Long Term Care Issues Affecting Women

Did you know that more females need extended care than males do? According to the Coalition of Women in Long Term Care (COWL), an advocacy association work…

Did you know that more females need extended care than males do? According to the Coalition of Women in Long Term Care (COWL), an advocacy association working on behalf of women in the continuum of long term care in the United States, women represent 87 percent of the recipients of long-term care. Also, 97 percent of caregivers in nursing homes and other health care facilities are female.

Having said that, women are not only the primary receivers of long term care, but they are also the major providers of it. This is not surprising at all because medical studies show that senior females have a greater chance of suffering from prolonged illness or disability than males.

Long term care is really a women’s issue, and the statistics are enough to support this claim. Below are some of the issues affecting many women today as regards to long-term care.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is one of the factors affecting long term care for women and their susceptibility to illnesses as they grow older. As you all know, women’s life expectancy is longer than men. Women make up 72% of the population – ages 85 years old and above. Because they often outlive their partners, many older women live independently. According to a population data in 1998, about 60% of women with ages 65 years old and older were either widowed, divorced, or had never married, as compared to 25% of older men. In 2000, almost 7% of all women were 75 years old or older.

Low Incomes

As compared to men, women generally have lower incomes. This means that they have don’t have enough funds to meet their needs. Females who are 65 years and above, are twice as prone to be poor as are older males. This makes low-income women doubly vulnerable to access to long term care.

Other Issues

A study conducted by American Association of Retired Person (AARP) also reveals that women are the primary users of long-term care. According to the organization’s survey, 59% of women are not knowledgeable what long term care insurance entails and how they will pay for it. 40% of women, meanwhile, don’t have any idea about the coverage of long term care. Many don’t know that long term care for women doesn’t only pertain to nursing home care, but also a variety of services such as adult home care, assisted living, etc.

Moreover, only a minority of women fully acknowledge the importance of getting long term care insurance. The AARP study reveals that only 23% of women will likely plan their future health and allot their personal savings for LTCi. Many women fail to realize the limitations of coverage provided by Medicare and other private health insurance.