“Insurance pays little for caregiving of elderly at end of life,” by Ronnie Cohen, Reuters
“Unpaid family and friends provide the overwhelming majority of care to the elderly in their last year of life, according to a new study highlighting the need to expand supportive services to caregivers. . . . In 2011, 2.3 million caregivers tended to the needs of an estimated 905,000 older Americans in their final year of life, the report in Health Affairs found. Nearly 9 in 10 of the caregivers were unpaid, and only 9 percent of dying older adults received money for caregiving from government or private insurance. . . . Only 14 percent of the caregivers were spouses, and nearly two-thirds of the spouses reported receiving no help from other relatives or friends. . . . The children of dying elders, especially the daughters, carried the biggest burden, the study showed. Daughters provided more than 38 percent of caregiving to their parents, while sons provided 22 percent.”
LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
The best way to “expand supportive services to caregivers” is to divert more of them from Medicaid dependency and on to home equity conversion and private LTC insurance.
Insurance pays little for caregiving of elderly at end of life