Category Archives: Senior News

Aging and the “Fountain of Youth” by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist







Aging introduction:

Aging information in the form of books, videos and the Internet abound, providing information about how you can stay young and live longer.  Almost everyone is interested in a long life and looking and feeling younger.  However, Ponce De Leone no longer lives, traveling the land in search of the “fountain of youth”.  Instead, the aging process is being studied intensively by researchers looking at genes, cells, hormones, eating patterns and other factors that give a clue of what causes aging and how it can be prevented or delayed. 

Aging: Three strategies to reduce the effects 

Researchers on aging have continued to identify three strategies that help people live longer and healthier.  The strategies include exercising, following certain types of diets and eating fewer calories.




Almost everyone is aware of the benefits of exercise and recognize that people who exercise are healthier than those who do not.  Exercise contributes many health benefits including improving and maintaining the ability to function, helping to sustain a healthy level of weight and preventing or postponing various disorders such as diabetes and coronary artery disease.
 
Aging studies have also concluded that people who eat a low-fat diet which includes fruits and vegetables are much healthier than people who eat a diet higher in fat and starch.  It has been found that people who live in the Mediterranean countries and consume the so-called Mediterranean diet seem to live longer.  This diet is believed to be healthier then the diets of individuals living in northern Europe and America, as it consists of more grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and less red meat.  Also, the main fat consumed is olive oil which contains many vitamins and monounsaturated fat rather than saturated fat.  Monounsaturated fats do not increase cholesterol levels like the saturated fats do and seem to have little negative effect on the aging process.
 
Aging has also been found to be affected by a low-calorie diet in general.  A low-calorie diet over your lifetime may lead to a longer life as it tends to reduce the number of certain damaging substances in your body.  Research on the aging process continues to find that these substances, called free radicals, are the natural byproducts of normal cellular activity. The damage done to cells by free radicals is considered to contribute to such disorders as coronary artery disease and cancer.

Utilizing these three strategies to reduce the effects of aging would require a change in lifestyle for most people.  However, many people in our society look for shorter and easier ways to prevent or slow the aging process.  Some, for example, try to manage free radicals using antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C and E.  Some people take large amounts of these vitamins in the form of supplements in the hope of slowing the aging process.  Other antioxidants such as beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A), are also frequently taken.  In theory, the use of antioxidants to reduce aging actually makes sense.  However, current studies have not found that high doses of the antioxidants prevent or slow the aging process. 

Aging is also affected by decreases in certain hormones.  Some people try to delay or slow the aging process by taking supplements of these hormones including testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, human growth hormone and melatonin.  However, whether hormonal supplements actually affect the aging process is still to be determined.  Also, some of these supplements have known health risks. 

Some people have a belief that some of the Eastern practices such as yoga, tai chi and qigong can slow the aging process.  These practices are based upon holistic theory that health involves the whole person including the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual components, which need to be kept in balance.  These practices also may include relaxation, breathing techniques, diet, meditation and exercise. These practices are safe for older people and probably will increase the level of health.  But, whether these practices actually affect the aging process still need to be determined. 

Some information from The Merck Manual of Health of Aging 

Additional information and article by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist (Health Psychology) 







 Advice For Seniors – Working Your Way Through Retirement     







Caring for the elderly can be daunting and challenging at times. It is something to that everybody has something to worry about sometime. Everyone gets old in each and every family, and at the very least, most people have a relative of an advanced age. This stage poses a lot of uncertainty and behavioral change that the person himself/herself is unaware and can hardly control.

1. Theory on Behavioral Change Among Elderly

Each of life’s stages are characterized by unprecedented behavioral change. Your preferences in food, color, clothing style, company, music genre, etc are mostly affected. In a latest study, it was found that people periodically change in their preferential course of life, including aspirations approximately every 7 years. Just as how complex this change in the early life are as complicated when one turns into old age. People may find elderly people annoying but these behaviors are a result of various physiological processes occurring in their body as they approach such age. Many may have seemed to develop resentment on an activity that they previously enjoy. They develop resistance to many things such as loud sounds, discomfort on almost anything, incontinence, and apparent withdrawal from the society. Understanding these queer behaviors and how they arise will provide you valuable information that you can use in tailoring the kind of care needed for your elders.




2. Tips on Caring for Seniors

While geriatric care managers are the expert in the provision of health care among elderly, everyone can empower themselves to be equipped with the right training and knowledge in geriatric (referring to old, elderly) and better assist aging members of your household such as your grandparents and parents, and older siblings. Below are the lists of useful tips on how you can better assist our elders as they embark on this stage of life with full of challenges and uncertainties and assist elderly on protecting themselves, physically (health matters), financially and legally on everything that concerns your assets.

3. Be Completely Absorbed

People who have had experience taking care older adults, especially the caregivers and other geriatric care managers, considers giving a “piece” of yourself into a health care program designed for such individuals. More than ever, accompanying them in this critical stage provides them with enough relief with all dramatic changes they are experiencing physically.

4. Secure Health Care Insurance

As you age, you will be more prone to diseases. Your body will become more vulnerable to diseases. You tend to develop illness that do not normally occur in healthy, young people. Because of this, more and more people are paying closer attention to the quality of medical or health insurance they enroll to and make sure that it covers programs expected when one reach old age. Review carefully your health insurance policy and make sure you understand the entire terms of service programs stipulated in it.

5. Financial Care for Elders

As we reach retirement age, you will be more or less dependent upon your retirement pensions unless you have acquired a business of your own. This leaves you little flexibility in the amount of income or budget you will get for a month but this very same financial rigidity empowers or teaches you to limit your spending to an amount that is appropriated for you for a specific length of time.

6. Elder Care Law

The government dutifully protects senior citizens’ rights and extends support for elderly who still can manage to take care of their own and during the time that they need other else’s supervision in the performance of daily activities such as cooking, bathing, feeding, taking medications and leisurely walks, etc. It is important to note that legal provisions vary from state to state and that the help of a professional family law or elder care law attorney should be consulted.

7. Relegating Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal right whereby an individual is granted certain rights to act as a representative of someone in the performance of a certain legal actions or decisions. Elder individuals become less able to dealing with affairs concerning their assets, including financial, monetary, and estate affairs. It is about giving someone the authority to do the affairs for you especially when you reach the stage where you can no longer perform these activities yourself.

About the Author:
Get great pregnancy and baby advice at Mommy-Mommy.com You’ll find excellent tips to help you fight all sorts of pregnancy “discomforts” like morning sickness and crankiness.







                   

Psychological Evaluations for Disability in St. Louis, Missouri:







Psychological Evaluations for Disability in St. Louis, Missouri:

Psychological Evaluations for Disability in St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri: An Overview

Psychological evaluations for disability in St. Charles, Missouri are provided by specially trained doctoral level psychologists which will assist individuals, attorneys and parties such as the Social Security Administration to determine the extent of work limitations eligibility for Social Security disability or Worker’s Compensation benefits. These psychological evaluations are conducted to assess such factors as the extent of emotional or psychological difficulty, memory impairment or difficulty learning by psychologists at Susic Psychological Consulting P.C. and Senior Care Psychological Consulting in the St. Charles, Missouri. The goal of the disability evaluation is to assess an individual’s ability to engage in substantial gainful employment and/or the fulfillment of activities of daily living. Individuals are assessed on a number of psychological factors including emotional stability, energy, cognitive impairment, psychosis and many others. These evaluations are necessary to determine if there are factors that contribute to the deterioration in an individual’s ability to engage in substantial gainful employment and successfully function in their lives.

Since the 1930’s, federal government programs have funded “income maintenance” programs to provide assistance to individuals who have developed some type of mental or physical disability or are unable to engage in substantial, gainful employment. These psychological evaluations for disability in St. Charles, Missouri have become an integral part of the determination process of whether disability is present resulting in an impairment, limiting an individual’s ability to work and function adequately.




Psychological Evaluations: Medical and Psychological Concerns:

Anxiety Disorders
Arthritis and joint damage
Asthma
Back injuries
Bipolar Disorder
Congestive Heart Failure
Chronic Fatigue
Crohn’s Disease
Cystic Fibrosis
Depression
Diabetes
Fibromyalgia
Hearing impairments
Hepatitis C Liver Disease
HIV
Ischemic Heart Disease
Leukemia
Lung disease
Lupus
Multiple Sclerosis
Schizophrenia
Stroke

 
What do these psychological evaluations for disability involve?

 
Disability evaluations look at a variety of psychological factors that may include but are not limited to emotional stability or mood, memory, energy, emotional liability, cognitive impairments or psychosis. These evaluations consider if any of these factors may contribute to deterioration in an individual’s ability to engage in substantial, gainful employment and overall functioning. They will consider whether an individual has a restriction of activities of daily living, or have difficulties in maintaining social functioning with others, and/or deficiencies in concentration and persistence which may result in the failure to complete work tasks or have a substantial negative impact in work situations, which may cause an individual to withdraw from these situations. If you experience these limitations in your ability to work and provide substantial employment for you and your loved ones, you should contact a disability attorney who may direct you through the disability process or contact Susic Psychological Consulting  P.C. (Senior Care Psychological Consulting) at (636) 300-9922 or email at seniorcareserv@yahoo.com for a psychological evaluation for disability.

Senior Care Psychological Consulting  office location:
500 Huber Park Ct. Suite 205
Weldon Spring, MO 63304

See Related:

Senior Care Psychological Consulting
Psychologist Home Visits
Psychologist Job (Help Wanted) in St. Louis, Missouri
Psychological Evaluations for Disability in St. Louis, Missouri







Senior Care Psychological Consulting in St. Charles, Missouri







The Only Strictly Doctoral Psychology Practice in St. Louis, Missouri

Senior Care Psychological Consulting is the premier provider of doctoral level geropsychology services for the metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri area.  Senior Care Psychological Consulting is a specialty geriatric psychology practice providing psychological assessment, mental health counseling services, psychological testing,  neuropsychological evaluation and disability evaluation to the elderly and chronic mentally ill in an office-based practice in St. Charles, Missouri. We also provide in- home services as well as providing services in nursing homes and other long term care facilities throughout the metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri area.





Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist and Senior Care Psychological Consulting

Senior Care Psychological was founded by Paul Susic Ph.D Licensed Psychologist who has been providing mental health services to the senior community for well over two decades.  Paul developed one of the first exclusively geriatric psychiatric Partial Hospital programs in the St. Louis area, which he managed for approximately five years as the Program Manager at the former Incarnate Word Hospital.  He also created and developed a whole continuum of outpatient mental health services which he also managed at Incarnate Word Hospital.  He later was promoted to Director of the Department of Psychiatry of Incarnate Word Hospital, which he left in December, 1999 to begin a full-time geropsychology practice.

Paul Susic and Senior Care Psychological Counseling have continued their commitment to providing high-quality psychological assessment and mental health counseling services to the senior community.  Senior Care specializes in providing psychological counseling and assessment services, psychological testing and neuropsychological evaluation in- home, in nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the metropolitan St. Louis area and also in an office based practice in St. Charles, Missouri.  All services are provided under the direction of Dr.Susic who is the Clinical Director.  Mental health assessments, testing as well as assessments for cognitive (memory) functioning and need for long-term placement are also available at senior care.

Please feel free to call and ask for Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist, and he will be pleased to assist you in any way possible.  He may be reached at his office at (636) 300-9922 for local calls, or  or he may also be reached by e-mail at seniorcarepsych@yahoo.com

Senior Care Psychological Consulting   500 Huber Park Ct. Suite 205, Weldon Spring, MO 63304

Information and webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist 

See Related:

Senior Care Psychological Consulting
Psychologist Home Visits
Psychologist Job (Help Wanted) in St. Louis, Missouri
Psychological Evaluations for Disability in St. Louis, Missouri







Weight Control for Seniors: Why now at my age?







Weight control for seniors: An overview

Weight control for seniors focuses on the various complications related to obesity or excessive weight that frequently impact upon your health. The frequent focus of weight control for seniors is on the your general health as well as various medical conditions such as coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and gall bladder disease. These disease conditions are second only to smoking as a cause of preventable death among the elderly. Various studies have concluded that even a reduction of  between 5% and 15% of body weight may significantly decrease the risk of these medical problems if you’re either overweight or obese. Some experts actually believe that weight loss may not only reduce the incidence and severity of these diseases but may actually result in reversing the disease progression, which should be an added incentive for weight control for seniors.




 
Weight control for seniors: Are we there yet?

Although there is significant publicity about the multitude of health risks associated with being overweight and the spending of billions of dollars on products to make people thinner, many Americans are significantly overweight or obese. Some individuals have been more attentive to all the warnings and have significantly cut back on their level of dietary fat. Even studies as far back as 1997 had found that many Americans had reduced their consumption of total fat by approximately 6%, between 1987 and 1992. While this had resulted in achieving an average intake of approximately 36% of the total calories in fat, the amount recommended by most experts is about 30% or less of total calories consumed.

Although there has been some progress, way too many Americans continue to be either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, these statistics have continued to rise significantly since the 1980’s. A much more recent and ongoing study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has found that an estimated 61% of US adults are either overweight or obese. Their obesity or overweight status was defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more. The large proportion of Americans who are actually defined as obese is even more concerning in that between 1980 and 1999, the percentage of obese individuals has almost doubled from about 15% of the population to approximately 27%.  Obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

Another huge concern is that obesity seems to be rising among all segments of the American population in addition to the elderly, including individuals from all ethnic backgrounds and especially among children and adolescents. Also, another very unsettling fact is that the obesity epidemic is not limited only to Americans but is increasing worldwide with the increased urbanization of the world’s population. Weight control for seniors and individuals from all age groups as well as ethnicities has now become a global problem.

Some information adapted from The Johns Hopkins Medical Guide to Health After 50

Webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist







Senior Moments: Staved off through education?







“Senior moments”, as popularly described by many elderly, and as “cognitive decline” by the medical and mental health community, may be much more preventable than many realize.  Two surveys conducted in 1993 and 2002 “support the idea that more education is protective against cognitive decline” according to Dr. Kenneth M. Langa, as reported to Reuters health. 




In this important “senior moment” research, Dr. Langa of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, found that between the 1993 and 2002 surveys there was a nearly 30% decline in cognitive impairment while the average education level rose by 1 year between the studies conducted approximately a decade apart. 

Researchers considered demographic, lifestyle and medical information as well as various cognitive measures such as knowledge, language, orientation, mental processing, and memory among participants in the Health and Retirement Study which had 7406 participants in the 1983 study and 7104 in the 2002 survey.  Dr. Langa reported in the journal of Alzheimer’s and Dementia that the average age of the two groups was 78 years old, was primarily white, 40% male, and about half were living with their spouse. 

“Senior moments” research results: 

Researchers found that approximately 12.2% of the participants had cognitive impairment in 1993.  By 2002, the rates of these “senior moments” or cognitive decline, slipped to a rate of 8.7%.  Interestingly enough, the 2002 respondents also reported significantly greater net worth than the 1993 respondents, in addition to achieving more education.  Dr. Langa stated in an interview with Reuter’s Health, that “higher levels of wealth likely lead to more or better educational opportunities and better access to health care.” 

Investigators also found that among individuals who had moderate to severe cognitive impairment, there was also a higher mortality rate among individuals in the 2002 study.  The implication may be that while education may be protective, when it occurs the cognitive decline may be more severe and carry a greater risk of death. 

The conclusion reached by some experts as a result of this research is that improvements in education and mental stimulation during leisure and work activities may have an impact upon individual’s health, possibly reducing the incidence and severity of these “senior moments”.  Obviously, research will need to continue in order to come to more conclusive analysis about the impact of mental stimulation on cognitive impairment or what many famously refer to as “senior moments”.  

Information adapted from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, online February 20, 2008

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist    







       

Confused about what happens when you turn 65? 







Are you turning 65 this year? You are probably full of questions. When does Medicare start? How much will it cost? I’m here to help you.

Most people are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. More specifically if you have received your Medicare card it will begin the first day of the month you are born. For example My mother will turn 65 December 20th. Medicare actually starts for her December 1st. The exception to this rule is if you were born on the 1st of the month. An example is if your birthday is July 1st. Your Medicare will start June 1st.

People on disability for a certain amount of time also qualify for Medicare but I will focus on those turning 65 for today.




Your Medicare card and information about what amount will be coming out of your Social Security check every month should come a few months before you turn 65. Normally you don’t have to do anything unless you DON’T want Medicare.

2009 Premiums

Everybody pays a premium for Medicare part B. Some people will argue and say that they don’t pay. They just don’t realize it because it almost always comes directly out of Social Security. The premium goes up a little bit most years. The premium for 2009 is $96.40. Those who have high incomes may pay more for their part B premium. It comes out of your check every month which saves you from having to send it in.

Some people also pay a premium for part A but it is much less common. For 2009 it is either $244.00 or $443.00 depending on circumstances.

Those are the only premiums you pay for Medicare. Most people only pay $96.40 for their Medicare which is pretty cheap insurance and is also pretty decent insurance. You are required to have a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. If you choose not to you may have to pay a penalty in the future if you decide to enroll in a plan.

You are not REQUIRED to have any supplement to Medicare although many choose to.

Turning 65 may mean making changes but don’t worry they won’t hurt too bad.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE

Many choose to have some sort of supplemental coverage in addition to Medicare. While Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPD) are not supplements they can be very helpful for people. Especially folks who need a bit more than Medicare alone but can’t quite afford a supplement. Keep in mind that you don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. In some states MA’s and MAPD’s are free while in others you will pay a low premium. You then make reasonable co-payments. You may ask why you would want to do that when Medicare is already paid for.

A couple of reasons. First you won’t pay deductibles. You have immediate coverage. Secondly in many cases you will have a maximum out of pocket. This may not seem important but if you have a tough year and end up in the hospital a few times your out of pocket expenses on Medicare alone can be kind of expensive. At this point there is NO maximum out of pocket on Medicare alone.

About the Author:
Dora Guldborg is an insurance agent, Marketer, Mom and much more. Find out more about her at http://www.dream-to-work-at-home.com.aboutme.html
Article Source: http://www.ArticleBiz.com 







The Facts Behind Aging and Nutrition







Worried about getting old? If you are anxious about getting into the so-called “golden years” since you are afraid that you looks will fade and that your once vibrant spirit will go away, then take comfort in knowing the you can actually do something about it. How? Well it’s just all about finding the right balance when it comes to aging nutrition. Know how to take care of yourself, especially now that you are still young so that when it’s time to be aging gracefully, you would not be kicking yourself for having waited so long before actually making an effort to start living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.




Here are some simple tips on how you will be able to ensure good diet as early as now:

Stay away from fatty foods: Aside from being one of the best ways to lose unwanted flab , being able to stay away from fatty foods is also a great way for you to ensure not worrying about bag aging nutrition in the years to come. Why? For simple reasons really. One is that you would not get too fat to lose the stamina to exercise and two, it will keep you from suffering from high cholesterol levels, which in turn, can lead to other problems that can be related to poor aging nutrition like cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. If you can, just eat adequate portions of food each day so that you would not end up eating more than you should.

Quit smoking: It does not matter whether you are young or old, you should definitely quit smoking, better yet, not even start smoking at all. Do not think that a few puffs would not really do you much harm. No matter how you try to put it, smoking is bad for our bodies which is why if you do not kick this nasty habit at once, you are a likely candidate for suffering from the poor diet in the years to come. Remember, once you have already damaged your lungs there is really no easy remedy for it and you have to bear with the consequences such as emphysema which is a deadly disease of the lungs brought about by smoking.

Only drink alcohol occasionally: While smoking ruins your lungs, too much alcohol on the other hand, will ruin your liver. Again, like smoking, you may not realize it yet but you are actually setting yourself up for suffering from poor the poor diet once you get older. If you are not addicted yet to alcohol then you still can have a drink or two every once in awhile, especially wine as it is a well known detoxing agent and will help rid your body of any bad toxins.

Exercise, exercise, exercise: Do you envy those people who just looks to young for their age? Well aside from knowing good aging nutrition, these are also the people who know the value of getting enough exercise to help them stay active and in shape. There is nothing better than having a way of circulating the blood all over one’s body – this is known to be a very healthy way in keeping one look youthful. Also, since you are keeping yourself active, you are releasing endorphins, making you a generally happy person that also does not have any problems climbing stairs. But do not over exercise yourself either, just keep everything in moderation and for sure you ill not suffer from bad aging nutrition in the long run.

Author:
By Chaim Golz
Reading on the subject.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chaim_Golz







Reverse mortgage: Cash bonanza for seniors? 







Reverse mortgages: What are they and how do they work? 

Reverse mortgages were once a financial novelty and have now entered the home loan mainstream. This is very good news for senior homeowners who have to be 62 or older to qualify. Reverse mortgages are one of the few ways that seniors can cash out part of the equity in their home without moving or incurring loan payments. 




Reverse mortgages are in essence mirror images of regular mortgages.  As unbelievable as it sounds, rather than making payments to a lender, the lender actually makes payments to you in a lump sum in monthly installments.  The best part is that you actually don’t have to repay the loan as long as you live in your home.  The reverse mortgage is only repaid from the sale of your house, or after you move or die.
 
The only real negative aspect of reverse mortgages is that they usually have high upfront closing costs.  Those charges have been falling, but even at 5% of a home’s value (which is about the going rate), reverse mortgages looks so much better when the alternative is to sell and pay 6% to a real estate agent. 

What if the home’s value at the time of the sale doesn’t cover the balance of the reverse mortgage? 

If the home’s value at the time of sale doesn’t cover the balance of the reverse mortgage, the lender is actually on the hook for the loss rather then the homeowner or his/her heirs.  That is absolutely excellent downside protection.  The upside is even better: If the property’s value rises over the years, the senior homeowner or his heirs can keep all of those profits after paying off the reverse mortgage.  In other words, you can cash in on cashing out even when the market continues to trend upward. Overall, reverse mortgages are an excellent opportunity for seniors to take cash out on the equity of their home without moving or having to sell their property.

Information from Money magazine, August, 2005.
 

Additional information and webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist 







Long term care insurance: Who needs it anyway? 







 
How do I know if I would be a good candidate for long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance is a gamble, as is the case with most insurance. If you end up needing years of supervision and care, then long-term care insurance was a good buy.  If you die suddenly, never using any sort of personal or nursing care, than it was a waste of money.  And you always need to remember, that no policy covers all of the cost.  There will always still be some bills to pay even with long-term care insurance. 

As you or your loved ones begin to consider long-term care insurance, you should beware of pushy salespeople and scare tactics.  The costs are high and the fear is great, so make sure not to buy in a panic.  Many people simply should not bother with purchasing long-term care insurance.  Agents get enormous commissions (often 50% of the first year’s premium and another 10% for every year after that) so they have plenty of incentive to sell these policies. You need to think long and hard before considering this as a worthwhile investment. 




Long-term care insurance helps to protect assets and preserve the inheritance for heirs.  However, it’s very expensive and never covers the full cost of care.  So, who are some of the individuals who should consider buying a long-term care insurance policy? 

Individuals with ample assets. The primary reason to buy long-term care insurance is the protection of an individual’s assets in excess of the cost of long-term care.  If your parent or loved one is believed to become eligible for Medicaid within approximately 12 to 18 months of entering a nursing home, you should probably not consider this as a viable investment.  Nursing home costs vary significantly from area to area, so you should look at the cost within your specific area.  Just as a rough guideline, you may consider long-term care insurance if your parent has at least $100,000 in assets (not including his house and personal belongings).  

Those with ample income. If your parent can afford $300-$600 per month in premiums without affecting their lifestyle, they may consider long-term care insurance.  Some experts have suggested that this type of coverage should not cost more than 5% of a person’s total income, which may be a pretty good guideline to follow.  Also, will they be able to continue paying the long-term care insurance premiums if they rise or if your parent’s income falls.  You need to keep in mind, if your parent fails to pay premiums, their policy will be canceled; so they should not even start this type of coverage unless they plan to continue it. 

Those whose assets and income are not overly ample.
People with a large income or more than $1 million in savings, generally don’t need long-term care insurance as they will be able to pay for their care out of pocket.  However, they might still want it in order to protect their assets for heirs or perhaps just for little peace of mind. 

How do I know if I would be a good candidate for long-term care health insurance? 

Long-term care health insurance is a good buy for various individuals as described above.  Long-term care health insurance is also preferable for people who also fall within the following categories: 

Those who are likely to need long-term care.  Although you can never be sure, you will have to make an educated guess if you will be an individual likely to eventually need long-term care. After the age of 60, the likelihood of needing a nursing home at some point in time is approximately 40%.  The average length of stay is about 2.5 years.  However, 45% of nursing home stays are for three months or less, with the majority being less than one year.  However, 10% of people who enter a nursing home are there for five years or more.  Another 30% of older individuals end up needing assisted-living care, or a significant amount of assistance at home. 
So, what does this actually tell you?  It means that at some point in time you or your loved one have a relatively high probability of eventually needing a nursing home, assisted living or homecare, but, for perhaps not for more than a year or two. 

You can also refine your probabilities of whether or not your loved one may need an expensive nursing home by considering their health and family history.  If they have a family history of sudden fatal heart attacks, then they may be less likely to need extended nursing home care then say a person who has a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.  Are they a smoker?  Do they exercise?  How is their mother’s bone density?  All of these factors play a role in how much care an individual may need some day. 




Another factor in considering whether someone is a good candidate for long-term health insurance is; “Do they have a lot of family support, a wealth of local volunteers, and inexpensive services on which they can rely or do they live in a community with little in the way of social services?” If your mother lives near your sister, who is retired nurse with time on her hands, she is less apt to need nursing home care then a person who lives alone, far from family and other sources of social support. 

Those who have no plans of entering a continuing care retirement community. Continuing care retirement communities as they are referred to, usually charge large admission and monthly fees, but they usually provide almost all the care that will be necessary, from assisted-living to nursing home care.  Having long-term care health insurance would be redundant and not necessary in these circumstances. 

Some information adapted from How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris 

Additional information and web page by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist Clinical Director- Senior Care Psychological Consulting