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How Much Care Will You Need?

The duration and level of long-term care will vary from person to person and often change over time. Here are some statistics (all are “on average”) you should consider:

  • Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years
  • Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years)
  • One-third of today’s 65 year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years

The table below shows that, overall, more people use long-term care services at home (and for longer) than in facilities.

Distribution and duration of long-term care services

Type of care Average number of years people use this type of care Percent of people who use this type of care (%)
Any Services 3 years 69
At Home
Unpaid care only 1 year 59
Paid care Less than 1 year 42
Any care at home 2 years 65
In Facilities
Nursing facilities 1 year 35
Assisted living Less than 1 year 13
Any care in facilities 1 year 37