Like all insurance, you may never need it, but when you do, you’re glad that you made the investment.

Long-term care insurance is one way to pay for the cost of nursing homes and in-home caregivers.  It was initially introduced as nursing home insurance but now covers the cost of other facilities and caregivers at home, as well.

It’s a fact that our need for care grows the older we get.  Things like bathing and dressing become more challenging.  We might also need care after an illness or major injury, like a stroke, heart attack or broken leg.

No one has a crystal ball, so we cannot know for sure if long-term care insurance is a good bet, but here are some statistics that can help you decide.

  • Our life expectancy past age 65 is about 19 years. The longer we live, the greater the chance that we will need assistance due to chronic conditions.
  • About one-third of people who reach age 65 are expected to enter a nursing home at least once during the course of their life.
  • Approximately 70 percent of people who reach age 65 will require some type of long-term-care at least once in their lifetime.
  • About 11 million Americans of all ages need long-term care, even though only 1.5 million live in nursing homes
  • The average nursing home stay is one year

The HIPAA Act of 1996 provides some income tax advantages for a certain long-term care policies.  Some states also offer tax advantages.  You should consult your tax advisor to see if they make sense for you.

The Caring Corner is written by Lorenzo Mejia and presented by Acorn.

About the Author:

Lorenzo Mejia and his wife, Mary Lynn Ryerson, are the owners of Acorn, a caregiver registry located in Chapel Hill.

They founded Acorn based on their experiences caring for his mom, who suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease.  In 2013, he became a Qualified Dementia Care Specialist.  In 2014, the Alzheimer’s Foundation named him the Dementia Care Professional of the Year in the United States.

Lorenzo is the founder of Dementia Friendly Orange County an effort to make local businesses more accommodating to people with dementia.

Lorenzo speaks often on dementia and the challenges associated with caring for loved ones.  He has been interviewed by ABC News and National Public Radio.  He is an advisor to Orange County’s OC-CARES Dementia Capable Community Project.

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Acorn provides screened and vetted in-home caregivers for clients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS and other similar conditions. Options include 24/7, live-in, weekly, weekend or hourly care. Acorn serves Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, Pittsboro and surrounding areas in Orange, Chatham, Durham and Wake counties.