A new study by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco states the US will need an additional 2.5 million long term care workers within 15 years. By 2030 about 20% of Americans will be 65 or older and 19 million older adults will require Long Term Care (LTC).
Another article in the Journal of Nursing Studies claims that LTC nurses spend less than half their time on resident care. They are busy with government required paperwork and the aides are doing the patient care.
So, if you want job security, at or close to minimum wage, have I got a field for you. Of course back injuries are still common from lifting and transferring patients, and for most home care workers, health insurance is non-existant, but hey, the job security is great!
I am NOT knocking the profession of professional caregivers. We need every one of them and (apparently) millions more. I’m pushing 66 and can see the day when I might need some help as many of my friends and relatives already do.
The point I’m trying to make is that there is a tsunami of need coming in this field. We do not have a handle on where those workers will come from and we do not have the funds to pay all of them. Medicaid has not a chance of handling the bill for all the baby boomer’s care (although many legislators have not grasped that yet). Many retirees are still struggling with mortgage payments and some with student loan debt.
Not to worry, however, since just like auto insurance is carried by most to handle an accident, LTC insurance will handle the costs of LTC for the 10% of baby boomers who have already purchased it. What, you didn’t get yours yet? You want to wait until you are older to purchase it?
Good luck with that! By age 60, 25% of us can no longer qualify to purchase LTC insurance due to health history and/or current medical conditions. It is becoming more and more difficult to buy this as the insurance companies have become quite adept at choosing who is a good risk and who has waited too long and now is a significant risk for care in the future. Of course, you and I are very healthy, we only need our daily insulin for diabetes, and the knee will be replaced next year so it will probably turn out just fine, and those extra 30 pounds will just fall off someday.
Since properly structured LTC insurance contains a provision that the benefits will automatically increase by 5% compound to keep up with the costs of care increasing, waiting to purchase it is like saving up to pay cash for a house. The price goes up much faster than you can save for it.
However, once you’ve made the purchase, now inflation is on YOUR side, as your policy increases automatically. How long will you wait? Do you feel lucky today (or this year)?
For more information on choosing appropriate coverage for LTC, visit www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com