Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Costs of Informal Care


Many people think they will be covered by Medicare and Medicaid for long-term care expenses, or that they will be among the 30% who won’t experience a long-term care event. They believe their savings or family members will take care of them. However, Medicare will only cover a certain percentage of a care event, and the cost of care will eat away at a person’s savings [1] due to the increasing cost of care year after year.

What the majority of clients don’t think about is the informal care that occurs when they have a long-term care event.

When they think about long-term care, they think skilled nursing, assisted living, nursing home, home health care, etc. Informal care involves the more day-by-day tasks that all of a sudden can’t happen without the assistance of someone else. Examples include help with errands, driving to doctor’s visits, laundry, cooking meals, and house upkeep.

The average amount of time a person will spend per week taking care of a loved one is 24 hours. 60% of caregivers are female with an average age of 49.[2] 24 hours a week can be a lot to handle, especially when a person has a family of their own, a full- or part-time job, and other social activities. Also, many children don’t live near their parents and that could add 5 to 10 hours a week driving to take care of Mom or Dad.

Now think about your ideal retirement. Does it include traveling with a significant other, coaching your kid’s sports team, or following your side passion? How does taking care of your sick loved one who just became ill and can’t live alone sound as a retirement gift? People will do this based on their love for their family member, but it could also feel like a massive burden they didn’t expect during their “play years” of life. 49-year-olds don’t have the luxury of being retired and having time to do these tasks. It adds a lot of stress in their life and can lead to other health concerns.

The mental health of the caregiver needs to be considered when a long-term care event occurs. The chances of someone experiencing depression or anxiety doubles when they care for a parent. They begin to worry so much about their parent that they forget to take care of themselves. They also stress about the financials of the long-term care event because, on average, a caregiver could lose an estimated $325,000 of wages and lost working hours.[3]

Something you can ask your clients is: “Do you know your plan to cover the cost of care for you or a loved one?” Use this as a stepping stone to create a conversation with someone who recently had a long-term care event happen in their life for a parent, relative, or loved one.

If any of these things seem relevant to the business that you’re doing and you’d like to add more value to the relationship with your clients, give us a call to get personalized case design, concept pieces, resources, and tools to bring to your next appointment. We are available to run through different types of training modules when it’s most convenient for you. Call us at 800.321.3924 to schedule a consultation or training appointment today.

[1] “Help protect your family from the impact of long-term care expenses.” Lincoln Financial Group. Print. Dec 2015. [MGR-INFO-FLI004]
[2] “She has given you so much. Now it’s your turn to give back.” Lincoln Financial Group. Print. May 2016. [MGR-INFO-FLI006]
[3] See note 1

Designed for Financial Professionals.