As I write this in late November, looking back on another successful Long-Term Care Awareness Month (LTCAM), I am already planning for LTCAM 2012.

I am going to share some easy-to-do things we’ve done in Houston to observe LTCAM, which you are welcome to emulate.

LTCAM was started in 2008 by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) and is always observed in November. If you are serious about selling LTCi and promoting LTCAM, you must belong to and support this organization. The AALTCI has done more to properly educate the public about LTCi than any other entity. Dues are reasonable. Please visit them at www.aaltci.org.

The sole purpose of LTCAM is to make the public aware of the need for responsible LTC planning. What a simple, yet powerful message!

One of the things I like most about Houston’s LTCAM is that it unites financial professionals like us with people in the caregiving industry. Along with the Houston Association of Health Underwriters (HAHU), three professional caregiving organizations in Houston are official LTCAM sponsors. The caregiving contacts I’ve made and strengthened through LTCAM are very good referral sources for me.

Right now, local LTCAM sponsorship costs nothing. Sponsorship enables an organization to list its name on our mayoral proclamation, to use the AALTCI provided LTCAM logo, and to publicize LTCAM events to its constituents.

We commemorated LTCAM this year with a luncheon that was fully underwritten by Encore Caregivers. Encore Caregivers enthusiastically offered to do this because it enabled them to make new contacts they felt would be good referral sources. About 25 people attended this event. I would be happy to email my brief introductory comments at the luncheon to anyone who is interested.

After the luncheon, ten of us (five from the insurance industry, and five from the caregiving industry) proceeded to Houston City Council, where we were presented with our third Houston LTCAM mayoral proclamation. We were delighted when some City Council members and the mayor surprised us by taking additional time to share their personal experiences that reinforced the importance of LTCAM. We also had a photo taken with the mayor and the council member who assisted us in getting the proclamation.

A good tactic to obtain a mayoral proclamation is to email a proclamation from another city’s mayor to a member of your city council as a guide. This is how we did it; it was very easy. I’d be happy to email you the text and scan of Houston’s LTCAM proclamation.

I invested just a little of my own money getting copies of the proclamation made and putting them in ready-made frames. These framed proclamations were then presented by LTCAM supporters, with fanfare, to each sponsoring organization’s constituents.

We made the trip to and from City Hall in about two hours. It was a fun adventure that I believe was exciting for all involved. The experience confirmed the importance of what we stand for.

The Houston Association of Health Underwriters (HAHU) championed LTCAM this year. Any producer who takes LTCI seriously should join their local chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). This link http://www.nahu.org/legislative/index.cfm. presents all that NAHU does politically to advocate for responsible LTC planning. In short, NAHU is a strong political partner of LTCi producers.

HAHU’s November luncheon was devoted to LTCAM. One of our members presented a framed proclamation to their president, and I gave a one hour LTCi CE. LTCi was hailed by all HAHU members, and our handful of LTCi producers in attendance felt supported, honored, and great!

HAHU has also created a LTCAM sub-committee that already has its thinking cap on for how to make LTCAM even better in 2012.

You can easily introduce LTCAM in your city by replicating what we’ve done in Houston. Email me for a scan of our proclamation, or to be put on our LTCAM committee email list. Building and publicizing LTCAM has been very good for our community, as well as very good for my professional visibility and credibility.