The above link to a Los Angeles Times article published December 30, 2013 indicates that “well before signs of dementia trigger a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, a person’s cholesterol levels may be a bellwether of amyloid plaque build-up in the brain, a new study finds. Long considered a reliable predictor of heart attacks and strokes, worrisome cholesterol levels may now raise concerns about dementia risk as well, prompting more aggressive use of drugs, including statins, that alter cholesterol levels.”
Seven years ago a correlation was found between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, and now cholesterol is implicated as well. We have always known that healthy living leads to longer life with less health concerns, but apparently it can also lead to better brain health as well.
Alzheimer’s is just one form of dementia, there are many. Mild cognitive impairment can leave a person able to (mostly) function independently, but may eventually need monitoring for financial, driving, or other issues.
Some statistics say that 10% of us have a cognitive impairment by age 65 and nearly 50% do by age 85. While not a normal part of aging, many do need help due to different degrees of dementia.
Have you prepared? Do you have a power of attorney for health care document? Does the appointed person (and your doctor) have a copy? How about durable power of attorney for financial matters? These can be “springing,” activated only when certain conditions are met. Some people keep their durable power of attorney at the bottom of their sock and underwear drawer. Nobody typically goes there, but if someone has to get you socks and/or underwear…….. I suggest my clients keep their LTC insurance policy there as well to be found when needed. However, it is an even better idea to have all loved ones who may be called upon to assist when you need care, to know what company your LTC insurance coverage is with – and have the toll-free number.
LTC insurance can make paying the bills for care much easier than using a power of attorney document to spend-down your savings, house, investments, etc., to Medicaid levels. Because your lifestyle will change when care is needed, you can redirect some of your income from cars, trips, toys, etc., to paying part of the costs of care. Thus less insurance than one might expect will often do the job. Learn more at http://www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com