Having the right long-term care team can make all the difference. Long-term care is most often provided at home by unpaid family members and friends, but it can also be provided in a facility like a nursing home or adult day care center.
The most common long-term care needed is help with everyday personal care activities like bathing, dressing, eating, and moving around. Community services such as meals and transportation services are also an important part of long-term care.
Individuals typically require long-term care if they have a serious ongoing health condition or need help recovering from a heart attack or stroke. Others simply need help with long-term care as they get older.
Common Types of Long-Term Care
Long-term care looks different for everyone, but here are some examples.
Home health care is part-time medical services for a specific condition, typically ordered by a doctor. Services might include nursing care after surgery, an accident, or illness. It can also include physical, occupational, or speech therapy as needed. Home health care services are provided by agencies approved by Medicare for individuals over age 65.
Home health agencies offer both homemaker and personal care services that can be purchased without a doctor’s order. These services include help with household chores, meal preparation, bathing, dressing, and so on.
Senior transportation services are designed to help people get to and from places in the community as well as medical appointments and shopping centers. Many public transit agencies offer these services.
Emergency medical alert systems provide electronic monitoring for medical and other emergencies. The user usually wears a necklace or bracelet with a button to push in case of emergency. This summons emergency help; the service is particularly helpful for people who live alone or are at risk of falling. A monthly fee is charged for these services.
Friendly visitor and senior companion services are often staffed by volunteers who regularly visit someone who is living alone. These visiting services can also be purchased from home health agencies.
Making Financial Decisions for Long-Term Care
Think about what would happen if you became seriously ill or disabled. Talk to your family, friends, and lawyer about who would provide care if you needed help long term. You can prepare healthcare advance directives to make it easier to communicate your medical decisions.
Staying healthy and independent can help delay or prevent the need for long-term care. Eating well, not smoking, getting regular physical activity, and limiting alcohol can help you stay healthy, as can maintaining an active social life and getting regular health care.
Long-term care can be costly, leaving many individuals relying on multiple payment sources. Personal funds (pensions, savings, investment income), government health insurance programs such as Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, private financing options like long-term care insurance, and services provided through the Older Americans Act are common payment sources.
You can find home-based services by calling Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or by visiting https://eldercare.acl.gov. Your local Area Agency on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Center, Department of Human Services or Aging, or social service agency can also help.
If your loved one is receiving long-term care and you suspect elder abuse, act right away.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.