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Health Insurance
Long Term Care Insurance Information

Long-term care involves a variety of services for people with a prolonged physical illness, disability or cognitive disorder. Long-term care is not one service, but various 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 in that it is designed to assist a person to maintain his or her level of functioning; traditional medical care or service is designed to rehabilitate or correct certain medical problems that the individual experiences.

Types of Long-Term Care
Following are brief descriptions of the major types of long-term care:

Nursing homes offer care to people who cannot be cared for at home or in the community. They provide skilled nursing, rehabilitation services, meals, activities, assist with daily living, and supervision. Many nursing homes also offer temporary or periodic care.

Assisted living provides 24-hour supervision, assistance, meals, and health care services in a home-like setting. Services include help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, medicine, transportation, laundry, and housekeeping. Social and recreational activities also are provided.

Home care can be given in your own home by family members, friends, volunteers, or paid professionals. This type of care can range from help with shopping to nursing care. Some short-term, skilled home care (provided by a nurse or therapist) is covered by Medicare and is called home health care. Another type that can be given at home is hospice care for terminally ill people.

Community services are services that can include adult day care, meal programs, senior centers, transportation, and other services. These can help people who are cared for at home-and their families. For example, adult day care services provide a range of health, social, and related support services in a protective setting during the day. This can help adults with impairments such as Alzheimer's disease continue to live in the community. This can also provide a necessary break for those friends or family members who provide majority of the care and support for the individual.

Supportive housing programs offer low-cost housing to older people with low to moderate incomes. The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and State or local governments often develop such housing programs. A number of these facilities offer help with meals and tasks such as housekeeping, shopping, and laundry. Residents usually live on their own.

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) provide a range of services and care based on what each resident needs over time. Care usually is provided in one of three main stages: independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing, depending on the situation.



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