What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care includes a variety of services that may be both medically and/or non-medically necessary for people with a chronic illness or disability. Health and personal needs are met through long-term care. Generally speaking, long-term care provides people assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting or transferring. People of all ages may need long-term care.
Choosing long-term care is an important decision. Planning for long-term care requires you to think about possible future long-term care needs and costs. It is important to plan for long-term care before you need it, and before a crisis occurs. By thinking and planning your choices now, you will have more control over your individual situation, possibly remaining independent longer. Even when you plan ahead, making long-term care decisions can be very difficult.
You may never need long-term care. Even if you make careful plans and arrangements, you may never need it. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, “This year, about nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need long-term care. By 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. Most will be cared for at home; family and friends are the sole caregivers for 70 percent of the elderly. A study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that people who reach age 65 will likely have a 40 percent chance of entering a nursing home. About 10 percent of the people who enter a nursing home will stay there five years or more.”