Texas Family Benefits specializes in individual, Medicare, and group health insurance in Houston as well as throughout the state of Texas.

Where Will You Pass Away?

By admin on August 31, 2012 | Listed under Long Term Care Insurance | Leave a comment |

The End of Life, in Numbers

We all put things off and thinking about death is at the top of the list, but everyone needs to give this subject some thought from time to time.

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy.  We all need to give some thought to our own end and at least have a will and medical directive in place for our own piece of mind and/or loved ones.

Think of Life insurance and  Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi)

Contact a Insurance agent if you work with one and at least discus the idea of planning for your own old age and end of life.

Having adequate financial resources gives us the flexibility to live our lives the way we want to live them when we have the capacity to come and go as we choose and the future seems to stretch on in to infinity.
Financial flexibility may be even more important after the years have rolled on. When bad test results come back, money gives us the ability to choose between whether we want to get every last possible hospital test and treatment till the end, to die calmly at home, or to die calmly in a nice, well-lit facility where other people — not relatives — will wash the dishes, mop the floors and change the bedpans.

The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics recently included statistics on death and end-of-life care in a compendium of key indicators of older Americans’ well-being.

Here is a look at what the federal agencies have reported in the end-of-life report.

Places of Death: Americans Ages 65 and Older 

19892009
Hospital – inpatient49%32%
Nursing home/LTC facilities21%27%
Residence15%24%
Hospice facilities, emergency rooms and other15%17%
Source: National Vital Statistics System/Older Americans, 2012

 

Where do Americans ages 65 and older die?

One of the obvious problems with statistics is that they don’t show what people were really thinking, but the statistics on the places where older Americans die seem to tell a positive story.

The reality is that, of course, 100% of all Americans still die: 1.8 million Americans ages 65 or older died in 2009 alone.  But the percentage who die in noisy, sterile hospitals has fallen sharply over the decades, to 32% in 2009, from 49% 20 years earlier.

The percentage who die in nursing homes and other LTC facilities has increased to 27%, from 21%.

The percentage who manage to die at home has increased to 24%, from 15%.

One question would be: How many of the older Americans who die in nursing homes do so because they want to die in nursing homes, and how many would have rather been in their own homes but followed the path of least resistance into the nursing home?

How many of those Americans who would have preferred to die at home could have done so more easily if they’d had LTCI policies with home care benefits?

Men and Women:

Where Americans Ages 65

and Older Died in 2009 — By Sex 

MenWomen
Hospital – inpatient35%30%
Nursing home/LTC facilities21%31%
Residence26%22%
Hospice facilities, emergency rooms and other 17%16%
Source: National Vital Statistics System/Older Americans, 2012

 

How does sex affect where Americans ages 65 and older die?
Women tend to outlive their husbands, and that often determines where they die.

When a husband falls ill, the wife cares for him at home, and he dies either in the hospital or at home.

By the time the widowed wife falls ill, she may be living alone, and moving into a nursing home may be the best option.

The result of the differences in men and women’s lifespans:  Women are a little less likely to die in the hospital than men, a little less likely to die at home, and much more likely to die in a nursing home.

Some LTCI carriers have talked about being less idealistic about rates and more numbers-oriented, by eliminating unisex pricing where possible and charging different rates for men than for women.

The government figures drive home the point that LTCI or other LTC financing options may well be worth more for women than for men, even if the options cost more for women than for men, because women are, clearly, more likely to use formal LTC services and facilities than men are.

Please note that I did get most of this info from  an article 08/29/2012 on lifehealthpro.com

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