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How Likely Are You to Need Long-Term Care Services?

How Likely Are You to Need Long-Term Care Services?

The phrase “long-term care” refers to a number of medical and non-medical services provided to people suffering from a chronic illness or disability. Such services help these individuals to maintain their health and personal needs. Most long-term care providers assist people with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2007, about nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need long-term care services. By 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. Most will be cared for at home. In fact, an agency study revealed that family and friends are the sole caregivers for 70 percent of all elderly Americans needing long-term care. The research also showed that people who reach age 65 have a 40 percent chance of entering a nursing home during their lifetime. About 10 percent of the people who enter a nursing home will stay for five years or more.

Another research project concerning the likelihood of needing long-term care services was conducted by Milliman USA, an actuarial consulting firm. The results of the study were published in the December 2005 edition of LTCi Sales Strategies magazine:

Out of every 1,000 65-year-old policyholders:

– 449 will need LTC services
– 106 will need LTC for > 2 years
– 59 will need LTC for > 3 years
– 34 will need LTC for > 4 years
– 20 will need LTC for > 5 years

The length of stay also varies significantly depending on the policyholder’s gender and whether the policyholder is married or single. The two “extremes” for a 65-year old are shown (that for a married male (lowest) and a single female (highest)):

Out of every 1,000 married 65-year-old males:

– 302 will need LTC services
– 20 will need LTC for > 2 years
– 12 will need LTC for > 3 years
– 7 will need LTC for > 4 years
– 4 will need LTC for > 5 years

Out of every 1,000 single 65-year-old females:

– 555 will need LTC services
– 70 will need LTC for > 2 years
– 51 will need LTC for > 3 years
– 35 will need LTC for > 4 years
– 23 will need LTC for > 5 years