Monday, February 27, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance National Ad Set For Kiplinger’s

The fourth in an ongoing series of long term care insurance consumer education campaigns has been initiated by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).

The Association will be placing a full-page advertorial into the May edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Part of the “Fresh Perspectives on Long-Term Care Planning” campaign, the message strives to overcome misperceptions held by consumers.

“We have been highly effective in delivering very specific messages to those consumers who are most likely to undertake long term care planning,” Jesse Slome, AALTCI’s executive director explains. “Our strategy is to create awareness that directly deals with common misperceptions about long-term care insurance.”

The May campaign addresses the belief held by some consumers that if they cannot afford lifetime long-term care insurance, they forgo any coverage. “We clearly state that this ‘all or nothing’ approach is rarely a good plan,” Slome notes.

“We also challenge the ‘one and done’ process that has been most long-term care insurance has been purchased,” Slome explains. Options commonly available today including the Future Purchase Option make coverage more affordable and, as a result, will expand the potential market for sales. “It is a planning approach that really is appropriate especially as the industry targets younger buyers,” Slome notes.

The AALTCI Fresh Perspectives campaign has been supported by Prudential and John Hancock. The advertisements in Kiplinger’s magazine reach over one million readers. In addition, the participating insurers offer reprints to their agents.

Established in 1998, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is the national trade organization focused on establishing heightened consumer awareness as well as supporting insurance professionals who market long term care solutions.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Aerobic Exercise Reduces Dementia Long Term Care Risk

New research reveals that aerobic exercise may cut the risk of dementia and slow its progress once it starts.

According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, aerobic exercise which is defined as any physical activity that raises heart rate and increases the body’s need for oxygen is good for preserving cognitive abilities and should be regarded as an important therapy against dementia. Aerobic exercise includes walking, doing chores like shovelling snow and raking leaves.

Cognitive decline and dementia including Alzheimer’s disease is a leading reason that aging women ultimately require costly long term care, according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. “Long term care insurance can pay for qualifying care at home or in a skilled nursing home but you must apply well before a decline in mental ability or physical health takes place,” he notes.

Reserachers reviewed more than 1,600 scientific papers on the topic, 130 of which dealt directly with the issue. They concluded that one can make a very compelling argument for exercise as a disease-modifying strategy to prevent dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

They point out that studies involving brain scans consistently show objective evidence of the benefits of exercise on preserving the integrity of the human brain. Animal studies found that exercise produces trophic factors that improve the functioning of the brain, and it also increases connections between brain cells.

Patients with dementia or MCI had better scores after 6 to 12 months of exercise compared to sedentary controls. Healthy adults who did aerobic exercise also showed significantly improved cognitive scores.

In one large trial of seniors, one year of exercise was linked to significantly larger hippocampal volumes and better spatial memory (cross-sectional studies comparing physically fit with unfit seniors appear to confirm this evidence).

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Robots Aid In Caring For Japanese Seniors

A new robot has brought Japan one step closer to its goal of providing high-quality care for its growing elderly population.

The robot uses high-precision tactile sensors and flexible motor control technology to lift patients weighing up to 80kg (180 pounds) off floor-level bedding and into a wheelchair. The developers note this is intended to free care facility personnel of one of their most difficult and energy-consuming tasks.

Japan's elderly population in need of nursing care is projected to reach a staggering 5.69 million by 2015 experts explain. "Japan faces an urgent need for new approaches to assist care-giving personnel," states Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance . "The United States will soon be facing the very same issues."

Care experts noted that one of the most strenuous tasks for such personnel, carried out an average of 40 times every day, is that of lifting a patient from a futon at floor level into a wheelchair. Robots are well-suited to this task, yet none have yet been deployed in care-giving facilities.

In 2009, the RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research (RTC), a joint project established in 2007 and located at the Nagoya Science Park in central Japan, unveiled a robot called RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) designed to assist in this task. The first robot capable of lifting a patient from a bed to a wheelchair and back, RIBA charted a new course in the development of care-giving robots, yet functional limitations prevented its direct commercialization.

In the future, Japanese researchers plan to work together with partner nursing care facilities to test RIBA-II and further tailor it to the needs of care-givers and their patients. They explain their intent to also develop new applications in areas such as rehabilitation.

Robots will one day enable individuals to remain in their own home rather than being forced into skilled nursing facilities, Slome predicts. "This should be a most welcome development for millions of Americans though they can expected to be costly," he notes "People will either need to have the savings or insurance to cover the cost." Current forms of long-term care insurance that provide cash payments would cover the rental or purchase of robots.

The Association urges consumers to learn more about long-term care planning and get long-term care insurance cost from a designated expert via the organization's Consumer Information Center at "The best ages to start planning are between ages 52 and 62 when costs are lowest and you don't risk being declined because of existing health conditions," Slome explains.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Connecticut Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Information Website Launched

A consumer educational website focused on the Connecticut Long Term Care Insurance Partnership program has been launched by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) the national trade group focused on creating heightened awareness of the importance of long term care planning.

According to Jesse Slome, executive director of AALTCI, the Partnership programs provide some very unique asset protection benefits designed to encourage more middle income individuals to undertake long term care planning.

Connecticut was one of the four original states to offer the special Long Term Care Partnership program, Slome explains. New York, California and Indiana were the other three original states launched in the early 1990s.

“The Partnership program was originally made possible by grants from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation with the specific goal of making affordable long term care insurance protection available and attractive to as many individuals as possible,” Slome adds.

Connecticut residents are eligible for the program that can only be offered by approved insurers and licensed professionals who take part in special training. The Association will be working closely with designated professionals to help consumers seeking information as well as cost proposals for this important protection.

The web address for the new website is and provides the latest information on the program. AALTCI recently posted a website for New York residents interested in partnership information.

Established in 1998, the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance is the national organization created to educate consumers about the importance of long term care planning and to support insurance professionals who market these products.