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Lewes, Delaware
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December 6, 2002     Cape Gazette
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December 6, 2002

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64 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Dec. 6 - Dec. 12, 2002 BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE New company offers nonmedical service to seniors By Amy Reardon Norma Hackney's Senior Social Services has filled a gap in elderly care for eight years in New Castle County. Now she's bringing the service to the Lewes area. Hackney, who was a social worker for the Delaware Di- vision of Ag- ing, noticed that elderly people could receive med- ical care in their homes with Medicaid HACKNEY and Medicare but still needed help completing everyday chores. With the help of her 32-year-old granddaughter Heather Harden, who will run the New Castle of- rice, Hackney has opened Senior Social Service South in Lewes. The service will offer nonhealth- care assistance to the elderly in Sussex County. "Most elderly people's biggest focus is staying in their home," said Hackney. "They can't do that if they can't drive to the grocery store, the doctor's office or the pharmacy. My employees can help a client get moving in the morning, assist with personal care, prepare meals, do light house-keeping and laundry, drive the person to social outings or. doctors visits and go grocery shopping with or for the person. Basically they run the miscella- neous errands that an elderly per- son cannot do on his or her own." Hackney's organization not on- ly helps elderly people stay in their homes longer but can also give residents in assisted living and nursing homes more personal care. Senior Social Services South will serve clients who need six to 24 hours of assistance: people who are weak from surgery, frail, elderly with no family, and hos- pice patients with long-term care needs. The service can also sup- plement the schedule of a working caregiver or a caregiver who goes on vacation. As a certified geriatric care manager, Hackney assesses and develops a care plan with the client and keeps family members informed. All of her employees are drug tested, go through an FBI criminal record check, an adult- abuse registry check and a tuber- culosis check. "More importantly, I look for kind, caring people for the impor- tant job of caring for my clients," said Hackney. The notes clients tuck in with checks attest to Hackney's suc- cessful hiring: "I don't know where you rind these special peo- ple," and, "I will always be proud to recommend your services." Hackney, whose mother suf- fered from Alzheimer's disease, understands the difficulties fami'ly members face when loved ones need care. "Attempting to negotiate a complex array of services from various agencies and figuring out complicated eligibility require- ments can be overwhelming to caretakers, especially those faced with career and family responsi- bilities," said Hackney. 'The ex- perience can cause stress and ten- sion between the elderly person and family members resulting in guilty feelings for years after- ward." Hackney uses her 10 years of experience in social work to help clients navigate care options and resources. "Sometimes I work against my- self, but the goal is to provide the Continued on page 65 Trlsh Vernon photograph New trees added to boulevard landscape Several trees were added this week to the Charles Mills Boulevard landscape along Route 1. Sponsored by Country Life Homes, the Lamp Post Restaurant, Hampton Inn of Rehoboth Beach and J.B. Landscaping, the trees were planted in a strip of land fronting the Peoples Memorial Park cemetery. The cemetery is located at the corner of Route 1 and Wolfe Neck Road across from the intersection with Route 24. Planted were several bald cypress trees. They are all part of the Charles Mills Boulevard initiative that is designed to make Route 1 between the Nassau overpass and Delaware Seashore State Park a more beautiful and driv- er-friendly experience for residents and visitors. Bald cypresses are a deciduous conifer na- tive to Delaware and will grow to heights of 40 to 60 feet. As part of the sponsorship by Coun- try Life Homes, Lamp Post Restaurant and Hampton Inn, the trees will be maintained and cared for by J.B. Landscaping. Several more trees are planned pending the interest and sponsorship of other businesses along the Charles Mills Boulevard. Shown with the new plantings and some that may come in the future are (l-r) Dennis Forney, chairman of the Charles Mills Boulevard Improvement Corporation (CMBIC); Arline Simpson of Country Life Homes; David Termotto, administrator for the CMBIC; and Jason Fortuna, ROb Baker and Strategies hell prepare for long-term care If you're not a baby boomer, then your biggest threat to your fi- nancial security may not be the fluctuating stock market. It may not be the solvency of Social Se- curity, either. So what then is this danger? It's the high cost of longterm care. And if you don't plan for these services well before you need them, you could jeopardize your financial independence dur- ing your retirement years. Of course, you may never have to stay in a nursing home, or re- quire home health-care services. But you can't afford to ignore the possibility of needing long-term care - especially when you consid- er these facts: The average cost for a year's stay in a nursing home is $50,000 per year, according to the Health Insurance Association of America - and it can reach twice that amount in some major metropoli- tan areas. FINANCIAL FOCUS Paul Past ualini Over the past several years, nursing home costs have been ris- ing 5 percent or more per year, ac- cording to the American Council of Life Insurers. One out of every three men who live beyond 65 will require nursing home care, while one out of two women will need these services, according to the Ameri- can Council of Life Insurers. These statistics point to one in- escapable conclusion: You need to protect yourself from the poten- tially catastrophic costs of long- term care. If you rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in nursing home bills, all your financial plans during retirement may go up in smoke. And you could even cause your grown children to as- sume a burden you'd never want them to have. What can you do to prevent this from happening? First, you need to be familiar with the funding sources available for long-term care. Many people believe that some federally sponsored program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, will pay for long-term care costs. But that's just not the case. Medicare only covers a small fraction of long-term care expens- es, while Medicaid won't help at all, unless you're willing to "spend down" the vast majority of your financial assets. In short, when it comes to pay- ing for long-term care, you're go- ing to have to take matters into your own hands. And that's why you should strongly consider pur- chasing long-term care insurance from a private insurer. Not all long-term care polices are the same, however. So before you buy, you'd better shop around. Look for a company that has earned the highest safety ratings from one of the major independ- ent rating agencies, such as A.M. Best Company, Standard & Poor's, .Duff & Phelps and Moody's Investor Services. And look for a policy that, at the mini- mum, has these features. Comprehensive coverage. Make sure your policy pays for care in a nursing home, assisted living facility or a private home. Inflation protection. As we've :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: seen, nursing home costs are ris- ing sharply. So you'll want a poli- cy that increases its coverage to keep up with inflation. Waiver of premium. If your policy has a waiver of premium, you won't have to pay additional premiums once you start receiving benefits. Here's one final suggestion be- fore buying a long-term care poli- cy. Don't wait too long. The younger you are when you get your policy, the lower your premi- ums will be. Long-term care pre- miums increase particularly sharply between the ages of 60 and 70. So act soon. You may nev- er need to take your long-term care policy out of your desk draw- er, but you'll probably be glad it's there. Editor's note: Paul Pasqualini, CLU, ChFC, is an investment rep- resentative with Edward Jones in Lewes. He can be reached at 645- 7710.