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Long Term Care – The Basics

The goal of long term care (LTC) is not to cure an illness or injury, but rather to maximize an individual’s independence and functioning.

LTC is comprised of a diverse range of services which include the following:

  • Homemaker Services
  • Personal and Home Health Aides
  • Skilled In-Home Nursing Care
  • Adult Day Care
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Nursing Home Care
  • Hospice Care

These services are designed to meet not only an individual’s health needs but their personal needs such as household chores, running errands, meal preparation and money management.

LTC becomes necessary when an individual needs help bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, eating or caring for incontinence. These are commonly referred to as the Activities of Daily Living. LTC may also become necessary due to a cognitive impairment such as memory loss, confusion or disorientation caused by a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

The majority of individuals that need LTC develop the need gradually over time. During the early stages of an illness an individual may need care only a couple times per week. Typically, this type of care is provided by family and friends. As the individual ages and the illness progresses the frequency and level of care increase. In some cases, care is needed around- the-clock. This type of care can be very expensive.

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