With 10,000 people turning 65 each day, the subjects of aging and long-term care are of vital importance to millions of people and their loved ones. That’s why long-term care planning is an important task for so many. It not only gives peace of mind, but it can help save money in the long run if a plan is in place for a situation where you or your loved one may not be able to live independently.
However, having a plan when it comes to long-term care facilities is of particular importance to women. In this article, we will explore why women should especially think ahead about their future to ensure they will have all the care they need when the time comes.
What Is Long-Term Care?
To begin, let’s define long-term care. Long-term care usually involves rehabilitative, restorative, and skilled nursing care needed for a prolonged period of time.
Unlike assisted living, a long-term care facility — commonly referred to as a long-term nursing home — provides regular hands-on care to those in need. These residents typically need assistance with most daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and grooming.
Additionally, residents of these facilities also need skilled nursing care to meet their medical needs. While the long-term care definition may sound like a permanent care option, it may be on a more temporary basis if the resident is recovering from a severe injury or illness.
Services that are provided in a long-term care facility vary from hands-on assistance to emotional and mental support. That’s why you can find doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, physical therapists, and more in these kinds of facilities.
Why Should Women Plan for Long-Term Nursing Care?
While men and women may need assistance in their long-term health, women make up most residents in a care facility, with nursing homes being, on average, 70% women.
Why are women more likely to need long-term care?
Women live longer than men.
According to the CDC, the average lifespan of a man is 76 years old, while the average lifespan of a woman is 81. The older a person gets, the more likely they may need long-term care and full-time assistance with daily activities.
Women are more likely to age alone.
Women find themselves alone at the end of life for various reasons, whether through widowhood, divorce, or never having married. Women are also likely to be caregivers to spouses or partners later in life, which means when the time comes for them to need care, they are usually without support.
Women live with higher rates of disability and disease.
Studies show that women spend twice as many years in a disabled state at the end of their lives at a rate of 2.8 years if they live past 65 and 3.0 years if they live past 80.
What Is Long-Term Care Planning?
Planning for the day you or a loved one may need long-term care should be done as a family and early. Having a plan ahead of time gives you time to find a facility that is just the right fit, is within your budget and offers the quality of care you will want. Planning ahead means that you will be able to take your time in making decisions, and those decisions will be made while you are still able to make them.
Considerations that you need to keep in mind when planning for long term care include:
- Your current health and the level of care you may need in the future.
- The monthly cost of living in a long-term care facility.
- How you will pay for the cost, including retirement funds, savings, government programs, or long-term care insurance.
This type of planning is essential for women not only because they are more likely to need long-term care than men. Women are also more likely to earn less money than a man over their lifetime. Additionally, women are also more likely than men to drop in and out of the workforce, affecting their financial situation later in life. Therefore, planning for care and how to afford it is of particular concern for women.
Knowing the plan and sharing it with loved ones will guarantee that when the time arises, what and where you want your care to be can be followed. With a financial plan to coincide with it, you and your loved ones will have less stress when it comes to your transition.
Do you need help with your plan? Elder Care Alliance has a team of professionals who can help you as you make these important decisions at the best time for you and your family. From the types of care we can provide to how you can financially plan for it all, we can answer your questions and help you develop a plan that will put your mind at ease. Contact one of our professionals today to discuss how we can be part of your long-term care plan.