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LTC Global Agency’s blog aims to provide helpful information to consumers, which can help them understand long-term care insurance and find the perfect policy for them. We also provide help to long term care insurance agents and brokers by supplying them with information and tips that can help them succeed in the senior market industry.
Blog Added: March 05, 2016 06:49:47 AM
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Weekly Digest: Problems Encountered in Nursing Homes

As mentioned in a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs this year, a majority of Americans prefer to receive long term care in the comfort of their homes. But what about those in nursing homes, are they facing more problems? Let’s learn more out about the recent problems residents in these...

long term care weekly digest

As mentioned in a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs this year, a majority of Americans prefer to receive long term care in the comfort of their homes. But what about those in nursing homes, are they facing more problems? Let’s learn more out about the recent problems residents in these facilities experience.

Nursing Homes Phasing out Alarms to Reduce Falls

Mo4ch News correspondent, Ali Wael, reported about the shift of nursing homes to be more active in monitoring residents, by slowly phasing out fall-alarm systems. As mentioned in the report, alarm systems were observed to do little to nothing to reduce falls, and that facilities without alarm systems tend to be calmer and more pleasant environments.


Don’t Ignore This One Thing When Choosing A Nursing Home

Liivi Hess of The Alternative Daily highlighted the importance of checking the food served in nursing homes. Liivi wrote that most nursing homes, unfortunately, serve unhealthy food. From “fake cream” to small portions of food, people who plan to stay in nursing homes need to think twice and do the necessary checks before admitting in one.

nursing home care


Across the US, nursing homes force an unnecessary surgery

David S. Seres, M.D., wrote about the potentially unethical practice of some nursing homes to administer surgery to place a nasal feeding tube. According to the The Hill article, this type of surgical procedure is not only unnecessary but may prove to be unsafe as well.

nursinghome
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Can Dog Walking Be Good For Your Health?

One of Sunrise Senior Living’s latest blog entries is about the many benefits that walking a dog can have for the elderly.  The post cited several studies on not why keeping fit with a dog can help improve one’s physical health, but keep a positive mental wellbeing as well. pet dog and health


Study: Texas Nursing Homes Overuse Antipsychotic Drugs

The El Paso Herald Post recently wrote about overmedication in Texan nursing homes. With the practice of physical restraint slowly being phased out, nursing homes have started to rely on antipsychotics for the elderly. The problem about this, according to the article, is that there are instances that administration of the drugs are undiagnosed, which may lead to unwarranted side-effects.Senior Man in Wheelchair in nursing homes

Do you have any LTCI news you want to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

 



Important Factors to Consider When Buying Long Term Care Insurance

Should you buy long term care insurance? Identifying the different factors in relation to LTCI will help you make a decision on why you need coverage during your senior years. Here is a simple and easy guide to help you understand more of the many benefits that LTC insurance will provide for you (and your...

Buying Long-Term Care InsuranceShould you buy long term care insurance? Identifying the different factors in relation to LTCI will help you make a decision on why you need coverage during your senior years. Here is a simple and easy guide to help you understand more of the many benefits that LTC insurance will provide for you (and your loved ones).

Find out How Your Coverage Works

Learn how the LTCI policy you plan to purchase works by carefully reading the documentation. Some ideal parts of a policy documentation that you may want to take into consideration are:

In-home Care

Find out if the plan offers caregiver assistance in the comfort of your home. Consider this option by taking a look back at your family history. If you or family members have any history of long-term diseases that needs to be maintained within the confines of your home (isolation from other people because of viral properties, the need to be with and in contact with loved ones, etc.), work circumstances (for sole-proprietorship business owners, who even during their twilight years, have a stake and need to stay in touch with the companies they’ve built), and simply looking forward to staying at home with spouses, partners, or immediate family members.

Nursing Home

This particular option works best for individuals who plan to stay in a care facility. Some benefits that this option offers are immediate and constant attention from medical practitioners, access to care and welfare programs with other members of the care facility, round-the-clock security and assistance from available staff, and opportunities to meet and associate with other individuals staying in the facility.

Additionally, understanding your LTCI plan will give you much-needed insight into these details:

Policy Exclusions

Always make sure to find out the exclusions included in the policy you plan to buy. The entire policy may look good on paper, but not all of the benefits listed may apply to certain individuals. Take for example long-term medical diseases or conditions – emphysema from heavy smokers are excluded from nursing home care, or buyers with special-case scenarios such as Alzheimer’s may need constant medical attention only found in care centers.

Policy Upgrades

Find out of policy add-ons available for your LTCI, in case you need to upgrade at a further time. This will help you consider making new and better decisions once the right time comes. Also, the policy add-ons will help you create alternative plans, in case your circumstances change or if your health needs new and better medical attention.

Coverage Limitations

Regarding planning, find out of your long term care insurance policy’s limitation. This will allow you to tailor-fit the service you’ll be receiving, whether it may be daily, monthly, annual, or lifetime support.

Consider the Costs Involved

An important factor to consider when deciding if you should get a long-term care insurance policy or not is your capability to invest in a plan. As a rule of thumb, purchasing an LTCI plan at an earlier stage of life may be a more affordable investment for you since policy premiums increase in comparison to a holder’s age. Also, make sure to take note of premium increases stated in the plan’s documentation. LTCI plans are termed as “guaranteed-renewable” policies. This means that insurance companies cannot cancel LTCI policies, but can raise premiums at certain periods of time.

Remember that the more money you invest in a plan, the higher level of care and service you will get in return. Just make sure to plan this carefully out – you will need to make sure that you have the right budget for this, whether the funds are available now and if it is enough to support the policy in the future.

Miscellaneous Costs Outside the Scope of LTCI

In relation to costs for long term care insurance products, make sure to also consider expected expenses that you may encounter during the twilight period. Some examples of miscellaneous costs to take into consideration are bills (TV, phone, computer, etc.), expenses for loved ones and others, such as groceries and food products (if applicable).

Do Your Homework

Perhaps it’s a given that long term care insurance isn’t a popular policy that most people will ever decide on purchasing. In fact, sales of individual long-term care insurance policies have declined from 2008 to 2013. An observation on why this is so is because that most buyers consider LTCI a product that offers a future that isn’t an ideal scenario – one that most would hope for is that they wouldn’t rely on others for help and care.

Still, it all boils down to one’s circumstances and in preparing for the worst-case scenarios. Being prepared for the worst is definitely much better than facing a future with no hope at all.

To help you in doing your research for LTCI policies, consider these topics:

Identify the Different Carriers in the LTCI Industry

Get the most out of your LTCI policy investment by requesting for different quotes from multiple long term care insurance agencies. This way, you’ll find a plan that will best match your budget and circumstances.

Identify the Types of Long Term Care Insurance

From getting multiple quotes, choose which type of plan will work for you (and/or your partner). LTCI plans come in different types such as employer-sponsored plans (policies offered and negotiated by the holder’s employer), individual plans (purchased from an LTCI agency or broker), state partnership programs (mandated by several states, wherein holders are allowed to maintain their assets while still having access to use support such as Medicaid), organizational plans (group rates sold by agencies that offer better benefits at an affordable price than individual packages) and joint policies (shared policies that allow coverage for married spouses or domestic partners).

Identify LTCI Support Groups

The best way to stay updated with LTCI news and other changes is by getting in touch with LTC insurance agents or brokers. To further help you out on this, do a simple online search to find out of websites or online groups (such as LinkedIn) that can help you provide in-depth information on LTCI.

With the points listed above, getting a long term care insurance policy is definitely a way to secure your future. Please use this guide as a reference to find a plan that will work for you. Also, please visit our blog for more news, tools, and guides on helping you get an LTCI plan.



Long-Term Care Guide: Activities of Daily Living

For most people who hope to purchase long term care insurance, an often misunderstood concept is that LTCI is a cure or treatment for a certain disease or condition. To save your precious time and resources, understand that insurance for long term care mainly provides coverage for a person’s “activities of daily living,” otherwise known...

Long-term care Activities of daily living ADLFor most people who hope to purchase long term care insurance, an often misunderstood concept is that LTCI is a cure or treatment for a certain disease or condition. To save your precious time and resources, understand that insurance for long term care mainly provides coverage for a person’s “activities of daily living,” otherwise known as ADL.

Activities of daily living

Long term care insurance provides the care and support that policy holders need to accomplish their ADLs. The main reason why such assistance is needed is because most policy holders belong to the elderly generation, and or are disabled individuals (due to diseases or mental conditions). Also, in order for a person to be qualified for long term care insurance, he or she needs to be unable to perform two (depending and on other policies, three) ADLs. ADLs also help caregivers (whether from nursing homes and care facilities to in-home caregivers like family members and loved ones) to properly identify the policy holder’s struggles, to help formulate and improve on how care, support, and assistance should be given. Find out more about ADLs here, for you to further comprehend how an LTC insurance policy works (and to give you an idea of how and what the perspective of caregivers and LTC agents are).

Eating

Deals with assisting the policy holder in preparation (shopping for ingredients and food items, handling of kitchen equipment, cooking) and intake of food and fluid. Additionally, the caregiver also creates a meal plan which will help the policy holder receive the proper and the diet that a doctor would suggest. ADL Eating

Bathing

Assists the policy holder in washing his or her body. Aside from achieving good hygiene, caregivers also offer security (especially if the policy holder needs to get in and out of a tub or shower area) to make sure that the policy holder is safe from harm in the bath area. Additional and related task to this particular ADL is making sure that the bath area is a safe area (checking and maintenance of bathroom facilities, with the option to install fixtures such as rubber mats to protect the elderly or disabled individual).

ADL Bathing

Toileting

This particular ADL involves helping the policy holder handle his or her business in the toilet, and to assist with other personal hygiene tasks. Similar to the bathing ADL, caregivers will also make sure that the toilet area is safe from harm. ADL toileting

Dressing

Involves the task of helping the policy holder get properly dressed and, if needed, providing assistance in fastening artificial limbs, fasteners, and braces. Since related, this ADL may also extend to helping the policy holder in shopping, checking, and maintenance or repair of wardrobe and associated medical wearables.  ADL Dressing

Transferring

Involves the mobility of the long term care insurance policy holder of getting in or out of a bed or sleeping area. Also involves making sure that the policy holder is safe while prone in a chair, or properly secured in a wheelchair and other similar mobility tools (crutches and the like). May also extend to making sure that the area where the policy holder plans to move (or even so, the living area, especially for in-home care) is safe and hazard-free. ADL Transferring

Continence

The assistance and monitoring of a policy holder’s capability to maintain bowel and bladder function and control. Like toileting, caregivers also assist in providing proper personal hygiene. Also involves the proper use, installation, and maintenance of colostomy bag, catheter, adult diapers, etc. (if needed).

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Further expanding the assistance and need of ADLS, instrumental activities of daily living (or IADLs) are defined as the complex tasks and skills needed for daily living. These IADLs usually deal with:

  • Financial management and proper budgeting of the policy holder’s funds.
  • Groceries, shopping, and other purchases related to daily living.
  • Meal planning and preparation.
  • Assistance in using communication devices and other gadgets (telephone, computer, etc.).
  • Housework (from maintenance and installation of fixtures).
  • Management of medication (may also involve a doctor or care facility’s coordination).
  • Transportation (from driving a vehicle to being there with the policy holder during commutes)

As such, it is recommended that caregivers create a checklist to make sure that proper care and support is provided. Also, the checklist (if possible) must also be created in collaboration with the policy holder, in order that resources are properly and sufficiently allocated in providing care service.

Planning as early as now for long term care insurance is both practical (premiums increase with the policy holder’s age, so it is highly advisable to purchase a plan early) and easy. And by understanding how activities of daily living work will help you craft and personalize a long term care plan that will work best for your circumstances.

Take the first step to a more comfortable life by requesting for a long term care insurance quote here.



Weekly Digest: The Latest on Alzheimer’s

We’ll be highlighting the latest Alzheimer’s news this week. From updates on studies to advocate programs on creating awareness, we want to let you and other readers know why Alzheimer’s is an important topic. Read on and we hope that you’ll learn something new today. Can Diet Accelerate the Development of Alzheimer’s Disease? Scientific and...

long term care weekly digestWe’ll be highlighting the latest Alzheimer’s news this week. From updates on studies to advocate programs on creating awareness, we want to let you and other readers know why Alzheimer’s is an important topic. Read on and we hope that you’ll learn something new today.

Can Diet Accelerate the Development of Alzheimer’s Disease?

diet and alzheimer

Scientific and medical consultant, Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD, wrote about the possible connection of the Western diet in increasing risk for Alzheimer’s. The BrainBlogger article discussed that the fat and sugar rich diet may not only lead to increased development of obesity-related diseases, but Alzheimer’s as well.


Defining the Stages of Alzheimer’s

senior living  Sunrise Senior Living posted a quick and easy to understand guide on Alzheimer’s. The post cited stages created by New York University doctor, Barry Reisberg, and shared tips by Rita Altman (senior VP of Sunrise Senior Living’s Memory Care & Program Services) to identify and manage Alzheimer’s symptoms.


A Mother’s Lesson: When Memory Fails, Delight in the Moment

FAMILY AND alzhiemer Mary Claude Foster wrote a powerful post on Alzheimer’s for the New York Times. Trying hard not to spoil the piece, Foster details her experience, starting with her mother’s first bout with Alzheimer’s . You definitely need to read this!


Phillip Lemley: Council advocates for aging residents

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article76196682.html

Philip Lemley, a member of the board of directors for the Washington State Council on Aging, discussed the importance of granting senior citizens more support and access to information. Some of the proposed support than can be given are Medicare and other health related options seminars, information on diseases, and caregiving options.


GSHS – Alzheimer’s results for me.  

family

Joe of Living with Alzheimer’s featured a first-person account on living and dealing with the disease. Readers will be entranced and find a newfound understanding on Alzheimer’s with his updates.

Do you have any LTCI news you want to share? Let us know by sending us an email or comment below.



Beware of Medicaid: You May Pay for Your Parents’ LTC

Your parents’ long term care (LTC) plans may be derailed if they choose to rely on Medicaid. Although this option may pay for their future needs, it does come with some repercussions. Let’s find out what these are and how you can help your parents to prevent falling into this trap. Will Medicaid work for...

Medicaid you will pay for long term care parentsYour parents’ long term care (LTC) plans may be derailed if they choose to rely on Medicaid. Although this option may pay for their future needs, it does come with some repercussions. Let’s find out what these are and how you can help your parents to prevent falling into this trap.

paying long term care bills

Will Medicaid work for you and your family?

Medicaid is a joint federal and state social health care program designed to help elderly individuals and those with limited access to financial resources. The health program is also the largest and known source of funding for medical and health-related expenses and services for those with low income in the United States. Because of Medicaid’s large consumption of resources, it has been stated that the health program spends approximately 22% of a participating state’s general funds budget.

People who wish to use Medicaid must first be eligible, with an income rating of up to 133% of the poverty line needed before receiving any benefits. Additionally, the recipient must also make sure that the health facility they are in (or plan to be located in) is approved by Medicaid.

Your parents may need to think about these factors before opting to use Medicaid to pay for care and support during their twilight or retirement years:

Eligibility – declaration of income and assets to prove that the individual belongs to the designated income level may be a hurdle too high to jump.

State Funds – for the worst case scenario that a state has no means to fund medical practitioners and facilities, the expenses will then be shouldered by the recipient’s family.

The filial support laws (or filial responsibility laws) state that adult children of Medicaid recipients must look after their parents’ needs, in case the state does not have the resources and capacity to pay. These needs range from assistance with activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and toileting. Additionally, any unpaid expenses (bills for nursing homes, caregivers, care facilities, and medical equipment or consumable medication) will also be shouldered by the recipient’s children.

To rub more salt to the wound, several states in the country allow civil court actions for nursing homes, medical entities, and related facilities to recover lost resources due to lack of financial support and compensation, and for criminal and civil penalties to be imposed on recipients’ children, should they choose not to support their parents.

A 2012 Pennsylvania Superior Court hearing (Health Care & Retirement Corporation vs. Pittas) illustrates this in a clearer light. The lower court ruling gave authority to a nursing home to collect payment for health services provided, from the son of one of their residents, due to the fact that the said resident relocated overseas without settling the bill. The nursing home resident’s son, although with no evidence of wrongdoing, had to settle the outstanding bill which amounted to a total of $93,000.00.

The legal liability and repercussion of an otherwise helpful health program can take its toll not only to the elderly but for their children and loved ones as well.

What do you need to do?

First and foremost, open up the discussion of long term care with your parents. This issue does not only deal with their future welfare – in fact, planning for long term care should (and is) a group or team discussion, which directly affects an elderly individual’s family and loved ones. Even if your parents have set aside savings in case something drastic happens (and for the Medicaid scenario, not possible, since a recipient needs to belong in the given poverty line to be eligible), inflation rates and price hikes still need to be factored in – what may be a big amount for them may not be the case in the near future.

Next, consider other sources of income or create a separate savings bank account solely for this LTC case alone. Every penny counts and money saved today may be of significant and additional help for your parents in case they find themselves in financial turmoil. Have a mindset that doing this is essentially giving back to your parents – they deserve the best with everything they have provided you through the years, so make sure that your actions count.

Lastly, consider other options that you and your parents can take advantage of in the future. Out-of-pocket spending, with you, your parents, and potentially other siblings’ savings pooled together may give the assurance of a secured future. Even better is by informing your parents of long term care insurance (LTCI). This way, your parents will get their money’s worth, by paying for proper and optimum care and support that will best suit their (and basically, you and your family as well) lifestyles.

Reach out to LTC Global Agency if you need any help on setting up a plan for your parents. If you have any questions or thoughts on Medicaid and insurance for long term care, please leave a comment below.



Agent Interview: Bob Staerk, LTC Global Agency

“You never have to convince people to buy a plan. Most people realize the need is there.” More than passion, selling long term care insurance requires a certain kind of discipline – it’s creating solutions out of problems that may seem to have no answer at all. LTCI specialist Bob Staerk personifies this perfectly in...

“You never have to convince people to buy a plan. Most people realize the need is there.”

More than passion, selling long term care insurance requires a certain kind of discipline – it’s creating solutions out of problems that may seem to have no answer at all. LTCI specialist Bob Staerk personifies this perfectly in this week’s feature.

LTC Global Agency LTC Insurance Agent BOB Staerk

How did you get into the industry?

“I feel that it found me. It’s a pretty boring story. I do pinch myself every day.”

Why is LTCI important?

“LTCI is important for many reasons, but if I had to choose one it would be is that this product buys time. One of our top advisors, Scott Lockwood, reminded me of that. When you have an LTC event, everyone needs time to figure it out. This allows you to set up your care and limit some of your exposure, which buys time.”

How do you motivate yourself to sell LTCI? 

“It’s not motivation – it is discipline. I use the tools in my office to counsel clients over the phone and they are able to see the quotes on their computer screen. It’s super simple for the clients to understand.”

Can you share of an incident/a client that made you realize you’ve given them excellent service? How?

“It happens all the time for many reasons. First is when we sit down and find the right solution for them. The second is a decline – when someone is declined, and you are able to work with the primary and get it overturned. Third- unfortunately – we manage minor increases. Usually, my clients do not change anything and their increase is minimal. Last would be claims, when your client that bought a plan 10 years ago needs to buy time. That is where we at Solutions For All under LTC Global Agency shine. We are there when you need us.”

Aside from what Bob mentioned, other common problems that LTCI specialists help resolve are caregiver issues. An LTCI helps gives caregivers (especially family caregivers) a more flexible and practical approach on care. Please visit the Caregiver Action Network for more information about caregivers.

What do you think is the main problem(s) that LTC currently faces? How will you help solve it (these)?

“Here is a simple answer:  AWARENESS!! It’s about you and I spreading the word. You have to plan while you can.”

Bob is right – according to a Long Term Care poll conducted by the NORC at the University of Chicago, one-third of respondents aged 40 years and older have not done any planning for their long term needs. Additionally, 4 out of 10 people believe that Medicare will pay for LTC – a fatal mistake that is often only noticed until it’s too late.

How will you convince people to purchase LTCI?

“You never have to convince people to buy a plan. Most people realize the need is there. It is just a matter of finding the right solution for them and keeping it within their budget.”

How did LTC Global Agency help in your career?

“I have worked with LTCGA for many years. They have always been good to Diana Hayn and I. That’s why we chose LTCGA to hang our Solutions for All hat.”

Can you please tell us more about that time you’ve used LTC Global Agency’s services?

“I have many ways to use LTCGA, but one way they can help advisors is the webinar training they are providing for the agencies. This is a very important tool in the industry. It has helped so many advisors spread themselves out to areas that never had specialists before.”

Would you recommend LTC Global Agency to others?

“I would definitely recommend Solution for All where webinar training, weekly training calls, phone jams on Saturdays, and mentoring under our Field Sales Manager Kevin Gardenier. He is rated in the top ten of the Country. We manage this under LTC Global Agency. So yes, I would recommend Solutions for All as part of the LTCGA network.”

Why do you think SFA is important (for you and your client/s)?

“The name says it all. We offer affordable Solutions for All.”

 Can you share the types of synergy SFA can provide?

“Wow, not enough space to go there. We are tight group that really give back to each other all the time. You never worry, because your team is always right there behind you.”

How do you see Long Term Care Insurance 5 years from now?

“Different then what it is today. Don’t worry people!! The specialist will adapt to what is thrown at us and we will figure out your best solution at that time. This is one of the joys of being a broker and working with a talented team under the LTCGA network of agencies.”

 “The problem is still there. It will never go away. We owe it to the people that want to have that conversation… Find their SOLUTION.”

 Any final thoughts?

“I will leave you with this, something I like to share with the team every now and then. Remember, we chose to be an LTCI specialist. I felt it found me. No matter the case, we are here now. The problem is still there. It will never go away. We owe it to the people that want to have that conversation… Find their SOLUTION.”

 Bob proves that providing solutions to LTC problems is the result of hard work and having the proper mindset and discipline of understanding a person’s circumstances.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions, or visit ltcga.com for more LTC insurance news and updates.

About the agent:

Bob staerk LTCGA Insurance agentBob Staerk helps families and businesses protect their independence, assets and peace of mind without pressure or obligation. His goal is to educate his clients and help them avoid disaster.

Bob has a realistic approach in assisting people to choose a customized long term care plan and provide innovative solutions for their individual needs. With more than 10 years in the industry, Bob has distinguished himself as an effective sales leader with expertise in the building of key relationships. He is known to successfully mentor fellow colleagues and leverage interactions with carriers for the benefit of the agent and client as well.

Bob Staerk LTCP
Licensed Insurance Agent| Long Term Care Specialist
321-507-4182
bob@ltcga.com
http://ltcga.com/bstaerk/



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