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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.
Typically, it is a parent’s job to secure his children’s future. But you, as a son or daughter, may have felt concern over what your parents’ life would be like once they grow frail and need assistance in their day to day activities. If you want to ensure that they’re taken care of years from now, you can buy long-term care insurance for them.
How can I get a policy for them?
First off, you need to get their consent before you can purchase a policy under their name. Since coverage is intended to protect them, the policy will be named to them and not you. Likewise, they will be the one to sign on the policy.
Once they agreed, they will go through the usual qualification and underwriting process. Typically, the company will ask for your parent’s medical records and may ask them to undergo a medical screening. The younger and healthier they are, the higher their chances of getting qualified.
Factors to consider before purchasing a policy for your parents
Before you purchase a policy for your parents, here are things that you need to consider and discuss as a family.
- Your parent’s age – Remember that age plays a crucial role in long-term care insurance. It’s advisable to buy coverage for your parents as they approach their 60s. This way, their chances of qualifying is still high and their health is still likely in a good state, thus, you can expect a lower premium. Meanwhile, if they are old and showing signs of a frailer health, they can be imposed a higher premium or worst, be denied of coverage. That’s why it’s not advisable to wait for a crisis before you purchase this coverage.
- Financial capability –Look into your financial strength as well as your parent’s. Determine if you’ll shoulder the cost of long-term care insurance completely or if they have the ability to share the bill with you. Keep in mind that you need to be devoted in paying the premiums to ensure your parent’s coverage. That’s why it’s important to discuss about your financial resources before you decide to buy. Meanwhile, if you have siblings, ask them how much they are willing to pitch in for the policy.
- Location – Will you buy long-term care insurance in your state or in your parent’s? Be clear on this area as care services vary from state to state, thus, how high the premiums will be is highly dependent on this. If your parents receive care close to their home, the familiar surroundings can be beneficial to their wellbeing. Meanwhile, if they are cared for in your state, you can easily visit and ensure that they are getting the best quality of care.
As you plan to buy long-term care insurance for your parents, keep in mind that it is a family thing. Involve every member in the whole process—from planning, acquisition and coverage. Getting a policy for your parents offers a win-win situation. It is beneficial for them as they can retain their independence and quality of life even if they are receiving care. On your end, your parents’ care requirements will not get in your way as you continually pursue the life you want because the policy already have them covered.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 60 to 70 percent of Americans who are 65 years and older will need long-term care. However, a Metlife Mature Market Institute Study found that only 9 percent of Americans own long-term care insurance.
For those unfamiliar with the type of insurance that focuses on long-term care, it pays benefits when a person becomes unable to care or do basic day-to-day task for themselves.
Why the majority of Americans put off planning for long-term care is certainly up for debate, but some of the causes include people’s distaste for considering that they someday might need to rely on another to accomplish basic tasks.
However, not preparing for long-term care can have drastic effects in the future such as ending up with depleted savings due to care-related expenses, according to experts.
To help you understand what long-term care is about, here are six things that’s essential to know. Recognizing these facts will help you prepare for one of the biggest challenges that you can face later on in life. Here are the 6 things you need to know about long-term care.
1. Government programs provide limited coverage for LTC.
Generally, Medicare don’t pay for long-term care, but what it covers is a 100-day stay in a nursing home following at least a three-day stay in a hospital. Medicaid, on the other hand, covers long-term care but on a condition that a person’s assets is not more than a specific limit, which today is $2,000. Also, the two programs offer limited coverage as they only pay for accredited facilities. Home care, on the other hand, is seldom covered by this program.
2. The cost of long-term care is ever increasing.
In 2013, the annual average cost of staying in a private room in a nursing home is $83,950, as per Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, but for 2014, the annual median cost has escalated to $87,600.
The cost of long-term care is expensive and it’s not showing signs of going down in the years to come. In fact, the five-year annual growth in cost of the different care settings and services are as follows:
- Homemaker services – 1.20%
- Home Health Aide Services – 1.32%
- Adult Day Health Care – 3.40%
- Assisted Living Facility – 4.29%
- Semi-Private Room in a Nursing Home – 3.91%
- Private Room in a Nursing Home – 4.19%
Based from these statistics, an event that warrants long-term care services can easily deplete a lifetime of savings. Since this is the case, you need to determine how your possible care expenses will be covered. Experts say you must investigate how you can become insured under long-term care insurance.
3. Long-term care is not just about nursing homes.
Most long-term care insurance policies issued in the past only covered nursing homes, but today the product has evolved to cover a wide variety of care services because the majority of Americans wants to receive care in their own homes.
Clearly, long term care is not just about nursing homes. In fact, it involves care services given in the home or in other community-based settings. You have a lot of options on where and how you will receive care. It’s just a matter of knowing what these are and deciding which one is best for you and your family.
4. LTCi is expensive, but it can be made affordable.
There are several ways to make long-term care insurance fit to your budget. One is buying coverage while you’re still young, preferably during your 50s. At this point, you can lock in lower premiums as well as discounts for simply being healthy. Purchasing a specific benefit duration can also lower your premiums, as opposed to buying a lifetime coverage. In addition, you can also opt for a longer elimination period (the time before payments begin) in order to lower the cost of your coverage.
5. Family members can provide care, but it also comes with a cost.
Care provided by family members remains a large source of long-term care. More 10 million individuals who are over 50 provide care to their elderly parents, according to government statistics. As family members provide for the care requirements of their loved ones, they also experience financial hardships. In fact caregiving for a loved one resulted to lost wages amounting to $324,000 for women and $283,000 for men.
6. Long-term care is not just an issue for seniors.
Statistics show that 40 percent of individuals who receive long-term care are between 18 and 64 years old. Clearly, even those who are in the younger age groups are still at risk for needing long-term care. It may be due to medical conditions or injuries resulting to physical activities or accidents, but someone does not have to be older to need long-term care.
So, anyone can experience an event that will warrant long-term care services and this is the key reason to plan for long-term care ahead of time.
The title says it all, people should start planning early for long term care in order to secure their future. This is an important activity that people shouldn’t put off especially if they are nearing retirement. Why? Everyone has a high chance of requiring this type of care since 3/4 of the older population who are 65 years old and above will require long-term care. Another reason to plan ahead is the misconception that your assets and savings are enough to cover your long term care expenses. The outcome is a ghastly scenario wherein families exhaust their nest egg because they underestimated the cost of care. People should acknowledge the importance of long term care planning early in order to have a comfortable and financially secured future.
What do you think of when you hear the words “Long Term Care?” If you’re like most people, you might think of an insurance policy, or maybe a nursing home. Surprisingly though, Long Term Care involves much more than those things. Sure, a person can purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy, or go into a nursing home for an extended period of time, but it’s important not to forget about the emotional, physical and financial effects that also come into play for individuals dealing with Long Term Care. Whether it’s arthritis in our joints or amnesia in our minds, getting older and slowing down is inevitable for all of us, and while it may seem far off in the future, effective planning for how to handle these life changes as we age is critical.
Long Term Care planning becomes especially important for partners and spouses whose children are likely…
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Throughout May, the nation celebrates Older Americans Month. As proclaimed by the president, May is about commemorating the contributions of senior citizens in the society and promoting their quality of life.
For 2014, the theme is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” This year, the aim is to prevent injuries among older people and keeping them healthy and active.
The risk of older people experiencing injuries and facing death is higher as compared to other age groups. In fact, they account for at least 6 million medically treated injuries and 30,000 deaths annually. Since this is the case, the month-long celebration will be focused on raising awareness and helping older Americans stay healthy and live longer.
Different Ways to Participate
The Administration on Community Living has made available tools that you can use in your organization as you celebrate Older Americans Month. Logos, posters, activity guide, event flier templates, and tip sheets for social media and safety are available for download in their website. These tools can help you jumpstart your celebration as you can get creative as you go.
Overall, the ideas for activities are as follows:
- Recreational activities that older people can enjoy and at the same time, bring different generations together. Examples of this are gardening or hosting a cookout. Dancing can also be a fun activity that promotes fitness and good health among seniors.
- Educational programs that focuses on how to have a healthy lifestyle and avoid injuries
- Art exhibits are also creative avenues in raising awareness on how to age gracefully and healthily. In fact, the Healthy Aging Partnership—an alliance between the Seattle-King County organizations and individuals who promote positive aging—is conducting a film festival in celebration of Older Americans Month. The event will showcase short films produced by Washington state residents about older adults, baby boomers, and seniors who live a life filled with energy, vitality, creativity, and compassion.
- Recognition programs that honor older adults who made a difference and impact in the community.
Participating in Older Americans Month doesn’t necessarily mean that you or a group has to organize something lavish. In simple ways, you can show your gratitude and appreciation to your older loved ones through gifts, notes, spending time with them, and educating yourself about the issues they face and finding ways on how to make their conditions better.
Older Americans Month began in 1963, when most seniors were living in poverty and only a few programs are available to address their concerns. Interest in their condition developed and in April of that year, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May as Senior Citizens Month. But in 1980, during President Jimmy Carter’s term, the event’s name was changed to Older Americans Month and it has been that way up to this day.
Originally, the month of May was designated to celebrate the contributions of older persons in defending the country. But as time passed, it became more than that. Today, Older Americans Month is also focused on uplifting the quality of life of seniors by helping them address their concerns in order to have a long and healthy life.
LTC Tree, a network of licensed agents, recently conducted a study to find how many policyholders actually end up using their long-term care insurance benefits. Based on their analytics and internal data, the organization found that one in three policyholders use their policy.
On average, the need for long-term care is about 50 percent for the general population, according to industry statistics. However, results of the study show that one-third but not all policyholders will tap into their coverage. Data reveals two reasons for this: First, they go through life not experiencing a long-term care event and second, their need for care services is shorter than their policy’s elimination period.
How Long Benefits are used
The average length of a long-term care insurance claim is 3.9 years. Meanwhile, the study found that 15 percent will use their benefits for one year or less, while 18 percent will need coverage for one year or more.
Is LTCI worth it?
Evidently, not everyone will use their long-term care insurance benefits, but according to the organization, one in three is still a high statistic. Industry experts note that’s a number you don’t want to take a gamble on, especially in terms of the cost of long-term care and the future of your finances.
With that, many can say that yes, LTCI is worth it. Getting your money’s worth is not only measured through how much of your benefits you were able to use, but also in the amount of peace of mind having the coverage can give you. Whether you triggered your benefits or not, the real worth of LTCi is the protection it provided over your assets and family against possible long term care events, according to some financial planners.
The Advantages of LTCI
Long term care insurance is essential to have because it gives the following:
- Financial Protection – Just like any type of insurance policy, LTCI offers protection or assistance when a long term care need presents itself. Having this policy in place will protect your assets and will prevent your nest-egg from being depleted due to care expenses.
- Quality of Care – Because LTCI covers for a variety of care settings, the quality of care is ensured. When you have this policy, the quality of your care will not be compromised because of financial reasons.
- Options – LTCI is designed to pay for a variety of care services and providers. With that, you have a lot of options in terms of who will take care of you and where care will be administered, whether at a facility or at home if possible.
- Independence – Being a policyholder will enable you to retain your independence to some extent. When you have LTCI, you don’t need to rely on your family and loved ones for your care needs. You are sparing them from the financial and emotional toll of caregiving and at the same time, you are able to still experience a good quality of life.
- Peace of mind – More than anything, LTCI offers a sense of assurance that you and your family are protected from the impact of long term care. That, in itself, can be worth more than any amount.