Many Florida residents feel uncomfortable talking about the one thing that we all will experience someday: death. Many more have not yet discussed their plans for long term care should it become necessary. It’s common for people to deny the fact that they are aging, but a huge percentage of the elderly population – 70 percent – will likely require some form of long term care.
There are misconceptions about the cost of long term care. A survey of 1,419 Americans ages 40 and older was conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. More than half of those surveyed underestimated the monthly cost of a nursing home, which is close to $7,000. In addition, many believed that a public program such as Medicare would pay for most of the expenses. Therefore, many older Americans have no long term care plan in place.
This means that many people – particularly women – end up acting as caregiver for a mentally or physically disabled spouse. This can have a profound effect on their relationships. Although caring for a spouse can be stressful, approximately 70 percent of caregivers said their marriage grew stronger through the experience.
Two-thirds ope people in the study have done little or no long term care planning. Approximately 28 percent have modified their home to make it more accessible as they age, while 32 percent have saved some money for long-term care.
Many people face medical needs as they get older. They can’t always expect loved ones to care for them, so it’s important to have some sort of plan in place – especially one that covers the many expenses involved.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Few planning for long-term care” Lauran Neergaard and Jennifer Agiesta, The Associated Press, May. 20, 2014