Statistics from the U.S. Department of Aging, the Census Bureau, the healthcare sector, and the insurance industry indicate that:
- 43% of all people over the age of 65 will be admitted to a nursing home at some time in their lives;
over 40% of Americans receiving long-term care today are under 65 years old;
- Alzheimer’s disease affects 47% of all people over age 85: the average expense for care of an Alzheimer’s patient will vary greatly based on how much family support and help there is;
- 50% of all seniors over the age of 85 will require some form of assistance with activities of daily living; and the average stay in a nursing home will once again vary depending on the individual circumstances.
For some lucky ones it is brief and for others it may be many, many years.
Twelve percent of those admitted to a nursing facility stay for 5 years or longer and many have received other forms of care prior to the nursing care. Generally, people receive other means of care before going to a nursing facility.
There are still limited statistics for the large number of people who have been cared for at home by spouses, adult children, or friends.
A recent study indicates that caregiving directly affects one out of four American households. Women have a much greater risk of needing care; and the majority of all nursing home residents over age 70 are females.
These are but a few of the many statistics pointing to the fact that the potential need for long-term care is highly probable as we continue to live longer lives.
Despite all the statistics, most of us don’t want to believe that it can happen to us.
We all know of people who have died suddenly without ever being sick. We also know of people who have lived in nursing homes for several years and became impoverished because of an extended illness.
We all hope and pray that modern medical technology will develop cures and effective treatments for medical conditions that we struggle with today.
As you read this right now, significant research and advances are being made. The bottom line is that we have no way of predicting what the future holds for any one of us.
What we do know is that the risks are real and the costs are high.