On 60 minutes (CBS News) Sunday, the 22nd of April, they had a special segment on Alzheimer’s Disease.  This is a must-see for everyone!  We finally see a true glimpse of what it means to be a caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient.  They have followed a couple for the past 10 years after the wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease nearly 14 years ago.  They interviewed the wife each year and it was shocking to see how with each passing year, her health continues to deteriorate.  The husband agreed to share their story in an attempt to advise people to be more prepared for caregiving decisions than they were.
Here is the link to the segment:
The latest statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association say that every 65 seconds, another American is diagnosed with the disease and that is expected to increase to every 33 seconds by mid-century.  Nearly 2/3’s of those diagnosed are women!
As 60 minutes portrays – of course - we – as family members will take care of our loved ones with such a devastating disease.  But, as time goes on – (for this couple 14 years!) it becomes harder and harder to meet those demands.  Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll on caregivers.  Compared with caregivers of people without dementia, twice as many caregivers of those with dementia indicate substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties. 
The husband in this story, eventually hired an aid at $40,000/year for part-time assistance.  Then, he increased this care to 24-hours at a significant increase in cost.  His savings is dwindling…with no end of in-sight to the level of care his wife requires. 
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia, 70 percent is borne by families – either through out-of-pocket health and long-term care expenses or from the value of unpaid care. 
Doesn’t it make more financial sense to transfer some of that risk (cost of care) to an insurance company? 
There are many options available today to assist in paying for the cost of aging and dependency (long-term care).  They include; long-term care insurance, both traditional and asset-based (tied to a life insurance or annuity), or even a 1035 exchange from an older life insurance policy or an annuity to a qualified long-term care policy.   I also have products that offer an “unlimited or lifetime” benefit.
It’s important to work with an agent that specializes in long-term care to ensure you receive an array of products and options that best fit your needs and  goals.  Let’s put a plan in place for you today to ensure that your family doesn’t have to make these difficult caregiving choices alone.  Please call me for more information. 800-789-5191
Matt Sussman, CLTC

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