As people begin feeling the effects of old age,
they may experience difficulty with bathing, eating, dressing, toileting and
ambulation. These activities of daily living are commonly abbreviated as ADLs
in long-term care facilities. Individuals who find themselves having trouble
performing even two of these activities alone on a regular basis may need
long-term care. If cognitive impairment is part of the equation, the likelihood
of needing long-term care is higher.
What Is Long-Term Care?
Most people think that long-term care is simply a permanent nursing home stay.
However, long-term care can also include personal care in a home, hospital or
private facility. Long-term care involves providing assistance to individuals
who need help with ADLs for more than a few months. It's important to
understand that Medicare and most other private health insurance companies only
pay for skilled care, which is different from custodial care. Skilled care
consists of nursing, rehabilitative or medical services, which includes
assistance in testing, taking medicine and similar activities. Custodial care
includes assistance with ADLs.
Will I Need Long-Term Care?
Individuals who are under the age of 55 probably won't need long-term care.
Only a small percentage of those who are over this age threshold will require
long-term care before reaching their 70s or 80s. However, most people who reach
the age of 65 during their lifespan will require long-term care at some point.
Trends show that almost 50 percent of people who might have entered a long-term
care nursing home will go to an assisted living facility in the future. These
facilities have more space and are much less expensive. However, they offer
more limited assistance to residents than nursing homes do. Although the idea
of living in a care facility someday seems disheartening to many people, the
good news is that today's generations are staying healthier longer. This means
that the need for long-term care is lessening. If it is required, most people
are able to wait until later in life to start utilizing such services. Since
better medical practices and prevention strategies are in place today, it's
possible to stay out of a long-term care facility for a longer period of time.
When Is The Best Time To Buy Coverage?
As a general rule, it's best to purchase long-term care insurance prior to
turning 60 years of age. This is because younger individuals are less likely to
be rejected. After reaching the age of 50, rejection becomes a reality. While
the percentage of individuals in their 50s who are rejected is low, the
likelihood increases as people reach their 60s and 70s. For example, the chance
of applicants in their 50s being rejected is one in 10. The chance of
individuals being rejected in their 60s is two in 10. After reaching the age of
70, the chance is four in 10. The younger an individual is when beginning a
policy, the lower the premium will be. If a premium is set when an applicant
begins a policy, the amount stays the same. This is another good reason for
applying at a younger age.
There are many advantages that individuals with
long-term care coverage enjoy by buying a policy at an opportune time. To learn
what options are available and how much to expect to pay, contact an agent