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Who Will Need Long-Term Care?

People of all ages need long-term care. More than 12 million Americans say they need assistance with everyday activities. Of these, about 60 percent are elderly.1

Put the risk into perspective:

  • There is a one-in-1200 risk of having a fire that will cause major damage to your home.2
  • A one-in-240 risk of having an accident that will destroy your car.3
  • A one-in-three risk the average person will spend 2.9 years in a nursing home.4

Ironically, most people insure their cars and their homes but not the cost of a nursing home stay... the risk that's most likely to occur.

You may need long-term care when you are unable to care for yourself because of a prolonged illness or disability. This could include assistance performing basic daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or eating. A cognitive impairment, such as senility or Alzheimer's disease, would require supervision to ensure your protection.

According to the 2007 Cost of Care Survey5, a 2007 semiprivate room daily rate is $180.78 (national average.) Now, consider you family history with regard to conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease, cancer or stroke. Then consider the following chart:

Condition Average Length of Stay Total Cost (assumes semi-private room at $180.78/day or $5,423.40/month
Alzheimer's 96 months $520,646.40
Cancer 36 months $195,242.40
Cardiac 16 months $86,774.40
Diabetes 48 months $260,323.40
Pulmonary 36 months $195,242.40
Stroke 21 months $113,891.40

Keep in mind that rates of nursing homes are growing 4-6% each year.6

  1. A Guide To Long-Term Care Insurance, Health Insurance Association of America, 2003. Issued by the trade association America's Health Insurance Plans.
  2. J. Sandler, D. Newman, CLU, CHFC, "Making the Transition to Long Term Care," LAN, November, 1993, p.11.
  3. Ibid.
  4. "Long-Term Care Insurance: Better Information Critical To Prospective Purchasers," U.S. General Accounting Office, Sept. 13, 2000.
  5. The Cost of Care Survey was commissioned by Genworth Financial and completed by CareScout, a Massachusetts company specializing in elder care provider databases.
  6. Ibid.