Dementia affects almost 50 million people worldwide, with a new case of dementia diagnosed every 3 seconds. More than 6 million Americans suffer from degenerative brain disease in the form of Alzheimer’s. Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency and the sixth leading cause of death among the elderly. Dementia kills more people each year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. This makes planning for long-term care essential in the world today.
The cost of Alzheimer’s and dementia
With an estimated cost of $355 billion to be spent by the end of 2021, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are a costly crisis for long-term care. Over 11 million Americans currently provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In 2019, family members and other unpaid caregivers provided an estimated 18.6 billion hours of care.
A growing aging population
The 65-and-older population grew by over a third (34.2% or 13,787,044) over the past decade. And by 2030, all baby boomers will reach 70 years old. With advancing age comes an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Exceptional memory care housing options will become more necessary than before. Finding quality care and maintaining the health of our seniors is a growing problem facing society.
How to prepare for long-term care
It’s essential to start planning for long-term care now. Here are some tips to get started to help ensure you’re on the right path:
- Gauge your likelihood of needing care. On average, women will need 3.7 years of care, while males will need an average of 2.2 years.
- Understand the costs of long-term care. Total payments in 2020 for health care, long-term care, and hospice services for people age 65 and older with dementia is estimated to be $305 billion. The cost of nursing-home care in a private room has passed the $100,000/year mark, and in major urban areas, the cost of care runs even higher.
- Note that it is essential to consider the acuity of care you may need. Living in a skilled nursing facility may be more expensive than a senior living facility or be more costly than utilizing home health care.
- Create a long-term care fund or purchase long-term care insurance: If self-funding your potential transition into long-term care is the best option for you, it is vital to start an LTC fund as soon as possible or consider purchasing long-term care insurance.
- Understanding the realities of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in America and the importance of planning for long-term care is an essential aspect of financial planning. Our office can assist you with planning for your future and long-term care. Contact us today.
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