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Paying for Care
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In this issue...
Identifying a Stroke
I recently read a quote by a neurologist. They claimed that most of the effects of a stroke could be reversed or eliminated if they could see the patient within the first three hours. So, if you suspect someone has had a stroke, there is a little trick to help you identify some of the indicators. Just remember to spell the word "stroke" - the first four letters hold the key:
S = "Smile"- Ask the person to smile. Both corners of their mouth should be even and symmetrical.
T = "Talk"- Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, such as "It is sunny out today."
R = "Raise"- Ask the person to raise both their arms. If one is lower than the other, it might be an indicator.
O = "Out"- Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If their tongue isn't straight, it is also can be an indicator.
After performing all these tests, carefully evaluate the results. If there a stroke might be indicated, call 9-1-1 immediately and tell the dispatcher exactly the results. Remember - it is better to be safe than sorry! Your friend's future health might depend on it!
What’s an ADL?
"ADL's" - this is a term you should know about! It stands for "Activities of Daily Living," a term used frequently in the long-term care industry. ADL's help to measure what activities a patient can and cannot do, and help indicate what level of care is required. While there are many lists, the most standard uses six activities:
Simply, the more the patient cannot do, the greater the amount of care required.
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may have heard the term. Most policies will not begin paying benefits until a physician certifies that you are unable to perform at least two ADL's.
Most importantly, ADL's indicate where a patient must be placed when they need care. The more serious a patient's challenges, the higher level of care that is required. It is important to connect the needs of a patient to the appropriate level of care. ADL's assist in making that assessment.
How Do ADL's Affect You? Pay attention, because in our next issue, we'll explain how this directly impacts you. If you are someone who says "I will NEVER be in a nursing home," you will want to read our next edition!
Are You Gifting Annually? Read This!!!
Do you write your children an annual check? The US Government will allow you to write an annual check to anyone of your choosing of up to $13,000 per year without incurring a gift tax. This is called the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion, and it is a use-it-or-lose-it opportunity for each of us every year.
If you are gifting, please pay close attention. When you write a $13,000 check to someone, your gift is free of any gift tax, but it will cause you a Period of Ineligibility for long-term care benefits!
This doesn't mean you cannot gift the money - you certainly can, and without a gift tax. However, this transaction points out how confusing and complicated financial transactions can be, especially when you include Medi-Cal planning in the equation.
The good news is that you can gift without creating a Period of Ineligibility. To do so, you must know exactly the right methods and timing. If you are concerned about long-term care costs, you might consider adding a Medi-Cal planner to your team of advisors. They can help you avoid a mistake exactly like this one!
If you would like to discuss this, or any other article in this newsletter, just call (888) 887-0890, ext. 9.
Safe Inheritance Corp. specializes in helping seniors access State benefits for long-term care while protecting their assets.