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Long-term care: Who needs it and how much does it cost?

Have you ever tried to imagine what your life will be like when you reach your 70’s, 80’s and 90’s? What if you live to be become a centenarian?

If you find it difficult to picture yourself in the future, you’re not alone. Most people are “stuck” in the present and imagine their future selves looking no different than who they are today. According to Psychology Today, this phenomenon is called “the end of history illusion,”—and it can have a serious effect on present decisions that affect your future.

For example, many people can’t imagine that they’ll one day need help taking care of themselves, so they don’t prioritize saving and planning for long-term care. But the reality is, roughly 70% of people aged 65 and older will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime.1

What is long-term care?

Long-term care is the personal assistance you may need if you’re unable to perform one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) on your own for an extended period. The six ADLs include:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Transferring
  • Toileting (to or from a bed or wheelchair)
  • Continence

Many people automatically think about nursing homes when they hear long-term care, but today there are a wide variety of helpful services that people can receive at a facility, in the community or at home.

Who should be prepared for long-term care?

The short answer is everyone should prepare for their future long-term care needs! However, there are some groups of people who are statistically more likely than others to need professional long-term care services:

  • Women: Did you know that more than 70% of nursing home residents are women?2 That’s because women live longer with a life expectancy that’s nearly six years longer than men.3 Whether it’s due to widowhood, divorce or other reasons, women are more likely to live alone in their older age.3
  • LGBTQ older adults: By the year 2060, the number of LGBTQ older adults will exceed 5 million, 4 and many of them will face greater risks of needing long-term care than their heterosexual counterparts. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services attributes this to the fact that LGBTQ adults are more likely to experience health disparities throughout their lives and they’re less likely to have long-term care support from biological family members.5

How much does long-term care cost?

Long-term care is one of the most expensive costs many people face in retirement. Here are average daily costs of care in the U.S.:6

  • Homemaker services: $163 per day
  • Home health aide: $169 per day
  • Assisted living facility: $148 per day
  • Semi-private room in a nursing home: $260 per day
  • Private room in a nursing home: $297 per day

As you can see, paying for care out-of-pocket requires significant financial assets. That’s why many people turn to long-term care insurance.

Long-term care insurance helps pay for care and gives you options

A long-term care insurance policy is designed to help you pay for the long-term care services you need. It works by reimbursing you a monetary daily amount (up to a preselected limit) for assisted care services, such as eating, bathing or dressing. You can usually select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the help you need, where you want it, including at home. This is helpful for many types of people, but especially many LGBTQ seniors who want to remain in their homes for as long as possible due to most nursing home staff not being trained in meeting their needs.

We’re here to help

Here at Bankers life, our agents are trained to meet the unique challenges that all people face as they near and enter retirement. If you have questions about long-term care insurance, we’re here to help. Get matched with an agent today.


1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, How Much Care Will You Need?,, 2020.
2American Association for Long-term Care Insurance, Long-Term Care – Important Information for Women, accessed 2023.
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Life Expectancy,, 2023.
4Mpls St Paul magazine, What LGBTQ Seniors Face in Assisted Living and Care Facilities,, July 2022.
5U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Long-term Care Considerations for LGBT Adults,, 2022., Nursing Home Costs in 2023,, 2023.