November is long-term care awareness month. This month it’s especially encouraged for you to start planning for long-term care, or to update your plans according to your lifestyle. If you are in or approaching retirement, long-term care is probably something that is on your mind frequently, because there’s a lot of myths revolving around it. These myths and misunderstandings can seriously impact your long-term care plans, and it’s important to know the facts.
In your later years, you may start to hear that serious memory lapses are normal. This idea that memory loss is naturally associated with aging is misleading. Memory lapses are nothing to joke about, and generally, they aren’t normal. Some symptoms usually associated with dementia can be attributed to cataracts or vision problems and medications that cause delirium. Not every symptom is connected to dementia, but if this becomes a reoccurring issue, you should schedule a visit with your doctor.
We’ve all seen the commercials for medical alert systems like life-alert that make it seem like falling is a part of aging. However, falls can be dangerous, and they are not just a normal part of aging. This idea that falls are bound to happen is deceptive. Practicing strength and balance exercises can help prevent the risk of falling, along with home modifications such as removing throw rugs and improving lighting.
Another health misconception is that antibiotics are the best cure for older adults’ colds. Antibiotics are great, but they have been so freely prescribed by doctors that they start to become less effective later in life. The best remedy for your common cold is probably to get plenty of rest, drink fluids and take a pain or fever reducer if necessary.
One myth that could hurt your retirement plans is the idea that Medicare will pay for all long-term care. Believing this misconception could lead to unexpected bills down the line when procedures or medications are not covered. Medicare is most likely not going to cover everything you may need, so it’s important to budget those costs into your retirement plans. Along with this, some people think that long-term care insurance will cover all their needs. This may be the case for some people, but it depends on the policy and the amount that you have contributed. It can be an asset, but you should not fully rely on it to cover all of your long-term care expenses.
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