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Denial About Aging

Originally written by Maureen Hook, Ph.D.

It’s probably not a surprise that most people in America are in denial about aging, and therefore, they are unprepared for the costs of long-term care when a serious, long-term illness strikes. In fact, a new study reports that 2/3 of people over 40 say they have done little to nothing about long-term health care planning. 3 in 10 say they would really don’t like to even think about the subject. I guess you could say that they have the ostrich-head-in-the-sand theory of getting old. Just hide, and maybe it won’t get you. What’s more surprising in this group of people is that more than half of the over-40 crowd have already had to function as caregivers for older relatives. Yet, somehow, they still think getting “old” won’t happen to them. Or they think that their own offspring or other younger relatives will step up to the task when they become infirm.

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 Susan Reinhard of the AARP’s Public Policy Institute recommends that, if you are planning to have relatives assume your care, you should have that discussion with them ahead of time. They may be OK with taking you to doctor appointments and grocery shopping, but more than that, they may not be in a position to do. Be assured, the day will come when you will need some type of help as you age. According to government records, 7 of 10 people will need some type of long-term care at some point, once they are over age 65. The average period of care is 3 years. However, that is just an average.


The misinformation about what is covered by Medicare is equally large. 37% of the over-40 group believe that Medicare will cover long-term care, which it does not. Medicare covers some assistance by in-home health aides, but that is only under certain conditions. Medicaid can pay for long-term care, but only after most of the individual’s assets have been spent. So the best advice is begin early to plan for your old age. In some ways, consider yourself lucky to be in the over-65 group. However, with that good fortune, comes some negatives. These can greatly be reduced by seeking the advice of an elder law attorney, who is an expert in these matters. Hook Law Center has a competent, and caring staff, willing to assist you.


(Source = http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/aging-america-poll-finds-people-in-denial-about-need-for-long-term-care-as-we-get-old, 5-2-2013)


ASK KIT KAT

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, did a cat and a soldier really save each other in Afghanistan?

Kit Kat: Yes, and let me tell you the story. There was a staff sergeant named Jesse Knott, who was serving in Afghanistan. At the same time, there was a cat named Koshka on the military base in Maiwand District. Koshka was a mouse catcher, but he wasn’t taken care of very well. There was paint in his fur, and then someone shaved his back. That’s when Sgt. Knott intervened and made him a home in his office, even though he was prohibited to do so. In December 2011, Koshka repaid his master’s kindness. That’s when 2 of Sgt. Knott’s friends were killed by a suicide bomber. Sgt. Knott was really depressed about the whole situation, to the point of crying. Koshka came over when he saw this, put his paw to Sgt. Knott’s lips, and then curled up in his lap. After that, Sgt. Knott knew he had to do something. He had to get Koshka out of Afghanistan.
So he hatched a plan–with the help of a local Afghani who really risked his life, too. He had to go to a local person, because the military would not transport the cat. The Afghani man got him to the Kabul airport, passing through many checkpoints with the cat being undetected. This was no small feat, since Koshka had a purple collar and was in a cat carrier that definitely looked foreign. He was then boarded on to a plane to Oregon with Knott’s family paying the $3,000 fee. Today, Koshka lives with Sgt. Knott’s family in Oregon , awaiting the end of his military service in Washington state. Knott calls Koshka his “saving grace.” Without him, he might never have been able to survive that tour of duty.
Isn’t it remarkable what we cats can do? We quietly observe, and our humans don’t even notice it, until we do something completely unexpected.


(Source = http://shine.yahoo.com/author-blog-posts/u-soldier-stray-cat-other-afghanistan-14170… 5/20/2013)

Posted in Senior Law News