Understanding Long-Term Care

Have you thought about long-term care and whether you will need it as you age? If you haven’t, you might want to start. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point.

So what exactly is long term care? First of all, it is not just insurance (although you can purchase long-term care insurance). Long-term care refers to a variety of services designed to help meet the needs of people who can no longer care for themselves.

The most common type of long-term care involves personal care or Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), including:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the toilet
  • Transferring (to or from bed or chair)
  • Caring for incontinence
  • Eating

Other common services are assistance with everyday tasks, called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), which include:

  • Housework
  • Managing money
  • Taking medication
  • Preparing and cleaning up after meals
  • Shopping for groceries or clothes
  • Using the telephone or other communication devices
  • Caring for pets
  • Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms

So who needs long-term care? There are many factors to consider, such as age, gender, disabilities, chronic illnesses, living arrangements, etc…

If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about long-term care, visit longtermcare.gov.

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