Must you have a bad temper when you are old? Many people think that problems such as poor memory, abnormal behavior, and emotional ups and downs of the elderly are normal aging phenomena, but in fact, this is likely to be the early precursor of dementia. As the population continues to age, cases of dementia are increasing. People with severe dementia will lose their ability to take care of themselves, and treatment and care will bring huge psychological and financial burden to their families. General medical insurance products may not meet the needs of patients and their families, what kind of protection can provide adequate support?
Dementia can decline after 5 years to the point of being unable to take care of itself
Dementia is a common disease, with the elderly aged 70 and above being the most affected by dementia, and the prevalence of dementia in Hong Kong is 6 in 1 women and 10 in 1 men¹. Because the lost brain function cannot be reversed, there is currently no cure for dementia. In general, if the symptoms can be correctly diagnosed and treated appropriately at the early stage of the symptoms, combined with drugs that improve cognitive performance, the deterioration of the disease can be delayed. However, dementia progresses from early to middle and late stages, which takes about 2 to 5 years¹, and those who enter the middle and late stages of dementia are no longer able to live independently, their physical activities and mental conditions have declined, and they must rely on long-term care from others.
The cost of care and treatment cannot be ignored
Although dementia cannot be cured, there are different treatments to delay the deterioration of the disease, the general treatment includes drug therapy and non-drug treatment, drug treatment depends on the patient's condition, there are aimed at improving cognition, mood and behavioral symptoms, if dementia is caused by stroke, it is necessary to cooperate with drugs for dementia caused by stroke or chronic cerebrovascular embolism, and there are also drugs for dementia due to vitamin insufficiency. However, at present, there is a general tendency to use non-pharmacological supplements, such as mental motivation training for concentration, reality-oriented training, multi-sensory therapy, remembrance therapy, etc., which aim to help patients maintain a level of understanding of current life and social skills¹.
On the other hand, for patients in the middle and advanced stages, in addition to treatment, daily living care is the biggest challenge for the family, such as the family resigning from the job to take full care, which sharply reduces the family's income and causes heavy economic pressure. Otherwise, it is also a significant expense to consider hiring additional domestic helpers or seeking home care or residential care services.
Take Mr. Li, a retiree, for example, who began to suffer from memory loss at the age of 65 and moved to his son's home after being diagnosed with dementia, where he lived with three generations. Mr. Li's situation deteriorated sharply, and at first he could drink tea at the tea house every day, but gradually he was unable to complete the basic activities of daily life, such as bathing, changing clothes and eating. As Mr. Lee's condition deteriorated, he eventually needed round-the-clock care and medical support.
Mr. Lee's son admitted that he had already purchased medical insurance for him considering that his father's health risks would increase with age, but he only focused on cancer protection and did not pay much attention to dementia, or even knew that such protection was available. The existing insurance coverage is not enough to cover his father's medical expenses, but at the same time, he also has to deal with other family expenses such as mortgage, children's education, etc., which brings great challenges to his life.
Plan early for maximum financial protection Special Severe Degenerative Disease Advance Protection
Sun Life's Perpetual Care Protection Plan (Guardian Edition) is designed for seniors to provide 100% Death Benefit in the event of an unfortunate illness to reduce the burden on caregivers and consolidate family assets. This program is also one of the first whole life protection products in the market to focus on ESG investment concepts⁴, which focuses on investing in assets with low carbon emissions and high ESG scores, flexibly managing risks and optimizing opportunities to alleviate worries about later life. Perpetual Protection Plan (Guardian Version) is an eligible life insurance plan under the policy reversal plan⁵.
3 advantages of the Guardian Protection Plan (Guardian Edition).
1. The insured age is up to 74 years old
Sun Life's Perpetual Care Insurance Plan (Guardian Edition) breaks the boundaries that it is difficult to buy insurance when you are old. In general, insurance companies have relatively strict underwriting requirements for older policyholders and need to carefully assess risk factors. The age of application for the Perpetual Care Protection Plan (Guardian Version) is up to 74 years old⁶, and under the current simple underwriting promotion, the underwriting age without medical examination is also up to 74 years old, and only 4 health underwriting questions need to be answered when applying, making the application process easier and simpler.
2. Competitive premiums Guaranteed return as early as 10 years
As retirees have no income, high premiums are also a concern for many retirees. Perpetual Care Protection Plan (Guardian Edition) helps elderly customers build life protection with competitive premiums, guaranteeing cost return in as fast as 10 years⁸, reducing the financial pressure of policyholders.
3. The policy sovereign is mentally incapacitated and can arrange designated family members to claim advance protection on his behalf
To ease the financial burden of illness on your family, the Perpetual Care Protection Plan (Guardian Edition) provides additional care and flexibility to enable you to fully advance your death benefit. If the life insured (who is also the policy owner) unfortunately suffers from severe dementia² or terminal illness³ and is unable to administer the policy, a pre-designated family member can make a claim on behalf of the policy and quickly claim from the policy, without going through complicated legal procedures, so as to accompany the family to fight against chronic diseases.
The Programme is subject to terms and conditions. For details, please refer to Sun Life's website: https://sunlife.co/g6yo
The information contained in this article on dementia is for general information only, please consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your personal health condition or disease.
1. Source: Chill Health website "Is it OK to prevent dementia and fight sparrows?" https://www.chillhealthhk.com/ Is it OK to fight sparrows/
2. "Severe dementia" under this program means that a certified registered neurologist or gerontologist must make a definitive diagnosis of permanent and severe cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer's disease encephalonia or severe neurocognitive dementia encephalogen and confirm it by clinical history, neurocognitive testing and brain imaging. There must be progressive and irreversible changes in the brain that lead to memory and mental decline, and severe cognitive dysfunction leading to behavioral abnormalities and reduced social skills. In addition, the insured person must meet at least one of the following criteria:
(a) 6 Mini-Mental Status Examinations (MMSEs) taken 2 months apart, both showing scores below 2 out of 30, or achieving equivalent severity scores in 10 other standard and acceptable tests taken 6 months apart; or
(b) even with the help of specialized equipment, the insured person is unable to perform at least 2 of the 6 activities of daily living, requires the physical assistance of another person throughout the activity, lasts for at least 3 months, and results in a permanent inability to perform the same operation.
3. Terminal illness under this plan refers to the insured person's condition due to a condition in which there is a high probability of death within 12 months (from the date of diagnosis) according to the opinion of the attending physician and our medical officer.
4. According to the records of the Register of Insurers authorised by the Insurance Authority, as at 2023 June 6, the Perpetual Protection Protection Plan, Perpetual Protection Plan (Guardian Edition) and Perpetual Protection Plan were compared with the whole life plans of newly created policies offered by insurance companies engaged in integrated and long-term business.
5. The Policy Reversal Plan is operated by Hong Kong Mortgage Insurance Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited. The above products are eligible life insurance plans under the Policy Reversal Plan, but this does not mean that the application submitted by the customer for the Policy Reverse Scheme will be approved. The eligibility of the product depends on the characteristics of the product. Therefore, when applying for a reverse mortgage loan, the policy held by the customer must still meet all the eligibility requirements stipulated in the policy reverse loan plan. For details of the Policy Reversal Plan, please visit the website of The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited at www.hkmc.com.hk.
6. Only applicable to 6-year policy.
7. This simplified underwriting promotion period is from 2023 July 7 to 5 October 2023.
8. Assume that the premium payment period of the policy is 6 years and there are no additional premiums under the policy.
(Data provided by the customer)