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Last Week Was Brain Awareness Week: The Importance of Brain Health and Long-Term Care Insurance Planning

Physical aging is unavoidable but maintaining a youthful brain is not out of the question in this day and age. Last week was Brain Awareness Week, marking what would have been Albert Einstein’s 135th birthday on March 14. Whether you are in your 20’s or much older, everyone should be contemplating the significant role the brain plays in our lives and how to keep it healthy well into old age.

“Education won’t save the brain – PhD’s are as likely as high school dropouts to experience memory loss with old age, the researchers say. Don’t count on having a job either. Those with complex or demanding careers may enjoy a limited advantage, but those benefits quickly dwindle after retirement. According toScience Daily, engagement is the secret to success. Those who are socially, mentally and physically stimulated reliably show greater cognitive performance with a brain that appears younger than its years,” (Maintain your brain, the secrets to aging success: Science Daily, April 27, 2012).

Keeping the brain stimulated does not have to be limited to retirement or a certain age group. Young adults should participate just as much as the retired crowd. Some ways to keep the brain stimulated include: mental exercises to keep the mind active, fitness to increase blood flow and Web MD states that healthy diet since many processed foods are linked to trans fats, which can reduce blood flow to the brain and cause inflammation. (Eat Smart for a Healthier Brain, Web MD, December 18, 2008)

As outlined in the Open Education Database, these activities are just part of a broad spectrum of available options people can do to maintain a healthy brain. Engagement in an active lifestyle by participating in activities with friends or doing other social activities is just part of the equation. (Brain Power: 100 Ways to Keep Your Mind Healthy and Fit, Open Education Database, February 26, 2013)

“Financial stability is another key component to maintaining better health, physically and mentally,” counsels Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability lawyer. “Save money early and seek the advice of an insurance agent to prepare for retirement and talk about Long-Term Care and Life Insurance. Likewise, a financial advisor/planner will be a valuable addition to any household since they can help provide tips oh how to save and invest. Being financially prepared can reduce stress and save families a lot of hassle.”

Even with all these strategies to maintain brain health and keep them in optimal condition, it seems more and more people have the misfortune of suffering Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. But there are ways to prepare for this outcome, despite hopes and wishes to the contrary.

Long-Term Care costs are increasing every year, going higher and higher into the six-figure category. Don’t make the mistake of not locking in today’s premiums because the out-of-pocket expenses later on could be astounding. Long-Term Care insurance is extremely useful for those who have a specific purpose for their assets when they die and people who want choices as to their care if they become ill. Waiting for a loved one’s health to decline before buying LTC coverage, is too big of a risk to take. There is also the option of Medicaid but while it may cover some things there are always conditions and restrictions. The worst of all, is that a person has to be nearly penniless to qualify.

Long-Term Care coverage may help in the years before death but a Life Insurance policy is all about life after you’re gone. The policy will help a family cover funeral expenses and provide them with a financial cushion to make their lives a little easier. Alzheimer’s disease can appear quickly and the ability to make decisions for the family can vanish almost without notice. Deciding early is best, so determine whether life insurance is needed and talk with a trusted insurance agent to decide about purchasing a policy.

“Both Life Insurance and Long-Term Care are areas where experts are a necessity. Take my advice and don’t agree to the first quote you get. Take the opportunity to find the best plan for you and your family and settle for nothing less. No one ever expects to develop Alzheimer’s and yet millions of Americans suffer every year. Take steps now to maintain the health of your brain and prevent a dementia related disease like Alzheimer’s,” says Darras.

DarrasLaw is Americas' most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States.

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