People who think that long-term care is just about nursing homes, quiet solitude and the gentle passage of time couldn't be more misinformed. Long-term care includes a range of services that help people with the tasks of everyday life, like taking a shower or dressing.
Care may be provided in a number of different ways and settings, from home health care to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. It can also include adult day care. Providers range from homemakers to registered nurses and therapists.
Statistics show that at least 6.4 million people aged 65 or older need long-term care, with one in two over age 85 requiring care. At least half of the population who are 85+ will need help with Activities of Daily Living.
* Such care is provided when someone can no longer independently carry out essential everyday activities like eating, bathing, dressing, etc. Most people think of long-term care as something needed by older people, but accident or illness can strike someone of any age. When it does, they too may find themselves in need of assistance.
Traditionally, women in our families have provided this care when needed. However, today’s smaller families may be scattered across the country, and many women are now working outside the home. What’s more, caring for a loved one full-time can overwhelm even the most devoted family member. As a result, more caregivers than ever are turning to outside resources to help with the care of a family member.
Many people automatically think of nursing homes when they think of long-term care, but there are other options available as well, some provided in your own home or others in the community. This pamphlet explains some of these long-term care arrangements, what they cost and how to shop for a long-term care insurance policy to help cover such expenses.