Understanding Long-Term Care Infographic Text

Who will need long-term care?

Seventy percent of people 65 and older will need some form of long-term care. Forty percent of people who need long term care are younger than 65.

Why do people need long-term care?

There are four basic reasons you may need long-term care. The first is prolonged illness, and the second is injury and disability. In both cases, you may need help temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of the health condition. The third and fourth reasons are cognitive impairment and the frailties of aging. In these cases, you are more likely to need help permanently.

On average, men need long-term care for more than two years, while women need long-term care for nearly four years. Women live about five years longer than men and are more likely to live at home alone when they are older.

What is the range of services provided?

There are two broad categories of long-term care services: personal care and skilled care.

Personal care services are also known as Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, and include the normal activities required for you to live at home. Personal care services fall into four basic types. The first is meal preparation, which includes planning meals and cooking and serving food. The second is household chores, which includes cleaning, laundry, and other routine tasks. The third is bathing and dressing, which includes assistance with personal hygiene and other tasks as needed. The fourth is running errands, which may include assistance with shopping and transportation.

The other category of long-term care service, skilled care, includes home-based health services provided by professionals to help you remain at home. Four basic types of skilled services can be provided in the home. The first is nursing, which includes visits to monitor health and vital signs. The second is physical therapy, which includes therapy sessions designed to increase strength and mobility. The third is occupational therapy, which includes therapy sessions designed to improve skills needed to conduct daily activities such as eating, dressing, personal hygiene, and household tasks. The fourth is medication management, which monitors prescriptions and daily dosing.

What are the levels of care provided?

Four general levels of care can be provided. The first is occasional assistance, which might be provided twice a month. The second is minimal assistance, which might be provided twice a week. The third is significant assistance, which might be provided five times a week. The fourth is maximum assistance, which might be provided every day.

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