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Published: Jun 25th, 2015

Americans In Denial About The Need For Long Term Care

Americans In Denial About The Need For Long Term Care
Article Updated:September 12th, 2019

UPDATED September 12, 2019

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, 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 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.

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.

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