The Changing Trends of Long-Term Care
When people imagine long term care they often envision the elderly being cared for in nursing homes. However, research indicates that more often than not the reality of long term care does not actually reflect this image. In fact, there are several trends that are currently changing the face of long term care in America.
According to the 2015 Genworth Beyond Dollars research (1), the age of both the caregivers, as well as the care receivers, is becoming younger. 62% of caregivers are between the ages of 25 and 54 years old. This represents a younger age range than it was only five years ago in 2010. Meanwhile the average age of care recipients when they start needing care, has also decreased. In 2010, 81% of care recipients were 65 or older. However, jump to 2015 and this number has decreased to 60% indicating that ⅖ of the people receiving long term care are now under the age of 65.
The reasoning for this age decrease in care recipients seems to be accidents. Whereas illness has long served as the primary cause for needing long term care, this figure is decreasing as accidents requiring long term care increase.
Furthermore, the caregivers are often not strangers to those receiving care, with 52% likely to be the adult children of the care recipient and 24% being other family members of the care recipient. So the burden of caregiving is falling more heavily on the shoulders of various family members than it has in previous years. Is your family prepared and able to provide for your future care? Long term care insurance could enable your family to hire caregivers that they supervise, as opposed to providing hands-on care themselves.
Lastly, the gender of caregivers is leaning towards more of a fifty/fifty split between males to females thus widening the amount of people providing care. Data shows that until recently females overwhelmingly acted as the primary caregivers.
What do all of these changes mean for you? As the realities of long term care change, so should your preparation. The earlier you start to think about the long term care needs for yourself and your loved ones, the better off your whole family will be down the road. Consider talking to a long term care professional today to discuss your options.
The Expanding Circle of Care: Beyond Dollars 2015. Genworth. 15 Nov. 2015