Every Caretaker Should Consider the Benefits of a Long Term Care Insurance Plan

If you have been the caretaker of an aging family member, then you understand the emotional toll and the financial cost associated with the day-to-day activities of care giving. If you haven’t witnessed these issues, then you may be asking yourself what this is all about. It might not have occurred to you that you belong to the first generation of Americans that face the real possibility of living into your 80’s, 90’s or even 100’s.
LTCA Biker Couple Medical and technological advances have enabled healthcare providers to extend our lives beyond historical life expectancies. Illnesses that were once considered life-limiting, such as High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, AIDS, Cancer and Diabetes are now becoming controllable and manageable through various combinations of drug therapies, diet and exercise. It is important to consider these facts when designing a long term care insurance plan.

Extended life expectancy is great news especially when you consider that after retirement, you could have another fourth of your life remaining for family time, vacation and travel, hobbies, volunteer work and many other things which you have looked forward to. Yet, the prospect of having these dreams curtailed or postponed is ever-present as we age. When we think about getting older, most of us envision it will be an illness or injury that will limit our ability perform our normal daily activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, toileting and moving from place to place. While it is true that many of us will need assistance with these activities, it is important to understand that cognitive impairment is the leading cause for the need of a caretaker. Any worthwhile long term care insurance plan should take these facts into consideration.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. 3.4 million of these are women and the remaining 1.8 million are men. What’s more startling is that nearly half of these individuals have not been formally diagnosed. If you live into your mid-80’s, then there is a 44% chance that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of cognitive impairment.

Being a caretaker to someone who has experienced the loss of their natural abilities is not only physically demanding, it can also bring on heavy emotional as well as logistical challenges. Today’s families are more dispersed, with children and parents living towns, cities and states away from one another. When it comes to giving care to a family member, it is usually the spouse, if living, of the person who needs care who assumes the role as caregiver. Otherwise, it is usually the family member in closest proximity to the person in need who “inherits” the responsibility of being the caretaker. In many cases, it is the women who assume this responsibility. Caregiving can start out as simple as making a phone call each day to “check-in” with the loved one. Over time, it may involve additional tasks such as meal preparation, transportation, dressing, bathing, housekeeping chores, laundry, paying bills and attending to financial administrative matters. If you are working in your own career, these tasks become increasingly demanding when matched with the responsibilities in your own home. After a while, many caregivers find themselves frustrated and exhausted, no longer able to provide the quality of care their loved-ones deserve. That is when it becomes necessary to for the care givier to consider professional assistance for help in designing thier own long term care insurance plan that addresses these needs.