Long term care provides essential help for daily activities. From walking and eating, to bathing and dressing, these are the activities that allow a person as they grow older or cope with a chronic illness, to preserve as much of their lifestyle, independence, and flexibility as possible.
Long term care includes the necessary skilled and custodial care that a chronically ill or frail individual requires. Diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative services all have their place in a comprehensive long term care program. The primary focus of long term care is, however, on the personal care and maintenance that will preserve daily independence and dignity over an extended period of time.
It is difficult to anticipate and plan for long term care needs because so many factors are involved in the decision making, such as:
- Ambivalence about long term living arrangements as physical capabilities decline
- Inability or unwillingness of family members to provide periodic or ongoing support when the time comes
- Misinformation about long term care options or services available through health programs, Medicare, etc.
- Difficulty in juggling financial and family priorities when planning for long term care
There are solutions to the long term care dilemma, and we can help you find the right solution for you.
What is Long Term Care?
Long term care is usually defined as care required for someone needing assistance with his or her usual activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs are commonly defined as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, maintaining continence, and transferring from bed to chair. When an individual needs physical assistance or verbal reminders to perform any of those ADLs, they are generally classified as receiving long term care, whether they need the assistance occasionally or full-time.
The financial implications of a chronic disease or other debilitating condition that requires long term care are great. Along with health care costs in general, these costs are expected to triple over the next two decades.
The Need for Long Term Care
For a couple turning 65 today, there is a 70% chance that one or both of them will need long term institutional care. Even if people plan carefully, they will still face the risk of losing control of their lives and their finances when they become elderly and unable to live independently.