Long Term Care includes a wide range of medical and support services for people with a degenerative condition such as Parkinson’s, stroke, etc., or those with a prolonged illness(cancer) or cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s.
Long Term Care is not necessarily medical but rather “custodial care“. Custodial care involves providing an individual assistance with activities of daily living or supervision of someone who is cognitively impaired.
To better understand Long Term Care, think of the activities that you perform on a daily basis: You climb out of bed…walk to the bathroom…use the toilet…use the bath or shower…get dressed�eat breakfast. While we are healthy it is easy to take these Activities of Daily Living (ADL ‘s) for granted. However, when you or a loved one is stricken with a degenerative condition, performing these ADL’s becomes impossible without the assistance of another person. This type of care is chronic (full-time) and thus becomes very expensive. Long Term Care can be provided in many settings including nursing homes, your own home, assisted living facilities and adult day care.
Why Is There A Need For Long Term Care?
Basically people are living longer. Due to modem advances in medicine and life-style changes, the number of people over the age of 65 is projected to double by the year 2050. In fact, people age 80-plus are the largest growing segment of that senior population. As more Americans take care of themselves through diet and exercise, they are increasing their projected longevity. Unfortunately, as people age, they are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses such as strokes or Alzheimer’s. Statistically, Americans over the age of 65 face a 40 risk of entering a nursing home for Long Term Care services.