Long Term Care Basics

Senior Help Desk Blog by Jay H. Jaser, Esq. Connecticut Elder Law Attorney

People often need long-term care when they have a serious, ongoing health condition or disability. The need for long-term care can arise suddenly, such as after a heart attack or stroke. Most often, however, it develops gradually, as people get older and frailer or as an illness or disability gets worse. Long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), examples such as:

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

Other common long-term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) including:

  • 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

It is difficult to predict how much or what type of long-term care a person might need. Several things increase the risk of needing long-term care.

  • Age.The risk generally increases as people get older.
  • Gender. Women are at higher risk than men, primarily because they often live longer.
  • Marital status. Single people are more likely than married people to need care from a paid provider.
  • Lifestyle. Poor diet and exercise habits can increase a person's risk.
  • Health and family history. These factors also affect risk.

Where Can You Receive Care?

Most long-term care can be provided at home. Other kinds of long-term care services and supports are provided by community service organizations and in long-term care facilities.

Examples of home care services include:

  • A caregiver who may be a family member or friend
  • A nurse, home health or home care aide, and/or therapist who comes to the home

Community support services include:

  • Adult day care service centers
  • Transportation services
  • Home care agencies that provide services on a daily basis or as needed

Often these services supplement the care you receive at home or provide time off for your family caregivers.

Outside the home, a variety of facility-based programs offer more options:

  • Nursing homes provide the most comprehensive range of services, including nursing care and 24-hour supervision
  • Other facility-based choices include assisted living, board and care homes, and continuing care retirement communities. With these providers, the level of choice over who delivers your care varies by the type of facility.  You may not get to choose who will deliver services, and you may have limited say in when they arrive.

For More Information About Long-Term Care

National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information
1-202-619-0724
aclinfo@acl.hhs.gov 
www.longtermcare.gov

About Jay H. Jaser, Esq. Connecticut Elder Law Attorney  

Office location: 500 Boston Post Road Milford, CT 06460

Contact #(203) 799-8888

I understand that the issues of aging and illness are matters that affect individuals in significant and deeply personal ways and realize that each client and family situation is unique. My legal support and guidance is given with compassion and is based on experience you can trust. Areas of Practice: Elder Law, Long-Term Care/Medicaid Planning, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Surrogacy/Living Wills, Last Will and Testaments, Trust Agreements, Guardianship Services, Special Needs Planning, Elder Advocacy, Nursing Home Resident Rights. Please call (203)799-8888 for a consultation.

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Milford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06460
County: 
New Haven