Americans In Denial About The Need For Long Term Care

Read Time: 3:36
Published: Jun 25th, 2015
Americans In Denial About The Need For Long Term Care
Article Updated:May 2nd, 2020

Many Americans are in denial about how long-term care will impact their future retirements and their families. Cindy Stancil, President, Liberty Senior Living Management Services, LLC, writing in wilmingtonbiz.com, says without a plan for long-term care, the options for care are driven by “crisis management instead of a proactive thought process and preventative care.”

She notes an article which was published on www.SeniorCare.com which reported that more than 75 percent of people surveyed admitted they had not discussed long-term care options with their family. Stancil says it’s a topic that quickly gets pushed under the rug. For most people, it is an uncomfortable subject despite the consequences that longevity can place on your family and finances.

“As a result, many folks embrace an attitude of denial instead of a viewpoint that is more grounded in reality. A study referenced in the article notes that only a third of Americans believe they will need long-term care at some point in their lives, compared to the nearly 70 percent that will actually need it. This is an alarming statistic because not having a plan in place can bring about a variety of consequences, from the dire and dangerous to the expensive and inconvenient,” she writes.

Avoid Crisis Management

The point is simple, crisis management is never good for anyone, and it is not the best plan as you approach what you hope for will be a successful future retirement.

Health does change at a moment’s notice.  People require long-term care services for many reasons, including just aging itself. With no plan in place, the result can be chaotic and stressful.

“If a person becomes incapacitated, this could force his or her friends and family to make a decision about the level and type of care the person receives,” said Stancil.

Physical, Emotional, and Financial Impact of Long-Term Care Impacts Everyone

She notes the “financial devastation and severe emotional stress” that occurs when no advance plan is in place. The cost of long-term care services and supports continue to go up each year and adversely impact income and savings in addition to adversely impacting lifestyle.

Although many people think health insurance or Medicarecover long-term care costs the fact is, they pay little or nothing toward this type of care. It is limited to a small amount of skilled services. Most people require “Custodial care” which is not covered at all by these plans. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for these services either at home or in a facility, but you must have a policy in place prior to needing care,

“More than 72 percent of people who need long-term care end up paying for it out of pocket,” she writes.

She notes that few have the resources to pay for long-term care services, yet their assets, income levels or both make them ineligible for Medicaid.

“Proper planning provides consumers with more time to identify a means of acquiring the care they need and more control over their options, plus it reduces the stress that family members experience. It may seem overwhelming, but when a carefully mapped out plan is in place that considers everyone’s best interests, the result will be a sense of relief and added peace of mind,” said Stancil.

Cindy Stancil is President of Liberty Senior Living Management Services, LLC. And can be reached at cstancil@libertyseniorliving.com

Preparing For Long-Term Care Avoids Family Crisis

You can prepare your family and your finances from the financial costs and burdens of aging. Long-Term Care Insurance offers guaranteed tax-free benefits that provide you the choice of quality care - at home or in a facility. 

Many policies provide case management. The case managers are licensed registered nurses, or social workers trained in long-term care planning and placement. These professionals will help your family develop a plan of care that matches your needs, values, and preferences.

With most policies, you are not required to use this help or agree with their recommendations.  However, you need a policy in place before you health changes. The best time to shop for Long-Term Care Insurance is in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy good health, and you may qualify for preferred health rates. 

About the Author

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

Editor's Note

An essential part of preparing for a successful future retirement is a plan for long-term health care. Longevity means a considerable risk that you will need help at some point with activities of daily living or need supervision due to some form of dementia. 

The care could be in your own home or in a facility like assisted living. You can prepare your family and finances from the costs and burdens of aging with an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy. 

Remember, being a caregiver is hard, especially for family members. Paid care drains savings and adversely impacts your income and lifestyle. An affordable LTC policy gives you access to your choice of quality care either at home or in a facility. 

 Plan for LTC Before You Retire

The key is to plan before you retire when premiums are very affordable. Ideally, this means when you are in your 40s or 50s. Start your research by finding the current cost and future care of extended care services where you live.

The LTC NEWS cost of care calculator is an outstanding research tool Access this tool by clicking here.

Always use an experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Find one by clicking here.

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Topics can include stories on health, long-term care, aging, retirement planning, caregiving, and more. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. 

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LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
August 21st, 2017

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

About the Author

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

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