What Can Japan Teach California About Long Term Care?

Long-term care JapanIn a recent Forbes article, contributor Chris Farrell, award winning journalist and senior economics contributor to Next Avenue, discussed how Japan’s policies and vision of long term care has shifted over time.

When you think of Japan and their culture you might think about how the younger generations are to care and respect their parents and elders.

However, with the shift in their economy and changing family values, according to Farrell, “Japan’s family-centered approach foundered, due to demographic and economic changes. Daughters and daughters-in-law — the primary caregivers — grew overwhelmed by the task, especially with the trend toward fewer children and more women joining the workforce.”

Farrell continues his discussion on how what we may think about Japanese children caring for their elders showed in a 1994 survey that one in two caregivers treated frail older relatives abusively; one of three also reported feelings of hatred.

The financial and emotional toll endured when taking care of an elder loved one who is no longer able to dress, bath, feed, and/or care for themselves is hard for trained people, let alone, the untrained people with an emotional connection.

Sadly, although we have the best intentions at heart when we talk about willingness to care for mom and dad, or hope that our kids will take care of us in our old age, we should never expect the people we care for to sacrifice their own life for ours; that is truly selfish.

The average American age 55 to 64 has a median retirement savings of $104,000 according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. The 70% of people age 65 and older who will access long term care services during their lives, “can expect to incur costs of $138,000, on average” according to Melissa Favreault of the Urban Institute and Judith Dey of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Remember, that is an average, some will be substantially more, others will be less.

Do you see the problem?

It is important when considering your future heath care planning needs that you also take in account the emotional and financial needs of the people that you care for to.

It is time to start planning your long-term care health insurance today.

Contact your California Long Term Care Insurance Services agent today.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/08/24/what-japan-can-teach-us-about-long-term-care/