The Seniors50to120 sponsored Help4Cancer 'Senior Cancer Center' was founded to equip the senior cancer community with credible information and conversation they can count on.
The Senior Cancer Center exists to help cancer patients, survivors and those who serve, love and care for them. We are dedicated to helping all affected by cancer to be in helpful relationships, to be truly heard, and to find greater peace and hope in their cancer journey. Good resources that provide direction and hope are critical to help them make wise decisions and engage in lifestyles that bring greater healing, improve their quality of life, and help them live longer.
I have a passion about providing vetted information to everyone about 'Senior Cancer Center' services for those affected by cancer and those serving the cancer community.
I have over thirty-five years of domestic and international travel and business experience along with 20 years of cancer advocacy experience.
Be sure to scroll down and take a look at the Senior Cancer Center Podcasts. These podcasts feature top shelf guests and healthcare experts from the cancer world. In the first series Seniors50to120 will be producing sixty (60) podcasts on a bi-weekly basis for the Senior Cancer Center Podcast library. Watch the series as it unfolds in 2021.
One of the toughest things my father and our family faced was making decisions after he was diagnosed with cancer. We were worried about making the right decisions, and we were very worried about making the wrong decisions.
The information provided by the first doctor was complicated and written in such a way that we needed a medical dictionary to interpret what we were being told. We also learned in a hurry that most doctors had a very high number of patients and were under pressure financially from the clinic or hospital they represented. This meant that they had to depend on social workers and counselors within their system to provide patients with direction and information.
The social workers had very heavy patient loads and were very restricted in the amount of time they had to spend with us. It is important to point out that these incredible people do amazing things for cancer patients and their loved ones considering their workloads. However, because social workers are not profit centers for clinics and hospitals, typically funding to support social workers and counselors isn’t sufficient. Because of insufficient funding, the social worker/counselor ratio to patients is very high and they cannot spend the necessary amount of time with each patient.
The combination of financial pressures on doctors and social workers/counselors meant that we had to take the bull by the horns and do the necessary research to figure out the best options for dad.
The more we dug into the research materials that were available, the more worried we got. The Internet is a great research tool if used properly. We found information about treatment options that contradicted each other, and we found information that just was not credible.
We learned in a hurry that there are a lot of people out there that love to pray on those that find themselves in desperate situations to make a buck.
So what do you do to ensure that you are getting the right information to make the right decisions?
When my father was diagnosed we initially assumed that making quick decisions was important to getting him well and keeping him alive. We thought that treatment needed to begin immediately, if not sooner.
Once we understood that his cancer could turn into a deadly disease, but that we had time to do research and make good, sound decisions, we settled down to the task at hand.
Knowing we had some time to take the necessary steps to get to know the disease better and to investigate the treatment options really took the pressure off of my father and the family.
Slow down and take a deep breath. As you make your way through this website, blog, and podcasts you will find the information that will lead you to the right answers for the situation you are facing. You will find the information that is presented in a way that can easily understand that will allow you to have complete faith in the path you choose to go down.
Vertical settlements to help with bills, healthcare, house renovations, and more
John developed cancer many years ago. His doctor told him that he would never be cured. John did well in the past 7 years. But now he has had a recurrence.
John has reviewed his treatment options with his health care team. His team estimates that he has 12 to 18 months to live. John has now realized that he has not done near enough planning for his wife Mary Ellen.
John and his wife had planned their retirement carefully. However, their roof needs to be replaced and John knows that Mary Ellen will want to stay in the house after he is gone.
Their mortgage was paid off and John did not want to take out another mortgage and burden Mary Ellen with the debt. John heard from his social worker at the cancer center that if he had life insurance he could possibly borrow money against it.
John and Mary Ellen can sell their life insurance for cash to a vertical settlement company. Over the past several months vertical settlement companies and brokers have ramped up their advertising on television and social media as you have probably noticed offering their services to seniors.
The amount you get in a vertical settlement is a reduced value of the policy. The company pays all the future premiums and then collects the policy’s full benefit when you die.
There are some vertical settlement restrictions
- You have to have a life expectancy of five years or less. If it is less than 2 years, you won’t have to pay taxes on your settlement.
- You do not have to be over 65 for this program.
There are several options – you can sell your policy, or take out what is called a ‘secured no-payment’ loan against your policy. This works like a line of credit, which means you can use what you need when you need it, and you will only owe what you borrow.
John got the new roof without burdening his wife with debt by selling part of one of his life insurance policies
CAUTION - In working with cancer patients and families for the past 20 years I understand that medical bills, necessities, food, rent, or the mortgage payments along with the cancer battle might make it tempting to jump into one of these agreements. Like any investment do your homework before entering into any type of vertical settlement agreement. Have a trusted family member, friend, cancer advocate, attorney, or investment advisor look at the agreement and provide guidance before moving forward.
End of life issues are very personal and should include a living will. I would suggest using a document called ‘Five Wishes’ from an organization called Aging with Dignity.
The form will bring you a sense of relief – it gives you a way to take care of something very important to you and the ones you love.
Questions like who you would want making medical decisions for you if you couldn’t make them for yourself?
What kind of medical treatment would you want if you became seriously ill or were dying. Do you want to be put on a respirator, etc?
To request the 'Five Wishes' form call 1-888-594-7437.
Finding quality cancer care despite age and other health problems
Getting help paying for medications not covered by insurance
Standing up for your rights in a health care system that sometimes discriminates against older patients
Your doctor needs to be a full partner in your care
Your needs, both medical & personal, are very important
If something doesn’t seem right about your health discuss it with your doctor
If you have questions about the way your body is responding to treatment discuss it with your doctor
If you do not get the answers you require, push harder until you get the answers you need.
If you do not get the answers you need, get a different doctor
Tips for communicating with your doctor
Write down your questions or concerns is an excellent way to communicate and get answers to your questions.
Have a copy of your questions & concerns so you can leave with your doctor
Bring a family member or a close friend with you to appointments
Ask your doctor for permission to record your appointment for future reference. This is very important as it is difficult to remember everything being said. If the doctor will not give you permission, find a new doctor
Research shows that an informed patient usually does better in treatment
Your family and caregivers need to know what to expect, what side effects, if any, to look for and when to call the doctor or nurse with a question or problem
Many people are hesitant to question their healthcare team. This can lead to poor care, misinformation & increased problems
You may find that you can communicate with your health care team, but don’t know how to talk to your friends & family
Think of the three most important things about your illness that you want your family to know. Write them down
Set ground rules for family’s involvement
If you have a hearing or vision problem or some communication challenge, tell your doctor and nurse about it
Your health care team also needs to know if there might be anything else that could get in the way of good communication
If you cannot read, or have a hard time reading let your health team know
In summing up the information about communication, you are in control of your life and you and your caregivers need to become a good communicators with your healthcare team and family. It is your responsibility. It is part of the cancer dance as a good doctor friend says
How to find information you need to deal with cancer? There is a tremendous amount of information on the internet, bookstores, and cancer resource centers at area hospitals and clinics.
Information about treatment changes rapidly
Your information should not be more than 1 year old
Look for well known sources and reliable resources like the National Cancer Institute or links provided on this website
Ask your doctor, nurse or social worker to recommend resources & books that are up to date
Some people feel that they won’t be able to use the Internet because they lack computer skills. If you do not have computer skills, or don’t have a computer. Ask a family member or friend to help out
If you know how to surf the net, but don’t have a computer or smart phone go to any library, senior center, patient resource center, or the home of a family member or friend.
As you search the web be cautious of the source of the information
While many cancers can’t be cured, they often can be controlled for long periods of time, even years and decades
After almost 20-years of working with cancer patients, I am putting together information from my experience as well as interviews of top-flight healthcare professionals for followers of the podcast that can truly make a difference in their cancer journey.
This is Mark from seniors50to120.com. I'm exited to present a 'Two-Part Series' titled Hope, Peace, Cancer. My expert guests and their stories with inspire you. I promise.
This is Mark from seniors50to120.com. Today's show is Part 1 of 2 of our Hope, Peace and Cancer Series.
Get ready for a inspiring show for anyone that is currently experiencing the cancer dance, cancer survivors, and long-term cancer survivors. My top-shelf guest line up will surprise you. Join us.