Long-term care insurance: understanding the process and the product

In our last column, we gave an overview of long-term care insurance and the reasons it’s so essential for those older than age 50.

The length of time that long-term care insurance functions is also an important component of understanding the process and the product.

Long-term careis normally defined as needing assistance with at least two of six Activities of Daily Living. These include bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, transferring (moving on or off a bed or chair) and eating. An additional definition that evokes both fear and distress is the possibility of suffering from a cognitive disorder that requires substantial supervision for the individual’s safety. This might include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other forms of dementia.

Long-term care insurance is – for most people – the logical and most effective way to protect a person’s individuality, income and savings, and can qualify you for favorable tax treatment.

The best policies will cover all levels of care: nursing home care, home care, assisted living facilities, and alternative plans of care. Each individual will need their own level of protection and complexity based on their health and diagnosis. It’s also imperative that when exploring long-term care coverage that you become familiar with how long the policy will last, the elimination period, whether there’s inflation protection and various other critical components of such a contract.

Although no older adult wants to think about the possibility of needing long-term care, the idea of relying on a child or friend to help with such issues as toileting or dressing is a very real concern. Without the help of some type of insurance, they’re putting their loved ones in an extremely uncomfortable situation.

As we mentioned in the previous article, every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65 and the number of older adults will more than double over the next several decades to represent over 20 percent of the country’s population by 2050. More than half of the adults turning 65 today will eventually require long-term assistance with daily activities such as eating, dressing and bathing.

If you’re like most people, you absolutely know someone who has needed long-term care services. Remember, if you don’t have a plan for aging, that’s your plan.

Find Carney-Cargill, Inc. at 600 Ericksen Ave. NE, Suite 320, Bainbridge Island. For more information, call 206-842-8987 or visit carneycargill.com.

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