Don’t Expect You Will Need Long-Term Care? Think Again.

According to an article in Health Affairs, most Americans know little about options for long-term services and supports and underestimate their likely future needs for such assistance. Using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, they examined expectations about future use of long-term services and supports among adults agesåÊ40‰ÛÒ65 and how these expectations varied by current living arrangement. They found that respondents living with minor children were the least likely to expect to need long-term services and supports and to require paid care if the need arose. In contrast, respondents living alone were the most likely to expect that it was ‰ÛÏvery likely‰Û that they would need long-term services and supports and to rely on paid care. That does not surprise me. There is a comfort level that comes with family support. But at some point, if your health deteriorates to a point, family members may not be able to care for you. And that means you and they will need to explore long-term care options. They found a disconnect between expectations of use and likely future reality: 60åÊpercent of respondents believed that they were unlikely to need long-term services and supports in the future, whereas the evidence suggests that nearly 70åÊpercent of older adults will need them at some point. These findings both underscore the need for programs that encourage people to plan for long-term services and supports and indicate that information about living arrangements can be useful in developing and targeting such programs. BINGO! That’s what we constantly stress and try to teach in this blog! So keep reading and tell others.!