When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they get advice from either a dietician or a nutritionist, or even the doctor to help control carbohydrate intake.
They go on something called a “low carbohydrate diet”, and the aim and goals of doing this is to help reduce the blood sugar so they can control their diabetes.
I recently spoke to a gentleman who spent some time in Cambodia. And he told me that a lot of the Cambodians were diabetics. And according to him, this was probably down to all the rice they ate over there.
Knowing what I know about carbohydrates and insulin resistance, I wasn’t quite sold on the idea that the abundance of diabetes in that part of the world was attributed to rice intake.
So I did a bit of research on this, and went back to him and asked him what they ate with the rice? He told me they ate a lot of fish!
The aim of this article is to clear up any confusion, and explain to you what science tells us about the subject.
Hopefully, this will allow you to make wise choices because there’s nothing more frustrating than being a diabetic and not being able to manage your blood sugar levels, even when you are taking insulin, or taking some of these other oral medications.
I’d like to bring to your attention a number of studies looking at fish and its effects on blood sugar. After that, you guys can decide for yourselves!…
In the past three years, at least six prominent meta-analyses looked at the relationship between fish consumption and type II diabetes. The whole point of conducting a meta-analysis is to bunch together a group of the best studies and see what the overall balance of studies shows. The simple fact that there were six in three years goes to show just how open this question remains.
One thing of note is that fish consumers in the United States tended to be exposed to a greater risk of developing diabetes. If you include Europe too, fish eaters appear to have a 38% increase risk of diabetes.
On a per-serving basis, there appeared to be an increase of a 5% risk per serving per week. If you put that into perspective, the serving of red meat appeared to show a 19% increase risk (per day), so just one serving of fish per week equates to a 5% increase, and if you worked out the daily amount, that would be a 35% increase.
So the risk of fish triggering diabetes is actually worse than red meat.
Fish intake of omega-3 fats may increase type II diabetes by increasing blood sugar levels, as found in the view of the evidence commissioned by the US government: an increase in blood sugar levels in diabetics given fish oil.
Omega 3s cause oxidative stress. A recent study found that the insulin producing cells found in the pancreas don’t appear to work as well in people who eat two or more servings of fish a week.
Fish is not the only thing that does this to blood sugar, beef contributes to insulin resistance as well.
In fact, it’s not just fish and beef; it can even be dairy products as well.
The way it does this is to actually get into the muscle fibers in your body, and it prevents them from being able to respond properly to glucose.
This insulin resistance can happen quite quickly. They did an experiment back in the 70s where they took healthy test subjects and fed them a high-fat diet, and two days later, they were diabetic!
In fact, it can happen even more quickly than that. There was a doctor who had a half a cup of olive oil, and then had a pizza later, and six hours later he was diabetic!
Even the BBC Got In On the Act
They did a documentary on 2 physicians who also happened to be brothers, even better, they were identical twins. So they had exactly the same genetics.
For 30 days, they wanted to test out whether high carb or low carb was better. So they had one twin eat nothing but fat, he had absolutely no fruits, no pasta, no grains, and no source of carbs for three days.
Then his twin brother ate white flour, pasta, bagels, jelly beans, and all sorts of no fat and high carb stuff: all the food that people say contributes to diabetes.
At the end of 30 days, what was really fascinating was that they both lost weight. The low carb twin lost slightly more weight but more of that weight was from actually muscle tissue and not fat loss. This was probably attributed to the reduced caloric intake.
But what was really fascinating was what was happening to both of them and what happened to the insulin sensitivity.
The twin brother who was eating high carbs and nothing but sugar and white flour and all the foods you would have thought that made him diabetic actually increased is insulin sensitivity. So he became even more sensitive to insulin and less diabetic, although he didn’t start out diabetic at all.
However, his twin brother who was on the low carb, high-fat diet, by the end of the 30 days, he was actually pretty diabetic! So he wasn’t drinking any soda, he wasn’t eating any sugars, no white flour, no meat and dairy but this made him pretty diabetic!
So if you are diabetic, and you are frustrated, and you want to control your diabetes naturally, the absolute best way to do that would to be a high carb, low fat, low glycemic/plant based diet.
So in other words, don’t do what the twin brother did, who ate all the jelly beans, and white flowers, even though it actually helped him out.
You need to have fiber; because you need fiber nutrients that come with sweet potatoes, beans, fruit and vegetables.
However, it is the fats, in particularly the saturated fats that even in fish; polyunsaturated fats will affect your insulin resistance. If you remove those from your diet, you will find that you should be able to manage your diabetes quite well.
Now, if like me, the word “testosterone booster “leaves you a bit bamboozled, you shouldn’t really blame yourself. This term has been widely used in recent years, and for some people it includes anabolic steroids, natural testosterone supplements, testosterone replacement therapy and so on.
But in reality, the term “testosterone booster” should only really apply to natural testosterone supplements.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The chemical versions of testosterone enhancement usually fall under the category of steroids, and testosterone therapy. These methods of enhancing testosterone can often lead to potentially harmful, long-term side-effects which could include:
- testicular shrinkage
- dependency on synthetic testosterone
- oily skin
- breast enlargement (gynaecomastia)
- aggravated sleep apnea
- increased aggression/dramatic mood swings
- increased risk of heart attacks
- increased risk of strokes
- dramatic changes in cholesterol and lipid levels
- reduced sperm count
Now that’s one hell of a long list, considering that you only wanting to increase your testosterone levels.
Testosterone Boosters (The Way I See Them)
Natural testosterone supplements, or “testosterone boosters” as I like to call them, I created from mainly natural ingredients, usually herbs and minerals that are commonly found in foods in certain parts of the world, particularly India (such as fenugreek).
These testosterone boosters do not actually contain any type of synthetic testosterone, or any other kind of hormone for that matter. The ingredients that are used in the supplements are designed to encourage the body to start producing more of its own testosterone.
The most common type of the ingredients used in these “testosterone boosters” include:
- d aspartic acid
- mucuna pruriens
- vitamin D
- oyster Extract
So Can Testosterone Boosters Trigger Side-Effects?
Looking at the ingredients list above, it’s clear to see the majority, if not all of the mention ingredients are nothing out of the ordinary. Therefore, unless you have a specific seafood allergy, then maybe oyster extract should be avoided, but on the whole none of these ingredients will expose you to the risks that synthetic versions of testosterone could.
In other words, the vast majority of the testosterone boosters on the market today, provided they don’t contain anything out of the ordinary, will not really cause any major side-effects.
Anabolic Steroids are also (incorrectly) Referred to as Testosterone Boosters!
Anabolic steroids are actually testosterone, or synthetic versions of the hormone that are pumped into the body so the body can enjoy all the trimmings of having more than enough levels for it to induce muscle growth, and strength increases.
In reality, anabolic steroids and not “testosterone boosters”, they can better be described as “testosterone providers”. Therefore, the two should not be confused.
Now that we’ve identified the real “testosterone boosters”, I would say it’s pretty safe to suggest that they don’t really carry any potentially dangerous side effects as anabolic steroids and testosterone replacement therapy do.
The gonads produce testoTsterone as well as the adrenal glands. Testosterone is actually produced in both sexes, although in much smaller quantities in females when compared to males. Testosterone itself is an androgen, which means it helps to stimulate the development of masculine features on an individual.
There is this very hormone that is responsible for initiating the development of male features, both external and internal including the reproductive organs during the foetal phase, and sperm maintenance during the adulthood.
Testosterone is also responsible for signaling to the body to produce new blood cells, and is responsible for keeping the bones and muscles strong during puberty, as well as enhancing the libido in both sexes. This hormone is responsible for some of the many changes in males during the puberty phase including enlargement of the penis, sexual desire, increase in height, and body hair growth.
This hormone also regulates the secretion of the luteinizing hormone, as well is a follicle stimulating hormone. In order for these changes to occur, testosterone in itself is converted into an alternative androgen called dihydrotestosterone.
Testosterone production is tightly regulated, i.e. controlled so levels remain “normal” in the blood. Typically, testosterone levels are at their highest in the mornings, before depleting through the day. The importance of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus cannot be overstated, because it is these two that control the amount of testosterone your testes produce.
In a responsive action to the gonadotropin, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland produced the luteinizing hormone, which travels via your bloodstream to the gonads, and helps to stimulate the production of, yes you guessed it, testosterone.
By this time, the blood levels of testosterone rise, and this feedback is sent back to the hypothalamus which then cuts back on the production of the luteinizing hormone via the pituitary gland. This is the point where testosterone levels begin to drop.
Is the Such a Thing As Too Much Testosterone?
Excess testosterone is entirely dependent on a person’s sex and age. So far, there have been no cases of adult men developing such disorders where the body produces way too much testosterone. Things may be a bit more of a serious nature when it comes to children, because too much testosterone may trigger early growth spurts, and early signs of puberty. It is also true that too much testosterone in children can sometimes lead to something called “precocious puberty”, which can eventually lead to infertility.
If you’re a woman, too much testosterone in the body may be an indicator of the polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition which usually becomes apparent after outbreaks of acne, an accelerated body and facial hair growth, as well as bowling at the front of the hairline, excessive muscle growth and the development of a deep voice.
There are also a number of recognized conditions that cause the body to overproduce testosterone including androgen resistance, ovarian cancer, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Anabolic steroids use can sometimes result in too much testosterone being present in the body due to an overproduction by the hypothalamus, and this usually results in over-production by the luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland, and upon the knowledge and of the extra testosterone pumped into the body, the testes cutback on their own production leading to a whole host of problems.
Prolonged exposure to anabolic steroids can sometimes lead to infertility, a diminished sex drive, and a shrinking of the testicles, as well as gynaecomastia, the development of man boobs. Liver damage can also occur.
What Will Low Testosterone Do?
If a testosterone deficiency takes in effect during the foetal development, then unfortunately the development of masculine features will be hindered, and possibly leading the way to certain disorders in sexual development.
If a testosterone deficiency takes effect during the puberty phase, this will no doubt growth spurts, as well as a failure to develop male characteristics such as the growth of the penis and testes, deepening of the voice, and the growth of pubic hair. During the time of puberty, males with a testosterone deficiency will display less endurance and strength compared to their counterparts. Another tell-tale sign would be the abnormal growth of the arms and legs when compared to the rest of the body.
A testosterone deficiency that takes hold during adulthood can cause a loss of muscle mass, loss of body hair, and wrinkly skin. Although it is a natural occurrence for testosterone levels to begin to drop with age, there are a number of steps men can take to try and reverse this. This decline in testosterone is usually referred to as andropause/male menopause.
The effects of low testosterone can also affect the mood, increase body fat, lose muscle tone, and hinder erections, cause difficulties with concentration, trigger memory loss, as well as difficulties in sleeping.
The first sign of aging is definitely loss of strength.
Once we start losing strength, we literally start aging. We can start aging on the age of 28, 29, 35, 45. Once we start losing strength, we start aging. You know the feeling…even the smallest of tasks seem difficult to do.
Loss of strength means automatic loss of muscle tissue. Loss of muscle tissue then means smaller, softer muscles (or excuses for muscles!), slower metabolism. Once we start slowing down metabolically (slower in digesting what we eat), we start accumulating more body fat. And you know what this means?…
More body fat will add more weight to the body…
Dead weight to the body, which will obviously put much more pressure on the cardiovascular system, on the respiratory system, on our kidneys, on our digestive system, not to mention bones, joints, tendons, ligaments.
Loss of strength through loss of muscle tissue, increased body fat, slower metabolism is actually what aging is all about.
Instead of sitting back and letting these changes creep in, there’s many things you can do to try hold off many of these things.
Instead of having a “reactive” approach to aging, why not try being “pro-active”, and take charge of things?
How Do We Deal With It?
How do we maintain young as long as we can?
Obviously, by keeping as strong as we can, and keeping the muscle tissue, and muscle size, and muscle strength as much as we can.
The only way to do it is obviously to get involved, and engaged with weight training. Stronger muscles, and bigger muscles will cause the body to create high bone density. Body builds strength in its bone tissue, automatically, we’re talking about strengthening all connective tissues, the tendons and ligaments.
This is, again, reflecting in stabilization of joints, and increased mobility, and very low risk of injuries. This is what is the major concern of elderly, today.
The weight training is the only one way to give you those benefits.
Once we start getting stronger, we will actually stop the process of aging. By getting stronger, you will maintain young for longer. By getting weaker, you will become older, faster.
Excuses? Here’s How to Deal With Them
I know what you’re thinking…”bodybuilding?…me?…no way!…my body’s not up to it!”
This is precisely the type of mentally you should avoid when trying to get fit. Look at all the health shops out there. Look at all the products available to you.
Thanks to advancements in science and research, you could probably find an answer, in the form of a supplement to every excuse in your “cop-out book”.
Not feeling very energetic today, so no chance of hitting the gym then? What you need is a pre-workout supplement that will give you that extra surge that you will want to burn.
Or are you the type of person who’s tried out the gym a for a few months by going once every 2 weeks before quitting because you haven’t seen any real progress? Well…you could try a fat burner supplement.
Not only do fat burners help you burn fat, they also provide an abundance of energy due to their caffeine content.
Are you an old stick-in-the-mud who complains about aches and pains after working out? You know what? There’s a solution to that too! What you need is a good old protein shake. A protein shake will help to provide your body with much needed protein so it can heal itself.
Or do you like to stick to the oldest trick in the book? “My hormones are all over the place, I SHOULDN’T really be working out at my age”. That’s the biggest load of trash I’ve heard! If you’re a man, the only hormone that diminishes with age is testosterone. And surprise surprise, there’s been an explosion in the testosterone booster market in recent years.
These supplements are certainly no steroids because they don’t contain any type of hormone. They are made from natural ingredients that work together to force your body to start producing more of its OWN testosterone.
To Wrap Up…
As you can see, you would have to completely re-write the “excuses” rule book, because the existing one is not obsolete.
You can find a supplement for almost anything
Hormones can be classified by where they function i.e. the autocrine function and paracrine function and endocrine function.
More importantly, hormones can be classified by structure. The structure of a hormone really determines how it works.
Proteins & Polypeptides
Proteins and polypeptides are made up of amino acids. These amino acids are linked together with peptide bonds. Many peptide bonds come together to form a polypeptide or a protein.
These proteins and polypeptides form most of our body’s hormones. These hormones can range from small to large. To give you an example of what I mean by that, imagine three or so amino acids linked together forming a hormone. That would be a small polypeptide.
Just as a frame of reference, a cell in your body, one cell, has on the order of a trillion atoms just inside that one cell. There are a hundred trillion cells in your body, so we’re talking about very, very, very small things.
They can range from these small collections of amino acids all the way The break point becomes right around a hundred. That’s where we shift from calling them polypeptides to proteins.
They can get quite large. The polypeptide hormones and proteins are formed in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of the cell.
They go from the rough endoplasmic reticulum:
- To the “golgi apparatus”
- Then they’re repackaged into vesicles that can eventually be excreted from the cell
- Because proteins and polypeptides are made of amino acids, they’re typically charge, which makes them water soluble, but it also gives them a really hard time crossing cell membranes, so typically, their receptors are located in or on a cell surface.
- Because their receptors are located in or on a cell surface, so the polypeptide hormones and proteins are not able to travel into the cell, instead, they initiate a cascade effect of secondary messengers inside the cell. The moment the proteins, as well as the polypeptide hormones attach themselves to the surface of the cell, they trigger a reaction within the cell. This is usually referred to as the “secondary messenger system”.
Amino acids are used as chemical messengers to signal effects in the body, and these are called proteins and polypeptides.
When we hear steroids, the first thought that comes to my mind are a bunch of athletes getting in trouble with their regulating committees, but steroids are actually one of the major types of hormones used in our body to communicate.
There are a lot of steroids in our body. Steroids come from lipids. The major lipid that these steroids come from is cholesterol.
The chemical structure of steroids is a bit like rings twisted, and chained together. These rings are made of carbon atoms.
- Cyclohexane rings
- Six-Membered carbon rings
- One Cyclopentane ring
This structure is a really characteristic way of signaling a cell. Unlike proteins and polypeptides, whose receptors are on the cell surface, steroids, because they’re made of lipids, have a really easy time passing through the cell membrane, and their receptors are located inside the cell.
Steroids usually go all the way inside of the cell to signal their receptor as primary messengers.
Usually these receptors can be found inside the nucleus or further back inside the cytoplasm. Steroids on the other hand can trigger effects all the way down to microscopic levels inside proteins. They trigger changes inside the cells by “transcribing” and “translating” fresh proteins.
Examples of “big steroids” in the body are those that come from the adrenal cortex, like cortisol and aldosterone, and those hormones that come from the gonads like the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen and progesterone.
Tyrosine derivatives come from the amino acid tyrosine.
What makes them really special is:
- They’re made of one amino acid, tyrosine
- Tyrosine is manipulated to make hormones
- Hormones are derived from tyrosine end up behaving like proteins and polypeptides and sometimes act like steroids
An example of derivatives of tyrosine in the body includes the thyroid gland like T3 and T4, like triiodothyronine and thyroxine, stimulate metabolism.
The tyrosine derivatives behave similar to steroids. A further example of a type of tyrosine derivative includes catecholamines.
Catecholamines are hormones formed inside the adrenal medulla that and are concerned with survival instincts such as fight or flight, much like epinephrine and norepinephrine.
These tyrosine derivatives act really similarly to peptides by binding on the outside of the cell and discharging secondary messengers on the inside.
Certain thyroid hormones, especially tyrosine derivatives behave like steroids. The catecholamine tyrosine derivatives behave like proteins and polypeptides.
They form their own unique class because they originate from the amino acid, tyrosine.
Remember, the structure of these hormones dictates almost everything we think or do from fear to hunger to urinating and pushing babies out.
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Organs and tissues that produce hormones are governed by the endocrine system. Your hormones are best described as naturally occurring chemicals produced in certain locations around the body, which are eventually let loose in the bloodstream. They then work to influence certain other organs and systems.
Although some hormones seem to specifically aim particular organs, some organs in fact produce their own controlling mechanisms instead of relying on these hormones.
With age, all of the naturally occurring systems begin to change, and a common problem is that they seem to become desensitized to a certain degree. Not only this, the actual production of hormones can also dramatically differ.
As a result, the levels of blood in certain hormones can either increase or decrease, whilst others remain the same. The hormones’ metabolization can similarly slow down.
As stated earlier, some organs that create hormones can be controlled by other hormones. As you age, you will begin to notice many changes including a slowing down of the metabolism, a gradual onset of body fat and diminished muscle mass.
Changes Brought about by Age
Nearly all your hormones are created by the hypothalamus which is located inside the brain. From there, it controls the structure of your endocrine. Although the quantities of these hormones can stay the same, the response given by organs is what changes.
By the time you reach middle age, your pituitary gland reaches its peak before splitting in two parts. These are normally referred to as posterior and anterior.
The posterior stores hormones that are created by the hypothalamus, and is located in the rear.
The anterior is responsible for producing hormones that dictate overall growth, breast development, dropping of testes, ovaries, cortex, adrenaline, and the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland can be found in the neck. This gland is responsible for managing the metabolic system. As you age, your thyroid’s texture changes, it becomes lumpier. As we all know, the metabolism slows down with age. With some people, the thyroid hormones and their production and breaking down remains pretty much the same, but with others, hormone levels can rise to such an extent that it can increase the risk of death resulting from cardiovascular complications.
The thyroid gland is surrounded by four tiny glands known as the parathyroid glands. The parathyroid hormones influence phosphate levels, as well as calcium. Parathyroid hormones are known to drastically increase with age and this is a common cause of the onset of osteoporosis.
The pancreas produces insulin which assists sugar to get into cells were it can be utilized as an energy source.
Glucose levels tend to rise 8- 14 mg/dL every 10 years after the age of 50 because the cells become desensitized to the presence of insulin.
Moving on, the adrenaline glands can be found somewhere over the kidneys. The surface layer of the adrenaline glands is known as the adrenaline cortex and is responsible for producing a number of key hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone.
Cortisol is known as a stress hormone and it influences the breakdown of proteins, glucose, fat, and plays an essential anti-inflammatory role.
Aldosterone helps to regulate the fine balance between electrolytes and fluid. This also diminishes with age and is a major contributor to symptoms of lightheadedness and sudden drops in blood pressure. Similarly, cortisol also diminishes with age, although the blood levels remain pretty much the same.
The testes and the ovaries perform two specific functions. Firstly, they are responsible for creating reproductive cells in the form of sperm and ova. Secondly, they produce the required sex hormones responsible for developing facial hair in men, and breasts in women.
How These Changes Affect People
With age, some hormones deplete, whilst others remain pretty much the same. Surprisingly, some hormones actually increase with age. The main hormones that are known to increase with age include renin, growth hormone, calcitonin, and aldosterone.
Unfortunately for women, prolactin and estrogen levels are major casualties of aging.
The male hormones that pretty much seem unaffected by the ageing process include insulin, epinephrine, cortisol, and thyroid hormones.
Unfortunately for men, testosterone becomes a major casualty as a man ages. On the flipside, the hormones that remain pretty stable include luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulator hormone, parathyroid hormone, and norepinephrine. Low testosterone is fast gaining recognition as a potentially hazardeous condition that can sometimes lead to more serious ailments. The medical profession’s response to this rising problem is the growing push towards HRT (hormone replacement therapy) treatments.
Unfortunately for the HRT companies, they have been repeatedly litigated against by a growing number of disgruntled HRT patients due to their side effects. In a desparate bid to fill in the growing void, natural testosterone supplements have suddenly become the “rage”, and are potrayed as the safer alternatives to HRT.
Arthritis pain can stop a lot of people from performing tasks that they would otherwise be doing with relative ease.
LiveFull brings you a comprehensive “pain identifier” guide to help you gain a better understanding of just what you might be experiencing.
Let’s Begin With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis causes the bone surface in the joints to become thin and worn out and this leads to a number of symptoms including deformity, aches and pains and stiffness in the joints.
Occasionally people notice swelling and massive spikes in pain levels. It’s quite common for this condition to affect the hands, and the pain can become overwhelming, but this normally subsides after a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately any deformity and stiffness can remain for the long haul.
Osteoarthritis also attacks the spine, knees and hips, bringing with it pain that can be long-lasting and that can hinder day to day activities.
Pain Relief for Osteoarthritis
There are a number of options available to individuals suffering from osteoarthritis and these include, surgery, physiotherapy + regular exercise + weight loss, steroidal injections directly administered into the affected joints, and pain killers in the form of drugs and gels.
Commonly used drugs include anti-inflammatories, and widely available gels include NSAID gels.
Next Up: Rheumatoid Arthritis
This type of arthritis attacks the joints and causes inflammation which can cause pain, discomfort, swelling and warm sensations.
Some lucky individuals will find that this condition can almost completely cease to exist after a period of time, but for others, it can be life-long.
Pain Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can be alleviated (to a certain extent) undergoing physiotherapy, the use of painkillers, plenty of rest, and anti-rheumatic drugs.
Chronic back pain, especially in the lower back that travels down both legs is usually triggered by the onset of sciatica. This type of pain is commonly treated by different types of injections such as nerve root blocks and epidurals.
Whiplash injuries commonly affect the neck and upper back. Thankfully pain caused by a whiplash injury can subside after a period of time.
CPS (Chronic Pain Syndrome)
Many seniors can suffer from frequent headaches, limb pain and discomfort and symptoms are sometimes telltale signs of the onset of chronic pain syndrome (or CPS).
It’s very difficult to find the precise cause of this condition even though the symptoms can be very apparent such as difficulties in walking or even standing.
People suffering from CPS can find contradictory opinions on the root cause.
Despite this, and thankfully, there are a number of treatments currently available for CPS. Treatments include rehab, physiotherapy, and psychotherapy.
CRPS (Complex Pain Syndrome)
Complex pain syndrome or CRPS can affect a certain part of the body and cause a burning sensation to it.
CRPS can sometimes result following a stroke, or even a superficial injury, or in some mystery cases, the cause has never been determined!
The commonly held belief is the communication channels linking the brain and the concerned area become disturbed, which causes longer lasting pain.
Common treatments available to people suffering from CRPS include normal painkillers, rehab, which includes physiotherapy, and injections.
Buying insurance under normal circumstances is a tricky business. You dont know how much coverage you need. Plus, you dont know if and when you will need that coverage. Thats how the insurance game works. You pay a certain amount for protection when you do go through medical injury or surgery and need care. The insurance companies make their money from your premiums and pay out claims as required by the policy when medical injury or surgery needs approved coverage.
Is there such a thing as insurance for long term care? How does insurance work for long-term care? These are great questions. Yes, there is such a thing as purchasing insurance for long-term custodial care. This type of insurance covers the costs accrued by caring for chronic illnesses or various disabilities. The claims pay for everything from home health care to skilled nursing care for months or even years.
This sort of insurance works like regular insuranceyou pay a premium and claim the insurance when you or your loved one is diagnosed with the chronic malady or disabilityto cover out-of-pocket expenses such as home health care or skilled nursing facilities. There is usually a waiting period of 90 to 120 days that is used like a deductible, where you have to wait to receive the out-of-pocket benefits.
According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, the average couple, age 60, should expect to pay an average of $3,335 per year to pay out on a plan that gives $150 of coverage per day over a three-year period. Prices and pay outs go up as the recipients get older. A 65 year old couple would expect to pay an average $4,433 for the same coverage.
This insurance does show some benefits, particularly to individuals who have no children, are 60 or older, and have little or no retirement savingsas long as any chronic illness can be treated within the time frame allotted by the insurance company.
Why is it so expensive? Insurers dont know how much a claim is going to behow much time and care is needed for a long-term care patient. Generally, these plans pay out only over a three-year period for that reason.You should also consider that many of these plans dont have surrender clauses, where you would get money back if you never need a claim during the period of insurance. You might pay and pay, only to see no return if you dont qualify for care.
There is also the issue of rate hikes that some people who have the insurance, cannot continue paying. Should they continue to scrape to pay for the potential benefits, or get rid of the insurance and have no benefit at all?
If you are looking for such an option, consider carefully whether you should invest in retirement accounts, like a 401K, reverse mortgages, or a long-term care plan.
Many memories can be found in objects of sentimental value. A special photo of your parents on their wedding day. A set of china that was a gift from your father to your mother.
When your parent or parents die, or transition into assisted living, these items can take on even more value—as you will most likely become their recipient.
Taking ownership of these items is a difficult process. Either transition is a drastic change to your family. Then, you receive all of these items, and it becomes overwhelming. What are you to do with this part of your parents lives?
First, you should take a deep breath. This will be a long process, but sorting through these items and figuring out what you need to keep will be cathartic for you. This is going to take more than an hour or a day. Do your work in stages. Carve out time an hour here or an hour there to look through your parents items. This is not a cold process; this will be time for you to get some closure. Of course, this will be an easier process if your parents are still alive as they can decide on items that they want to keep prior to their move. You can help them with transitioning of assets, heirlooms and other items.
Open the boxes and begin sorting. Make sure you have someone with you who can help you stay on task, but wont get in the way of your process. Think about what your parents held dear and would want preserved in your family. Put those things aside. Next sort items into categories, like china/silverware, photographs and albums (you will probably hold on to these), clothing, books and papers/documents.
Each of the other piles will need inspection. The papers and documents will need your attention as there could be bank statements and legal documents that held your parents assets and wishes for their children regarding those items and assets. These could include family history or deeds to houses and cars. Be sure to shred documents that need shredding.
As far as heirlooms go, value is in the eye of the beholder. Think about the china, or the Tiffany lamp, now in your possession. Do you like or need these things? Is there someone else in the family, perhaps a generation lower, who would use them more than you would? Its ok to share these things with family members!
If you have items of value that no one in the family wants, perhaps they can be sold. EBay and Craigslist are two places that could be beneficial in selling these items. Also, consignment houses can take on the clothing and jewelry that you have, too. Lets not forget that items can be donated to Goodwill, AmVets, or other charities.
Working as a caregiver for a parent or loved one takes more than just time and energy. Caregivers must balance work life at their day jobs along with taking care of their loved ones. In some cases, caregivers have to sacrifice time at workor working at allto help their loved ones. This sort of sacrifice hurts the caregivers as this results in lower wages and also lowers social security and pensions when they return to the workforce.
Serving as a caregiver is noble and rewarding work. However, this service is often without compensation or recourse of any kind. The sacrifices coupled with the financial strain for the caregiver can cause extreme tension in his or her relationship with the recipient parent or loved one, which could negatively affect the caregiving dynamic.
One way to alleviate this stress is to draw up a personal caregiving contract between the caregiver and the parent. Such a contract would spell out all of the duties and expectations of a caregiver and include language regarding compensation, which would pave the way for the caregiver to receive some fashion of compensation for his or her time. A contract would also spell things out for the rest of the familyspouses, siblings, childrenwho may feel slighted or misunderstand the arrangement between caregiver and loved one.
Some parents choose to reward their primary caregivers in their estate. However, this may cause tension between siblings or will contests. Another good reason to have a legal contract is to help the older adult qualify for Medicaid. If the older adult is planning to pay the caregiver, and there is no agreement in place, the payments to the caregiver will be looked upon as gifts. This will slow down the process of qualifying for Medicaid.
Making a contract might not be an easy thing. The child, or caregiver, might look at this as a labor of love and not think about accepting money, or the parent might believe it is the childs duty to serve as a caregiver. Frank conversations about caregiving may be difficult, but all involved may actually feel relieved once it is taken care of.
A contract contains time periods, terms of service and compensation for service. Caregivers should be explicit in the types of duties they will agree to perform, such as driving their loved ones to doctor visits, shopping, cooking, or bathing.
How much the caregiver will be compensated needs to be included. To decide the amount, the caregiver should call around the local caregiving agencies to see what the current rates are. If the older adult does not have enough money to pay his or her caregiver, there may be other sources of payment. A long-term care insurance policy may cover family caregivers, for example. Also, there may be state or federal government programs that compensate family caregivers. Check with your local Agency on Aging to get more information.