Long Distance Caregivers

elderly couple facetiming with family
Mary Sizemore
Mary Sizemore June 7, 2023

With over 25 years of experience, Mary shares her industry knowledge by helping agents and their clients navigate various insurance products. She also stays up to date on current products and trends to support, mentor, and guide her teammates.

Disclaimer: With Medicaid, VA, and insurance regulations frequently changing, past blog posts may not be presently accurate or relevant. Please contact our office for information on current planning strategies, tips, and how-to's.

When creating a long-term care plan with your clients, consider their family’s proximity to them. Many retirees relocate to warmer climates and a more affordable cost of living. This means that loved ones may not be living near your client and, therefore, may be unable to provide daily assistance with care. This is another reason for clients in this situation to consider a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy.

Who is a Long-Distance Caregiver?

A long-distance caregiver (LDC) is someone who lives more than an hour away from the person needing care. About 20 years ago, there were approximately 5-7 million long-distance caregivers in the United States. This number was expected to double by 2020, but, unfortunately, little is known about this subcategory of caregivers. Long-distance caregivers have the highest annual caregiving expenses and are more likely to report emotional distress as opposed to caregivers that live near their loved ones.

What Type of Care Can a Long-Distance Caregiver Provide?

Just because a loved one provides care from a distance doesn’t mean that their contribution isn’t significant. A surprising number of LDCs play a principal role in their loved one’s care. This type of care can take many forms, including helping with money management, arranging for in-home care, providing respite to primary caregivers, assistance with online grocery delivery, and planning for emergencies.

Read More: Protecting Family Caregivers by Planning for Long-Term Care

How Can Long-Term Care Insurance Help?

Long-term care insurance provides benefit dollars to your client to pay for their care once they have met the benefit trigger of the policy and their elimination period or deductible is satisfied. The tax-qualified benefit trigger adopted throughout the LTCI industry is requiring assistance with two or more activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, toileting, and continence), or having a diagnosis of a severe cognitive impairment. If your client has an LDC as part of their long-term care plan, LTCI can help by paying for hands-on care by a home health care agency, since their loved ones are not in proximity to do so.

With many years of LTCI experience on our team at Krause, our office has assisted in the claims process of clients and their long-distance caregivers. Long-term care insurance has offered relief not only to the client but also to the LDC. Since their loved one cannot be there to assist with hands-on care, a long-term care insurance policy provides benefit dollars for the policyholder to remain at home with paid assistance.

Caregiving Questions for Your Client’s Long-Term Care Plan

  • Who is available to help with care?
  • Do they live nearby?
  • How long and how often can they provide care?
  • What tasks they are comfortable assisting with?
  • Would providing care become a hardship due to reduced salary, other obligations, or the mental and physical demand that is required?

For more information on the long-term care insurance products available in your state, contact our office today!