Taking care of sick people sometimes makes well people sick.
Long-term care is assistance that a chronically ill person needs to get through the day. It can include help with very basic housekeeping chores, such as cooking meals, paying bills, and using the phone. It almost always involves assistance with the most personal aspects of someone’s life, such as help with personal hygiene, dressing, eating, and transferring from one place to another.
The goal of long-term care is not to cure an illness, but to allow an individual to attain and maintain an optimal level of functioning. Long term care encompasses a wide array of medical, social, personal, and supportive and specialized housing services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care because of a chronic illness or disabling condition.
As former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, said in her book, Helping Yourself Help Others,
“There are only four kinds of people in the world:
- Those who have been caregivers
- Those who are now caregivers
- Those who will be caregivers
- Those who will need caregivers"
Who Needs Care?
What would the consequences be to those you love if you needed caregiving services for a period of years on down the road?
So, if you needed care…the consequences are to your family and friends who will have no choice but to take care of you. Then there are the consequences to their financial well being because your retirement portfolio will have to be reallocated to pay for care…and assets don’t pay for care, income does.
Who Are The Caregivers?
Families provide care for 83% of family members.
Usually middle-aged women, often the oldest daughters, who are holding fulltime jobs and have their own immediate families to care for as well.
Ages 35-64…The sandwich generation…
47% work fulltime
11% work part time
50%+ spend 40+ hours/week
> Average caregiver spends more than four years of their life providing care for an ailing loved one.
> The cost of caring for you can be financially devastating to those you love.
> Providing care to you could make those you love as chronically ill as you.
> The consequences of not having a plan are real…..and they hurt!
These consequences were never put more simply and elegantly than in a statement made by a caregiver in The PBS documentary, “And Thou Shalt Honor”. Asked to reflect on what taking care of her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was doing to her, she stated:
“When I got married, I never understood what ‘in sickness and in health’ meant. Now I do. His sickness, my health. For it to be easy for me, it would have to be over for him, and that’s unacceptable. I often wonder: will there be anything left of me, will there be anything left for me.”
Learn more today about how long term care insurance works.