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Rotarians learn pros of long-term care policies

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The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Athens Rotary heard details about long-term care insurance, which provides funding for custodial care, at the club’s May 9 meeting.
Kandas Babb, a certified long-term care specialist, shared information about issues facing people who can no longer care for themselves, which are classified as “activities of daily living.”
“It’s not something someone wants to talk about, but it’s real,” said Babb, who experienced providing long-term care to a relative with Alzheimer’s disease. “I have a passion for long-term care,” which does not pay medical expenses, but for custodial care, she said.
Activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, using the toilet, transferring (either from bed or chair), incontinence and the ability to feed oneself. When two of those activities are lost, long-term care insurance benefits usually kick in, Babb said. Even so, 25 percent of families provide long-term care for those over age 50.
Long-term care insurance is not a lump sum, Babb stated, but a minimum monthly payment or reimbursement. Babb suggested purchasing long-term care insurance while a person is in his or her 50s. Otherwise, families face annual nursing home costs between $75,000 and $100,000, and home health aides average $22 per hour.
About 40 percent of those getting long-term care benefits are under the age of 65, Babb said. Medicare pays a miniscule amount and has a myriad of restrictions, she added, and Medicaid requires exhaustion of saved money, inherited money or separate money from second marriages.
America’s long-term care costs went from $30 billion in 2000 to $225 billion in 2015, and the average time custodial care is needed is 4.5 years. Ten percent of those over age 65 have Alzheimer’s Disease, which jumps to 33 percent for those older than 85.
For more information about long-term care insurance, contact Kandas Babb at (832) 729-3361.