According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus crisis impacts older people much more than the rest of the population.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an administration official told LTC NEWS that there is concern that too many people are ignoring common-sense precautions with COVID -19.
"There is a more relaxed attitude about wearing masks and taking precautions throughout the country. The consequences on our older population is a major concern," the source explained.
CDC data shows that 75% of those who have died from COVID-19 in the United States have been aged 65 or older. The numbers are staggering — of the nearly 800,000 deaths to date, about 600,000 have been 65 or older. Compare that to younger demographics; the ratio is about 1 in 1400.
Older Americans Vaccinated in Higher Numbers
The data reinforces the risks of COVID-19 to the older population despite being vaccinated in higher numbers. The Mayo Clinic's vaccine tracker shows that the 65+ population is the most-vaccinated of any age bracket. Experts wonder out loud how much more dire these numbers would be without the COVID-19 vaccine.
"People 65 and older who received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines showed a 94% reduced risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization," the CDC said.
Over 89% of the 65-74 population in the U.S. and 84% of the 75 and older group is fully vaccinated, according to the Mayo Clinic vaccine tracker. Many people in these older demographics have pre-existing health problems and receive long-term health care either in their homes or long-term care facilities. With the U.S. facing new cases of infection with the new Omicron Variant, concern increases with the older population.
Much of the older population is still enduring some isolation because of COVID-19; however, younger people have returned to near normal everyday lives, some of that isolation has relaxed. Families want to see their loved ones and older people risk infection as they associate with younger family members who are not wearing masks or are vaccinated in the same numbers as older people.
Pre-existing Health Problems Complicate COVID-19 Infections
More older people need long-term health care services due to multiple health issues complicated by COVID-19. The pressure on long-term care facilities and home health care providers to keep up with higher demand is increasing costs. According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, labor shortages and higher wages are also rising costs rapidly nationwide.
Many older Americans are getting the COVID-19 booster shot, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation KFF. The KFF says one-third of fully vaccinated adults aged 50 and older have received the booster.
According to CDC data, 18% more older people died of all causes in 2020 than would have died in a usual year. COVID-19 is responsible for almost 13% of all deaths for people aged 65 and older, the third largest cause of death in this age group. The total number of deaths is higher than accidents, Alzheimer's and other dementia, and diabetes - health problems traditionally representing significant death rates for this group.
About the Author
Contributor since April 22nd, 2021
People require long-term health care due to changes in their health, body, and mind. Whether you become ill, have mobility problems, or have other aging issues, being prepared will reduce the stress and anxiety placed on family members and give you peace of mind to enjoy your future retirement.
Professional care is costly and rising rapidly every year. Family caregivers face physical and emotional challenges they must deal with as they juggle their work and family responsibilities along with being a caregiver.
Start researching your coverage options before retirement. Most people purchase coverage in their 50s—the earlier, the better to save money and take advantage of good health discounts.
Available Resources on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Guidance
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
Take a moment and read -
Get Help Using LTC Insurance Benefits
Some people who own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy fail to use the benefits. Don't allow a loved one not to use the guaranteed tax-free resources which help pay for quality care options.
If your loved one owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claim process. This professional assistance will speed the process and reduce the stress on the family.
You can also support finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
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