Q: I’m targeting baby boomers for my LTCI sales, and I’m realizing that caregiving is an important issue for this group. Can you provide some facts to help convince these prospects of the LTC need using this hot button?
A: Caregiving is a very relevant topic for baby boomers. It is the one issue that we as Americans have in common. Virtually all of us will be caregivers at some point — if not hands-on, then possibly financially, psychologically or
Rosalynn Carter, the former First Lady, put it so well when she said: “There are only four kinds of people in this world … those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”
Facts and stats
These can help convince prospects that LTC insurance will help solve the caregiving issues they will eventually face — either for a spouse or a parent:
* The typical family caregiver is a 46-year-old woman caring for her widowed mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed. 1
* She spends more than 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother. 1
* Approximately 60 percent of family caregivers are women. 1
* The average length of caregiving is 4.3 years. 1
* Thirty percent of family caregivers caring for seniors are themselves aged 65 or over; another 15 percent are between the ages of 45 to 54. 2
* The caregiver time commitment can be substantial. The number of hours per week that family caregivers spend assisting a sick/disabled relative is:
- More than 40 hours- — 29 percent;
- 11 to 40 hours — 27 percent,
- 5 to 10 hours — 22 percent. 3
* Caregivers are three times more likely to get sick; this risk does not end when the person they are caring for dies. 4
* Family caregivers experiencing extreme stress have been shown to age prematurely. This level of stress can take as much as 10 years off a family caregiver’s life. 5
1. “Caregiving in the U.S.,” National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The Characteristics of Long-term Care Users.” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2001.
3. “Women and Health Care: A National Profile,” Kaiser Family Foundation, July 2005.
4. NBC Nightly News, July, 2003
5. Elissa S. Epel, Dept. of Psychiatry, UCSF, et al, from the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” Dec. 7, 2004, Vol. 101, No. 49.