The Impact of Chronic Illness Care

 People want freedom in retirement, though 70% will need care

May 20, 2014 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time -NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Family care has become even more important as fewer and fewer people are cared for in nursing homes, according to The 5 Ws of Chronic Illness Care, a white paper released today by Prudential Individual Life Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU). The report, written by Dr. Bob Pokorski, vice president & medical director, Prudential Individual Life Insurance, explores how chronic illnesses affect individuals and their families who not only provide most of the care, but also pay for it as well.

Seven-in-10 people who are age 65 and older will need chronic illness care later in life, according to 2013 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data. “No one can be certain of their care needs in the future. What we do know, however, is that people want the freedom, choice and control to be cared for as they think best at the time,” says Pokorski. “This means choosing caregiving and financial strategies that maximize flexibility and allow us to pivot to different options depending on future needs.”

The 5 Ws of Chronic Illness Care highlights major trends in chronic illness care for Americans age 65 and older. It takes an in depth look at:

  • 1. Who will need chronic illness care?
  • 2. Why will chronic illness care be needed?
  • 3. Where will chronic illness care be provided?
  • 4. When will chronic illness care be needed?
  • 5. What duration of chronic illness care will be needed?
No one wants to think about being disabled during retirement. We imagine it will happen to ‘other people’. But the reality is much different

Historically, chronic illness care was generally needed for short periods of time because people didn’t survive long after developing a serious illness, according to the report. Families were larger, with an abundance of caregivers, mainly women. But much has changed over the last several decades. Medical care has improved, people are living longer, and chronic illness care at home might last for many years. Families, the backbone of the health care system for the elderly, are smaller and often spread across the country.

“No one wants to think about being disabled during retirement. We imagine it will happen to ‘other people’. But the reality is much different,” notes Pokorski. “Understanding the need for chronic illness care and the financial options that allow consumers to plan for and manage their care is vital to maintaining independence as we age.”

A copy of The 5 Ws of Chronic Illness Care can be accessed at




Life insurance is issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates. All are Prudential Financial companies located in Newark, NJ.

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