Actor Rob Lowe Says Don't Underestimate the Stress of Being a Caregiver

Many people grew up watching Rob Lowe over the years. First as a teen idol and member of the Brat Pack. He played leading roles in movies like The Outsiders (1983), The Hotel New Hampshire (1984), Oxford Blues (1984), St. Elmo's Fire (1985), About Last Night (1986), and Square Dance (1987). It was TV that put him in the living rooms of many Americans playing the role of as Sam Seaborn on the NBC political drama The West Wing (1999–2003). Since then he has had a number of roles on both the big screen and the small screen. However, the biggest challenge he has faced is perhaps the most personal and difficult. This is the role of his mother’s caregiver.

Lowe writes in an opinion article in USA TODAY that 40 million Americans are providing long-term care services for a family member. He writes that the mental, physical and emotional stress they face is overwhelming.

“They are doing truly selfless work by serving as unpaid family caregivers for a loved one. About 25 percent of those caregivers are millennials, who often feel forced to choose between their careers and caring for their aging parents and grandparents,” Lowe writes.

Long-Term Care has become a major challenge for the American family. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that once you reach the age of 65 you will have a seven in ten chance of needing some type of long-term care service before you die. More than half of us will need substantial help with activities of daily living or supervision due to cognitive impairment. This requires the help of caregivers. Often, because of no advance planning, this either falls on the family to provide the care or drains savings to pay for paid caregivers. Often both.

Health insurance, and once a person becomes age 65, Medicare and any Medicare supplement a person may have in place, only pays for a limited amount of skilled care services. Most long-term care services are custodial in nature. This means help with everyday living activities of supervision due to memory loss. This type of care is not covered by these plans. Medicaid will pay for this care but only if you are poor. The only type of insurance that will pay for long-term care beyond the limited amount of skilled care is Long-Term Care Insurance. Unfortunately, many people don’t think about it until it is too late to obtain coverage.

“When my brothers and I stepped up to serve as my mother’s caregivers, we did everything we could to support her, from hospitals to hospice care. This often meant trying to figure out and manage her medical paperwork, medication schedules, and in-house help, and continually redefining an ever-changing “new normal” for all of us. I often felt overwhelmed, and that was even with all the support I had from my brothers and colleagues,” Lowe said.

Read the full article in USA TODAY here:

On the Today Show, they discussed Rob Lowe and caregiving. Sheinelle Jones said she was surprised that a quarter of the 40 million caregivers are Millennials who must sacrifice a lot with careers to be a caregiver. The Today show hosts shared their own personal experiences as caregivers just like many Americans must do when no advance plan is in place to help.

You might think your children can be depended on to provide your future care. You might think you will never need care. The facts show none of us are immune to the impact of longevity. People require long-term care due to illness, accidents of the impact of aging. Your spouse may not be around when you need care or be physically unable to provide the care. They might even require care when you do. Your children have careers, responsibilities and their own families to tend to. It is stressful and time-consuming to be a caregiver. The other thing you forget, they get older as you do.

There is an easy and affordable solution: Long-Term Care Insurance. In an article Lowe wrote for CNN, he said the new year is a good time to have the conversation about the financial costs and burdens of aging.

“So, as you think about the new year and you get together with your family, let's have "the talk" -- the adult version of the birds and the bees -- a discussion of how we want to care for our parents and how we ourselves, in the prime of our lives, want to age, and how to accomplish those goals with long-term care planning,” he said.

Lowe explained that long-term care is not end-of-life care. 

“Millions of older adults rely on it for help with day-to-day activities -- everything from getting dressed in the morning to cleaning the house to running the most basic errands. The majority of that care occurs in the home, and who doesn't want to say in their home?” he writes.

Long-Term Care Insurance pays for your choice of quality care in the setting you and your family prefer. This includes care in your own home, adult day care, assisted living, memory care as well as the traditional nursing home. The challenges you face with future long-term care are difficult. Not only is family caregiving hard but paid care drains assets and adversely impacts your income and lifestyle. Remember, your spouse might live well beyond you and assets need not be drained and should be protected.

Since Long-Term Care Insurance is so affordable for most American’s who plan prior to retirement, there is no reason not to start your online research now. Your own LTC policy will safeguard your retirement accounts as well as reduce the stress and burden otherwise placed on those you love.

Begin by finding the current cost of long-term care services in your state. You can also find the availability of partnership plans and tax incentives that some states offer in addition to the federal tax incentives that exist. Find your state on the LTC NEWS MAP by clicking here.  

LTC NEWS can also assist you in finding a qualified specialist. Working with an experienced long-term care specialist will save you money and help you choose appropriate coverage at the best value. Click here to find your LTC specialist.

Start now and give your family peace-of-mind. Long-Term Care Insurance is easy, affordable, and Rate Stable Income and Asset Protection. Give your family the gift of time … time to be family.

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