More than 1 in 5 adults—a total of 53 million adult Americans—are unpaid family caregivers, according to a 2020 report from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving. This type of care is provided by family or friends rather than by paid caregivers. While some aspects of caregiving may be rewarding, caregivers often experience a myriad of mental, physical, social, and financial stressors.
Long-term care insurance (LTCi) can help ease the financial pressure involved in taking care of a loved one at home. Eileen Dunn from Associates of Clifton Park shares one example of how LTCi can help reduce some of the stress that caregivers may bear.
Eileen says, “I received a call from an attorney needing help with an elderly couple. When I visited for the home care assessment, I found the husband was in poor condition. He had serious back issues and had been in bed for most of the last four months. The wife had been providing all his care including helping him into the shower and dressing him. She also did all the shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. She was getting run down and knew she needed assistance.
“They have three children but they are unable to help as one lives in France, one in California, and one is a long-distance truck driver.
“The plan of care was to have an aide come in three times a week to help him shower and help her with household chores. She was concerned about how much it would cost and was reluctant to accept help. I asked if they had long-term care insurance. She said they did and when I explained that the insurance will cover this type of care, I immediately saw the relief in her face. She said, ‘I thought he needed to be much worse off before the insurance would pay.’
As we were getting this plan in place, I received a call. The wife had fallen and hurt her leg, leaving her unable to care for her husband. They now needed to increase the amount of care required. But they were very willing to accept any help they could get because it was covered.
“I have had so many clients that are not willing to get the help they need because they are afraid of spending their money. Those with insurance accept the help and this significantly reduces the stress on the primary caregiver.”
Keep in mind that ordinary health insurance policies and Medicare usually do not pay for long-term care expenses. Medicaid covers some long-term care costs, such as nursing home care and limited in-home care services, but only for a person who meets income and asset limits as well as medical criteria (Family Caregiver Alliance).
LTCi policies can be tailored to cover varying circumstances. Explore your options with Eileen. Sign up for a free consultation (opens in Calendly) to explore your long-term care needs or call 1-800-893-1621.