Term Care Risk
Marlene S. Stum, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
If I need long term care, it's likely to be nursing
Most people will never be in a nursing home.
About 80% of the long term care population live
in their homes and other community based settings
(US Senate, Special Committee on Aging, 2001).
Of the more than 12 million people in the US
who need long term care assistance, only 2.4
million live in institutions. Most people who
need long term care receive care in their own
home provided by unpaid family caregivers. Individuals
are most likely to need help with "activities
of daily living" such as eating, bathing,
dressing, walking, toileting, or taking medications.
Long term care can include a wide variety of
medical, personal, and social services provided
in a home, the community, housing with services,
or in skilled nursing facilities.
Myth: There is less risk
associated with long term care than with other
Some estimate that the actual risk of needing
long term care (either in the home or in a nursing
home) is 50%. This risk is significantly greater
that the risk associated with other life events.
For example, insurance professionals (Kesy,
2000) cite the following probabilities for other
of losing a home to a fire is 1 in 1,200
of having a car accident is 1 in 240
of a hospital stay costing $30,000 is 1 in 15