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Increase in Life Expectancy and Long-Term Care Need

Within the past 54 years, the average life expectancy for a 65-year-old female rose from 15 years in 1950 to 20 years in 2004 (MetLife, 2004). The increase in the average life expectancy is credited to healthier living and advancements in modern medicine. After the age of 65, there is an 85% chance that in an adult’s lifetime he or she will need some assistance with dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom fundamentally increasing the need for Long-Term Care (SeniorCare Marketer, 2007).

Long-Term Care is assistance with fundamental activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing over a substantial period of time. Currently, out of the people with Long-Term Care needs, 83% choose to live at home. The need for Long-Term Care is expected to increase by 30% over the next 15 years. By the year 2050, the government estimates that the number of people with Long-Term Care needs could nearly double in size, from 15 million in 2000 to 27million in 2050 (Friedland, 2001).

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