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Americans generally are living longer than ever before, so our chances of needing long term care may be increasing. At some point, your parents or a loved one may experience an injury or illness that leads to a need for long term care. If you are concerned about this possibility, now may be the time to consider the options to help you prepare for the future. First, it’s important to understand the issues.
What is Long Term Care?
Long term care is a variety of services to help meet personal care needs over an extended period of time. It often involves non-skilled personal care assistance, such as help performing everyday Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include bathing, dressing, eating and other activities. Long term care services are meant to maximize a person’s independence at a time when functions are challenged.
Will Your Parents or Loved Ones Be Able to Pay for Care?
Many people — including your loved ones — may start paying for care on their own, but find that their savings will only cover it for a limited amount of time. And it is important to note that long term care services typically aren’t covered by traditional health insurance plans and government programs like Medicare or Medicaid1, provide care under limited circumstances and eligibility requirements.
How Does Long Term Care Impact Caregivers?
Providing care for others can be emotionally stressful and physically draining. Caring for someone can also be financially costly. If you are working, you may need to take time off or cut back on your time spent at work. Or, you may spend your own savings and assets to help pay for a loved one’s care.
Caregivers are people like you — here is the profile of typical family caregivers2:
- 53 average age
- 56% care for a parent, 13% care for a spouse
- 42% reported that the care recipient resided in their home for a period of 3 years or more.
- 83% contribute financially for care — an average $8,800 for out-of-pocket care expenses (excludes cost of facility care)
- 57% had to dip into their own retirement funds and/or savings
Consider a Plan for Long Term Care
Long term care insurance is one option to help you and your parents plan for the high cost of future care. Another option includes a life insurance policy that offers long term care benefits. An insurance policy covering long term care could help ensure that your loved ones receive the type of care they need — in the setting they choose.
The choices you and your parents make today may help relieve the emotional and financial burdens of a long term care need and help create a more secure financial future for your family. Talk to your parents and loved ones about a plan for long term care.