Long-Term Care Worries California Residents, Study Says

Few in California have escaped the political news as the presidential election moves closer. It seems as though health care issues, senior citizen financial issues, Medicare and the economy are blending together in a perfect storm of anxiety and concern.

Recently a study has revealed something on which the Republicans, Democrats and Independents among us seem to agree upon. A recent study reveals that in California, we’re nearly all worried about long-term care.

A study was conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy and Research. Those polled were described as age 40 and older. Of those polled, 67 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents and 63 percent of Republicans stated that they were worried about paying for long-term health care.

Among the survey results it was revealed that:

  • Seventy-three percent say they can’t afford senior care.
  • Nearly half of those surveyed thought they would need long-term care for someone in their family within the next five years.
  • Nearly half indicated they cannot afford a single month of nursing home care ($6,800 approximately).

These issues are probably not unique to California, although the numbers from our state can be alarming. The population of elderly (older than 65) is expected to double and reach 8 million within the next 20 years. The largest increase may be for those 75 years old and older.

Paying for and planning for long-term health care is an excellent reason to engage in well-thought-out estate planning with financial and legal experts. There is an old saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. Apparently the survey respondents are feeling the pressure and would agree with that statement.

Source: Times-Herald, “Senior long-term care survey: Many need it, few can afford it,” Sarah Rohrs, Sept. 19, 2012