When I ask someone if they know what long-term care is, I get a range of answers back and usually the answer is consistent with others their age group.
A younger person will define what long term care as something that old people need when they go to the nursing home…which is correct although it’s far from a complete answer.
Long-Term Care is not necessarily medical care but more often is “custodial care.” Custodial care involves providing individual assistance with activities of daily living or supervising someone who is cognitively impaired.
Think of all the things that you did when you woke up this morning. You probably stepped out of your bed … walked to the bathroom … used the toilet … took a shower … got dressed … ate breakfast.
When you are healthy it is easy to take the ability to do things for granted. However, these things describe most of the “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs) that formally define the need for long-term care services.
So, you see that long-term care services includes a wide range of medical and support services for people living with various conditions that could include:
- A Chronic condition as a result of an accident or prolonged illness,
- A Degenerative disease (Parkinson’s, stroke, even severe arthritis)
- A Cognitive disorder (Alzheimer’s Disease)
These conditions probably make you think of older people struggling in a nursing home. And with good reason because most people who need long-term care are in their later years (typically in their 80s).
But, younger people often need long-term care as a result of a car crash or other high impact accident, or an illness like Multiple Sclerosis that tend to seize younger people.
When someone is stricken with a degenerative condition such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s or is injured in an accident, performing those simple Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) can be impossible without the assistance of another person.
As people age these simple functions becomes difficult; often impossible. This type of care is what long-term care is. It really can be similar to the type of care that a parent must provide for a new baby.
This type of care is chronic can be full-time and becomes very expensive. While these kinds of services are often provided in a nursing home, long-term care can be provided in many settings including the person’s own home, assisted living facilities and adult day care.
Since this kind of care becomes expensive, and is ongoing, and since it is impossible to earn more money to pay for these services if one become incapacitated, planning for this potential need is vital.
To help you prepare and plan for the potential need of care I have written a book called “The Secret to Long-Term Care Planning.” In this book is the information you need to understand options and to put things in perspective. And you can download it for FREE here: The Secret to Long-Term Care Planning