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LTC Bullet: Caregivers Plan for LTC

Wednesday December 16, 1998


A recent survey of female baby boomer caregivers conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) reveals the powerful impact of caregiving on caregivers' expectations for their own long-term care. The survey results demonstrate how caregiving motivates caregivers to plan ahead for their own future needs. Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents expect to purchase LTC insurance.

The following are excerpts from the NAC's survey report entitled, "The Caregiving Boom: Baby Boom Women Giving Care" (1998):

"A vast majority of caregivers, 87% of the respondents, have thought about their future long-term care needs as a result of their caregiving experience.... This may be a hidden benefit of caregiving--it helps motivate consideration of future personal care needs among current caregivers." (p. 20)

"Over one-third of caregivers claim they have taken some specific actions to plan for their own possible future long-term care as a result of their experience caring for someone (37%).... One-third reports obtaining more insurance including health, life, or long-term care policies (36%)." (p. 21)

"While caregiving per se is not sufficient to motivate or create specific areas of consideration for future long-term care needs for the majority of caregivers, it undoubtedly creates a widespread awareness that the global issue of their long-term care needs must be considered." (p. 21)

"Nearly all of the respondents believe that their own future long-term care will be paid for by one of three means--private long-term care insurance that the respondent purchases (34%), savings and investments (31%) or government insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid (25%). The belief, among some respondents, that Medicare or Medicaid will pay for future long-term care may reflect a lack of knowledge about the financial and medical conditions that must be met to qualify for government insurance coverage of long-term care." (p. 23)

"Taken together, these results suggest that caregivers are more realistic in their understanding of the limitations of Medicare and other governmental programs in paying for the typical services needed in long-term care, and understand the likely role that insurance and their own resources will play in funding their own caregiving needs." (pp. 24-25)

The NAC report is especially worthwhile for anyone interested in learning more about the caregiving experience and for those involved in marketing long-term care related products and services. NAC can be reached at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 642, Bethesda, MD 20814. Ph: (301) 718-8444.

Source: "The Caregiving Boom: Baby Boom Women Giving Care," National Alliance for Caregiving, September 1998.