Long Term Care
What is Long-Term Care?
Many people conjure up an image of a nursing home when they think of long-term care. But long-term care does not always mean institutional care. Instead, it is primarily “custodial” care—personal, hands-on assistance to individuals who need help with the activities of daily living, or ADLs. ADLs are routine things that healthy people don’t give a second thought to: bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, getting into and out of bed or a chair. The need for long-term care may be due to physical limitations or disabilities resulting from injury, illness or the normal aging process. It can also be due to a cognitive impairment resulting from a stroke, for example, or Alzheimer’s disease.
And while such care is provided in nursing facilities, assisted-living facilities, and adult day care centers, the majority of long-term care takes place in the recipient’s home. Usually, in fact, it is provided by unpaid family members or friends.
If you think long-term care is primarily needed by the elderly, you’re incorrect. Nearly 41% of long-term care is provided to people under age 65 who need help taking care of themselves after an accident or stroke or as a result of chronic illness or debilitating diseases.