Who needs long-term care?
Two out of every five Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Seniors are the fastest growing segment of population and the heaviest users of long-term health care services. California has 4.5 million people over the age of 65. This number is expected to increase to more than 6 million by 2020.
More than any other socioeconomic group, women are disproportionately affected by long-term care. The reason behind this lies in the fact that women live longer than men and are more likely to develop the functional ailments that require long-term care services. Sixty percent of residents in long-term care facilities are women.
Several other factors contribute to the need for long-term care. Families are geographically scattered. Time, travel expenses and other responsibilities make it nearly impossible to provide the care older family members need. In addition, the primary caregivers in most families are women, and today more women work outside the home.
Although most long-term care services are used by the elderly, young adults, children, and even infants use long-term care services due to chronic illness, disability or accidents.