Alzheimer’s Disease: Taking Charge

The New York Times had a Special Section on Sunday May 1, 2016 titled “Fraying At The Edges” by N.R. Kleinfield. The article followed Geri Taylor from the early stages of her disease. Ms. Taylor taught me how we still have a choice in how we live out our lives even in the face of a horrendous disease like Alzheimer’s.  The article also introduced me to the NY Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association called Caringkind, a wonderful organization that I will recommend to many clients.

alzheimerMr. Kleinfield writes about the “stigma” associated with Alzheimer’s. This is a disease that makes people feel embarrassed causing them to pretend they are fine when they know they are not.  What was refreshing was the focus not on the end of the journey but the beginning and how people can choose how to deal with the disease; to accept it and talk about it, to be active, and to strategize how they can best live with the disease. It truly changed my thinking.
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Do We Really Need Long Term Care Insurance in the New Year?

According to Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), we all absolutely need long term care coverage.  Certainly as I look at my friends’ aging parents and grandparents as well as my clients on claim, this seems quite obvious to me.

And yet, because of the expense of the policies and the unpredictability of future policy costs, experts and insureds often focus on these problems rather than the larger issues of our high likelihood of needing care into the future and the terrible impact that has on our families both emotionally and financially.
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Long Term Care Coverage is Not One-Size-Fits-All

In an article written December 26, 2015, the New York Times says:

“Long Term Care Coverage is not One-Size-Fits-All”

This message for 2016 is completely on target for me.  Everyone’s needs are individual and what’s always been most important is to have a plan for our own long term care.

The first step is to talk about what you want with your spouse and your family. The holidays are an ideal time to do that. Here are a few questions that should be asked:
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Long Term Care Companies Are Whacking Insureds Hard With Policy Increases!

As a broker and a firm believer in long term care insurance policies, it is difficult to open my mail these days. It is not unusual for me to see an increase letter on a book of business that dates back 10-15 years. These increases come from all the carriers—MetLife, Prudential, Unum, Genworth, John Hancock, Mutual of Omaha, Transamerica, Medamerica. If a carrier has been in the long term care market over the last 20-25 years, they have been forced to issue policy increases.
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Julianne Moore Wins the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Still Alice!

Julianne Moore gives us a disturbingly beautiful performance as she portrays a college professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. This is real life for so many people whose parents have been diagnosed with this dreadful disease. We are being told that 1 in 12 people over 65 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s by the age of 85. This is truly a frightening thought and life changing for an entire population of younger people who will need to care for their parents.
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