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Long Term Care

Long-term care can be quite confusing for people not familiar with it. All of the below services offer at least one or more of the three levels of long-term care. The level of long-term care a person will receive is dependent upon their physical and mental capacity to tend to their own needs. There are three levels of long-term care: skilled, personal and professional.

Skilled Care is a care needed for people with medical conditions that require care by medical personnel (registered nurse, professional therapist).

  • Care is usually available 24 hours a day.
  • Physician must order care.

Personal Care is for people who need assistance with simple daily tasks such as eating, bathing and dressing. Personal care (sometimes called "custodial care") is less involved than skilled care and it may be provided in settings as varied as in one's home or in a nursing home.

Professional Care falls between skilled and personal care. Professional care is for less medically complicated conditions. This type of care:

  • Requires attention of a registered nurse or professional therapist.
  • Does not require 24-hour supervision.

When Long-Term Care Is Needed

Long-term care is needed when a person becomes unable to do simple everyday tasks for self-care or has lost their mental capacity to reason and make judgments that pertain to their safety or well-being.

Common Reasons Why People Need Long-Term Care:

  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson's Disease

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is the most common gauge insurance companies use to decide whether a person is eligible for benefits. The need for long-term care is determined when a person is unable to perform two to three of the following six activities:

  • Bathing — the ability to sponge bathe or to get in and out of the tub or shower
  • Eating — the ability to feed oneself by getting food into the body or by a feeding tube
  • Continence — the ability to maintain control of bowel and bladder functions
  • Toileting — the ability to get to and from the toilet and perform associated personal hygiene
  • Dressing — the ability to take off all items of clothing and any braces or artificial limbs
  • Transferring — the ability to get in and out of a bed, chair or wheelchair

Cognitive Disorder is another way to determine whether a person is eligible for long-term care benefits. It is when a person's mental capacity has deteriorated, resulting in the inability to remain in the same environment without assistance. Usually a person with this disorder needs supervision, protection and reminders to do everyday activities.

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