Long Term Care Insurance and Alzheimer’s Disease share an important relationship. Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain dysfunction that affects about 6 million Americans, mostly over the age of 65. As the US population ages, the number of people with Alzheimer’s Disease is expected to rise quickly. This tragic disease is one of the leading causes of needing to use a Long Term Care Insurance policy.
What is so scary about this disease, Alzheimer’s patients slowly lose their cognitive abilities including memory, language, and motor skills, and often become confused easily. Some Alzheimer’s patients suffer dramatic personality changes and even lose their ability to take care of themselves. At this point, they begin to need Long Term Care. Ten years is the average length of time a person is expected to live after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and those years are almost always difficult for the person and his or her family.
Long Term Care Insurance and Alzheimer’s Should Go Hand in Hand
Most Alzheimer’s sufferers initially live in their own home or are cared for by family and friends at their home. The main challenge is that family caregivers can become emotionally, physically, and financially drained after providing continuous care and supervision for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease. Having a Long Term Care Insurance policy of course cannot cure the disease, but it can play an important roll in ensuring quality care is given to the patient by having the needed funds to pay the expenses.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease is often, unfortunately, much like caring for a small child. Alzheimer’s Disease can cause the patient to become agitated, physically aggressive, delusional, and withdrawn from family and friends. It can also cause the patient to engage in disturbing behaviors and to become disoriented, often causing them to roam their neighborhood. At this point, families typically consider nursing homes or assisted living facilities for their loved ones.
Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia are the leading causes for needing Long Term Care. People with Alzheimer’s eventually require constant Long Term Care services, either at home or in a nursing or assisted living facility often draining their life savings in the process.
With the uncertainty of cognitive diseases, Long Term Care Insurance and Alzheimer’s connection makes sense for most people simply because it can prevent them from being a burden to their families, and it can assure that they are properly taken care of. Often the family will start out attempting to care for the Alzheimer’s patient but as the disease progresses the person can become tough for the family to care for and frequently they become violent. For example, if a door is left open, your loved one may exit the home and roam the neighborhood.
Long Term Care Insurance and Alzheimer’s Stages
Financial constraints in most families are forcing them to care for their loved ones at home instead of expensive nursing facilities, leading to caregiver burnout. It is helpful to understand the continuum of this tragic disease and the increasing long term care need along the way. Long Term Care Insurance provides families with the option of giving their loved ones the proper care that is required in Alzheimer’s situations. All Long Term Care Insurance policies cover Alzheimer’s Disease and organic brain syndromes. However, some polices do not cover inorganic brain syndromes such as depression so you will want to view a sample policy to see the actual contract language before you by. LTC Tree works with all the major Long Term Care Insurance companies and can send you a PDF of the policy before you buy.
Long Term Care Insurance must be purchased before the problem arises. Insurance companies deny applications of applicants who do not meet their underwriting requirements. This can be explained by comparing Long Term Care Insurance to auto insurance. No auto insurance company would insure a car for an accident in which the car had already been involved. Thus, if the applicant already has Alzheimer’s Disease at the time of application, the request for Long Term Care Insurance coverage will be denied.
As an applicant for Long Term Care Insurance, you will most likely be asked to perform a “cognitive interview” where a nurse will interview you and ask memory and logic-related questions.
In Alzheimer’s situations the physical, emotional, and financial stress of taking care of a loved one is extremely stressful for the family. Adult children can protect their own financial security by purchasing Long Term Care Insurance for their parents, if it’s not too late, as well as for themselves.
- Judgment: forgetting how to use household appliances, etc.
- Sense of time and place: getting lost on one’s own street; being unable to recognize or find areas in the home.
- Behavior: the care recipient will become easily confused, suspicious or fearful.
- Physical ability: the person with dementia may have trouble with balance, depending upon a walker or wheelchair to get around.
- Senses: changes in vision, hearing, sensitivity to temperatures or depth perception.
If you would like to learn more about Long Term Care Insurance and Alzheimer’s protection please fill in the form below and we will mail you the info.