Every single day, all across America, a family has to come to terms with the fact that their loved-ones might need to begin Long Term Care. In a country with an increasingly older population, these numbers are expected to steadily rise until 2050. By that time, it is estimated that nearly 15 million Americans will require some form of Long Term Care coverage.
For the adult children of aging parents, it isn’t easy to come to terms with the fact that the people who raised you might need assistance themselves. That’s why for so many, making decisions about Long Term Care Insurance and assistance can become more complicated due to the emotions involved.
It is important to look at the facts head on and avoid denying that it might be time to activate some of these services. Often, the spouses and adult children of aging loved-ones avoid the topic or deny that there is a problem—this only ends up hurting those who need assistance in the long term.
First, some stats about Long Term Care…69% of seniors will require some sort of Long Term Care assistance. On average, these services will range from one to three years. 14% of all people using Long Term Care services will require them for five years or longer.
It might be time to ask yourself—are you capable of providing for your parents for that length of time without an outside party?
Here are two scenarios:
The First Scenario—No Long Term Care Coverage
Imagine for a moment that mom or dad is beginning to show signs that they are unable to care for themselves. They might have difficulty eating, dressing, showering or using the restroom by themselves. This could be brought on by age alone, or it could be the result of an accident, injury or illness.
Whatever the cause, it’s clear that Long Term Care services will be needed in the immediate future. The problem is, they have no Long Term Care Insurance to help cover the costs…
It is likely that you will have to make decisions quickly, whether they be on your own or with the cooperation of your other siblings and close family members. Sometimes the adult children of seniors needing Long Term Care will step up to the plate and help to assist their parents themselves, as well as paying out of pocket for more comprehensive care like live-in nurses, physical therapy and more.
The average cost of regular medical expenses for couples aged 65 or older is around $280,000 during the course of their retirement. This figure does NOT include expenses incurred due to Long Term Care.
Unfortunately, most people without Long Term Care coverage will receive the least amount of care available—instead receiving just enough to get by. People who DO have Long Term Care Insurance often receive assistance earlier and with a more comprehensive level of care than those who don’t.
The Second Scenario—Long Term Care Insurance and Prior Planning
The situation is radically different for families who have purchased Long Term Care Insurance. Most policies are written to provide the highest level of care possible.
Many people understand that proactive research and coverage can be your strongest ally in these cases. For starters, waiting too long can prevent you from purchasing Long Term Care Insurance in the first place, due to developing pre-existing conditions which could lead to disqualification. The earlier you research and purchase Long Term Care Insurance, the more likely you will be able to secure care for yourself and loved ones.
For families, knowing that you have Long Term Care Insurance for your aging loved-ones can alleviate a great deal of stress. It also prevents you from having to rush through this process, being able to take more time to determine the best course of action.
While families without LTC Insurance will have to provide care by themselves or pay for care out of pocket, families who do have LTC insurance can rest assured that their loved-ones will be cared for, without breaking the bank.
What’s the Takeaway?
Not every family is a prime candidate for purchasing Long Term Care Insurance coverage. But for families that end up requiring it at some point in the future, having it can lead to peace of mind, better care and a lower price tag.
If you think that Long Term Care Insurance might benefit you or a loved one, make sure to do some research into policies and plans that are right for you.