Should Pay for Long Term Care in Your Family?
S. Stum, Ph.D. & Claire Althoff, Family Social
opinions and beliefs about who should pay for
long term care are normal and should be expected.
Do you know what your parents, in-laws, a spouse/partner,
or adult children think about responsibility for
long term care? If not, take time to learn if
you agree or disagree. Most long term care costs
today are paid for from three primary sources.
These sources are personal resources, private
insurance, and government options. Your beliefs
about responsibility for long term care financing
should influence what combination of these three
financing options you select.
Current income and life savings of elders and
family members are one source of payment for long
term care costs. Income from elders may include
Social Security, pensions, savings, and income
from trusts and annuities. While children may
choose to contribute, they are not required by
law to do so. Families may also choose to sell
their home or do a reverse mortgage to tap into
the equity they have accumulated.
personal resource, unpaid caregiving, actually
covers 75% of all long term care needs. Working
caregivers provide an average of 22 hours per
week of unpaid care. At times, caregiving responsibilities
last as long as 8-10 years. Working caregivers
lose an average of $650,000 in lost wages, lost
Social Security contributions, and lost pension