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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alzheimer's Wandering ID Bracelet

Here is a product that would make a great gift for anyone who has Alzheimer's or Dementia and would even make a good ID bracelet for someone with Autism. It is a soft bracelet that is very difficult to remove.

60% of Alzheimer's patients wander away from their residence. I'm sure you've seen the news reports of an "elderly person that has been missing" and then they go on to describe that person.

click on this picture for more information

People with dementia typically wander on foot and are found within 5 miles of their home.  However, individuals have also been reported lost who have left in their own cars or on public transportation. These people are sometimes found not just in the next county over but maybe even the next state over.

People who become lost are often found in other people's yards, retail businesses, along streets and highways, and in public buildings like libraries and hospitals.  Occasionally they are found in remote areas such as woods or fields.

Most people with dementia who become lost in the community are safely returned to their caregivers. However, if not found within the first 24 hours the chance for a safe return is dismal.

The ID bracelet will have the wanderers name and the caretakers phone number so they can be returned quickly without upsetting the person even more.

If you click on the picture or logo above you'll be taken to the NeverLost Wristband's website where you can purchase these wristbands for a very reasonable cost. And in case the person gets lost inside the home there are also bathroom and bedroom signs available.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How much are you saving to care for your parents?


Last week I found out about a 2008 study that MetLife published concerning the cost of being a caregiver. It is an eye opening study.

According to the MetLife study, nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their aging parents. These family caregivers are themselves aging as well as providing care at a time when they also need to be planning and saving for their own retirement. The percentage of people over 50 who are either part or full time has more than tripled in the last 15 years. 3% of men and 9% of women provided at least basic parental care in 1994. Partially because people are living longer by 2008 that figure had increase to 17% of men and 28% of women.

People who care for their parents are more likely to cut their working hours, or to give up working totally. The study found that the cost in lost wages, pensions, and social security benefits average $283,716 for men caregivers and $324,044 for women caregivers. Women are more likely to give up their jobs to be an at home caregiver while men are more likely to offer financial support but still work part time. People 50+ who give up their jobs to care for a parent are unlikely to find the same status employment after their caretaking "jobs" are over. In today's economy it can be hard to find a job, let alone a job that paid what you previous were making. Many people are taking jobs with fewer benefits and lower pay.

In addition to the monetary costs are the ancillary costs. This includes the fact that 31% of adult caregivers report stress, anxiety, or depression; 70% report making work accommodations due to caregiving; and 53% say that they lose time with friends and family. With the declining health of the caregiver will come increased costs in medical care and medications.

You can access the study through my website.

So what is the answer?

Over half of us will need some extra care in the future. If you don't want to place this burden on your son or daughter you may want to consider getting a Long Term Care Insurance policy. This study concerns adult children. However, spouses also have similar cost to their body and soul as well as to their retirement fund.

If you are so concerned you may contact me for more information on Long Term Care. One of the worse parts of my job is having someone call me wanting information on or ideas of how to care for their parent AFTER the parent needs the care and is therefore ineligible. A Long Term Care policy will not take the place of your loving care but it can make it much easier and definitely less stressful. Long Term Care is not just for nursing homes but also can be used for adult day care and in-home care.

Remember, Medicare does not generally pay for Long Term Care. Medicare will pay for UP TO 100 days in a skilled nursing facility and is based on a continued skilled need. In addition, neither Medicare nor Medicare Advantage plans will cover 100% of this care. Also, with Medicare and Medicare Supplements there is also the requirement that you've spent 3 days in the hospital. With some surgeries you are only in the hospital overnight before you are discharged.

What is a skilled need? 

One common skilled need is rehabilitation or therapy, including occupational, speech, and physical therapies, and is usually following a surgery or stroke. Other common skilled needs are needing a feeding tube or needing wound care.

One caveat to the "skilled need". If the doctor tells Medicare that you are not going to get better and will need this care continually Medicare will then consider your care to be long term instead of short term. They will discontinue paying for the facility even though you still have some of your 100 days left.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Introducing "Through the Maze"

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my new blog.

As your guide through the Medicare Maze AND the Insurance Maze we're going to be discussing many different subjects. Since I specialize in Medicare, and a large percentage of my clients are on Medicare, subjects of interest to those over 65 will probably dominate this blog. We'll be talking about the many different insurance policies that help get our life back to normal, or at least help us pay for getting our life back to normal. We'll be talking about the HealthCare Reform Act and what it will change for both those over and under 65. We'll be talking about the unintended consequences of the HealthCare Reform Act because, as you know, the insurance world is a complicated maze.

In addition, we will also discuss other things in life that interest me and my clients. We'll talk about products that can make our life better or safer. We'll talk about books or web articles of interest. We will talk about social clubs or informational classes. I'll be answering any questions that you may have so feel free to leave a comment, email, or phone me with your questions. Your questions do not have to relate to any of my previous blogs or even to insurance.

Just to give you an idea of what's to come, my first few blogs will be on how much does a caretaker actually spend while tending a relative, how a new ID bracelet can help Alzheimer's patients get back home, a "new" sport that I'd never heard of before, and one of the biggest subjects these day - maternity coverage and the missing maternity rider.