Long Term Care
Long Term Care Insurance
Because of age, mental or physical illness, or even injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting or continence, and/or transferring (e.g., getting out of a chair or out of bed). These six actions are called Activities of Daily Living–sometimes referred to as ADLs. In general, if you can’t do two or more of these activities, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you are said to need “long-term care.”
Long-term care isn’t a very helpful name for this type of situation because, for one thing, it might not last for a long time. Some people who need ADL services might need them only for a few months or less.
Many people think that long-term care is provided exclusively in a nursing home. It can be, but it can also be provided in an assisted living facility, or at your own home.
Assistance with ADLs, called “custodial care,” may be provided in the same place as (and therefore is sometimes confused with) “skilled care.” Skilled care means medical, nursing, or rehabilitative services, including help taking medicine, undergoing testing (e.g. blood pressure), or other similar services. This distinction is important because Medicare and most private health insurance pays only for skilled care–not custodial care.
Why Long Term Care?
- There are several reasons why someone may want to consider getting long-term care, including:
- Preserve independence and quality of life: Long-term care can help individuals maintain their independence and dignity while receiving assistance with activities of daily living. This can improve their overall quality of life and help them stay in their own homes or communities for as long as possible.
- Provide peace of mind for family members: Long-term care can be physically and emotionally taxing for family members who are providing care. By getting professional long-term care, family members can rest assured that their loved ones are receiving the best possible care, which can alleviate stress and worry.
- Protect assets and savings: Long-term care can be expensive, and without insurance, the costs can quickly deplete savings and assets. By purchasing long-term care insurance or planning ahead for potential long-term care needs, individuals can protect their financial future and avoid burdening their families with the high costs of care.
- Access to specialized care: Long-term care facilities often offer specialized care for individuals with chronic conditions or disabilities, including dementia care, stroke rehabilitation, and hospice care. These services can improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals who require specialized care.
Overall, long-term care provides a range of benefits for individuals and families, including improved quality of life, peace of mind, asset protection, and access to specialized care. It's important to consider the potential benefits and costs of long-term care and plan ahead for potential long-term care needs.