Protect Yourself Against Long-term Care Costs

If you’re fortunate, you’ll live independently and in good health throughout your retirement years. However, if you ever needed some type of long-term care, such as a stay in a nursing home, would you be financially prepared?

To answer this question, you may want to evaluate two variables: your likelihood of needing long-term care and the cost of such care.

Consider the following:

• Someone turning age 65 today has an almost 70% chance of eventually needing some type of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
• The average cost for a private room in a nursing home is about $100,000 per year, while a home health aide costs about $50,000 per year, according to Genworth, an insurance company.

Clearly, these numbers are worth thinking about. If you needed several years of long-term care, the expense could seriously erode your savings and investments. And keep in mind that Medicare typically pays only a small percentage of long-term care costs. Therefore, you may want to evaluate the following options for meeting these expenses:

• Self-insure – You could “self-insure” against long-term care expenses by designating some of your investment portfolio for this purpose. However, as the above numbers suggest, you’d likely have to put away a lot of money before you felt you were truly protected. This could be especially difficult, given the need to save and invest for the other expenses associated with retirement.

• Long-term care insurance – When you purchase long-term care insurance you are essentially transferring the risk of paying for long-term care from yourself to an insurance company. Some policies pay long-term care costs for a set number of years, while others cover you for life. You can also choose optional features, such as benefits that increase with inflation. And most long-term care policies have a waiting period between 0 and 90 days, or longer, before benefits kick in. You’ll want to shop around for a policy that offers the combination of features you think best meet your needs. Also, you’ll want an insurer that has demonstrated strength and stability, as measured by independent rating agencies. Here’s one final point to keep in mind: Long-term care premiums get more expensive as you get older, so if you’re interested in this type of coverage, don’t wait too long to compare policies.
• Hybrid policy – A “hybrid” policy, such as life insurance with a long-term care/ chronic illness rider, combines long-term care benefits with those offered by a traditional life insurance policy. So, if you were to buy a hybrid policy and you never needed long-term care, your policy would pay a death benefit to the beneficiary you’ve named. Conversely, if you ever do need long-term care, your policy will pay benefits toward those expenses. And the amount of money available for longterm care can exceed the death benefit significantly. Hybrid policies can vary greatly in several ways, so, again, you’ll need to do some research before choosing appropriate coverage.

Ultimately, you may decide you’re willing to take the chance of never needing any type of long-term care. But if you think that’s a risk you’d rather not take, then explore all your coverage options carefully. There’s no one right answer for everyone – but there’s almost certainly one for you.

Article Provided by:
Karley Beebe, Financial Advisor
Edward Jones


“A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group – that’s teamwork. ” – John Wooden

As our team make up changes with those that move on and new hires- this quote resonates with me. It is always more important (and often more challenging) to find a person that elevates the entire team more than an individual.

Good, Better, Best

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. “– St. Jerome

This quote is printed in the hallway of our office. Two years ago when interviewing Barret, we asked “what do you want us to remember about you after you leave and we meet with other applicants”. He shared this quote and what it means to him and how it is reflected in his work ethic. He continues to live up to the expectation.

Candy Sawyer RN, BSN, CCM, Regional Manager-IP Case Management

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for Amy Schmidt and her team at Retirement She is such an advocate for our processes in Case Management at Samaritan Health Services. With her team’s assistance we can coordinate monthly Care Transition meetings to better collaborate with our community partners. They can coordinate regular vendor fairs and impromptu sessions with focused groups as needed. We utilize the Resource Connection booklets on each of our campuses throughout our system as it is the most detailed complete resource available to our patients and families. We couldn’t perform our roles without this level of support we gain from Amy Schmidt and her team!

The Right Team



“If work isn’t fun, you’re not playing on the right team.” – Franks Sonnenberg

We spend more awake hours with the people we work with than our own family members. Let’s make sure we treat these relationships with the care and attention deserved. With any relationship, we get out of it what we put into it.

The Causes of Autoimmune Disease

My Fountain of Youth: Interrupted

I spent the week of Christmas of 2018 doubled over in pain, with horrible stomach cramps and diarrhea. The mold I had inadvertently ingested along with my tomatoes was wreaking havoc on my digestive system.  This was not how I wanted to spend the holiday!    Then when I did recover,  the problems would resurface whenever I ate tomatoes.  Had a developed an allergy or intolerance to tomatoes?

After that bout of mold toxicity, my body seemed to continue to decline from there.   It began with the reoccurring illnesses. I used to claim to only rarely get sick.   But now it seemed like every week, I was fighting yet another infection!   Why I wondered,  was I all of a sudden so vulnerable to getting sick?

Aging Fast

Around that time, I also was experiencing quite a bit of knee pain.   The problem was more pronounced on the right than the left. And while I was able to correct the problem, it wouldn’t take much for me to get me injured again!  Just in my normal activities of daily living,  I would feel a sudden pain in one of my knees!

I was also experiencing more pain in my arches of my feet. My ankles and achilles were achy and felt vulnerable to injury.   I bought special  arch supports, and wore an arch and ankle brace whatever I exercised.

I also noticed I have random aches and pains throughout my body.   Sometimes it would be in my organs, and other times it would be in muscles joints, or tendons.  I worked on each problem as it occurred.   But as a person who was previously strong and healthy, I started to feel like I was falling apart.   I was playing Wackamole with my health.    It seem like there was constantly something new that I had to address.   And for the first time in my life, I felt like I was aging rapidly!  I  was used to skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer,  and I had stopped doing those things because my body felt too vulnerable.   What the heck was going on?

For awhile I thought I had developed arthritis.  I  was experiencing pain in my toes as well.   But it didn’t explain why all of my peripheral pain was showing up below my knees.

My Big Aha

Then one day I decided to see if another autoimmune disease could explain more of my symptoms.  I searched for list online and ask my guides if I had an autoimmune disease this list that explained my symptoms.  I was directed to mixed connective tissue disease.  When I read the description of what it was I was floored by how much it resembled my experiences!

According to the Merck manual, mixed connective tissue disease includes “systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and polymyositis. Raynaud phenomenon, joint pains, various skin abnormalities, muscle weakness, and problems with internal organs can develop.”  Scerlosis is the hardening of body tissue, and polymyositis is inflammation of the muscles and associated tissues.

I have had Raynaud’s syndrome (a whitening of my finger tips with cold) for over 2 decades.

Suddenly, everything started to make sense because of what I knew about the causes of autoimmune disease.   For most people, a diagnosis of mix connective tissue disease is often dramatic and devastating.  I certainly was angry! I felt like I had already experienced enough trauma in my life!  What the heck had I done to deserve such a horrible disease?

But in a moment of despair,  I felt the sudden knowing that I would be able to overcome this.   I knew that if I identified the underlying causes and released them, that I would be able to heal.  This was just one more challenge that I was being given, so that I could be of greater service to clients with similar challenges.

How This Relates to You

So why is my story relevant to you?   One out of 9 women and one out 12 men has a diagnosed autoimmune disease. But because there are 3 stages of autoimmunity, and we aren’t typically diagnosed until the most advanced stage, many more people are on the path to developing autoimmune disease.   The rate of autoimmune disease has been growing steadily in the last two decades at an alarming rate. Many of us in the functional medicine community are deeply concerned about the trajectory we are on.

My passion and life purpose is to identify and release underlying causes that get in our way of healing.  Because our bodies are already sophisticated healers,  releasing the underlying causes is usually sufficient to reverse the symptoms, and it can even reverse the progression of the disease!

So what are the underlying causes of autoimmune diseases?   There are many and  there is still much research to be done.   I’ve grouped them into 4 categories.

1) Intestinal permeability

This hypothesis poses that there are at least two stages to developing autoimmune disease. The first stage involves the opening up of the endogenous barriers we have that protect our vital organs. The two most commonly known ones are in the gut and the brain.   If  we have a leaky gut or brain barrier, it allows pathogens and toxins in, and nutrients to leak out.   Thus we become more vulnerable to environmental triggers.

So what causes those barriers to open?

This is still a budding area of research, but there is evidence for, human endogenous retroviruses, NSAIDs and overgrowth of harmful organisms like fungus (mold) or parasites to cause leaky gut. For gluten sensitive people, gluten could be the trigger. Your diet, stress levels and a pro-inflammatory life-style (bad habits, or environmental exposures) exacerbate any existing vulnerabilities.

Once the barriers are open, the levels of inflammation in the body can get out of control.  The cells that are charged with getting rid of foreign invaders (the macroglia and microglia),  get overwhelmed.   In their desperate attempts to fight off, the bad guys, they start confusing our own tissue for foreigners.  This is one way the attack on our own tissues begins.

2) Auto-mimicry

Auto-mimicry is the idea that proteins that enter our bodies look enough like our own tissue that our bodies can’t tell the difference between self and non-self. For example, with the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, the body has anti-bodies to the acetylcholine receptor, which flag these proteins for destruction.  The sequence of the acetylcholine receptor shares a similar sequence in the herpes simplex virus (HSV).   So the body attacks the acetylcholine receptor thinking that it is targeting the virus.

Similarly the protein gluten looks like casein (found in dairy) and the thyroid.  So the body can get confused between the 3 proteins.

So why doesn’t auto-mimicry happen for everyone?  It is likely due to the balance of risk and protective factors each person has.  For example someone who has a healthy lifestyle and is mentally healthy has an immune system that isn’t as overwhelmed.  An immune system that has what it needs to do it’s job should be more effective at teasing apart what is native vs. foreign.

While auto-mimicry makes a lot of intuitive sense, and there is some evidence for it’s existence, scientists have not yet been able to find widespread proof that this is major underlying cause.

3) Genetic susceptibility

It is known that if you have a relative with an autoimmune disease that the your risk of an autoimmune disease (not necessarily the same one) is higher than someone who doesn’t.  The ADAR1 gene was recently discovered to be involved in autoimmunity.  Normally our RNA is single stranded, and viruses have double stranded RNA. Our immune systems recognize viruses by its double stranded RNA.   But we also have short sequences of double stranded RNA, and ADAR1 unzips them so that our immune system will only attack viruses.  But if we have too many viruses, than ADAR1 gets confused and starts to unzip viral double stranded RNA instead of our own.  So the virus proliferates and our own tissue becomes ripe for attack.

4) Relationship to self

I, and other health practitioners such as Gabor Mate, Carolyn Myss and Dr. Keesha Ewers believe that at the root of autoimmune disease is our relationship to ourselves.   I’ve had incredible success with my autoimmune disease clients (and myself) when I’ve addressed the metaphysical underpinnings to why our bodies are attacking themselves.  My cat no longer has symptoms of arthritis, and I’ve taken her off of her supplements.

For 2.5 years prior to the beginning of these health issues, I had  attracted a series of abusive housemates and landlords. My body wanted to know “When will the attacks ever stop?”.  I had to release the trauma that led it to believe that I would be under constant attack.   My body was also responding to my belief about not getting enough support, and I had to help my body release the trauma it was holding with that issue as well.

Addressing these root causes allowed my body to stop attacking itself.  I now feel as healthy as I did before all this started. Furthermore, the cycle of abuse has stopped and I now have a fantastic landlord.  Plus I feel well supported!   I have no doubt that addressing the metaphysical underpinnings was the most important step to reversing my cat’s arthritis and my mixed connective tissue disease!

What About You?
Are you struggling with an autoimmune disease?   If you are still showing symptoms, then why not give me a call to see what is possible when we identify and release underlying causes?  Learn more about the Body Code here and contact me here to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Article Provided by:
LifeLong Enerjoy
Tina Huang

Providence Health and Services offers SPEAK OUT!® & The LOUD Crowd® for Parkinson’s Disease

Is Parkinson’s Disease affecting your or your loved one’s ability to speak clearly?  Providence Health and Services is pleased to offer a two-part speech therapy program to help individuals with Parkinson’s regain and maintain effective communication: SPEAK OUT!® followed by The LOUD Crowd®.

This program is offered at various Providence locations throughout the Portland metro region as well as at Providence Medford in the southern part of the state.SPEAK OUT!® places emphasis on speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. Together, patients and their speech-language pathologist work through a series of speech, voice, and cognitive exercises outlined in a SPEAK OUT!® Workbook.

Upon completion of SPEAK OUT!®, patients transition to The LOUD Crowd®. This maintenance program consists of weekly group sessions led by a speech-language pathologist. The SPEAK OUT!® exercises are performed, and group members provide support, encouragement, and accountability to one another.

Participation in The LOUD Crowd®, along with daily home practice, has been shown to help patients maintain their communication skills throughout the progression of Parkinson’s. For more information about SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® contact Karen Smith, Speech Language Pathologist at 503-215-1576.  To schedule a speech evaluation, please speak with your physician to obtain a referral.

Article Provided by:
Providence NE Rehab
Karen Smith

Speciality Care Coordination

Specialty Care Coordination is a critical program at Project Access Northwest. Helping committed patients connect with compassionate volunteer health care providers is the foundation of this program. Our care coordinators work with patients to assist them in navigating a complex health care system.

What is our Specialty Care Coordination Program?

Project Access Northwest connects un- and under-insured patients with the specialty care they need.

Who is eligible for the Specialty Care Coordination Program?

Our care coordination program focuses on low-income patients who are uninsured or enrolled with Apple Health. We serve patients who are cared for by a primary care provider in a safety net clinic but have an unmet health need due to lack of access to a specialty provider. Our patients are referred through a community health center, free or faith based clinic.

How does the Specialty Care Coordination Program work?

When the care of a specialist is required, the primary care / family doctor makes a referral to Project Access Northwest. Our intake specialist reviews the enrollment form for completeness. Once the referral is accepted, a registered nurse reviews that referral to determine the appropriate specialty and to ensure that all needed labs, tests and imaging are included. The care coordinator then works with the patient to schedule all appointments and schedule interpretation services as necessary.

The patient receives:

  • Confirmation of specialist appointment
  • Transportation details, including maps, parking instructions and public transportation options when available
  • Interpreters when necessary
  • Reminder phone calls

The specialist receives:

  • An informed and engaged patient
  • All the information needed for the patient’s care at the time of the initial visit
  • Patients who show up for their appointments. Our program proudly boasts a no-show rate of less than 5 percent, compared to the Medicaid/uninsured average of 30 percent.

Why is Specialty Care Coordination Program important?

Project Access Northwest removes barriers and increases patient access to care, while reducing the paperwork and management burden on the specialty care provider.  This enables providers to focus on care and serve a larger number of low-income patients.

Article Provided by:
Project Access Northwest


“Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for it.”

When I am most grateful for what I have, I don’t have the same deep need for more. When a friend of mine was on hospice and I finally chose to be grateful for the time we had together, I was better able to stop mourning the loss of time I would not have. Sometimes I feel like I always want MORE. More time, more value, more purpose. Instead, I need to appreciate what I have- in work and in personal life.