Below are the demographics of people mostly likely to need long-term care at some point in their lives.
Life expectancy rates across the developed world have steadily climbed year after year. People today are living longer, which is a tribute and testament to the advances our country has made in the medical and health industries. But the flip side of that coin is that as people age, the need for long-term care becomes more imminent.
According to the Pew Research Center, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 each day for the next 19 years. That’s 70 million Americans in addition to those who are already 65 and over today. And according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it’s estimated that for people 65 years old and over, 70% will need long-term care at some point in their lives.
People who have disabilities from accidents or chronic illnesses will likely need long-term care. Since disabilities occur largely from unexpected occurrences, people from all age groups are susceptible. Just in the 40-50 year age group, it’s estimated that 8% of people have a disability where long-term care is needed.
People with Health Issues
Health issues such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, obesity, and heart disease will increase the need for long-term care. Factors that contribute to health issues include family history, eating habits, and exercise levels.
On average, women have a longer life expectancy than men of about five years. As a result, women are more likely to spend their last years alone, which increases their need for long-term care. Although five years don’t seem like a lot over a lifetime, it is a substantial part of a woman’s life when she’s over 65 and living out her retirement years. As a matter of fact, insurance companies that offer long-term care insurance usually require higher premiums for women than for men.
Long-term care is a complicated subject, and it is expensive. Illnesses, accidents, and debilitating conditions are unpredictable and traumatic. And with the baby boomer generation aging, long-term care will hit a crisis where demand far exceeds supply. It’s important to plan ahead. Millions of senior citizens will need long-term care, so learn how to pay for it so that when care is needed, it will not lead to financial hardships.