Lack of LTC Planning Creates Family Caregivers with Many Challenges

More people find themselves in the role of being a caregiver for a parent. This role is physically and emotionally demanding. It also creates financial problems for the caregiver as they often must leave their career or reduce hours. Pre-planning will lessen the burden on your family.

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Lack of LTC Planning  Creates Family Caregivers  with Many Challenges
4 Min Read October 1st, 2015 Updated:February 3rd, 2021

In 2018 Genworth Financial, one of the nation's leading providers of Long-Term Care Insurance, released a study that the caregivers providing care for adult parents are being burdened more than you would expect.

That study is now understated as many more people require long-term health care, and the COVID-19 crisis has created many more complications.

Providing care for loved ones has taken a toll on the careers of half of the caregivers surveyed in Genworth's 2018 Beyond Dollars study, with 11 percent losing their jobs and another 10 percent having to change careers. That's in addition to the other financial, physical, and emotional impacts of caregiving examined in the survey.

Family Caregivers Face Challenges

Being a family caregiver is not an easy task. The study shows 53% of the caregivers reported high levels of stress, and 41% reported depression and resentment. 

Fifty-two percent of the caregivers indicated they were not qualified to provide the care. Caregiving responsibilities may include helping with activities such as bathing, dressing, and household chores.

Among caregivers surveyed in the study, half felt that caregiving responsibilities negatively impacted their ability to perform their jobs. 

  • 70 percent of caregivers reported missed time at work
  • 46 percent reported cutting back their hours
  • 62 percent of caregivers said they lost income as a result of caregiving.

Being a family caregiver is physically and emotionally demanding. However, it can be financially burdensome as well. According to the study, caregivers face an average of $10,400 of out-of-pocket expense.

Families of Caregivers Are Negatively Impacted

Most of the time, the family is not prepared for a long-term health care event placing the family into crisis. As they are unprepared for their role, they report it puts additional strain on their lives:

  • 70 percent of caregivers purchased everyday items for their loved ones
  • 61 percent of families helped to cover the cost of professional home care
  • 48 percent of caregivers reported a reduction in their quality of life because of the added expense of paying for care.

Many people don't think about the consequences of their role of being a caregiver places on their families. 

  • Half (50 percent) of caregivers reported less time for their spouses, children, and themselves.
  • 40 percent indicated their relationships with their spouse/partner was negatively impacted
  • 29 percent said their relationship with their children was negatively affected.

Caregivers Face Their Own Health Challenges

The role of being a caregiver adversely impacts the caregiver's health as well. According to the study, 46 percent of the caregivers reported that being a caregiver negatively affected their health and well-being.

Caregivers are getting younger and younger, with 58% of caregivers today being age 25 to 54. The average age of a person needing long-term health care has dropped from age 75 to age 62. Advances in medical science make it more difficult to die from a health event or accident—however, the need for long-term care increases.

LTC Insurance Eases Family Burden

In 2020 the major inurance companies paid over $11.6 Billion in Long-Term Care Insurance benefits. These benefits help the policyholder stay in their own home. In-home care is one of the most significant benefits of an LTC Insurance policy.

You must have a policy in place before your health changes. The best time to obtain Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is when you are in your 40s or 50s, when you still enjoy good health and premiums are lower.

Find a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options. Click here to find a specialist.

"Although caregiving brings many rewards, it can also have very real negative consequences for families who haven't planned ahead for the possibility of their loved ones needing Long-Term Care."

"In fact, 50 percent of respondents said if they could do anything differently, it would be to do a better job of planning. Our hope is that this study will encourage families to sit down and have that talk well before caregiving becomes a crisis."

 Suly Salazar-Layton, director of Thought Leadership at Genworth's U.S. Life Insurance Division.

The Denial Factor -

The study also highlights several factors contributing to respondents' reluctance to plan early. Two of the biggest factors cited were "not wanting to admit care was needed" and "not wanting to talk about the issue" (cited by 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively). Overall, caregivers who planned earlier for Long-Term Care arrangements saved money. For instance, caregivers providing care to recipients who had Long-Term Care insurance were able to secure a reimbursement of 23 percent of their qualified out-of-pocket expenses.

"It's not easy to admit when there is an issue, especially when it comes to matters of declining health, and it's not always easy broaching the topic of Long-Term Care with the people you love."

"But meeting the challenge with action – speaking with your loved ones and meeting with a financial professional – does make things easier in the long run for caregivers and care recipients."

Suly Salazar-Layton. 

Beyond Dollars found that almost half of care recipients (48 percent) had considered the possibility of a need for Long-Term Care, but only one-quarter of this group (26 percent) had actually made a plan to cover their potential needs. Even planners felt they could have been better prepared: 63 percent of this group believed they should have taken steps sooner, which would have led to reduced stress.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will give help you avoid dependence on your family in addition to protecting your income and assets. You will have access to your choice of quality care, including in-home care, which most people prefer. 

The fact is long-term health care is a significant cash flow issue. LTC Insurance addresses this problem. But, long-term care is also a family issue. Without any plan in place, the family will go into crisis mode. The result can be a disaster for you and your family, and your wishes may take a back seat.

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