Women and long term care are connected in ways more than you think. In fact, long term care is a far more pressing issue for women than it is for men. Women should be more focused and willing to plan for long term care because they’re the ones who need it most. Why? Quite a handful of reasons are behind it.
Women are expected to live longer than men. A woman’s life expectancy is 80.5 years, while for a man it is 75.9 years, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Relatively, the expected life span of women is higher by 5 years compared to men. Assuming that a woman is married and her spouse had lived up to the number of years expected of a man, she will be widowed for 5 years. In that period, she would be living by herself with a frail health. During this time of old age and living alone, a sound long term care plan or insurance can serve as her cushion. That is, if she has one. Furthermore, GBD 2010 also found that women are expected to live 11 unhealthy years while as for men, it’s a mere 9.7 years. These figures show that not only women have higher longevity, they also have a higher need for long term care.
Women, generally are caregivers. They are responsible for providing care for their parents, husbands and loved ones. 75% percent of people who administer care at home are women, typically daughters. Women are capable to give high levels of care, that’s why they are considered as the nation’s caregivers.
Since women are busy taking care of others and has a higher chance of being left behind because of their higher life expectancy, who then will be responsible to take care of them? Indeed, the issue about women and long term care should not be taken lightly.
Poverty can also be a predicament for elderly women. Since women are likely to be widowed, they are more susceptible to this, especially if they have limited income and resources. About 22% of widowed women are currently living in poverty
Evidently, women should take long term care planning more seriously. In the past years, gender was not a basis when it comes to long term care insurance rates. Earlier this year, however, Genworth, one of the major long term care insurance providers, has switched from unisex to gender-based pricing in April. Other insurance providers are anticipated to take the same road as Genworth’s when it comes to their rates. This is because women accounted for 70-80% of long term care insurance claims. 75% of assisted living residents are women while 66% of those receiving home care, may it be from a professional or not are also women. Furthermore, 60% of people at the age of 75 who will need assistance in performing ADL are women. Women, undoubtedly, require a wider range of long term care.
The issue with women and long term care is something that needs to be addressed. Though women have their hands full already, they shouldn’t neglect planning for long term care. There’s no better time to start thinking about getting covered than now. Know the possible strategies you can take, shop around for long term care insurance and start securing the years ahead of you.