What is long-term health care?

The term “long-term care” refers to a range of services designed to meet the health and personal care needs of a person for a long or short period. These services enable individuals to live independently and safely when they are no longer able to perform daily activities.

What services are provided by long-term care?

Long-term care services encompass various options, such as:

1. Home-based services, including home health care services, homemaker/companion services, and emergency response systems.

2. Community-based services, which comprise adult day care programs, senior centers, and transportation services.

3. Facility-based care, encompassing adult foster care, board-and-care homes, assisted living communities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.

Why do people need long-term care?

Many individuals require long-term health care when facing a serious and ongoing illness or disability. The need for long-term care may arise suddenly after a stroke or heart attack, or it may develop gradually as people age, become frailer, or as a disease or disability worsens.

Which is the most common form of long-term care in America?

Personal care, also known as “activities for daily living,” is the most common form of long-term nursing care. Activities included in this type of care involve bathing and dressing, grooming, and using the toilet.

For how long do long-term services last?

Long-term care can vary in duration, ranging from short-term to extended periods. Short-term care may last several weeks or months, typically for individuals recovering from an illness or injury. For instance, after hip surgery, someone may undergo short-term rehabilitation at a nursing home and then return home.

Individuals severely disabled by a stroke or those with Alzheimer’s may require long-term care. While most people can stay in their homes with assistance from friends, family, or paid services, some may choose to move to nursing homes or other facilities permanently if their needs cannot be met at home.

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