23 Apr Which costs more: 30 years staying healthy or 3 years in a care home?
Many believe that chronic disease is mainly caused by our genes, or that it’s just part of ageing. Obviously both of these are factors, but they’re only part of the picture:
- In fact genetics may be responsible for a small proportion of most diseases. “70 to 90 percent of disease risks are probably due to differences in environments” according to a recent piece in Science magazine. Lifestyle diseases are mainly about lifestyles, which can be changed.
- Physical and mental disability are not inevitable results of ageing. Many individuals show huge benefits from lifestyle change and there are whole communities where most people remain physically and mentally fit into their 80’s and 90’s.
- Yes we all pay for health care. But it isn’t keeping us healthy — rates of major lifestyle diseases have soared — and health care certainly does not keep us out of a care home.
Most nursing home admissions are for lifestyle diseases
According to studies of nursing home residents in Belgium¹ in 1993 and 2005:
- 48% of admissions were due to mental problems (almost totally from dementia).
- 43% came from physical conditions — mainly the after effects of stroke and other circulatory problems, neurological (especially Parkinson’s) and musculoskeletal issues (mainly osteoarthritis). A three-fold increase was seen in diabetes-related complications.
So what’s the cost of staying as healthy as possible?
With the approach we recommend at Life Mat, you’re going to pay out something like this, based on a 55-year-old person until they reach 85 years old:
- Cost of a Life Mat PEMF system + accessories: around £3,500.
- Cost of healthier foods: around £30 per week x 30 years = £46,800.
- Cost of nutritional supplements at £20 per week x 30 years = £31,200.
- Cost of exercise: free.
Total 30 years cost: around £81,000.
And the cost of a care home?
According to NFU Mutual, more than a million homes in the U.K. were sold during 2009-2014 to pay for care home fees. Here’s why.
In 2011, researchers at the London School of Economics² assessed data from residents who died in Bupa care homes during 2008-2010:
“At £550 per week (before inflation), an 832-day expected stay would cost £65,400. The total cost for around a quarter of people would exceed £94,700 at this weekly rate, and for 10%, it would be more than £166,000.”
More recent reports have put the cost of nursing homes at an average of £738 per week.
Total 3 years cost: around £115,000.
And what value should we put on a good quality of life?
That’s just the financial cost. It’s hard to put a value on for instance 5 or 10 extra years of independence, energy and mental clarity. Or to put a cost on years of pain, frustration and lost experiences.
Will buying a Life Mat guarantee that you don’t need to go into a care home? Of course not, but it is a great foundation for a wellness campaign that could dramatically improve your physical and cognitive health in the years to come, with major financial consequences.
- Medical Conditions of Nursing Home Admissions – Gilberte Van Rensbergen and Tim Nawrot, 2010
- Length of Stay in Care Homes – Julien Forder and Jose-Luis Fernandez, London School of Economics, 2011