Category Archives: healthcare professionals

What Can Japan Teach California About Long Term Care?

Long-term care JapanIn a recent Forbes article, contributor Chris Farrell, award winning journalist and senior economics contributor to Next Avenue, discussed how Japan’s policies and vision of long term care has shifted over time.

When you think of Japan and their culture you might think about how the younger generations are to care and respect their parents and elders.

However, with the shift in their economy and changing family values, according to Farrell, “Japan’s family-centered approach foundered, due to demographic and economic changes. Daughters and daughters-in-law — the primary caregivers — grew overwhelmed by the task, especially with the trend toward fewer children and more women joining the workforce.”

Farrell continues his discussion on how what we may think about Japanese children caring for their elders showed in a 1994 survey that one in two caregivers treated frail older relatives abusively; one of three also reported feelings of hatred.

The financial and emotional toll endured when taking care of an elder loved one who is no longer able to dress, bath, feed, and/or care for themselves is hard for trained people, let alone, the untrained people with an emotional connection.

Sadly, although we have the best intentions at heart when we talk about willingness to care for mom and dad, or hope that our kids will take care of us in our old age, we should never expect the people we care for to sacrifice their own life for ours; that is truly selfish.

The average American age 55 to 64 has a median retirement savings of $104,000 according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. The 70% of people age 65 and older who will access long term care services during their lives, “can expect to incur costs of $138,000, on average” according to Melissa Favreault of the Urban Institute and Judith Dey of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Remember, that is an average, some will be substantially more, others will be less.

Do you see the problem?

It is important when considering your future heath care planning needs that you also take in account the emotional and financial needs of the people that you care for to.

It is time to start planning your long-term care health insurance today.

Contact your California Long Term Care Insurance Services agent today.


Technology Helps Independence with Long-Term Care at Home

Long-term care at homeIn a recent article from U.S. News & World Report is was demonstrated how technology is making senior care and safety easier on the pocket book for those receiving care, and on the home health agencies providing in-home care services.

If you haven’t thought about planning for your long-term care needs, or just thought it might not impact you like it does for 70% of people age 65 and older, you could benefit from using technology to help manage your care, and communicate with your care team and loved ones.

According to the article, “Every morning, Marion Berg measures her blood pressure and heart rate and then uses a tablet to relay the results to her health care team. At 101 years old, the Sun City, Arizona, resident says the system is a change for her, but one she likes. Using a tablet is new to me, but my health care coach is helping me learn every week when she visits my home, Berg says. Berg participates in the Banner iCare program, and her experience is one example of how long-term care plans are integrating technology as a way to reduce costs and improve quality of life” (LaPonsie, 2015, pp 1-3).

By using tablet technology, people receiving care can manage their records, communicate with loved ones, and be in touch with their care team at the push of a button. This is helping people who may not have the resources to pay for full time care, or who need to stretch their care dollars a little further along.

This Long-term Care at home technology falls under three common use types. The first is the independent use systems. These systems are how health providers and family members can remain up to date on the condition of their loved one. Authorized users can receive care alerts, be updated on medical status, and receive alerts based on safety and care concerns programmed into the tablet application, i.e., high blood sugar level, fall incident, distress call.

The second use for this technology is virtual reporting. This use coincides with their third common use of 24-hour monitoring. Tablets installed in loved one’s homes can be used for video conferencing, and can activate the microphone and camera so that a care team member, or family member can simply open the app on their phone or tablet and see how their loved one is doing.

Depending on the level of care needed, the technology can also create alerts if appliances like a TV has not been turned on that day, or if the fridge has not been opened that day. Although it may sound a bit big brother, being alerted on little things when your loved one requires extra care can help alert you to potential problems before they become real issues.

If you would like to learn about ways you can retain your independence and help cover the costs of long-term care services in the home or at a professional residence, contact your California Long Term Care specialist today for an educational review of your options.


LaPonsie, M., (June 12, 2015), Long-Term Care Goes Virtual, U.S. News & World Report, retrieved July 27, 2015:

A Growing Trend in Long Term Care Option has a Positive Beat.

It is becoming common knowledge that 70% of people age 65 and older will require some form of long-term care assistance in life for various physical and mental conditions. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “The average long-term care resident, whether in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, is in his or her 80s or 90s and suffering from one or more serious physical or cognitive limitations.”

People can associate the need to enter a long-term care treatment program with a certain loss of freedoms and options they had when they were healthy in their younger years. However, a new project named the “Memory and Music Project” is bringing some of the outside world in through music and technology.

Meet Henry…

Henry is a long-term care resident who was recently featured on “Alive Inside”, a movie about the how the Memory and Music project is helping people in long-term care with technology. Nevertheless, when dealing with cognitive impairments and lack of technical savvy it takes more than just handing someone an iPad and expecting great results.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Aside from a few computer-savvy people, most of these individuals need help getting wired. In addition to the Music and Memory program, several other initiatives have begun using iPods, iPads and other tablets to bring sensory and cognitive stimulation to residents who are otherwise bored, restless or in search of some purpose in the moment.”

The article explains further by stating, “For example, a pilot study at the University of California, San Diego found that iPads were safe and effective in reducing agitation in patients with dementia. These same tablets are increasingly being used by family members to connect grandma or grandpa with distant family and friends via networks like Skype. Telemedicine and tele psychiatry make use of similar but more souped-up technology to bring specialists such as geriatric psychiatrists to the bedside of nursing-home residents in underserved areas.”

Although the Memory and Music program is finding creative ways to help cover the costs of adding technology in long-term care settings for residents, it is not without its limitations. WSJ says, “There are two barriers to wider introduction of these technologies into long-term care: costs and privacy issues. Even donated iPods require maintenance, troubleshooting and safeguarding, all of which incur staff time that is costly and not reimbursable.”

This is why it is becoming so much more important to plan early for your long-term care needs. When you plan early, you can imagine various possibilities and plan accordingly. It is very possible to have many comforts of home and be connected like Henry who was lucky enough to have technology donated to him by a caring and compassionate doctor. It only takes a few minutes to get information and start the discovery process to know all of your options.

California Long Term Care Insurance is here to help you make sure your plans include the comforts of home with the resources to make sure they are covered to your satisfaction.

Start your planning today with our no obligation review of your current long-term care plan. We can also help you develop one from scratch if you have been putting it off like many other people.

Long Term Care Insurance and Healthcare Professionals

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Ask most any nurse, doctors, or health care professionals the value of long-term care planning, and you are bound to get stories of joy, love, compassion, perseverance. Ask again, and you may get the stories of sadness, desperation, fear, and frustration felt by the families that failed to plan.

Healthcare professionals have a unique perspective on Long Term Care planning. Faced with daily exposure to illness, injury, disease, and the effects of old age that create a long-term care need makes them more inclined to think “what if?” about their planning needs.

Interestingly, if you were to take a random survey of those that had long-term care plans in place against those that do not, you would most likely find health care professionals do not have any plan in place, or have an inadequate or overpriced plan through their employer or group.

Some organizations (hospitals, unions…etc.) offer a negotiated group offering for Long-term care protection to healthcare professionals but this is not always the best rate available to them. It is highly recommend that before committing to group coverage, health professionals should consult with an independent agency to explore all their options.

In addition, with the constant advances in medical science, people are surviving more conditions than in the past, but facing an increased need for ongoing care. Protecting your choices for ongoing care with long-term care plans is where you make the best decision.

There are some basic considerations when thinking about long-term care planning. Healthcare professionals are often advised about patient’s Living Wills. A living will tells which treatment you want if your life is threatened, including Dialysis and breathing machines, resuscitation if you stop breathing or if your heart stops, and/or tube feeding.

Often, patients and their families will reveal information about their intentions for long-term caregiving too. Unfortunately, many times patients and families will ask for advice because no plans have been made for how to manage a long-term care event or how to pay for it.

The government reports that 70% of people that reach age 65 will have a long-term care event during their remaining lifetime. The majority of the people needing care will be woman. Also noteworthy is that 37% of people needing long-term care services are under 65.

Nurses are a particularly vulnerable group because their job demands can create musculoskeletal problems. The American Nurses Association published a report in 2011 that showed 42% of nurses surveyed had been injured on the job at least once in the last 12 months.

Healthcare professionals are often motivated to pursue their chosen field because of their motivation to help. That generous spirit can be a burden late in life for even the most generous.

For this reason we find that we have had a significant number of people from the healthcare field investigate Long Term Care plans and make those plans part of their safety and security. A Long Term Care plan secures their income, assets and futures. Take a moment today and see how simple planning for long-term care can be: fill out the form to the right for your free guide.