When we dream of retirement, we often picture golf courses, playing with grandchildren, or sunning on a beach. And for the most part, that’s what retirement will bring.

Yet, as we age, our chances of dealing with a chronic health problem or disability increases. For some of us, it may get to the point where we can no longer bathe or feed ourselves, or move unassisted from a bed to a chair. Put simply, some of us will need help in living our daily lives.

But what are the chances that you’ll need long term care? There are several statistics on this subject, with no definitive answer. However, a recent report produced by the Council on Aging of Ottawa, provides these figures:

  • For people over 65, 43% will, at some point in their remaining years, need long term care.
  • This means that approximately 4 out of 10 people over 65 will spend an average of 3 to 4 years in a nursing home or long term care facility, while 1 in 5 will stay more than 5 years.
  • For a couple over age 65, there is a 2 out of 3 chance that one spouse will need long term care at some point.

Patty Randall, of www.longertermcarecanada.com, provides another thought-provoking statistic: your chances of needing long term care are far greater than the chance of your home burning down, or of you facing a catastrophic car crash. And while nearly everyone has insurance for their car and house, how many of us have insurance for long term care?

In spite of these numbers, 90% of care in Canada is provided by family members as long as their loved one is still living at home. This can place an enormous burden on your family, from time pressures to managing finances.

It’s difficult to put long term care in a “box” because there are so many types of policies. A policy may cover ‘facility care’, ‘home care’, or both. Policies may provide benefits from 1 to 5 years, or for a lifetime. To top it off, policies pay differently, too. Some provide a lump sum payment once a month for a specified time period. Others pay a weekly income. Still, others reimburse your care giver when they submit receipts for care costs.

Depending on your policy, you may be able to live at home for a longer time. Family members can pay for housekeeping, nursing, or other services. You will have the care you need, and the burden will be eased for your loved ones.

You can be sure of dignified care, without burdening your family

It’s important to talk about long term care coverage, sooner rather than later, to see what works best for you. For example, you may be able to use other options, such as a living trust instead of insurance.

With our clients, we usually begin by asking questions such as:

  • Do you want to say at home for as long as possible?
  • What help can your family members realistically provide?
  • What type of care would you like to receive?

From there, we explore options. If long term care insurance is the best option for you, we search the market to find viable policies. Then, we’ll help you chose a policy customized for your needs and budget. Hopefully, it will be a policy that you’ll never need to use, but it will always be there for you, just in case.

Don’t leave your long term care until it’s too late. Contact us today to get the coverage that works best for you.