Women’s Long-Term Care Needs

Women are the major providers of long-term care in this country, but they also have long-term care needs of their own. Women live longer than men, tend to outlive their spouses, and have less access to retirement savings such as pensions. In 2000, almost seven percent of all women were age 75 or older. A common scenario is an older woman who cares for her husband and who discovers that there are few resources—financial or otherwise—to meet her own needs for assistance. For example:

  • Women who were 65 in the year 2000 can expect to live another 19 years to age 84.
  • In 2000, almost 40% of women age 65+ were living alone; 51% of women age 80 were living alone.
  • In 1997, 70% of older persons ages 75+ who needed assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) were women.

As women age it seems doubly important to have resources in place and to certainly pre-plan as much as possible in regards to possible future needs – be they medical, financial or otherwise.