We have all established long ago that long term care for women in United is especially difficult to deal with. Because of a number of factors that we will later discuss, women find it harder to cope with the challenges of needing care in their own country. So what can we do remain on top?
Last week, we featured Long Term Care Planning Series: Dad’s Guide to Finding Coverage, which talks about the issues that men face when dealing with finding care coverage. We highlighted why it is necessary for fathers and husbands to secure coverage and how it subsequently affects his children and spouse.
For the second part of our Long Term Care Planning Series, ALTCP.org will be focusing on the struggles of women. After all, these very challenges may be the exact ones our mothers are going through right now. Let’s talk about these issues, and let’s find the answers together. Securing long term care may be difficult, but it can be done.
On the one hand, fathers and husbands plan for long term care in hopes of keeping their family protected. On the other hand, mothers and wives ought to plan because of the high chance that they will face these challenges alone. This is not to say that the roles may not interchange—no one can really say how the future will turn out. However, it is now common knowledge that the women live longer than men.
Longer Years and Higher Costs of Care
We see this happen often. She may be a next door neighbor or a close relative, we all know an older lady living without a spouse. Truth be told, she may even be our own mother. Statistics even prove it: compared to the 30% of men, almost 70% of women age 75 and older are widowed divorced, or never married.
Women (3.7 years) also need care longer than men (2.2 years). In fact, according to a study done by AARP, more than 70% of nursing home residents are females, and their average admission age is recorded at 80.
Bear in mind that the median yearly cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home priced at $82,125. With that in mind, it’s difficult to fathom how women will be able to cover the expenses. After all, during that time, their resources are likely to be limited.
The Family Caregiver
Often the burden of providing care falls on the woman’s shoulders. Whether paid or unpaid, the population of long term care providers is overwhelmingly female.
When a family member needs care, women often step up to provide the care that he or she needs. Now, put yourself in her shoes. We all know that women often earn less than men. When they are tasked to become caregivers, they lose a considerable amount of income to make room for the responsibilities. 3 in 5 of family caregivers experience change in their employment situation after taking on the task of caregiving. Some have had to reduce their working hours while a few have had to give up their jobs.
Now, fast-forward to the time when they need long term care for themselves. We know that they need it longer, and this translates to more costs to cover. How can she if her employment situation in the years leading up to long term care experienced a severe blow?
And it is also likely that their resources and assets as husband and wife were used to pay for his care. Because of this, she often looks to her children for support. This then leads to their children become sandwiched between providing care for their mother and supporting their own families.
Planning Ahead: Long Term Care for Women
It is hard to fight against something if you do not know what you are up against. In this case, women will not know what to prepare for if they do not fully understand the situation of long term care in the country.
Once you understand the problem, the next step would be to find a likely solution. For many individuals, they found solace in long term care insurance. One type that would be greatly beneficial for women is the Share Care Policy. As the name applies, couples who have this type of policy get to share a set of benefits by being riders on each other’s plans. For example, if you each have a three-year care plan, then you and your spouse can dip into six year’s worth of combined benefits.
- Before jumping in, be sure to consult a financial expert or insurance agent. Inquire about your options. And if there are unclear concepts, be sure to ask questions.
- Talk to your family members about it. Often, children are next in line as caregivers. In fact, 50% of caregivers are adult children caring for an aging mother. So include them in the planning process.
- Start now. Delaying your long term care plan can significantly alter your future. The longer you wait, the more problems you might end up facing.
Mothers have spent the majority of their lives caring for their families. This is why we must take it upon ourselves to reciprocate that kind of love when they need it. Securing coverage has become a must, but we must be careful about the decisions we make.
What advice can you give mothers and their children in securing long term care coverage? Share your tips in the comments section! We would be glad to hear your thoughts on this particular subject.
Also, we’ll be featuring the importance of long term care for adult children next week for the last part of our Long Term Care Planning Series. See you then!