According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs Report, about 54.4 million American adults have been diagnosed with some type of arthritis (painful joint inflammation and stiffness). That breaks down to about one in four adults in the nation.
The CDC says 78 million Americans will have arthritis by 2040. That is a lot of people and you may be one of them.
According to the CDC, arthritis limits the daily activities of 24 million adults in the United States, making it hard for them to hold a cup, lift a grocery bag, or walk to their car. And, the percentage of adults limited by arthritis continues to worsen and has increased by about 20 percent since 2002.
More Than 50 Million Americans Have Arthritis
Overall, arthritis—a condition that can result in pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling of the joints is at an all-time high. More than 54 million adults in the US have it, and almost 60 percent, or about 32 million, of those with arthritis, are of working age (ages 18-64).
Arthritis is a big deal since, with age, arthritis will create problems with a person’s ability to perform normal activities of daily living (ADL’s). Arthritis is one of the major reasons a person may require long-term health care.
The costs and burdens that come with long-term care can cause a substantial impact on a family’s assets since most long-term health care is not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or MedicareSupplements. Unless a person has Long-Term Care Insurance, the cost will adversely impact savings and causes a tremendous burden on family members.
“Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from living life to the fullest. Doctors and loved ones can help people with arthritis by encouraging them to be as physically active as they can be. Physical activity is a proven strategy to ease pain and reduce symptoms among people with arthritis.”Anne Schuchat, MD, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Speaking to CNN, Dr. Schuchat said that this is not your mother's arthritis.
"Contrary to popular opinion, it is not an old person's disease."Dr. Anne Schuchat.
Maintaining Phsycial Activity is Essential to Good Health With Aging
Symptoms of arthritis can be reduced with physical activity and educational programs. When people with arthritis engage in physical activity, they can reduce their arthritis symptoms by up to 40 percent. Adults with arthritis also can reduce their symptoms by participating in disease management education programs.
“The impact of arthritis on disability, health and long term care need is significant.”Jesse Slome, executive director for the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).
“The economic burden of musculoskeletal disease in the oldest old is potentially huge and its management presents a major challenge to American families.”Jesse Slome
What can you do? A Mediterranean diet may help. According to the Arthritis Foundation, not only can the Mediterranean diet benefit your joints and curb inflammation, but it can also lower blood pressure, protect against many chronic conditions ranging from cancer to stroke, benefit your heart, and lead to weight loss, which in turn is of great benefit in managing joint pain.
The CDC says arthritis is a significant and growing clinical and public health problem. It impacts a person’s ability to do normal activities, younger people are being impacted, and the impact on a person increases with age causing disability and the need for long-term care.
Long-Term Care Insurance Offers Access to Quality Care
Many financial experts point out this is another reason for advance planning for long-term health care. Since regular health insurance or Medicarewill not pay for any custodial care (help with ADLs), the cost comes out-of-pocket unless you have Long-Term Care Insurance.
However, a person must health qualify for Long-Term Care Insurance, so experts recommend obtaining coverage younger, before retirement. We start seeing significant changes in our health and bodies once we get past age 40. Many of these changes, including arthritis, will increase your risk of needing extended care.
The costs of long-term care services increase yearly. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the current and future cost of extended care services where you live. When reviewing the calculator, you can determine how much help you will need in paying for quality care.
Cash Flow and Family Issue
Long-term care is both a cash flow and a family problem. Many families have failed to plan, and their families must become caregivers. Family caregivers experience physical and emotional difficulties as they attempt to balance the needs of the care recipient and their own careers and families.
When you own a Long-Term Care policy, you will have access to your choice of quality care, including in-home care services that most people prefer. You are protecting income and assets, but you are also giving your family the time to be family.
Experts suggest obtaining coverage when you still enjoy relatively good health, ideally in your 40s or 50s. Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies, so be sure to seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who works with the top companies.
Meanwhile, understand you will have more aches and pains as you get older. Sometimes this pain and discomfort is more than just a nuisance. Planning now will reduce the stress and anxiety on you and your family decades from now.
There are many Long-Term Care Insurance options with several types of policies that are available. Premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies. The underwriting requirements also vary between insurance companies.
You need a specialist to help you find the most affordable way to plan for the costs and burdens of aging. Seek a specialist who works with the top companies and has significant experience in policy design, underwriting, and claims. Generally, you want a person who has at least 500 clients with LTC Insurance in place. Most financial planners and general insurance agents lack this experience and knowledge.
Start planning before you retire, ideally in your 40s or 50s.
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