The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released new report showing how Americans perceive long-term care this month and it is the second study done by the organization about the public views of long-term care.
The first study, which was done in 2013, was conducted in order to gauge what Americans know or do not know about long-term care and their level of preparedness for this possible need.
The organization found that only a handful of Americans are prepared and understand the financial costs and impact of a long-term care event. Also, the group found that majority of Americans who are 40 and older expect that their families will provide assistance as they grow older.
The organization recognized that family members play a vital role in providing long-term care so they conducted a second study to explore the level of influence that the family has over long-term care.
More so, they intended to find who provides and receives care, as well as the effects of caregiving on family relationships and personal experience.
What changed in from 2013 to 2014?
After evaluating the results of the two studies, AP-NORC reports findings that the Americans’ understanding of long-term care, personal experiences with long-term care, perceptions about their own care and their loved one’s care remained relatively constant from last year’s responses.
Meanwhile, the second study found that in 2014, Americans are more supportive of a long-term care program ran by the government, similar to Medicare. Also, respondents say that setting a number of measures will be helpful in measuring the present quality of living assistance.
How much LTC does Family Members Provide?
According to the study, the majority of Americans who are 40 years old and above rely on their families for long-term care. More so, people who receive care are mostly moms. In fact, four in 10 caregivers have provided care to their mothers. This further illustrates the fact that long-term care should be a more pressing concern for women. In fact, most people who experienced long-term care are female, and are part of the baby boomer and low-income groups.
The Effect of Caregiving on Relationships and LTC Preparedness
Participants in the report who are 40 and older reported they are more likely to plan for long-term care if they experienced a long-term care event. They are less likely to expect that they can count on their families for care should they need it.
However, the overall percentage of people who expect that their loved ones will meet a huge part of their LTC needs remain high. 74 percent of those without a long-term care experience and 67 percent of those who have expect their families to take care of them.
Meanwhile, caregivers report that their experience in taking care of a loved one is mostly positive.
However, results show that relationship strain resulting from caregiving is more prevalent among people who end up taking care of their spouses. About 40 percent reported that taking care of their spouse or partner have resulted to financial burden, while more than half admit that it has caused stress in the family.
Of the respondents who expect to be caregivers in the next five years, only 3 in 10 say that they are prepared to take on the job.
The Need to Raise Awareness on LTC
Americans have limited knowledge about ongoing living assistance, the study found. But between information coming from friends and family, and long-term care experts and professionals, they tend to believe information that comes from the latter.
By 2030, the senior population is expected to make up 20 percent of the U.S. That means that there will be about 73 million Americans over the age of 65. Further, it is estimated that seven out of 10 individuals who are 65 and older will need long-term care, while one in four people aged 18 to 64 will also require a form of care service.
The results show more people will be at risk for long-term care as time passes, and this calls for a better strategy in addressing this possible need. One way to begin is to start educating yourself about long-term care and how it can affect your quality of life.
Here in LTC Options, you can learn about these things. Our website and blog offer a huge pool of information about long-term care and how you can prepare for it.