Do you want to know your risk of developing dementia? How about heart disease, stroke, and life expectancy? Would you change your lifestyle or habits if you were at high risk? Conversely, would you ignore common sense if the calculator showed you at low risk?
A research team at Canada's Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, the Bruyère Research Institute, and ICES developed an online calculator. The calculator will help empower those aged 55 and older to help them reduce their dementia risk in the next five years.
The calculators will show you the probabilities based on how you answer several detailed questions. Now, you should answer the questions honestly - junk in gets you junk out.
Predictive Tool Helps You Make Changes in Lifestyle
Researchers interviewed 75,000 people in Ontario, Canada, as they developed the calculators.
"What sets this dementia risk calculator apart is that you don't need to visit a doctor for any tests," said Dr. Stacey Fisher, the lead author of the study.
"People already have all the information they need to complete the calculator in the comfort of their home," Fisher said.
Dr. Fisher is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto and Public Health Ontario.
The team has developed the first predictive tool designed to predict dementia at a population level through this research. It can indicate the number of new cases in the community, identify higher-risk populations, inform dementia prevention strategies, and will be used to support Canada's national dementia strategy.
Dementia Growing in Canada and the U.S.
In Canada, more than 76,000 new cases of dementia are diagnosed yearly. In the United States, over 6.2 million Americans over age 65 live with dementia. During the COVID-19 virus crisis, Alzheimer's and dementia deaths increased 16% in the United States.
Alzheimer's and other dementia represent one of the biggest reasons people require long-term health care services that have enormous consequences on families and finances.
Try the dementia calculator by clicking here.
There are other calculators which you can try as well - see the complete list here.
There is no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer's and dementia. Your risk increases as you get older. There are some indications that family history can play a role in some types of cognitive decline.
Health Insurance Won’t Pay for Most Long-Term Health Care
People require long-term health care services due to changes in health, body, and mind. Unfortunately, health insurance, and Medicare, and supplements in the United States will not pay for most of these services as they are deemed 'custodial in nature - meaning a person needs help with daily activities or supervision due to cognitive decline. Skilled long-term care will only be covered for 100 days.
Long-Term Care Insurance (also available in Canada) will pay for these services either for in-home care, or services at adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and nursing homes.
Premiums can be expensive if you wait until you are much older or have certain health issues. In addition, some health issues can make you ineligible for coverage.
Most people purchase coverage in their 50s to take advantage of lower premiums and better overall health. However, the rules at every insurance company differ, as do the premiums. Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies.
Seek Professional Help for Planning
Be sure to seek the assistance of a licensed and qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Planning for long-term care requires a specialist as opposed to a financial planner or general insurance agent. Find an experienced and qualified specialist by clicking here.
Long-term care services are expensive depending on where you live and the types of services you require. For example, in Ottawa, Canada, in-home care (based on a 44-hour work week) averages about $4800 a month (Canadian dollars). Facilities will cost more.
Care is Expensive – Varies by Location
The costs are not much different in the United States. For example, in the Detroit area, the average cost of in-home care is just over $4,500 a month, according to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. The Detroit metro costs are under Michigan's average cost of nearly $4700 a month.
These costs increase with increased labor costs. In twenty-five years, the average cost of in-home care in the Detroit metro area is expected to be about $10,700 a month.
While most long-term health care is delivered at home, other services, especially adult day care and assisted living, are often used. Nursing home use is dropping, and that trend is expected to continue as individuals and their families prefer other care options.
Location determines the costs. Compare Michigan's long-term care costs to West Virginia, for example. In Charleston, West Virginia, the average month of in-home care runs $3100, which is higher than the state's average of about $3400 a month.
Interestingly enough, in Charleston, West Virginia, nursing homes are very expensive and average over $11,000 a month for a private room, which is more than in Detroit, where the average nursing home runs $10,800 a month.
Find Cost of Care with LTC NEWS Calculator
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator can help you and your Long-Term Care Insurance specialist design an appropriate plan, so you don't purchase more insurance than you need to buy. In addition, in forty-five states, Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance offers dollar-for-dollar asset protection adding an additional layer of protection.
There are few things you can do to avoid the consequences of aging and the risks of long-term health care. The dementia calculator can help you make the lifestyle changes to adjust the risk somewhat, but we cannot avoid aging and the changes in our health, body, and mind that occur as we grow older.
Preparing your family and finances for longevity will give you the resources to limit your financial exposure and reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on those you love.