Long Term Care — What It Is And Why You May Need It

Long term care refers to any range of services that are meant to help another person with daily living activities because they can no longer do so on their own. The areas such persons require assistance might include (but are NOT limited to) using the bathroom, bathing, feeding, walking, getting dressed, managing pain, administering medication and a whole lot of other activities that most people simply take for granted.

People may find themselves in need of long term care due to old age, an accident or a debilitating disease among other factors. The length of such care required depends on what caused the need in the first place.

For example, someone who has just undergone a major surgery is going to need some time to recover fully. Within that period, he or she would need some form of long-term care (which may last for a few weeks or months depending on the type of surgery). However, it can’t be compared with the length of care that would be required for someone who has permanent disabilities or a medical condition like dementia. Details about permanent insurance.

People may get the care they need at home or have to be moved to a specialized facility like a nursing home, an adult day service, a hospice center or an assisted living facility. Whichever option they eventually choose, there are costs associated with each choice.

For those who might be cared for by members of their family, it is obvious that such care givers can no longer pursue their normal work or social activities like they did before taking up such responsibilities. It has been reported that people saddled with providing care for the elderly in an informal capacity may end up losing thousands of dollars in potential earnings over their lifetime.

So Will You Ever Need Long Term Care?

The chances are very high if you get to the age of 65 that you will require some form of long-term care. According to studies, 70% of people who get to that age end up requiring some form of long-term care. Also check your family medical history. Is there a pattern of certain debilitating health conditions in the family? If, for example, a man’s grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and his father had the same condition, then the likelihood is even higher that he too, will suffer from the same disease.

And it isn’t just negative issues that should make you consider having a plan in place. If you expect to live well into your 80’s then the probability that you will need this form of care increases further.

Do You Need Insurance For This Too?

If you are very rich (a multi-millionaire) then you really don’t have any issues. You can actually pay for whatever care you’ll need straight out of your pocket. However, if you don’t have extra funds to cover such a situation, then you need to have a better plan. Long-term care costs today can be as much $250 per day.  In the future, it will be an even higher amount.

Consider spending this kind of money out of pocket for an extended period of time and you will understand what a financial burden this would become.

But doesn’t Medicare take care of this type of care? Well, the truth is that it doesn’t. Medicaid does but then it is for the poor. In other words, you have to become impoverished to a certain point before it can kick in. Furthermore, a good number of states are beginning to cut back on what benefits are offered within their Medicaid programs.

So what options are you left with? You can hope for the best (Certainly NOT a great idea). You can put your fate in the hands of politicians (also NOT a good idea) or you can get a special type of policy: Long term care insurance.

Yes, it is considered expensive by many (and it is). However, if you compare what you pay as premium and what it protects you from then you’ll see that it is a wise decision to take if you are interested in spending your last years on your own terms.