Most people recognize the need to plan ahead for their active retirement years, but you should also get ready for the twilight years that are likely to follow. It may not be the most pleasant subject to contemplate, but everyone should be aware of the widespread nature of dementia among elder Americans.
Any conversation about dementia among our elders begins with a look at Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are seeking information about Alzheimer’s, a good place to visit would be the Alzheimer’s Association website. According to the site, one out of every eight individuals who is at least 65 years of age suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. If you do the math this factors out to 13 percent.
As you get older, it becomes more and more likely that you will contract Alzheimer’s disease. Upwards of 45 percent of the oldest old (people 85 and over) are Alzheimer’s sufferers. This segment of the population is growing faster than any other.
Once you reach your 65th birthday it becomes statistically likely that you will live into your 80s.
Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s induced dementia often become unable to handle their own day-to-day needs, and as a result they require living assistance.
Medicare Won’t Cover Long-Term Care
If you were to require long-term care because of Alzheimer’s induced dementia or for any other reason, you cannot count on Medicare to pay for it. This type of care is considered to be custodial care; Medicare does not pay for custodial care, and it is very expensive.
Medicaid is the solution for many people who must enter long-term care facilities because of dementia. Medicaid is a need-based health insurance program that will pay for long-term care.
To be able to qualify you must have very limited financial resources. Medicaid planning is the practice of divesting yourself of assets in a measured fashion well in advance of applying for the program.
If you were to start to experience dementia symptoms, or recognize that a loved one was showing symptoms, you could start to plan ahead with Medicaid eligibility in mind.
The intelligent first step along these lines would be to discuss Medicaid planning in detail with a licensed elder law attorney.
There is a difference between early-onset Alzheimer’s and a harmless “senior moment.” At the same time, given the widespread nature of Alzheimer’s disease, we should all be aware of the threat that is out there.
If you were to visit the Alzheimer’s Association website there is a list of symptoms that you can look for so that you can recognize and react to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Follow this link if you are interested in learning about the symptoms: Alzheimer’s Signs & Symptoms.
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Ryan M. Denman and Dennis D. Duffy
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