCi news! Writers are really doing their homework and digging into the research. They are reporting on the many benefits of long term care insurance (LTCi).
1. When to Move to Assisted Living
It can feel tricky when to make that decision. At what point do we need to leave traditional independent living and move into an assisted living community? This article in U.S. News & World Report (Aug. 9, 2019) gives some simple indicators to look for:
- Has there been a decline in medical conditions? Is there overall weakening in personal strength or more falls happening?
- Are personal finances becoming more difficult to manage? Are there more money-related problems?
- Is the home no longer kept clean? Is personal hygiene falling off? Are there healthy meals prepared daily?
- Are there signs of depression or social isolation?
As we age, it is more common to experience multiple medical conditions at the same time. Degrading vision along with a neurological disease like Parkinson’s creates a formidable challenge in maintaining independent living.
And, as I’ve often discussed, the brain deterioration of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can result in forgetfulness (taking prescriptions properly), poor decision-making and poor motor skills (prone to dangerous falls).
Have That Conversation EARLY
When that time comes, will we be able to recognize the signs? And with all those signs staring us in the face, will we be willing to accept the decision ahead of us? Roxanne Sorensen, an Aging Life Care specialist, reports that, “Families are making some of the most important decisions of their life while they’re emotional. They don’t have time to think about it. They’re in a crisis situation, and now they’re faced with the decision of where mom or dad is going to be institutionalized for the rest of their life.”
Once again, we’re reminded that the time to make these plans is before the decisions have to be made. When we’re less emotional and more level-headed. Plus, having this conversation early provides extra time to research local community options and make the best possible choice. What a luxury to have the time to join a waiting list for the more popular places instead of taking “whatever we can find”.
2. Assisted Living Improves Quality of Life
The very same week, the same publication printed a separate article on LTCi news. They list some of the great benefits of moving to assisted living. Here’s a sample of offerings from some communities:
- DAILY TASKS: This includes support for regular grooming, bathing and preparing healthy meals that support specific dietary needs (diabetes, blood pressure, etc.).
- SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT: One of the easiest remedies for social isolation and depression is the feeling of belonging that comes from living in a supportive and active community.
- RECREATION: Exercise, movies, walking clubs and reading groups can rapidly fill the calendar of residents.
- MEDICATION MANAGEMENT: Assuring prescriptions are taken at the right time, in the correct dosage. Also coordinating timely delivery from local pharmacies.
- EDUCATION/CULTURAL PROGRAMS: Guest lecturers, educational curriculum and culturally-themed events adds tremendous richness.
- SAFE ENVIRONMENT: Having staff on hand to assist in difficult tasks, living heavy objects or just taking a walk around the grounds.
- MEMORY SUPPORT: Daily interaction with therapeutic recreation, under the supervision of trained professionals, from memory classes to art classes.
Of course, these benefits will vary from facility to facility, so be sure to do your research EARLY to find the best match for your needs.
3. Boomers As Caregivers
In more LTCi news, the Baby Boomer generation is facing the hard decisions as they try to manage the long term care needs of their parents. In fact, 9 out of 10 boomers who expect to be caregivers recognize that they’ll be making significant sacrifices in their own lives for the sake of their parents’ care.
These sacrifices range from cuts in personal spending and travel to reducing work hours or completely leaving their careers.
The good news is that the boomer generation is more willing to have the important conversations with their children when it comes to planning for their own care in later life. They recognize how likely it is that they will need long term care. And they are making the necessary plans to prepare themselves and their family for that future.
The article cites a study that concludes, “With one-third of caregivers tapping into their nest eggs to pay for health care expenses, it’s vital that payment planning for future caregiving is considered and prioritized in equal measure.”
Striking Gold With LTCi News
Reading these 3 recent articles completely align with the themes that drive my passion for my work in long term care insurance. I believe it’s better to stay ahead of problems. The time to act is when “the writing is on the wall”, not when the wall is crumbling down around you.
I know how important it is to have these difficult conversations with our loved ones (and ourselves!). It is my mission to support people in creating the best possible environment in their later years. One of quality living, dignity and independence.
To begin, click here to receive your free no-obligation quote for your own LTCi policy.