The chances are good that you or someone in your family will need long-term care in the next 20 years. In the year 2000, about one in eight Americans was age 65 or older. In the next two decades, the number of Americans who will celebrate their 65th birthday is expected to increase by 34 percent.
Advances in medicine and improved living conditions have helped to increase the life expectancy for this age group, as well as for people who have disabilities. The average life expectancy for women is now 82.9 years. For men it's 81.3 years. Consequently, long-term care will become an increasingly vital health care concern.
What is long-term care?
According to a recent study by AARP, seven million Americans age 65 or older will need long-term care services this year. That number is expected to nearly double to 12 million by 2020.
Long-term care is different from traditional medical care. Someone with a chronic physical illness, a disability, or a memory or thought problem (such as Alzheimer's disease) often needs long-term care.`
Long-term care is made up of many different services and may include help with activities of daily living - dressing, bathing, eating, and using the bathroom - as well as help with things most people can do for themselves, such as using eye drops. These services may be provided in your home, in senior centers, at community centers, in assisted living facilities, or in nursing homes. (The above is from the Texas Cares web site of the Texas Department of Human Services)
The entire matter of having to deal with decisions regarding long term care can be very distressing both mentally and financially. If you have someone in your family whom is in need of "long term care" we would be pleased to assist you with information on what kind of care might be available - often home care is available - and how it might be paid for. Please contact our offices for a confidential consultation.
You can also find more information regarding long term care alternatives at the following web sites: