Frequently Asked Questions

What is Long Term Care?

Long term care is a variety of services and supports to meet health or personal care needs over an extended period of time. Most long term care is non-skilled personal care assistance, such as helping to perform everyday Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which are:

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

The goal of long term care services is to help you maximize your independence and functioning at a time when you are unable to be fully independent.

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Who Needs Long Term Care

Long term care is needed when you have a chronic illness or disability that causes you to need assistance with Activities of Daily Living. Your illness or disability could include a problem with memory loss, confusion, or disorientation. This year, about 9 million Americans over the age of 65 will need long term care services. By 2020, that number will increase to 12 million. While most people who need long term care are age 65 or older, a person can need long term care services at any age. Forty percent of people currently receiving long term care are adults 18 to 64 years old.

How Much Care Might I Need?

It is difficult to predict how much or what type of care any one person might need. Women need care for longer (on average 3.7
years) than do men (on average 2.2 years). Twenty percent of today’s 65 year olds will need care for more than five years. If you
need long term care, you may need one of the following:

  • Care of assistance with activities of daily living in your home from an unpaid caregiver who can be a family member or friend
  • Services at your home from a nurse, home health/home care aide, therapist, or homemaker
  • Care in the community
  • Care in any of a variety of long term facilities

How is Long Term Care Paid For?

People pay for long term care in a variety of ways. These include: using the personal resources of individuals or their families,
long term care insurance, and some assistance from Medicaid for those who qualify. Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance,
and the health insurance you may have at work usually will not pay for long term care.

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