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Long-term care refers to the services you need when you are no longer able to care for yourself and need assistance. Your need for these services may result from an illness, injury, gradual frailty, loss of functional capacity, or a cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease. Long-term care services range from assistance with certain day-to-day activities to more specialized help, such as nursing care or therapy services.
The effect of long-term care can be felt financially and emotionally by both you and your family:
In addition to age and disability, there are other factors that can affect the need for long-term care:
Women are more likely to need long-term care services than men. One reason may be their longer life expectancy; age age 90 and over, women outnumber men by nearly three to one. And as of 2005, 66% of nursing home residents were women; 34 percent were men. Also, women develop chronic diseases, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, more often than men. These diseases limit the ability to walk, get in and out of a chair, and to do other tasks of daily life. Men are more likely to have acute health eisodes that lead to earlier and quicker death, and shorten the length of time a man is likely to need long-term care. However, when thinking about long-term care, you should remember that your own situation may be different than that of general statistics.
Cognitive impairments caused by Alzheimer's disease, strokes, or other conditions often lead to the need for long-term care. People with these disorders go into nursing homes more frequently than those who are physically impaired. Advanced age is one risk factor for Alzheimer's with half of those over age 85 affected by the disease. Some families may have a genetic disposition toward Alzheimer's disease, stroke, or other mentally disabling conditions and be at higher risk of needing care. Four and one half million men and women had Alzheimr's disease in 2004, more than double the number in 1980.
To learn more about applying for a Long-Term Care policy, please contact Insurance by Allied Brokers for a free consultation. Don't wait until an acute injury occurs before you begin to consider the financial impact of long-term care costs without insurance.
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