If you are an older adult or are the child of an aging parent, you might have come across the acronym LTC. This acronym stands for long-term care, which are the programs and services that are available to help elderly adults with completing the basic activities of daily life. Some activities become more difficult as people grow older. They might have trouble navigating stairs or getting out of bed. When this occurs, people may find that activities that they used to complete without much thought have become physically and emotionally difficult. At Elder Care Direction, we are able to explain the different options for long-term care that might be available to you and ways that you might be able to pay for the care that you need.
What are long-term care services?
Long-term care services are available to give seniors an opportunity to remain active and healthy while making certain that their basic living needs are fulfilled. People may need long-term care on a temporary basis while they are recovering from an injury or illness. Long-term care may be needed on an ongoing basis if a person a long-lasting medical condition or dementia.
What types of help might be provided by long-term care service providers?
Long-term care service providers may assist elderly people with many different activities of daily living, including the following:
- Help with walking
- Eating assistance
- Help with grooming and personal care
- Assisting with bathing, toileting, and dressing
- Help with medical therapy
- Medication administration assistance
- Meal preparation
- Assistance with money management
- Help with shopping
- Transportation assistance
- Help with paying bills
- Help with running errands
- Completing minor repairs
- Help with pain management
- Help with housework
Types of long-term care options
Many types of long-term care service options exist and depend on the resources and needs of the elderly person who needs help. Senior citizens who need the help of someone else for their emotional or physical needs may receive long-term care services at any of the following places:
- In his or her own home
- In the home of a friend or family member
- In an assisted-living facility
- In an adult day program
- In a skilled nursing facility
- In a nursing home
The location where an elderly person might receive services may depend on his or her needs. Some people may need to move their services from one location to another when their level of care needs change.
Who needs long-term care?
There are no established criteria to determine who might need long-term care. While most people associate long-term care services with elderly adults who are older than age 65, younger adults who have chronic illnesses, disabilities, or other health conditions may also need help with their daily living tasks.
There are a number of factors that may decrease or increase your chances of needing long-term care services, including the following:
- Age – Increased age may be associated with a need for long-term care help
- Gender – Women are likelier to need long-term care help than men
- Lifestyle choices – Poor lifestyle choices may lead to a need for help in the future
- Eating habits – Poor eating habits may increase the need for long-term care
- Smoking can increase the chance of needing help
- Health history – People who have a history of suffering chronic health conditions are likelier to need long-term care in the future
If you notice that you are struggling to do things that you used to find to be simple, or you notice that your aging parent is having trouble, long-term care services might be a good option to consider.
Who pays for LTC?
Many people who need long-term care services rely on their family members and friends to help them. This might include care from children or grandchildren. The caregivers may have to leave their jobs to help to care for an aging parent or grandparent. Medicare and Medicaid may help to pay for long-term care in multiple settings such as a nursing home or in the home of the elderly person or the home of the elderly person’s family or friend.
Long-term care insurance might help to pay for care over a specific period of time. However, these types of insurance policies require medical screens and are normally limited to people who are ages 50 to 84. Long-term care insurance may also become more expensive as people grow older.
Other ways that people might pay for long-term care services include the following:
- Paying out of pocket
- Veteran’s benefits
- Reverse mortgages
- The Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly or PACE
- Long-term care riders on some life insurance policies
Talk to the professionals at Elder Care Direction
If you believe that it is time for you to get long-term care services for yourself or for your elderly loved one or that you might need them in the future, it is important for you to understand all of the options that might be available to you. There are many types of long-term care, and you will want to find a program that meets your specific needs. You might also need to learn about the different options that might be available to you to help to pay for long-term care services.
Some LTC options can be very expensive, costing thousands of dollars per month. The professionals at Elder Care Direction have extensive knowledge of long-term care services that are available and can explain how each type works. We can also help you and your elderly loved one find ways to pay for the services that are needed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.