However, statistics proved that we should all plan for at least a temporary disability, regardless of our age. Study after study confirms that nearly everyone will face at least a temporary disability sometime during their lifetime. More specifically, one in three Americans will face at least a 90-day disability before reaching age 65 and, according to the definitive study in this area, depending upon their ages, up to 44% of Americans will face a disability of up to 4.7 years. On the whole, Americans are up to 3.5 times more likely to become disabled than die in any given year.
Unfortunately, for many Americans, the disability they face will not be short-lived. According to the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics, over 1.46 million Americans received long term home health care services at any given time in 2007 (the most recent year this information is available). Three-fourths of these patients received skilled care, the highest level of in-home care, and 51% needed help with at least one "activity of daily living" (such as eating, bathing, getting dressed, or the kind of care needed for a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease). The average length of service was more than 300 days, and 69% of in-home patients were 65 years of age or older. Patient age is particularly important as more Americans live past age 65. That number is expected to increase to 12 million by 2020. The Department also estimates that 70% of all persons age 65 or older will need some type of long term care services during their lifetime.
One of the big contributors to the need for long term care is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's is growing at an alarming rate. Alzheimer's increased by 46.1% as a cause of death between 2000 and 2006, while causes of death from prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and HIV all declined during that same time period.
The 2015 Alzheimer's Association annual report titled, “Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures” explores different types of dementia, causes and risk factors, and the cost involved in providing health care, among other areas. This report contains some eye-opening statistics:
- An estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's disease. This figure includes 5.1 million people aged 65 and older and 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer's.
- One in nine people age 65 and older (11 percent) has Alzheimer’s disease.
- About one-third of people age 85 and older (32 percent) have Alzheimer’s disease.
- Eighty-one percent of people who have Alzheimer’s disease are age 75 or older. The number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease is estimated to reach 7.7 million in 2030 – more than a 50% increase from the 5.1 million aged 65 and older currently affected.
- Every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. Thus, approximately 473,000 people age 65 or older developed Alzheimer’s disease in the United States in 2015.
- By 2050, the number of individuals aged 65 and older with Alzheimer's is projected to number between 11 million and 16 million – unless medical breakthroughs identify ways to prevent or more effectively treat the disease.
Disability planning is one area where we can give each and every person and family we work with great comfort in knowing that, if they or a loved one becomes disabled, they will be prepared because of the planning we help them create. Call us today to schedule your complimentary consultation; we can help.