Long Term Care Insurance for Women and What They Need to Know
There are many things that differ when it comes to long term care for women, as opposed to men. Here are some facts to consider.
- Women make up 72% of the population over age 85
- Women make up 75% of nursing home residents
- On average, women stay in nursing homes twice as long as men
- As they grow older, women are more likely than men to live alone, without a spouse or other family member to provide home care. In 1998, nearly 60% of women age sixty-five and older were either widowed, divorced or had never married, compared to 25 percent of older men.
- 75% of unpaid family caregivers are women
- 41% of women who had been caretakers had been forced to quit their jobs or take a leave of absence
- Among working caregivers who had to make a work adjustment due to caregiving responsibilities, one study estimates a median of $240,000 in lost wages over a lifetime
- Care giving increases poverty among women later in life.
- Women who provide care for an ill or disabled spouse are almost six times as likely to suffer depressive symptoms as were those with no care giving responsibilities
What it boils down to is women look after men, then look after themselves. They disproportionately bear the physical, emotional and financial cost of Long Term Care. Although there is a significant risk of financial disaster for men, the predominent people at risk of losing the assets are women - single, elderly women.
Sadly, almost half of women report having done no Long Term Care planning for themselves and their family. If this sounds familiar, its time to take charge. For women, planning early for Long Term Care means protecting not just your financial security, but your health.
Special Issues Women Should Consider When Buying Long Term Care Insurance
- The temptation is always for married couples to purchase the same coverage. Women however might consider buying policies with longer benefit periods than their husbands, as statistically, they're likely to need care longer.
- Since many women find themselves responsible for the caregiving of parents, often while simultaneously working and caring for children, it makes sense to be sure your family members also have coverage.
- Make sure that any policy you purchase also covers home care and alternative care facilities as you are less likely to have family members available to care for you.