Because of the abundance of information readily available, people often cannot tell which is true and which is false. When the topic at hand is what you might need in the future, sorting long term care facts from misconception early is vital.
To help sort of the facts about long term care from the misconceptions, here are nine claims that many people believe to be true.
Misconception 1: “I am healthy. I won’t need long term care.”
70% of people age 65 and older will need some form of long term care in the next few years.
Misconception 2: “My savings are enough to cover any form of care that I might need.”
Currently, Americans between the ages 55 and 64 have an estimated $104,000 in their savings accounts. While this might sound substantial to many, it is not nearly enough to cover the average cost of care in the country, especially when many individuals end up needing care for years.
Misconception 3: “I can postpone planning. I have time and I am still young.”
Long term care is not just the concern of the elderly. Nearly 41% of long term care recipients are people under the age of 65. These are the once requiring assistance because of illnesses, injuries, disabling conditions, or accidents.
Misconception 4: “Medicaid/Medicare will cover my long term care needs.”
Medicare does not pay the largest part of long term care services, which include personal care and custodial care. On the other hand, Medicaid does pay for custodial care and medical care, but only for people with low income and assets.
Misconception 5: “My health insurance covers long term care.”
In general, health insurance covers only very limited and specific types of long term care – even less than Medicare.
Misconception 6: “My family will take care of me.”
By relying on your family for the care that you need, you put them at risk financially, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Misconception 7: “Long term care means going to a nursing home.”
Long term care does not necessarily equate to moving to a nursing home. Depending on the level of care that you need, you can choose to receive care in your own home like the 43% of individuals who chose this option. There are also other options such as adult day care and assisted living facilities.
Misconception 8: “Some illnesses are incurable. Preparing for them is a waste of resources and time.”
Incurable diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, require more careful planning because these involve loss of executive functions. These diseases often take time to progress. You will need to take specific measures to make sure that your wishes are carried out when you can no longer decide for yourself.
Misconception 9: “It is too late to plan. I am retiring soon.”
Average life expectancy in the U.S. did not reach 65 until 50 years ago. But now, the average life expectancy of Americans is at 79.9 years. Life during those years could be comfortable with sufficient planning.