Essential Long Term Care Statistics: Are You Prepared?

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 10 August 2012

This article from Morningstar’s Christine Benz, the site’s director of personal finance, shares what she believes are the “40 must-know statistics about long term care.”

While most of the stats are related to nursing home care, the underlying message for all Americans — who are caring for seniors now, who will be caring for seniors in the future, or who themselves will likely need long term care someday — rings loud and clear: we’re not prepared.

Health care costs are soaring, and we cannot rely fully on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (not just because of cuts to these programs; even in their current state, these programs do not guarantee a “full ride” to the senior care community of your choosing).

As Benz points out, long term care insurance can be a controversial option: many find it difficult to balance the high cost of a policy (and all its potential increases) given the unknowns — i.e. will we ever use this policy? But with statistics like this one: “12 million: The number of Americans expected to need long-term care in 2020,” doing nothing is perhaps a greater risk.

When the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami devastated Japan in 2011, the world marveled at the preparedness of the Japanese people. (See this article from Time on “How Japan Became a Leader in Disaster Preparation.”) Although foreseeing such a huge disaster is next to impossible, there are steps we can take to ready ourselves.

Take a step towards preparing for your long term care future: check out our Elder Care Planning Resource Guide.



Do you have something to say?