By George Leamon, CLTC – Lutgert Insurance –
Child care has historically been America’s number one dependent care concern, but this could be changing in the coming years. Over 77 million American baby boomers are expected to transition into retirement during the next ten years. Experts are predicting that this large aging population will cause the number of individuals in need of long-term care services to double during the next 30 years. In fact, some have estimated that there will be more than 14 million Americans in need of some degree of assistance with their activities of daily living by the year 2035. With these numbers, senior care might soon be the new leading care issue.
The average yearly cost of long-term care is anywhere from $25,000 to $95,000, depending on the area of the country the long-term care services are rendered. Many families find themselves faced with paying for these expensive long-term care services out of their pocket if their loved one is without long-term care insurance. While this can certainly be a financial stressor, money to pay for long-term care services isn’t the only concern when long-term care insurance is absent.
Families facing the out-of-pocket cost of long-term care services will find themselves trying to decide between taking their aging loved one into their own home and personally caring for them -or- finding the funds to pay for a professional caregiver or nursing home bed. Most families that don’t have long-term care insurance to pay for services just simply don’t have an extra $25,000-$95,000 and will ultimately end up caring for their loved one in their home.
Caregivers that are also trying to hold a job outside the home will often find conflict between their employment responsibilities and caregiver responsibilities. Most will find the balancing act too difficult and end up quitting or getting fired from their job. The resulting lower household income will frequently cause families to find themselves financially struggling, if not drowning.
Caretakers often find that they devote so much time to their caretaking role that they tend to neglect their own physical and mental health. The caretaker often abandons healthy eating habits, exercise, and leisure activities as there become more and more to do with less and less time to do it within.
Sleep is yet another area of life that often changes or gets neglected. Medical and personal needs of the loved one often require the caregiver to get up multiple times throughout the night. Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause a number of health problems. In fact, multiple studies on long-term caregivers have shown that they have more health problems and a shorter lifespan than those without such responsibilities.
All of the above considered, it shouldn’t be surprising that caregivers suffer from dangerously high levels of stress.
Help Yourself And Your Loved One With Long-Term Care Insurance.
Planning ahead now can prevent a lot of stress in the future. Some think of long-term care insurance as an unaffordable luxury, but the price of long-term care insurance is minor compared to the price a caregiver and everyone else in the household often pays with their health and financial stability. While planning for a time when your loved one is no longer mentally or physically able to care for themselves isn’t a fun process, it’s vital that you plan for long-term care situations to protect the emotional, physical and financial well-being of everyone involved.
Since long-term care insurance gives your family the ability to afford expensive professional and semi-professional long-term care, you won’t be worrying about the financial impact of your decision. This makes it easier for you to focus on your own and your loved one’s emotional issues concerning the transition.
In summary, the multifaceted protection afforded by long-term care is just too important to the health of your family to overlook. An experienced and reliable financial advisor can help your family design a long-term care plan that congruent with both your budget and needs.
George T. Leamon, CLTC – Lutgert Insurance