Disability Planning: The Importance of Being Prepared - Part Two

Many Persons Will Face a Long Term Disability

Unfortunately, for many Americans the disability will not be short-lived. According to the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics, over 1.46 million Americans received long term home health care services at any given time in 2007 (the most recent year this information is available). 75% of these patients received skilled care, the highest level of in-home care, and 51% needed help with at least one "activity of daily living" (such as eating, bathing, getting dressed, or the kind of care needed for a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease). The average length of service was more than 300 days, and 69% of in-home patients were 65 years of age or older. Patient age is particularly important as more Americans live past age 65.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 9 million Americans over age 65 will need long term care this year. That number is expected to increase to 12 million by 2020. The Department also estimates that 70% of all persons age 65 or older will need some type of long term care services during their lifetime.

It is imperative that families work with a team of professional advisors (legal, medical and financial) to ensure that, in light of their unique goals and objectives, their planning addresses all aspects of a potential disability.

Our firm is dedicated to helping seniors and their loved ones work through these issues and implement sound legal planning to address them. If we can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We can be reached at (203) 651-5521.