South Carolina Long Term Care On the Rise

South Carolina Long Term Care On the Rise

Long term care use is on the rise around the nation as states struggle to keep up with the high demand. A recent report by the AARP analyzes the prevalence of South Carolina long term care services.

South Carolina Long Term Care

According to the report, the elderly population in South Carolina is expected to rapidly grow over the next few decades, as technology improves and life expectancy rises over time. This trend is one that is sweeping the country and demands the need for attention. 14% of the state’s population is over the age of 65, with more than 74,000 residents over the age of 85.

While the 65+ population is expected to increase quickly, it is the 85+ population that is really going to skyrocket. The number of individuals aged 85 and older in South Carolina is predicted to grow 101% between 2012 and 2032. As Americans begin to live longer and the incidence of many chronic diseases increases, the need for long term care will only expand.

Of the state’s residents aged 65 and above, 9% have a self care disability, which indicates an inability to perform daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, and getting around the home on their own. This disability may be due to a physical restriction such as stroke, obesity, or another form of injury, many of which are more common in the south. 11% of South Carolinians aged 65 and older have a cognitive disability like Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia.

Care Settings

186 nursing facilities in South Carolina served 17,259 residents in the year 2010, occupying 91% of nursing home beds statewide. The average cost of a room in these facilities is $175 per day. Compared to the national nursing home deficiency rate of 23%, the state’s 16.2% shows a slightly improved long term care system in comparison to the rest of the country. Deficiencies arise when situations within a nursing facility could lead to accident or injury among residents.

Besides nursing facilities, assisted living homes and other residential communities are common throughout the long term care community. These facilities provide more independence for individuals who don’t require constant monitoring, but they also typically have staff on hand in case of a medical emergency. In 2010, 480 assisted living and other residential homes were spread throughout the state of South Carolina with a total capacity of 16,930 beds.

Though many people think of nursing homes when they think of long term care, other forms of long term care exist and are quite popular. Home health care is more popular than nursing homes nearly everywhere, and studies suggest that for every 1 person receiving long term care in a nursing home, 4 are receiving care at home. People prefer to receive care at their home so they can remain in the community amongst their loved ones while still receiving the crucial services they need. Home health care in South Carolina averages $136 per day, based on 8 hours of care.

Unpaid Care

Unpaid care is another aspect of long term care that is quickly increasing as a trend due to the often unexpected need for care and lack of financial preparation. An estimated 770,000 people act as family caregivers in South Carolina, providing more than $7 billion worth of care annually.

As Baby Boomers begin to enter retirement, the number of unpaid family caregivers available is predicted to decline, leaving many without built in caregivers. Preparing for this type of care ahead of time is crucial due to the high cost and high medical risk that comes along with substandard care. It’s important to establish a financial plan for long term care that is included with the rest of your retirement plans.

Long term care insurance can help you protect against the high risk that this type of care poses and shield your assets and retirement savings from the costs. Read more about planning for long term care or request a personalized comparison of the top long term care insurance companies today at no cost to you.

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