New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

  1. Lose weight
  2. Clean the garage
  3. Talk about long term care

Okay, the first two are on a lot of people’s lists. But the third one ought to be.

As our population ages, medical science advances, and life expectancy increases, the need for long term health care becomes more and more widespread. It’s not just nursing homes – it’s expanded to in-home caregiving, assisted living, adult day care, and many other scenarios to help aging Americans live a comfortable and acceptable life in their late stages.

But no one wants to talk about it.

Many of us are uncomfortable with mortality. We don’t want to deal with the inevitable. It’s hard to bring up in conversation with our spouses, siblings or parents. But here’s why you should make it a point to do so.

Long term care is likely. It is estimated that about 70% of seniors will require some form of long term care before the end of their lives. Women are more likely than men to need LTC, as they live longer on average and experience a higher incidence of certain health issues.

Long term care is expensive. It can cost hundreds of dollars a day, thousands a month, and tens of thousands over years. It can deplete savings accounts and retirement funds. It can even cost people their homes.

Long term care is difficult. It’s tough on the patient, it’s tough on the caregivers, it’s tough on the family. It’s smart to have a game plan in place beforehand, or at minimum to have talked over the possibilities.

Anything that is likely, expensive, and difficult is something that you should prepare for. One way to prepare for long term care is to get insurance for it. Long term care insurance covers treatment and expenses that traditional insurance does not. Learn how LTCI works in your state, whether you qualify, and the cost. If you or your parents are nearing a 55th birthday, it’s an ideal time to have a conversation about your long term care plans.

Resolve to do so.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.