The New York Times recently reported that caregiving is set to become the number one profession in the USA by the year 2020, overtaking retail.
This tells us there are a tremendous number of people caring for an individual needing long-term-care (LTC) services. Whether they are working as a professional caregiver, or are caring for a family member, the stress is similar. Today I am referring to an April 1 article in the USA Today newspaper concerning the depression that comes from doing this work.
The article mentions that 64% of those caring for disabled veterans have jobs. On average, they miss about a day of work each week. Twenty-eight percent quit work due to their caregiving duties. Sixty percent say they are under constant financial strain. Many of these caregivers are aging themselves and worry what will happen to the loved ones they care for when they can no longer provide that care.
It has also been documented that the morbidity (health) of caregivers is significantly worse for their entire life, even after their caregiving duties are over. This is not something you want to burden your family with if it is avoidable. However, with many states requiring more significant disability to qualify for Medicaid payments for care, many families will be required to step into a caregiving role, whether they have the time, energy, or space to do so or not.
Those who take responsibility for their own care will be able to choose the providers they want, and pay for it. When I first purchased my LTC insurance policy 13 years ago, I thought it was expensive. However, over the years that premium has become a smaller and smaller percentage of my income, just like a mortgage payment does. The benefits though, at a built in 5% compound inflation factor, have kept up with the costs of services I may someday need. Fortunately, I purchased my insurance at age 52, before several medical conditions became evident that would have made such insurance impossible to get, at any cost.
I know that I can obtain and pay for any LTC that I might need. Do you have a plan? Social Security will not be sufficient to pay for care, and with facility care costing between $40,000 and $100,000 a year, most life savings accounts will be emptied very quickly. This is something that needs to be considered while you are still healthy. More information is available at www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com