Saturday, January 9, 2016

Understanding the Risk Factors of Long Term Care

Long term care involves a wide range of services for people who need help in performing basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, eating, moving around, toileting and bathing. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 7 in 10 of those who survive to the age of 65 will need these services. No one can accurately predict who needs long term care but the following factors increase the risks:

1. Age

Long term care is not only for older Americans; younger people may also become recipients of such kind of care. However, the risk of losing the ability to perform ADL is greater among older people. As most would know, our cognitive and physical ability to do things deteriorate as we age.

2. Gender

The risks of acquiring a condition that requires long term care is higher among women than among men. In fact, about two-thirds of long term care recipients are women, and they account for at least 65% of all new long term care insurance claims. This is why most of the major LTCI providers are planning to increase premiums for policies sold to women beginning the 2nd quarter of 2013.

3. Family History

The risks are also higher among people who have family history of chronic or debilitating diseases. This is because some diseases that can incapacitate a person like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are hereditary in nature.

4. Living Condition

People who live alone are also more prone to needing long term care services. And when they need it, it is very likely that they will have to receive it in long term care facilities such as nursing homes or assisted living because they don’t have a family whom they can rely for care.

5. Lifestyle

People who have vices, poor eating and exercise habits have increased risks of needing long term care.

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