Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?

There are 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. The job is hard and emotionally draining. More Americans will need long-term health care but are we prepared?

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Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?
4 Min Read August 10th, 2016 Updated:May 18th, 2021

The American Heart Association says they train more than 12 million people in CPR every year, equipping Americans with the skills they need to perform bystander CPR. That is good news; however, while we train CPR skills, why are we not training caregivers given the enormous amount of older people who need long-term health care?

Just think for a moment. We live in an aging society. Advances in medical science allow us to survive accidents and illnesses that just 20 years ago would not have been feasible. We take better care of our health. We get check-ups (remember many in the "Greatest Generation" didn't like to go to doctors). More of us try to be more active. Overall, today we try to be more healthy than past generations.

Yet, any time to drive around, you see new assisted living facilities being built. Nursing Homes, Adult Day-Care Centers, and home health agencies are all everywhere. More and more people need long-term health care, and because many of those people failed to plan, their spouses and other family members become part-time or even full-time caregivers. Do they even know what they are doing?

Family Members Face Challenges When They Provide Care

While you want to avoid having a family member or spouse be a caregiver, what happens if it is already too late for planning? The issue of training caregivers so they don't hurt themselves, or the person they are caring for is a big concern.

Research indicates that doctors usually fail to ask who the caregiver may be for an elderly individual needing help with normal living activities or a person with cognitive decline. Nor do they ask about the impact of being a family caregiver on the individual who accompanies the patient to their office.

If someone does not own Long-Term Care Insurance, a family member often becomes a default caregiver who is untrained and unprepared for the job. Why are these caregivers not trained?

The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP found that the number of family caregivers in the United States increased by 9.5 million from 2015 to 2020 and now encompasses more than 53 million Americans. 

Do you want the full responsibility of your future caregiving to be placed on your family members? Caregiving is hard on those you love, and paid care services are expensive. Health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, will not pay for most extended care services.

Advance Planning Reduces Family Burden

The best way to avoid a family member being burdened with the prospect of being a caregiver while juggling their own career, family, and responsibilities is an advance plan – before you need any long-term care. 

The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your loved ones and your savings. However, affordable Long-Term Care insurance will make this so much easier. These plans will safeguard your future retirement savings and ease the burdens on the family. This will allow your family to be loving and supporting and not burdened with the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that come from extended care.

Long-Term Care Insurance is Custom Designed and Affordable 

Many times you read articles about how Long-Term Care insurance is expensive. It is not. It is actually very affordable as long as you have reasonably good health and are under age 65 when to get a policy. 

Most people start looking at adding Long-Term Care Insurance to their retirement plan in their 40's or 50's. At that age, premiums are lower, and you may qualify for good health discounts.

Most states have rate stability rules in place, making today's Long-Term Care Insurance affordable but rate stable. Find your state by clicking here.

Several types of plans are available, so experts suggest speaking to a specialist. This is usually not a financial advisor or general insurance agent. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a national consumer education and advocacy group, suggests consumers work with a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Generally, that means a person with not just years of experience but experience with at least 500 clients who own Long-Term Care Insurance. Most specialists work with multiple major companies since premiums vary dramatically and underwriting criteria vary. 

Find a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist

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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

Many people realize the necessity of having a plan for long-term health care. Nonetheless, many have not yet done so. Some people think LTC Insurance is too expensive (it's not). Others assume it can be complicated (it can). Planning before you retire is crucial.

Whether you need care due to an illness, accident, or cognitive decline, Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of quality care, including in-home care. You will protect your income and assets and reduce family burden.

Preparing your family and finances for the future costs and burdens of aging is an essential part of retirement planning. But Long-Term Care Insurance is more than just about money. 

Yes, 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.

An LTC policy keeps you in control and helps avoid becoming dependent on your children decades from now. You will have access to guaranteed tax-free benefits that will pay for your choice of quality care, either in-home or in a facility. 

You can safeguard your 401K, IRA, and other assets and maintain your lifestyle once you retire. However, Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so you must have reasonably good health to obtain coverage. Plus, premiums are calculated on your age, health, family history, and other factors.

Research Tools Available on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers multiple tools and resources to help you research the financial costs and burdens of aging so you can find an affordable solution. 

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.

One of the best tools is the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. You can find the current and future costs of long-term health care where you live. This information will help you design an appropriate LTC Insurance policy.

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Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

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