SEPT. 30, 2005 | Aging isn’t what it used to be. That was the message conveyed to a group of about 40 people gathered for a Sept. 23 seminar at the
The lunchtime event featured speakers on topics including health and wellness in later life, long-term care, living wills and planned giving. It was part of a series of seminars on various topics offered by UAMS and the CMZ & Associates Private Client Group at Merrill Lynch.
Nancy Foster of
The first of four speakers, David Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at UAMS, advised the group on the five keys to longevity: love, faith, a sense of purpose, high self esteem and tranquility.
Lipschitz emphasized the need for persons of all ages to exercise and to have a sense of satisfaction about their appearance. “We need to be happy about who we are. We should all pay attention to living long, living well and living independently,” he said.
As baby boomers reach retirement age, many will have to make decisions concerning long-term care and protection of assets. Fifty percent to 60 percent of the population will require some type of long-term care during their lifetime, said Mark Pellicano, national sales director of MoneyGuard at Merrill Lynch.
He advised the group on options for long-term care including nursing homes, in-home care and assisted living, as well as the variety of ways to pay for such care. When weighing the need for Medicare, Medicaid or long-term care insurance, individuals should assess their own needs and comfort level, he said. Those who choose not to purchase long-term care insurance should consider how their personal income and assets can be used if the need arises.</FONT>
Chris Hackler, Ph.D., director of bio-medical ethics in the UAMS College of Medicine, addressed the importance of two types of documents known as advance directives: living wills and durable power of attorney. Living wills provide instruction on medical treatment a person does or does not wish to receive if they become incapacitated. Durable power of attorney allows a person to designate a trusted individual to make medical decisions on his or her behalf.
Hackler recommended completing both forms and distributing them to anyone who might be called upon to make medical decisions, including family members, ministers, physicians and lawyers. “Don’t fill out these documents and put them in your dresser drawer. They are only useful if people know you have them,” Hackler said.
Upon receiving an advance directive, doctors are required by law to honor the requests stated in the documents. If they refuse, the doctor must inform the patient’s family and transfer care to another physician. “We want to make sure that the right decisions are made by the right people at the right time,” he said.
In conclusion, John Coffin, director of planned giving at UAMS, provided an overview of gift annuities, a charitable giving option that enables contributors to reduce their current tax bill and increase their income, while also supporting a nonprofit organization and reducing estate taxes at their death.
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David Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D.
Chris Hackler, Ph.D.