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What Is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care involves a wide variety of services for people with a prolonged physical illness, disability or cognitive disorder (such as Alzheimer's disease). Long-term care is not one service, but many different services aimed at helping people with chronic conditions compensate for limitations in their ability to function independently. Long-term care differs from traditional medical care as it is designed to assist a person to maintain his or her level of functioning, as opposed to care or service that are designed to rehabilitate or correct certain medical problems. Long-term care services may include, but are not limited to, help with daily activities at home, such as bathing and dressing, respite care, home health care, adult day care, and care in a nursing home.

Persons with cognitive impairments generally need supervision, protection or verbal reminders to accomplish everyday activities. Persons with physical illnesses or disabilities often need hands on assistance with activities of daily living. The activities of daily living, shown below, are considered personal care (also know as custodial care) and are generally not covered by Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, or major medical insurance provided by most employers.

  • Bathing- Bathing oneself or getting in and out of a tub or shower

  • Continence- Maintaining bowel and bladder control
  • Dressing- Putting on or taking off clothing, appendages or necessary braces and fasteners
  • Eating- Feeding oneself

  • Toileting- Getting to and from the toilet and performing personal hygiene

  • Transferring- Getting in or out of a bed, chair or wheelchair to move from place to place by walking, wheelchair or other means


Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term Care Insurance can help you shift a significant portion of the financial burden to a third party should you need long-term care. Current studies show that over half of women and nearly one-third of men age 65 years or older will need some type of assistance or will enter a nursing home. Long-term Care Insurance is currently the fastest-growing type of insurance being sold in the U.S.

Three Basic Types of Policies

  • Long-Term Care Policy

  • Nursing Home Policy
  • Home Health Care Policy

Long-term Care policies being sold today must be approved by the Department of Insurance in your state and there are no bad policies. However, not all policies are the same and there are currently over 100 companies marketing policies. To review some of these policies and compare rates please visit our LTC specialist site below.

Long-term Care Research