Long Term Care

Long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the toilet
  • Transferring (to or from bed or chair)
  • Caring for incontinence
  • Eating

Other common long-term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks.

  • Housework
  • Managing money
  • Taking medication
  • Preparing and cleaning up after meals
  • Shopping for groceries or clothes
  • Using the telephone or other communication devices
  • Caring for pets
  • Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms

Who needs Long Term, Assisted Living, Home Health and Adult Care:

Age

  • The older you are, the more likely you will need long-term care

Gender

  • Women outlive men by about five years on average, so they are more likely to live at home alone when they are older

Disability

  • Having an accident or chronic illness that causes a disability is another reason for needing long-term care
  • Between ages 40 and 50, on average, eight percent of people have a disability that could require long-term care
  • 69 percent of people age 90 or more have a disability

Health Status

  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure make you more likely to need care
  • Your family history such as whether your parents or grandparents had chronic conditions, may increase your likelihood
  • Poor diet and exercise habits increase your chances of needing long-term care

Living Arrangements

  • If you live alone, you’re more likely to need paid care than if you’re married, or single, and living with a partner

Where can one receive care

Most people prefer long-term care in their home. Other kinds of long-term care services and supports are provided by community service organizations and in long-term care facilities.

Examples of home care services include:

  • An unpaid caregiver who may be a family member or friend
  • A nurse, home health or home care aide, and/or therapist who comes to the home

Community support services include:

  • Adult day care service centers
  • Transportation services
  • Home care agencies that provide services on a daily basis or as needed

Often these services supplement the care you receive at home or provide time off for your family caregivers.

Outside the home, a variety of facility-based programs offer more options:

  • Nursing homes provide the most comprehensive range of services, including nursing care and 24-hour supervision
  • Transportation services
  • Other facility-based choices include assisted living, board and care homes, and continuing care retirement communities. With these providers, the level of choice over who delivers your care varies by the type of facility. You may not get to choose who will deliver services, and you may have limited say in when they arrive.

Here is an example of the cost of this care.

Some average costs for long-term care in the United States (in 2010) were:

  • $205 per day or $6,235 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $229 per day or $6,965 per month for a private room in a nursing home
  • $3,293 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
  • $21 per hour for a home health aide
  • $19 per hour for homemaker services
  • $67 per day for services in an adult day health care center

The cost of long-term care depends on the type and duration of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. Costs can be affected by certain factors, such as:

  • Time of day. Home health and home care services, provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as “visits,” are generally more expensive in the evening, on weekends, and on holidays
  • Extra charges for services provided beyond the basic room, food and housekeeping charges at facilities, although some may have “all inclusive” fees.
  • Variable rates in some community programs, such as adult day service, are provided at a per-day rate, but can be more based on extra events and activities

CHOICE MATTERS, WHY BECAUSE YOU MATTER AS DOES YOUR FAMILY!