More than 8 million people (mostly women over 65) used the services of a LTC provider in 2012, according to the first ever compilation of federal data on the subject by the National Center for Health Statistics. This includes adult day care, home health care providers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
However, the lion’s share of people receiving LTC services and support get that support from family caregivers. Numbers are rising fast – 39% of U.S. adults care for someone with significant health issues, says the Pew Research Center, up from 30% in 2010. That is a 30% increase in family caregiving in just 3 years.
Without family caregiving, the LTC provider system would be overwhelmed. But what about those without family support? Who will care for them when their health changes and they can no longer manage on their own anymore? Many will be forced to pay for such care, but how many have prepared for this expense?
LTC insurance will not be an option for many. By 55 years of age, 17% of Americans will be declined for such coverage. By age 65, fully a fourth of us can no longer qualify to purchase this insurance. These people will have no choice but to spend down their life’s savings and hope that there is enough to last – for themselves or family they leave behind.
Many do not appreciate the impact of inflation on the costs of LTC services. Assisted living facilities often cost $50,000 a year today and nursing homes more than twice that amount. If these costs only double every 15 years a person who is 50 today can expect to pay $400,000 per year for a nursing home at age 80 and more than a million dollars a year by 95. And this is only accurate if inflation of LTC costs does not exceed 5%. Minimum wages are going up legislatively, less and less workers are willing to work for these wages, and there are less workers per retired person every year worldwide.
Have you decided which family members you will ask to provide your care? Have you contacted them to be sure they are ready and on the same page as you? Can they afford to leave their employment to do this? Will you be able to pay them to provide this care out of savings, or perhaps your Social Security checks? Maybe it would be a good idea to discuss this with them – now. For more options and ideas visit http://www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com