How Long Does the Average Person Need Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) or personal care needs, which are tasks that people typically need or perform on their own. These tasks can include bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, and getting in and out of bed. Long-term care can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home.
The length of time that someone needs long-term care can vary depending on a number of factors, including their age, health, and overall functional ability. However, on average, women need long-term care services for 3.7 years, and men for 2.2 years. One-third of today’s 65-year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years.
Types of Long-Term Care
Home care: This is the most common type of long-term care, as most people prefer to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Home care can be provided by family members, friends, or professional caregivers.
Assisted living: Assisted living is a type of residential care that provides assistance with ADLs, but does not provide medical care. Assisted living facilities are designed to be like apartments, with private or shared rooms.
Nursing home care: Nursing home care is the most intensive type of long-term care, and is provided to people who need medical care or supervision in addition to assistance with ADLs. Nursing homes are staffed by nurses and other medical professionals.
Long-term care can be expensive, and most people will need to rely on a combination of sources to pay for it. These sources can include:
Personal savings and investments: This is the most common source of payment for long-term care.
Long-term care insurance: This is a type of insurance that can help pay for the cost of long-term care.
Government programs: There are a number of government programs that can help pay for long-term care, such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Assistance from family and friends: Family and friends can help with long-term care in a number of ways, such as providing personal care or financial assistance.
Planning for Long-Term Care
The best time to start planning for long-term care is before you need it. This will give you time to research your options, make financial arrangements, and discuss your wishes with your family.
Talk to your doctor: Your doctor can help you assess your long-term care needs and make recommendations for care providers.
Educate yourself about long-term care: There are a number of resources available to help you learn about long-term care, such as books, websites, and support groups.
Consider long-term care insurance: Long-term care insurance can help protect your assets from the high cost of care.
Talk to your family about your wishes: It is important to talk to your family about your long-term care wishes, so that they can be involved in your care decisions.
Long-term care can be a significant expense, but there are a number of resources available to help you pay for it. By planning ahead, you can ensure that you have the care you need when you need it.
- Administration for Community Living: https://acl.gov/ltc/
- National Institute on Aging: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/long-term-care
- AARP: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/
I hope this blog post was helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.