Friday, July 28, 2006

How to Define Long Term Care

Long term care can mean many different things but any chronic or disabling condition that requires nursing care or constant supervision can bring on the need for long term care services. Long term care means not only care in a nursing home, it can also mean nursing care in your own home and help with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating, bathing and taking medicine.

There are many different services that would fall under the definition of long term care. These services include institutional care, i.e., nursing facilities, or non-institutional care such as home health care, personal care, adult day care, long term home health care, respite care and hospice care.

There are other long term care services that provide people with an option other than nursing home care. These services are defined below:

Home health care consists of services received in your home, and can include skilled nursing care, speech, physical or occupational therapy or home health aide services.

Home care (personal care) consists of assistance with personal hygiene, dressing or feeding, nutritional or support functions and health-related tasks.

Adult day care is for persons living at home, and provides supervision for elderly persons during the day when family members are not at home. It is a method of delivering a variety and range of services including social and recreational, and in some cases, health services, in a group setting.

Assisted living facilities provide ongoing care and related services to support those needs resulting from a person's inability to perform activities of daily living or a cognitive impairment.

An alternate level of care in a hospital is care received as a hospital inpatient when there is no medical necessity for being in the hospital and is for those persons waiting to be placed in a nursing home or while arrangements are being made for home care.

Respite care includes services that can provide family members a rest or vacation from their caregiving responsibilities. It can be provided in a variety of settings including an individual's home or a nursing home.

Hospice care is a program of care and treatment, either in a hospice care facility or in the home, for persons who are terminally ill and have a life expectancy of six months or less.


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