There are many names for this event that can dramatically affect your relationships with others – your parents, children, siblings, and yes, it can and does affect marriages and committed relationships in many ways. Together we will explore the financial side of course, but not stop there. The most common name for this is long-term care, but what is it?
It’s extended chronic care that is generally expected to last longer than three months. Some people need it for physical reasons like help with bathing and dressing after an accident or a stroke, and other people need it for mental reasons like help with a cognitive impairment, like Alzheimer’s. The extent of help needed will determine how it affects the caregiver, which could be you.
You’re probably thinking of long-term care as nursing home care, as that is what most people think. This is a HUGE myth, because only about 15% of all long-term care is in a nursing home. Even when we look at the type of care that requires enough help to generate a benefit from long-term care insurance, less than 30% happens in a nursing home.* Most long-term care takes place at home with family members, some in adult day care which works just like child day care; and some are able to be cared for in the beautiful assisted living facilities that are being built so rapidly.
*Kaye, H. Stephen, Charlene Harrington, and Mitchell P. LaPlante. “Long-Term Care: Who Gets It, Who Provides It, Who Pays, and How Much?” Health Affairs, January 2010 29:1, p. 13.