Who’s Going To Care For Me? Women and Long Term Care
By Rick Law, Estate Planning Attorney for Seniors, Baby Boomers, and their families in West Suburban Chicagoland. Women face major challenges in living with independence and dignity as they age. On average, they have longer lives, higher rates of disability and chronic health problems, but lower incomes than men. Women will be the primary providers of long-term care for their husbands and their children. But when a woman needs long-term care, most likely her husband will have already passed away. Often adult children are not available to provide in-home care. Lacking family help, most women face institutional placement in a nursing home, but millions of older women cannot afford long-term care services due to low income and lack of assets. Impoverished, they must rely upon the federal/state program known as Medicaid for their nursing home funding. When we receive a call for assistance at our elder law office, most often the caller is a woman who is desperately seeking help with a spouse or a parent. Many times she is a daughter or daughter-in-law who has stepped up to care for her father, mother, or in-law. According to AARP, the typical caregiver in the United States is a 46-year old woman. She has some college education and works outside the home at least part-time, but she still spends more than 20 hours a week providing care for her mother, father or in-law. She is often under high levels of physical and emotional stress due to the rigors of providing care for an older adult as well as providing for herself and her own family. Many female caregivers make substantial sacrifices to accommodate the caregiving needs of aging seniors. These women must often cut short their professional work hours; they are often overlooked for promotions; they may lose employee benefits; they may need to take a leave of absence; some choose early retirement; and others are forced to end their careers entirely. Senior women are also disadvantaged in that they receive far less Social Security income than men. Our Social Security system rewards those who work the longest and are paid the most. Women are penalized because they were often out of the workforce during the years that they raised their children. Additionally, their jobs often paid less than the average for a male. A typical senior couple today often have quite different levels of earned Social Security. The average senior male who comes to our law firm receives a Social Security check of $1,100 to $1,300 per month. Our senior female client receives a check averaging $400 to $800 per month. Yet even with a modest income, our senior client couples often live comfortably until they are beset by long-term care costs. If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 630-585-5200 or 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now. Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.