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There are some common misconceptions about long term care and how long term care services are provided to those in need.
What is long term care?
Long term care is medical and non-medical care that you may need if you are unable to perform everyday activities on your own. These activities are commonly referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs) and can include activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, preparing a meal, walking, and transferring from a standing, sitting, or laying down position.
These services can be provided at home, in the community, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. You may need long term supports and services at any age and the services may be required for a long or relatively short period of time.
The goal of this care is to help you maintain your lifestyle as you age or progress through a chronic illness. A need for long term care may arise from an accident, illness, stroke, chronic condition, or advanced aging.
Who provides long term care services?
Depending on your needs, long term care can be provided in different places by different caregivers. Generally, care is provided at home by unpaid family members and friends. However, it can also be provided in a facility such as a nursing home or in the community. For example, you can receive it in the community from a paid professional home care aid or by attending adult daycare.
Home-based long term care includes health, personal, and support services to help you stay at home and live as independently as possible. Although most home-based services are typically provided by unpaid family members, spouses, partners, and friends, these services can also be provided at home by paid caregivers. These professional caregivers include caregivers found informally, and healthcare professionals such as nurses, home health care aides, therapists, geriatric care managers, and homemakers. These services can include the following:
- Companion services
- Come health care; and
- Emergency response systems
If you or your loved one are currently in need of long term care services, there are options available to you and options to secure payment for these services. It is important to plan for the possibility of long term care and seek the counsel of a qualified elder law attorney to help guide you and your family through the process.