Those who act as caregivers are much more aware of how to address their own long-term care (LTC) needs. Yet many Americans remain uncertain over how to handle their LTC requirements if the situation ever arose. Those somewhat contradictory findings came to light in a recent online survey conducted by Northwestern Mutual and Harris Interactive.
In early October, roughly 2,000 adults age 18 or older were polled. More than 300 were identified as caregivers. Of those caregivers, 69 percent said they had made arrangements to tackle their own LTC demands, and only 22 percent stated they were unsure of their future LTC plans.
However, the study found that 41 percent of Americans are either unsure of how they would cope with a LTC event or do not envision making plans to manage such a possibility.
More awareness at younger ages
When those between the ages of 18 and 34 were questioned, their responses indicated a growing awareness of the need for long-term care plans. More than one-third in that age group said they are likely to save for future LTC costs and did not expect to be covered by some type of insurance compared to 52 percent of those over age 55.
Further, those in that age group who characterized themselves as caregivers reported there is a financial consequence for providing care; specifically, 47 percent experienced changes to their daily budget and 15 percent said they had dipped into their own retirement plans to help offset the cost of furnishing LTC.
“We’re seeing awareness of long-term care issues at earlier and earlier ages,” noted Steve Sperka, VP of long-term care for Northwestern, in a statement. “Younger people are more aware today of the effects that long-term care issues could have on their lives, especially if they find themselves in a caregiving role. As a result, they’re taking a more proactive approach to addressing and planning for their own future needs.”