AUSTIN (KXAN) - Elder care is not just an issue for elders anymore, said long-term care expert Dr. Marion Somers.
A big problem many of us will face is the rising cost of health care as we age, and that means we need to take action now.
Somers currently is sweeping through Texas on a 50-city bus tour across the nation to talk about planning for long-term care. The bus tour is part of a national campaign called ‘3 in 4 need more', which is based on a study that said that three out of four Americans need long-term health care but are not prepared for it.
"Most people think that Medicare and their health insurance is going to cover these issues, and it's not," Somers told anchor Brian Sanders on KXAN News on Sunday morning.
Part of the campaign is called ‘SOS' and asks people to look at the situation they're in now, whatever your age.
Somers recommends to ask yourself: what is your health, what's your family's health and what are your options? "People insure their cars, their houses, their motorcycle, get life insurance but they don't think about insuring themselves for long-term care or any kind of catastrophe," Somers said.
Somers points out that elderly care is something you can prepare for early in life.
"The healthier you are, the younger you are, the lower the premiums are going to be," Somers said. "So start investigating how to take care of yourself."
The folks at the 3in4 Association also launched a talent competition together with Emeritus Senior Living . You can enter online and win a year's worth of rent at a long-term care facility, which can cost up to $45,000 per year. This staggering number may surprise many people.
"People don't understand the costs…that's why I ask people: get yourself educated now,
Somers said. "Find out what your options are and also take better care of your health."
Somers is a renowned geriatric care manager who specializes in long-term care. Her public service announcement "Dr. Marion Minute" airs on more than 300 radio stations from coast-to-coast.
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