Clare Oaks Blog
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
By: Clare Connection
What are the Odds of Needing Long Term Care?
As described on the website of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), your risk of needing long-term care is either 0 percent (you will never need it) or 100 percent (you will need it). This is an oversimplification, but the point is, you should not base your personal retirement plan on averages because your experience may not align with the average. Also, when considering data regarding long-term care, keep in mind that current data is based on previous generations who, on average, did not live as long—nor need as much care—as current and future generations likely will.
Approximately 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some degree of long-term care services during their lifetime.1 Some argue that this statistic is misleading because it includes not only those who require assistance with the six activities of daily living (ADLs)—bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring, and continence—but also instrumental ADLs (IADLs), such as everyday chores and homemaking. For example, if someone over age 65 hires a housekeeper to come by once per week, is that considered long-term care? Most would say no, but conceivably, the DHHS statistic includes this form of assistance. Yet, a separate statistic produced by AARP suggests that the lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two ADLs, or of being cognitively impaired, is 68 percent for people age 65 and older.2
According to the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), 35 to 50 percent of people who own long-term care insurance will use the policy, depending on the type.3 Keep in mind that long-term care insurance can only be purchased when someone is generally healthy, so if we were to factor in those who were not able to qualify for coverage the overall percentage of people ultimately requiring significant assistance with day-to-day living would be higher. Also, most policies have an elimination period so many policy holders may require long-term care services for a shorter period of time without every receiving benefits from their policy.
In summary, it seems reasonable to assume that somewhere between around 50 and 70 of all people over the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care.
1 Who Needs Care? (2013 Jan 7). Retrieved from the United States Department of Health and Human Services at: http://longtermcare.gov/the-basics/who-needs-care.html
2 AARP. (2005). Beyond 50.2003: A Report to the Nation on Independent Living and Disability. Retrieved from: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/beyond_50_il_1.pdf
3 Long-Term Care Insurance Facts- Statistics. Retrieved from the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) at: http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/learning-center/fast-facts.php
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.