Many people are not aware of the expenses involved in long-term care, and most have assumed they will not need such care. They are unprepared for these expenses, and often the harsh reality comes at a time when they are most vulnerable.
Planning for the unknown is vital, yet many adults choose to take the “wait and see” approach when it comes to their future healthcare. This can lead to disastrous results.
- In 2009a, the national average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home was $72,270a annually. With an average stay of 2.4 years1, that’s more than $173,448a per average stay
- Roughly 70b percent of those reaching the age of 651 are expected to need some type of long term care during the rest of their lives; yet only seven percent of Americans have done any planning at all for their long term care needs.
- Seven out of 10 couples will see one partner go into a nursing home.
- Almost 50 percent of seniors 85 and older have Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia.5
- 76 percent of Americans do not expect to need long-term care. This belief can be affected by a variety of factors, including the assumption that family will take the responsibility of caring for an elderly adult.6
- About 40 percent of people needing long term care are under age 65. They may need chronic care due to a serious accident, a stroke, or developing multiple sclerosis, etc.7
- 70 percent of all people admitted to a nursing home go home broke within three months. 50 percent of all couples are impoverished within six months after one spouse is admitted. 8
1 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Health Care & The 2004 Elections,” Oct 10, 2004
2 The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
3 GE Capital, 2002
4 The New England Journal of Medicine
5 The Wall Street Journal
6 The American Health Care Association 72002, www.opm.gov
7 U.S. Office Of Personnel Management Website
8 The Wall Street Journal, June 2000
a The National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information, www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Paying_LTC/Costs_Of_Care/Costs_Of_Care.aspx
b Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “Medicare and You”, www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/10050.pdf – p. 110