What is Long-Term Care?

What are My Chances of Needing Long-Term Care?

Although none of us like to imagine losing our health and independence, the need for long-term care can arise at any age. Statistics show that in America, nearly 50% of us who reach age 65 will need long-term care at some point in our lives.

Increased lifespan means increased need

With the average lifespan now estimated at 77 years, it is predicted that by the year 2040, the number of people over age 85 will have more than tripled from 4 million people to 14 million. The fact is, the longer we live, the greater the chance we will need long-term care before we die.

Not just a senior issue

Long-term care is not just a senior's issue. Right now, nearly 40% of the 13 million Americans currently receiving long-term care are working age adults between the ages of 18 and 64. That's a lot of young people.

Consider for a moment: if you are young, accidents due to an active lifestyle can happen at any time. And serious illnesses like Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and cancer strike young people too.

Who would care for you?

With the cost of long-term care averaging $70,000 per year in the United States you may want to consider: what would you do if you or someone you loved needed long-term care?

While some of us imagine we could rely on our spouse, children or other relatives to care for us in our time of need, is this feasible? Is this what you really want? What if your children don't live nearby? Are your children busy with their careers and children of their own? What then? Would you want to burden loved ones with taking care of you, possibly for many years?

Because people have not planned for it, the vast majority of long-term care is left to family members at a tremendous physical, emotional and financial cost.