Parents often laugh off the naive pronouncements of their young children…
When I grow up, I’ll never get married.
When I grow up, I’ll never have kids.
As heartfelt as those claims may be at the time, parents know that, in reality, there is a good chance their youngsters will be married, have children, and do a number of other things that they rejected in youth. The future has a way of not always following our best laid plans.
But is it not only young children who frequently make mistakes about what is likely to happen in their future. Adults make the same errors over and over. Consider the need for long-term care. If you ask most New York residents aged anywhere from thirty to sixty, they will likely claim that their risk of long-term care is low. Sure, everyone expects some decline in activity and ability with age, but most assume that they can make due without specialized care. The need for at-home aides, nurses, or a move into a nursing home are for “other people,” not us.
But the statistics say otherwise. Most studies on the subject project that anywhere from 70-75% of residents over sixty five years old will use some form of long-term care in their lives. In other words, it is far more likely that you will need some help down the road than that you will not. The risk is even higher for certain individuals who are even more likely than others to need this support. That includes women (who are more likely to outlive their spouse), those with disabilities, residents with high blood pressure, and those who live alone.
A story last week from Saratoga Today discussed this subject and issued a clarion call to New York residents to be sensible about their likely need for long-term care. It was noted that, by far, the best way to plan ahead is by purchased long-term care insurance. As the name implies, this is a policy which provides a safety net of support no matter what the future holds. By paying monthly payments while healthy, the plan is there in the event of injury or illness that leads to any form of long-term care need–from at-home support to a stay in a facility.