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Will I Need Long Term Care?

Update Date: Dec 20, 2019 02:17 PM EST

The population is growing older, and that means that there is an even greater demand on healthcare services than ever before. Yet, while most people arrange a pension for their retirement, many fail to think about how they will finance long-term care should they need it. Nobody can predict whether or not they'll need long term care, but since we're living longer there's a good chance that at some point nursing home or in-home care will be necessary. With statistics showing that over half of people aged 65 will need long-term care at some point during their lifetime, it seems clear that we should all be taking greater care to plan for this eventuality.

Are There Different Types Of Long-Term Care?

There are several kinds of care that fall into the long-term category. Home-based care includes support, personal and health services that allow individuals to remain at home and to live relatively independently. Nursing home care may be best suited to those who require a more intensive level of support on a daily basis - for example, those who suffer from conditions such as dementia or chronic illnesses. There are also assisted living facilities which offer an extra level of support but without the intensive healthcare offered by a nursing home.

Who Is Most Likely To Need Long-Term Care?

The level and duration of essential long-term care vary between individuals and changes with time. However, women are more likely to need care than men since they live longer and often end up living alone. Conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's Disease are on the rise, and sufferers of these conditions are also more likely to end up requiring ongoing support either at home or in a facility.

Chronic illnesses or accidents that cause a disability is another common reason for requiring long-term care, while sufferers of chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes are also more at risk. People with a strong family history of chronic conditions or those who have poor exercise and diet habits are more likely to require long-term care too.

How Will I Fund My Long Term Care?

Even though you no doubt hope that you never need long-term care, it's still important to plan ahead just in case. The costs can be extremely high. In-home healthcare aide support can cost around $20 per hour while a private room in a nursing home can cost as much as $253 per day. Clearly, this is very difficult to finance yourself. If you have life savings, you will probably find that you need to dip into these funds to cover your costs. Luckily, there's an alternative that can help to cover your bills. Long-term care insurance policies are designed to protect your savings should you need ongoing care in your later years.

Of course, it isn't always easy to choose the right long-term care insurance policy to suit your needs. There is lots of competition in the market, so this means that you need to do considerable research to determine the right provider for you. On the upside, that means that you can find a great deal if you put the effort into making the best decision based on your individual circumstances. With the right insurance coverage in place, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, in the event that you require ongoing care, whether at home or in a nursing facility, your costs will be covered and you won't be pushed into financial hardship. 

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