Hofmann: The LTC Basics #3

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services offers insights into Long Term Care:

Consumers may hear many confusing statements regarding the topic of long term care, both published in the public domain and repeated by misinformed individuals. Over the next few weeks, I will be submitting a series of columns containing accurate information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, website http://longtermcare.gov. I encourage you to watch for and read these informative columns.

The LTC Basics #3: 

How much Long Term Care will you need?

The duration and level of long term care will vary from person to person and often change over time. Here are some statistics (all are “on average”) you should consider:

Someone who is 65 today will need some type of long term care services and supports for three years.

Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years.)

One-third of today’s 65 year-olds may never need long term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than five years.

The table below shows that, overall, more people use long term care and services at home (and for longer) than in facilities.

Distribution and duration of long term care services

Type of care

Average number of years people use this type of care

Percent of people who use this type of care (%)

Any Services

3 years


At Home

Unpaid care only

1 year


Paid care

Less than 1 year


Any care at home

2 years


In Facilities

Nursing facilities

1 year


Assisted living

Less than 1 year


Any care in facilities

1 year


Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://longtermcare.gov.

Sue Hofmann is an Agent and Long Term Care Professional (LTCP) at The Jemez Agency, http://www.thejemezagency.com, 2610 Trinity Dr., Los Alamos, and can be reached at sue@thejemezagency.com or 505-662-5181.


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