According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “At least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives.” After the age of 65, 70% of people will need long-term care. Additionally 40% of the people receiving long-term care are working age adults between the ages of 18-64. The statistics speak to prudently looking at your risk of losing your independence.
Independence day is the perfect opportunity to ensure that you and your family will remain independent if the need for long-term care arises? This advice comes from LTC Financial Partners, a leading long-term care insurance agency representing multiple carriers.
According to Janet Washburn, Naples-based agent with LTC Financial Partners, many Americans lose their freedom of choice and personal lifestyles when a loved one, unprotected by long-term care planning, suddenly needs help with the tasks of daily living. “Suppose your parent, spouse, or child suffers an illness or accident requiring long-term care. You could easily become the default caregiver,” says Washburn. “How would that affect your income and your life? Your individual freedom could be seriously compromised.”
In addition, Washburn points out, when there’s been no long-term care planning, the independence of those needing care may also be seriously compromised. “Without adequate savings, insurance, or other precautions, too often the afflicted individuals face a future of narrowed choices and constricted lifestyle,” says Washburn. “They have to rely on a family member to move about, feed themselves, or go to the bathroom. Or, if they qualify for Medicaid, they may be forced into a nursing home rather than continuing to enjoy the comforts of home.”
The answer, according to Washburn and colleagues at LTCFP, is to plan for long-term care needs well in advance. This may involve setting aside savings to pay for professional care, taking out long-term care insurance, or modifying one’s home to make it easier for a disabled person to move about, dress, cook, or use the bathroom.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns, “Contrary to what many people believe, Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that most people need—help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom independently. Planning is essential for you to be able to get the care you might need.” Washburn points to a Prudential Financial Inc. survey which found that 74 percent of consumers age 55 to 65 said they were concerned about needing some kind of long-term care. “That’s 3 in 4 of us. “Americans need to realize they’re at risk, and the risk is great.”
What will long-term are cost you if you require a stay in a nursing home. Today, the average rate for a private room in a nursing home is $219 a day or $79,935 annually. That equals $183,051 for the average nursing home stay of 2.29 years. With current economic trends, by the year 2021 the average annual stay in a nursing home will be $175,200. The average American family is not financially equipped to take on these costs alone. “And in-home care isn’t cheap either,” Washburn adds.
LTCFP is seeking the participation of other long-term care organizations to make “Long-Term Care Independence” something that might be thought about every July 4. “We’re considering it,” says Jonas Roeser, President of the 3in4 Association, a non-profit supported by care-giving organizations, insurance carriers, and independent insurance agencies.
The idea of linking long-term care independence with the 4th of July originated with Peter Molnar, a company Partner, who observed that “Americans need independence” in spite of long-term care requirements, and that July 4 was the perfect day to recognize this.
More information is available from Washburn at 239-404-7590, firstname.lastname@example.org or JanetWashburn.ltcfp.com.
Janet Washburn, The Long Term Care Lady℠, is a Master Long Term Care Insurance Specialist based in Naples, Florida, with LTC Financial Partners, LLC and has been helping individuals and businesses since 1997 with objective education and comparisons of long term care planning options, licensed in multiple states. For more info: http://TheLongTermCareLady.com