If you’ve been selling long-term care insurance for very long, you’ve likely heard all the reasons people give for putting off buying it: “I doubt I’ll ever be in a nursing home.” “Nobody in my family has ever needed long-term care.” Whatever the reasons given, it seems to be part of human nature to believe that bad things only happen to other people.
But statistics don’t lie.
Worldwide, 13 percent of people over the age of 60 require long-term care according to the recently released World Alzheimer Report 2013. That’s 101 million people, and about half suffer from dementia, including 80 percent of seniors currently in nursing homes.
And the crisis is growing. The report notes that the number of elderly requiring long-term care due to dementia or other health concerns will almost triple by 2050, to 277 million dependents.
A generational healthcare challenge
As our population ages, the burden on caregivers and economies continues to grow. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that the global cost of treating dementia is $604 billion, with $200 billion spent in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, the cost is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2050.
Those are staggering numbers, and these trends are creating one of the greatest healthcare challenges facing our generation: how to improve dementia care and support.
Why LTC insurance and Alzheimer’s should go hand-in-hand
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are the leading causes of long-term care needs, and the growing number of Alzheimer’s sufferers is a primary reason people should consider long-term care insurance.
It’s an unforgiving disease. The average life expectancy for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is ten years, and those years are always the most challenging for the patient and their family. And since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that worsens over the years, the patient needs increasing care over the years, either at home or in an outside facility.
That can quickly drain bank accounts.
The annual cost of a nursing home for a person with dementia averages $42,000 and can easily top $70,000 in many places. Having a long-term care Insurance policy can play an important role in ensuring that quality care is given to the patient by providing the funds to cover the expenses. LTC insurance also gives the policyholder or his or her family more choices and control over the long-term care services available depending on their social and financial needs.
Making the “family burden” case for LTC insurance
Like anyone else, your clients and prospects likely don’t want to face the reality that they will eventually become frail and unable to care for themselves. When it comes to our own personal situations, we’re experts at ignoring statistics.
But most people still care about the burdens that would be placed on their loved ones if one of these unfortunate events occurred. Family caregivers can become emotionally, physically, and financially drained after providing continuous care and supervision for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Besides the huge financial hardships, family caregivers often report high levels of depression, drug and alcohol use, time away from work and friends, and overall deterioration of their physical well-being.
No one wants their loved ones to experience these kinds of hardships. Help your prospects recognize the serious burden caring for them will place on their loved ones, and how LTC insurance can ease that burden, protect their assets, and prevent the painful consequences of being unprepared. To learn more about how to add LTCI to your sales repertoire, download our LTCI Broker Kit today.