According to the National Medicare Handbook, 70% of people older than 65 will need some form of long term care. So what is Long Term Care?
Long term care designates a variety of services provided to those in need of help with activities of daily living or personal care for a short or long period of time. Those most often in need of help are elderly, disabled or those coming out of hospital stays/rehab. Long term care is usually non-medical in nature, though some organizations will offer skilled nursing as well.
Services included under the Long-Term Care umbrella (though not limited to these) are personal care, homemaking and companionship. Personal care involves help with bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, incontinence care, transfers. Homemaking involves housekeeping, running errands, grocery shopping, laundry, other household chores, transportation etc. Companionship is self-explanatory - companionship provided to the one needing care. Many times, these services of personal care, homemaking and companionship are combined.
Whether it comes suddenly - Dad has a heart attack, is ok, but needs care at home for a short time - or comes gradually - a close family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and needs care until the end - long term care is something we should think about and plan for earlier on. Doing the research can go a long way in preparing us for situations and giving us peace of mind.