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Surprising statistics that will make you rethink long-term care

It may be difficult to imagine needing help to complete simple daily tasks like eating, bathing or getting dressed. According to research, though, requiring long-term care services due to an injury or illness is a real possibility for everyone.

To demonstrate, we gathered a few statistics about long-term care that you might find surprising.

In-home nurse assisting elderly man with a walker.

Nearly 70% of us will need long-term care services at some point in our lives.1

Throughout the course of an entire lifetime, it is highly likely that we will experience at least one injury or serious chronic illness that requires long-term care, which means we will need hands-on assistance with everyday living. In fact, six in 10 U.S. adults are currently living with at least one chronic disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease or kidney disease.2

Such conditions will likely necessitate long-term care services at some point. In fact, seven in 10 adults will need some form of long-term care services in their lifetimes from a home health aide, adult daycare or full-service nursing home.1

Women require long-term care services for more time than men.3

Compared to men, women spend twice as many years in a disabled state during their lifetime—up to three years if they live past the age of 80.2 The reason for this may be twofold.

First, women tend to live about five years longer than men in the U.S.,3 which can easily translate to longer periods of time living with one or more chronic diseases that may require care. In fact, more than 70% of nursing home residents are female.3

As a result of their longer lifespans, women tend to be less likely to have a caregiving spouse close by to provide them with care. Therefore, they may be more inclined to obtain services from outside caregivers.

20% of us will need long-term care services for longer than 5 years.1

Some people will never require care at all or may only need it for a short time. However, 1 in 5 people will need care services for more than five years, which may incur significant costs. The monthly median cost for a nursing home is more than $8,600, or about $104,000 each year.4 After five years, the cost can easily exceed $500,000.

Many people choose to "age in place" using in-home care. While this is a common choice for those who are seeking more comfort and lower costs, it can still carry a financial burden. A home health aide has a median cost of $33 per hour,4 which equals more than $75,000 per year and more than $377,000 after five years. That figure compounds when you add costs of medical care, utility bills and day-to-day living expenses.

Home health aide costs4
$33 per hour (median) = $75,000+ each year = $377,000+ after 5 years

Allstate Benefits can help

A common assumption is that retirement savings and Medicare coverage should be enough to cover living expenses and necessities down the road. However, Medicare coverage does not cover the cost of long-term residential care,5 and the unexpected twists and turns of life can introduce unforeseen costs that drain our retirement savings and render them insufficient to pay for the care we need.

Allstate Benefits offers group permanent life insurance with a variety of optional accelerated death benefit for long-term care riders. This coverage provides all the benefits of traditional life insurance. Also, if the insured person is certified as chronically ill and incurs long-term care expenses, as defined, it can provide access to acceleration of the death benefits. These funds can be used to help cover some of the costs of long-term care services.

Some qualifications are required, including certification by a licensed health care practitioner that the insured person needs assistance with two or more daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, eating, using the bathroom and moving around. Certain limitations may apply.

Simple Guide to Understanding LTC Need help understanding long-term care? Check out our white paper!

A Simple Guide to Understanding Long-Term Care (and Paying for It)

1How Much Care Will You Need? | ACL Administration for Community Living (Statistics reflect the likelihood of needing long-term care services for someone turning age 65 today.)
2Chronic Diseases in America | CDC
3Long-Term Care – Important Information For Women (
4Genworth Cost of Care Survey (updated December 2023, based on 44 hours per week at a median cost of $6,292 per month)
5Does Medicare Pay for Assisted Living or Nursing Homes? (

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