Long Term Care is a Women's Issue

 

With women living longer then men it is more likely that women will reach an age where they will need long-term care services without the resources to pay for their care, since women typically also have lower incomes then men. Women also face the issue of being the primary care providers for long-term care services, both formal and informal caregivers.

Women outlive men by an average of 5 years. Women who reach the age of 65 can expect to live an additional 20 years on average and those who reach age 75 are expected to live an additional 13 years on average. More than two-thirds of Americans aged 85 and older are women. As you can see, the need for long-term care services would increase with the advances in women's ages and nearly 70% of nursing home residents are women.

Long-term care services have simply become unaffordable for millions of American women because of their low income. Marital status is a major factor contributing to this - married couples have higher incomes than a single person and almost 70% of women age 75 and older are single because they are either widowed, divorced or never married.

Most long-term care services today are provided in a persons home with receiving care from a friend or family member-known as an informal caregiver. Informal caregivers are more likely women, which many have health problems of their own. 6 out 10 informal caregivers are women.

 

This information came from AARP Public Policy Institute, April 2007