Tips for a Family Discussion About Long-Term Care
In light of November being long-term-care awareness month I thought I would weigh in briefly with some statistics on aging and the impact of care giving. I also wanted to provide some questions to help guide a family discussion about long-term care planning.
Although we may not talk about it much, there is a ripple effect that long-term-care has on families, friends, communities and beyond. Here are some telling numbers about aging and long-term care.
The cost of providing care for someone at home or in a facility such as assisted living has increased each year, and the issue of long-term care is not going away when you consider that people are living longer.
- Of those age 65 today, 1 in 4 will live past age 90
- And of those 65 today, 1 in 10 will live past age 95
- Almost 70% of those over 65 will need care services and support
In 2014 over $725 Billion was spent on long-term care in the United States.
- Over 70% ($513 Billion) was unpaid family caregiving and direct out of pocket costs
- About 10% ($7 Billion) was private long-term care insurance
These numbers will rise as people age and the cost of care continues to increase. In 2017 the cost of care is 4.5% higher than it was in 2016.
Given this reality, there a couple questions to ponder. Is it probable that you will live a relatively long life? If so, is it possible that at some point you will become frail and need care over a number of years? What would providing care look like financially, physically and emotionally to your family and loved ones? What is your plan?
As families gather during the holidays it could be an opportune time to address the issue long-term care planning. Key questions for this discussion include:
- Where would you like to receive care?
- Who do you want to provide that care?
- Who will coordinate the various care services?
- What financial resources are readily available to pay for care?
- Should long-term care insurance be a part of your plan?
I realize this may not be the most fun conversation to have, but it is better to have it sooner rather than later especially for Baby Boomers and those with aging parents. As with all contingency plans it allows you to better control an event such as long-term care as opposed to having that event control you.
- The Scan Foundation, March 2014
- Social Security Administration, 2017
- US Department of Health and Human Services, February, 2017
- Genworth Cost of Care Survey, September, 2017