Who is More Likely to Need Long-Term Care?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

As we journey through life, our health and personal care needs can change dramatically, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s just a part of being human. Among these changes, one important aspect to consider is long-term care. But who is more likely to need it? That’s the question we’re going to tackle today. In the next few minutes, you’ll gain valuable insights that will guide you or your loved ones in preparing for possible long-term care.

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Understanding Long-Term Care

Before we delve into who needs long-term care, we must grasp it. Long-term care involves various services designed to meet an individual’s health or personal care needs over an extended period. It aims to help people live independently and safely when they can’t perform everyday activities independently.

Who is More Likely to Need Long-Term Care?

To understand who is more likely to require long-term care, we must consider several key factors: age, gender, health status, and lifestyle.

Long-Term Care

Age: The Senior Population

Age is the most influential factor regarding the need for long-term care. As we age, the likelihood of needing assistance with daily activities significantly increases. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 70% of people turning 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lives.

Example: Consider Mary, a vibrant 70-year-old woman. Although she’s currently independent, statistics suggest that she is more likely to require long-term care in the future than her 40-year-old son.

Gender: Women and Long-Term Care

Statistics indicate that women are more likely than men to require long-term care. This discrepancy stems primarily from their longer average lifespan, meaning they often live longer with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

Example: Take Joan and John, both aged 80. Joan is statistically more likely to need long-term care than John, primarily due to her potential for a longer lifespan.

Long-Term Care

Health Status: Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities

People with chronic illnesses or disabilities are more likely to require long-term care. In addition, conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or mobility impairment often necessitate additional help with daily tasks.

Example: Consider Steve, a 60-year-old with diabetes and mobility issues. Steve is more likely to require long-term care sooner than his friend Paul, who is the same age but in good health.

Lifestyle: Physical Activity and Social Engagement

Lifestyle also plays a vital role in the necessity for long-term care. For example, individuals who are sedentary or lacking social interactions may require care sooner than their active, socially-engaged counterparts.

Example: Imagine Emily, a 65-year-old who leads a sedentary lifestyle and has limited social interactions. She is more likely to need long-term care sooner than her friend Olivia, who regularly exercises and is socially active.

Long-Term Care

Planning for Long-Term Care

Understanding who is more likely to need long-term care is the first step towards preparing for it. In addition, early planning can ease financial burdens and provide peace of mind for you and your family.

Example: Armed with the understanding that she is more likely to need long-term care, Mary (from our earlier example) starts exploring her options for care services and insurance coverage.

Next Steps

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to who will need long-term care, as it depends on factors like age, gender, health status, and lifestyle. However, being aware of these factors can help in early planning and preparation, providing a safety net for the future. Remember, long-term care is not just a medical issue; it’s an economic issue, too. Planning can go a long way in ensuring you and your family are safe and secure.

Are you looking for more information about long-term care? Check out our online resources to learn more!

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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