Long-Term Care Awareness Month offers timely opportunity for families to plan ahead for the costs of caregiving
RADNOR, Pa., Nov. 18, 2021 – The cost of caregiving and its impact on relationships, careers and the emotional and financial well-being of caregivers, has been brought to the forefront throughout the pandemic, and for good reason. Nearly half of all Americans surveyed are or will soon be caregivers with seven in 10 caregivers feeling overwhelmed at least several days in the past three months, according to a recent study from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC).
“Caregiving can be incredibly rewarding, but caregivers also need support,” said Heather Deichler, senior vice president of MoneyGuard Business Management at Lincoln Financial Group. “One of the best ways we can support them is by helping to guide them in how to plan for the impacts of a long-term care event.”
Talk About It
Most Americans (96%) surveyed say it’s important for families to discuss long-term care preferences. Financial professionals agree — 98% surveyed say it is important for families to talk about those preferences, and to do so before that care is needed. But those critically important conversations aren’t happening — 82% of consumers surveyed say they wish they talked more about long-term care plans and options before they’re needed.
A great place to start is having a dialogue with family members about how and where they would like to be cared for if the need arose. While these discussions may feel uncomfortable at first, broaching this topic before care is needed can help prevent the conflict or disagreement that two out of five families have reported experiencing as a result of a long-term care event.
Understand The Options
Long-term care expenses are viewed by those polled as the second biggest threat to retirees’ savings, after medical and healthcare costs. Yet fewer than one in five Americans have planned for their own long-term care, despite there being more options available than ever.
Costs for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and home health aides have all increased over the last three years, and can vary significantly depending on the level of care offered, the region of the country and the facility itself. As families start conversations about which options might be feasible for them, Lincoln Financial’s What Care Costs website can help give an idea of the care costs someone can expect (enter code ‘Lincoln’ in upper right corner).
Make A Plan
Creating a long-term care plan is as important for the caregiver as it is for the person being cared for — nearly 70% of caregivers polled are concerned about the effect on short and long-term finances. It can also help reduce stress, as 93% of people surveyed agree that planning ahead would make transitions to long-term care less stressful and 94% believe a long-term care plan would make things easier on adult children. And a good plan creates the opportunity for potential caregivers to seek out resources to support the biggest challenges family members who provide long-term care may face — the emotional toll and the time it takes to provide the care.
“Long-term care comes in many different forms, from family caregivers to assisted living facilities, and the costs for those can vary greatly,” said Bill Nash, senior vice president, MoneyGuard Distribution at Lincoln Financial Distributors. “As Lincoln helps to empower people to achieve financial security, we hope families will take this opportunity to prepare for future long-term care issues to set themselves up for financial and emotional success.”